There is nothing worse then being jammed between a million other tourists when visiting monuments, famous paintings (Mona Lisa springs to mind) and hyped attractions. Usually, it takes the fun out of the experience and you end up going there to “take one photo and leave”. Traumatic tourist hypes usually leads to claustrophobia and a hefty strong GT/ shots/ champagne bill to calm the nerves afterwards and put some ice on the bumps from being hit by Japanese selfie sticks. They should be illegal.
Before my trip to Athens a couple of weeks ago, I had decided that I didn’t want to experience Acropolis in a state of frustrated anger and stomach burning rage. I therefore set my alarm for 06.01am, hiked up the mountain to the entrance to be the first one there when they opened. I had read about two-hour-long queues, angry military guards and seen Instagram photos of the masses and masses of people surrounding the ancient buildings. I was really lucky with the weather, it was forecast to be 15 degrees, heavy thunderstorms and flooding. This resulted in that I was the only one at Acropolis between 08.00am (when they open) and 10.00 when the first selfie stick armed buss arrived. Success! For once, I could enjoy what I came to see and ticked off another UNESCO World Heritage site from my bucket list.
Rules of Engagement: Bring water, be there at 8am when they open, buy a EUR20 ticket there, bring a guidebook so you know what you are looking at and wear trainers. I can’t stress the last point enough – Acropolis is a proper hike on uneven ground. If you want to wear sandals/ heels or flip-flops you only have yourself to blame.
Location: Acropolis of Athens, (Monastiraki metro is close and safe), Greece