Athens, Greece

The sprawling city is bounded on three sides by Mt Ymettos, Mt Parnitha and Mt Pendeli; whilst inside Athens are twelve hills [the seven historical are: Acropolis, Areopagus, Hi... more

Athens, Greece

The sprawling city is bounded on three sides by Mt Ymettos, Mt Parnitha and Mt Pendeli; whilst inside Athens are twelve hills [the seven historical are: Acropolis, Areopagus, Hill of Philopappus, Observatory Hill (Muses Hill), Pnyx, Lycabettus, Tourkovounia (Anchesmus)], the Acropolis and Lykavittos being the most prominent. These hills provide a refuge from the noise and commotion of the crowded city streets, offering amazing views down to Saronic Gulf, Athens' boundary with the Aegean Sea on its southern side. The streets of Athens (clearly signposted in Greek and English) now meld imperceptibly into Piraeus, the city's ancient (and still bustling) port.

Spring and late autumn are the best times to visit Athens. Summer can be extremely hot and dry during heatwaves, but this rarely happens. Winter is definitely low season, with the occasional rainy or snowy day, but also an ideal time to save money while enjoying the city without countless other travelers and tourists.

Whilst peak traffic hour can be a bit smoggy on the main roads, on most sunny days the skies are azure blue.

At first glance, Athens seems entirely to be composed of nasty, four- to six-story concrete buildings, lacking character and badly in need of a paint, but if you look beyond that, you will find little gems tucked in amongst the grey. The areas at the foot of the Acropolis, Anafiotika, Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio are home to many wonderful Neoclassical buildings, trendy and traditional cafes and shops, narrow winding streets, and incredible views of the Acropolis. Little Greek Orthodox churches are tucked in amongst the concrete, often in the most unexpected places. These are usually beautifully decorated with icons and brass fixtures inside, but make sure you're appropriately dressed (no short sleeves or bare legs is a good rule of thumb, as a mark of respect).

For the best views of Athens, head to the top of Lycavittos Hill. You can either walk from Kolonaki (the path starts 15 minutes from Evangelismos metro stop, and will take 30 minutes to talk up the winding, but paved and not steep, path) or you can take the funicular railway from the top of Ploutarchou Street in Kolonaki. Either way, be sure to wear flat shoes, and bring lots of water in the summer! From the top you can see the whole city, the port of Piraeus and, on a clear day, the island of Aegina and the Peloponnese. Have a drink at the cafe there, and pay a visit to the chapel of St George.

If you're lucky enough to be in Athens for the Easter Weekend, you'll see the spectacular sight of hundreds of people making their candlelit way down the hill on Easter Saturday night as part of the Easter Vigil procession.

Although a huge city, Athens has relatively few shopping malls or large department stores; the small, family run shop still conquers all. Souvenirs are of course available everywhere that tourists go. Other shopping opportunities are antiques, museum reproductions, embroideries and other folk art goods, and Greek food and drink products.

While Athens is generally a very safe city, there have been a huge number reports of pickpockets on the Metro (especially at the interchanges with the line from Airport), buses and in other crowded areas, including Plaka. You will notice that natives travel with their hands on their bags and pockets and keeping their bag in front rather than on their side or back, which unfortunately is not without reason. You will probably be warned about pickpockets by hotel staff and friendly waiters, but this may be too late. Be extremely cautious and split all your documents, cards and money into different places. Street crime is rare; when it happens, it's most commonly purse-snatching from women walking away from banks and ATM machines.

Places near Athens

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Athens Links

Spondi is one of the most awarded restaurants in Athens with international acclaim. Created by Apostolos Trastelis in 1996, this exquisite locale is a reference for Athenians and all over the country. The menu adapts to fresh seasonal produce and is...

Island is a superb location on the coastal road to Varkiza, designed to relax and enjoy and has been mentioned in many international publications, amongst which Newsweek. Jetsetters and visiting celebrities always include it on their schedule. Vinta...

  In the renovated post-industrial Athenian center, in one of the most traditional points of the city, lying beneath Acropolis hill at Psyrri, the restaurant “hytra”  uses Greek raw material and it proposes Greek dishes with a creative glance. "...

  Varoulko awaits old and new fans of quality to continue its culinary pursuits. Its remarkable past finds home in a place - which guarantees an even better future - full of the art of Lefteris Lazarou and his remarkable tasteful surprises. ...

  L'Abreuvoir opened in March 18, 1965, Alex Kotsis and his wife Yanna thought that it would be nice to establish a French restaurant at Kolonaki, a beautiful district of Athens.   Being a specialist in French cuisine, the cuisine he had...

  Daphne's is a classic in every sense of the word located in Plaka and the preferred destination of visiting public figures from the international political scene and business world. Major tourist agencies throughout the world regularly recomme...

Seventeen bar and restaurant is an establishment in itself and has a long and interesting history, since 1957, which has been described in one of the owner's books, and includes reminisces about visiting celebrities, political events in Greece and c...

  Aegli’s location could not be more ideal for the visitor of Athens. Located in the heart of the city of Athens, in the Zappeio Gardens and next to the Zappeion Megaron (the first building designed to serve the needs of the Olympic Games, t...

Sale e Pepe is undoubtedly one of the top choices for genuine gourmet Italian cuisine in town. Chef Ivan Ottaviani opened his first restaurant in Mykonos 20 years ago and transfers his locale to the magic island every summer. The restaurant speciali...

  Spring 2006.  A new venue, named Kuzina, was created in Thissio area of Athens, with the ultimate goal of approaching the Greek cuisine, by presenting some of its most popular local characteristics in the most subversive way. A concept of ...

Villa Mercedes is glamorous, swanky and one of the most high class club restaurants in Athens. The restaurant and private cocktail bar is decorated in silver and white with a touch of grey velvet, chandeliers, fabric draped walls and white baccarat ...

Akrotiri Lounge is an all time favorite from April to October. Situated on the coast of Agios Kosmas, Akrotiri restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine and attracts a fashionable crowd. The club is decorated in black and white, with fluorescent notes...

  Bed-Boutique-Yaya go on the beach!   The summery and elegant ClubB.e.d at Asteras Glyfadas, welcomes this year club Boutique – Yaya and promises intense nights with the most extravagant parties and special events on the seafront, by th...

  The Fuzz Live Music Club began in 2006. The first three years of its existence, was located at the beginning of Vouliagmeni Avenue. In 2009, it moved to its current location, in place of an old cinema is no longer the ultimate venue in Athens....

  The original “Fine Dining & Clubbing” experience downtown, known for the special new baroque details of its glamorous areas. Standard status quo meeting point for the most known and beautiful people, the beloved bar – restaurant of Vlassis Sta...

W poolside dreams is the ultimate summer club in Glyfada. The impressively decorated location, the great vibes by resident djs and the great parties make this club a favorite destination. Every Thursday Show Me Love, with happenings and surprises, o...

The six dogs is an all day / all night cultural entertainment center in the heart of our beautiful city, launched in October 2009. Combines organic one Project Space (space hosts exhibitions, one-off events, performances and other various projects),...

Things do to in Athens

The Benaki Museum ranks among the major institutions that have enriched the material assets of the Greek state. It is also the oldest museum in Greece operating as a Foundation under Private Law. Through its extensive collections that cover several ...

  The Numismatic Museum is one of the oldest public museums in Greece. It was established in 1834, the same year as the National Archaeological Museum.   The love for Antiquity, prevalent at the time in Europe, and the recent foundat...

The National Museum of Contemporary Art began its operation in 2000. Its foundation came to cover a huge gap that the decades long absence of an analogous institution for contemporary international art had created in Athens.

  A private museum space in the heart of Athens, under the shadow of the Acropolis, opened its doors to friends of the fine arts in the summer of 2004. The exhibition program consists of artists who play or have played an important role in the e...

The National Historical Museum belongs to The Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece (HESG), which was founded in 1882 for the purpose of collecting, saving and presenting relics and documentary evidence relating to modern Greek history. It i...

  The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on its feet, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman ...

  The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece and one of the world's great museums. Although its original purpose was to secure all the finds from the nineteenth century excavations in and around Athens, it gradually becam...

  The Museum of Cycladic Art is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC.   It was founded in 1986, to house the collection of Nicho...

The National Gallery was founded on April 10, 1900 by a law in which provision was also made for the assignment of a chief curator of the Foundation. The acclaimed painter Georgios Iakovidis was appointed in this position. The National Gallery’s ope...

The Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum is a unique museum devoted to the art of jewelry and the decorative arts. The museum was founded in 1993 and opened to the public, as a non-profit organisation. Today the Museum’s permanent collection includes over...

Athens Nightlife

Island is a superb location on the coastal road to Varkiza, designed to relax and enjoy and has been mentioned in many international publications, amongst which Newsweek. Jetsetters and visiting celebrities always include it on their schedule. Vinta...

Villa Mercedes is glamorous, swanky and one of the most high class club restaurants in Athens. The restaurant and private cocktail bar is decorated in silver and white with a touch of grey velvet, chandeliers, fabric draped walls and white baccarat ...

Akrotiri Lounge is an all time favorite from April to October. Situated on the coast of Agios Kosmas, Akrotiri restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine and attracts a fashionable crowd. The club is decorated in black and white, with fluorescent notes...

  Bed-Boutique-Yaya go on the beach!   The summery and elegant ClubB.e.d at Asteras Glyfadas, welcomes this year club Boutique – Yaya and promises intense nights with the most extravagant parties and special events on the seafront, by th...

  The Fuzz Live Music Club began in 2006. The first three years of its existence, was located at the beginning of Vouliagmeni Avenue. In 2009, it moved to its current location, in place of an old cinema is no longer the ultimate venue in Athens....

  The original “Fine Dining & Clubbing” experience downtown, known for the special new baroque details of its glamorous areas. Standard status quo meeting point for the most known and beautiful people, the beloved bar – restaurant of Vlassis Sta...

W poolside dreams is the ultimate summer club in Glyfada. The impressively decorated location, the great vibes by resident djs and the great parties make this club a favorite destination. Every Thursday Show Me Love, with happenings and surprises, o...

The six dogs is an all day / all night cultural entertainment center in the heart of our beautiful city, launched in October 2009. Combines organic one Project Space (space hosts exhibitions, one-off events, performances and other various projects),...

Athens Dining

Spondi is one of the most awarded restaurants in Athens with international acclaim. Created by Apostolos Trastelis in 1996, this exquisite locale is a reference for Athenians and all over the country. The menu adapts to fresh seasonal produce and is...

  In the renovated post-industrial Athenian center, in one of the most traditional points of the city, lying beneath Acropolis hill at Psyrri, the restaurant “hytra”  uses Greek raw material and it proposes Greek dishes with a creative glance. "...

  Varoulko awaits old and new fans of quality to continue its culinary pursuits. Its remarkable past finds home in a place - which guarantees an even better future - full of the art of Lefteris Lazarou and his remarkable tasteful surprises. ...

  L'Abreuvoir opened in March 18, 1965, Alex Kotsis and his wife Yanna thought that it would be nice to establish a French restaurant at Kolonaki, a beautiful district of Athens.   Being a specialist in French cuisine, the cuisine he had...

  Daphne's is a classic in every sense of the word located in Plaka and the preferred destination of visiting public figures from the international political scene and business world. Major tourist agencies throughout the world regularly recomme...

Seventeen bar and restaurant is an establishment in itself and has a long and interesting history, since 1957, which has been described in one of the owner's books, and includes reminisces about visiting celebrities, political events in Greece and c...

  Aegli’s location could not be more ideal for the visitor of Athens. Located in the heart of the city of Athens, in the Zappeio Gardens and next to the Zappeion Megaron (the first building designed to serve the needs of the Olympic Games, t...

Sale e Pepe is undoubtedly one of the top choices for genuine gourmet Italian cuisine in town. Chef Ivan Ottaviani opened his first restaurant in Mykonos 20 years ago and transfers his locale to the magic island every summer. The restaurant speciali...

  Spring 2006.  A new venue, named Kuzina, was created in Thissio area of Athens, with the ultimate goal of approaching the Greek cuisine, by presenting some of its most popular local characteristics in the most subversive way. A concept of ...