Quite simply, Athens is amazing. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world but great fun today – a fizzing cocktail of history, shops, restaurants, markets, bars, museums, cafes and parks. It’s modern, vibrant, and stunningly picturesque. And a reminder of the wonder of Ancient Greece is never far away.
Here are a few reasons why it’s such a great place to visit.
Lots of traffic free areas mean many attractions – both modern and ancient – can be reached safely on foot. There are good metro, bus, trolley and tram services too.
Like shopping? Smart shopping malls, designer-label stores, traditional markets, big department stores in debonair avenues, cute boutiques in narrow lanes, noisy street traders. It’s a shoppers’ paradise.
Athens has a fantastic seafront, its own riviera of more than 20 miles of stylish suburbs-on-sea. Public transport links go there, and there’s a cycle track too. Some city hotels have rooftop or garden swimming pools that non-guests can use.
Like eating and drinking? The menu of where to go and what to choose is immense, from traditional family-run tavernas to top-end international restaurants. You can even eat in a revolving restaurant in the sky.
Want to party? There are clubs and music bars in the city that never sleeps. Open-air cinemas in the summer months have midnight screenings.
All these brilliant gems are mixed up with a treasure trove from thousands of years of history. Dozens of ancient sites, more than 70 museums and art galleries, beautiful churches, mosques, pagan temples, a theatre from 2,000 years ago and a cemetery that’s even older.
The Acropolis is the must-see “sacred” heart of the city. It’s a rocky outcrop with four ancient sites and links the Athens of today with its ancient patron, Athena, goddess of war and wisdom. More than two million people go there every year.
The Acropolis is crowned by the huge marble Parthenon, an ancient temple described as the most beautiful building in the world. It’s heart-stoppingly lovely when lit at night but, like unmissable Athens, amazing at any time.