“A bunch of friends decided to take on the Amalfi coast and Greek Islands for the June holiday. This was my first trip to Europe and I could not have asked for more breathtaking destinations.”

I imagine when anyone thinks of Athens, you would picture ancient Greek architecture and the mythology so deeply embedded in the history of the countriy. I seemed to overlook the fact that Athens has changed and grown so much as a major city, thus sharing the trademarks of one. 

We arrived in Athens at 1am, caught an uber, and arrived at our airbnb by 2am. After quizzing our driver a bit, we were informed that the beaches weren’t that great, but to locate the hipster areas instead and view the typical tourist attractions. 

We set out on foot late morning after recuperating from our travels. I did not expect almost every surface to be covered in graffiti, not even doorways were sacred. Our location was in a young, hipster neighborhood and it seemed like the place to rent an airbnb, based off the amount of tourists we encountered.

Bracing ourselves for a heat we could not go swim off, we dressed in cool clothing and sandals and set off to Aeropagus. Deciding against the entry fee and packed walkways, (free if you are a Euro-student) we found a great vantage point of the entire city and monument. From here we wandered back down through the market, finding enchanting stores like Hanzel & Gretel, a candy store. 

“We were warned against pick pockets in all market areas, and kept a close watch on all personal belongings” 

The highlight of Athens for me was discovering Little Kook Vintage Circus. It is a café that boasts the vibrancy of a circus and waiters all dressed as characters. The alley way leading to it is decorated with umbrellas and hats, as well as some lamps, on ropes, strung across the sky. 

The next day we were on a mission to go to the lookout point, en route, we wandered to the public park and stumbled across Zappion Palace. We did not expect entry, but a guard opened up for is and we got treated to the whole place to ourselves. Looking like something out of a Wes Anderson movie, we spent half an hour here, trying to document it as best we could. 

“Note: Boomerangs are a lot of fun between the pillars”

Earlier the morning, a friend contacted me over Facebook and said we HAVE to go to Six Dogs, it is worth the walk out and serves the best drinks. We checked it out on Tripadvisor, deciding it was worth the walk out as well as being on the way to our last spot for the day.

We found the most cutting edge and quirky stores on our way, with the graffiti taking on a artistic, rather than distasteful, turn. Reminding us of Woodstock in Cape Town, we felt quite at home in hipster central. Six dogs turned out to be an outdoor area that had an epically rainbow lit staircase and wood seatings with throw pillows for comfort. Perfect for a slow catch up with friends in a trendy space. 

Finally, we ended off our day at the lookout point over all Athens. The horizons stretched out with white buildings and we used it as a backdrop to take some golden hour couple photos and polaroids. 

Next stop: Corfu!