Athens is the city where one of the brightest civilizations of the word rose. The remains of the golden period of Athens are here waiting to be explored. Other than the ancient remains, Athens is a modern city with much more to show, such as museums of cotemporary art, cosmopolitan bars and clubs, vivid nightlife, luxurious hotels and restaurants as well as traditional taverns and pastry shops.
Athens is perfect for learning about Ancient Greece, have a journey in history and learn a lot for one of the first big civilization, with the most important landmark being the Parthenon, you will have the chance to follow the steps of ancient Philosophers and feel the Athenian architectural elegance of the golden age.
Top Attractions in Athens
Acropolis and The Parthenon
Definitely the most important landmark of Greece, Parthenon is standing there for more than 2500 years and is the symbol of democracy and ancient Greek wisdom. You will get the vibes of the life in ancient Greece, you just have to close your eyes and imagine you are in the heart of Ancient Greece. The Acropolis of Athens is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and a diamond of cotemporary architecture, this museum hosts all the important sculptures and pieces found on the Parthenon and the area of the Acropolis
The highest point of the city of Athens offers a great view to the Parthenon and the city. On the top, there is a small white church. It can be an opportunity for hiking, preferably early in the morning or late afternoon in order to avoid the hot hours. The sunset from the top will reward you for hiking up there.
Island of Hydra
Have you ever imagine how life would be without cars? In the island of Hydra there aren’t any. Just an hour far from Athens and many boats going there daily it is a great one-day getaway. One of the most picturesque islands of Greece, where donkeys still play an important role and yet quite fancy island with great bars and taverns. It is the island where many Greek celebrities choose to spend their weekends
In the city of Athens are located two Olympic stadiums. The first one called Kallimarmaron stadium is the one where the first modern Olympic games in 1896, the other one constructed by Calatrava is the one that hosted the Olympic games of 2004. It is really nice to see how the Olympic stadiums have changed during the last century and the role of Greece as the birthplace of Olympic games (at Kallimarmaron stadium do not forget to ask for an audio tour guide).
The city offers many more museums which worth a visit. Depending on your interests you will find one suitable for you, if you cannot get enough of ancient history then the archelogical museum is a must, if you are a fan of cotemporary art, then you have to visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art and also check the exhibitions of the Benaki museum, moreover the museum of war, the museum of Cycladic art the museum of natural history are also worth visiting.
It is not located in Athens but can be a great daytrip as it is just 45 minutes away from the city. There is a temple of Poseidon standing on the top of the cliff and overlooking beatuful beaches and you can swin on the way to this attraction. According to mythology, King Aegeas suicides at that site when he thought his son was dead (search more information about this story if you are planning to visit the temple), this is believed that is the reason the sea is called Aegean Sea.
Technopolis - Gazi
It is the heart of Athenian nightlife, with many clubs and bars. What make this area so special are the rooftop bars, where you can enjoy a cocktail with the magnificent view of lighted Parthenon. Such bars with terraces are Gazarte, Bios, and many more. Technopolis is a multi-space hosting exhibitions, concerts and events. Do not forget the program while visiting Athens. It should also be mentioned that this is the most gay friendly area of Athens.
Plaka is the area just under the Parthenon where many hotels taverns and cafes are located. It is a neighborhood with many pedestrian narrow streets, smiley people and flowers. Mnisikleous street is maybe the most special and romantic one. There you can have a cold drink to help you face the heat, have a nice dinner or just get lost and enjoy the nice ambiance. Giasemi is the Greek’s favorite restaurant over there.
Monastiraki flea market
Monastiraki flea marketis is a great activity for a Sunday morning. There you can find anything from tourist souvenirs shops to clothes and all kinds of antiques. Abyssinia’s square is is the greatest spot of the flea market where the antiquary shops are and you can find all kind of old furniture, paintings, watches etc. To complete the experience visit a really nice cafe overlooking the Parthenon called Loukoumi
You can find many summer cinemas in Athens, most of which are open seasonally (in the summer). Some of them rank between the best cinemas in the world, thus you should definitely check them out. Most well known are Cine-Thiseion, Cine-Paris and Dexameni.
Best time to visit Athens
Tourists visit Athens from May to October
The public transport system in the city is very well organized with a modern metro, plenty of busses, tramways etc. Although, if you want to do some daytrips (e.g. Cape Sounio), then renting a car is highly recommended.