Spring is an ideal season for weekend breaks in Greece. The days are longer, the weather is mild, and the trees are blooming. Bonus: the cities are not crowded from tourists, which mean you’ll probably get better accommodation deals! Today I’ve rounded up 5 Greek cities ideal for a weekend escape and rounded up tips on what to do once you get there (visit, walk, shop and eat)!

Athens

Well, a proper city break guide for Greece should start with the capital right? (*cough, cough*), which happens to be my hometown as well!

Visit: The Acropolis as well as the Acropolis museum. If you’re up for something different you can always hit up the Numismatic Museum, which has a nice outdoor cafe as well.

Walk: The historic center is pretty full of pedestrian streets, so there lots to see and explore. I personally recommend a walk around the Acropolis, as well as a visit in the National Garden.

Shop: Ermou is the busiest shopping street in Athens and a pretty central one, so it’s difficult to avoid! If you’re looking for luxury shopping you can visit Kolonaki and especially Voukourestiou street.

Eat: Tzitzikas and Mermigas for Greek cuisine with a twist. Il Postino for delicious Italian cooking. Furin Kazan for the sushi lovers.

P.S. You can find more inspiration on things to do on my other blog Aspects of Athens!

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city. It’s built along Thermaikos Gulf, which means one thing: a killer promenade for (romantic) walks.

Visit: Byzantine Museum, TV tower (for the view), the White Tower by the promenade

Walk: Along the aforementioned promenade, Tsimiski street for window shopping, Aristotelous square for pigeon “hunting”

Shop: Thessaloniki has a really “rich” shopping center and you can find a cool store in the most unexpected places. My favorite streets are Tsikimiski, Proxenou Koromila and Mitropoleos

Eat: Make your way to Ladadika neighborhood which is filled with interesting restaurants. I also like Kitchen Bar by the port (the view is amazing) as well as the cafe/bar of Byzantine Museum for a drink!

Heraklion

Heraklion has become my “adopted” hometown the past 3 years since my husband is from Crete. I even got married there in beautiful and unique church!

Visit: Archeological Museum, Knosos archaeological site which is just 6km far from the city and you’ll get to visit King Minos palace (ideal for first timers and people who haven’t visited for ages, like me!), Saint Titus church (ehm, the one I was telling you above!)

Walk: Around the old port, along the promenade, along 25th August pedestrian street, in the old market

Shop: Dedalou and Kalokairinou streets are the obvious choices here!

Eat: One thing is for sure, food here is delicious. I particularly like Parasties (for Greek dishes with a twist) and Pepe Nero for my Italian cuisine fix!

Related: The Essential Info Guide to getting around the Greek Islands

Nafplio

Nafplio is just 2 hours ride, south of Athens, which makes it a very popular destination among Athenians. Some trivia: Nafplio was Greece’s first capital after it was liberated from the Ottoman Empire. It has a very well preserved old town, which is a marvel to walk at.

Visit: Palamidi Castle up on the mountain, for wonderful view over the city

Walk: Around the old town, along the promenade

Shop: the cobblestone streets Amalias&Othonos and Vasileos Konstantinou are full of lovely stores

Eat: Vasilis tavern on Staikopoulou street, Koustenis on Vasileos Konstantinou street for ice cream

Related: Day Trip to Nafplio

Volos

Volos is a 4 hour drive north of Athens, on the way to Thessaloniki. It’s the hometown (then named Iolkos) of the legendary Jason, who along with the Argonauts sailed to Colchis to retrieve the Golden Fleece. I prefer Volos as a gateway to Mount Pilio (where the Kentaurs used to inhabit), so I cheat a little bit with this suggestion

Visit: Mount Pilio and especially Markinitsa, Portaria and Milies.

Walk: Along the promenade or in the cobblestone shopping streets.

Shop: Ermou street is one of the most popular shopping streets in Volos.

Eat: You’ll find a lot of restaurants along the promenade. Volos is famous for a particular (shot) drink called Tsipouro, which you will find in all these restaurants. My favorite one is Monosandalos and it’s located near Agios Konstantinos church.

So, which are your “spring break” ideal destinations?

 

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