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Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

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Milan, Italy
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Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

Hello,

I’ve drafted a possible itinerary for my trip and I thought I’d submit it to the judgement of the experts for any comments or suggestions. So many things to see and so little time!

THU 25/02

Arrival at Athens airport at 14:15;

metro to hotel (Hermes) for check in;

visit Panagia Gorgoepikoos and maybe Kapnikarea;

book a table at Tzitzikas & Mermigas for later;

walk to Benaki;

visit Benaki (open till late on Thursdays, and free);

dinner at Tzitzikas & Mermigas

FRI 26/02

Very early wake up;

Acropolis at 8:30;

Ancient Agora and Thisseion;

Kerameikos;

If time permits (sites close at 15:00): Roman Agora and/or Hadrian’s Library (can be otherwise done on Sunday)

In the afternoon (after 15:00): Acropolis Museum (closes at 20:00) and stroll around Plaka and Monastiraki neighbourhoods + open air monuments (Hadrian’s Arch, Lysikrates monument);

Dinner: at a taverna, to be decided

SAT 27/02

Early wake up;

Buy a daily public transport ticket;

At 8:30: Temple of Zeus and South Slope of Acropolis (hopefully won’t take long!);

metro to National Archaeological Museum (closes at 15:00);

afternoon in Kolonaki neighbourhood + neoclassical architecture (walk by National Library, University, Akadimia) + Agii Theodori church (Klafthmonos Square);

Dinner at Steki tou Elia

SUN 28/02

Early wake up and hotel check out (leaving luggage there)

Christian and Byzantine Museum at 8:30;

Changing of the Guard at Syntagma at 11:00;

Do Roman Agora and/or Hadrian’s Library if not visited on FRI, otherwise relax at National Gardens and Kallimarmaron Stadium;

Pick up luggage from hotel and take Metro to the Airport at Syntagma at around 13:30 (plane is at 15:55)

Too ambitious? Can it be improved?

Due to time constraints I’ve given up the Cycladic Art Museum and Mount Lykavittos/Lycabettos.

Thanks!

Philadelphia
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1. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

Dotting, is that flight out, on your last day, an international flight i.e. back to Italy? YOu have to check in 2 hours before such a flight, which would be 13:55, so plan according.

YOu are a culture-vulture after my own heart! Some observations: on such a short and ambitious visit if you decide you want to skp something on the 6 ancient sites, I would say Kerameikos, which is rather specialized, and a far walk ... also Roman Agora/Hadrian's library won't take long at all, and Temple of Zeus can be appreciate in a walk-by; going in at entrance is mainly to take fotos! As for changing of Guards, no need to schedule, they stomp around almost every hour, and you're sure to be passing by at some juncture.

2 other museums right in the area to consider if you have a change of heart -- the LaLounis Jewelry Museum (yes!) just down the walkway frm the Nw Acropolis Museum, and the FREE Museum of Popular Folk Instruments (open only until 2 pm).

Have a great time!

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2. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

Kerameikos and Roman Agora are both next to the site Ancient Agora - just a few minutes walk away in each direction - and can easily be done on the schedule you have planned. Besides being the cemetary for ancient Athens Kerameikos also includes the ancient city walls and gates for entering Athens. It has also a small but interesting museum.

Hadrian's Library is part of the Roman Agora.

Kerameikos:

http://tinyurl.com/d72ehy

Ancient Agora

http://tinyurl.com/naxmtu

Monastiraki (with Hadrian's Wall & Roman Agora)

http://tinyurl.com/qvv6nr

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

All in all, it is a doable and sensible itinerary.

THURSDAY:

- You can certainly visit both of Panagia Gorgoepikoos and Kapnikarea. They are near to each other and near to your hotel. I'd say 3' walk from your hotel to Gorgoepikoos and then another 2' to Kapnikarea.

Most Athenians will definitely not know which church Panagia Gorgoepikoos is. It is the chapel aside the Athens Cathedral, so most locals will know it as the chapel aside the Cathedral ( Mitropolis ).

- I like Benaki Museum. It is doable, quite easy to browse and narrates the biggest part of Greece's history in a compact way. So, you 'll have the chance to see many things in a huge variety from marble heads from Classical Age to Fayum portraits from the Hellenistic times and many other things like embroidery, tapiserrie, even local costumes from the 18th - 19 th century, even two full rooms of houses reconstructed in the museum.

- Leave some time at the end for the shop at Ground floor. As you enter, it's two shops one left hand, other right hand. The one at your left is for lower price purchases from some cents to 20 - 30 euros. You can even find paperstands - coin replicas in bronze and in quite sensible prices. I always raze their posters and postcards bench :) Other side is for most high end purchases like silver and gold products, mostly jewelerry.

-----------------------------------------------------------

FRIDAY:

- Acropols visit: There is no real need this time of the year to be up there so early. You can start from your hotel at 8:30, walk to New Acropolsi Museum, visit the Dionussus Theater ( at South slope of the Acropolis ) and then slowly ascend towards Acropolis and then descend to Agora. I have penciled the walk path here tinyurl.com/Acropolis-Agora-walk-English including also the shortest walk path from Central to New Acropolis Museum and start of Acropolis pedestrian ring. Of corse, you can also walk up to subway and take a short one-stop subway ride to Akropoli station. On a sunny day and with ample time to sightsee, following the walk path will get you a time-line like this:

0830 leave hotel

0850 arrive at start of Acropolis pedestrian ring

0900 enter Dionussus Theater ( purchase the combo ticket here )

0930 exit Dionussus Theater back on the pedestrin aring ( return to the pedestrian road. Ascending through Dionussus Theater involves a quite steep walk. Using the main pedestrian eroad gets you a smooth walk path instead ). The walk on the pedestrian ring offers gradual views of ther monument and photo opportunities

0950 reach Acropolis gates ( use the combo ticjet to enter )

1000 reach Hill top ( it's a much more doable walk than most people think. Everybody says it was much better then they have imagined ) - visit the monuments

1100 end the Acropolis visit, start descending to Agora, study the map provided on walking path

1130 reach Agora gates

1140 enter Agora Museum

1215 exit Agora Museum

1230 walk to Thission ( Hephestus Temple, it's in Agora site )

1300 finish the visit.

Roman Agora and Hadrian's Libray are a short walk from there.

You really have time to see all these starting from your hotel at 830 and reaching at Roman Agora at 1320. Needs some timing and some walk path planning ( study the map :) ) but it is perfectly doable.

You then have all the time you want to lunch and proceed to the Museum, even get some rest before :)

I would probably skip Kerameikos for this day. It is a very "stuffed" day :) I would try to squeeze it on Monday or leave it for another visit :)

----------------------------------------------------------

SATURDAY

I would start right away from National Arch. Museum. It is a big museum, needs a lot of your energy and concentration :) Start from it at the start fo the day, lunch in there and split it in two. Keep in mind that some disruptions must be expected on second floor visit. Right now it is fully closed due to state budget trimming ( ouch ). The "heavy artillery" of thr museum is ground floor anyway which includes the prehistoric collections, Mycenean and Cycladic collections, bronze collection, Statues collection, even an Egyptian Wing, the third biggest in the world actually. First floor includes the Santorini frescoes and the pottery collection which ( i called them right now ) will not be most probably open to the public.

If you want to substitute the "first floor" you can also consider visiting the Epigraphical Museum which is locatred in the exact same building with entrance though on the side road. It's a unique museum and includes hard to see in any other museum stone signs; more info here odysseus.culture.gr/h/1/eh151.jsp?obj_id=3348 All in all, even with first floor not open, you 'll need anything from 3 to 6 hours to see the museum.

- On your way back, exploit metro to first go to the Neoclassical Trilogy and then Agii Theodori.

- May i suggest something: After the museum, get the metro finally go to the Trilogy, then consider going to Lucabettus. I would skip Kolonaki :)

SUNDAY:

- You DON'T have to check in 2 hours earlier. This is an intra-schengen flight. Any flight going to the Schengen treaty countries needs a minimum of 40' check in, just as you 'd do if going to a domestic flight in Greece. You can even do electronic check-in ( check your ailrine's site ) if you are travelling light and proceed to the gate without stopping at any check in desk.

- At normal ( counter ) check-in and a 1555 flight, you have to be at the airport at 1500. The 1404 train from Syndagma will get you to the airport at 1445, perfectly fine for your 1555 Italy flight.

If you want to spend some more time browsing at the airport you can take the 1334 airport train from Syndagma.

Milan, Italy
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4. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

Hi,

thank you all for your input!

Jan: yes, that is my flight back to Italy, but I will only be travelling with a piece of cabin luggage and will have done on-line check-in beforehand, so as Nick has pointed out, I can walk directly to security check at the airport, skipping the check-in desks, with a printout of my boarding pass.

Thanks for the suggestion about the Kerameikos; I'll then give priority to the Agoras on Friday, possibly hoping to recover Kerameikos on SUN, maybe using the metro to cover the distance in a short time. If I don’t make it to the Kerameikos, I’ll content myself with greektraveller’s great photos!

Those museums (esp. the Jewellery one) sound lovely! Too bad for the closing time :-(

Nick: words fail me! You are a professional planner!

So I’ll do the Southern slope on Friday before ascending the Acropolis and start directly with the NAM on Saturday.

Happy to see I may have time to do the Lycabettos: would you suggest walking up, or using the Funicular?

Thanks!

stockton on tees
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5. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

if you are in reasonable health,i would walk.the views get better and better,there are seats for a rest if required and you have a sense of achievement when you reach the top.i usually start just across from the st george lycabettus hotel it shouldnt take more than 30 minutes.enjoy your trip to athens,you have had some excellent advice from nick

Edited: 01 February 2010, 14:00
Athens, Greece
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6. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

I agree :)

If you are fit AND weather is friendly, then going up by foot is indeed a thing to do.

You can always use the funicular which will get you right to the top. Still, it is quite an ascend to get to the funicular. You can acess it on a reatively straight line from Evangelismos metro station on Blue line.

Map here: http://tinyurl.com/Lycabettus-Walk-English

Milan, Italy
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7. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

Hi Richard,

excellent advice from Rick, indeed, I agree: I'm getting addicted to his maps :)

I'm reasonably fit and like walking is not a problem, so I'll try the ascension to Lycabettus on foot; my only concern would be about safety, as in winter it gets dark early in the afternoon and I'm travelling solo, so I would be a bit worried about walking on a non-illuminated path through the bushes all alone. Is it safe?

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8. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

This is Rick calling :) Oopsie, Nick :)

This is my concern too. Look, i am pretty sure it is an exciting walk. If it is a lovely moon-lit night you may see other walkers doing it or some more brave joggers ( it is a very steep path to be covered runing ).

I think i would go for the walk till funicular + funicular combo.

It is a great path for a fit person to walk it on summer but it may be indeed a bit ugmphh to walk it on a winter night, both because of sensibly expected safety matters but also from a practical point of view ( not enough lighting ).

My other and more serious concern is wind. It can be fully blown from Southern winds and it may be really cold sometimes.

Opt for the more conventional and less-brave approach :) It is still a quite demanding walk :)

Milan, Italy
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9. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

Thanks Nick!

Sorry for the mis-typing of your name, I only realized when it was too late to edit! I must have been confused by answering to Richard and Nick in the same post...I promise it won't happen again. (I know your name, of course, with all the help you've given to me in the last weeks!)

It seems that the funicular is the way to go, then.

Good thing I asked; I fortunately remembered of Calton Hill, in Edinburgh, which is a lovely green hill in the city centre, and an easy hike, but which everybody said was better to avoid after dark as it was apparently a very popular spot for ... ehm ... outdoor 'activities'.

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10. Re: Tentative itinerary, for review. Too ambitious?

Here is an album from Lycabettus. It should give you some idea of the steep walk to the funicalar in photo no. 1, as well as how steep and long the path to the top will be. However, most of all it is of the scenic views:

http://tinyurl.com/cvfshf