April 19

A Weekend Break in Athens


A weekend break in Athens

A cheap weekend break in Athens is not as difficult as you might imagine.  Here’s all you need to know:

  1. Getting to Athens

    – you can hop on a relatively cheap flight from almost anywhere in Europe.  Sample return weekend fares (leaving on a Saturday morning and returning on a Monday morning) to London average around £115 – 140, depending on the time of year. Off season may be cheaper.  After landing in Athens, you will need to take the Metro or a bus from the airport into downtown.  Each takes about an hour and I much prefer the Metro.  One-way fares are about €6 for the Metro and €3,60 for the bus.

  2. Getting around Athens

    – once in downtown Athens I would say the BEST way for a non-Greek speaking person to get around is the Metro.  It is new and clean,as a result of the Olympics, and is very efficient.  Since most signs in Athens are in the Cyrillic alphabet, the Metro announces stops with enough advance notice so that you don’t have to scramble to get off.  The stations themselves also offer a glimpse of ancient Greece because any relics that were found while digging out the subway are now displayed inside many of the Metro stations.

  3. Visiting the Ruins in Athens

    Ancient Greece

    – to go to Athens and not make the ancient sites part of your visit would be like going to Rome and not visiting the Colosseum.  I recommend the Acropolis and the National Archaeology Museum.  Museum admission costs about €6 or €12 with a combo ticket to the Acropolis.  Each site is good for a half-day visit.

  4. Shopping and Eating in Athens

    – visitors will find plenty to shop for, especially Greek and Byzantine styled jewellery, but shop around and be willing to barter.  Prices vary widely and dealers often offer discounts to friendly travellers.  Some stops might include the Monastiraki Flea Market on Sundays, where you can find anything from genuine antiques to genuine junk.  The crowds alone make it a colourful experience.  Visitors should also explore the area known as the Plaka.  Most of the streets in the Plaka are closed to cars, so pedestrians and tourists can feel free to explore without being run over…unless it’s by an errant scooter!

Athens Wanderlust

There is so much more to be said about a cheap weekend to Athens but some things you have to discover on your own – that’s part of the adventure.

As they say in Athens, “Kali tihi!”

Lisa Fantino is an award-winning journalist and attorney and the creative force behind Wanderlust Women Travel.  She also blogs as Lady Litigator.


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  1. Abi, as they say in Athens, efharisto for allowing me to guest on your site. It was a pleasure.

    1. You’re welcome! It was lovely to read about a city that I haven’t seen for years…

  2. Thanks so much for the article….I am going , with friends, to Southern Italy this fall and they want to go to Greece. I was very hesitant, thinking it would take away from the Italia trip , but after reading this article, I realize it’s an quick and easy journey…Brava!!!!!

    1. You’re welcome! Two ancient civilizations for the price of one…Have a great time and let us know how you get on once you get back.

  3. Just to let everyone know, the metro is now 8 euros and the bus I think is 5 euros. Both take roughly an hour, even though the metro is newer the buses are equally convinient to use as there are 4 different buses on different routes that cover all of athens. The only problem is that you must know which stop u are getting off at or ask the bus driver, he would probably be more than happy to shout out when he gets at your stop! I also think the metro still runs till 2am on friday and sat(better off double checking at info office)and tram has a 24hr service. Plaka is nice to combine with the acropolis or the flea market but is very expensive and food is not always the best quality, it is considerd a tourist place by the greeks. If you want to experience something more authentic close to the acropolis get off the merto at Thiseio walk up the tiled uphill pass the cafe’s and turn right when you can see the acropolis in the distance. You will come across a small strip with many cafe’s one next to eachother and at the end there will be a bunch of Tsipouradika(classic old greek hang out with traditional drink such as ouzo,raki and RAKOMELO!!!!THE BEST!!! and a variety of meze platers to go with the drinks) If these directions are confusing just ask anyone at thiseio to direct you to the caffee and tsipouradika strip!Also for all the clubbers wanting good quality bars you MUST check out Gkazi it is literally once you step off the metro station of Keramikos The best places are Mamacas(strict clothing code) Socialistas and Dirty Ginger

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