The Classical city of Athens has been welcoming visitors for many centuries. Athens, which is of course the Capital City of Greece, is situated in the historic region of Attica, in southern Greece, and their pasts are intertwined.
Today Athens is an international cosmopolitan beautiful city which marries the ancient and the modern to breathe taking effect. Who could fail to be impressed by the sight of The Acropolis and Parthenon which dominate the city? A living reminder that Athens is indeed the cradle of Western Civilization and the birthplace of Democracy. The Acropolis is only one of the World heritage sites that this city boasts, the other being the medieval Daptril monastery. There are also historic sites from the Roman and Byzantium period and a very impressive array of museums and art galleries to explore.
The National Archaeological museum holds the largest collection of Greek antiquities in the world and is a must to visit as is the new Museum of the Acropolis and also the Cycladic museum. There are, of course many modern art galleries worth visiting as you would expect when visiting a global city such as Athens.
The city itself is made up of many neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood at Plaka is situated at the base of the Acropolis, it is picturesque and the heart of tourism in the city, it is also the oldest neighbourhood in Athens. A walk through Plaka will unearth an abundance of boutiques, bars, tavernas and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy the beauty of the Acropolis whilst sipping a coffee or wine or enjoying an indulgent lunch or dinner.
A visit to Syntagma Square is also recommended. Here you will find the largest and most central square in Athens which is adjacent to the Greek parliament guarded by Greek Soldiers in National Dress. The neighbourhood of Kolanaki is to be found on Lycabettus hill and its upmarket boutiques and restaurants are frequented by the wealthy Athenian and tourists from all over the world. Here you will find the Theatre of Herod Atticus where world class artists perform throughout the summer. There are of course many other neighbourhoods to explore in this cosmopolitan metropolis including the youthful Gaza or Pisiri with its abundance of small streets with tavernas and galleries just waiting to be discovered. Perhaps you will find your own favourite.
The Agora at Athens is an ancient Market Place which is well worth a visit; see the hustle and bustle of everyday life for the Athenian. Also try to fit in the Panathinaiko Olympic Stadium built in 1896 for the first of the modern Olympic Games, which returned to Greece in 2004. Then there is the Olympian Temple of Zeus that took almost a thousand years to complete.
In addition to all this Athens has the benefit of a Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and mild winters. All the treasures and experiences that the city has to offer can be enjoyed whilst soaking up the sun . It is also the most southerly capital on the European mainland and the port at Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe. From here you can explore the idyllic Greek Islands. You can also visit the many beaches of the Athenian Riviera and Attica. Or take a trip north to the wonders of Delphi or Meteora .