About 3 months ago, I embarked on my first ever solo trip, which I’d planned several months before. I knew I wanted it to be epic, so I chose to travel as far as I could afford to without going bankrupt, which led me to my destinations of choice – Greece and Turkey. Flying straight to Athens from KL is expensive, but as it turns out, it’s not too bad if you fly in via Istanbul 😉
I’d always, always wanted to visit Athens and Santorini ever since I first laid eyes on the Parthenon and the quaint white villages of Santorini, so I was super stoked when I finally landed in Athens!
My home in Athens was the uber stylish designer hostel, City Circus Athens. It’s located in the neighbourhood of Psirri, which is apparently known for its nightlife. I knew I wanted to check out City Circus after reading about it in this list of designer hostels, and I wasn’t disappointed!
City Circus is pretty new, so everything was pleasantly spotless and well, new-looking. They have some awesome artwork all over the place like this mural in the entrance hall…
… and this one in the hallway leading to my room!
I took a bed in a 6-bed dorm since I was only going to be there for 2 nights. It cost somewhere around 20 euros I think, not too bad, and I liked the fact that they had lockers that could comfortably fit a backpack for each bed in there (you have to bring your own padlock though).
More of City Circus Athens living up to its name as a designer hostel:
My favourite part of the hostel is the rooftop terrace!
If you take one of the pricier private rooms, your room door opens right out to the terrace 🙂
You can see the Acropolis in the distance 😀
Right. So after settling down in my home of 2 days, I promptly headed back out to Monastiraki Square, which I’d passed through previously after alighting from the metro station there.
Monastiraki Square is one of two main squares in Athens (the other being Syntagma Square), and its name literally means “little monastery”.
This monastery! It’s the 10th-century Church of Saint Mary Pantanassa.
If you love flea markets, do head on to Monastiraki Square on Sundays for the weekly flea market! You can find all sorts of stuff from handmade jewelry, to clothes, food, books, souvenirs (of course), and the square is packed with people watching people.
There were so many thingamabobs that caught my eye at the flea market (and some really nice Greek leather sandals as well :(), but in the spirit of penny pinching I only went back with some small souvenirs for the folks back home, and this:
STRAWBERRIES. HUUUUGE STRAWBERRIES. A WHOLE BIG BAGFUL OF THEM. FOR ONLY 2 EUROS.
And that is the story of how I ended my first day in Athens – overdosing on happiness in the form of palm-sized strawberries, of which I could only finish 80% before my stomach begged for me to stop, and the strawberries started to leak. Haha. 😛
Next up: street scenes around Athens!