Athens holidays are an ideal mix of traditional and trendy. You’ll find modern bars and shopping centres sat in the shadows of thousand-year-old ruins.
A world of history
Greece and history go hand-in-hand. And in Athens, this is amplified at every turn. With over 3,400 years of recorded history on the books, each neighbourhood and city sector’s like an individual exhibit at a museum. Ancient Greek temples rub shoulders with Byzantine-era churches from the 4th century, and signs of the Second World War still linger around the capital.
The Acropolis and Parthenon
You’ll find the Acropolis on a hill in the centre of Athens. Dating back to the 5th century BC, this giant marble ruin’s seen as one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. It’s home to the Parthenon, an ancient temple originally built to worship the Goddess Athena, who the city’s named after. These days, it’s a favourite with history lovers and photographers, thanks to the well-preserved state of the ruins and the 360-degree panoramic views.
Plaka’s a must-see spot on any tour of Athens. It’s the oldest neighbourhood in the city, and serves up a slice of Athens a lot of people don’t know exists. The cosy cobbled roads have a Greek-island feel to them, with souvenir shops, family-run cafés and plenty of blooming trees for decoration. And the entire place sits in view of the Acropolis, which you can get to in a 10-minute walk.
You might be surprised to know that a 20-minute drive, or tram ride, south of the city leads to a collection of walnut-coloured beaches. Athens sits on the Attica Peninsula, which has a coastline that could rival more famous Greek beachfronts, like Santorini or Crete. And even though they’re so close to the city, the beaches here are properly peaceful, offering up the option of a relaxing daytrip by the sea in between exploring the sights