When you visit Athens, you’ll want to visit the obligatory stops: Parliament and Changing of the Guard, the Acropolis, maybe Piraeus. But if you’ve already visited the tourist sites or if you have some extra time in Athens, I have 3 suggestions for you-2 cultural and 1 wine themed-, and all can be done in 1 day.
Let’s start with visit #1: the Acropolis Museum.
This museum is to Athens what the Archeological Museum is to Naples: artifacts from the Acropolis have
been collected in one striking edifice on the bottom of the hill by the Acropolis. You can buy your tickets online or stand in line, as I did.
Once inside, you’ll be mesmerized by the wealth of artifacts discovered on and near the Parthenon. I was especially fortunate because 4 days earlier, the underground excavations which were discovered during the construction of the museum, were opened to the public.
To get to the Acropolis, you can take the red line subway to Acropolis station.
Visit #2: Museum of Cycladic Art.
The museum focuses on promoting the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with emphasis on Cycladic art of the 3rd millenium BC. Cycladic refers to the island cultures (eg. Crete, Cyprus, etc) and the evolution to the Hellenic mainland civilization.
It’s a compact museum and a ‘must see’ for anyone interested in Western Civilization. But what caught my eye was the temporary exhibit ‘Picasso and Antiquity: Line and Clay.’ I am attracted to anything to do with the great artist and this was a unique opportunity to learn how he was influenced by Greek antiquity.
I especially appreciated how they juxtaposed Picasso’s works with artifacts from antiquity which clearly show the influences Greek antiquity had for Picasso.
To get to the Museum, use either Syntagma or Evangelisimos subway stations.
Visit #3: Wine shopping
I have had difficulty finding a decent wine shop. There are numerous wine bars that offer Greek wines
but I was looking for a wine shop owned by a knowledgeable person. And today I found one: Wine Story
The owner’s name is very appropriate: Dionyssios and his shop specializes in Greek wines. He has tasted the wines he sells and has visited many of the wineries. He speaks excellent English, the selection has been given a lot of reflection and the prices are very fair.
To get to Wine Story: it is a short distance from Syntagma Square.
Wine Story is open until 10pm everyday so all 3 visits can be done in 1 day, in the order I have presented.
Culture and wine in 1 day, it is very doable.