There is so much to say about Athens that it cannot be done in one article and this city cannot be visited for a day only. The city of the gods, the birthplace of democracy and the cradle of civilization are among the most popular descriptions for the capital of Greece, whose glorious history is still reminding of itself in the central part of Athens. It is also one of the European capitals with the most vibrant nightlife.
Athens with its quarters and suburbs occupies almost the entire Attica peninsula. The International Airport of the city, Eleftherios Venizelos, is 20 km away from the center and 45 km away from Piraeus port. The historical sights of the city are concentrated in Central Athens and locked between two hills - The Acropolis and Lycabettus, and three old quarters - Plaka, Psirri and Thisio. The Acropolis with the Parthenon dominates over the busy streets, and the Ancient Agora and the Roman Agora, two separate sites, are also in this area. Touring between them you will come across the Temple of Haephestus, the Stoa of Attalos, the Library of Hadrian and many other ruins and old buildings. Do not miss a walk from Syntagma square to Monastiraki square, following the pedestrian Ermou street - this is the shopping center of Athens. The hill of the muses next o to the Acropolis and Lycabettus hill offer panoramic views of the city and the Saronic gulf.
The port of Athens, Piraeus, is the biggest port of Greece and it is located about 10 km away from the city center. South from Piraeus are the suburbs of Paleo Faliro, the old port with its Marina Flisvos, Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni. The last three are known for their organized beaches with beach bars, especially Vouliagmeni which is away from the port and has a couple of large sandy coves and shallow water. The entire coastal area from Glyfada to cape Sounion (the southernmost point of Attica) is known as the Athens Riviera and it is a good opportunity to combine seaside holiday with daily visit to historical landmarks. The Athens Riviera has both lively resorts and quieter places, noisy party beaches and tranquil rocky coves, big luxury hotel resorts and private villas, so it can suit to everyone`s taste. Some of the Cyclades or Argosaronic islands can also be visited for a day or more via speed boats, departing from the ports of Piraues, Lavrio and Rafina.
Main historical sights in Athens:
- The Acropolis of Athens
- Areopagus Hill next to the Acropolis
- The Ancient Agora, with its museum known as Stoa of Attalos
- The Roman Agora (a very interesting part of it is the Tower of the Winds in which you can see a sundial, a water clock and wind vane)
- The Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Arch of Hadrian next to it
- The Temple of Haephestus
- Plaka quarter below the Acropolis, and the other old neighborhoods in the center - Psirri and Thisio