Athens, GreeceRead more about Athens, Greece and the upcoming Olympic Games
How to get there
In January, we flew nonstop to Athens from Kennedy Airport in New York on Delta Airlines after a connecting flight from Boston, for $502 round trip. The fare rises with the temperature. In late April, Air France has a midweek departure at $699 round trip. For travel in mid-May, Lufthansa is quoting $681.
What to do
The Acropolis, even with the Parthenon partially obscured by scaffolding, is Athens's most visible and visited site. Admission is about $7.50, but all archeological sites are free on Sundays much of the year.
Take an afternoon escorted tour from Athens to Cape Sounion to see the sun set over the Aegean from the Temple of Poseidon. Hotels will book the tour for about $37.50 a person. Book direct, though, as we did through Chat Tours, and you might negotiate a lower price.
National Archaeological Museum
Patission 44 St.
An extraordinary collection. Closed for renovations until June. About $7.50.
Where to stay
The Electra Palace Hotel
18 Nicodimou St.
Newly renovated; terrific location for walking; fabulous buffet breakfast included. Rooms with balconies, many with views of the Acropolis. $143 through early May; more for a room with a view.
The St. George Lycabettus Hotel
2 Kleomenous St.
On the slopes of Mount Lycabettus.
Magnificent views of the city, the Acropolis, and the Aegean beyond. You're paying for the view, however, and not much else. $275 a night, unless you want to be at the back of the hotel. The St. George needs some sprucing up, and breakfast is exorbitant: $56 for two.
The Hotel Grand Bretagne
Constitution (Syntagma) Square
The Grand Bretagne is extraordinary, even at nearly $400 a night for a modest room after an extensive and expensive renovation. If you can afford it, it's well worth the money.
Where to eat
On an alley off Adrianou Street (Plaka)
The best restaurant we found in Athens. Dinner for two with wine by the glass: $115, including tip.
Cellier the Bistro
10 Panepistimiou St., near Constitution (Syntagma) Square
Operated by the owners of Athens's best wine store of the same name. Dinner for two, with excellent Greek wine by the glass: $127.50.