Athens is the impressive capital of Greece. It is the oldest European world city and is therefore brimming with history. Athens is well worth a visit for anyone interested in history. Because history is what the Greek capital is all about. Western civilization was born in Athens and the city was the world's first democracy. In Athens you will find beautiful remnants of this rich history everywhere.
You will mainly see buildings from Antiquity, such as the Parthenon on the Acropolis mountain. It is not only history that strikes the clock in Athens, you can also enjoy delicious food, enjoy the weather, visit beautiful museums and go out until the early hours. The Greek Riviera is also a short distance (about 20 km) from Athens. Here you will find the most beautiful beaches where you can let everything you have seen in the Greek capital have an effect on you.
Arhens Photo: K Beard CC 3.0 Unported no changes made
Athens is located in the south-east of mainland Greece. Athens is the capital of Greece and the Attica region. Attica is a Greek peninsula in the shape of a rectangle. Athens has an area of 427 km² and almost 886 thousand inhabitants.
Athens has very hot and long summers and mild, wet winters. In summer, temperatures can reach more than 40 °C. The weather is therefore ideal for a Greece holiday. The most suitable months to go to Athens are April, May, October and November. These are the months when it is neither too cold nor too hot. Below you can find an overview of the average weather characteristics of Athens in all months of the year. This way you can see when it is best to plan a trip to Athens.
- January: 13 °C, 4 hours of sunshine a day, 12 rainy days
- February: 13 °C, 5 hours of sunshine a day, 11 rainy days
- March: 16 °C, 7 hours of sunshine a day, 9 rainy days
- April: 20 °C, 8 hours of sunshine a day, 8 rainy days
- May: 25 °C, 10 hours of sunshine a day, 5 rainy days
- June: 30 °C, 11 hours of sunshine a day, 2 rainy days
- July: 33 °C, 12 hours of sunshine a day, 1 rainy day
- August: 34 °C, 11 hours of sunshine a day, 2 rainy days
- September: 29 °C, 9 hours of sunshine a day, 3 rainy days
- October: 23 °C, 7 hours of sunshine a day, 6 rainy days
- November: 18 °C, 5 hours of sunshine a day, 9 rainy days
- December: 14 °C, 4 hours of sunshine a day, 13 rainy days
Erechtheion AthensPhoto: Jebulon in the public domain
The name Athena comes from the Greek goddess of wisdom. The first inhabitants settled on the territory of Athens around 3500 BC. In the 5th century BC, the city-state of Athens reached its peak. Many philosophers and statesmen live there, the concept of democracy dates from this time. In this classical period, the Parthenon, Erechtheion, Hephaisteion and the temple of Sounion were built. Despite its great influence on the whole of Western thinking, Athens fell into decline around the second century BC.
Remains Roman Agora AthensPhoto: Andreas Trepte CC 2.5 Generic no changes made
Romans, Byzantines and Turks consecutively dominated Athens until the Middle Ages. Modern Athens was born in 1834, when the city became the capital of a newly independent Greece. Athens then has only about 5000 inhabitants. The first modern Olympic Games of 1896 gave Athens some of its ancient splendor.
The 20th century was turbulent with the occupation by the Germans, followed by the civil war and the colonel regime. Athens is experiencing a huge influx due to immigration of Turkish Greeks and people from the countryside. Athens also clogs up completely with cars and suffers from pollution. Since the Olympic Games of 2004 much has been improved in the infrastructure and Athens is again high on the list of cities to visit in Europe.
Below you can find the most interesting and popular sights of Athens.
Acropolis AthensPhoto: Christophe Meneboeuf CC 3.0 Unported no changes made
The Acropolis is a Table Mountain in the middle of Athens. The mountain is no less than 165 meters high and is full of ancient ruins. Acropolis means "highest point of the city", because if you see Athens from a distance, you will always see the Acropolis rising from it like a king. The settlement of Athens was founded on the Acropolis about 5,000 years ago. The soil on and around the mountain was fertile, it was close to the sea and the elevation provided safety. For the adventurers among us: the Acropolis can be climbed from the west side.
Athens ParthenonPhoto: Steve Swayne CC 2.0 Generic no changes made
The Parthenon is Athens' most famous landmark on the Acropolis. The colonnaded temple was built to honor the goddess Pallas Athena. The structure was made entirely of marble and it was the first temple on the Acropolis of Athens. The Parthenon measured 31 meters in width and it was 20 meters high. The Parthenon is without doubt the most impressive sight on the Acropolis.
Athens national historical museumPhoto: Public Domain
The National History Museum displays all the major Greek events from the Byzantine period to the 20th century. The collection is listed in chronological order. Highlights include Venetian armor, regional costumes, jewelery, Byron's sword, famous weapons, King Otto's throne and also the real pen used to sign the Treaty of Serbia in 1920. Outside the building is a copy of Kolokotronis statue on horseback, which was made in 1900.
Masque of Aggamemnon National Archeological MuseumPhoto: DieBuche CC 3.0 Unported no changes made
The National Archaeological Museum is located in Marathon, the museum displays archaeological finds from local sites. The museum contains an invaluable collection of unique objects, including Mycenaean gold and an enormous amount of sculpture, jewelry and pottery. The National Archaeological Museum is widely considered to be one of the finest of its kind in the world.
Athens PlakaPhoto: JFKennedy in the public domain
At the foot of the Acropolis is Plaka, one of the nicest areas in Athens. Plaka is one of the most touristic areas in Athens and yet it has managed to keep its authentic charm. During a city trip you can stroll around through the narrow, steep streets. Visit nice souvenir shops or sit on a terrace in the sun to soak up the atmosphere.
The port of Athens has the beautiful Greek name Piraeus. Piraeus is a seaport, so you can easily reach Athens by boat. In the Middle Ages this harbor was called Porto Leone (Lion Harbor), referring to the marble lion that stood at the entrance of the harbor for more than a thousand years. Piraeus is officially a separate city, but it is generally seen as a part of Athens. Near the harbor you will find an archaeological museum that is definitely worth a visit if you visit Athens, Greece.
Ermou Street is the shopping street of Athens with many clothing stores etc. You can continue shopping in Monastiraki, Kolonaki and Athenas Street.
Athenians are very fond of going out and in general the nightlife starts after midnight. We recommend Balthazar and Mommy, both located in the center of Athens. Local stars are often spotted in Balthazar! Mommy is a popular club where you can dance, dine and lounge. The districts of Psirri, Syntagma and Monastiraki are also very popular. The nightlife varies from large discotheques to trendy lounge bars such as Pisina Athens or the Galaxy bar.