Greece is one of the best holiday destinations in the world if you’re a lover of history, art, culture, beaches, and food. Whether you have decided to stay in a hotel in Athens or something more fancier, say a villa in Crete, you’re probably aware that you’re going to have a great holiday.
However, we all know how easy it is to spend a lot of money when we’re on vacation, so what can we do to ensure we spend less? It’s simple, we can visit Greece’s free tourist destinations. Read on for more information!
Visit The National Garden
Greece’s National Garden is the perfect place for you to begin your holiday. But do not worry, even if you’re not a huge fan of all-things horticulture it’s still very likely that you’re going to enjoy a walk around. Located in Syntagma, Athens, adjacent to the Parliament building, the public park is a must-visit destination. If you would like nothing more than to escape the hustle and bustle of Athens, then visiting the gardens is a must. Home to a zoo, a pond, café, and a botanical museum, the gardens can prove to be something of a refuge if the sun is particularly hot.
Formerly known as the ‘Royal Gardens’ that were designed by Queen Amalia, you can enter from all sides, and there really is so much to take in. Enjoy the long rows of palm trees that lead to some spectacular orange trees and ornamentals. Let your little ones burn off a lot of energy in the playground before you enjoy a spot of lunch in the cafe. Feed the ducks who call the pond their home, and see if you can spot a few turtles in the fountains in the Zappeio Gardens close by.
Watch the Soldiers at Plateia Syntagmatos
We all know that Greece is steeped in ancient history and has tales that go back thousands if not millions of years. But did you know that you could see a bit of history taking place if you travel to Plateia Syntagmatos? Meaning ‘Constitution Square’ and home to guards known as ‘Evzones’ who are dressed in traditional costumes, Plateia Syntagmatos ie well worth a visit. Watch the guards as they stand in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier. Make sure you’re there on the hour as the guards enact a ritual that involves high-kicking as they change positions.
If you happened to be in the area on a Sunday, try to make sure you’re there for 11 am as the entire platoon will make their way from Leoforos Vasilissis Sofias to the tomb of the unknown soldier with a band to accompany them. You may be surprised to see the guards wearing some unusual attire. The uniforms they wear are based on those that were worn by the mountain fighters (Known as the ‘Klephts’) during the War of Independence.
Enjoy a Tour of Athens
While many people are happy to pay to go on a tour of Athens, not everyone is aware that you can get on a tour for free. There’s a company called ‘Athens Free Walking Tours’ that give you the opportunity to embark on a tour for free around this magnificent city. One of the great things about these free tours is that they are often led by a local or two who know the city inside out. This means they may let you in on a few little secrets and tell you some very interesting stories about this ancient city.
Walk the Historic Streets
If you do not wish to join a free tour of Athens, you may want to make your way around the city yourself. Start your tour in Plaka, and specifically the old Turkish quarter, it is quite wonderful. The Turkish quarter was one of the first areas of Athens that had been set up when the city first became the country’s capital, and it makes for an interesting walk around. Once you have spent enough time in the Turkish quarter you may want to head to the narrow streets that can be found on the north-eastern side of the Acropolis. Once you make your way from the side of the hill you will find that the area is very tourist orientated, and although it may not be quite to your taste it is wonderful.
Now take a walk to Dionysiou Areopagitou, a pedestrianised street which makes its way around some of the Acropolis, quite close to the Acropolis Museum. Walk up the street to Filopappou Hill, an incredibly beautiful part of Athens, and onto Thisio that’s full of cafés, where you may want to stop for a bite to eat. Once you’ve rested, why not walk to the Monastiraki area where there’s a lovely flea market. Take a walk around the market and see if there are any souvenirs for sale. Once you’ve had your fill of the market it will be time to walk around to Plateia Monastirakiou, a beautiful part of Athens. Finally, make your way to the Roman Agora, which is located to the north of the Acropolis., and take in the sights and history of this magnificent place.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money while you’re in Greece in order to take in its impressive beauty and history. Visit the National Gardens, watch the soldiers at Plateia Syntagmatos, and take a free tour of the city. Make your way around Athens on your own, and spend time taking photographs of ancient monuments and beautiful scenery, without spending any money at all.
Have you been to Greece? Would you like to add anything to this list of free things to do in Greece?