City where you can find a Roman tomb in the basement of the clothing store and a metro station where you can walk through the remnants of an ancient necropolis.

Architecture and Museums

Start your grand tour of Athens with a proper visit of the Acropolis, the heart of Athens. It hosts many iconic buildings of the Greek Classical age, among them the Parthenon, the Erectheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. 

Complete your walks of major ancient sites with Roman Agora and the Ancient Agora of Athens. 

Find here the Theatre of Dionysus, a classical Athens' main theatre, the first theatre ever built. Many of the great Greek plays were performed here for the first time. 

Get to the best preserved ancient Greek temple, Temple of Hephaestus at the ancient Agora.

Wander through the charming historic district at the foot of the Acropolis, Plaka, with its restored 19th-century neoclassical homes, pedestrianized streets, shops and restaurants, and picturesque ruins from the city's Roman era. 

Walk around the remains of the Lyceum. It hosted lectures by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and early meetings of the Athenian Assembly, world's first zoo, botanical garden, as well as a library. 

Marvel at the Hellenic Parliament Building, formerly the royal palace.

Enter the Old Parliament House, which is now a history museum. 

Spare enough time for the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. This is the largest and most popular of Athens' many museums. 

Browse its vast collection: 

  • unearthed treasures from Mycenae, a staggering array of sculptures including the earliest known Greek figurines dating from around 2,000 BC; 
  • frescoes from the volcanic island of Santorini; 
  • and remains of Antikythera mechanism, the oldest known mechanical computer.

Find the particularly interesting part of the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture  - the beautiful Neoclassical main building, which houses collections of Greek art, from ancient times through the Byzantine period and the modern state.

See the second largest collection of Cypriot antiquities in the world outside Cyprus, after the Metropolitan Museum in New York, at the Museum of Cycladic Art. 

Check exhibits of traditional Greek musical instruments at Museum of Greek Popular Musical Instruments, with recordings of most of them. 

Hide from city noises in the National Gardens. A Peaceful and beautiful park in the centre of Athens is easily the coolest place to hide from the summer sun. 

Enjoy the luxuriant flowers and vegetation, marvel at the turtle and duck ponds, have a frappe in a cafe, and spot one of the resident tortoises exploring.

Head over to Psirri area where there are many great taverns preferred by locals to hear one of the most renowned Greek music styles, rebetika. 

Watch sports games of 6 top Greek league football teams, each with its own stadium, or many country’s top basketball teams. 

Get unique views while getting to more views with Lycabettus Funicular. The railway carts travelers to central Athens's highest peak, which offers stunning vistas of the city. 

Observe the 19th-century Chapel of Saint George on the higher peak, a tiny Cycladic-style chapel that sits on the grounds of an ancient temple dedicated to the God Zeus. On the lower peak sits a 4,000-seat Amphitheater.

Glance at the Agia Dynami church, which is almost entirely surrounded by a modern building. Inscriptions found on the grounds suggest the little church was built on the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Heracles. 

Enjoy stunning views in the seaside suburb from the terrace of the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre all the way to the Acropolis on one side and of the coast on the other. 

Walk passed a magical site on Pittaki Street. 150 or so are scrounged-up lamps, chandeliers, and lanterns light up this alley in central Athens. 

Shopping

Embrace your love of shopping in Kolonaki, which offers a range of shops for an upscale neighbourhood, art galleries, hip clothing boutiques, and antique stores. 

Bargain for the best deal. Best offers are the fur coats. 

Visit the main boutiques of Athens on the Ermou street.  

Hunt for antique items at the backside of Monastiraki flea market on a Sunday morning.

Power up your walks of ancient sites by a visit to the Melisimos shop to make your own unique custom leather sandals right at the spot within minutes. 

Marvel at the collection of unique precious items at the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum inside its own old workshop. 

Food and drink spots

Jump into any of Athens' hottest clubs and bars in Psirri district. Most of the galleries, mainstream bars, restaurants, clubs and Greek nightclubs here are trademarked by their industrial design, as many of them are housed in remodelled—and once abandoned—factories. 

Head for a good drink to Vrettos distillery, which sells bottles of its own ouzo and other liqueurs.

Go to the flea market, enter a small plaza, enter Couleur Locale restaurant, take the lift to the top floor to get to the  terrace. Good menu will be complemented by the views of the Acropolis. 

Feel the atmosphere of Cyclades island culture in the Anafiotika neighborhood with narrow streets and yards. 

Get an unusual dining experience at Diporto tavern. It is a vine cellar, where you would be offered to eat whatever they give, what was just cooked. All meals are from traditional Greek cuisine.  

Try the best gelato ice cream at Hans and Gretel. They have gigantic cones and a cute interior.  

Taste traditional food at the Dio Dekares i Oka restaurant. 

Go down to Mikrolimano harbour in Piraeus, one of the most famous places with seafood restaurants, to enjoy fresh fish In Athens. 

Or choose some of the top level diners of the capital area, like Strofi in downtown Athens, Blue Fish in Vouliagmeni district, Bella Vespa in Glyfada, or Varoulko in Piraeus city. 

Check one of the most hip establishments in central Athens, Six Dogs. It is an inner garden, where you can dine, drink, listen to music, party, and socialize at the many tables between tall trees. 

Swimming spots

Hop on the tram at downtown Athens towards Glyfada. The tram stops next to all the major beaches along the coast of Athens Riviera. 

Relax at Lake Vouliagmeni Lake Vouliagmeni with underwater thermal currents. Because of its constant and comfortable water temperature, the lake functions as a year-round spa.

Other

Check Gazi - one of the trendiest areas of Athens nightlife. 

Pit stop at one of the best options for entertainment in the Athens Riviera area, Glyfada golf club. 

Set course for the closest islands, suitable for a day trip from Piraeus, in the Argosaronic (or Saronic) gulf: Hydra, Aegina, Poros, Spetses and Salamina.

Piraeus remains the main hub for the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, with Piraeus being Athens’ harbour for almost as long as the history of Athens. 

Set course for a thorough tour around Piraeus: visit open markets, go for coastal walks, visit the opera house, feel the spirit of a big sea port, and relax at the beaches. 

Watch ceremonial change of guards next to the Parliament at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier also on a Sunday morning at 11am. 

Athens’ name derives from the goddess of wisdom, Athena, who became the city's patron goddess after a contest with Poseidon. The two gods competed for who would get the honour of becoming the patron god of the city, and offered gifts to the Athenians. Poseidon hit the ground with his trident and created a spring, showing that he would offer significant naval power. Athena, on the other hand, offered the olive tree, a symbol of prosperity and peace. The Athenians, led by King Cecrops I, decided to take Athena's gift, thus making her the patron goddess.

The city was the starting point for the story of Aegeus and Theseus. Aegeus was the king of Athens; during some games that were organised in the city, the son of King Minos of Crete was killed, and Minos waged war against Athens, emerging victorious. As punishment, Athens was forced to send young men and young women to Crete annually, in order to be sacrificed to the Minotaur, who dwelt in the labyrinth under the palace of Minos. At some point, though, Theseus, son of Aegeus, decided to go as part of the sacrifice, planning to kill the Minotaur. He was successful in his quest, but upon returning to Athens, he forgot to change his ship's sails to white; when Aegeus saw the black sails, meaning that Theseus had died in the labyrinth, he fell into the sea, and drowned, giving his name to what now is called the Aegean Sea.

King of Athens, Theseus, unified the ten tribes of early Athens into one kingdom This process created the largest and wealthiest state on the Greek mainland

When Metis, Zeus’s wife, was pregnant, Zeus took the precaution of swallowing her, because she had said that, after giving birth to the daughter presently in her womb, she would bear a son who would gain the lordship of the sky. In fear of this he swallowed her. When it came time for the birth, Prometheus by the river Triton struck the head of Zeus with an axe, and from his crown Athena sprang up, clad in her armour.

Athena) was the Olympian goddess of wisdom and good counsel, war, the defence of towns, heroic endeavour, weaving, pottery and various other crafts.

Athena assisted Perseus in his quest to slay the Gorgon and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece, and also assisted Hercules with his twelve labours. In the Trojan War she sided with the Greeks in battle, but attacked their ships with a storm when they failed to punish Oilean Aias (Ajax) for violating her Trojan shrine.

The common notion which the Greeks entertained about her, and which was most widely spread in the ancient world, is, that she was the daughter of Zeus, and if we take Metis to have been her mother, we have at once the clue to the character which she bears in the religion of Greece; for, as her father was the most powerful and her mother the wisest among the gods, so Athena was a combination of the two, that is, a goddess in whom power and wisdom were harmoniously blended.

As the prudent goddess of war, she is also the protectress of all heroes who are distinguished for prudence and good counsel, as well as for their strength and valour, such as Heracles, Perseus, Bellerophontes, Achilles, Diomedes, and Odysseus. In the war of Zeus against the giants, she assisted her father and Heracles with her counsel, and also took an active part in it, for she buried Enceladus under the island of Sicily, and slew Pallas.

The Temple of Poseidon in Sounio is mentioned in the Odyssey. King Menelaus stopped here on his return from Troy to bury his helmsman, Frontis.

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