Greece’s capital city of Athens - and Europe’s historical capital, wows us with so much more than just ancient monuments. The old and the new mingle delightfully in the vast city that dominates the Attica region from the mountains right down to the Aegean Sea. The city that has seen more transformation than any other remains a perpetual must-see.
Dating back to the 5th century, the ruins that are scattered throughout the city have a universal significance that’s palpable. You simply have to visit the birthplace of democracy - the Acropolis and its awe-inspiring Parthenon to feel the electrifying sense of purpose. But that’s not the only historical draw-card, not by a long shot. History enthusiasts will be in their element with the Temple of Hephaestus, the Erechtheion, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and Constitution Square, just to name a few. There simply isn’t another historical destination that competes with the great city of Athens.
It isn’t only politics though that has long been at home in Athens though. The arts are just as deeply entrenched in Greek life. The roots of Greek theatre, specifically comedy and tradgedy, are embedded in Athens’ traditional spring festival of Dionysos. The trend didn’t end in ancient Greece though; the theatre scene in Athens still flourishes. And with 148 theatrical stages throughout the city, you’re bound to find a performance for you.
But Athens isn’t just about museums and theatre by any means. The city is also home to dazzling beaches where the warm azure water of the Aegean Sea laps gently onto the white sand. The city’s Apollo Coast is a very far cry from the monuments of the old city. Here, you’ll find sparkling stretches of beach between the bleached limestone rocks that are complete with cabanas, restaurants, beach bars, shops and cafés. If you can tear yourself away from the serenity of the sun-kissed beach and into the water, it’ll be worth it! The snorkelling and diving off the coast of the city offers some fantastic sightings.
And what would a trip to Greece be without fantastic food? If you answered “nothing” then Athens is the Greek destination for you. From perfectly prepared Greek classics in glittering restaurants to brave and bizarre nibbles from street vendors, you are in for a culinary treat in Greece’s gastronomic capital. If there’s one food tip that every visitor to the city should follow, it’s simply to try every Greek dessert, the stranger the name the better. The city’s nightlife is also not to be missed, once dinner is out of the way, the cafés and restaurants come alive with live music and dancing.
The one thing that can make or break a destination though is the people. As diverse as the attractions, the city’s inhabitants make Athens the experience it is. Fiery, passionate and tough as nails, they’ll captivate you with their zest for life.
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