Visit the birthplace of democracy and capital of Greece, amazingly enduring Athens. This ancient cradle of western civilization exists side by side with a modern multicultural metropolis.
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Vacationers in search of ancient Greece, with such renowned landmarks as the Acropolis and Parthenon, will find much of it conveniently clustered in Old Athens. From the stately Acropolis, presiding over the city from its hilltop perch to the extraordinary National Archaeological Museum, Athens offers a vast repository of ancient myths and history just waiting to be explored.
Discover the other side of Athens, from lively Agia Irini and bustling Thiseio to the boutiques and restaurants of Kolonaki and Monastiraki.
Sip a coffee in view of the incredible ruins of the Acropolis in Plaka. Sit in a taverna and absorb the sights and sounds of the city.
Sunbathe along the beautiful Athens Riviera with its sublime coves and clear blue seas. Watch the lights illuminate the city at night.
Combine old and new Athens, with its numerous urban attractions, delicious cuisine, nighttime entertainment and pristine beaches, for the perfect holiday in Greece.
What To Do
Tour the ancient Acropolis and Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom, craft, and war.
View the city from its highest point at the 908-foot-tall Lycabettus Hill.
Explore the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, built during the fifth century BCE and dedicated to the king of the Gods.
View Athens’ incredible Panathenaic Stadium and Kallimarmaro, the only stadium on the planet made entirely of marble.
What To See
Stroll through lovely Anafiotika on the northern slopes of Acropolis Hill to see the more mellow side of Athens.
View the impressive archaeological findings at the modern Acropolis Museum.
Walk amid the historic bougainvillea-lined neighborhood of Pláka on the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis. Browse for jewelry and other Greek goods in one of their quaint shops, or just sit at a café and watch Athenians and international vacationers stroll past.
Shop in Plaka, one of the oldest section of Athens, for clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs.
Search for bargains at the flea market at Avissynias Square and vintage stores and galleries of Psiri.
Visit the marketplace of Agora, with its ancient temples, concert hall, and arcades, to see where Greeks of old once shopped and spent their days.
From Laika music and traditional bouzoukia clubs to tsifteteli belly dancing and even Greek disco, Athens is alive with music to entertain vacationers all night long.
The Gazi district offers the latest clubs, art, and music.
Watch a film projected upon a walled garden, a favorite Greek pastime in neighborhoods such as charming Thiseion.
Athens with Kids
Experiencing ancient civilization up close in Greece is more educational than reading about it in a book. Climb up the Acropolis and see the birthplace of democracy. Cool off at the beach or sail through crystal blue seas.
Explore timeless Greek treasures dating from the Neolithic to Classical periods, including pottery, sculptures, and frescoes, at the National Archaeological Museum. Visit the friendly dolphins at Attica Zoo Park. And observe the changing of the Tsoliades (Evzones) guards in front of the Parliament.
Off the Beaten Path
Take a two-hour tour to the ancient town of Delphi, once thought to be the center of the world and site of the legendary oracle of Delphi.
Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo with its Stadion and Castalian spring, where people cleansed themselves before consulting the oracle. Explore the Sanctuary of Athena at Marmaris about a mile east.
Food and Drink
Most of us have tasted such traditional Greek foods as souvlaki or gyro (pronounced “hero”) with meat, such as lamb, wrapped in a large pita garnished with tzatziki made from yogurt, cucumber, and garlic.
Nothing compares to eating authentic Greek delicacies in their country of origin. Try some rich moussaka, a hearty casserole of meat, eggplant, and cheese.
Enjoy an array of delicious small plates, known as meze or mezedes, similar to Spanish tapas.
Sample fresh lambraki (sea bass), bakaliaro (fried cod), fried calamari, and octopus stewed or grilled, while overlooking the vast Aegean sea. Visit a Greek deli or traditional taverna and toast your day with some delightful ouzo as you and your comrades exclaim, “Opa!”