Athens, Greece is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that stretches back more than seven millennia. Here, the groundbreaking ideas of Plato, Hippocrates, and Aristotle, among many others, helped to form Western civilization as we know it. Democracy was born here, as were the Olympic Games and countless institutions in between.
At its height, no other city held the political and cultural influence of Athens. Today, the reverberations of the city’s Golden Age are still felt throughout the world. Simply put, the West was built on the shoulders of Athens.
Athens Lifestyle and Culture
The Athens of today remains an influential metropolis, made stronger by its cultural diversity. The ancient world and the modern coexist here amidst temple ruins, vast amphitheaters, and modern bustle. To be sure, the number of historic sites can keep travelers enthralled for days, but the city is also home to a lively arts scene, a vibrant nightlife, and more theatrical stages than any other city in the world. In Athens, there’s always something to do and see.
Athens Sights and Entertainment
No visit to Athens would be complete without a trip to the Acropolis. This was the original Athens: a fortified city of the Bronze Age and the birthplace of modern culture. Here, you can see the iconic Parthenon, the stunning Temple of Athena Nike, and the Theater of Dionysius. As you might imagine, it does get crowded here, so visiting in the early morning hours is a wise decision. Take time, too, to visit the Acropolis Museum here; its fascinating exhibits will give you a whole new appreciation for this magnificent historical wonder.
The National Art Gallery continues the city’s grand artistic tradition, with a collection that highlights the best of Greek visual art from the 19th and 20th centuries. One of Greece’s foremost visual art galleries, it is certainly worth a visit.
The National Garden of Athens is a quiet oasis in the very center of the city; its green pathways provide the perfect venue for an evening stroll or a picnic lunch. Its inviting lanes are lined with lush flora, and you’ll even find a few ancient ruins here.
The Herodes Atticus Theater hosts the Athens Festival, a series of performances and events that are sure to please even the most experienced cultural connoisseur.
Nature lovers would be well advised to make the day trip to Lake Vouliagmeni, a short drive from the center of town. Here, you can relax in hot volcanic springs, have your toes gently nibbled by friendly fish, and experience authentic Greek cuisine from one of the vendors. The destination is a bit off the beaten path, but worth the trip.