Athens - Greece
Great food, great weather, thousands of years of history; Athens has it all. The Greek capital city is a huge draw for tourists throughout the year, attracted by its recorded history of over 3,400 years. Athens is, after all, the cradle of democracy.
Fans of the hustle and bustle will be at home in Athens, one of Europe’s liveliest capitals with a population of three quarters of a million. The larger Athens metropolitan area has over four million inhabitants in total (almost half of Greece’s population), making it one of Europe’s larger cities.
The birthplace of Sophocles, Socrates, Pericles and many more prominent thinkers, Ancient Athens was home to Aristotle's Lyceum and Plato’s Academy. In the fourth and fifth centuries BC, the capital of Ancient Greece was the capital of Ancient Europe. Today, landmarks such as the Acropolis remain to remind visitors of this unique history. A wide variety of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments still stand in and around Athens.
Athens has 148 theatres, including the ancient Herodes Atticus Theatre, home to the annual Athens Festival (May to October each year). There is a lively thespian scene in the city and this is reflected in the volume and variety of productions that are staged throughout the year. Just below the Acropolis, the Herodes Atticus theatre is popular with Athenians. The opera, Megaron Mousikis, is also a big draw and a gorgeous destination.
Some of the most popular museums in Athens include the Folklore museum, the Ceramics museum (Keramikos), the National Archeological museum, the War museum, the Benaki museum, the Byzantine museum, the Music museum and, of course, the Acropolis museum. In total there are around 50 museums in Athens.
The bazaar at Monastiraki is very popular with tourists and locals alike. It’s a great place to stop for a bite to eat and rummage among a huge array of all kinds of goods.
At the Syntagma Square you can visit the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. Here you can see the guards in their impressing uniforms, the Evzones, and if you are lucky you will see the slow and complicated change of guards. You can also feed pigeons here. Interestingly, there used to be a tomb to the unknown hero in ancient Athens
The Athens Riviera is home to a selection of popular beaches: Lagonisi, Kavouri, Glyfada, Varkiza, Nea Makri, Vouliagmeni, Crysi Akti and Alimos. You will probably have to pay a small fee at most of the beaches, but this is more than worth it for the glorious sand and warm sea.