While it’s renowned as the birthplace of Western democracy, the capital of Greece is also so much more than its ancient past. Athens holidays have a lot to offer, as there are world-famous museums, pulsating nightclubs, bustling flea markets, fantastic restaurants and much more.
Crumbling, sun-bleached ruins mingle with 1960s high rises, neoclassical houses and Byzantine-style churches – and, in recent years, the city has really evolved, opening new museums, restaurants and hotels, with an influx of young artists making this city a newly hip spot.
The main tourist sites are congregated in the city centre, but travellers will be rewarded for going off the beaten path. Athens is a city of neighbourhoods. Head to the punk-y area of Exarcheia to drink coffee with an artistic crowd and marvel at giant street murals. The well-heeled congregate in Kolonaki, the hilly shopping district with fabulous Greek and international designers, plus fantastic museums. In the shadow of the Acropolis, you’ll find the laid-back hipster neighbourhood of Koukaki, while Pangrati is an up-and-coming district with great local tavernas. When you need some sea and sun, head to the city’s southern coast or, better yet, hop on a ferry from the port of Pireaus – holidays to Athens are an amazing gateway to exploring the Greek islands.
Parthenon is the most-visited site in Athens, for good reason – perched atop the Acropolis rock, this temple has passed the test of time for over 2,000 years.
Athens Central Market
For the most authentic food market in the city, head to the Athens Central Market, where you’ll find locals shopping for the best herbs, vegetables, meat and more.
Changing of the guards
Every hour on the hour, the fabulously dressed guards in front of Parliament perform an elaborate changing – even in the wee small hours of the morning.