About Athens »
The city with the most glorious history in the world, a city worshipped by gods
and people, a magical city. The enchanting capital of Greece has always been a birthplace
for civilization. It is the city where democracy was born and most of the wise men
of ancient times. The most important civilization of ancient world flourished in
Athens and relives through some of the world's most formidable edifices.
Who hasn't heard of the Acropolis of Athens? Photos and history of the most famous
archaeological monument in Europe have made the world tour causing feelings of admiration
by thousands of people. Acropolis is nominated to be one of the 7 wonders of modern
world. In fact the trademark of Athens is one of the favorites. The Holy Rock of
Acropolis dates back to the 5th BC, the famous Golden Age of Periklis. Athens met
times of bloom and decline, but still shines under the Attic sky gazing the future.
Still sparkling like the marbles of Parthenon and the limpid white of Pentelic marble.
Athens is situated in the prefecture of Attica and extends to the peninsula that
reaches up to Central Greece. It is surrounded by mountains Ymmytos, Pendeli and
Parnitha, northwards and eastwards, and the Saronic gulf southwards and westwards.
The sun is shining over Athens all year round. The climate is one of the best in
Europe, with mild winters and very hot summers, ideal for tourism. It is located
just a few kilometres from the port of Piraeus, the central commercial port of the
capital, and the shores of southern Attica.
Athens is constantly inhabited since Neolithic Age. The 5th century was the time
of its ultimate bloom, when moral values and civilization surpassed city limits
and became the mother land of western civilization. In the centuries that followed,
many conquerors tried to take over Athens. In 1834 Athens was chosen to be the capital
of the newly established Greek State. The city that now hosts more than 4,5 million
people, was constructed around the Acropolis walls. Today it is the political, social,
cultural, financial and commercial center of Greece.
Athens is a city of different aspects. A walk around the famous historic triangle
(Plaka, Thission, Psyri) the old neighborhoods, reveal the coexistence of different
eras. Old mansions, well-preserved ones and other worn down by time. Luxurious department
stores and small intimate shops, fancy restaurants and traditional taverns. All
have their place in this city.
The heart of Athens beats in Syntagma Square. Where Parliament and most of the Ministries
are. Monastiraki, Kolonaki and Lycabettus Hill attract thousands of visitors all
year round. A few kilometers from the historic center in Faliro, Glyfada, Voula
and Vouliagmeni, you can enjoy the sea breeze. Or you can head up north and enjoy
the fresh air at the more classy neighborhoods of Marousi, Melissia, Vrilissia and
of course Kifisia.
Athens and Attica in general have the most important archaeological monuments (Acropolis,
Odeion of Herodes Atticus, Olymbion, Roman Market, Panathinaiko Stadium or Kallimarmaro,
The Temple of Poseidon in Sounio, etc). In the capital you will admire many imposing
neoclassic buildings, true ornaments of the city (The Greek Parliament, Athens Academy
and University, etc). Don't miss visiting the museums hosting unique treasures of
our cultural inheritance (Archaeological Museum, Military Museum, Byzantine Museum,
Athens has always attracted peoples' attention. During the 2004 Olympic Games proved
that, despite all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, she never - not once
- lost the talent. The return of Olympic Games to their birthplace was a great success.
The capital is famous, more than any other European capital, for its nightlife.
Athens by night totally changes. The options for entertainment satisfy all tastes.
The famous "bouzoukia" are the leaders in the Athenian entertainment. While the
numerous theatres all around Athens offer a different type of entertainment. Athens
is a divine city. Let it enchant you...
History of Athens - Ancient Greece Athens History »
Here you will have the opportunity to take a
quick glance at all the important historical events which took place from the
past till recently in Athens. This historical overview will transfer us to the
Neolithic Era, when, according to the archaeological findings, the first efforts
for the organization of Athens city were attempted. Pelasgoi were the first
habitants and in 1400 BC they started fortifying the rock of the Acropolis with
walls, till Copper Age and 800 BC when the final unification of Attica in one
united state took place. At that time we see Panathenaea, the big feast of
Athens taking place in honor of Goddess Athena who was worshipped by many
people. She was admired at such an extent that Athens, the capital of Greece to
its name after her.
The last king of Athens was Kodros, in 1068 BC and then
there was the appearance of the four tribes to which the people of Athens were
separated during the 8th and 7th century. In 636 BC Kylon, unsuccessfully, tried
to take over the control through tyranny.
In 624 BC the legislative
practices of Drakontas took place and in 594 BC Solon was chosen to govern by
both quarreling groups of the rich and poor. Then history moved on with the
tyranny of Peisistratos in the middle of the sixth century, the murder of
Ipparchos in 514 BC and the important reformations of Kleisthenis in 508 BC
which set the basis for the Athenian Democracy to emerge.
The anger of the king
of Persia after Athens sent help to the revolutionary cities of Ionia in 500 BC
and the bravery of the Athenians during the battles of Marathon in 490 BC and
Artemisio in 180 BC, the magisterial character of Athens in 478 BC and the
victory of Evrydamantas which lead to the liberation of the Greek cities from
the Persian domination are a few more of the important events which took place
in the past.
The Golden Age of the Athenian Democracy is taking place during the
fifth century BC after Pericles became the leader of the democratic party
(490-429 BC) and the end of the first Peloponnesian war. Then the monuments of
the Acropolis were built, in a period of time when Socrates, the Sophists and
other great men culminated the day of the city.
Because of the
second Peloponnesian war (431-421 BC and 416-404 BC) the development of the
arts, literature and other sciences was stopped and later on the degrading loss
of the Athenians in Sicily by the Lakedaimones took place along with the
blooming of the Macedonian dynasty, the Roman domination during which the temple
of Olympian Zeus was completed under the reign of Hadrian (117-138 BC). The
aqueduct saved until today and a library were built at the same period.
important point in history is 53 AC when Apostle Paul taught Christianity in
Areios Pagos, the high Court in front of Stoic and Epicurean philosophers. A bad
era in the history of Athens is 396 AC when Athens has fallen in the hands of
Ioustinianos becoming an emperor in 482-565 played a
very important role in the prevention of the ancient Greek world. From the era
of emperor Herakleitos (574-640) a long period of obscurity and rapacious
invasions started for Athens. In 1204 the crusaders entered inside the fort of
the Acropolis. The domination of the Franks was maintained in the city until
Following the course of Constantinople, Athens was occupied in 1456 by the
In the beginning of the 19th century, in 1800, Lord
Elgin settled in Constantinople as an ambassador of England and violently took
parts of the decorations of the temples found on the rock of the Acropolis.
1834 Athens became the capital of Greece and after a year the first municipal
elections took place, making Anargyros Petrakis the first mayor. In 1843 secret
discussions taking place in the house of a great Greek man named Makrygiannis,
are a fact referring to the revolution of the people and the guard of Athens
having as a result the concession of the constitution. In 1862 kingship of king
Othonas is abolished and after one year he is replaced by George the first.
In 1882 and for 15 years Charilaos Trikoupis is the
leading figure. In 1896 we have the revival of the Olympic Games and during
1899-1908 many important works were made by Spyros Merkouris who was the mayor
at the time.
The newer history has to present us the elements of
the actions followed by the greatest political personality of the 20th century,
Eleftherios Venizelos, whose work and achievements towards national completion
and internal welfare of the country are more than visible.
Around 1928 an
English company took over the production of electric energy in the capital and
the telephones were operating automatically replacing the telephone centers. In
1928 the first political airport was created in the area of Faliro (Delta
Falirou) and the airport of Elliniko was founded in 1934.
imposed a dictatorship in 1936, a bit later the second world war started, then
the agreement of Varkiza took place, the dictatorship of the 21st of April 1967,
the student rebellion in 1973 and the change-over period till the 6th of
September 1997 when the International Olympic Games Committee gave Athens the
organization of the Olympic Games 2004.>
Athens City Breaks »
Athens City Breaks
Many head to Athens to bask in the city's world famous heritage, but the city also
offers a wealth of nightlife with bars and clubs and hotels.
Standing above the
city, the iconic Acropolis draws millions of tourists each year, but perhaps the
best way to view them is from the overlooking rooftop garden bars.
The garden bars
in the centre of Athens over brilliant views and a great welcome and are the perfect
starting point on a city break.
For traditional nights out with the best Greek food
and music the district of Plaka is the area to head to. Plaka is the oldest part
of modern Athens and its complex layout and narrow streets matches in parts the
streets of ancient Athens, while restaurants in the area cater for the many tourists
and residents alike who are searching for traditional fare.
The hip areas to head
for the best new bars and clubs are Gazi, Psirri, Kolonaki and Exarcheia. Exarcheia
offers smaller more bohemian watering holes and is favoured by Athenian artists
and students. Meanwhile, Kolonaki has a selection a more contemporary bars and restaurants
which the yuppie set head.
Psirri and Gazi are the districts to head to if you want
a night on the tiles. Clubs here cover almost every genre of music from jazz to
techno. While Gazi is the former industrial area of Athens, giving a modern and
cutting edge feel, the trademark of Psirri is its small bars – or mezedopoleia -
serving Greek appetizers, wine, ouzo and rakomelo, a potent mix of the Cretan raki,
Top place to Eat in Athens »
Ladies who lunch and writer-types fill this bright, trendy café for light lunches and, later, the tables outside for wine and cocktails.
Athens’ most famous souvlaki joint has been serving up hot, juicy, thinly sliced beef, slathered with cool garlicky tzatziki, wrapped in tender pittas, since the 19th century.
One of the best Greek restaurants is actually located in the Athens Hilton.
Estiatorio Milos serves fresh line caught fish and other traditional local specialties in a luxurious setting with impeccable service and an extensive wine list. A place not to miss out Zeus come down from the mountain Dinner is served.
Fun, high-quality, modern taverna-food-with-a-twist. Share one massive salad among five, then pass around bite-sized spanakopitas (spinach pies) and balsamic chicken.
The menu at Athens’ top fish restaurant changes daily depending on what the sea brings forth. Sleek modern wood and glass interior.
From the red-carpeted entrance to the lovely marble roof garden (with a gorgeous view), fine surroundings match exquisite Franco-Mediterranean cuisine.
There is a beautiful fisherman’s harbor in Piraeus called Mikrolimano. There you can enjoy lunch or dinner next to the sea. One of the best seafood restaurants in the area called Delfino, which
we highly recommend.
Mediterranean cuisine in a minimalist dining space brought to hip Psiri by the owners of Spondi.
Taverna food made stylish, but with a deep respect for its most important element: bright, fresh flavour.
The Amada Cafe
The Amada Cafe is probably the most elegant cafe in Athens where you can bump into anyone (actors, politicians,etc). It is centraly located on the corner of Valaoritou (pedestrian road) and Kriezotou streeet, where we stop for coffee or lunch after shopping at the best boutiques or a museum visits. Perfect location and you must try its gourmet pizza and Greek rice pudding.
Top tourist attractions in Athens »
Athens is a large, vibrant city with an ancient history. There are so many things
to see and do here the mind boggles. No matter what your interests are, you will
have no trouble finding things to do in Athens. The bigger problem, for those with
time constraints, is figuring out which sights and activities to enjoy before moving
to the next leg of the journey. Hopefully this list will help you organize your
trip, and maximize your activities with the time you have. Here are the top 10 tourist
attractions in Athens.
For those who love to haggle, check out the Monastiraki
Flea Market. Vendors here display a dizzying variety of wares, and if you are looking
for a few little treasures to take home, this is a good place to find them. Sunday
is the most important market day, stretching as far as the eye can see. Get there
early if you want to be able to move though. By late morning you'll be packed shoulder
to shoulder with deal-seekers.
This entry on the list of the top
10 things to do in Athens is actually more of an escape from the city than anything
else. Away from the sprawling concrete buildings and the oppressive heat is a tropical
refuge. Slow down from the hectic pace of Athens, and take a stroll through the
shaded pathways, and visit the turtles and ducks. If you are a nature lover and
the hustle and bustle of the teeming streets of Athens is starting to get to you,
this is your perfect escape if only for just a couple of hours.
not in Athens, but Delphi is so close that it merits a spot on the list of the top
10 things to do in Athens. The site of the ancient Oracle, Delphi holds great historical
significance for the people of Greece. Take a bus, rent a car, or make sure a trip
to this fabled site is included in your land tour itinerary if booking an organized
Olympic Stadium dates back to the 2nd century, was renovated
for the 1896 Olympic games, and updated again for the recent 2004 Summer Olympics
held in Athens. This is where the Olympic torch relay begins every year, and you
should definitely try and squeeze this historic venue in when deciding how to spend
your time in Athens.
The entertainment district of Athens is not to be
missed and holds a deserving spot at number 6 on the list of the top 10 things to
do in Athens. The oldest neighbourhoods in Athens, in the shadow of the Parthenon,
the Plaka features restaurants, museums, and trendy shops alongside local artisans.
Definitely a must visit attraction of Athens.
National Archaeological Museum
as steeped in culture and history as Athens is unsurprisingly filled with museums.
However, if your time is limited and you can see just one, make sure you pay a visit
to the National Archaeological Museum. A veritable treasure trove of artifacts dating
back millennia, the museum holds some of the greatest artifacts from as far back
as the Neolithic era. Definitely one of the greatest museums in the world, sure
one of the places not to be missed, while in Athens.
Athens Central Market
are lucky enough to have a kitchen where you are staying in Athens then a visit
to the Central Market might rank even higher on the list of the top 10 things to
do in Athens. Fish, meats, produce and spices will tempt you as you explore the
lively marketplace. For those who prefer to let others do the cooking, the Athens
Central Market features many reasonably priced restaurants that will calm your cravings.
Budgeting time for a walk to the top of Mount Lycabettus is absolutely
essential when considering things to do in Athens. If the prospective climb seems
too daunting you can always take the train that weaves its way to the top. Once
at the summit enjoy the spectacular view, and have a bite to eat in the cafe up
The Temple of Poseidon
Though the attractions of contemporary Athens are
fun to visit, when considering the top 10 things to do in Athens a premium is placed
on the historically significant sites of Ancient Greece. From around the world travellers
flock to see these ancient monuments and the Temple of Poseidon is not to be missed.
Not actually located in Athens, it is about an hour's drive away at Cape Sounion.
Overlooking the Aegean Sea, the ruins sit atop a headland and if you stick around
until evening you will be treated to one of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world.
We are sure no one is surprised that the Acropolis, and more specifically,
the Parthenon, sits atop the list of the top 10 things to do in Athens. These ancient
ruins date back to the 5th century B.C. and are a monument to the achievements of
the people of that ancient culture. Despite partial destruction by the Venetians
in the 17th century, much of the Parthenon still stands as an enduring reminder
of the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks. If you have only a few hours in Athens,
just time enough to do one thing, make sure a visit to the Acropolis is that one
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