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Living in Athens, Greece means that when I meet other travelers abroad they usually ask me for tips on what to do in the Greek capital. While there are certainly some pretty places here (check out my post on the old neighborhood of Plaka), I always tell people that there is no need to stay in Athens proper for more than two full days.
So what do you do if you booked a longer stay in Athens? One option would be to use it as a base for exploring the most popular Greek islands, but you could also spend a long weekend in one of the three following destinations which you can reach by boat, plane, or train:
This tiny Greek island can be reached by Flying Dolphin from Piraeus in under two hours, and while it can be busy with Athenian tourists on weekends it doesn’t have many foreign tourists which gives it a much more authentic atmosphere. The water here is gorgeous, and contrary to some of the other islands close to Athens, it is a fairly green island so you do get to enjoy its nature as well. Several places even offer bike rentals to explore the island.
Wait, what? Travel from Athens in the south of Greece all the way to the northern city of Thessaloniki? Well, if you find a good flight (you can search via Skyscanner or the Skyscanner app which gives me points but doesn't change anything for you) you can get a return ticket to Thessaloniki for around 20€. The flight duration is about an hour so it’s really not that much of a trip.
Many Greeks consider Thessaloniki to be far more beautiful than Athens. It’s a student city so it’s full of bars, but as the second-largest city in Greece, it also has a lot of history and culture to offer. Don’t forget that Thessaloniki has direct access to the sea. You can go for wonderful walks along the promenade.
Corinth is only about an hour away from Athens by train. Note that the famous Ancient Corinth is not located in the modern town of Corinth, but you can easily take a taxi to see the archaeological site. Modern Corinth is well worth a stroll itself. You will appreciate the lack of other tourists as you walk through the town center and along the sea.
So if you feel that your stay in Athens may be a little bit too long consider one of these trips to get away from the hustle and bustle of Greece’s capital.
Have you been to any of these places? Do you prefer them over Athens? Let me know in the comments.
Half Bulgarian Turk, half German living life as an expat in Greece.
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