Founded over 5,000 years ago Athens is the birthplace of western civilisation and is a glorious choice for a classical short break adventure. Named after the goddess Athena, Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world. The city of Athens has a lot to offer, it's dominated by the flat-topped hill of the Acropolis, site of the 2400 year old Parthenon (one of the most famous classical monuments in the world). The numerous historic monuments and artifacts displayed throughout the city makes Athens a fascinating city to visit.
The old quarter of the town, Plaka, which spreads around the Acropolis is a maze of narrow winding picturesque streets, lined with pavement cafes and restaurants offering appetizing and varied Mediterranean cuisine, craft shops and famed flea markets. A great advantage for tourists is that most attractions are accessible on foot.
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Fly direct to Athens from principal European cities such as London Gatwick, Amsterdam, Paris, Stockholm, Oslo, Brussels, Munich, Berlin, Barcelona and Lisbon.
Major Gateways: Athens International Airport, Spata (ATH). Thessaloniki Makedonia (SKG). Rhodes (RHO). Corfu (CFU). Heraklion, Crete (HER).
The central point for most major attractions in Athens is Syntagma Square, including the many museums along Vassilissis Sophias Avenue where most of Athens' museums are located. Of particular interest is the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art and the Byzantine Museum.
The Acropolis is the most famous site in all of Athens and stands proud in a cluster of of ancient ruins. Crowned by the Parthenon it is visible from almost everywhere within the city. The Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preserves sculptures, vases and jewelry which all provide a fascinating glimpse into the powerful civilization and empire of Ancient Greece.
Visit Delphi, the site of the famous Oracle where rulers of Greece gathered for many centuries for political and moral guidance. Visit The Royal Palace once the home of the Greek Royal Family and now the official residence of the President of Greece. The Palace is guarded by the 'Evzones' in their traditional costume and their famous slow motion march.
Greece is full of charm, history and character. There is nowhere else in the world where you can stand on the shores of the Aegean and Ionian Seas and feel centuries of history and civilization spring to life before you, along with the grandeur of culture and the warmth of being at the southernmost part of Europe.
The Athens Metro system consists of 3 lines and connects to the tram, bus routes and suburban railway. Line 1 (the Green line) started operation in 1869, making it the second oldest underground system in the world after the London Underground.
Nightlife in Athens: Nightlife is lively with plenty of bars and restaurants serving both Greek and International cuisine.
The Arts: The International Athens Festival is held from June to October at the Odeon of Herod Atticus built in 161 AD, as well as other venues throughout the city. The Odeon is a superb theatre in which open air plays, ancient dramas, opera and ballet are often held.
Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport ATH is located 20 miles (33km) south east of Athens city centre.
Airport Transport and Shuttle Services:
Athens airport taxis are the most expensive, but the most convenient way to reach the centre of Athens. Athens airport subway is the best choice of public transport. The metro line departs from Athens airport every 30 minutes and takes around 50 minutes journey time.
Athens airport coach/bus the X95 will transport you to Syntagma Square in downtown Athens in about 60 minutes. Tickets are available from the airport ticket offices or onboard the coach. The coach stop is located at the Arrivals Level, between Exits 4 and 5.
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