Greece had been on my bucket list for years! And, over the past few years, Greece is probably the bucket list country I hear people say most often. It’s true, there’s an other-worldly mysticism to Greek life! It lived up to the fantasy I had in my head when I was able to experience Athens (and multiple Greek islands on the Windstar Cruises cruise) in July.
Athens is an ancient city steeped in mythological amounts of history and tradition. I heartily recommend starting any Greek vacation in this vast, interesting city.
Make Moxy Athens your home base. Part of Marriott International, this hotel is ideally situated in the heart of Athens. We loved being in the core of the action at this artistic and modern hotel. What’s not to love about a hotel that has check-in at the bar!? Efharisto (“thank you” in Greek)!
Moxy means “force of character,” and that’s exactly what we found here. We adored the staff, especially Jo, the bartender; everyone was so friendly. Opa!
Speaking of the bar, try all the Greek beers: Aaoa/ Alfa, Mamos, Mythos – whether on draft, in a can or a bottle, if you’re a beer drinker- Efharisto! Right next to the bar is Moxy’s dining area, where they offer grab-and-go options but also sit-down heartier meals or snacks throughout a busy day of sightseeing. You might try a flatbread or Greek salad, but you must… must enjoy their hummus. Best I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve enjoyed hummus around the world)!
Moxy Athens’ rooms are well appointed, comfortable and adequately sized (although, likely, you’ll be so busy seeing the sights, you’ll spend very little time in your room). Other highlights at the Moxy are the uber-cool art throughout the hotel, the lounge popping with color in the front of the hotel, used as a gathering space or even a work space, the “library” with a low-light vibe, and their breakfast buffet included with the price of the room.
It’s Greek to Me
If you’ve only got a few days in Athens, here’s the nitty gritty…
>Hike Mount Lycabettus – If you’re up for getting your steps in, you can walk from the Moxy hotel; then hike up the mountain. It’s a decent climb but well worth it when you get to the top and have a 360-degree view of the city. Before you head down, stop at the cafe and have a cappuccino, shake or other beverage of your choice and just take a few minutes to enjoy the view (a hot minute, as I said in July!).
>Walk around Plaka, the historic district, filled with shops and restaurants. You’ll enjoy soaking up the beauty of the city, find some great souvenirs and stop in for a cold cocktail or draft beer — and maybe a gyro!
>Athenian Acropolis & Parthenon – A large rock structure filled with Greek mythology, history and an important part of early Athenians’ faith life. It dates back to 500 BC and atop the Acropolis sits the Parthenon – a religious temple, part of a high end pilgrimage, where visitors would bring small terracotta statues or money in ages past. On the way up, you’ll pass the glorious Odeon Theatre, where superstars like Sting, Foo Fighters, and Bruce Springsteen still perform to 5K capacity crowds.
>Find and enjoy Loukoumades – a traditional Greek dessert (We heard Puff Puff was a winner!)
>There are heaps of great restaurants and bars around Athens. Ask locals and just walk around the city at night to experience their nightlife. Don’t be surprised when you see restaurants packed around 10 p.m. Athenians eat a late dinner!
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002 with Austin Woman Magazine and now writes their “The Texas Traveler” section. She can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips.