Athens is a modern metropolis pulsating with life, where the inescapable history of one of the oldest cities on Earth embraces the present at every turn. Visitors will be drawn here to see the ancient monuments on the Acropolis and the surrounding archaeological sites. But, don’t be fooled, this is a busy, bustling town that lives in the moment. The new face of the city – a capital city that evolves year after year – provides just as much of a reason to stay.
There are brand new five-star, boutique hotels, a seemingly endless number of Airbnb options, and cafés, bars, and restaurants with cuisines from around the world. You can find gourmet street food, designer clothes, and places to buy quality Greek products. A new network of pedestrianised streets makes the entire historic centre easily accessible, and in the area’s neoclassical buildings there are many different museums to visit, alongside modern galleries.
This city is no stranger to tourism, but it does not need to rely on its past reputation. In the World Travel Awards 2022, Athens was recognised as the ‘World’s Top Cultural Destination’. The history of the city lies at your feet, as the life of a modern European capital whirls around you. Athens is the past and the present. You’re sure to want to visit in the future.
Small towns within the city
Each district remains distinct, like the multi-ethnic Monastiraki, the historic and touristy neighbourhood of Plaka, or affluent Kolonaki, the city centre’s most aristocratic neighbourhood.
Voukourestiou and Stadiou are home to designer clothes shops and costly places to eat and drink. Dionysiou Areopagitou provides a walkway to the ancient and neoclassical past of the city, passing by the New Acropolis Museum and the entrance to the Acropolis archaeological site. The pedestrianised street of Ermou remains the place to go for a little retail therapy.
Agia Irini Square and the surrounding streets have become the epicentre of evening entertainment for young people. In the evenings, the bars thump out music so that the area has its own pulsating heartbeat. And then there is Syntagma Square, where the Greek Parliament looms large along one side.