Before and after our trip to the Sporades we spent our time in Athens on and around the Acropolis and The Plaka. Athens is remarkably easy and walkable if you can handle the heat (it was 97 degrees there the day we left).
From the rooftop deck of the Hotel Attalos in the Monastiraki area of Athens we had a stellar view of the Acropolis and easy walking access to The Plaka (a collection of small, mostly touristy) shops, boutiques, and restaurants. To beat the crowds we rose early and walked up to the top of the Acropolis to beat the throng of humanity from the tour groups and cruise ships that arrive shortly thereafter.
We saw the Parthenon, the Temple of Athenia Nike, Erechtheion, and the amphitheaters Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Theater of Dionysus before a stumbling into the beautiful neighborhood of Anafiotika before returning to the Plaka for some ice cold Mythos and more great Greek food in the tavernas tucked into the hills around the Acropolis.