When you graduate with your master’s after working full-time and traveling about 50 percent of the time, you deserve a vacation.
And least, that’s what I told myself and my boyfriend while convincing him to splurge and take a BIG trip in 2019 to one of the most visited vacation spots in the world: Greece.
To make the trip as stress-free as possible, we booked a travel agent through Zicasso, who paired us with Asimina Tours. Asimina was FANTASTIC in listening to what we wanted (which was wine), and everything was taken care of.
Where We Stayed in Athens
Now, when we told people we were heading to Greece and spending two nights in Athens, pretty much everyone said one night was more than enough. Athens gets a weird rap, probably because most people are excited about Santorini and Mykonos, but don’t overlook this amazing city! One day is not enough to explore and take in all the cultural offerings (and the food).
We stayed at Home and Poetry in Athens, which is in the Plaka district, right in the center of the city. Home & Poetry is a boutique hotel that had all the essentials and is the perfect, comfortable place to stay in Athens, where you really just need a place to sleep. BUT, and I can’t emphasize this enough, the breakfast at Home & Poetry is to. die. for.
Home & Poetry has a rooftop area, where they host a free breakfast for guests, and it overlooks the Acropolis. The breakfast has some continental selections, but everything else is made to order, and it is just SO GOOD. We’d stay there again for the breakfast alone!
Athens has great history, and we did a walking tour (a six-hour long walking tour…) of the city to explore and see the Acropolis. One of the most amazing things as part of the tour was seeing the changing of the guard in front of Parliament!
But the greatest thing about Athens in current times is the food. Besides waking up to an amazing breakfast every morning, we had the best meals of the vacation in Athens.
The Food in Athens
On our first day, we walked around to get our bearings and ended up at one of the recommended restaurants from our travel agent, Kuzina.
Kuzina is on the other side of the Acropolis with a great view of the top of the hill and is also close to the Roman Agora. The outside patio sits next to a walking street for amazing people watching.
This was the perfect meal to kickstart our vacation in Greece. We both started with a feta and watermelon salad and then since we’re in Greece, I had the lamb chops – both were amazing!
But the best meal we had in Athens was at Stroufi, which happened by mistake. Our travel agent recommended Mani Mani, which looked fantastic, but we unfortunately weren’t able to book a reservation and when we swung by, the place was booked up.
So we wandered a bit, using Google as a guide for nearby restaurants, and Stroufi popped up. The restaurant is somewhat hidden in another building – only the host desk was on the downstairs floor. They’ll guide you upstairs though with a second floor, all with open windows and balcony seating, and there’s also a rooftop with amazing views of the Acropolis.
Since we were early, we were almost the only people there, which meant we could order the entire menu and pig out in peace.
It became a tradition to order tzatziki at every meal to compare them across restaurants, and Stroufi by far had one of the best. Keeping with traditional Greek meals, we also ordered the spanakopita, lamb for me again, and topped the meal off with a chocolate cake dessert. By the time we left, there was a massive line out the door to get in with lots of locals, making this our top recommendation.
To cap off the night, we walked to Point A bar at the Herondion Hotel for an evening view of the Acropolis. Point A has some of the best views of the hill, and it’s a must to see it at night when everything lights up. The drinks aren’t bad either.
From Athens, we made the next hop most people take and took a quick little plane ride to Santorini! Check out the Santorini recap to see why this was actually my least favorite part of the trip.