Athens Tourist Information

Athens Travel Guide

Widely considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, the capital city of Greece reveals magnificent evidence of its roots and Greek culture. The seamless mixture of the ancient and the modern makes Athens an alluring and unique travel destination for anyone from history buffs to party-seekers.

Although poor urban planning plagued Athens in the 20th century, changes made in preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympics brought in a wonderful walking tour of the city's historical monuments and a slick new transportation system.

Athens Tourist Attractions

Tourists can easily navigate the many classical ruins and monuments along the pedestrian roads that connect them. The Acropolis, the ancient epicentre of Athens, is home to some of the most famous buildings in here, including the Parthenon, dating from the 5th century BC. Hovering majestically above the city on a plateau, the Acropolis is a must-see for its incredible display of Classical architecture as well as for the views it offers.

The Parthenon is the biggest temple here, while the Temple of Athena Nike is also notable. The Erechthion and the Propylea gateway are also fine examples of architectural beauty.

At the foot of the Acropolis, travellers can explore the lovely neighbourhoods of Plaka, Thissio and Monastiraki. Charming streets filled with shops and restaurants are situated alongside restored 19th century mansions and Roman era ruins. The ancient market (Agora) is situated here as well.

Culture in Athens

The city centre lies at Syntagma square, where the old Royal Palace has been converted into the Parliament building. The sophisticated Hotel Grand Bretagne is also located in this square, along with several restaurants and caf├ęs.

Other nearby monuments worth visiting include the formerly massive Temple of Olympian Zeus and the lesser-known Lysikrates. Hadrian's Roman Arch and the Panathenaic Stadium are also impressive sites. For a more offbeat experience, visit the ancient Kerameikos cemetery and its onsite museum.

Athens tours also offer a variety of museums, including the National Archaeological Museum with its amazing collection of ancient objects. The Museum of Cycladic Art and the Benaki Museum both have inspiring displays of Greek art.

Athens has earned a reputation for its nightlife, which is centered in the Psiri, Plaka and Thission areas. From nightclubs to live rock to pubs, Athens has an endless stream of party options. To escape the city for a day, visitors can head to Corinth or the Peloponnese by car, or ride a ferry to the Saronic Gulf islands.