Surrounded by a lining of stunning seas and mountains, Athens is filled with gems just waiting to be discovered. Located at the crossroads of three continents, the capital of Greece with an overall population of close to four million has often been the hub of many cultures. Characterized by a culture and people that are welcoming and hospitable, every visitor just feels at home. Athens is an ideal congress destination, combining state-of-the-art infrastructure, excellent conference facilities and easy access from all over the world with world-class cultural attractions, modern amenities, diverse entertainment and natural beauty. Most hotels in Athens underwent extensive renovation in preparation of the 2004 Olympic Games, a great benefit for contemporary visitors that can enjoy comfortable and stylish accommodation combined with outstanding services.
Reasons to Visit Athens
Looking for reasons to visit Athens? Explore them below!
Here are some of the countless places you must visit when in Athens!
Ancient Agora of AthensThe Acropolis
Rising 490 meters above the sea level, on top of a hill overlooking Athens marvelous Acropolis contains some of the most well-known monuments from the ancient world; Parthenon dedicated to Goddess Athena, Propylaia — the monumental gateway to the Acropolis built of white Pentelic marble, Temple of Athena Nike, Erectheum — the ceremonies venue with the renowned Caryatid Porch at its south end.
The Acropolis Museum
Just 800 feet from the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum is undoubtedly one of the best museums in the world. The museum houses all of the surviving artefacts ever found on the Sacred Rock of the Athenian Acropolis.
National Archaeological Museum
One of the most important museums worldwide. It houses the finest antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural and artistic value.
The locals favourite district, located under the shade of Acropolis, between Syntagma and Monastiraki square. Plaka is the most authentic neighbourhood of Athens and here you can enjoy a pleasant stroll around the alleys to admire the ancient monuments like Lysikrates, the Roman Agora, the Tower of the Winds and Byzantine churches. Discover neoclassical houses with their well-kept gardens, souvenir shops selling traditional Greek products and numerous picturesque tavernas and cafes.
A meting point for tourists as well as locals. Located in the centre of the city, Monastiraki, is well known for its famous open-air market where you can buy literally buy anything! Discover vintage items shops, designers' clothes cafes and restaurants.
National Garden and Zappeion
Just behind the Greek Parliament in Athens city centre you will find an amazing Park open to the public. Once called "Royal Garden", as it was commissioned by Queen Amalia, this park is home to 7,000 trees, 40,000 bushes and other plants. An extension to the Park is the landmark building of Zappeion that currently operates as an exhibition and conferences centre.
One of the most iconic monuments directly connected with Modern Olympic Games, from their revival in 1986 until the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. From this stadium the Olympic Flame is delevered to all Olympic Games, Summer, Winter and Youth.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre
A brand new cultural hub in Athens which houses the National Library of Greece and Greek National Opera. Stavros Niarchos cultural centre also features a stunning park ideal for children as well as for adults to enjoy a pleasant walk, exercise or attend cultural events.
Temple of the Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a former colossal temple at the center of the Greek capital Athens. It was dedicated to "Olympian" Zeus, a name originating from his position as head of the Olympian gods
Ancient Agora of Athens
The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill.
Syntagma Square is the central square of Athens. The square is named after the Constitution that Otto, the first King of Greece, was obliged to grant after a popular and military uprising on 3 September 1843. It is located in front of the 19th century Old Royal Palace, housing the Greek Parliament since 1934
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum in Athens houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide.
Mount Lycabettus, also known as Lycabettos, Lykabettos or Lykavittos, is a Cretaceous limestone hill in Athens, Greece at 300 meters above sea level. Pine trees cover its base, and at its two peaks are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theatre, and a restaurant.
The Benaki Museum, established and endowed in 1930 by Antonis Benakis in memory of his father Emmanuel Benakis, is housed in the Benakis family mansion in downtown Athens, Greece.
The Zappeion; is a building in the National Gardens of Athens in the heart of Athens, Greece. It is generally used for meetings and ceremonies, both official and private.
The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea or just Kapnikarea is a Greek Orthodox church and one of the oldest churches in Athens.
Shopping in Athens
Athens has many shopping streets and stores for your shopping. You can find many stores with high quality clothing and shoes in Ermou street, Aiolou, Academias and Metropoleos. At Plaka and Monastiraki you will also find many stores for clothing, souvenirs and kids toys like the big store Moustakas in Monastiraki square.
The Mall of Athens
The mall of Athens is located at Marousi next to Neratziotissa Station (metro) and it gathers more than 200 different choices for shopping, entertainment and food. Here you can find branded shopping chains, restaurants and cafes, cinema halls and recreational and entertainment venues for the whole family. *Source: The Mall of Athens
Attica Golden Hall
Housed within the most lavishing shopping center in Greece, attica in Golden Hall is famous its unique store ambience and its extensive range of up-to-date, high-end products. Housed within the most lavishing shopping center in Greece, attica in Golden Hall is famous its unique store ambience and its extensive range of up-to-date, high-end products.
With 130 shop-in-a-shop featuring more than 400 different brand names in womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories, jewelry and cosmetics, you will definitely find whatever it is that you are longing for. The department store's second branch is housed within the shopping center Golden Hall, located in the city suburbs. Source: https://www.atticadps.gr/
Mc ArthurGlen Outlet
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Athens is the first designer outlet in Greece where you can find your favourite brands at up to 70% off, all year round. Their beautiful setting, cafes and restaurants, free parking and more than 100 boutiques, they offer something for everyone. They have a wide range of stores, ranging from iconic fashion brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Guess and Hugo Boss to athletic labels, like Nike and Adidas, and high-street favourites, like Diesel.There is also playground for kids and stores with kid toys. Source: https://www.mcarthurglen.com/en/outlets/gr/designer-outlet-athens/about-us/
Food,Drink & Nightlife
Food and Drink
Athens is truly rich in dining facilities featuring original gastronomy, as well as luxury restaurants and cafes. Cheese, light red wine, and salads remain the favorite food of the locals, so you will find a large choice of them in each dining facility of this city.
You can find many restaurants and cafes at Monastiraki square, Plaka, Psiri, Sintagma, Kolonaki, Lycabettus Hill restaurants. Almost in every place of the city you will surely spot around you many restaurants, cafes and fast food. You will not only find Greek restaurants but also cuisines from all over the world with Lebanese, Chinese, Mexican, American food and many more!
Not only restaurants but also local markets are great for everyone who searches popular national delicacies. Varvakios market offers many interesting products by local farmers and producers. This market is located in the heart of the city. Dozens of various sausages, cheese, smoked and jerked meat, numerous spices, and popular desserts are just some of the items sold on the market. Local sellers allow sampling absolutely all the food they sell, so a simple walk in the marketplace can easily turn into an exciting gastronomic quest.
When describing the gastronomic traditions of Athens, it is important to mention delicious local wine. Neighborhoods of the Greek capital are famous for Vinsanto wine, a bottle of which is available in virtually any local shop. Retsina is also a popular and widely spread variety of local wine. This wine is characterized by an unforgettable smell of resin. *Source: http://www.orangesmile.com/travelguide/athens/cuisine--814876.htm
If you are travelling to Athens with kids its sure that you will find many places to spend your time and have fun.
Attica Zoological Park
Travellers, who like nature and crave for some rest in a secluded place, should include a visit to the Attica Zoological Park into their vacation program. The zoo was opened approximately 10 years ago. Distinguished by its big size, the zoo has become home for animals and birds from all over the world. The collection of the zoo is considered one of the biggest in the world, so it is always worth spending somewhat more time in this wonderful place in order to observe animals in spacious open cages. Tired visitors can always relax in one of numerous rest zones.
The Athens Planetarium is an internationally famous landmark, a visit to which will be enjoyed not only by adults, but also by children. The diameter of the planetarium's central cupola estimates 25 metres. The modern building has state-of-art equipment that allows visitors observe stunning views of the stellar map, distant stars and planets. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Allou Fun Park
If amusement parks are in the list of your preferences, don't forget to visit Allou Fun Park. This is the largest amusement park in the city, so visitors will find numerous rollercoasters, rides, a ferris wheel, cozy cafes and many other interesting places perfect for a family vacation. The majority of rides will fit teenagers, while younger kids are welcome in an adjusting park zone.
Museum of Illusions
Is it real or fake?Am i really taller?How many people do you see in the mirror? Visit the Museum of illusions in Athens for a unique experience for you and your children. Discover the world's most amazing illusions in the brand new Museum of Illusions Athens.
Mc ArthurGlen Outlet
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Athens is the first designer outlet in Greece where you can find your favourite brands at up to 70% off, all year round. Their beautiful setting, cafes and restaurants, free parking and more than 100 boutiques, they offer something for everyone. They have a wide range of stores, ranging from iconic fashion brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Guess and Hugo Boss to athletic labels, like Nike and Adidas, and high-street favourites, like Diesel. There is also playground for kids and stores with kid toys. https://www.mcarthurglen.com/en/outlets/gr/designer-outlet-athens/about-us/
The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. When entering the museum there is a kids bag you can take at the reception with fun activities and history learning for kids. In the bag there is a map of the museum and kids are given stickers of some statues to stick them on the map which is making it more fun and adventurous for kids while they are learning history In the bag also you can find some puzzles and games also related to the history of Athens and Acropolis. The bag must be returned to the reception before leaving the museum.
Kids will be amazed with the history and the really stunning view of Parthenon. The birthplace of Demogracy and the Golden Age of Athens and Pericles. Also from Parthenon you can enjoy the really amazing view of the city of Athens from above.
Little Kook themed Cafe
For your desert and coffee with your kids dont miss the chance to visit this beautiful place which is decorated with fairy tale themes changing decoration and themes many times during the year. The Cafe is located in Psiri area of Athens and will be a really unique experience for kids.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
One of the biggest parks in Athens which is housing the Greek National Opera and National Library. The park has playgrounds, gardens, a labyrinth and in its open grass area are taking place festivals, concerts, activities for kids and many more.
Floisvos park playground
Outside of the city next to Floisvos harbour. It is one of the biggest playgrounds in Athens and is divided by areas depending on the age of children.
Athens Bus Tour and Happy Train
Both the Athens tour with the bus and the Happy Train will be a great experience for kids of any age, and it is perfect for seeing the city and its attractions while having fun on the roof of the bus or being in the train! Both services are hop on hop off and you can get out when you like in one of their many stops in the city.
Events in Athens
During your stay in Athens you can enjoy many types of events happening all year around in this beautiful city. Live concerts, exchibitions, festivals, marathon events, cultural and religious events and many more.
Follow the links below for a full guide of events in Athens and find those happening during your stay: