In our A Complete Journey sequence, our journey writers doc what they spent on a latest getaway. On this version, Austin Bush takes us on a mouthwatering five-day journey to Athens, delving into the Greek capital’s culinary scene.
I’m a contract author and photographer primarily based in Lisbon. I used to be invited to a convention in Athens, and since my flights had been coated and I’d by no means beforehand been there, I made a decision to reach a couple of days upfront. My principal objectives had been to discover Athens’s food and drinks, and within the course of stroll all it off as a lot as potential – a meals and foot theme, if you’ll – all whereas benefiting from town’s free sights.
Lodging: I booked 4 nights in a small, easy Airbnb in central Athens’s Exarcheia space (€156), situated inside strolling distance of many of the markets, bars and eating places I needed to go to.
On the bottom
Airport switch: I arrived in Athens at round 6pm, however Greek eating hours meant that I used to be in no rush to get into city, so I took the airport prepare (€9), a visit of about 45 minutes.
Dinner: After dropping my baggage at my room, I walked throughout city to my dinner vacation spot, Ilia’s Haunt, one among Athens’s extra legendary “chop retailers,” eating places specializing in grilled meat, particularly lamb chops, that are offered by the kilogram. I ordered 500g of skinny, smoky chops, bread, ho-hum tzatziki and eggplant dips and a half liter of home wine (€24.90). From there, I walked to Galaxy, a bar opened in 1972 and that doesn’t seem to have modified a bit since day one, the place I capped off the night time with a negroni (€10).
Breakfast: I began the day at Stani, situated a brief stroll from my room, with what’s now my favourite breakfast on the planet: wealthy, thick Greek-style sheep’s milk yogurt drizzled with honey and walnuts, and an espresso (€6.40).
Exercise: After breakfast, I walked to the weekly Kallidromiou Farmers’ Market and its piles of greens, tables loaded with kinds of olives, stalls promoting recent pomegranate juice and far more (free). I finished in for a gritty, unfiltered Greek espresso (€2.50) at Mouria, a century-old kafeneio or Greek-style espresso home. From there, I walked throughout city, struggling to make sense of Athens’s mix of recent and historic structure, exemplified by landmarks similar to Monastiraki Sq. (free). Combating jet lag, I downed two extra Greek-style coffees (€6) whereas gazing on the Acropolis from Oraia Hellas, one more traditional Greek espresso store.
Lunch: My lunch vacation spot was situated simply west of town heart, the place I headed on foot, which took me previous the Monument to the Unknown Soldier and its pom-pom-shod guards. Ordering at Fatsio is completed from a glass counter of cooked dishes, however not understanding the system I managed to order two mains: thick slices of eggplant baked with minced veal, tomato sauce and an virtually cheese-like bechamel sauce, and a filet of swordfish served with boiled greens and drizzled with olive oil. All that strolling meant that I had no drawback in downing each of them in fast succession – along with a aromatic, crisp glass of home white and kataïfi, a Greek dessert of shredded phyllo pastry topped with crushed pistachios and drizzled with honey syrup (€24.50).
Dinner: After a nap, I crossed the middle of city on foot, passing via Kotzia Sq. (free) and kicked off the night at Heteroclito, a wine bar that has some of the useful wine bar menus I’ve encountered. Of the 2 glasses (€11.50), the Greek white with notes of “roasted almonds” and “hazelnuts,” and allegedly “a great companion to the chilly winter nights,” jogged my memory of a sherry, and was hauntingly scrumptious. Afterwards, I walked again within the course of my room for a really Cretan dinner of finger-length purple mullet served entire, snails boiled with oregano and served with olive oil and vinegar, boiled bitter greens served with a wedge of lemon, and a barely candy, oxidized purple wine at I Kriti (€35.20).
Breakfast: Eager to discover extra of the menu, I returned to Stani the place this time I began the day with a slab of sheep’s milk butter swimming in honey, bread and a “double” Greek espresso – now my second favourite breakfast on the planet (€5.40).
Actions: Versus my first two days, the solar was out, so I made a decision to do some outside exploration. I wove via the virtually Greek-island-feeling neighborhood of Anafiotika, situated on the foot of the Acropolis (free), and after stopping for sweeping views throughout town from Areopagus Hill (free), I ascended to the Acropolis (€10). Persevering with to reap the benefits of the great climate, I purchased a five-day transport move (€8.20) and headed exterior of city. I took the metro and buses west to the Twelfth-century mosaics on the UNESCO-recognized Holy Monastery of Daphni (free).
Lunch: I used to be already west of city, so it was a winding bus trip to lauded hole-in-the wall O Leloudas for a lunch of white beans, a slab of feta drizzled with olive oil and studded with olives, a hunk of bread and a half liter of home wine (€13). I took the bus again to my room and had one other nap.
Dinner: That night, I walked to Louis Cafe, the place pleasant employees confirmed me a singular and refreshing technique to drink ouzo: poured over ice and blended with a splash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice (€9). This was adopted by a late-night souvlaki eaten streetside at O Elvis (€5.60).
Exercise: I’d already had a style of Athens, so I made a decision to discover the neighboring port metropolis of Piraeus. I took the prepare and, arriving within the metropolis heart, kicked my time off with an unusually costly breakfast of double Greek espresso and yogurt drizzled with honey and walnuts at Stani (€11.30). Fueled, I spent the subsequent 4 hours strolling round virtually your entire peninsula that varieties Piraeus, stopping in at scenic bays with azure water which have an virtually island really feel, in addition to for a pair cups of espresso (€4.40).
Lunch: At cozy Yperokeanio, in Piraeus, I had a feast of entire fried sardines, a salad of chickpeas with herbs and cheese, the ever-present however scrumptious boiled greens and a tiny, unlabeled bottle of tsipouro, Greek brandy (€30.50). After lunch, I walked again to Piraeus’s metropolis heart and took the prepare again to Athens.
Drinks: I used to be nonetheless stuffed from lunch, so somewhat than one other meal I opted for a brief stroll and glass of Greek Pét-Nat (Pétillant Naturel; naturally glowing) on the hipster wine bar Tannin My Love (€9.40).
Breakfast: I began the day decadently with loukoumades, crispy donuts drenched in honey, and one more Greek espresso at Krinos (€5.70).
Exercise: This was my final free morning in Athens, which I devoted to exploring town’s central market (free). After weaving via fishmongers, butchers and distributors promoting dried items, I finished in for a double Greek espresso at Mokka (€3.23). It was now time for a food-themed mini buying spree. From the meals and kitchen-themed shops that ring the market, I picked up a bunch of dried oregano, a pair bars of olive-oil cleaning soap and a few dried beans (€12.20), simply half a enjoyable morning that additionally included a cease for a feta-stuffed savory pie at Ariston (€1.60).
Lunch: Procuring spree wrapped up, I headed to lunch at Diporto. Relationship again to 1887, this basement-level restaurant has no signal or menu, and solo diners like myself should sit with others. I fell into dialog with an area couple who had been consuming there for the reason that late Nineteen Sixties, and who kindly paid for my easy however scrumptious lunch: a dip of break up peas drizzled with olive oil, a crunchy, aromatic salad, a hunk of bread and one more a kind of tiny aluminum pitchers of home wine (free).
The ultimate tally
General spend: on the bottom (€259.53) + lodging for 4 nights (€156) = €415.53 (US$448.23)