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Travel: How to spend 48 hours in… Athens

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Staying in the city centre of Greece’s vibrant and historic capital is a must if you want to pack in plenty of sightseeing, and with bars, cafés and tavernas on every street corner of the busiest districts, you won’t be short of distractions wherever you go.

The boutique Andronis Athens is a 15-minute walk from the Acropolis in the buzzing Psirri neighbourhood with gorgeous rooms from £97. Or try the Athens Center Square hotel for good value rooms from £42.


Athens hosts a lively café and taverna scene, so your dining options are endless. For quality, traditional Greek dishes avoid the city’s more touristy areas (Plaka and Adrianou Street).

Manas Kouzina-Kouzina on Agias Irinis Square serves homemade Greek dishes such as feta saganaki and grilled octopus. You’ll also need willpower as strong as Hercules to resist popping into one of the city’s many wonderful bakeries, like Takis Bakery, near The Acropolis.

Most cafes and taverns serve delicious pitta gyros and pitta souvlaki but for the ultimate Greek kebab, visit the popular O Kostas in the Syntagma district.


You’ll find some of the best bars are hidden out of sight, like the trendy urban rooftop bar Couleur Locale in the Monastiraki district which offers affordable drinks and stunning views of Acropolis Hill.

Hidden in the Kato Petralona district is Upupa Epops, perfect for a chilled-out drinking session, while Bios in Kerameikos is great for entertainment, whether in its basement theatre space or live music on its terrace.


A visit to Athens isn’t complete without a trip to the Parthenon and Acropolis. Go early to avoid long queues in the baking sun, then cool off with a wander around the Acropolis Museum, where you can walk on a glass floor above an excavated Byzantine street.

Stop by the Monastiraki neighbourhood for a spot of shopping, especially the huge flea market in the main square.

The National Gardens, is a beautiful retreat from the buzzing city, while Cine Paris, an outdoor cinema in the Plaka district, offers a memorable night out.