Athens – InSightseeing

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… a delicious feast of meats and cheeses …
… we would recommend that you prioritize Karamanlidika over any other eatery while in Athens.


We visited Greece in the summer of 2015 before embarking on a cruise from Athens through some Greek islands to Istanbul. Our family decided to fly into Athens two days before the cruise started so that we could explore the city prior to boarding the boat. Here are the highlights:


The Crowne Plaza Center City was our home base while in Athens. Although the location was somewhat off the beaten path, the hotel was beautiful and was a five-minute walk from the nearest Metro station. An upscale hotel with a friendly staff, the Crowne Plaza‘s had an inviting lobby which set the bar high for the rest of Athens. The room was comfortable, a trait common in Europe, and the (shower curtain-lacking) bathroom was one of the most spacious hotel bathrooms that we have seen.


Karamanlidika and its many meats

After looking at an online ratings service to find dinner, we decided to walk to Karamanlidika, a Greek deli in one of the residential districts of #Athens. We overcame our jet lag and meandered through the city until we came upon the restaurant. The manager was waiting outside to welcome us into the joint, where sausages and other meats were in abundance, hanging from the ceiling and laying on the counter. Our kind server insisted that, after a delicious feast of meats and cheeses, we try some dessert, even giving it to us for free! The Greek yogurt that was served with every dish really stood out, as it was different than any yogurt we had ever tasted – the perfect mix of #Mediterranean and Middle #Eastern.

The next day, we made a long trek for lunch from the Acropolis to another recommended restaurant – Fisherman’s Taverna. There, we enjoyed traditional Greek dishes in the traditional Greek heat. Our final meal in Athens was also quite nice. Syntagma Square, the main gathering place in Athens, is known for its shopping as well as its food. After walking through some stores, we stopped at a contemporary-looking restaurant and ate gyros. All three restaurants were extremely enjoyable, but we would recommend that you prioritize Karamanlidika over any other eatery while in Athens.


Athens is an interesting city, as it blends the development of Western Europe with the hospitality and culture of the Mediterranean. All of the people we met in Greece consistently went out of their way to give us a pleasurable experience. It was very interesting to visit the country during a time of strife – the Greek financial crisis reached its apex while we were there. However, except for a minor demonstration in Syntagma Square, we encountered no protests or other issues. In fact, because of the crisis, all of the Metro rides we took in Athens were free! Perhaps the most famous site in Greece is the Athenian Acropolis (Greek for “high city”), located in the center of the city. A forum for the citizens of ancient Greece to gather, the Acropolis is now mainly ruins.

We made the exhausting walk up the Acropolis, which was extremely rewarding. We were able to take many pictures there, including sweeping views of the city. The Acropolis is home to the Parthenon, a temple to the ancient Greek goddess Athena, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Included in our entry fee for the Acropolis was an all-access pass of sorts which allowed us to view the ancient marketplaces known as the Agoras in addition to the Acropolis. All that was left standing there were a few columns. We enjoyed seeing these spaces, but the Acropolis was a much more gratifying experience for us. Later that day, we rode the Metro to Syntagma Square, where we were able to shop in the countless stores lining the streets as well as the Square’s small market. After dinner, we caught a glimpse of a small protest – nothing too violent, just a couple hundred Athenian citizens voicing their opinions on the financial crisis. Athens is a lovely city which bridges the gap between the development of Western Europe and the hospitality and culture of the Mediterranean.

Source, photos: Athens – InSightseeing