Back in April 2018, we organized a mini trip to Athens to celebrate my sister’s 30th birthday and her bachelorette party as well. I hadn’t organized a “girls-only” trip for a long time and I enjoyed it so much! We only stayed for 36 hours but we were all acquainted with Athens as a city already – all of us have lived there for a few years at different periods – so there was no sightseeing included in our itinerary.
This was primarily a trip for pleasure, mixing great food, wellbeing and fun activities while spending quality time with good friends.
In this article, I am sharing some useful information if you want to plan a similar trip to Athens for you and your girlfriends; or you could take some of these ideas and implement them to other cities as well!
Renting a central, stylish loft on Airbnb
There are countless stylish Airbnb apartments in Athens and numerous great hotels where you can stay at.
We chose to stay at a central, stylish loft between Syntagma and Monastiraki squares, only a few steps away from Ermou street – the most well-known shopping street of Athens’ centre, and we didn’t regret it.
We were 5 girls staying at the loft which had 2 separate rooms, one open-plan upper floor with a double bed, two bathrooms and an amazing communal area with a little functional kitchen, couches and a dining table. There was also a cute little balcony and an accessible terrace with views over the Acropolis and the entire city – we would have evening drinks up there if we had checked this cool place earlier.
Overall it was a place that made you feel at home while hanging out there and planning your day with your girlfriends – plus we took many photos in the apartment with its colourful walls as well.
The hosts were very friendly and had also compiled a comprehensive mini guide of their recommendations in Athens which was very practical and appreciated.
Here is where we stayed:
On our first evening, we headed for dinner at “Ergon” restaurant – a place we know well from Thessaloniki where the concept started. This is a great place to combine good quality food with wine and we had a lovely dinner.
Since we visited, the founders have launched a more ambitious concept combining accommodation and culinary experiences at their Ergon House Athens which is worth checking out.
Then we walked around the centre a little bit more and headed back to our loft for some much-needed sleep. Keep in mind that 3 out of 5 of us had already little children so sleep deprivation was a real thing.
If we wanted to continue for drinks we would probably head to nearby Vintage Wine bar, (Mitropoleos 66-68), a bistro ran by couple Iza and Panos who used to run my favourite restaurant in my hometown Ioannina.
Weekday brunch at Estrella
Estrella (Romvis 24Α) is a great place for all-day brunch and coffee and that’s how we started our next day. On the menu, there are many salty and sweet options, fresh juices and good coffee so we combined a bit of everything and took our time to enjoy a royal meal.
Wellness treatments at Apivita Experience Store
Following a pleasant walk in the centre, we headed on foot to Apivita Experience Store situated in the glamorous neighbourhood of Kolonaki (6 Sonolos Str) where we had booked wellness appointments for all of us. Apivita Experience Store is a concept store which includes a hair salon, a small but lovely spa area, a juice bar and a shop offering an array of Apivita products.
Each of us had selected a different wellbeing service (face treatment, foot massage, back massage, revitalizing eye treatment etc)
As I mentioned, the spa area is small and only two of us could be treated at the same time so in the meantime, the others could wait at the Juice Bar on the 1st floor, do some shopping on the ground floor (Apivita is one of my favourite cosmetic brands) or even go for a short walk outside as there are a lot of shops, cafeterias etc nearby.
Overall our experience was great and affordable and Mrs Chrisoula Georga with whom I was in contact and coordinated everything for us was very helpful, professional and kind from the beginning until the very end.
Afternoon – Professional photoshoot and walk at the historic centre of Athens
While creating our itinerary in Athens, one of my sister’s requests was to walk around Plaka and Anafiotika, two delightful neighbourhoods of the historic centre of the city.
However, I had this idea of doing an experience altogether and my first thought was to follow a fun & informative guided tour. Even though we were all familiar with the city, I have learned from experience that there is so much to learn from guided tours even in places you think you know well.
But then I had a better idea – do a professional photoshoot so we have all some great photos to remind us of this trip and our time together in Athens. Quick research on the internet revealed that this was a new travel trend I didn’t know that existed – booking professional photographers to document your travel.
We met our photographer, Iakovos, at the Akropolis metro station and after a quick coffee to get to know each other and discuss some practicalities we started our walk.
It was so much fun! We walked through some of the most picturesque streets of Athens and stopped to take photos and laugh our hearts out of joy. The photoshoot overall took about 2-3 hours and very well worth it; we received the professional photos within 24 hours.
Early dinner at Plaka with Cretan food
Following the photoshoot and our long walk, we were all hungry so we headed to one of the many restaurants you can find in Plaka which served Cretan cuisine. The food was delicious and the service very friendly.
By the moment we finished it was dusk, and we headed back to our Airbnb loft on foot for some rest. Walking around the pedestrianized streets of Plaka in the springtime with its mild climate is such an experience on its own.
Cocktails, window shopping and late-night ice-cream
The central location of our Airbnb loft meant we had many options nearby that we could reach on foot and that was very convenient. We headed to The Clumsies (Praxitelous 30) for a few cocktails and then, as we were all exhausted, continued with some window shopping in Ermou and the surrounding streets (this is one of the main shopping areas of downtown Athens) and ended up savouring a delicious ice-cream at “Le Greche” (Mitropoleos 16) just before they close down for the night.
Morning coffee and breakfast
Right below the place we stayed, there was a corner coffee shop (I learned that it no longer exists) and as we woke up, each one of us on its rhythm, we met downstairs for a morning coffee.
For breakfast, we headed to the nearby “Ariston” (Voulis 10) which is an old, traditional bakery legendary for its variety of pies; you can find any kind of pie you might think of, both salty and sweet. We bought a few different kinds and headed back to our loft to try them out at our big communal table while packing our luggage.
Just before leaving we headed upstairs on the terrace of the building – there was a nice little table with chairs and the view of the entire city, including the Acropolis. It was such a shame that we didn’t check this spot right from the beginning as we could come up here to have an evening or a late-night drink with this glorious view.
If we had more time on our last day, we would visit the Stavros Niarchos Foundation as well. Hopefully, we will make it next time as I have learned that they also have a great restaurant on site that I want to try.
That’s more or less what we had time to do in about 36 hours in Athens; our main mission was to spend a few quality hours altogether, to laugh and create nice memories, something that we managed to do.
Have you been on a trip with your girlfriends recently? Where did you go and what did you do? Would you consider Athens for your next girls-only trip? What else would you include in your itinerary? Let me know in the comments down below!
*Professional photoshoot by Iakovos Strikis
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Are you looking for ideas on where to eat and drink in Lausanne? Would you love to have a 4-day foodie itinerary? Check out my ebook – The Curated Foodie Guide to Lausanne!