Athens will forever be associated with the Ancient Greeks - the most popular Athens attractions are the Acropolis and the Parthenon, which are included in nearly all Athens tours. They are even more impressive in the flesh than in the many photographs that they feature in. Classical junkies should also make a point of visiting the Archaeological Museum, the Temple of Poseidon and some of the many, many other incredible buildings that make Athens a must-visit European capital.
However, Athens is a living city, and its history is just one of its attractions. Wander the picturesque streets of Plaka and Thissio, making frequent stops for coffee and ice cream. Check out the bohemian district of nearby Monastiraki, stopping for a drink in one of the trendy bars.
Speaking of bars, Athens has a fantastic restaurant and café scene, and the city is buzzing way into the night - in fact, they only start heating up well after many tourists are in their bed. Despite recent TV footage of political protests, Athens remains one of the safest big cities anywhere in the world - and it's well worth staying up late.
If you are heading to the islands, then it's an easy hop to the port of Pireaus, from where you can sail on the sparkling Aegean to one of the innumerable Greek islands. It's the perfect way to leave the cradle of Western civilisation, seeking the promise of warm seas and sandy beaches.
Athens today is a modern city with an ancient history. Athens is bounded on three sides by Mt Hymettos, Mt Parnitha and Mt Pendeli. Inside Athens are eight hills, the Acropolis and Lykavittos being the most famous.
The main monument to visit is the Acropolis, with the Parthenon on top. The main Athens attractions are close to the city centre at Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos). This epicentre is surrounded by the districts of the Plaka to the south, Monastiraki to the west, Kolonaki to the east and Omonia to the north. Further a field is the port of Athens, the Piraeus.
Athens is the capital of one of the world's most ancient civilizations. If you can look past the smog and the somewhat gritty exterior, you'll discover that Athens boasts some of the most impressive treasures in Europe. From mousaka to museums to mythological wonders, this bustling city has it all.
Athens is located on Greece's mainland and has a history that spans over 3,000 years. A variety of temples, museums, and galleries pay homage to its rich history and cultural identity.
Acropolis are the Parthenon, which was built as a temple to honour the goddess Athena; the Theatre of Herodes Atticus; and the Acropolis Museum, which includes displays of statues and artifacts dating as far back as the 5 th century B.C. Visitors can view more of Greece's art and antiquities at a number of museums, including the Greek National Gallery, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the National Archaeological Museum, and the National Historical Museum.
Athens is one big archaeological site, and exciting new finds are being discovered all the time. Among its many ancient treasures are the Acropolis. This massive complex is perhaps Athens's most recognizable symbol and dominates the cityscape.
Greece is known for its many markets, and Athens is home to some of the largest and most impressive markets in the country. One of the city's liveliest markets is the Monastiráki market, which features a myriad of items such as antiques, leather goods, hand-woven rugs, second-hand books, clothing, and gold and silver jewelry.
One of the best ways to pass the time in Athens is at one of its many local taverna's, and a trip to Athens wouldn't be complete without sampling some of its epicurean delights. Traditional Greek food includes meat (usually pork or goat), fresh fish, humus, stuffed vine leaves, olives, baklava (a sweet, gooey pastry), and Greek yogurt with honey. Two of Greece's biggest crops are olives and grapes, so visitors will find lots of local wines and liquors to try. In keeping with the true Mediterranean spirit, meals begin late in the evening and can last well into the morning hours.
Athens underwent massive redevelopment and modernization in preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympics. As a result, many of the city's most popular attractions are linked by a series of pedestrianized walkways. For those sites that are not easily accessible on foot, Athens has a system of buses, trams, trains, metros, and taxis.
Athens eGuide lists the very best Athens accommodation, provides a restaurant guide, details Athens attractions and Athens tours. Athens official eGuide is the primary source for tourism information for Athens.
Greece is a member of the European Union. The official currency is the Euro.