How to experience Athens like a local

Blueground’s new brand ambassador Abigail Akinyemi shares some of the best things to see and do in Athens.

Kevin Crain

By Kevin Crain

Athens landscape

Athens is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, whether you’re in town for work or play. Its history spans more than 3,000 years! You’ll find ancient ruins alongside contemporary glass towers. And when you stay in a furnished Blueground apartment, it’s easy to hit the ground running and explore. 

After Blueground’s brand ambassador Abigail Akinyemi spent an entire month in the Greek capital, she shared some of her favorite Athens spots with us. Keep reading to discover advice on where to go and what to do! 

What to see and do in Athens

Feeling outdoorsy? You’ll find Lycabettus Hill smack dab in the middle of Athens. It was one of Abigail’s top spots for jaw-dropping views. After you work up an appetite during your hike, head to Orizontes Lycabettus. Abigail said this Greek restaurant was a great place to look out over the city. 

Along the same lines, if you want to snap incredible pictures of Athens, there’s one great place to go…up. Abigail urged visitors to find a rooftop in Monastiraki with a view of the Acropolis. A few of her favorite places were Attic, 360 Cocktail Bar, and A for Athens.

Want to venture outside the city center? “Head to the beach area in Kalamaki,” Abigail said. “It’s only one bus ride away! I recommend starting at Bolivar Beach Club and walking the strip.”

The best eats & drinks

We all know that if you go to Athens you absolutely need to get a Greek salad and gyro, but Abigail claimed a gyro with tirokafteri — a spicy cheese — might be even better. For dessert, Abigail recommended visiting Epik Gelato to satisfy your sweet tooth with Greek ice cream. 

As far as drinks are concerned, Abigail said everyone should try the fredo cappuccino, a Greek iced coffee that’s whipped. But if we’re talking about drinks at night, her favorite bar for an evening cocktail was Baba au Rum

Working remotely and want to set up in a cute coffee shop? Abigail recommended Yellow Cafe. Because in addition to great espresso, “They had outlets everywhere.”

Insider tips for travelers

If you don’t speak Greek, Abigail suggested at least trying to say something simple. “Start with a yassou (‘yah-soo’) and a smile! It means hello, goodbye, and cheers.” One other thing she learned about Greek culture while there was that “It’s common to meet people who have the evil eye symbol as jewelry or on the front of a door — to ward off evil spirits.”

This ancient city was established long, long ago. That fact may not resonate with you until you’re actually there in person, but it’s something to keep in mind. As Abigail shared, “A lot of the sidewalks are made with marble, which means when it rains, it can be extremely slippery. Watch out!”

As far as public transportation goes, Abigail passed on these tips. “You can use Apply Pay to get a pass for transportation,” something she said was extremely convenient. Another thing to keep in mind? “Athens is a tap-in and tap-out metro system, so make sure to hold on to your ticket.”

Follow Abigail on Instagram to see get a firsthand look at her adventures as she continues her six-month trip around the world with Blueground.

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain is a writer from Dallas, Texas. He’s dedicated to helping every Blueground guest live like a local and make their apartment feel like home. His favorite topics include active experiences, bucket list essentials, and hidden gems in cities around the world.