Athens travel advice for the solo traveller, trying to live a minimalist lifestyle.
Roughly 2 full days is enough, try to go for 3 nights with 2 full days. This gives you more than enough time to see all the main historical attractions and museums, if your interested in that. With this time it also means, you’ll be busy and won’t get too bored. As a solo traveller I like to keep busy and moving, and to stay in the areas where there are other tourist. Therefore with 2 days, you’ll be a busy bee, going from site to site.
The Athens metro system is more than enough to get you from A to B, and the airport. All the main points of attraction are conveniently located near a metro stop. You’ll be travelling like a local by taking the metro, or walking as it’s very pedestrian accessible. To access the metro you need to buy a ticket, which is 4.50* for a 24 hour pass. Although when I was there, the metro workers didn’t seem too fussed on whether or not you had a ticket, so purchase at your discretion.
Where to eat:
The best places to eat (as recommended by the receptionist at the hotel) is around the attractions. I know its counter intuitive to think those would be the best restaurants, but with the state of Greece many business are not quite what they use to be. Best bet, is play it safe and eat in the tourist area, you’ll have many choices of restaurants and might even be surprised by the quality. This works to your advantage if you’re already in the area.
What to do
The Acropolis and all its friends: there are 2 ticket types, one that gives access only to the acropolis area and another that gives access to all the other sites as well. The cultural/historical ministry of Greece has made an effort to reduce the prices for admission to all the site in an effort to increase interest, therefore most tickets aren’t too over priced. After you’ve visited the historical sites there are museums worth visiting, the Acropolis museum and the Archaeological museum.
*Neither the solo ticket nor combo Acropolis ticket, give access to the Acropolis Museum*.
Some really great shopping can be done in Plaka, which is located near Monastriki metro and around the attractions. Although, many stores sell your typical Grecian souvenirs, there are a few diamonds in the rough that sell some interesting pieces, worth checking out. However, if you’re living minimally you won’t need to buy a lot or anything.
Hotels, hostels, Airbnb’s take your pick. Athens is a European city like any other and you are bound to find accommodations to suit your taste. The further away from the attractions the cheaper, but with low prices comes occasional safety concerns. Be weary of the area you book your accommodations.
Keeping safe in Athens, is like keeping safe anywhere else you’ll be travelling. Don’t take any unnecessary risk, stand out too much in the crowd and be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you stay with the other tourist and at night keep to the streets with lights.
*At the time of writing