Yes, dear readers, I am taking a stand: Athens is my most favorite city of the moment, and you must plan to visit there in the near future. Now, I have visited the Greek capital a few times in the past—most recently two years ago—and, frankly, I was somewhat underwhelmed. Even post-Olympics, the city was a bit of a dust bowl. But, wow!, Athens has cleaned itself up and is definitely ready for its close-up. It’s almost like the residents took out their scrub brushes and went to work on the city: The streets are gleaming, cafes bustle, the museums are amazing, and formerly downtrodden neighborhoods, such as Gazi, now pack in the hipsters with the see-and-be-seen bars and restaurants.
My home base was the Athens Hilton, and I absolutely adore this '60s-era icon that has been given a totally H-O-T! refurb: The Galaxy Roof restaurant serves chic, contemporary cooking with eye-popping views of the Acropolis. Plus, there’s an amazing ginormous pool and acres upon acres of marble. I kept waiting for Ari and Jackie O. to come strolling through.
Later this month sees the opening of the new Acropolis Museum designed by renowned architect Bernard Tschumi, so I plan on skipping back to Athens as soon as possible.
On one of the many pedestrian-only shopping streets in the heart of Athens.
I love the whitewashed neighborhood at the foot of the Acropolis constructed by Cycladic Islands stone workers. Chic!
I just love the way this bouganvillea vine that wraps its way up the front of this building in the center of the city.
This is the amazing view of the Acropolis from the Athens Hilton’s super-chic Galaxy Rooftop restaurant. Swank-o-rama!
With that, my friends, my Grand Tour ends: It’s time for me to return to New York.