We are a family of 4 with 2 active teenagers and no health or exercise restrictions. None of us have ever been to Athens and we are staying at the Attalos Hotel. We have 2 full days and 3 nights in Athens and I was thinking the most efficient way to see some sights would be to take a tour one day. I have the Rick Steves book and it suggests some tours but I wanted to know if anyone had a specific recommendation. We are interested in history and maybe some food and just some general sights. Any ideas?
I loved walking around the Roman ruins of Hadrian's Library near the Attalos. The archeology museum is a must-see-I don't remember if we went on a bus or a taxi but it was too far to walk.
Have you looked at Matt Barrett's Guide to Greece? Lots of good tips on it. You can even type that in the "search" box at the top of the forum and get lots of info about him. Also, there are some reviews for a guide, Faye Georgiou, that people have used. SHe was our local RS guide when we did the RS Greece tour and we really enjoyed her.
I'm glad to hear you have 2 full days ... and if you plan ahead, you can see a LOT.... but if y ou "wing it," having done no prep, the time will slip away. I do suggest you start on the morning of DAY 1 with the best-known tour outfit - http://www.athenswalkingtours.gr/ - their best-known tour starts at Syntagma Square, and walks you by famous landmarks up to the Acropolis, giving you complete background on what you see. Afterwards, you can go down into the Ancient AGORA -- the Rick book gives guides ... AND on this website, RS gives you a FREE download of an audio that takes you step by step thru the Agora. Do stop in at the Stoa of Attalos (the wonderful istorically accurate building, full of artifacts discovered in excavating the Agora)... and thd columned "porch" is a great photo-op
Then , with teens, it's time to EAT!. Go out the SOUTH entrance of the Acropolis area, to the Acropolis MUSEUM. It has a wonderful open-air terrace (or in very hot weather, a glass-walled A/c room), looking up at the Parthenon ... great lunches, good price, and you dont have to pay Museum entry to lunch there. However, the Museum is VERY worthwhile, and very modest entry fee. THe TOP floor shows exactly how the Parthenon looked before Lord Elgin took (stole) all the wonderful sculpture & sold it to the British Museum. There's also a fascinating 20-minute video (with animation) that gives a complete understanding of Acropolis, Parthenon and greek history during the Golden Age.
This handy website is worth printing out (at least the map) .. of the 10 top sites of Athens, to help y ou decide on what to see after the Acropolis - http://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/athens-gr-ath-ath.htm#GR107 Another resource is this complete listing of Landmarks & Museums - http://www.athensinfoguide.com/open.htm - Warning: it hasn't been updated for some time, so admissions $ and some opening hours may be out of date. Your boys, if they have student I.D. to prove their age, usually are free under the age of 18 at most sites. If on he 2nd day, you decide to take in the Nat, Museum of Archeology, Steves has a GREAT timesaver guide to the top 10 sights in the museums... either in the book or downloadable to your phone or I-pod.