Cradle of European culture, Olympic city and centre of antiquity: welcome to Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world. It is named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom. However, anyone who thinks that Athens is only a journey back in time and a visit to ancient sights is mistaken. Athens is a city full of contrasts that mix living tradition with a modern lifestyle.
Modern architecture and hip nightlife districts characterise the face of the Greek capital, as do bustling markets, hip street cafés and cool street art. On top of that, there’s even a tram connection to the beach – the ideal way to combine a city trip with a beach holiday. Those who take some time for Athens will be richly rewarded – from the famous Acropolis to the adjacent Aegean Sea and the monumental Olympic Stadium, there are all kinds of things to discover.
The way to the heart is through the stomach: if you really want to get to know and love Athens, a culinary voyage of discovery is a must! Rustic tavernas still uphold traditions today, serving classics like moussaka (aubergine casserole), saganaki (fried feta cheese), dolmádes (stuffed vine leaves) and souvlaki (grilled meat skewers). In some places there is no menu at all: they serve whatever is available. You can try Greek antipasti (“mezedakia”) and watch the locals drink ouzo in simple street cafés. A real Athenian highlight is the Athens Market Hall (Varvakios Agora), which offers a varied selection of fruit, olives and other delicacies alongside fresh fish.
1. Visit the Acropolis (but not in the summer midday heat)
2. Take a look at some ancient finds at the Acropolis Museum
3. Admire works of art from 5000 years ago at the National Archaeological Museum
4. Visit the Agora and its museum as the heart of antiquity
5. Stroll through the delightful old town of Plaka
1. Get inspiration from the creative scene in the hipster district of Gazi
2. Admire cool street art in Kerameiko and Psiri
3. Browse the Sunday flea market at Monastiraki
4. Visit exhibitions or concerts at the Technopolis in Gazi
5. End the day in one of the bars around Syntagma Square
1. Walk up the 277-metre-high Lycabettus Hill for sunset
2. Enjoy the panoramic view from the Acropolis
3. Looking towards the Acropolis from Filopappou Hill
4. Go to a rooftop bar around Monastiraki Square
5. Enjoy a picnic on Strefi Hill away from the hustle and bustle
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