What Not to do in Athens – 17 Mistakes Every Traveler Makes

What Not to do in Athens – 17 Mistakes Every Traveler Makes

This post is all about what not to do in Athens, Greece.

Athens is a city that’s on everyone’s bucket list.

With all the ruins, historical landmarks, tasty food, and jaw-dropping landscapes – it’s easy to see why everyone is flocking to see the wondrous Athens.

Planning a trip to one of the most known cities in the world is overwhelming, It can be so easy to make a few simple mistakes.

Here’s a complete list of what NOT to do in Athens. These are 17 common mistakes most travelers make in Athens, Greece.

what not to do in Athens

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Before you read about all the things you should NOT do in Athens, here’s a free printable checklist of all the things you SHOULD do!

things to do in Athens

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What Not to do in Athens – 17 Common Mistakes Most Travelers Make.

1. Not Staying Long Enough

what not to do in Athens

Athens shouldn’t be a city to explore conveniently just because of your flight plans. Yes, 1-day Athens planners, I’m looking at you!

This city is the oldest capital in Europe. It’s also massive and there is so much to do.

So, how many days should you spend in Athens?

I would recommend spending a minimum of 3 full days in Athens. However, 5 days would be ideal.

To consolidate your plans, check out my list of 21 things to do in Athens.

2. Booking Accommodation Far Outside the City

Whenever I hear someone say they didn’t enjoy their trip to Athens, my first question is always “Where did you stay?”

Just like most major cities around the world, staying in an Airbnb an hour away from the city center can certainly make or break a trip. In Athens especially, it’s easy to end up somewhere not ideal for tourists.

Stick to staying in the neighborhoods of Psiri, Monastiraki, or Plaka.

All the neighborhoods I mentioned above are touristy, but within walking distance of most attractions and good restaurants.

If you are wanting to stay in a neighborhood more authentic, but still near the tourist hotspots, check out Exarcheia.

This is where a lot of young professionals live. It’s also a big artistic community where you’ll see punk rock-themed bars and graffiti everywhere. There are loads of good restaurants and bars in this area.

3. Eating at Tourist Trap Restaurants

what not to do in Athens

Most of the time, when waiters are standing outside a restaurant heckling people to come inside, the food is not good.

There are parts of Athens that are touristy and have good restaurants, and other parts that are touristy that have bad restaurants. Plaka is one of those neighborhoods that is beautiful and has lovely shops but is notorious for its bad food.

Of course, the best food in Athens can be found in the residential outskirts of Athens where you likely won’t be. However! As mentioned; Psiri, Monastiraki, and Exarcheia all have wonderful dining options and are near the city center.

A few of my favorite restaurants are Bandiera, Oineas, and Avli.

4. Thinking It’s Warm Year-Round

Believe it or not, Greece can get cold. When I volunteered at a hostel in Athens during the month of November, travelers would check in all the time shocked that it was freezing. In fact, at times it can even snow (though this is rare).

While Athens is warm most of the year, it’s going to be chilly from November – March.

5. Just There For the Ruins

what not to do in Athens

Athens is packed with all kinds of ancient monuments worth seeing. The Parthenon, the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Panathenaic Stadium, the list goes on!

Oftentimes, travelers jam-pack their 2-3 day itinerary full of these tours and rarely leave room for the other parts of Athens that make it so great. This can lead a traveler to feel as if their trip is a history lesson rather than an enjoyable experience. It can totally be both!

Be sure to save time in your itinerary for eating at tavernas, the national gardens, or having a cocktail at Clumsies (one of the best cocktails in the world!)

Nobody likes a trip planned so tight, that it makes your brain hurt. So prioritize your list of monuments you’d love to see, but don’t overdo it.

6. Not Having Enough Cash

While cards will get you through most places in Athens, you’ll always want to have a few euros with you. There may be occasions where you need to tip a tour guide or pay for your meal in a cash-only taverna.

7. Ordering the Wrong Food

Greek food is some of the best cuisine in the world. Be sure to do just a little research on what to order, and what to expect.

Here is a quick cheat sheet to help you:

Authentic greek salads don’t have lettuce. Typically, they consist of tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, green bell pepper, red onion, olives, and feta cheese.

In Greece, gyros & souvlaki are the traditional meat dishes, not kebabs. Souvlaki is meat skewers with pork or chicken. Gyros consist of your choice of shaved meat wrapped in pita with toppings. Of course, you will find kebabs in Greece, but souvlaki and gyros are the traditional dishes.

Most restaurants serve ouzo and a small house dessert after every meal.

Fresh orange juice is a must You’ll find it at any coffee shop or bakery.

Saganaki Cheese is a delicious appetizer.

While there are many well-known Greek desserts, Loukoumades are famous in Athens. These Greek donuts are a scrumptious treat for any foodie.

8. Skipping the Nightlife

what not to do in Athens

Athens has some truly amazing nightlife. Don’t skip out on it! Some even declare Athens as “the new Berlin”.

Whether you’re looking for techno clubs, bougie cocktails, or dive bars – Athens really has it all.

Here are a few of my favorite nightlife spots in Athens:

-Techno: S.I.X dogs (weekends or special events only), BLAST Athens, or anywhere in the Gazi neighborhood.

-Cocktails: Barrett, The Clumsies, Juan Rodriguez

-Dive Bars: Handlebar, Bad Tooth

9. Not Watching Your Stuff

Just like in any major city, travelers will need to keep an eye on their belongings. Before you leave for your trip, make sure to get anti-theft purses or day bags.

Also, be sure to have your valuables locked up, even when you leave your room or Airbnb.

Hotels and hostels that have 24-hour security will greatly reduce the risk of your belongings getting stolen.

10. Staying at an Airbnb

Athens Hub Hostel

Airbnb (in my opinion) is NOT the move in Athens.

There are times and places when I prefer Airbnb over hotels & hostels, but Athens is not one of them.

Athens is so big, you can easily catch yourself in a neighborhood that is still in Athens but is nearly 2 hours outside the city center.

The hotels & hostels in Athens are generally better located and are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Check out my favorite hostel in Athens here.

11. Thinking You’re Getting Freebies at Meals

During my first week in Athens, I couldn’t understand how I kept getting mealtime “freebies”.

In most authentic greek tavernas, you will always be served some type of bread, a small dessert, and ouzo with your meal.

Of course, there are variations of this tradition depending on where you dine. If you don’t receive any of these traditional dishes, you are probably dining at a tourist hot spot.

12. Eating too Early

what not to do in Athens

Mealtimes tend to be later in the day in Greece.

Lunch is typically served 2-3 pm and dinner around 9 pm.

13. Not Taking Metered Taxis

Not only should this rule just apply in Athens. but in every big city!

For transportation, you can take the subway, taxis, or Uber.

If you’re taking a taxi, just double-check BEFORE you get in the vehicle that you can see a meter. Or haggle with the taxi driver on a flat rate beforehand.

14. Forgetting to Cover Up in Churches & Monasteries

what not to do in Athens

Stunning and historic churches are all over Athens. It’s expected to cover up and dress a little modestly to enter.

15. Thinking Tap Water is Dangerous

While water on the greek islands is not safe to drink, in Athens it’s perfectly fine.

Although safe to drink, there’s always a chance that your body isn’t used to drinking water in other countries. Check out life straw water bottles so your water is always filtered.

16. Buying Weird Souvenirs

what not to do in Athens

Don’t get me wrong, weird souvenirs are a special type of awesome sometimes. In Athens. you will notice many of the souvenir shops all sell the same items. Most of the time, these “greek souvenirs” are not even made in Greece.

Here are ideas for traditional souvenirs to buy in Athens that you will love:

-olive oil

-custom leather sandals

-greek honey

-gold jewelry

17. Not Knowing a Few Greek Words

Most Athenians speak English, but it’s still important you learn a few Greek terms just so you can be more aware of your experience and surroundings.

Kalimera – good morning

Kalispera – good evening

Kalinichta – goodnight

Yasou – hello or goodbye

Parakalo – please/you’re welcome/ (also used when answering the phone)

Efcharistó – thank you

Tikanis – how are you?

Nai – yes

Thelo – I want

What Not to do in Athens

Overall, this list should be taken with a grain of salt! There simply is no right or wrong way to travel when you’re on vacation. I hope this post provided you with some tips for traveling in Athens.

Book Trusted Athens Tours Below

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The Ultimate Bordeaux Travel Guide

The Ultimate Bordeaux Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Bordeaux? This post is all about the ultimate Bordeaux Travel Guide

Ah, Bordeaux! The charming wine-filled city in Southwestern France. If you want to feel like a medieval queen with exquisite taste in everything art, wine, and architecture – Bordeaux is your city.

Bordeaux travel guide

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Why You Should Visit

Bordeaux is worth a visit, just for the whimsical 18th-century architecture alone. Many of the buildings were commissioned by Napoleon I and even inspired several modern buildings in Paris. The city itself is a work of art.

As you meander through the cobblestone streets you’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time.

Let’s not forget how this majestic city is a world capital for wine. If you’re a wine lover, this is the place to be.

This destination is perfect for anyone interested in architecture, wine tastings, and the arts.

Don’t Forget Your FREE Bordeaux Checklist for your trip


Bordeaux checklist - Bordeaux travel guide
Bordeaux checklist – Bordeaux travel guide

How to Get to Bordeaux

Getting to Bordeaux is simple, just about any type of transportation will lead you there.

Bus – Flix Bus tickets are no doubt one of the cheapest ways to get to Bordeaux.

Train – Browse Rome to Rio for the best train tickets from your city.

Plane – Fly into Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport. A bus runs from the airport to the city center every 30 minutes from the airport from 05:45 am to 8 pm during weekdays and every hour on weekends.

Where to Stay

Whether you’re a backpacker or a luxury traveler, Bordeaux has plenty of options for anyone.

I’ve personally stayed at Hostel 20 and loved my experience in the all-female dorm. It’s in Chartrons district which is one of the most desirable neighborhoods of the City.

$ Hostels – Hostel 20 or Central Hostel.

$$ Budget Hotel – JUST Hotel or IBIS Bordeaux Centre Gare Saint-Jean

$$$ Moderate Hotel – Hotel De Tourny or Villa Victor Louis

$$$$ Luxury Hotel – Hotel Le Palais Gallien or Hotel des Quinconces

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Bordeaux Travel Guide – Best Things to do in Bordeaux

1. Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux

This fascinating middle-aged grand gate was an entrance to the city dating back all the way to the 15th century. The bell would ring on special occasions or alert the city of an attack.

Nowadays the bell is used only 5 times a year on special holidays to preserve it.

Bordeaux travel guide

2. Place de la Bourse Square & Miroir d’Eau (water mirror)

Place de la Bourse Square symbolizes freedom from the medieval architecture that confined the once-walled city.

You’ll marvel at the glorious 18th-century classical french style square.

Just across from the square, you’ll see one of the most iconic modern landmarks of Bordeaux, the Water Mirror.

Bordeaux travel guide - best things to in Bordeaux

3. Wine Tasting

Of course, you can’t go to Bordeaux without drinking a scrumptious glass of wine.

Since Bordeaux is a wine capital, be sure to book a wine-tasting or wine tour on your visit. They book fast so you’ll want to prepare in advance.

4. Walk the Pont de Pierre

200 years ago, the “stone bridge” was the first bridge to be built across the River Garonne.

No trip to Bordeaux is complete without walking across this historic path!

5. Go Shopping on Rue Sainte Catherine

Speaking of iconic places to walk in Bordeaux, you’ll definitely want to check out the famous shopping street in the city.

Just like Barcelona’s La Rambla or New York’s 5th avenue. Rue Saint Catherine is THE place to shop when in Bordeaux.

6. Go to the Opera

The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is a beautiful and intricate opera house and a wonderful place to spend an evening in Bordeaux.

Check out shows and prices on their website here. For anyone under the age of 28, you can score a last-minute seat for under $10.

Bordeaux travel guide

7. Monument aux Girondins

Monument aux Girondins is a striking memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Reign of Teror.

Bordeaux travel guide

8. Take a Day Trip to Saint Emilion

Venture close by to Saint Emilion. Many wine tours from Bordeaux will take you to the quaint village, or you can go on your own time.

By train, it’s about 35 minutes to St Emilion. Or if you aren’t on a strict budget and looking for a more inclusive tour, check out these day trip tours below that depart from Bordeaux.

9. Go on a Free Walking Tour

I take a free walking tour in every city I visit. I SWEAR by them! They are undoubtedly the best way to explore a new city in a limited amount of time. Plus you’ll be guided by a local and may even meet some new friends!

The free walking tour I took can be found here.

How Long to Visit Bordeaux

June – August is the best time to visit Bordeaux for the vineyard experience. Although, it’s also hot and filled with tourists.

September is also a great time when vineyards are still open and summer is coming to an end.

Planning the length of your trip to Bordeaux largely depends on your interest. To get a full taste of what the city has to offer, I would recommend staying for 3-4 days.

Is Bordeaux Worth Visiting?

Overall, Bordeaux is a glorious city packed with many things to do and explore. I would definitely recommend visiting this picturesque city,

This post was all about the ultimate Bordeaux Travel Guide & the best things to do in Bordeaux.

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An Honest Review of Athens Hub Hostel in Greece

An Honest Review of Athens Hub Hostel in Greece

This post is all about my review of Athens Hub Hostel in Athens Greece.

This post was updated on February 23, 2023

Looking for the best hostels in Athens?

I research hostels extensively. I live in them, work in them, and thrive in them.

After staying in over a hundred hostels, there are some every now and then that stick out to me – for better or for worse.

Here’s my completely honest, non-sponsored review of Athens Hub Hostel.

Still planning your trip? Don’t forget these 21 bucket list things to do in Athens.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Honest Review of Athens Hub Hostel

I arrived at Athens Hub Hostel after weeks of partying on the islands of Ios and Paros.

Completely drained and exhausted, I wanted to stay in a hostel that focused on comfort but still was somewhat social.

Athens Hub Hostel seemed like the place to stay.

Where to book

Typically I prefer to book hostels on hostelworld. Occasionally, if I have points for savings or I’m booking a private room, I use booking.com

Both these booking platforms are simple to use, have upfront cancellation & refund terms, and offer a level of protection that other websites may not offer.


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Location

Hostel address: Agias Eleousis 7, Athina 105 54, Greece

Located in Psyri, this hostel is literally in the heart of Athens.

I loved being in the center of the city. I felt like the location is a huge advantage because it’s on a quiet side street near the main Psyri strip of bars and restaurants.

Surrounded by the hostel you’ll find plenty of delicious restaurants, bars, and easy access to many of the top attractions and tours in Athens.

Athens Hub Hostel

 

Don’t forget your FREE Athens Checklist printable for your trip to Greece.

things to do in Athens

 

The Rooms

Spacious rooms at Athens Hub offer privacy in a way many other hostels miss the mark.

Every dorm features beds with curtains, lockers, hooks, and mirrors.

Here are the different types of rooms you can book at Athens Hub:

6-bed female, 4-bed female

8-bed mixed, 6-bed mixed

Private double, private double with extra bed.

Pictured above: 4-bed female dorm.

Bathrooms at hostels can make or break a stay. The bathrooms here were always kept impeccably clean. The showers are nicer than mine at home – it feels like a luxury spa experience.

hostel in athens greece

Facilities

Some of the perks at Athens Hub are what make this hostel stand out.

Check out the bar/lounge area for a drink or if you need to work remotely. It’s a great place to socialize or work remotely.

They also offer a full (and affordable) breakfast menu in the morning that was tastier than some of the brunch spots I tried.

For a small fee or deposit, Athens Hub also offers laundry, hair dryers, and locks.

Activities & Social Life

Athens Hub Hostel is not the most social hostel, but it can be! I’ve stayed both when it’s bustling with outgoing hostel goers and when it’s quiet.

The biggest party hostel in Athens is Hawks.

Unlike party hostels, Athens Hub is a hostel that has a nice level of social activities available for those who want them but prioritizes cleanliness, safety, and hospitality.

A few activities you can join are happy hour & board games, Pub Crawl, or a Free Walking Tour.

 

Overall, I think Athens Hub Hostel is a wonderful place to stay in the center of Athens. After two long stays, I can confidently say I would recommend this hostel to anyone, especially backpackers ages 18-35.

Book Tours in Athens Below

 

21 Important Things to do in Athens You Can’t Leave Greece Without Doing

21 Important Things to do in Athens You Can’t Leave Greece Without Doing

This post is all about things to do in Athens Greece.

It’s no secret that Athens is one of the most exciting cities in the world – and has been for thousands of years.

This ancient city happens to be the oldest capital in all of Europe (even older than Rome!)

 things to do in Athens

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

In the months I’ve spent in Athens, I’ve often found travelers’ most common mistake is only booking 1-2 days.

Athens is big, and it feels like every corner you turn you’re greeted with a historical landmark.

Here are 21 things to do in Athens Greece.

Don’t forget to print your FREE Athens Checklist Printable.

 things to do in Athens

My Athens Essentials

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Top Things to do in Athens Greece


1. Acropolis

One of the most fascinating landmarks of Athens is, of course, the Acropolis.

The Acropolis of Athens is a rocky complex consisting of several buildings of great historical significance. The most complete building still standing today is the famous Parthenon.

This structure sits high in the middle of Athens, dominating the city and illuminating the night.

Be sure to make a visit to the Acropolis your top priority in Athens. Check out this Skip the Line Acropolis tour with a licensed archaeologist.

Acropolis

2. Tour the Ancient Agora of Athens

There are two Agoras of Athens – the Ancient and the Roman.

Once a thriving marketplace for Athenians, the Ancient Agora is a predominant piece of Athens history.

This complex includes the monumental Temple of Hephaestus, Stoa of Attalos, and a small museum.

Read my in-depth post on the Ancient Agora here

agora-of-athens

3. Panathenaic Stadium

Did you know the only stadium in the world built completely of marble resides in Athens? Only representing the most majestic theatrical experience for Athenians, this stadium is one of a kind.

Panathenaic Stadium

4. Watch the Sunset on Lycabettus Hill

Lycabettus hill offers one of the best views in the city.

To get to the top of Lycabettus, you can either climb the 200 steps to the top or take the cable car.

Lycabettus Hill

5. Take a Day trip to the Temple of Poseidon

Visit the temple dedicated to the “Master of the Sea”. Located on Cape Sounion, it’s just an hour from the center of Athens. This sunset tour includes full roundtrip transportation from the city.

6. See the Roman Agora

Constructed in the 1st century BC, the Roman Agora is another fascinating historical compound to see in Athens. Admire the gate of Athena from afar or pay 2 euros to take a stroll through the agora.

7. Acropolis Museum

After seeing the Acropolis, learn more about the history of the impressive structure at the Acropolis Museum.

Entrance to the museum is 5-10 euros. Additionally, it’s included in many Athens packages and tours like this guided tour here.

things to do in Athens

8. Anafiotika

Anafiotika is the charming neighborhood in Plaka that shows off its island-like architecture. With its white-washed buildings, clay pots, and bright colors, it’s one of the most colorful neighborhoods in Athens.

This neighborhood also offers one of the best viewpoints of the city.

9. Walk around Psiri & Monastiraki

Psiri & Monastiraki district is one of the trendiest areas of Athens. Streets are lined with cute cafes, fun nightlife spots, and stunning rooftop bars.

things to do in Athens

10. Eat chocolate cake at Nancy’s Sweet Home

Since you’ll be in Monastiraki, head to Nancy’s Sweet Home and get in line for one of their famous chocolate cakes.

11. Take a Free Walking Tour

Free walking tours are the best way to get to a new city without spending a fortune. Plus, it’s a great way to meet fellow travelers!

Click here to see the free walking tour I took.

things to do in Athens

12. Have a Cocktail at Clumsies

Rated one of the top 50 best bars in the world, The Clumsies is somewhere you must stop to have a drink.

I ordered a seasonal summer drink that came with a strip of sunscreen! Clumsies isn’t just any ordinary bar, it’s an experience.

things to do in Athens

13. Walk around Plaka

Plaka feels like a secret village in the center of Athens. Being the oldest neighborhood in the capital, a walk through the creaky whimsical streets beneath the Acropolis is a magical to experience.

14. Zappeion

The Zappeion is of the city center’s most well-known landmarks. Once used as the main fencing hall for the 1896 Olympics, the building is now repurposed for important meetings and ceremonies.

things to do in Athens

15. Stroll Through the Little Kook

Step into a fairy tale on one of the most unique streets in Athens! Little Kook is a completely themed street that changes themes every month. Not only is the street just decorated, but all the shops, cafes, and restaurants are too.

Some of my favorite themes have been Halloween, Christmas, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland.

things to do in Athens

16. Visit the Archaeological Museum

Showcasing extensive artifacts from Roman, Egyptian, and Greek history, the Archaeological Museum is yet another museum in Athens that is considered one of the best in the world.

17. See Syntagma Square

Syntagma square is often considered the heart of Athens. It’s one of the most popular spots in the city for shopping, protests, and other public meetings.

things to do in Athens

18. Walk Through the National Gardens

After you’ve seen Syntagma, head over to the beautiful National Gardens. The entrance is free, and it’s a stunning oasis in the center of Athens.

National Gardens Athens

19. Take Advantage of Athen’s Nightlife

What most people don’t know is Athens has a seriously amazing night scene.

S.I.X dogs is one of the most popular bars/clubs in the city. The venue transforms from bar to club depending on the day so be sure to check their schedule.

Other great bars are Juan Rodriguez, Barrett, and Handlebar.

things to do in Athens

20. Go to a Rooftop Bar

Athens is full of rooftop bars with a jaw-dropping view of the Acropolis.

Some of the best rooftop bars are A for Athens, 360 Cocktail Bar, and Couleur Locale.

rooftop bars in Athens Greece

21. Eat Traditional Greek Food

While Greece is full of beauty and history, I must say the best part of this country is the cuisine. Traditional Greek dishes are some of the tastiest in the world.

Don’t forget to try souvlaki, saganaki, a Greek salad, and wash it all down with Ouzo.

A few of my favorite restaurants are Bandiera, Oineas, and Avli.

Have a great trip to Athens and be sure to save this post for your future trip to Greece!

Planning your wardrobe for Athens? Check out my post on the best outfits for Greece.

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4 Days in New York City (Written by a Local!)

4 Days in New York City (Written by a Local!)

This post is all about how to spend 4 days in New York.

So you’re heading to the big apple but ONLY have 4 days? Don’t fret!

4 days in New York City is the perfect amount of time to get a taste of America’s greatest city.

After moving here at the beginning of the year, I’ve received loads of messages asking why I haven’t posted any NYC content on my blog.

The truth is, this city is so big and popular, that I didn’t feel I could confidently write the BEST New York itinerary that ever existed.

Until now.

Here is how to spend an epic 4 days in New York City.

Don’t forget your free NYC Checklist so you don’t miss a thing!

4 Days in New York City – Short Version

Day 1 – Rockefeller Center, St Patricks Cathedral, Grand Central Station, Dinner at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.

Day 2 – Brunch at The Smith. Central Park, Magnolia Bakery, Landmarks Cruise, Walk the High Line at sunset.

Day 3 -Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Times Square, Dinner and Cheesecake at Juniors. Broadway Show.

Day 4 – 9/11 Museum, Little Italy, Lunch at RubiRosa, Visit DUMBO, Drinks at Randolph, Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown

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4 Days in New York City Itinerary – Detailed Version

Where to stay:

Budget $- The Hotel at Fifth Avenue

Moderate $$ – The Empire Hotel

Luxury $$$ – Lotte New York Palace

Empire Hotel

Day 1

Travel days are exhausting so let’s keep the first day nice and easy.

After you check into your hotel, kick off your trip by exploring Rockefeller Center, St. Patricks Cathedral, and Grand Central Station.

These are all free activities that are open late and within close proximity to each other. Plus, they are quick historical sites to explore. In under 2 hours, you can see all three of them.

Obviously, for your first night in New York, you must have that classic New York-style pizza! I recommend Grimaldis Pizzeria.

Day 2

Today you’ll spend most of your time exploring the upper west side.

Begin your morning with brunch at The Smith.

Then, take a stroll in the magnificent Central park. If you’d rather ride bikes, there are plenty of rental options in the park.

4 days in new york

After Central Park, grab a cupcake at the famous Magnolia Bakery.

Take a break from the thick of the city and book the 3 pm Landmarks Cruise. I booked with Circle Line and was impressed with all the iconic NYC sites you could see from the water.

4 days in new york
4 days in new york

This tour included stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridges, and so much more.

After the landmarks cruise, you’ll disembark close to the entrance of the High Line which is one of the most unique walking paths in Manhattan.

Day 3

Grab your best walking shoes and prepare to see it all!

Start your day off with tickets to go inside the Empire State Building,

You’ll pass through a fascinating mini-museum on your way up to the top. And of course, you’ll see amazing views of the city when you reach the viewpoint.

4 days in new york
4 days in new york

Next, make your way to Bryant Park and soak in some sun. Bryant Park is filled with cute sitting areas, events, and outdoor cafes. It’s the perfect place to people-watch.

Following your afternoon at the park, head towards Times Square and plan for dinner and famous cheesecake at Juniors. This isn’t a fancy place, but it is an NYC classic. If you’re looking for a fancier option, Becco is a delicious mid-range fine dining Italian restaurant.

After dinner and dessert, enjoy an iconic show on Broadway.

new york city itinerary broadway show

Day 4

On your last day in NYC, you’ll want to get an early start to ensure you check everything off your list.

Begin your morning at the 9/11 Museum & Memorial. This museum is HUGE and you may not have time to see everything. It takes roughly 3 hours to see the main points and 4 hours to see the whole museum.

4 days in new york

After the museum, head to Little Italy and enjoy lunch at RubiRosa. Reservations are a must!

When you’re finished with lunch, walk around Nolita and explore the many boutiques.

Next, it’s time to get a dose of the iconic borough of Brooklyn and head to DUMBO.

It’s not fair to say that DUMBO represents most of Brooklyn, but it is a beautiful area to enjoy.

Walk through the famous DUMBO bridge viewpoint at 39-21 Washington St Brooklyn, NY.

Watch the sunset at Randolph Beer rooftop or at the top of TimeOut Market (free).

End your evening walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and venture into Chinatown.

4 days in new york

Feel free to edit this itinerary to fit your interests. No New York itinerary will look the same. Enjoy your time in the big apple!

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The Ultimate Colombia Packing List (54+ Things You Need for Colombia)

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Looking for the BEST Colombia packing list!?

This post is all about what to pack for Colombia.

colombia packing list

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Packing for Colombia was a daunting task. For years I’ve backpacked across Europe and the Middle East, but never South America.

I felt like I was entering a new arena in the hunger games – totally unprepared with blurry expectations.

We’re talking mosquitos, hiking, extreme heat, and remote destinations.

Even after loads of research and personal recommendations from seasoned Colombia backpackers, I still felt like there were some things I needed, and some I didn’t.

My experience backpacking 1-month through Colombia helped me create the most perfect Colombia packing list for your trip.

Don’t forget your FREE Colombia Packing List printable so you don’t forget a single thing!

colombia packing list

Here is the Ultimate Colombia Packing List

While this was my personal Colombia packing list for a 30-day backpacking trip, your list might look a little different from mine.

I hope these recommendations will help you successfully pack for your Colombia trip.

Basic Essentials

1. Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack

The holy grail of all backpacks. This magical bag will hold everything you need and passes as a carry-on size on most airlines.

I’ve had this bag for years and wouldn’t dare look at anything else!

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2. Travelon Anti-Theft Day Pack

My new travel product obsession!

I noticed this backpack on the backs of some fellow travelers and instantly fell in love.

While it may look tiny, this pack is mighty. I use it as my “electronics bag” and it fits my laptop, large drone & remote, DSLR, journal, kindle, passport, wallet, and so much more.

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3. Compression Packing Cubes

I’ve always been anti-packing cubes until I ran across the compression kind! These cubes will help you stay organized without taking up any extra space.

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4. Lifestraw Water Bottle

Whether it’s Lifestraw or a different brand, I highly recommend getting some kind of filtered water bottle for your Colombia travels.

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5. Foldable Bag

I know what you’re thinking.. yet another backpack!? Yes!

This foldable backpack is so tiny that it takes up NO room. It’s worth packing even if you never use it. I use it specifically for hiking when I don’t want to get my nicer bags dirty.

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6. Travel Toiletry Bag

Finding a hanging toiletry bag is essential, especially if you are staying in hostels. This bag is compact and has loads of room.

I use it to hold all my toiletries and medicine.

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Toiletries / Shower Essentials

7. Microfiber Travel Towel

My personal favorite travel towel. The sizes do run very small so size up (1 or even 2)! I personally have an XL to use as a shower towel and beach towel.

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8. Facial Microfiber Towel

A small microfiber towel is handy just to wash your face.

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9. Laundry bag

A bag to keep your dirty laundry in is essential! This is something I refuse to travel without.

Most of the time compression cube packs come with these bags, but if not you’ll want to grab one of these!

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10. Laundry detergent

At times in remote destinations, it can be tricky to get your laundry done. These Laundry strips help me in between proper washes.

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11. Hairbrush

This dainty hairbrush will keep your hair looking fresh without taking up much space in your bag.

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12. Manicure Set

Keep groomed while on the road. You won’t want to leave for Colombia without these often overlooked essentials.

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13. Small Comb

This is my “nights out” comb. It’s so small it fits perfectly in a purse or fanny pack for evenings out at the club (or a jungle party!)

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14. Contacts & Solution / Glasses

Like so many of us, if you aren’t one of the lucky ones with 20/20 vision, pack extra contacts & glasses for the duration of your trip.

You can buy more contact solution at the pharmacies, but it’s best to bring a small pack to last you until you get to one.

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15. Friction Stick

This was such a common problem among so many women I was hiking with. I was so thankful that I brought a friction rub! I used it on days I wore dresses and went on long walking tours or hikes.

I’ve used both the Arm & Hammer brand and the body glide, and the Arm & Hammer works much better.

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16. Makeup Remover Wipes

These are the only makeup remover wipes that don’t sting my skin. Also, I love how they aren’t liquid-based, perfect for traveling!

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17. Facial Cleanser & Moisturizer

My favorite travel cleanser & moisturizer is The Ordinary. Their products come in small sizes and are super affordable.

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18. Dental Hygiene Products

Keep your teeth healthy with my go-to dental products.

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19. Sunscreen

Believe me, that Colombia sun is meant to BURN! I like to be prepared with just a little bit of sunscreen for when I arrive and buy more when I get to a pharmacy.

If your first destination is a city, sunscreen will be easy to find. However, if you’re heading to more remote destinations in the North or the South, stores are not always accessible.

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20. Hair Accessories

As I’ve mentioned. that Colombia heat will get to you. If you have long hair, you’ll need plenty of options to pull your hair back.

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21. Chapstick

This is the chapstick I swear by! While it may seem a bit expensive for lip balm, I am a total chapstick junkie and need the very best.

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22. Soap + Soap Holder

A bar is my preferred soap to travel with while backpacking. It cuts down on my liquids and lasts longer. One bar of soap lasted me exactly one month.

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23. Shampoo & Conditioner

Again, shampoo and conditioner are products you can totally buy when you get to Colombia. I just prefer to have some on hand so I’m not scrambling to find it first thing when I land to my destination.

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24. Razor

If you usually have a razor at home, you’ll need one on the road! This razor is my favorite and doesn’t irritate my skin.

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25. Small Jars/Bottles

These small containers are great if you want to take your favorite products from home.

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26. Medications

Ibuprofen and Imodium are two essentials you must take with you to Colombia.

Be sure to take any contraceptives or vitamins that you take regularly as well.

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27. Feminine Care

This is truly one of the most underrated things that should be packed in your bag! What some women don’t know is that feminine care products are different in every country.

Meaning – different chemicals, applicators, and materials.

It’s best to bring some of your own that you’re comfortable with.

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28. Health Misc.

Don’t forget these handy items like bandaids and cotton swabs.

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29. Germ-X + Lysol Wipes

Don’t you dare leave to travel without some Germ-X and disinfecting wipes!

My personal favorite germ-x is the mini bath & bodyworks scented bottles because they just smell SO good! I also love these scented lemon Lysol wipes to wipe down anything that might be icky.

Your luggage may also need more frequent wipe-downs than usual in Colombia’s dewy climate.

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30. Lotion

Lotion may be considered essential for only a select few, but for my insanely dry skin, it’s a must!

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31. Small Makeup Bag

I am obsessed with these small pouch bags. I typically end up bringing two of them on my travels. They can really help you keep organized.

One for makeup and one for feminine care products.

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32. Condoms

Always best to be safe and prepared!

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Shoes

Shoes are probably the most important thing that will be in your luggage.

You can easily buy anything you’ll need abroad, except for your favorite shoes.

I’ve made the mistake of buying a brand new pair of shoes before leaving for a trip and it’s such a mistake! Make sure you purchase shoes with plenty of time to break them in before your departure.

When you’re walking over 10 miles a day, it’s essential that you have comfortable and versatile shoes in your bag.

33. Hiking Shoes / Tennis Shoes

If you’re planning on doing the Lost City hike, then you might want to bring your hiking shoes over tennis. Otherwise, you should be good with just a pair of tennis shoes! I went on four hikes and was happy I didn’t bring my bulky hiking shoes.

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34. Comfy Sandals

Birkenstocks fit my style and comfort, but any reputable walking sandal will work.

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35. Cute and Comfy Sandals

These Steve Madden sandals are my favorite go-to travel sandal. They are so comfortable and look perfect with sundresses. They also take up hardly any room.

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36. Shower / Beach Flip Flops

If you’re planning on staying in hostels or visiting any beaches, you’ll need to pack some cheap flip-flops. Thin classic flip-flops are perfect for taking up the least amount of space in your bag.

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Gadgets

This portion of the list will vary greatly depending on what kind of traveler you are.

As I am someone who works remotely, I obviously needed my camera and laptop. If you can live without these things, the less you pack is always better.

37. Unlocked Phone

If you are looking to get a sim card so your phone will work, contact your phone company to ensure you won’t have any issues.

For iPhone users, your phone should be unlocked, which can only happen after you’ve had your phone for six months.

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38. Microsoft Surface Laptop

A Laptop might not be essential on everyone’s Colombia packing list but as a digital creator, it was for me.

Microsoft Surface Laptop is what I use. I LOVE how light it is!

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39. Travel Adapter

Colombia uses A, B type outlets, which are the same as in the United States. So if you’re coming from a country that uses different outlets, be sure to take this international adapter with you.

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40. Kindle

I can’t go anywhere without my kindle! It’s the perfect alternative to packing heavy books.

Even if you aren’t a reader, if you are traveling to more remote parts of Colombia (like the North) you will want to bring something to do that doesn’t require WiFi. I was without stable internet about half the time I was in Colombia.

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41. Headphones

Of course, you can’t leave for a trip without a solid pair of headphones.

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42. Portable Charger

Being without a phone in a foreign country can be scary. I always keep a portable charger on me.

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43. Extra Phone Chargers

I feel like my chargers always break when I’m on a long trip. It’s best to keep just a couple on you.

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44. Camera (optional)

As I mentioned, your packing list might look slightly different from mine.

I travel with this DSLR camera and take most of my blog photos with it.

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Misc.

45. Passport Holder

A Passport holder is a must for me. I keep my paper covid-vaccine inside along with a piece of paper containing my contact info so that if someone finds it, they can contact me.

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46. Personal Alarm

One of the biggest complaints I hear of solo female travelers is that they wish they could travel with pepper spray or a knife to help them feel a little safer.

While most safety tools are not permitted on airlines, personal alarms are! I carry this with me when I’m traveling or going out at home. It helps me feel just a little more secure, especially if I’m walking home alone.

This device works by quickly detaching the top handle if you feel in danger and a VERY loud siren goes off, drawing attention to you.

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47. Luggage Tags

Keeping your luggage labeled with your information is essential if it ends up being misplaced or stolen.

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48. Light Rain Gear

Whether you’re an umbrella gal or rain-jacket cat – take your pick (or pack both)

Rainy season in Colombia is April to May and October to November, And when it rains, it pours!

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49. Writing Utensils

I like to have a pen, pencil, and sharpie when I’m traveling to write in my journal or label things.

50. Journal

Be sure to bring a travel journal to document your exciting trip to Colombia!

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51. Travel Insurance

I never leave for a trip without buying travel insurance. My preferred choice is Allianz. However, World Nomads is fine as well.

52. Personal Bag

Having the right bag can make or break your chances of getting your belongings stolen as an everyday tourist.

If you opt for a purse, make sure it has a zipper or clasp that would be tricky to swipe items out of.

Bum bags are also very popular and a great way to keep your phone and money close to your body.

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53. Sunglasses

Sunglasses should be at the top of everyone’s Colombia packing list! Protect your eyes from that intense sun with a pair of sunglasses.

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Clothes

Every suitcase will look different when it comes to packing clothes for a trip.

I personally hate shorts so I opt for more dresses and skirts, but you might have a totally different style.

54. Here’s a breakdown of what clothes I packed for Colombia.

4 dresses

3 skirts

2 cropped tanks

2 cropped tops

1 pair of loose pants

2 pairs of pajamas

1 long-sleeved top

2 bras

1 t-shirt

4 pairs of socks

1 pair of jeans

10 pairs of underwear

1 workout/hiking outfit

2 swimsuits

Planning your trip to Colombia? Check out my post 13 things to do in Cartagena.

colombia packing list