Athens is without a doubt one of the most incredible vacation destinations on the face of the planet, and the first settlements were actually made in 3000 BC in Acropolis. During the crusades, Athens was a thriving city, and it actually benefited greatly from the Italian trade. Unfortunately this period did not last long, and the Ottoman empire, and though the Greek citizens resisted, they would not be free until the late 1800′s. This freedom however was also short lived as the Axis powers took control of Greece, and it was not until the end of World War II that they would taste true freedom.
Greece today is a truly amazing place. There are plenty of locations to visit including the Acropolis which is the ancient high city of Athens. There are a number of different monasteries located in Acropolis, and you will also find that there are a few marble temples dedicated to the goddess Athena.
Piraeus is an ancient port in Athens, and while it was amazing in it’s time, it is an even more amazing sight now. It is an independent, industrial port, and it has a number of different features. There are a few hotels in the residential areas east of the National gardens, as well as a few taverns for locals.
If you’re looking for food in Athens, you’re going to be glad to find that the the Psiri district is for you. Something to note about this district is that it was at one point solely industrial, but these days it simply features a number of alternative restaurants, hotels, bars, and pubs for the weary traveler.
Interested in the way business is conducted in Athens? Why not visit Syntagma Square? This is the home of the old Royal Palace, and it is also considered to be the business district. It features several hotels, banks, airline offices, and of course restaurants. Note that because this is the business district, you might expect the food to be a bit more expensive than it would be in the rest of Greece. While this might be a problem for some, those actually traveling on business will generally find it to be acceptable.
The southern part of Athens is known as Kifissia and it is considered to be a modern European district. This will obviously contain various shops as well as a few restaurants. The northern part of Athens is rarely visited by tourists, though it might be a rather quiet getaway for those who are interested.
As you can see, there are plenty of things for you to do in Athens, and with that being the case, now would be a great time for you to start looking into them and of course planning your vacation into the ancient world.
Basic Information about Athens, Greece
Athens is the Capital of Greece, and it is consequently the largest city in the country. In addition to that it is one of the oldest cities in the world, being approximately 3,400 years. Take note however that this is only the recorded history. Athens may very well have existed prior to that, but it would be impossible to determine what events too place.
As of 2001, the population of Greece was approximately 745,514. By the definition of a capital city, this is a bit small, but there is land beyond Athens, and outside the city limits there is a population of about three million. That being the case, Athesns is the 7th most populous area in the European Union.
Over the course of 3,400 years, Athens has undergone a number of changes. As you probably know, Greece has been plagued with war for many years, and the government was constantly changing. It wasn’t long ago that Athens freed itself from the grip of the Ottoman Empire, and later freed itself from the Nazi war machine. Athens today is a highly modernized city that contains all of the modern amenities that you have come to expect from larger cities.
Does this mean that Athens has lost touch with its rich history? Absolutely not. It is clear that Athens was a product of the Classical Era, and there are many landmarks around the city that exemplify that all too obvious fact. In addition to the Greek monuments, it has been found that the city still retains a number of Roman and Byzantine monuments along with some Ottoman statues from the occupation. Athens has without a doubt seen quite a bit of history and been exposed to many different cultures over the years.
Since those days Athens has thrived and proven that it most certainly belongs in the modern day world. Within you can find the Acropolis museum along with the National Archaeological Museum which contains a massive amount of antiques from the ancient Greek world. If you were to visit Athens today you would find an incredible city that offers travelers the expected modern amenities, but also provides that ancient feel that so many have come to desire.
When you’re planning your trip to Athens, make sure you take into account all of the sights you can see! There are plenty of them, as you are going to find, and you can take your pick between museums, sights, and even shopping malls. The ancient city carries itself quite well after all of these years, and you will feel more than privileged being at it’s shores and within it’s cities. You never know just what you might discover in a place like Athens!
Places to visit in Athens
Athens has become more and more of a tourist destination over the years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy yourself there. The most important thing will be mapping out your trip and finding the most efficient method of reaching your destinations so that you will be able to navigate the tourists and the winding streets without a single problem. That being said, we have prepared for you a list of the Best of Athens attractions that you may like to visit.
National Archaeological Museum
For those who are interested in ancient history, there is an amazing and extensive collection in Athens. This is considered the flagship museum of Athens, and though you could probably get your fill from standing in the building for ten minutes, those who really want to explore the museum will spend several hours within it’s walls. There is a lot of history to see and take in from the Cycladic Island Civilization all the way to the Minoans and Mycenaeans.
Walking in Athens
Believe it or not, Athens is one of the safest capitals in the world. The crime rate is low, the people are friendly, and with that being the case, why not take a walk on the streets at night? Many people do it, and you’re sure to not only meet some new and interesting individuals, but also see some attractions that may only be available at night.
Around the Acropolis you will find a series of winding streets, and this area is known as the Plaka. While it is impressive on it’s own, you will find that it is host to a number of small shops, and even restaurants that will give you that amazing feel which can only be claimed by a city like Athens.
This area is often considered the heart of Athens, and is known as Constitution Square. This area contains many of the better luxury hotels in Athens, and if you need to get around the city, you will be glad to know that this is the transportation hub. In other words, this is where everything is happening.
Athens is a big place, and no one can deny that. As such there are plenty of things to do within this Greek capital, and you will undoubtedly find something to occupy your time. Keep in mind that the options we’ve presented here are but a few, and you will discover that there are plenty of places to eat, sleep, and even entertain your family if you travel in their company. That being said, now would be a great time to research this incredible vacation destination and see just where you would like to end up.
Food in Athens
If you are planning a trip to Athens then there is a strong chance you’re going to be wanting to eat at some point. That being the case, what are you planning to eat? There are so many different options that you might avail of, some of which are quite nice. In Athens you will find that there are a number of restaurants, some of which you might find in America. For instance you will undoubtedly notice that there is a Hard Rock Cafe in Athens, but if you aren’t from the area then you’re probably hoping for something a bit more exotic. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the food options throughout the city of Athens that you could use.
Vitro is a restaurant that you will find in the heart of Acropolis and it is actually just a few meters from the metro. Inside you will find well decorated lounges along with traditional Greek cuisine. Naturally you will find that they have spaghetti variants, and in true Greek style they will have fresh fish along with stuffed eggplants and lamb. These are all in the Greek tradition and you will undoubtedly have
Many food establishments have come and gone in Greece over the years, but Ideal has stood for the past eighty, which makes it the oldest restaurant in Greece that is still operating. The idea behind this establishment is to provide traditional Greek foods mixed with the contemporary dishes of today. These days certain Greek traditional dishes can be difficult to find, but Ideal can provide you with that local taste. If you don’t feel like eating in, you should note that the Ideal does offer a take away service, and it is open Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to late.
Pentrino was established in 1990 and it is thought to be one of the most beautiful traditional buildings in all of Athens. Its very existence allows travelers to gaze upon it and contemplate just what it might have been like in the era that it represents. Though the time period might be long gone, the memory can most certainly last forever. Inside you will find a relaxed atmosphere, and a setting that closely resembles a garden. Pentrino provides a beautiful restaurant atmosphere whether you’re enjoying a meal with your family or trying to host some type of business reception. Either way, this is a great place to eat and you will undoubtedly enjoy it.
As you can see, there are plenty of great places to eat in Athens, and these are just three good examples. That being said, now would be a great time to look into these as well as other restaurants in the Athens area. You never know just what you might find when you explore a city like Athens.
Weather in Athens
When you’re getting ready to visit Athens you will probably want to know a bit about the weather, and this is understandable. After all, the weather can often change the outcome of your entire trip. That being said, let’s start by talking about the Athens weather in July and August.
July and August: This is the tail end of summer obviously, and it is when the majority of people are taking their holidays. With that being the case, visiting during this time might not be the best idea. The islands are typically full of college students and families, and during the day it can become quite hot. If you are planning to travel to Athens during this time period it would be a good idea to make sure that you reserve your room in advance. Failing to do so may leave you up a creek without a paddle once you actually arrive in the country. You may experience rainfall from time to time, but for the most part it will remain cool in the afternoons and evenings.
May through October: These months are a little quieter, but if you go in early spring it would be a good idea to pack at least some warm clothing. Up to December the area will stay relatively warm, but it may rain here and there depending on the month. Throughout winter time however it will continue to rain, and contrary to popular belief, it does snow in Greece.
November through March: The weather is often warm during November, but it will move on to snow after a time. Keep in mind that the cold weather is actually relative to your origin. For instance you will probably find that natives to the region find December to be cold while you simply sit around wearing a t-shirt and shorts. There is no guarantee of this of course, but being used to certain weather can play a role in your visit to Greece.
February: Now we move on to February. This is a cooler time periods, though not nearly as cold as February in the states. There will be some rain, but there are many who would just as quickly go for a swim during this period.
As you can see, the weather in Greece changes with the seasons, but for those who hail from different parts of the world, the weather change is not quite as severe as in their own countries. This may be hard to believe at first, but one thing is for sure. If you wish to travel to Athens and truly experience it, May through October will undoubtedly be the best time to visit. Remember that weather is subject to change, but this rough estimate will certainly help you to start.
Athens Car Rentals
If you are planning to visit Athens, then you are probably well aware of how important it can be to have a vehicle on hand. Getting around the city can be a bit painful, especially if you have to walk the entire time. With that being the case, you might find it more than beneficial to look into car rentals before you venture into the ancient world.
Finding Athens car rentals can be easy, at least for the most part. The first thing you will want to do is run a search for cheap Athens car rentals using your favorite search engine. Once this is done, you will be presented with a number of different rental companies to choose from, and one of the things you’re going to notice right away is that the price is extremely low.
For about fifty Euros per week you can rent a compact car large enough for yourself and one other person, but if you wish to go all out you can rent a four door vehicle for around one hundred Euros per week. Those who hail from the United States will undoubtedly find this to be not only cheap, but highly useful. That being said, now would be a great time to begin your search.
A good Athens car rental service will provide you with a vehicle that you can keep for the duration of your stay so long as you leave your passport with them. Take note that you will need to carry auto insurance, though many rental agencies will allow you to purchase temporary insurance through them.
If you are not keen on the idea of temporary insurance in Athens, you might try to expand your policy, or look for something a bit longer term. It all depends on how long you are planning to stay in Athens and what type of coverage you really need.
Athens car rentals are definitely something that you will need to work into your schedule if you are planning to enter Athens at all. Athens is a huge city, and is quickly turning into a growing metropolis. That being the case, it is no surprise that so many are rushing to see this ancient wonder, and new car rental agencies are popping up everywhere.
There are plenty of vehicles to choose from in Athens, and in some cases you will be able to obtain a car rental along with your trip package depending on who you go through. There are some amazingly extensive packages out there, and you will be more than pleased once you find one that meets your entertainment needs and provides you a vehicle in which to enjoy your stay.
Shopping in Athens, Greece
If you are planning to visit Athens this year, there is a strong chance that you’ll be interested in shopping. You will be able to find the big stores of course, but what about those little shops that encompass the spirit and culture of Athens? Let’s take a look at a few of them to determine whether or not you want to add them to your vacation itinerary.
First of all we have the Central market. This is a small shop that sits in Athinas street, and it provides various items such as prigan, basil, lavender, and even Greek herb tea. If you’re looking for a conventional grocery store, you haven’t found it, but you can get in touch with nature once more if you’re willing to spend your money at this little shop.
If you happen to be looking for dry fruit, then you’ll be glad to know that Monastiraki is a great shopping center. You can buy virtually anything here as long as the a vendor is set up for it, but you will generally find that fresh fruit is the norm here in Monastiraki.
Hondos Center is a sight that you can see nearly everywhere in Athens, and if you live in the United States you could consider them to be more like a CVS or Walgreens. They are your local pharmacy along with your local clothing store. In addition tot hat they sell cosmetics and luggage for travelers. In other words, this should be your one stop shopping location in Athens for most things mass produced.
If you’re looking for something a bit more conventional then you might want to take a look at something like the Athens Metro Mall. This mall is located in the south suburbs of Athens, and it sits above the Metro Station of Agios Dimitrios. It contains cafes, cinemas, lounge bars, banks, and various stores. In addition to that it contains a small park for children to enjoy themselves while their parents go shopping.
As you can see, Greece has plenty of shopping centers that you can take advantage of, and once you get into the city you will undoubtedly find a number of different shopping locations, even some that were mentioned on this list. That being the case, go over your budget and prepare yourself for the shopping spree of a lifetime. After all, how often do you get to visit a foreign country and ample the wares that they have to offer? The answer is probably not very often, so make sure you’re ready to bring home anything that customs will allow. You never know just what that might be until you finally step foot in the country of Greece.