Destination:

Athens

Athens

Of all Europe’s historical capitals, Athens is probably the one that has changed the most in recent years. But even though it has become a modern metropolis, it still retains a good deal of its old small town feel. Here antiquity meets the future, and the ancient monuments mix with a trendier Athens and it is precisely these great contrasts that make the city such a fascinating place to explore. The heart of its historical centre is the Plaka neighbourhood, with narrow streets mingling like a labyrinth where to discover ancient secrets.

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Athens
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National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum, in Exarchia, is home to Ancient Greece’s most spectacular pieces. One room contains Schliemann’s finds from Mycenae, another has the famous frescoes from Santorini on display. There is also a fine collection of idols from the Cyclades and ceramics.

Address
Patission St. 44, Athens
The Acropolis and its surroundings

The Parthenon, the temple of Athena, is the major city attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Erechteion displays the statues of the female Caryatids, though the original statues have been replaced by copies due to air pollution (the originals are in the new Museum or ... in London). On the southern slopes of the Acropolis lies the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a Roman theatre with room for as many as 5.000 spectators. It is used during the annual Athens Festival for world-class ballet and music performances. The Theatre of Dionysus lies beside Herodes Atticus, and almost all the tragedies and comedies of Ancient Greece were written for this theatre.

Address
Acropolis, Athens
The Old Tavern of Psaras

The Old Tavern of Psaras (meaning, the old fisherman's Taverna) is Plaka's oldest restaurant, indeed it exists since 1898. It serves delicious Greek food at a price befitting the area, but with the benefit of being seriously beautiful. You can choose to seat in either of the old houses that are now the restaurant, or even in the pleasant courtyard.

Address
Erechtheos & Erotokritou St. 16, Plaka, Athens
To Kati Allo

To Kati Allo is a simple family owned tavern in the area next to the new Acropolis museum. A real tavern, with a friendly staff and which is open so late the Plakas waiters may come and keep you company. It is very popular amongst local: always a good indication in touristic cities like Athens.

Address
Chatzichristou 12, Makrygianni, Athens
Greek products to buy

If you want to bring your loved ones, or yourself, a typically Greek souvenir here are a few suggestions: - alcohol: look for Ouzo, Tsipouro and Raki, local alcohols that come in small bottles so you can even bring them in your carry-on, - food: Greek pastries and loukoums are always a must. And of course, the olive oil here tastes nothing like what you can find back home, - souvenir: typical Greek objects include the "Evil eye" meant to drive away the "bad eye" and its negative effect.

Shopping Streets

The ultimate shopping street in Athens is Ermou Street, departing from Syntagma square. There, you can find all the classic brands such as H&M and similar department stores. If you are not familiar with shopping in Greece, check out the Hondos Center—a local cosmetic chain with good prices compared to other European countries. Voukourestiou, Patriarhou Ioakim, Skoufa, Tsakalof, Kanari and the side streets around Kolonaki are other options for shopping. There are many designer clothes, more expensive boutiques and jewelers.

Address
Ermou, Athens

Passport / Visa

Greece can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.

Best Time to Visit

Greece is a tourist destination beloved worldwide, and summer is the most crowded season of all, especially in July and August. Spring is, perhaps, the best season to travel to Greece, as the main cities such as Athens are not so crowded and the prices are quite a bit lower. June and September are the best months to visit Athens and its near-lying beaches full of entertainment. If you are a hiking lover, don't miss Athens in autumn.