Athens City Breaks
Athens is famous for being the home of many great philosophers and athletes, the place where the ideas of democracy and modern civilisation were first envisaged and a city which can boast itself as the homeland to the ancient gods.
With a climate that offers sunshine pretty much all year round and major sights like the Parthenon and the Acropolis for visitors to discover, anytime is the perfect time for your Athens city break. The capital of Greece also has many beautiful parks and stunning beaches situated nearby for you to enjoy, so even if the history of the city is not the biggest draw for you, there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy your time away from it all.
Did you know?
Athens is often called the birthplace of democracy but, over the years, the city has also been ruled by every other form of governmnet - monarchy, socialism, capitalism and communism.
The majestic ruins of an ancient Greek building, known for its dignified white marble columns and perfect sense of proportion.
The National Archaeological Museum
A museum featuring the art and artefacts of the Minoans, an ancient tribe of people who once dominated the Aegean Sea.
This large hill lies in the centre of the city and contains a cluster of ancient ruins.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
The colossal Temple of Olympian Zeus is the largest in Greece and took more than 700 years to build.
The Agora-Athens Central Market
The well-preserved Gate of Athena Archegetis, flanked by four Doric columns, was erected in the 1st century AD and financed by Julius Caesar.
Historic neighbourhood located at the base of the hill topped by the Acropolis.
Whilst visiting Greece, you have a good opportunity to shop in Athens, where both men and women will find good quality items at decent prices from the many shops which line the bustling streets. At the tourist areas of Plaka and Monastiraki, you will find souvenirs and Greek art and, at the flea market, you will find antiques and old books. You will be surprised at the bargains found in Athens. Gold and silver jewellery is popular, given the international fame of Greek designers.
A multitude of jewellers all stock a wide selection of reproductions of ancient Greek jewels in traditional and modern designs. You may also find bargain souvenirs, handmade goods and bronze vases. Athens has been famous for its copper utensils, as well as its clay and ceramic goods since the Archaic Age. The ideal place to find unique items of Greek ceramic art and pottery is the suburb of Maroussi, where most designers and ceramicists have shops offering handmade goods.
You may also find woven wool, cotton jumpers with unique designs, leather goods and shoes made by Greek designers. You will find these items at Ermou Street and Kolonaki Square. There's also an abundance of antiques in various shops in Kolonaki, Syntagma and Monastiraki. You may find a range of antiques, such as furniture, hand-painted wooden trunks, attractive miniatures, and small decorative items.
At the National Council of Social Care, you will find valuable handmade heavy carpets and rugs made on wooden looms. In addition to this, there will be a wide range of embroidery, embroidered tapestries, handmade cushions and bags, decorative wall embroideries and uniquely charming, authentic designs of Greek popular art.
Athens and Piraeus offer a variety of different restaurants allowing visitors to choose between typical souvlaki shops, the fish taverns of Piraiki and Mikrolimano, the grill restaurants (psistaries) offering all the kinds of meat grilled on charcoal and the Mezedopolia specialising in various traditional Greek meze specialities. The Ouzeries specialise in small delicatessen (mezedes) and grilled octopus accompanying the national Greek aperitif, Ouzo.
There are numerous Pizzerias, most of them offering home delivery, and there are also taverns and restaurants which offer live music and entertainment. The atmosphere in typical Greek restaurants and taverns is casual, relaxed and informal. Good amateur cooks enjoy great respect in their social circle while a good housewife in Greece means a good cook. A good cook sometimes dedicates days to the preparation of a meal for their friends.
Athens is famous for its nightlife and the entertainment satisfies all tastes. The famous "bouzoukia" are the leaders in the Athenian entertainment. While the numerous theatres all around Athens offer a different type of entertainment.
For tourists that travel to Greece and want to get to know the local way of life, the main places of night activity are Plaka, Psiri and Thission, near and around the Acropolis. In Plaka, once the centre of Athenian nightlife, some restaurants still offer syrtaki and bouzouki shows for the tourists. Psiri, located next to the Monastiraki flea market, became popular during the late 90's with numerous restaurants, taverns and bars attracting a huge following. Another nightlife spot with many bars and upmarket restaurants is the Thission area, mostly for the younger generations.