Having a background of 3,000 years, Athens (Athina), the magnificent capital of Greece, is a monument itself! Additionally, Athens is home to the Acropolis of Athens, one of the top landmarks of the whole world. On this post, we will introduce you the capital city of Greece. You will find everything you need before you go or you wonder. What will you find? Where is Athens, how to get to, things to do and see, what to do in Athens, shopping areas, sightseeing, nightlife, festivals, eat and drink, restaurants, tavernas, beaches around Athens, where to stay such as accommodation options ect. Wondering how to get from Athens to Santorini? Do you want to learn more such as honeymoon or marriage in Athens? So, lets keep reading to learn great capital Athens.
Athens is the capital of Greece and among the most interesting places in the world. Actually Athens Greece is the best place for a city break as it has amazing sightseeing to visit, including the world-famous Acropolis with the Temple of Parthenon, the New Acropolis Museum, the Theatre of Herodes Atticus, the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora and others. After a full day walking around Athens city, do not miss a drink at night in the many hot spots. Located in a central spot in Greece, the city is also very convenient for day trips to archaeological sites in the mainland and close islands in the Aegean Sea.
But Athens Greece is not all about the past. In the multicultural city center, the old coexist in harmony with the modern. A great selection of fashion boutiques, sophisticated restaurants, cool bars, and traditional taverns create a seductive atmosphere! Athens is a city full of flavors, aromas, interesting people, colors and surprises.
Where is Athens Greece
Athens is a city found in Attica, Greece. It is located 37.98 latitude and 23.72 longitude and it is situated at elevation 42 meters above sea level. Athens has a population of 664,046 making it the biggest city in Greece.
Also read this: Athens Travel Guide
The history of Athens
The history of Athens is one of the longest of any city in Europe and in the world. Athens has been continuously inhabited for over 3,000 years, becoming the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC; its cultural achievements during the 5th century BC laid the foundations of western civilization. Its infrastructure is exemplar to the ancient Greek infrastructure.
Athens history definition: During the Middle Ages, the city experienced decline and then recovery under the Byzantine Empire, and was relatively prosperous during the Crusades, benefiting from Italian trade. After a long period of decline under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Athens re-emerged in the 19th century as the capital of the independent Greek state.
Athens is a sprawling city established among seven historic hills and surrounded by remarkable mountains. Inhabited for more than 3,000 years, Athens is widely known as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. Consisting of a large city center, an urban district and metropolitan area, Athens presents a confusing blend of historical and modern features. The city is famous for its archaeological ruins and monuments. You see below, download this big map of Athens!
Athens Map of Attractions
You will find in Athens map of attractions such as Theatre of Dionysus, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Roman Agora, Museum of Cycladic Art, Monument of Philopappos, Temple of Athena Nike, Anafiotika, Benaki Museum, National Garden, Panathenaic Stadium, Monastiraki, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, New Acropolis Museum, Mount Lycabettus, National Archaeological Museum, Syntagma Square, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Erechtheum (Erechtheion), Ancient Agora, Plaka, Parthenon and Acropolis.
Sightseeing in Athens
Athens is the capital and the largest city of Greece. Although today it has turned into a busy and cosmopolitan city, Athens still preserves elements of its ancient glory. This is the perfect city for sightseeing and a great base for excursions around Greece. Monuments of all historical periods are spread around the town, from the Ancient and the Roman times until the Byzantine and modern era. As the best sightseeing in Athens is found in a walking distance from the city center, they are easy to visit by foot or on a bus tour. Do not certainly miss the Acropolis Hill and the Acropolis Museum. If you have time, take a stroll from the Acropolis to Thission and Monastiraki, it is a lovely promenade.
Discover Best Places in Athens
Through its charisma it is reborn again and again, discover it. Athens shares these priceless life lessons with its visitors. Under the bright Aegean sun and the blue Attica sky. Amid the graffiti that adorns its walls, and the laughter that fills its cafes. A youthful city, buzzing with life, it is confident, free and charming. A city that never sleeps. Full of flavour, desire and pleasure. A city that you must visit at least once in your lifetime. Welcome to Athens.
You are in Athens. Before you let its charm seduce you, and you start wandering through its streets, stand for a minute and consider: How does a city carrying the weight of so much history manage to simultaneously remain so modern and dynamic? Athens has the power to surprise you with its contrasts – a youthful elixir. Wise and carefree. Imposing and light. Old, and yet, so new. All at the same time, with the same intensity.
The Athens with archaeological treasures, the cornerstone of Western civilisation, at night buzzing with life in the industrial streets of Psyrri, the lively square of Agia Irini, and the bustling sidewalks of Thiseio. In the morning, there’s shopping in the chic neighbourhood of Kolonaki, with its high-end boutiques. Later on, take a stroll in Monastiraki, with its stalls chock full of colourful spices. Lose yourself in the magic of the music festivals in Gazi and in the innovative art exhibits of Metaxourgeio.
Stop for a coffee at the renowned cafe-restaurants in Plaka with a view of the Acropolis, leafing through books and newspapers you found at the local bookstore, followed by a bite with friends at a traditional taverna. At night, at a stylish terrace bar, cocktail in hand, take in the panoramic view of the illuminated city – from the Parthenon to the sea.
Also read this: Where to go in Greece
Finally, if at some point you want to escape from the pace of urban life, and get a taste for summer holidays, hit the beach: just a stone’s throw from the historic centre, the Athens Riviera is a spectacular mosaic of summer dreams. A lacey coastline unfolds, with sandy beaches, picturesque coves and crystalline water. The beat of the music pulses day and night.
There, near the luxury hotels, bungalows, spas and marinas, with a view of the Argosaronic, the nightlife takes on a carefree vibe, as you dance barefoot in the sand at the beach bars and open-air clubs, the Temple of Poseidon standing proudly at the edge of Cape Sounio, giving the city an air of sophistication and timeless glamour.
Things to do and see in Athens
Although it is most famous as a sightseeing place, visitors can also practice many other things to do in Athens. The city center of Athens has many shopping streets and districts that regularly have offers. Ermou Street is the most famous shopping street in Athens, while the district of Kolonaki has shops of international brands.
Over the last years, the coasts of Attica are developing as tourist places for foreigners, not only for Athenians who have holiday homes there. This is how many sports centers have made their appearance, from water sports and windsurfing centers to horse riding and diving centers.
Shopping in Athens
Athens is a modern city and, as such, it has a multitude of shops and shopping centers. Here are some of the most famous and important Athens shopping places.
Plaka is the most tourist shopping area, filled with dozens of souvenir shops and some good gold and silver jewelries. The prices there are quite reasonable and there is large diversity.
Pandrossou Street gathers numerous tourist shops as well, selling souvenirs like paintings, magnets or copies of ancient statues. This street is pedestrian and leads from Metropolis Square to Monastiraki district.
Monastiraki Street offers a wide range of cheap shops selling all kind of staff, such as labelled shoes, handmade leather shoes, clothes, leathers, furniture, jewelry, CDs, traditional instruments and more. Monastiraki is the area where the lovely Sunday morning flea market offers a huge quantity of diverse items.
Ermou is the most famous pedestrian street for shopping in Athens, leading from Syntagma Square to Monastiraki. It is the largest commercial street in Athens and attracts hundreds of clients every day. Ermou street is almost always overcrowded, while on Fridays and Saturdays it gets even busier. On the top of the street line up luxurious famous label shops, which are pretty expensive. From the half of the street to the end, the shops offers more affordable labels like Zara, Morgan, Marks&Spencer, and others. The whole street has only clothes, shoes and jewelry shops.
Athinas Street leads from Omonoia Square to Monastiraki. This is an area mostly reserved for food shopping, where all the products are fresh and of very good quality. Here you will find the meat and fish market, as well as the fruit and vegetables market. Little shops around the two markets sell excellent nuts, herbs, spices, olives, honey and coffee.
Kolonaki is the high class district of central Athens. The shops in this area are some of the most stylish and expensive shops in Athens. Here are to be found clothes and shoes from famous international and Greek designers. The neighbourhood is equally full of art galleries, antique and furniture shops.
Shopping malls: Apart from individual stores, Athens also has many shopping malls. The largest Athens shopping mall in the city centre is Attica Stores, on Panepistimiou street. Other malls are also found in the suburbs such as the Athens Mall on Neratziotissa metro station and the Athens Metro Mall on Agios Dimitrios metro station.
Nightlife in Athens
Athens, the capital of Greece, is a renowned nightlife center with entertainment venues scattered all around the city. Athens clubs are numerous and vary in style and type, offering something for every taste.
Nightlife in the city center is buzzing with many Athens clubs found in the areas around the central Syntagma Square, such as Psiri, Plaka, Thission and Monastiraki, all close to metro stations. You will find a wide variety of clubs in Athens, from mainstream dance clubs to alternative rock, ethnic and beach cocktail clubs at the coastal suburbs.
There is an exciting party scene in the Greek capital and most clubs exhibit an international character. Popular nightlife venues include the hip areas of Gazi, Metaxourgeio, Exarchia, and Kolonaki. Other famous nightlife spots in Athens are the music stages, called bouzoukia, with live music and celebrated Greek singers.
Honeymoon in Athens
Athens is the capital of Greece, whose islands are very favoured among newlyweds for a romantic honeymoon. For years, Athens was a one (or two)-night stand on the way to the Greek isles… but we took a deeper look and found that it is a city of wonders with incredible sights waiting to be explored and history to be discovered. A city where antiquity meets edginess, you will find yourself falling deeply in love with this city during your Athens honeymoon. Below you will find best places to stay in Athens while you are in honeymoon.
Honeymoon Hotels in Athens – Most Romantic Hotels in Athens
Find and book deals on the best romantic hotels in Athens, Greece! Explore guest reviews and book the perfect romantic hotel for your trip.
- AD Athens Luxury Rooms & Suites | booking | hotelscombined
- Hotel Lozenge | booking | hotelscombined
- Electra Metropolis | booking | hotelscombined
- Coco-Mat Hotel Athens | booking | hotelscombined
- InnAthens | booking | hotelscombined
- Emporikon Athens Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Acropolis View Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Coco-Mat Hotel Nafsika | booking | hotelscombined
- Amalia Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Andromeda Downtown Suites | booking | hotelscombined
Getting Married in Athens
If you are planning on getting married in Greece, Athens is an excellent option for your dreamy day, besides the islands. More easily accessible and with endless options regarding event agencies, churches, facilities for pre and post wedding receptions as well as luxurious hotels, this city can be the perfect background to celebrate your most special day with your loved ones.
Festivals of Athens
Greece has a large variety of cultural events. Some of them are held in outdoor areas in summer while most festivals in winter take place in the Concert Hall of Athens and read about Athens Street Food Festival.
The Greek Festival
The Greek Festival takes place in various places of Athens (Herodes Atticus Theatre and normal theatres or cultural venues) and also in the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and the Little Theatre of Epidaurus. It offers a large range of performances: modern and ancient theatre, ballet, opera, jazz and classical music, dances, symphonic music and great singers and many other special events. The festival takes place from early June to late August.
International Jazz and Blues Festival
The International Jazz and Blues Festival takes place in Athens, in June, is welcomed by the theatre of Lycabettus. Lycabettus also welcomes every year many other events such as music, dances and theatrical performances from the national and international scene.
The Rockwave Festival welcomes every summer in Athens international bands and musicians. It takes place in Malakasa, about 40 km north of Athens.
International Dancing Festival
The Athens International Dancing Festival aims to discover and promote new talents in dancing and choreography. It was first organized in 2003 and since then it is held every year.
Traditional Dancing Performances
Every year, from May to October, the Theatre of Dora Stratou presents performances of traditional Greek dances.
Video Art Festival
The Athens Video Art Festival started in 2005 and since then it attracts many fans of digital art. It is held in the cultural place of Technopolis, Gazi.
Eat & Drink in Athens
Athens is a great place for eating out and having a drink in the many bars and clubs in the city center. Eat and drink in Athens is a favorite pastime for both tourists and locals. Most popular restaurants are found in the picturesque quarters of Plaka, Monastiraki, and Thission, in the so-called historical center of Athens. This is also where most lounge bars and roof bars are found. Some upbeat clubs are located in the nightlife quarter of Gazi and also in the coastal suburbs of Glyfada and Alimos for summer nights.
Are you looking for places to eat and drink in Athens? Here are some interesting suggestions to have a meal or dinner, enjoy a relaxing coffee and spend the night out in Athens. If you have visited any of these places, feel free to leave your feedback or upload their photos, if you have.
Do you want to know more about the best places to eat and drink while in Athens?
Top 13 Places to Eat and Drink in Athens
- Mama Roux
- I Kriti
- Brettos Bar
- Taf Coffee
- Tudor Hall Restaurant
- Kostas Souvlaki
- Ama Lachei
- The Seychelles Restaurant
- Fabrica tou Efrosinou
Also read this: Traditional Greek Foods
Beaches around Athens
Although Athens is mostly famous for its sightseeing and not for the beaches, there are though many beautiful beaches in Athens. Athens beaches are spread all along the southern and the northeastern side of the Attica peninsula. All the coastline from Glyfada to Cape Sounion have nice organized Athens beaches as well as secluded coves to enjoy a day at the sun. You will find below a list of the best beaches in Athens Greece.
Discover 10 beautiful Athens beaches
- Astir Beach
- Paralia Grand Beach
- Asteras Glyfadas Beach
- Paralia Varkiza Yabanaki Beach
- Blue Bay (Galazia Akti)
- Karavi Beach at Schinias
- Aegeon Beach
- Eden Beach
- Bolivar Beach Bar
- Moraitis Beach
Accommodation in Athens
You will find below our selection with the best hotels in Athens city! Want to see more? View all hotels in Athens.
Since most of the archaeological sites and tourist attractions are located in the city center, most Athens hotels are also concentrated there. Syntagma Square, Plaka, Acropolis, Monastiraki, Thission and Panepistimiou Avenue boast upscale five-star Athens hotels and suites. Other hostels and short term rentals can be found in the side streets of the above quarters but also in Koukaki and Mets. These central regions are a few minutes walk from the most important ancient sites and have many shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Piraeus, as the main port of Athens, also has a wide variety of hotels, from luxurious to more affordable accommodation. You can also find many luxurious Athens hotels, suites, and apartments, with pools and spas, in the southern suburbs of Athens, such as Voula, Glyfada, Alimos, and Vouliagmeni. These areas are quieter and have organized beaches, but they are far from the city center (about 30-40 min by public transport).
Have a look at the hotels in Athens that we suggest and feel free to contact directly any accommodation through their booking form to ask a question or make a reservation. Many hotels in Athens also have online booking engines to make your reservation quickly and easily. As we take no commission from any bookings made via our website, prices are cheaper. Before making your reservation, check for available offers and last minute deals.
Where to stay in Athens
Hotels in Athens are spread in many neighborhoods. There are hotels both in the city center and also along the coastline. As most visitors come to Athens for few days to explore the rich sightseeing of the city, our suggestion is to book accommodation in a walking distance from these sights, or at least a couple of metro stations away. The most convenient places to stay would be Syntagma Square, Plaka, Acropolis, Koukaki, Mets, Monastiraki and Thission. These regions are central and only a few minutes walk from the most important ancient sites. The regions of Omonoia and Metaxourgio are also central, but you have to be very careful at nights as they are frequented by immigrants and pickpockets. Many Athens hotels are also located along the southern suburbs, in regions like Glyfada, Alimos, and Vouliagmeni. These hotels are obviously quieter than hotels in the city center, just have in mind that the distance is about 30-40 min by public transportation.
The 10 best luxury hotels in Athens, Greece
- Emporikon Athens Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Amalia Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Sofitel Athens Airport | booking | hotelscombined
- Golden Age Athens Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Royal Olympic Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Grand Hyatt Athens | booking | hotelscombined
- Athenaeum Eridanus Luxury Hotel | booking
- Kubic Athens Smart Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Electra Palace Athens | booking | hotelscombined
- Herodion Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- St George Lycabettus | booking | hotelscombined
- Coco-mat Athens BC | booking | hotelscombined
- Elia Ermou Athens Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- COCO-MAT Athens Jumelle | booking | hotelscombined
- B4B Athens Signature Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
Cheap Hotels Athens | Find Lowest Price for Accommodation
- Gazi Area Metro | booking | hotelscombined
- Athens Centre Apartment | booking | hotelscombined
- Stylish appartment | booking | hotelscombined
- Venia luxury suite | booking
- Architect’s Penthouse | booking | hotelscombined
- Erato Art Loft | booking
- The Bozonians House | booking | hotelscombined
- Koukaki Home | booking | hotelscombined
- Comfortable Apartment | booking | hotelscombined
- The Bozonians | booking | hotelscombined
Athens City Centre Hotels
- Attalos Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Niki Athens Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Museum Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Best Western Plus | booking | hotelscombined
- Athens Market Portrait | booking | hotelscombined
- Apollo Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Omiros Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Central Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Arethusa Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Minoa Athens Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Socrates Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Philippos Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Dorian Inn | booking | hotelscombined
- Adrian Hotel | booking | hotelscombined
- Athens Starlight Hotel | booking
Athens weather by month
August is the hottest month in Athens with an average temperature of 28.7°C (84°F) and the coldest is January at 10°C (50°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 12 in July. The wettest month is December with an average of 97.6mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in August when the average sea temperature is 25°C (77°F).
Best Times to Visit Athens
The best times to visit Athens are between March and May and from September to November. Weather during these spring and fall months is agreeable and sunshine is pretty much a guarantee. Not to mention, crowds are thinner and hotel and airfare deals are easier to come by than in summer.
Also read this: How Much Money Should You Bring On Holiday to Athens
How to get to Athens
Travel to Athens, Greece: Since Athens is the capital of Greece and the largest of all the cities in the country, there are many different ways to reach this place all year round, either you are travelling from another location in Greece of even from abroad! Moreover, Athens is a transportation hub for the entire country, as in many cases you need to reach Athens first so as to reach your final destination. On this page, you will find out further information about every possible way in which you can reach and explore this amazing city!
How to get to Athens by flights
The International Airport of Athens is located in the region of Spata, 30 km from the city centre. It receives many domestic and international flights every day and it has a regular connection with the center of Athens, the port of Piraeus and the port of Rafina 24 hours/7 days. Apart from international flights, it also serves internal flights to the Greek islands all year round. The flight from Athens to an island is short and lasts from 40-60 minutes.
How to get to Athens by ferries
There are 3 ports around Athens. The busiest is the port of Piraeus, that serves ferries to the majority of the Greek islands, Crete, and a few ports in Peloponnese. The port of Rafina, on the northeastern side of Athens, is the closest to the airport and serves ferries to Cyclades islands and southern Evia. The port of Lavrion is located close to Cape Sounion and serves ferries to Kea and Lemnos all year round and to few islands of the Cyclades in summer.
How to get to Athens by buses
KTEL (suburban) buses connect suburban places and towns around Greece. There are buses from Athens to almost all towns around the country. There are two main bus stations in Athens: Kifissos KTEL Station and Liossion KTEL Station. Most buses depart from Kifissos Station while Liossion station serves buses to central Greece and few destinations in northern Greece, like Pieria.
How to get to Athens by trains
Most trains depart from Larissis Train Station, close to the center of Athens. The train is the cheapest way to travel to Greece. Trains are usually slow as they make frequent stops. The railway network of Greece is approximately 2,500 km long, covering a large part of the mainland and linking the country with central Europe and Turkey. There are slow and express trains from Athens to Thessaloniki, while the slow train continues to Alexandroupoli.
Where to go from Athens by ferry
Last thing, if you travel to Athens for holidays, you may get a plan to see other places you have to visit. Where do ferries go from Athens? What islands can you visit from Athens? Wondering how to get from Athens to Santorini?
From Piraeus to Saronic Islands and Santorini
The closest islands to Athens by ferry are the Saronic islands: Aegina, Agistri, Poros, Hydra, Spetses and also Santorini in Cyclades islands. Only 1 to 2 hours ferry ride from the port of Piraeus, these small islands are perfect for weekend visits and even day trips. In fact, these islands get very busy with Athenians in summer weekends. Book your ferry from Athens to Saronic islands and Santorini.
From Rafina to Andros, Tinos and Mykonos
Rafina is the second busiest port of Attica and the closest to the International Airport of Athens. As the port of Rafina is very close to the islands of northern Cyclades, travel time by ferry is shorter than traveling from Piraeus. Therefore, it is a great base for ferry trip to Andros (2 hours), Tinos (3,5 hours) and Mykonos (2-4 hours). Book your ferry from Athens to Andros, Tinos and Mykonos.
From Lavrion to Kea island
Only 1 hour ferry ride from the port of Lavrion, on the southernmost spot of Attica, is the beautiful island of Kea. This island has not much opened to foreign travelers but it is a very frequent weekend destination for the Athenians, many of whom have holiday homes there. Although administratively it belongs to the complex of Cyclades, it does not have evident Cycladic style. Its colors are earthy and the nature is green and not barren. Book your ferry from Athens to Kea island.
You can discover many different places together in Athens. We hope our article has been useful for you. If you want to ask, you can write comments below.