Athens

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  • SUN 35 °C
  • MON 35 °C
  • TUES 32 °C
  • WED 29 °C
  • THURS 23 °C

Climatic Data

Source: National Observatory of Athens /meteo.gr

A journey through time

Wellcome to Athens, the historical capital of Europe. Welcome to the birthplace of democracy, arts, science and philosophy of western civilisation.  Home of Plato, Socrates, Pericles, Euripides, Sophocles, Aeschylus.  Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities. It’s recorded history spanning around 3.400 years and it is being inhabited since the 11th millennium B.C. E.  Today, under the shadow of Parthenon, the contemporary urban scenery of the sprawling city reflects its exciting history, its multi- cultural modern personality as well as the infrastructure and facilities.

The perfect Mediterranean climate with the legendary greek sunlight, the unique combination of glorious history with modern, urban innovation, the coexistence of great culture with astonishing natural beauty, the high standard hotel accommodation, modern means of transportation such as the cutting edge modern metro, the vibrant rhythm of life, the wide choice of opportunities for shopping, dining and night life and of course the warmth of the Athenians people feature Athens as the ideal all year round city break destination. The city of Parthenon is an open air museum. A large part of the town’s historic center has been converted into a 3-kilometre pedestrian zone, one of the largest in Europe. It leads to the major archaeological sites (“archaeological park”), reconstructing – to a large degree – the ancient landscape. Either on foot or by bike, the ‘’Grande Promenade’’ around Acropolis is an unforgettable journey through history.

Worth seeing

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Acropolis Museum

Visit the Acropolis Museum

National Archaeological Museum

Visit the National Archaeological Museum

Syntagma Square

Make a stop at Syntagma Square

National Garden

Take a break in the National Garden

Athens lies historically in the very heart of Greece as it is known as the birthplace of democracy and home to some of the most significant philosophers.

Historical Walkings in the city centre

The tour starts at the Temple of Olympian Zeus (6th c. B.C.), one of the largest in antiquity and close by Hadrian’s Arch (131 A.D.), which forms the symbolic entrance to the city. From there, walking along Dionysou Areopaghitou Street (on the south side of the Acropolis) you pass the ancient Theatre of Dionysos (5th c. B.C.) where most of the works by Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylos and Aristophanes were performed. Continuing, you will reach the ruins of the Asklepieion (5th c. B.C.) and the Stoa of Eumenes (2th c. B.C.) and from there the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, which was built in 161 A.D. and is nowadays the venue of the performances of the Athens Festival.

From there you climb up to the sacred rock of the Acropolis, the site of some of the most important masterpieces of worldwide architecture and art, the most renowned of which is the Parthenon temple. Apart from this, also impressive are the Propylaea, the temple of the Athene Nike and the Erechtheion, while you must not skip a visit to the Museum, located close to the Parthenon. Moreover, from the rock you have an impressive view of the city. Only 300m away from the sacred rock of Acropolis stands the impressive Acropolis Museum, one of the most important contemporary works of architecture in Athens. It is made of steel, glass and concrete and it houses 4,000 priceless finds from the Acropolis monuments that represent its history and function as the most important religious centre of ancient Athens.

Coming down from the Acropolis you arrive at the Areios Pagos, the most ancient law court of the world. Opposite it is Philopappou Hill, with its beautiful cobbled little roads and the Roman monument by the same name on its top, while close by is the Pnyx, where the citizens of ancient Athens used to assemble and exert their democratic rights. Walking farther along the pedestrian road you arrive at the Ancient Agora, which was the commercial, political and religious centre of ancient Athens. A visit to the archaeological site will give you the opportunity to become acquainted with the workings of Classical Athenian democracy and visit the stunning Temple of Hephaestus.

From there, via Ermou Street, you arrive at the Kerameikos, the largest cemetery of the ancient city, with impressive tomb sculptures and stelae. The Iridanos River, sacred in antiquity, runs through the archaeological site. However, our tour of enchanting Athens does not restrict itself only to these unique archaeological sites.

Neighbourhoods of the historical centre

The “core” of the historic centre is the Plaka neighbourhood (at the eastern side of the Acropolis), which has been inhabited without interruption since antiquity. When you walk through the narrow labyrinthine streets lined with houses and mansions from the time of the Turkish occupation and the Neoclassical period (19th c.), you will have the impression of travelling with a “time machine”. You will encounter ancient monuments, such as the Lysikrates Monument, done by a wealthy donor of theatrical performances, the Roman Agora with the famed “Tower of the Winds” (1st c. B.C.) and Hadrian’s Library (132 A.D.), scores of bigger and smaller churches, true masterpieces of Byzantine art and architecture, as well as remnants of the Ottoman period (Fetihie Mosque, Tzistaraki Mosque, the Turkish Bath near the Tower of the Winds, the Muslim Seminary, et al.). There are also some interesting museums (Folk Art, Greek Children’s Art, Popular Musical Instruments, Frysira Art Gallery, etc.), lots of picturesque tavernas, cafés, bars, as well as shops selling souvenirs and traditional Greek products.

Continuing from Plaka you arrive at Monastiraki, a characteristic area of “old” Athens, with narrow streets and small buildings where the city’s traditional bazaar (Yousouroum) is held. Close to it is the Psyrri area, a traditional neighborhood which during the past few years has evolved into one of the most important “centres” of the town’s nightlife, with scores of bars, tavernas, ouzeris, clubs, etc.

However, the “heart” of the historical centre is the traditional commercial neighborhood, with more than 2,500 shops of all kinds, which spreads out over the streets surrounding Ermou Street (the city’s best-known commercial street). The western “border” of the area is Athinas Street, where the foodstuff commerce is concentrated, reminding one strongly of the Middle East. Here are situated, among others, the neoclassical mansions of the Town Hall, the Municipal Market (where meat, fish and vegetables are sold) and spacious Kotzias Square.

Within the boundary of Athens’ historical centre also are the picturesque neighbourhoods of Makriyianni (close to the Acropolis, where the Acropolis Museum stands), Ano Petralona, Theseion (where you will find small interesting museums and scores of cafés, bars and restaurants), Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio, as well as the Gazi area, with the former Gas works, which now have been turned into a cultural centre of the Athens municipality (“Technopolis”).

Syntagma and Omonia are the main central squares of the town; they are linked by Stadiou Street and Panepistimiou Avenue, along which some of the town’s most beautiful Neoclassical buildings have been erected. Dominating Syntagma Squareis the Greek Parliament building and in front of it the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, guarded by the Evzones in traditional costume. From this square starts the beautiful National Gardens (40 acres), south of which stands the impressive Zappeion Mansion (1874-1888). From there you can hed towards the Presidential Mansion (1897) and thence to the Panathenaikon (Kallimarmaro) Stadium, where the first Olympic Games in modern history were held (1896). From there, crossing the Mets neighbourhood, the road leads you to the First Cemetery, the oldest one in Athens, basically an outdoor sculpture display with a wealth of wonderful monumental tombstones by some of the most important sculptors of the 19th and 20th centuries.

From Omonia Square starts Patission street, a busy street with interesting buildings, amongst which are the Neoclassical mansions of the Polytechnic School and the National Archaeological Museum, which ranks among the leading museums in the world and hosts rare art treasures from the Neolithic era up to the Roman period. Close to the museum is the Exarcheia neighbourhood, a charming and very lively neighborhood, traditional a meeting point and home to many students and artists. From Exarcheia, crossing the Neapoli neighbourhood, you can climb the verdant Lycavittos Hill. From its top you have a view of the entire city, all the way to the sea.

On the other side of the hill is the Kolonaki neighborhood, whose boundary is Vassilissis Sophias Avenue, one of the most grandiose streets of Athens with beautiful buildings, many museums (Cycladic Art, Benaki, Byzantine and Christian Museum, War Museum, National Gallery) and green areas. In Kolonaki, which is considered to be the most “aristocratic” area of the centre of Athens, you will find many shops selling expensive brands and high couture, modern restaurants, bars and cafés, while it is worthwhile to take a stroll through the central streets with their art déco, art nouveau and interbellum buildings.

Latest Events

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EXHIBITIONS

1821 Before and After

BENAKI MUSEUM / ATHENS
EXHIBITIONS

Revolution '21 Reframed

NATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM / ATHENS
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Greece Demands its Historical Art Gallery

NATIONAL GALLERY / ATHENS
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Takis: Cosmos in Motion

SNFCC / ATHENS
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Jannis Psychopedis. “Figures of ‘21”

BENAKI MUSEUM / ATHENS
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Exhibition “Takis – Energy Spaces”

MOMus- Museum Alex Mylona / ATHENS
SPORTS

39th Athens Marathon

ATHENS

Filming in Αthens

FILMING IN GREECE
© Getty Images/ Ideal Image

FOR THE LOVE OF BENJI (1977)

Even when he is supposed to be on holidays, Benji the dog is never far away from adventure. While traveling to Greece with his owners, Benji has a run-in with a secret agent (Ed Nelson), who hides something on him that a lot of unsavoury characters seem to want. Once in the foreign land, Benji becomes separated from his owners, and has to navigate his way through Athens with everyone chasing after him. All Benji wants is to be reunited with housekeeper Mary (Patsy Garrett) and the kids.

DIRECTOR: JOE CAMP
FILMING LOCATION: ATHENS

IMDb

GIRL ON THE BRIDGE (1999)

Adèle (Vanessa Paradis ) a waif who is unlucky in love decides to take her own life by jumping from a Paris bridge, when she gets a strange proposition from Gabor (Daniel Auteuil), a professional knife thrower. Together, their luck is unstoppable, and they have an almost psychic bond. But fidelity is not easy, even for those that are perfectly mached.

DIRECTOR: PATRICE LECONTE
FILMING LOCATION: ATHENS

IMDb

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY (2014)

A con artist ( Viggo Mortensen)and his wife (Kirsten Dunst) find themselves in deep trouble in Greece after the former murders a detective. To escape from Greece, they must trust a stranger (Oscar Isaac) who is inherently untrustworthy.

DIRECTOR: HOSSEIN AMINI
FILMING LOCATION: ATHENS, CHANIA, HERAKLION

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BY CAR
From Thessaloniki via PATHE (Athens-Thessaloniki) and the journey takes about 5 hours.
BY AIR
Athens is connected with the International Airport Macedonia (Thessaloniki), the flight lasts 50 minutes. It also offers flights with other Greek and international airports.

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