It’s good to go off the beaten track in a great city. In high season the tourist hotspots will be routinely mobbed and the attractions you hoped would blow your mind can leave you feeling cold. Plus, if you go alternative, when your friends ask where you went on holiday you can look pensively into the distance and say “you probably haven’t heard of it but…” Smooth, I know. Perhaps you’ve been to Athens before, or maybe you’re just an alternative sort of person, whatever the case here are 3 offbeat things to do in the ancient capital of Greece:
Monastiraki Flea Market
Avoid high-street names and designer brands, in favour of useless ephemera and eccentric artefacts in this traditional flea market. You’ll find this bustling and colourful market taking place every Sunday in the Plateia Avissynias area. Curios range from books and paintings to vintage clothes, beautiful trinkets and host of other barmy junk.
The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
If you don’t mind a couple of hours on a coach (the truly alternative will simply shrug their shoulders and say, “No worries man”) pay a visit to this ancient amphitheatre in the Peloponnese mountains. This is probably the most beautifully preserved of all the ancient theatres in Greece and was built around 340 BC. Theatrical performances are still staged there during the summer with famous names like Kevin Spacey occasionally appearing, famous for his brooding turn in shoe-gazing cult hit American Beauty. But maybe that’s too mainstream for you.
Ride a Cable Car
Of course many travellers will be wanting to visit the Acropolis when they arrive in Athens, one of the most iconic buildings in the world. This, however, is far too “on” the beaten track as far as this article is concerned. Instead, take a funicular cable car ride to the top of Lycabettus Hill from Aristippou & Ploutarchou. This voyage of discovery offers 300-metre high panoramas across Athens, and costs a fraction of the price that a visit to the Acropolis would do. You’ll also be able to see the dazzling waters of the Saronic Gulf in the distance.
If you’re planning a vacation in Greece, give a weekend in Athens an alternative twist by visiting one of these unusual locations. You could visit all three but then again you’ll probably want to find an alternative to these alternatives because, hey, you’re just so alternative.