By Lisanne Meijerhof
The beautiful city of Athens is sure to be high on many UCU students’ list of potential city-trip destinations, and it is not hard to imagine why. After all, who doesn’t know the famous Acropolis? However, stunning as the Acropolis is, don’t forget that there are innumerable other great things to do and see – perhaps less well-known and touristic but certainly worth exploring. After gathering some inside information from first-year student Artemis Politi (19), let me present you with a day program in Athens that will give you the chance to explore the hidden treasures of this ancient city.
The first activity on your list would be the Monasteraki Flea Market. Don’t let the name mislead you; rather than a flea market, this market resembles a Grand Bazaar like the one in Istanbul. You will find all kinds of little, authentic shops, both Greek and foreign. The locals themselves come here for the high-quality assortment of Oriental spices, which is unmatched throughout the rest of the city.
After enjoying the colourful Monasteraki Flea Market, take the train to the area of Kerameikos. Here you have the opportunity to take a look at one of the most beautiful and yet less well-known remains of the Classical Antiquity in Athens: the ancient cemetery. You should really take your time. After soaking up all this history, you might fancy a drink. If so, consider going at Hoxton, a beautiful art gallery, that transforms into a fancy bar at night. Whilst having your drink, you can enjoy and discuss beautiful works of art.
For dinner, hop on the green line train to Thyseio. On one side of this central street you will find archaeological remains, whereas on the other side several street performers give the whole street a lively ambiance. Many small, authentic Greek restaurants can be found here, but you can also just grab a snack and walk around to explore the neighbourhood.
Then, finally, at the end of the day, it is time to explore Greek nightlife. Close to the centre you will find Gazi, a former industrial place which now hosts all different kind of clubs. There is no entrance fee, so you can just crawl from one club to another. You will find many locals here, and end your day by getting to know the Greek culture in style.
Athens is definitely worth a visit, both for the mainstream sightseeing activities, as well as the underground hustle and bustle of this metropolitan city.