Athens is the capital of Greece, a city with great history and known worldwide since it was basically the basis of the whole European culture. It has a population of over 3.000.000 inhabitants. Near Athens there is Piraeus, the largest port in Greece and also a large urban center. Many tourists choose to make their holidays in Athens as it has endless fun and entertainment, but also it is a city with great historic heritage and important monuments and sights that everyone should see in his lifetime.In Athens you will see intense diversity from region to region. If you want your visit to Greece to give you a detailed and accurate depiction of the Greek reality nowadays, Athens is the best choice. A city that never sleeps, full of life and significant contrasts, with both cosmopolitan and historical sites, and other poorer and with a strong impact of the economic crisis, with places with alternate character and other more luxurious.
What to do in Athens:
Visit the historic center: The historical center of Athens is a point definitely you should visit. It is paved and picturesque, ideal for taking a stroll and admire the magnificent preserved buildings. You will wander in Plaka, Psirri and Thissio, enjoying the beautiful views and in Monastiraki. There you can buy souvenirs, antiques, jewelry and clothes from many small shops. There are also many options for food and coffee, as well as many hidden shops with live music. Surely you will feel that you travel back in time to a period when everything was more beautiful and simple. If you want you can ride on the train in Plaka, which is relaxing and fun at the same time.
Major attractions in the center: You cannot visit Athens and not admire Parthenon and Acropolis. Parthenon is the most important temple of the country which was built on Acropolis just above Plaka. It is one of the most important historical monuments worldwide. It is dedicated to the goddess Athena and was built in the middle of the 5th century B.C. The view which is offered, is also unique and an unforgettable experience. You can also visit the Academy of Platon, the Roman Market, the constitution in which there is the Greek Parliament, the National Gallery, the Theater of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Visit museums: In Athens you can find numerous museums, you can visit, in almost all regions. Some we believe you should see are: New Acropolis Museum, National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Ancient Agora, Maritime Museum, War Museum, the Museum of Byzantine Art, the Folklore Museum, the Numismatic Museum, Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art and the Museum of Natural History Goulandris. Also, you should see some of the shows at Planetarium.
Visit churches: Athens has many churches of remarkable historical importance since some of them dating from the 5th century A.D.. Some of the best you can see if you are interested in religious tourism are the Cathedral of Athens, the Monastery Asomaton - Petrakis, the church of Agia Marina in Thission, the Church of Saint George in Lycabettus Hill, the Byzantine church of Kapnikarea, The Church of Agia Fotini in Olympieion, the Monastery of Kaisariani, Monastery of Daphni, the church of Saint Demetrius on Philopappou hill, Saint Skepi Papagou and Saint Konstantinos in Glyfada.
Walk in Lycabettus Hill: During your holidays in Athens, don't forget to go at Lycabettus Hill and take a walk which can offer to you a unique view across Athens. The ideal place for day and for night. At night the walk is certainly most romantic especially if there is full moon. If you wish you can take the cable car where you can drink your coffee while you go up to the hill.
Walk through beautiful parks and squares: In summer Athens is quieter than ever. So grab the opportunity to wander through beautiful places with green areas which otherwise would have been crowded. There are many beautiful parks and squares where you can enjoy your walk while sipping your coffee. Some very nice options are Pedio Areos, the national garden at Constitution, the grove of Skopeftirio in Kessariani, the grove of Pangratio, Veikou Park in Galatsi and more. Some of the squares that you can see is the Constitution square, the square of Nea Smyrni, Mavili Square and Karytsi Square.
Have fun: Athens is without a doubt the city of fun. You will meet a multidimensional nightlife which does not exist anywhere else. Whatever your tastes are, Athens will cover them. In any area you have many choices. However, we suggest you to visit the center for a night out, since most options are grouped together there. In Kolonaki you will find more expensive and classy options and in Gazi many bars and clubs are gathered. Moreover many bars you will find in Plaka and Psyrri. Exarchia is a very popular choice for alternative entertainment. Also Metaxourgeio becomes increasingly known for entertainment. If you prefer bouzouki clubs you can move to paralliaki, because there you will find the best known places for this reason.
Learn about events and activities: During your stay in Athens, it is sure that several events, concerts and more will be organized. So you must stay informed in order to not miss something you may be interested. Additionally, you can watch great theatrical performances. Also very interesting performances take place in Athens festival which is organized every year during the summer months.
Taste the Greek cuisine in all its versions: In Athens you will find numerous options for good food. You can try traditional dishes and anything you wish from the international cuisine. You will find from expensive restaurants to shops which sell fast food in hand. Of course, in many regions you will meet canteens and small shops where you can try our national dish, souvlaki.
Have fun at Allou Fun Park: If you have small children or if you feel like a small child visit Allou Fun Park, the largest amusement park in the country and have fun there.
Excursion to nearby islands: You can take a boat or the Dolphin boat from Piraeus and a few hours later you will be in one of the beautiful islands of Attica, such as Aegina (just 30 minutes from Piraeus by dolphin). Other good options are Agistri (55 minutes by dolphin), Hydra (1 and a half hour by dolphin), Salamina, Spetses, etc.
Visit the beaches of Attica: Who said that if you spend your vacations in Athens you will not be able to enjoy swimming at beautiful beaches? Attica has several clean beaches. However the most of them are crowded and they aren't indicated for rest and relaxation.
Visit beaches like:
Asteras of Vouliagmeni: A completely organized beach, very popular and not so affordable. It has many nice shops around. It is 30 minutes away from the center of Athens by car.
Schinias, Marathon: A very clean beach with organization quite close to the center (40 minutes by car).
Legraina (KAPE) in Sounion: It is a well known and alternative beach which will make you think that you are on an island. It is not organized.
Erotospilia, Porto Rafti: Very beautiful beach with natural shade on many points. It is not organized.
Mati, Nea Makri: Calm beach with clear water and no organization.
Psatha in Porto Germeno: Beautiful beach with tavernas around.
Mayro Lithari, Anavyssos: An Organized beach, crowded with nice beach bars.
Pasalimani: A beach which is hardly known with deep, crystal and clear water.
Where to stay in Athens:
Athens has infinite options for your stay according to your needs and the area. You can stay at a central point so you will have a good base for excursions to the city. Choose luxury suites or more affordable rooms depending on the money you can spent for this reason. You can also select an area near to the airport or in the suburbs if you wish to abstain from the hectic pace of the center. The truth is that whatever you are looking for in Athens you will find it.