Athens is the capital of Greece and at the same time it is one of the cities with the richest history in the world. The historical richness is due to the fact that Athens is also among the oldest cities, the first sign of settlement being over 3.000 years old.
The city itself has nearly three quarter of a million residents, while the Larger Urban Zone – the way the metro area is called in Europe – has a population of over 3.8 million, making it the eight largest in the Old Continent.
Athens is situated in the center of Attica and it is the industrial and cultural capital of Greece. The city has a major influence on the country’s economical, financial and political life. Because of the large number of tourists visiting the city each year, it became the cultural center of the country, too.
Even in the ancient times, Athens was a major city in Europe and it is considered the birthplace of the currently known western values as well as of the democracy.
The Cecropia is one of the best-known landmarks dating before the Bronze Age. Today it is known as the Acropolis of Athens, despite the word, acropolis means high city and it is not a proper name. However, because of the historical significance of the Acropolis of Athens, it is generally referred to as simply as The Acropolis.
Like any other city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Athens has a Mediterranean climate. Most of the precipitation in this area occurs from October to April and in this period temperatures are generally between 6 and 18 °C. From May to September, the average high temperature is above 20° and during the summer months it doesn’t drop under 20 °C.
Because of its extended coastline and favorable climate qualities, Greece is a very popular tourist destination and this is acutely true in case of Athens. Without doubt the main attraction of Athens and consecutively of Greece is the Acropolis of Athens. This is among the most recognized landmarks in the world. Here you can admire several ancient buildings like the Odeon of Pericles, the Old Temple of Athena, the Parthenon and the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus.
Athens was a popular destination for international tourists, but since the 2004 Olympic Games, the city underwent some major changes and improvement, which made it even more attractive among tourists.
Beside the port which handles thousands of ships every year ranging from small private yachts to huge ocean liners, visitors can come by air or by land, too. The Athens International Airport was modernized for the Olympic Games and today it is one of the best airports in the world and in 2007, more than ten million international passengers were handled there. The owners of first and business class tickets are served at one of the eight luxurious lounges. The shopping section of the airport is ranked among the finest in Europe for several years. Even a luxurious hotel was built near the airport.
The most theaters in Europe are to be found in this city, to be exact, 148 stages. The best known of these is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, which is the home of the Athens Festival. Besides the modern multiplex cinemas, you can find in the city open-air cinemas. Numerous renowned musicians performed at the Athens Concert Hall.
Even if you climbed the numerous steps to The Acropolis enjoying a performance at one of the popular venues you have to taste the best foods from local cuisine while you rest. Maybe the best places to do so are the traditional Greek taverns.
Typical of Greece are the Bouzoukias. While in Athens, you can’t miss to participate at one of these unique live entertainment shows. You can do so at Iera Odos, Plato and Skyladiko. Traditional dance clubs are also operating in the city. Many of these are well known among real party freaks. Such places are the Mad Club, a three-stage club complete with a gallery and a café, the Budha, offering live Greek music, and the Plus Soda, which is one of the first clubs in the city and is still one of the most crowded nightspots.
It’s somehow beyond the mark to praise the historical richness of the city, because everyone around the world knows that Athens is among the best places for the lovers of Ancient ruins, but is well worth mentioning that today the city is a complex tourist destination with plenty of attractions for everyone.