Athens, Greece

Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple.

You could do a free walking tour to learn more about what you will end up seeing (because it all just looks like a pile of ruins if you don’t have any background info) and the tour will help you catch the changing of the guards which takes place every hour.  The free walking tours do not enter any of the sites so just use it as a source of direct information making your Greek experience more interesting and educational! Definitely by the 30euro package deal which gives you access to 7 sites (Acropolis, archeological museum, temple of Zeus, museum of ancient agora, roman agora, lyceum and Hadrian’s library) . Of if you are an EU student, show you student card and gain access to all sites FREE. You can walk everywhere apart from the Archeological museum which is a bit further out (bargain with a taxi driver and it should cost around 5euros only). Of course if you visit when it isn’t so hot, I’m sure you can easily walk it too.

It’s really beautiful walking around the alleyways of Athens. It’s surrounded by well decorated restaurants and buildings. That was the part I loved most about Athens actually, the varied alleyways.

 

Note: Taxi’s don’t use their meters, make sure you negotiate a price beforehand. Bus X95 goes straight from the airport to Syntagma square and is only 6 Euros, taking around 45mins depending on traffic. We kept getting warned about pick pockets so be aware. Finally, Summer gets really hot so be prepped!

  1. Parliament for the changing of the guards162E116A-BBB4-4581-9C53-E84BB2CE3404
  2. Hadrian’s Arch and Temple of Zeus (they are next to each other) 

  3. Panathenaic stadium
  4. Parthenon The Acropolis and Theatre of Dionysos 

  5. Acropolis museum4A56C101-C959-419D-97DC-3B0CD7DA6847
  6. Museum of Ancient Agora – I think you get one of the best views from here on the way to the temple of Hephaestus, still in this same ticketed area. DCE21354-1755-4CCF-84E1-D0ED8749DD23
  7. Hadrian’s library 72F8C881-8A27-432D-8661-CFCFEA29F737
  8. Roman Agora 

  9. The best bubble tea I have ever had was from some random Chinese restaurant just outside the airport bus ticket office in the city. I wish I noted the name down but if you are ever in Athens, try it! I wish I took down the name but you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Here is the tourist map you can pick up which isn’t the most clear tbh

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Amsterdam, Haarlem and Keukenhof, Netherlands

Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses. Haarlem is a city outside of Amsterdam in the northwest Netherlands and I chose to visit because I had previously been to Amsterdam when I was much younger. Keukenhof on the other hand is  known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the world’s largest flower gardens and I finally managed to go! Here are my recommendations:

  1. Tour Amsterdam! Take a canal cruise to take in all of the city, visit Anne Frank museum (crazy queues), the red light secrets museum and wonder around the famous red light district at night if your comfortable about it.10399890_10154980010523849_2285840751636650897_n993569_10154980010608849_6248475998969838835_n
  2. Take a day trip to Zaanse Schans Windmill Village, a boat trip from Marken where you get to see clog markers to then get to Volendam fishing village and taste cheese Volendam cheese factory. 

  3. Check out Haarlem city. It is tiny but just a beautiful as Amsterdam and is a lot cheaper for accomodation.
  4. Tick off Keukenhof from your bucket-list and take in all different flowers and arrangements
  5. Have plenty of chips and mayo. Amsterdam and Belgium is the best for chips and mayo in my opinion!