Athens travel guide, Greece

Posted by on May 22, 2012

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The history of Athens is very rich and colorful. It started more than 3000 years ago as its first inhabitants swarmed the acropolis. The area became a sacred place during the golden ages due to construction of various monuments like the Parthenon. After several ups and downs in its history, the city became the capital of Greece during 1834 mainly because of its strategic location and historical essence. Today Athens is an important financial hub. Over the last decade, there have been new infrastructures built, from airport, railway, shopping centers to sport stadiums. There are millions of people that visit the city every year just to admire monuments, shrines, theaters and other edifices that glorify the history. Plaka is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and considered as a main attraction for tourists. It is filled with restaurants and souvenir shops.

View of Plaka and Acropolis from Monastiraki square, Athens
View of Plaka and Acropolis from Monastiraki square, Athens

While discovering the Acropolis, have a look at Anafiotika which is a small island within the city. The houses are traditionally white washed with winding streets leading to the palace which serves as the home of the Greek Parliament. Next to this area is where you can find other sites like National Gardens and the Zapeion. Not farfrom here are the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Hadrian arch. Beside it is the Panathinaikon stadium which is known to have been the first venue of Olympic Games.

A classic marathon at Panathinaiko Stadio, Athens. Up on the right is the Lycabettus hill.
A classic marathon at Panathinaiko Stadio, Athens. Up on the right is the Lycabettus hill.

Athens is also known for its architecture. It is dotted with neoclassical buildings starting with the National Library, Athens Academy and other museums. You can take a walking tour in several streets like Stadiou, Athinas, Patission and nearby areas. There is no problem going around the city. You can take a bus, tram, subway and taxi. The distance of one attraction to another is not that far so walking is a good idea. It is also advisable means as a way to know Athens even more. There are a lot of sights to see and as for my advice, you will probably need to spend a week or more to penetrate the whole city.

Your itinerary will be revolving around museums, galleries, malls, theaters among others. Don’t forget to experience the nightlife of Athens which resembles Paris and London. There is a flea market in Monastiraki where you can find old and new items. Across it is an area called Psiri with bars, taverns and live music. There is also the Lycabettus hill that lets you view the whole city.

Lycabettus hill, Athens
Lycabettus hill, Athens

There are sandy beaches and marinas in Faliro, Voulliagmeni and Sounion. Part of your travel to Athens involves eating local cuisine. For beach lovers, there are quite a number of beaches found in the city. The most popular are Varkiza, Glyfada and Alimos which are near the center. You can get to the beach by taking the tram or bus.

Athens photo 1: bdchasnov, Athens photo 2: thanos_levidiotis, Athens photo 3: mlazopoulou,

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