Now is probably one of the most interesting times to visit Greece, as the country is on the verge of bankruptcy and in a state of intense rioting. Our hotel happened to be across the street from both the Parliament building and Constitution Square where all of the riots were taking place – let’s just say it made for quite an interesting experience!

I’m not sure if you can see from this picture, but there were signs hanging outside of the Parliament building with the CEO of Goldman Sachs and the head of the IMF…and in between the signs was a row of nooses. It was pretty intense. And a little bit scary!

Luckily there was riot control to keep things from getting too rowdy!

After arriving in Athens and having dinner at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant (with views of the Acropolis nonetheless!), we sleepily made our way back to the room…and noticed that the crowds outside the window had more than doubled in size. In our corner room overlooking the riots, we had front row tickets to what looked like a parade of rioters.

The next morning, we were met with an amazing breakfast buffet – and a view of the Parthenon!

…and later a visit to the Parthenon and Acropolis!

It was quite a hike getting to the top of the Parthenon…and with lots of patches of slippery marble (I had a few close calls!)…but the instant we made it to the top, it was worth it. The Parthenon itself is an incredible monument. It was breathtaking. I found it hard to believe that it was built in 432 BCE!

Even more than that, I was in love with the view of Athens. You truly could see every bit of the city, from the ocean to the mountains, and it was in that moment that I fell in love with Greece. While the historical aspect was incredible, I was such a fan of the culture, the people, the food (of course!) and the landscape.

We spent the rest of our time in Athens enjoying the city and the food…including my $1.50 Greek gyro for dinner! I loved my time in Greece, however short it may have been, and can’t wait to plan a trip to go back and visit the islands!

Athens, Greece

Where to Stay

My family stayed at the Grand Hotel Bretagne, located in the center of the city, directly across the street from the Parliament building and Constitution Square. And if that’s not enough of a sight, most of the rooms have views of the Parthenon and Acropolis as well! The rooms, while somewhat small, are incredibly furnished and very luxurious.

What to Do

The Parthenon and Acropolis are a must when you are in Athens. While I always recommend hiring a tour guide so that you can hear more about culture and current events, I did not feel the tour guide at the Parthenon was necessary. If you plan to visit more sites than just the Parthenon, then I would highly recommend a guide. As I’ve mentioned in my other posts, my favorite part about traveling is learning about the culture and getting a feel for the city. For this reason, I was very happy with my time spent walking around Athens – seeing the neighborhoods, the shopping, and the local restaurants. If we had a little more time in Athens, I would have loved to take a day-trip to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion – a temple directly overlooking the water located about 40 miles outside of Athens.

Where to Eat

The hotel’s breakfast buffet is fabulous – and free for all hotel guests! The hotel’s rooftop restaurant is always a wonderful place to dine. In Greece, we felt comfortable enough to eat outside of the hotel, and there are dozens of adorable cafes surrounding the hotel that I would highly recommend exploring. That’s where I found my $1.50 gyro!

Next Stop: London, England!

48 Responses to greece

  1. Gosh Star! All that rioting? I would’ve been terrified. You always sound so calm. What wonderful history you saw. That would just be fabulous to see. Oh, and the Greek food! One of my favourites.

    Wonder what delights you’re going to tantalise us with from London, UK? LOL Can’t wait!

    Anne xx

  2. I remember that slippery walk up to the Parthenon…I think I almost fell a couple times too — I see nothing’s changed in ten years! 🙂 Looks like you had a wonderful time — Are there still a thousand street dogs roaming around everywhere? Nice to “blog” meet you! xoxo from Trinidad

    • Star says:

      Hi Corey! Thank you sooo much for visiting my blog! It is so nice to “blog” meet you too! Checking out your blog now 🙂

      And YES, tons of street dogs everywhere! I wanted to adopt all of them!

  3. Stephanie @ Henry happened says:

    So cool Star! Did you have a yummy Greek salad? Agree, the Parthenon is a hike but worth it! I can’t imagine the craziness going on!

  4. so cool that you got to go there! it looks very pretty and thanks for the detailed heads up on Greece, gonna refer to this when I go haha

  5. Nicole Maki says:

    Your trip sounds incredible. Personally, I think the rioting would have had me too uncomfortable to sleep. Good on you for staying so cool.

    I’ve really enjoyed these travel posts immensely. Thank you for them.

  6. Sara says:

    I am loving the trip recaps! What a fabulous vacation! The pictures are fantastic! Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to see more!

  7. My goodness, you can sleep anywhere!! First in a department store and now in the middle of a foreign riot. 😉

    I’m glad that you had such an incredible experience!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Greece is on my list of travel to-dos and after reading this I am itching to go even more!

  9. The rioting would be scary! But I think it would be wonderful to go to Greece for a visit someday!

  10. birdie to be says:

    So fabulous! I would love love love to go to Greece! Great pics. Looks amazing!

  11. liz says:

    What an insanely awesome trip you’re on! You’re the perfect candidate to do an around the world in 80 days tour!

  12. whoa, definitely would be an interesting time to be there indeed! I would love to get there. great photos, lady!

  13. AWESOME! what an incredible and significant time to visit greece. the pictures are awesome. i can’t wait to visit the parthenon.

  14. Bon Bon says:

    Oh my goodness, amazing! I soooo need to go to Greece someday soon! That stamp is definitely still missing from my passport. xoxo

  15. Lisa says:

    Over the last few weeks more and more bloggers have been posting about their visits to Greece. Now I’m here for the first time to your blog and I’m so envious. That’s it I’m planning to visit sometime soon with my hubby in tow. Thanks for all the advice though and the pics rock..

    Lisa x

  16. EEEk! Okay I am slightly scared..but obviously you made it out okay 🙂 Riots would totally freak me out. YOU took some amazing pictures Star!! The view of Athens is just stunning. $1.50 for dinner sounds pretty good to me!!

    My Mom has been to Greece and said it was one of the most beautiful places she has ever been to.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  17. Jenna says:

    A little scary? That would make me very nervous seeing those police shields. Be careful and enjoy your trip

  18. Katie*Belle says:

    I’ve only been to Greece once but I’d love to go back. It sounds and looks like you visited at a truly fascinating time!

  19. oh Star! wow! Greece!
    That is on our “bucket list” I am going! i am obsessed with greek mythology and all of its history, did you enjoy it sooo much?? I bet! Im living vicariously thru you right now friend!
    xo Jess

    • Star says:

      Thank you SO much Jess!!! I did enjoy it soo much – I’m sure you would love it with all the mythology and history! Thanks so much for your always sweet comments!

  20. Thank you so much for visiting my blog! Your comments were super nice and a wonderful surprise! And I’ll definitely be tagging along on your trip now that I’ve discovered your blog! 🙂

    I can’t imagine going to Athens during the riots. The place was a bit on the um.. questionable side to begin with. I felt the same way when I saw the Parthenon – hard to believe how old it is!

  21. Wow!! Glad you made it home safely. What a contrast – modern day riots and the Parthenon!

  22. Mary says:

    Sounds like a great trip! I love seeing the pictures and your posts. Look forward to London.

  23. Natalie says:

    My husband is 1/4 Greek, so he has always wanted to go to Greece! Me too – mostly for the historical stuff and the blue waters…

    I love that you were there during the riots and you still had a good time, it has made me nervous to go! Good to hear that the tourism industry is going strong.

  24. Zabdy says:

    Greece is definitely on my list of places to see. So scary about the riots though, I heard about them. Glad you and your family were able to still enjoy your trip!

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