The city of Athens
Athens is the capital and the largest city of Greece. It is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years, a center for the arts and philosophy and the birthplace of democracy. Athens is a tourist’s delight with famous landmarks and hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Its position at the crossroads of three continents has been a significant factor in the development of the city’s extraordinary cultural heritage. Greece's capital is an ideal conference destination, combining state-of-the art infrastructure, excellent conference facilities and easy worldwide access with unrivaled cultural attractions, modern amenities, diverse entertainment and natural beauty.
Arts & Culture
The city’s rich classical tradition and its geographical location - at the crossroads of cultures - have always lent it a formidable platform for artistic expression. That high regard for the arts continues today, with a mushrooming of modern innovations. Every year, the city’s cultural calendar presents exhibits and festivals of international scope, original productions and notable artistic happenings.
Discover more information about Arts & Culture in Athens through the Athens Culture Net.
City Attractions & Landmarks
Athens takes the fuss out of sightseeing. It is a user-friendly town thanks to the pleasant demeanor of the English-speaking Athenians and the easy to use and manageable transportation system. The visitor can see a lot in one day. Archaeological Sites & Classical Greek Monuments, Byzantine Monuments & Ottoman Monuments, Museums, Art Galleries, street performances, festivals. Needless to say, The Acropolis remains a "must see"!
If you are strolling around the Centre of Historical Athens, then its worth a look. You can easily visit the following landmarks:
The Acropolis: The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on an extremely rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians in the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded. Discover more
The Odeon Of Herodes Atticus: The odeon is today the main venue for the summer Athens Festival’s performances, under the shadow of the Acropolis and the Athenian stars! It was established in 1661 AD by the magnate Athenian Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife. It was then used as a concert hall. Discover more
Temple of Olympian Zeus: The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a monument of Greece and a former colossal temple at the center of the Greek capital Athens. It was dedicated to Olympian Zeus, a name originating from his position as head of the Olympian gods. Discover more
The Ancient Agora: The heart of public life in Ancient times. Pay a visit to the temple of hephaestus (460-420 BC) and the stoa of attalos that used to be the major commercial building of ancient Athens. Discover more.
The National Garden of Athens: Right in the heart of Athens, between Syntagma Square and the Kallimarmaro (Panathenaic) Stadium, stands the famous National Garden of Athens, a beautiful area to escape the noisy city centre and relax in a lush green environment.Discover more.
New Acropolis Museum: Inaugurated in June 2009, it is the ‘flagship’ museum for not only Athens, but all of Greece. Archaic and classical findings from the Acropolis site are displayed here. The visitor progresses gradually upward through the building, where on the top floor, the marble frieze that once ran around the top of the Parthenon await. About half of the pieces are originals, while the remainder are faithful plaster copies. The missing pieces were removed by Lord Elgin in 1801 and are now in the British Museum in London. Discover more.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC): Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) serves as a multifunctional arts, education and entertainment complex, built on the edge of the Faliro Bay. It was built by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and donated to the city of Athens. Education, culture and sustainability, are the SNFCC’s three main characteristics, which are essential requirements in order to enhance the potential of the city and its people. Discover more.
Explore more Athens' landmarks here.
A state-of-the-art metro system, wide avenues, an efficient public transportation system and a compact city center, all make moving around Athens easy and convenient. The Athens transportation network now includes new buses, pollution-free trolleys, tram and a revamped electric railway system that connects to two metro lines. Take a historic walk and explore charming old-style neighborhoods, oases away from the hustle and bustle of the city center such as Makrygianni, Plaka, Thiseio, Kerameikos, Monastiraki and Psyrri. In every step around this area you will come across different archaeological monuments, museums and art galleries. Besides that, enjoy the excellent weather, yummy food, vivid nightlife and the open Greek leisured lifestyle! Discover more.
Gourmet and traditional Greek cuisine, in the past decade, has become one of the most popular in the world as it has been proven to provide a flavourful healthy and balanced diet. Culinary aficionados are encouraged to delight in the myriad of sophisticated restaurants that boast tastes and interiors inspired from all parts of the world. The local and traditional outdoor seaside taverns and cafes are plentiful and a cultural mainstay. Discover more.
Shopping in Athens - a showcase for its traditional and modern culture and lifestyle - can be a fascinating and satisfying experience for all. Amidst the many well-known international name brand outposts and traditional Greek art and folklore shops, are hundreds of chic boutiques and specialty stores blossoming with great fashion finds for every taste and budget. Make sure to stop in at one of the many wonderful year-round outdoor cafés and restaurants to make your experience of shopping in the Athenian way, complete! Discover more.
Athens City Facts
Weather: Athens has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers. The average temperature in March is 12°C (54°F), while the average low is 8°C (46°F), and the average high is 16°C (61°F).
Language: Most Athenians speak English and those in the hospitality industry are likely to speak French and German too. Signage, menus and transportation signs are written in Greek and English.
Currency: Euro €
Shopping Hours: Major outlets: Monday-Friday. 9:00-21:00, Saturday 9:00 to 18:00; Small shops: Monday, Wednesday 9:00 to 15:30;Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9:00 to 14:30 & 17:30-21:00; Saturday 9:00 to 15:30.
The airport: The new award winning Athens International Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos, serves 83 international destinations. Its close proximity to the city centre, 30 minutes by car and 40 minutes by train, makes Athens easily accessible. For more information, you may visit the official site of the Athens International Airport
Transportation: Network includes new buses, pollution-free trolleys, tram and a revamped electric railway system that connects to the metro lines. Taxis are inexpensive by European standards. METRO, TRAM, busses, maintain their central stations at Syntagma square.
Find more information about Athens in:
- The official City of Athens guide
- The official Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) website for Greece
- The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) Athens & Attica official Guide (PDF)