The multifaceted Athens, known as the "Cradle of Western Civilization", is both the capital and the largest city of Greece. It is a land with a long history and "heavy" cultural heritage; home to some of the most important historical and archaeological sites of the country. Especially its historical center is a place with special aura, which takes visitors to bygone eras!
It is worth losing yourself in the streets of Plaka, between imposing neoclassical buildings which still bear the glamor of past times, awaking a nostalgic mood. In the cosmic Hadrian Street as well as in the surrounding streets, you will find numerous tourist shops, stylish café / bars, traditional tavernas and restaurants. Do not forget to visit the picturesque Anafiotika area, located on the verge of Plaka, nestled under the north side of the Acropolis. Whitewashed houses with blue shutters, flower gardens, narrow streets, full of bougainvillea flowers and scattered pots with basil, compose a Cycladic scenery! Browse yourself at Monastiraki and Thissio and enjoy your walk under the “watchful gaze” of the Acropolis. During your walk, you will find street vendors from whom you can buy handmade jewelry, toys and original decorative ornaments for your home. Do not forget to cross the pedestrian walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou and admire the imposing mansions on one side and the breathtaking views of the Acropolis on the other.
Trademark of the city of Athens is the Parthenon which dominates the top of the Acropolis hill. Apart from the Parthenon, the Acropolis also hosts other monuments of unsurpassed value and incomparable beauty, as the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea. Except for the great archaeological monuments, the site of the Acropolis is famous for its stunning views over the city. Romantics will love the sunset or full moon nights view from there!
On the northwest side of the Acropolis there is the Ancient Agora, where you will find exquisite monuments, including the Ancient Parliament House, the Temple of Hephaestus, the Altar of the Twelve Gods and the Stoa of Attalos. On Acropolis southwest side, the theater of Herodes Atticus, known as Herodium; one of the major theaters of antiquity, which hosts great concerts and performances, stands out. Of great interest the Filopapou or Muses Hill, which is opposite to the Acropolis, offers spectacular views over the Parthenon. At the top of the hill the Filopappou monument dominates. Next to the Filippapou hill, there is the Pnyx, the place where leading orators of ancient Athens used to address their speeches. Here, the decisions of the ancient popular assembly (Ecclesia) were taken. Another ideal spot to enjoy the sunset or the full moon is Lycabettus hill; a romantic "corner" of the city, which also provides stunning views.
In addition to the historical monuments of the distant past, Athens boasts some exquisite monuments of modern history, as the Greek Parliament, the Palace of the Old Parliament, Zappeion Hall, the Library, the Academy and the University. In Athens, numerous Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments, proving this city’s long history are also scattered. Athens hosts some of the most important museums of the country, such as the new Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine Museum, the Benaki Museum, the War Museum, the Numismatic Museum of Athens and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The National Gallery is also of great interest. During your stay in Athens, you can visit the National Gardens which are ideal for relaxing walks or jogging. There, children can find a playground and a children's library. A visit to Attica Zoological Park, where you can admire numerous species of animals and birds from all over the world, is considered to be a unique experience!
During your stay in Athens, it is worth taking a tour of the city with the train, which begins its journey from Syntagma Square and passes through the historic city center, visiting old neighborhoods and archaeological sites. The small trip is ideal for families with children. Athens, as the place where theater was born, is a city which theatergoers will immediately love as it has countless theaters. Especially in summer months, outdoor theaters like the Lycabettus Theater, Vrahon Theater and Petras Theater open their doors to the public, hosting musical and theatrical performances. The city also has numerous options for the big screen lovers. They can choose between vintage neighborhood cinemas and modern multiplexes. If you find yourself in Athens during summer, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy the open air cinema festival, held in the picturesque neighborhoods of the capital. Other interesting events are organized throughout the year in the Onassis Cultural Centre, as well as the Concert Hall. Especially, during summer months, it is worth to attend a concert in the gardens of the Concert Hall. The experience will be unforgettable! Finally, interesting cultural events are held throughout the year in the alternative space of the former industrial plant of Athens Gas, the Technopolis.
The capital of Greece offers countless gastronomic options. Traditional Greek taverns, classic souvlaki or ethnic restaurants, bistros and gourmet, Michelin starred restaurants are just some of the options offered to the visitor. As for nightlife, Athens provides a variety of choices, covering all tastes: trendy bars in Gazi and Karytsi square, stylish wine bars scattered downtown, lively café/bars in the chic Kolonaki neighborhood, sophisticated rakomelo bars in Psyrri area, bar/restaurants with excellent views on luxury hotels’ terraces, trendy café/bars in the North, café/bars along the coastal road overlooking the sea, as well as numerous nightclubs in Piraeus, Syggrou Avenue and the coastal highway.
In Athens, the "Birthplace of Democracy", the past meets today; in a place full of life with quiet and romantic "corners" waiting to be discovered!
- The Acropolis
- The Acropolis Museum
- The National Archaeological Museum
- Hadrian's Gate and the archaeological site of Olympian Zeus
- Kallimarmaro Panathenaic Stadium
- The National History Museum
- The War Museum
- The Academy of Athens, the University of Athens and the National Library; three beautiful buildings located on Panepistimiou Street
- Lycabettus Hill
- Filopappou Hill
- The National Observatory
Travelling by airplane
The easiest way to get to Athens, especially if you are travelling from abroad, is to fly to Eleftherios Venizelos - Athens International Airport. The airport is 34 km away from the city center, which you can reach by taking the Subway, the Suburban Railway, the Airport Express Bus Lines or Taxies.
Travelling by car
You can drive to Athens in your own car via the following national highways:
From Thessaloniki to Athens: If you are travelling from Thessaloniki, Aikaterini, Larissa, Volo, Lamia or Chalkida or from any neighbouring areas.
From Patra to Corinth and from Corinth to Athens: If you are travelling from Patras, Igoumenitsa, Ioannina, Preveza, Kalavryta, Corinth or from any neighbouring areas.
From Kalamata to Tripoli and from Corinth to Athens: If you are travelling from Kalamata, Pylos, Stoupa or any neighbouring areas.
Travelling by boat
If you are on a cruise and one of your destinations is the port of Piraeus and the city of Athens, you can board a hired coach or a sightseeing bus to enjoy a guided tour in the center of Athens.
Travelling by train
If you travel by train to Athens, Larissa Railway Station is your terminal station, just a breath away from the city center. You can either take the subway, the bus or a taxi to reach the central Omonoia Square or Syntagna Square.
Transfer within the city of Athens
Υou can use Athens' public transport services (Subway, Electric Urban Railway - green line -, Urban Buses, Trolley buses or Taxies) to move within the city center and also to reach the suburbs. For more information click here.