About Nick E
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Oct 2013
50-64 year old male
I am a professional travel writer and have always preferred independent budget travel, making use of public transport and discovering the local way of life wherever I go. I have been to nearly fifty countries but my "holy triangle" is my native London, Greece and India. I lived in Athens for almost a decade and still visit Greece regularly. I was also based in Pittsburgh for nine years and return to that most underrated city when I get a chance. My total time spent in ever-fascinating India is now over four years and it is always a joy to return. I still cover large parts of Greece, India and the USA for the Rough Guides and occasionally get to go on a busman's holiday to somewhere new.
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
Ancient Ruins, Monuments & Statues
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Flea & Street Markets
Art Museums, History Museums
Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
The city's main square is a good place in which to get your bearings and watch the soldiers in traditional dress guarding the grand Parliament building.
One of the most famous and iconic structures in the world, as well as a symbol of Western civilization, the Acropolis is an unmissable feature on any visit to Athens.
Tucked below the Acropolis, this theatre was a very important venue during the ancient Dionysiac festival – a riot of wine and debauchery. It is usually also blissfully uncrowded in comparison with the big rock above!
The splendid new Acropolis Museum is beautifully designed and complements a visit to the Acropolis itself, adding more depth to your overall experience.
Athens is not renowned for having many quiet outdoor spaces, so the National Gardens between the Zappio and Syntagma Square are a good place to have a rest.
Known locally as the Stiles (pronounced 'steeles'), the gigantic columns of this ancient temple are impressive in both scale and size.
The Agora was the hub of social and commercial activity in the ancient city, and also the place where Socrates wandered around, engaging in heated debates with his philosophical adversaries. The extensive ruins are still very evocative of the time, especially the well-preserved Thissio.
Athens' main flea market is the ideal place to browse for souvenirs and gifts, from backgammon boards inlaid with mother of pearl to ceramics to embroidered bags.
Even if you are not shopping for food, the lively, loud and bustling central market is a picturesque place to spend some time.
One of the least visited ancient sites in the city, this is also one of its most atmospheric. The burial grounds provide another rare retreat amidst all the chaos.
The huge collection housed within this splendid Neoclassical building contains some of the most important archaeological finds from all over Greece, and places the importance of Greek culture in its full context.
Over twice the height of the Acropolis, this hill is worth the climb for the unparalleled views it affords. You can see across the Acropolis to the sea and all around the city to the surrounding mountains. The tiny chapel at the summit is also delightful.
Central Athens' ritziest area is a good access point for Likavitos and, if you have the money, checking out the designer shops. Come prepared however, even a coffee here will set you back quite a few euros!