Athens: A Quick Guide to the City

Athens: A Quick Guide to the City George Mouratidis

If you’re looking for a unique city to visit that is rich in history, then you should consider traveling to Athens, Greece. You’ll get to see all of the ancient glory and the capital of Greece, as well. Many of Western civilization’s education and art originated from the ancient Greeks, and these origins can be found in Athens. Athens has been considered Western civilization’s birthplace.

About Athens

The city of Athens contains over 3 million people. It got a notable makeover for the 2004 Olympic Games. Many new sports venues were constructed, along with a wonderful new stadium designed by Santiago Calatrava. One essential improvement made during this time was a huge expansion of public transportation and the newly constructed international airport, both of which have become a great boon to those who desire to explore the city.

What to See and Do in Athens

Athens remains filled with medieval churches, world-class museums, and excellent shopping. Besides these amenities, a wide range of site seeing remains available for the person interested in viewing the significant places where Western civilization began.

The Acropolis and Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum holds many archaeological treasures found around the Acropolis. Carved statues and a gallery full of Parthenon artifacts are available for you to view. You can even look at the ruins of the Acropolis from the glass floors.


Under the Acropolis lies Plaka’s historic neighborhood. The Plaka area remains famous for its cafés, shopping, and remains especially renowned for its stores selling gold jewelry. Be sure to wear your supportive walking shoes to tour Plaka, as no motor vehicles are allowed.


The Erechtheion is located north of the Parthenon in the area of the Acropolis. The Erechtheion was created at about 420 BC to provide a place for the worship of Erechtheus, who was the mythical Athens king. Other Greed gods were worshiped there, as well. It remains one of the most eye-catching of the buildings in the Acropolis due to its sculptures and other artistic details.

The Parthenon

One of the most famous of all structures in Athens remains the Parthenon. The Parthenon was once a treasury. Later, it became home to a Christian church. Many visitors find the Parthenon to be the highlight of touring the Acropolis, and perhaps even the highlight of visiting Greece. Presently, the parts of the Parthenon are being restored. For the best experience, attend a half-day or full-day guided tour, led by local Parthenon experts.

Temple of Hephaestus

One excellently preserved ruin remains the Temple of Hephaestus. This temple was built between the years of 460 to 420 B. C. It had a few various uses before it became an archeological museum. In 1930 the Temple of Hephaestus was excavated and become open to tourists. This temple remains open from 8 am to 3 pm. It closes two hours before the sites at the Acropolis. So you might want to start at the Temple of Hephaestus, and then work your way over to the Acropolis area.

Ancient Agora

All the agoras of ancient Greece were open to a public assembly for many reasons. Socrates lectured at the ancient Agora, and Saint Paul searched for converts to Christianity at this site. This site has a better atmosphere and less crowding than the sites at the Acropolis. As with many of these sites, you’ll need comfortable shoes to do a lot of walking.

These locations remain only a few of the interesting historical sites to see when you visit Athens. Click here a full list of things to do in Athens.

Where to Stay in Athens

Most people who’ve been to Athens recommend that you make reservations at an Airbnb or hotel around the Acropolis. Here are some of the best neighborhoods to stay around Athens.

When to go to Athens

While many people take their vacations during the summer, these months make for heavy tourist traffic. To visit the city in good weather and when fewer people are around, try visiting Athens between March and May, or from September to November. Not only are crowds thinner, but you can get better deals on hotels and airfare prices in those months, too.

Getting around Athens

Since the 2004 Olympic Games were held in Athens, the transportation available in the city has become very convenient. Bring a couple of pairs of well-made walking shoes. Many of the main sites to see in Athens don’t allow motor vehicles. You’ll be doing a lot of walking. Several other forms of public transportation remain available, too.

Finding a SIM card in Greece

Check out SIMTourist to find out the best deals on SIM cards and data plans in Greece.

Athens Climate and Landscape

Athens stretches along a peninsula protected by mountains. The center of the city is surrounded by hills such as Lycabettus, Philopappou, and Acropolis hills. Athens’ parks include the National Gardens, Antonis Tritsis Park, as well as the Park of Veikou Hill. Famous beaches abound, such as Lagonisi, Kaliva, and Legrana.

Athens has a Mediterranean-style climate with hot, dry summer months and gentle winters. It receives little to no snow and rains a bit in autumn. The moderate climate and sea side location makes Athens a lovely place to visit any time of the year, whilst there are endless options for day trips from the city.

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