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Athens

4.3 /5 30 votes

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Best Time: June - September Read More

Ideal duration: 2 days

Nearest Airport: Athens Check Flights

"Birthplace of Democracy"

Athens Tourism

Athens is the capital, as well as, the largest city of Greece. With its history of about 7000 years, an amalgamation of historic and the modern world can be seen throughout the city. It is a crucial destination to witness the former might of one of the world’s most ancient civilisations.

The city of Athens is surrounded by 4 large mountains: Mount Aigaleo to the west, Mount Parnitha to the north, Mount Pentelicus to the northeast and Mount Hymettus to the east. The earliest settlements here began over 7000 years ago. Naturally, it became a centre for rulers to establish their kingdoms, having the honor of being the cradle of Western civilisation, with many aspect of the ancient Greek lifestyle and governance still being applied today. It is also considered the birthplace of democracy. The Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is undoubtedly the city’s most treasured and famous landmark. Within this citadel lies a cluster of still-standing regal structures, all displaying the classic ancient Greek style of architecture that tell stories of the city and its people at the peak of its glory. Even today, the city bursts with culture and colour, retaining its vibrance. Cafes are open until 3:00 - 4:00 with great food, especially some mouthwatering, exotic Mediterranean cuisine. There are diverse options for shopping ranging from colourful bazaars to suburban malls. Its importance on the global map makes it a prime destination for nightlife. With an efficient transport system, exploring this great city is not a hassle at all.

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Athens Customs

There is no strict dress code in Athens. However, while going to monasteries and churches, men are expected not to dress in shorts and women are advised to cover their arms and not wear skirts. The necessary wraps are sometimes provided on the spot. Nodding or shaking of the head for a yes or no are not the gestures understood here. A slight forward inclination of head is generally taken for YES while a more vigorous backward nod is taken for a NO.

Language of Athens

Greek is the main language used in Athens. English, French and German are easily understood by Athenians. All the notices, menus and road signs are written in English and Greek.

History of Athens

Athens is one of the oldest city in the world with its history dating back to 1400 B.C. when it was first mentioned. By that time, it was already a major cultural centre of the Mycenaean civilization. In early 900 B.C. it became a trade centre due to its central location, heavily fortified Acropolis and its quick access to the sea. By the beginning of 6th century B.C., foundations of democracy were being laid and hence, the city is also known as birthplace of democracy. Greece remained under the hands of Macedonian rulers until they were defeated by Romans in 197 B.C. Athens passed from Roman to Byzantine rule to Ottoman empire. The first modern Olympics were held in 1896. Today, it is a metropolis and a major world tourist attraction.

Nightlife in Athens

It is often said that the nightlife in Greece wakes up when the rest of Europe has already gone to bed. From large clubs by the beach to Indie and intimate bars in the streets, the city has it all. Don't forget to have a drink at the top-floor Galaxy bar at the Hilton hotel for an amazing city view. Hera Hotel's Peacock Lounge gives the best view of Acropolis while you enjoy your drinks. For the most happening scene visit the Frame Bar-Lounge at St. George Lycabettus Hotel and Ochre & Brown lounge.

Shopping in Athens

Most things tourists look for can be found in the central city bounded by Omonia, Syntagma, and Monastiraki squares. Monastiraki has a flea market, which is especially lively on Sundays. The Plaka has cornered the market on souvenir shops, with T-shirts, reproductions of the antiquities from Acropolis, fishermen's sweaters, owls with evil eyes and jewellery - enough souvenirs to encircle the globe. Kolonaki is boutique heaven. However, it's a better to window-shop here since much of what you see here is imported and heavily taxed. Ermou Street is the prime shopping district in the city.

Currency in Athens

Euro is the currency accepted by almost all the countries in Europe.

Exchanging Money in Athens

The only acceptable currency in Athens is Euro. So, no other currency will work there. There are plenty of ATM's, banks and money exchange offices in the city, as well as, islands so you don't have to worry about it. You can get the exchange at a pretty good rate.

Daily Budget for Athens

Hotels can be little expensive but there are amazing Airbnb options available in the city especially if you are travelling in groups. You can find a lot of affordable food options once you leave the tourist zone. Average daily cost can be up to EUR 35 including the fee for entries, transportation and meals.

Religion of Athens

Religion is dominated by the Greek Orthodox Church.

Restaurants and Local Food in Athens

Local Athens food is not very spicy. Most of the spices used are found in our daily stuff that we eat. Olive oil is generally used to cook food. Some of the most famous local dishes in Athens are Keftedas - deep fried meatballs; melitzana salata - eggplant salad; mouzaka - similar to eggplant but without much tomato sauce; pastitsio - like lasagna and stifado - made up of lambs, octopus and rabbits. Restaurants like melilotos serve good Athenian food with amazing ambience. Kriti, another restaurant in Kanigos square serve delicious Cretan food.
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How To Reach Athens

Athens being one of the most visited European destinations is well connected to all the major cities around the globe. Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport situated 27 km east to the city has excellent public transit connections to the city.¾

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Athens Reviews

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Dhawal Pagay 11 months ago
An abundance of architectural history overwhelms the whole experience at Athens, one being constantly reminded of the great heights society had achieved under the Roman civilisation. The contrast of the towering Acropolis with that of the adjoining areas is what gives the city its cultural and architectural identity.
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