The iconic city of Athens has so much history, you could literally explore for months. But if you're anything like us and want to take the cliff-notes version and then head on out to the Greek islands, here is a fabulous 3-day Athens itinerary for you to see the highlights reel!
The magnificent Acropolis/ Parthenon is the main attraction of Athens, so you have to head there first! FYI The Acropolis is the hill that the famous structure called the Parthenon sits on (so this is essentially one destination). Allow yourself 1-2 hours to wander around all the ruins and take in all the sights.
After you've toured the Acropolis, walk right on Theorias Street from the Acropolis' main exit for 2 minutes to get to the stairs leading to the Areopagus Hill. This is a great place to get a spectacular view of the Acropolis from a distance.
From there, keep walking in the same direction through the charming neighborhoods of Plaka and Mnisikleous. As you descend down, you will pass lots of tourist shops and excellent Greek restaurants if you want to stop for lunch.
After exploring Agora, continue your walk another two minutes to finish out your history tour with the Tzidarkis Mosque and Hadrian's Library.
Finally, since you are so close, continue just another three minutes to 'Lukumades', the most famous place in Greece to get the classic Greek doughnut-like dessert with the same name.
And if you find yourself with a new burst of energy from that sugar treat, the ornate Cathedral Church of Athens is just a four minute walk away.
Start your day touring the Acropolis Museum where you can easily eat up your entire morning admiring all the interesting artifacts. For lunch, head to the top floor of the museum to the restaurant there called Strofi, as it has incredible views.
Take the ten minute walk west to the park at the base of the Acropolis which has several interesting sites. (If you are not feeling up to the walk, there are horse and carriages that line up outside of the museum that can take you there). Moving in a clockwise direction, check out the Church of Agios Demetrios, the Prison of Socrates, and the Filopappou viewing platform.
In the evening, take the gondola to the top of Mount Lycabettus for dinner with the best view in the city. There are two restaurants at the top to choose from. Cafe Lycabettus is casual with a simple Greek menu and does not require reservations. But for a more luxurious experience, we recommend the upscale Greek seafood restaurant Orizontes, which will require reservations. (We did see many people turned away).
On Sundays at 11:00am there is a huge parade in front of the parliament in Syntagmos Square by the Evzones (Greek men serving in the military). Their costumes and march are incredibly entertaining to watch, so if you find yourself in Athens on a Sunday, be sure not to miss this unique changing of the guards ceremony.
After the ceremony, as people disperse, make sure to check out the Parliament building and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front.
The Parliament is located on the NW corner of the National Gardens, so now would be the perfect time to go explore them. You can stay all day meandering through the paths, visiting the botanical garden, royal garden, play structures, many ponds and even the small zoo inside. But as you make your way south, be sure not to miss Hadrian's Arch, the Temple of Zeus, and the Panathenaic Stadium.
Have a terrific trip and eat some Lukumades for us!
Air France: Business Class Cabin Review
Los Angeles (LAX) - Paris (CDG)
Duration: 11hrs 15min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
We recently flew Air France Business Class on the 777-300er from LAX-CDG and loved the experience.
We arrived to LAX two hours before our flight time and were shocked to learn that the lounge servicing this flight (the KAL lounge) was closed “due to covid”. It seemed a little odd that lounges would still be closed due to covid when all restrictions in California have been lifted. Actually, it was incredibly disappointing, especially after calling Air France 3 days prior to our flight and confirming that the lounge would be open. In the very least, they could have comp’ed some money off a meal in an airport restaurant to make up for this lack of a perk. Happily though this was the only hiccup we experienced on this flight, which otherwise had great service and incredible food!
We got settled in to our seats in row 5 and explored the cabin which features 28 Business Class seats in a 1:2:1 configuration. Air France’s hard product is good. They have a very comfortable seat, equipped with an ok selection of movies and shows, charging outlets, a cubby to place personal items with a mirror (great touch!), and noise-canceling headphones.
Resting on the ottoman was a blanket, pillow, covid kit and amenity kit. The soft pouch kit included an eye mask, pen, shoehorn, earplugs, eyeglass cloth, headphone covers, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, Clarins hand cream and Clarins moisturizer.
Take off was smooth and they quickly came to take our dinner orders. The choice of entrees was pan-fried fillet of beef in a red wine and juniper berry sauce, poultry sausage parcel with foie gras, fricassee with sea bass, salmon and shrimp and sweet bell peppers ravioli with butternut squash cream. We chose the fricassee which might have been the best meal we’ve had on a plane ever.
In order to reduce the amount of contact due to covid, dinner service was reduced by combining the courses into just two courses with one tray. First they brought a tray consisting of the starter (which was a scallop mousseline and smoked salmon, fennel and tomato salad), and trio of desserts and cheese plate all together as one course. Then they brought the main course next and added it to the same tray.
After eating and watching a movie or two, we put back the beds and slept for a few hours. When we woke up in the middle of the night hungry, the galley bar was stocked with an assortment of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, and a variety of French cookies and crisps.
Breakfast was served 1.5 hours before landing and consisted of a delicious spinach and cheese omelette with grilled pepper and sausage, thick French yogurt with fresh fruit and a freshly-baked, warm croissant.
Next thing we knew we had landed in Paris! Overall, we were extremely satisfied with Air France’s Business Class product. While their entertainment options and amenity kit quality are average, they make up for it with stunning service and fabulous food!
Seat comfortability, layout and size: 5/5
Entertainment system and options: 3/5
The retail value of this flight is $13,560!
Do you think we paid that much? NO, OF COURSE NOT!! We booked these flights with our Game of Points. We transferred 212,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Air France using their Flying Blue program and paid only a little over $200 per ticket in taxes and fees! We earned these points by combining signup bonuses from both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards, as well as organic spending on these cards.
If you have the American Express Platinum credit card, don't forget that your current $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credit expires in just a few days on July 1. One of the perks of this card is free $50 to spend at Saks every 6 months. Don't let it go to waste!
Here are 5 ways to spend that credit:
3. Kids toys! Stock up now for an upcoming birthday present for a kid in your life. They have a large selection of unique toys, such as this 115 Piece Glow-in-the-Dark Marble Run.
4. Jewelry! Kate Spade New York has many beautiful pieces at the $50 mark for you, such as these Brilliant Statements Pave Huggie Hoop Earrings.
5. Travel kits! Our favorite is this 7-piece kit from Aesop. It includes hand wash, hand balm, facial mask, moisturizer, lip cream, mouthwash and toothpaste.
And if you don't like any of those ideas, you can always get $50 off an $88,300 Chopard watch , making it only $88,250 :-P
Let us know how you spend your credit!