It’s time to ditch the sweater weather for some fun in the sun, so Greece here we come! Oh and by we, I mean my sister and my brother-in-law who flew in from Indonesia to join me on the remainder of the trip, super yay!
I would have thought that they would be very tired after around 27 hours of flight, with a 14-hour layover in Istanbul where they joined a free Turkish Airline tour. But no, they were up earlier than I did (oops!) like champs and we happen to have half a day to explore Athens so it’s a no-brainer that we have to explore the landmark of Athens and possibly one of the world’s most important culture sites, the Parthenon!
A quick history introduction to the Parthenon, it was constructed in 447 BC and finished in 432 BC, dedicated for Athena, the goddess of wisdom (and my favorite one from the Greek mythology) who was considered as the patron of Athens. It was once a mosque during the reign of the Ottomans and a church during the 6th century. Gunpowder stored there exploded and Parthenon was destroyed badly in the 1600s and until now, there are restoration works in progress. Simply put, the Parthenon has been through so much yet it is still regarded as the best example of Greek architecture and culture.
If you are visiting Parthenon in the peak of summer heat like I did, there are few things that would help your trip be more pleasant – it still is a major tourist attraction receiving millions of visitors each year, after all. First of all, have an early breakfast before 8 in the morning because you definitely need some energy to hike up to the Parthenon. Why before 8, you may ask, is because they open up at 8am and you want to be there as early as possible to be able to enjoy Parthenon with lesser crowd. By arriving earlier, you will also have less queue ticket line which saves some time so you can enjoy Parthenon more AND you get to escape the wrath of Athens’ afternoon heat. Believe me, you don’t want to be there. If you are not an early person, you can also do it in the late afternoon.
Entrance ticket is 20€ in the summer which starts from April 1 to Oct 31 and if you are students with ISIC, you can get reduced price to 10€. Sweet! Another tip is to enter by the South Slope, it definitely has less line. Although you will have to do longer hike but you get to see other ruins in the Parthenon complex as well. Speaking of, you will get a lot more from the trip if you do it with a guide – I didn’t, so I wasn’t able to really know in-depth about the Acropolis and its history.
Wear proper shoes if you can, I wore flip flops amd found myself almost slipping a few times. Despite its crowd, the Parthenon is a must-see for its history significance I just find it so interesting! Afterwards, go to Monastiraki or Plaka neighborhood for some well-deserved gyro and ice cream. Yamas! (=cheers!)
Until next time,