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Things to do in Athens/Greece on Easter Sunday and Monday

Hello all.

We need help on our honeymoon to Athens/Santorini from April 12-17, 2015.

We will be arriving in Athens on Easter Sunday morning (12th, 9 am) and leaving for Santorini the next morning on Easter Monday. We will come back to Athens on Thursday afternoon and then take the flight back home on Friday evening.

As most attractions will likely be closed on Easter Sunday, we are wondering how we should spend our day in Athens or around Greece. We will probably rent a car to get around. This is our first time in Europe and we are interested in both the ancient sites and the sights of the city and the countryside. We would also like to visit some of the local bars at night.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
2513 posts

Renting a car to "Get around" within Athens itself is a bad idea, very bad. To make a comparison, if you were to be in Manhattan (NY) for a weekend, staying on say, Park avenue & 56, would you rent a car to get around Manhattan??? Of course not! traffic traffic traffic and NO place to park, $$$$ to garage, and plenty of public transport a few steps away. Athens even more so, because landmarks are almost all in center, within walking distance, and many are on no-cars lanes.

You really don't have "a day in Athens" anyway, because by the time you collect bags, get into the city & check into your hotel, it will be noon. Likewise, when you return on Thursday, it probably will be 6 pm by the time you're in your hotel. So relax, and just stroll around enjoying views of places from the outside. If you're in a Museum Mood, on Thursdays, Benaki Museum is (1) FREE and (2) Open til Midnight!! A super museum! not gigantic, very "do-able" and so well signaged (in English) that even w.o. background in Greek history & art, you can appreciate it. What I like is it gives top-quality "samples." I.E., not a roomful of red vases, just one case of really nice red vases! PLUS, it has a super upper-floor restaurant where savvy chic Athenians meet to eat, drink & "be seen."

This useful link http://www.athensinfoguide.com/open.htm lists all ancient sites, landmarks, museums etc, w. opening hours etc. All museums & ancient sites closed Easter Sunday, but some can be enjoyed as "walk-by"... ie, Hadrian's arch, and, thru the railings, Temple of Zeus. If you walk from Temple of Zeus west along the lovely pedestrian walkway south of the Acropolis, you can look up for BEST view of the Parthenon, to photo yourselves against. Another place just E from Zeus across National Park is the Panathinaiko Stadium (this is the stadium, on actual site of Ancient Games arena, which was built for modern revival of Olympic Games, in 1896). This online Map - http://www.orangesmile.com/destinations/img/athens-map-big.jpgis -- is handy to orient yourself to central Athens. Printable smaller map: http://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/athens-gr-ath-ath.htm#GR107 For both, click to enlarge. If u have time (between picking tablecloths and wedding-party garb), read up a little on Athens, it will increase your pleasure.

For your first night -- Easter -- alas, many many restaurants/tavernas will be closed, even tho they could benefit from tourism, because if they're family-run, often they themselves are celebrating. (Similarly to Xmas Day in US). You might inquire ahead to your Athens hotel, for Easter-evening dining recommendations of NON-hotel places to dine (of course a big hotel will tout its own restaurants otherwise) ... when you return, if you want to "splash out" for your last night in Greece, you could ask (on your FIRST night, the 12th) for your hotel to reserve you a seat for THursday 4/16 at STROFI http://www.strofi.gr/en/ -- read Trip Advisor reviews carefully in advance & choose menu items accordingly.

Congratulations on nuptials and on your FIRST trip to Greece (warning; it can be addictive!).

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you so much for your awesome reply Janet.
Your advice and tips will be very helpful I'm sure.
We will check out the sites you recommended and plan our trip accordingly.
Now we are even more excited about our first visit to Greece!
Thanks again. ^^

Posted by
2513 posts

Parakalo (in greek that means both "Please" and "Not at all, no problem"). Glad I could help.

Posted by
1234 posts

Congratulations!

One place that is open all the year round is Filopappou Hill. This is the hill directly across from the Acropolis and has, IMHO, the best views of the Parthenon. We've written up a recent walk there and you might like to have a look. It's the second walk down on this page

http://www.greekramblings.org.uk/Exploring_Athens.html

Janet's right that in some areas a lot of restaurants are closed for Easter, but that shouldn't be a problem in the centre of Athens. Again we've written up some central favourites all of which I would expect to be open at Easter.

http://www.greekramblings.org.uk/Plaka_Monistiraki_Restaurants.html

Have a great trip.

Alan

Posted by
1717 posts

Hello giantsteps78. On and near Easter weekend in Greece, many Greek people travel to the islands at the Aegean Sea. I recommend that you reserve seats in an airplane flying from Athens airport to Santorini, do it today. The Olympic airline is the best. And reserve a room in a hotel at Santorini, do it today. And I recommend going in the Benaki museum in Athens. It has big ancient ceramic vases that have beautiful art on it, in excellent condition. And some carved rocks that I liked. That museum has small rooms. Two people can have a pleasant experience walking through those rooms, especially at times when not many people are there. The Benaki museum is not likely to have a big crowd of people. The Benaki museum has an elevator for going to the upper floors. That museum is in a grand old mansion, located near the METRO station that is across the street from the Greek Parliament building. I think you will not have time for going in a bar room in Athens. Do not rent a car at Athens or at the island Santorini.