Your Complete Instagram Guide to Athens, Greece

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Your Complete Instagram Guide to Athens, Greece
Photo: @lina_ooi

I was lucky enough to study abroad my junior year in Athens, Greece, where I learned about the country’s geography, history, and politics; attempted to pick up some modern Greek (not easy), and spent many a weekend—and, let’s be honest, weeknight, I was 19traipsing around the city’s lively streets at various levels of sobriety.

After living there for about four months, my takeaway was that Athens has almost nothing to do with the whitewashed buildings and pristine turquoise oceans many Westerners associate with Greece as a country (those images are reflected more accurately in its breathtakingly beautiful islands). Athens itself is pretty gritty, with stray dogs wandering dingy streets and locals who aren’t always thrilled at the sight of American tourists (some, not all!). But I still came away with a deep appreciation for the city’s history, authenticity, great food, and character.

Here, 10 of the spots you should Instagram if you get the chance to visit.

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@lina_ooi

Climb up the Acropolis

You absolutely can’t miss The Acropolis of Athens, an ancient Greek monument located on a rocky hill towering over the city, dating back to mid-5th-century BC. The whole site is pretty amazing, but the Parthenon, a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, is especially beautiful (and famous).

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@celiarra

Sit Down for an Authentic Greek Meal

Taverna O Kostas is situated in the Pangrati neighborhood, and it’s a homey restaurant that serves up unforgettably delicious (and affordable) Greek food. Literally everything on the menu is incredible (I know; I’ve tried most of it), but don’t miss the tzatziki or the zucchini and tomato pancakes.

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@dimasfabregas

Visit the New Acropolis Museum

Visiting the Acropolis itself is a necessity, but to fully understand the history behind the ruins, visit the Acropolis Museum, which features objects excavated from the Acropolis sanctuaries, as well as more general history and background about Athenian culture during that time.

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@katjaelena

Have a Drink with a View

Locals flock to A for Athens bar, located at Monastiraki Square, to sip cocktails with a clear view of the Acropolis. The drinks might be a little pricey, but it’s the view you’re paying for.

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@vassoder

Explore the Benaki Museum

Located in downtown Athens, the Benaki Museum boasts an eclectic collection of 40,000 pieces of Greek art, including works from the Roman age, the medieval Byzantine period, the Ottoman occupation, and more.

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@kellou_ko

Have a Fancy Dinner on the Water

Head to the trendy Island Club Restaurant for dinner—it has an amazing view of the Athens Riviera, and locals say it’s the best place to go to spot “rich and good-looking people.” (The food’s not bad, either.)

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@pamelicious_

Wander Around Plaka

Widely considered one of the prettiest neighborhoods in the city, Plaka is the oldest neighborhood in Athens. It’s located near the Acropolis and features narrow streets (many of which don’t allow cars) with plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops to pop in and out of.

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@lilondd

Treat Yourself to a Greek Coffee and Brunch

Kokkini Svoura is the place to go for a high-end brunch and excellent Greek coffee. Situated in an upscale suburb called Chalandri, the restaurant is popular with young people and famous for its above-average brunch, cocktails, and baked goods.

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@leondrakeus

Check Out Syntagma Square

Syntagma is the most centrally located square in the city, situated next to the Old Royal Palace, a historic building that houses the Greek Parliament. It’s an ideal place for people-watching.

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@breseira

Wander Around Monastiraki

When you’re in the mood for some shopping, walk around Monastiraki, a flea-market neighborhood where you’ll find everything from tourist souvenirs and T-shirts to antiques and jewelry.

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