Freetime Guide to Greece
Swimming, sunbathing and sightseeing, just a few things that describe Greece and its Island Paradise so perfectly. If you’re joining us on our Spring Break trip to Greece or maybe just browsing for some things to do in your down time, we’ve got you covered. This is our Free Time Guide to Greece – Athens and Santorini!
This guide goes off the beaten path for things to see and do that might not be in any of your guide books or top 10 lists. We’ve even included a section for things to eat and drink while you’re wandering the cobbled covered streets and bathing in the sunshine.
The National Observatory of Athens
Located just around the corner from the Acropolis. The National Observatory of Athens is open to all and costs just €5 per person for a truly stunning tour. View the Athenian sky from the Hill of the Nymphs using the Doridis telescope. Gaze into the nigh sky for a once in a lifetime experience.
Check before you go: Tours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7:00PM onward. Limited availability but well worth it!
This little hidden gem is a fun way to kick off an evening in Athens. The Hilton Athens offers the longest swimming pool in the city at 50m long and 15m deep! You can access a day pass for the pool by visiting the front desk of the hotel (only €25 after 6pm). In high season, the pool is open until 1am with food, drinks and DJ’s jamming the night away.
Check before you go: Open 7 days a week, but daily opening hours vary. Prices vary depending on day/time.
Athens National Garden
Located behind the Greek parliament buildings are the National Gardens. Just steps away from the busy streets of Athens, this garden paradise lets you escape from the hustle and bustle. Filled with both native and exotic species, the gardens also host 6 lakes to sit and day dream by. The National Gardens are a perfect spot to enjoy a quick snack or snag the perfect picture. The best part, they’re free to enter!
Check before you go: Daily operating times depend on the season.
Varavakeios Central Market
This market has everything from fruit and fish to Greek souvenirs to bring home for your friends. Open Monday to Saturday from 8:00am to 6:00pm, the market is free to wander and shop to your heart’s desire. Its central location is perfect for anyone staying in Athens.
Museum of Prehistoric Fira
This tiny museum is the perfect stop off to learn more about the history of Fira, one of Santorini’s largest villages. Created and housed by the Archaeological Society of Athens, the museum features artefacts from the island’s geographic growth to the islands ancient people, the Museum of Prehistoric Fira is not to be missed.
Check before you go: Open Wednesday to Monday 8:30am – 3:00pm. Entrance cost may vary
Atlantis Books in Oia
Known as one of the Islands hidden gems, Atlantis Books are a must see for all readers and writers alike. This literature haven sits on the winding streets of Oia and offers breathing taking ocean views as well as masterpieces of classical and new books. There’s even a shop dog to pet and hang out with while you look around and dive into some good reads.
Check before you go: Open 7 days a week, open hours may vary depending on the season.
Santorini Wine Museum
Did someone say wine? It wouldn’t be a trip to Santorini if you didn’t drink at least a few glasses of the good stuff. The Santorini Wine Museum is nestled inside of a cave within the most central part of the island. With easy access from Oia or Fira, cheap admission, wine tastings and a grape stomping experience, the wine museum makes for a great free time option.
Check before you go: Open Monday to Saturday, open hours may vary depending on the season. Check the cost of the different experiences they offer by visiting their website below.
2 Brothers Bar
While there is no doubt an abundance of places to party away the night, 2 Brothers Bar in Fira is a place not to miss! There main attraction? Put on a helmet and let the bartenders have a good ole whack with a bat over your head! This earns you a free shot and some pretty cool bragging rights. (Not for the faint of heart but totally safe). 2 Brothers Bar is also a hub for all internationals and locals alike. They jam the tunes into the early hours and ensure a good time for all.
The best way to get to know a culture and its people…EAT
These are the top things we suggest you munch down on while traveling Athens and Santorini. You might find different parts of a country have their own spin on traditional classics. So try a bit in Athens and a bit in Santorini and find a your own favourites.
Moussaka – An eggplant or potatoes base filled with veggies, minced meat and topped with a béchamel sauce. Super hardy and a great lunch meal to keep you going all day.
Gyros – The land of shaved meat and pita wraps! Filled with onion, veggies and tzatziki sauce. Easy to eat on the go while you’re shopping the streets.
Greek Salad – The salad we all know and love but done right. Fresh olives and greens with blocks of feta cheese and local olive oil. Plus, you’ll feel a bit healthy.
Koulouri – This will be your best friend wandering the streets. This street food sold in vending carts is like the Greek version of a pretzel, except its round and covered with sesame seeds
Baklava – This ultimate sweet treats are layers of filo dough, honey, nuts and goodness. A few bites is all your sweet tooth will need.
Coffee -Caffeine lovers rejoice! Greek coffee is know for its bold flavour sure to pack a punch and leave you on a caffeine high all day! Made in coffee pots called briki, Greek coffee is world renowned.
Wine – The island of Greece all grown their own grace and produce locally made wine. Stop into any shop and pick up a bottle or have a glass (or 3) at dinner. Great for sipping by the beach or sending you into an unforgettable night.
Ouzo – Greece’s national drink is not for the faint of heart. Take a shot and make sure to “Yamas” ( the short way to say Cheers in Greek)
We hope this guide, helps you fill up and make the most of your Greek adventure! Still planning your spring break? Why not join us in Croatia!