Visiting Athens - What to See and Do
Athens is the capital city of Greece and a popular tourist destination for many reasons, including its fascinating history and culture. Part of the charm of Athens lies in its extremely welcoming people - around five million of them. Athens has a superb Mediterranean climate that lures sun thirsty travellers to its beaches during the day, while at night some lively night spots keep party seekers happy until the early hours of the morning.
The city is famous for hosting the first Olympic Games and for its ancient ruins. As the host of the 2004 Olympic Games, Athens completed a number of modernisation programs that included a much improved public transportation system and the renovation of the city's tourist attractions. The transformed city is a much more pleasant place to visit than before.
Ten things you must do in Athens
- Take a trip up to the Acropolis to see the 2,500-year-old Parthenon, the most famous building on the Acropolis and an iconic symbol of ancient Greece.
- Visit the ruins of the Agora, the ancient centre of Athens, where you can find the Temple of Hephaistos and other archaeological sites.
- Journey to the outstanding Temple of Zeus. Situated 90 miles west of Athens at Olympia, the temple was constructed between 470 and 456 BC.
- When in downtown Athens, visit Hadrian's Arch. Built in 131 AD, the arch was erected to signify the point at which the new section of the city was to join the old section.
- Take in the ambience of the Dionysos Theatre at the foot of the Acropolis, which lays claims to being the world's oldest theatre.
- Explore Greece's fascinating past with a visit to the National Historical and the National Archaeological museums.
- Spend the night out in the Psyrri district and enjoy the lively clubs and fashionable bars located here.
- Escape the heat of Athens and take an air-conditioned guided bus tour of the city by day or at night.
- Bathe in the crystal clear waters at Schinias Beach in Marathon. A perfect beach for children due to the shallow water, while the sand here is ideal for making sand castles.
- Visit the Greek Evangelical Church in Plaka, which is made of stunning white marble.