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The Greek capital can sometimes be outshone by its famous islands but Athens has charms of its own. It is also the hub for exploring the rest of Greece. No-one should miss the Acropolis. The splendid ruins that include the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike dominate not only Athen’s skyline but also its soul. Nearly 3000 years ago the Acropolis became a sacred site and since then it’s been surrounded in myth, legend and tides of wars and invasion. At the base of the Acropolis lies the Plaka, one of the most eye-catching districts of Athens, a labyrinth of tavernas, shops and leafy squares. Buy a custard-filled galaktoboureko pastry and climb Lykavittos Hill (or cheat and take the funicular) for a spectacular view of the city.
The massive rocky hill that’s the Acropolis dominates the cityscape and is visible from all over Athens. On top of it is the Parthenon, one of the most recognisable buildings in the world.
Also known as Constitution Square it’s the heart and soul of the city. It’s the perfect place to relax on the benches and do a spot of people watching, enjoy the free or plan your day’s activities.
Every Sunday at 11am, the official changing of the guard is quite possibly the best show in town. The Evzones (guards) go about the change with high kicks and fists to foreheads with such determination. There are changes every hour during the day, and while the soldiers guard they must stand perfectly still until it is time to change.
Athenians eat and party late, so join them to nibble an array of entrées such as seared calamari, Greek caviar and deep-fried eggplant followed by succulent lamb or fish. Order ouzo in a taverna, dance the night away and maybe throw a few plates!
Erected in honour of the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, this arch is located near the Temple of Olympian Zeus, but, as it’s outside the archaeological site, it’s free to view.
Once the largest temple in Greece, it is also known as the Olympieion. It’s right in the centre of Athens and dedicated to the god Zeus.
Open every day but is at its best on Sundays. This is the place to be if you’re looking for a bargain or souvenirs. Get there early as after around 11am the crowds become chaotic.
If you only have a few days in Athens but want a taste of that world renowned, laid-back Greek island lifestyle, then this tour could fit the bill. Enjoy lunch and entertainment onboard as you cruise the Saronic Gulf, exploring the islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra with time for a spot of swimming.
Magnificent Monasteries of Meteora perched on top of monolithic rocks, a holy place for Christians from all over the world.
Home of the first Olympic Games in the 8th century BC and Sanctuary of Zeus.
This archaeological site is best known for the Oracle at the sanctuary that was dedicated to Apollo. Stunning views down the valley.
Here's a taste of some of our favourite hotels and lodges in Athens, Greece.
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This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
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