Chances are if you are cruising in the eastern Mediterranean you will either embark or debark in Piraeus, Greece, or visit there as a port of call on your itinerary. Piraeus is the port to Athens and though there are sights to see and many museums in this place, Athens is where you want to go. A short drive, 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic, will get you to the heart of the city.
Here are some quick facts and a few tips for your next visit to this Greek city:
- Athens is the capital of Greece. It is sprawling and meandering as befits its age. If you want to see the highlights, take a guided tour, preferably a small one, or at the very least a hop-on, hop-off bus. But then with the latter, you miss out on any interactions with your guide and his/her local knowledge and color.
- If the sun is shining, it is hot, even in the shoulder seasons. Be sure to carry water, sunscreen and a hat. And wear sensible, comfortable walking shoes because that is what you will probably do: walk. A lot.
- Be sure to visit the National Gardens, the huge green space at the heart of the city. It is over fifteen acres but a walk-about of a half hour to an hour is a refreshing change from bustling city streets plus the foliage is beautiful.
- In the green area you will find, not far from Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Zeus where you can wander about the ruins at will. Even the columns which have fallen and lie cracked and broken on the ground are impressive.