Athens is one of the most visited and famous travel destinations around the globe. Ancient history, wonderful sightseeing, nice weather, wonderful food, and people, who, despite the financial crisis, still smile. Besides, Athens is just an hour away from the closest beach where you can swim and sunbathe nine months per year. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Athens is the Acropolis. Literally meaning “the edge city”, the flat rock of Acropolis stretches 150m above sea level in the city of Athens, bearing all the remains of historical significance and magnificent architecture. The Propylea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erecthion, and of course the Parthenon, Athens’ emblematic monument, are colossal archaeological sites, a must see for every visitor. Do not miss the ancient Theater of Dionysus and the Theater of Herodus Atticus. Only 280 meters away from Parthenon stands the New Acropolis Museum, a newly constructed museum, which narrates Athens’ ancient history with 4,000 items on display.
Right down the Acropolis hill, Plaka, Thission, and Monastiraki are the historical and most picturesque neighborhoods of Athens. Wander in the narrow streets of Plaka with the neoclassical houses, the vintage shops and the galleries, and climb up to Anafiotika neighborhood to get an idea of Cycladic atmosphere. Walk on the wide pedestrian of Thission and enjoy an amazing view of the Parthenon. Visit Monastiraki’s flea market in Avissynias Square on a Sunday morning. Walk up Ermou Street to Syntagma Square (Constitution Square), where the Greek Parliament is, and Evzones, the Parliament’s guard with the traditional Greek uniform standing in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Visit Kolonaki, Athens’ upscale neighborhood with its elegant restaurants, boutiques and luxurious stores. Have a coffee at any of the nice pedestrian streets and walk down Skoufa street to Exarhcia, one of Athens’ oldest neighborhoods. Visit the National Archaeological Museum, which houses Athens’ historical treasures.
Athens, and Greece in general, is well-known for its great, tasty food and diverse nightlife. Psirri and Gazi are great neighborhoods for having dinner or a drink. Have a souvlaki at “Thanassis” in Monastiraki, taste moussaka, Greek salad and other Greek traditional food at Plaka, go to bouzoukia, learn syrtaki, have fun! And if you want to see Athens from above, hike up the Aristippou street from Kolonaki to Lycabettus, preferably after sunset, to enjoy a relaxing view of Athens all up to the Aegean sea.
“Eleftherios Venizelos” International Airport ATH
Flights to Athens are handled by Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” (ATH), the 35th busiest airport in Europe with 12.6 million passengers in 2013. The airport handles both scheduled and chartered airlines flying directly and with stopovers from Athens to local and international destinations. Athens airport is designed to be upgraded in a six-phased framework over the next years in order to accommodate for the increasing passenger traffic. The goal is to accommodate 21 million passengers annually.
Athens has a Mediterranean climate, which makes the summer pretty hot, with August being the hottest month of the year. The best time to visit Athens is spring and fall because the temperature is around 15 Celsius, sunny with a nice breeze, the city is less crowded and you can walk around and enjoy all the wonderful sightseeing. If you travel to Greece in August, it’s better to visit a Greek island and enjoy the sea and the sun rather than staying in an empty city. Most Athenians leave in August for their summer vacations.