Holidays to Athens
Athens is the capital city of Greece, birthplace of democracy and the most famous city of the Ancient World. It is a city bringing together past, present and future in a truly unique way. With the ancient ruins and temples of thousands of years ago standing side by side with the new modern buildings and infrastructure such as the Metro, Athens is the perfect example of living and breathing history.
Athens is home to some of the most important ancient and archaeological sites in the world. The most famous of course, is the Parthenon, which is situated at the top of the Acropolis rock that dominates the city. Visited by nearly every visitor to Athens, this unique structure is one that both amazes and inspires.
The peak of the Golden Age of Athens (5th Century BC) saw it as the centre of world, full of the greatest writers, most skilled sculptors and distinguished philosophers. People of the city flocked to the theatre so see that latest tragedy by Socrates, and the artistic skills of the Athenians was something that was shared by all. Political ideals, architecture, sculpture and art, philosophy and literature are just some of the symbols of the ancient city of Athens.
What is so impressive about the Golden Age is that even though now the importance of Athens has greatly diminished, the remains of the great historic city are still there for all to see. As well as the Parthenon, there are many other temples, ruins and remains scattered around the city that are visited by millions of visitors every year.
Examples such as the Ancient Agora and the Temple of Zeus are just a few of the sites that Athens has to offer. Around the city, there are many places that have stood the test of time extremely well. The Parthenon, visible from all over Athens, stands as proudly as ever, keeping a watchful eye on the goings-on below.
During the hot summer months you can find shade in the beautiful National Gardens. As you take a walk around the gardens and admire the beautiful flowers and plants, you can find a bench under the shade of the trees grab a few minutes of peace, or read a book. The gardens are the most green part of Athens, and are a very popular destination for both visitors and locals.
The beautiful Plaka district, located around the base of the Acropolis is filled with old houses and shops, as well as a fine selection of coffee shops and tavernas where you can sit back and enjoy a drink or meal. There is something quite special about enjoying a meal with friends or loved ones in a local taverna with the Acropolis looming overhead. There are so many winding roads and alleys you can walk through, that it is pretty easy to forget that you are actually in a city of 5 million, rather than on a small island, which is exactly what it feels like.
Athens, like so many areas in Greece, is a place that really needs to be explored to be fully appreciated. If you arrive with the idea that once you have been up to the Parthenon, you have done and seen it all, then you will be very much mistaken. There are many beautiful districts in Athens where you can enjoy an afternoon walk, or an evening meal. The Psiri are is very popular for restaurants and nightlife, and it a very popular part of the city, especially during the weekend.
Another very beautiful place to visit is that of Mikrolimano in Piraeus. You will find a stunning setting with the colourful harbour where you can enjoy a drink or meal at one of the many cafe bars or restaurants that are located all around the lovely harbour. This is a very popular destination for residents of Athens, and it is a place that is starting to become popular with visitors to the city.
The real Athens lies in the small winding roads, the tiny cafes in the back streets, the people of the city and the chaos of everyday Athenian life. This is the Athens that visitors should try to seek out if they want to truly gain an insight into the real Athens, and the magic and beauty that lies beneath the “glossy travel brochure image” of the city.