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Discover Athens / Greece as Solo Traveller.

Exploring Athens: The Ultimate Guide for Solo Women Travelers

As a solo woman traveler, Athens has always been at the top of my bucket list. The Greek capital is filled with rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. Set foot in this ancient city, and you’ll be transported back in time, wandering through its labyrinthine streets that ooze with charm. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll take you on a virtual tour of Athens, providing you with all the information and insider tips you need to have a safe and memorable solo adventure.

1. Embracing Athens: A City Steeped in History

Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world, is known as the cradle of Western civilization. Immerse yourself in the city’s captivating history by visiting its most iconic landmark, the Acropolis. Hike up to the Parthenon, a magnificent temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, and witness panoramic views of Athens.

1.1 Acropolis and the Parthenon: An Iconic Journey

The Acropolis, perched atop a rocky hill, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an absolute must-visit. Being a solo traveler allows you to explore at your own pace and soak up the mystical ambiance of this ancient site. Be sure to arrive early to avoid crowds and have the chance to enjoy these historical wonders in solitude. As a woman traveling alone, always trust your instincts and stay aware of your surroundings.

1.2 Ancient Agora: Unveiling Athens’ Marketplace

Step back into Athens’ ancient marketplace by visiting the Ancient Agora. As a solo woman traveler, it’s essential to maintain a respectful distance from locals and be conscious of your belongings. Take a stroll through the ruins, admire the Temple of Hephaestus, and imagine the bustling life that once thrived here.

2. Uncovering Athens’ Cultural Gems

Beyond its historical sites, Athens boasts a thriving contemporary art scene and numerous cultural treasures. Dive into the city’s cultural wonders and embrace its lively atmosphere.

2.1 Plaka: Discover the Heart of Athens

Plaka, Athens’ oldest neighborhood, is a maze of picturesque streets lined with colorful houses, cozy tavernas, and quaint shops. As a solo woman traveler, it’s the perfect place to wander, shop for traditional souvenirs, and indulge in delectable Greek cuisine. Embrace moments of solitude and enjoy the blend of ancient ruins and charming alleys.

2.2 National Archaeological Museum: Immerse in Greek Art

If you’re passionate about art and history, make sure to visit the National Archaeological Museum. Admire its vast collection of priceless artifacts, including exquisite sculptures, fascinating mosaics, and ancient jewelry. Take your time to explore and let the stories of the past unfold before your eyes.

3. Nurturing Your Inner Foodie in Athens

Athens is a paradise for food enthusiasts, and solo travelers have the advantage of exploring the local gastronomy more intimately. Treat your taste buds to an array of tantalizing Greek flavors and discover the city’s vibrant culinary scene.

3.1 Exploring the Central Market: A Feast for the Senses

Venture into the bustling Central Market (Varvakios Agora), where the aromas of herbs, spices, and freshly caught fish fill the air. Engage with friendly local vendors, taste authentic Greek delicacies, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Female solo travelers should always be cautious with their belongings and avoid isolated areas.

3.2 Greek Tavernas: A Genuine Culinary Experience

Unwind at traditional Greek tavernas where you can enjoy mouthwatering dishes, such as moussaka and souvlaki, while soaking up the lively atmosphere. As a solo woman traveler, it’s advisable to choose busy restaurants that provide a safe and friendly ambiance. Engage with locals, make new friends, and savor the joy of Greek hospitality.

4. Embracing Safety and Etiquette in Athens

Solo women travelers must prioritize their safety at all times. By following a few simple tips, you can fully enjoy your Athenian adventure without any worries.

4.1 Dressing Appropriately: Respecting Local Customs

While Athens is a cosmopolitan city, it’s important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Opt for clothing that covers your shoulders and knees, which showcases respect for Greek customs and allows you to blend in with the local culture.

4.2 Staying Vigilant: Ensuring Personal Safety

As a solo woman traveler, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and be mindful of your surroundings, especially when walking alone at night. Stick to well-lit areas, avoid poorly lit streets, and consider using reliable transportation options, such as taxis or ride-sharing services, when navigating the city during late hours.

As your journey through Athens comes to an end, reflect on the life-changing experiences you’ve had as a solo woman traveler. Athens, with its timeless beauty and warm-hearted locals, offers an unforgettable adventure. Immerse yourself in the city’s history, culture, and delectable cuisine, while embracing each moment of your solo journey. Athens awaits you with open arms, ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Accommodation Options for Woman Solo Travelers in Athens

Hotels


– Hotel A: Located in the city center, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and a 24-hour front desk.
– Hotel B: Situated near popular attractions, this hotel provides well-appointed rooms and a rooftop terrace.
– Hotel C: With a convenient location and friendly staff, this hotel offers a range of amenities for solo travelers.

Hostels


– Hostel A: Located in a lively neighborhood, this hostel offers dormitory-style rooms and a communal kitchen.
– Hostel B: Situated near public transportation, this hostel provides affordable accommodation and organized activities for solo travelers.
– Hostel C: With a friendly atmosphere and social common areas, this hostel is a great option for solo adventurers.

Apartments


– Apartment A: Located in a residential area, this fully equipped apartment offers privacy and a home-like atmosphere.
– Apartment B: Situated in the city center, this stylish apartment provides modern amenities and a comfortable living space.
– Apartment C: With convenient access to public transportation, this apartment offers a cozy stay and friendly hosts.

Camping and Caravan Options


– Campsite A: Offering campsites with facilities, this campground is located on the outskirts of Athens.
– Campsite B: Situated near nature reserves, this campground provides a peaceful environment for camping enthusiasts.
– Caravan Park A: This caravan park offers parking and basic facilities for travelers with caravans.

Must-See Places in Athens

Acropolis


– Description: The Acropolis is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens. It is home to the iconic Parthenon and offers panoramic views of Athens.
– Tips: Wear comfortable shoes and arrive early in the morning to avoid crowds.

Plaka


– Description: Plaka is the oldest neighborhood in Athens, known for its narrow streets, traditional Greek houses, and charming shops and taverns.
– Tips: Explore the area on foot, visit the local shops for souvenirs, and try traditional Greek cuisine in one of the taverns.

National Archaeological Museum


– Description: The National Archaeological Museum houses a vast collection of ancient Greek artifacts, including sculptures, pottery, and jewelry.
– Tips: Plan enough time to explore the extensive collection and consider taking a guided tour for a deeper understanding of the exhibits.

Monastiraki Flea Market


– Description: The Monastiraki Flea Market is a bustling market where visitors can find a wide variety of goods, including antiques, clothing, and souvenirs.
– Tips: Bargaining is common in the market, so be prepared to negotiate prices. It’s also a great place to try Greek street food.

Plaka Neighborhood


– Description: Plaka is a charming neighborhood in Athens known for its narrow streets, neoclassical buildings, and traditional taverns.
– Tips: Explore the narrow alleys, visit the local shops for souvenirs, and enjoy a meal at one of the traditional Greek taverns.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus


– Description: The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a magnificent ancient theater located on the southern slope of the Acropolis. It hosts various cultural events and performances.
– Tips: Check the schedule for upcoming performances and consider attending a concert or play to experience the atmosphere of this historic venue.

Favourite Foods to Eat in Athens

Greek Salad

The Greek salad, known as “horiatiki,” is a classic and refreshing dish found all over Greece, including Athens. It typically consists of freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers, topped with feta cheese, olives, and a drizzle of olive oil. This light and tangy salad is perfect as a starter or side dish, showcasing the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean.

Moussaka

Moussaka is a traditional Greek dish that is extremely popular in Athens. It is a layered casserole made with sliced eggplants, ground meat (usually lamb or beef), and a rich tomato-based sauce. The layers are then topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and baked to golden perfection. This hearty and flavorful dish is often served as a main course and accompanied by a fresh Greek salad.

Gyros

Gyros are a staple street food in Athens and can be found in numerous shops and food stalls across the city. Thinly sliced meat, such as beef, lamb, or chicken, is usually marinated in herbs and spices, then roasted on a vertical spit. The tender and flavorful meat is stuffed into a warm pita bread and served with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes fries. Gyros offer a delicious and convenient way to enjoy a quick and filling meal in Athens.

Souvlaki

Souvlaki is another popular street food in Athens, loved by locals and visitors alike. It consists of small skewered pieces of meat (commonly pork, chicken, or lamb) that are grilled to perfection. The meat is then typically served in a warm pita bread together with a variety of toppings, such as fresh vegetables, tzatziki sauce, and sometimes fries. Souvlaki is not only a delicious snack or quick meal option but also a quintessential part of Greek culinary culture.

Baklava

No culinary exploration in Athens is complete without indulging in some delectable baklava. This sweet pastry is made with layers of filo dough, filled with chopped nuts (usually walnuts or pistachios), and soaked in a sweet syrup flavored with honey, cinnamon, and citrus zest. The result is a heavenly dessert with a crunchy texture and a perfect balance of sweetness. Baklava is a delightful treat to enjoy with a cup of Greek coffee or as a sweet ending to a memorable Greek meal.

Daily Costs for Solo Travelers in Athens

Food

– Budget breakfast: €4-€6
– Mid-range restaurant meal: €10-€15
– Street food or fast food: €5-€7
– Local taverna dinner: €15-€20

Stay

– Budget hostel dorm: €10-€20 per night
– Mid-range hotel: €50-€80 per night
– Airbnb or apartment rental: €30-€60 per night

Transportation

– Metro/train ticket: €1.40 for a single journey
– Daily transport pass: €4.50 for unlimited rides within 24 hours
– Taxi: €3.20 base fare + €0.74 per kilometer

Safety for Women Solo Travelers in Athens

General Safety

Athens is generally safe for women traveling alone. However, it is important to take basic precautions, such as staying aware of your surroundings, avoiding poorly lit areas at night, and keeping your belongings secure.

Dress Modestly

As with many European cities, it’s advisable to dress modestly to respect local customs and to avoid unwanted attention. While Athens is relatively liberal, wearing revealing clothing may attract unwanted attention.

Nighttime Safety

When traveling alone at night, it’s best to stick to well-lit and busy areas. Avoid walking alone in secluded streets or parks, and consider taking a taxi or using public transportation for additional safety.

Be Aware of Scams

As in any tourist destination, be cautious of scams or pickpocketing. Be wary of strangers offering unsolicited help or overly friendly individuals. Keep your belongings secure and avoid revealing personal information to strangers.

Embrace Group Activities

To enhance safety, consider joining group tours, day trips, or activities. This provides an opportunity to meet fellow travelers and reduces the chances of encountering risky situations alone.

Remember, while Athens is relatively safe, it’s always important to trust your instincts and prioritize personal safety when traveling alone.