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Athens Holidays

Athens
Overview

Athens may have a recorded history which dates back over two thousand years, but it's a city where modernity and tradition co-exist simultaneously. This alluring city has an eclectic mix of ancient monuments, lively bars and restaurants and a flourishing cultural scene.

 

You'll find unforgettable ancient sites littered in and around the city, offering you a taste of real ancient Greece. First up is the Acropolis, the ancient citadel of Greece, which also houses the majestic Parthenon, a temple dedicated to goddess Athena. A fitting complement to Parthenon is the equally awe-inspiring temple of Zeus with soaring columns reaching for the sky. Round up your Athens holidays with a visit to the theatre of Dionysus, which was supposedly the birthplace of western drama. Museums are also a popular tourist draw, where you'll discover Byzantine and Christian Museum, which is known for its outstanding collection of frescos and artifacts, while Benaki Museum and National Archeological Museum are dedicated to ancient Greek art and sculpture.

 

But history is not the only attraction for tourists. Much of the city has acquired a cosmopolitan flavour with chic shopping malls, lively bars and nightclubs jostling for attention. Attica is your one-stop destination for high-street fashion, while McArthur Glen - the newest retail sensation - is known for a wide range of stores and hefty discounts. When it comes to the atmospheric nightlife scene during your holidays to Athens, you’ll have a tough time choosing from the high-class Akrotiri, the classic Vinilio and the glamorous Dybbuk.

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Places to go and things to do in Athens
Admire Ancient Ruins

Admire Ancient Ruins


Head to the Archaeological Promenade, a 4km tree-lined walkway which links Athens’ main sites of archeological interest. For the real essence of ancient Athens don’t miss the Acropolis, the fascinating museum, and iconic columns of the Parthenon.

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Find Hidden Retreats

Find Hidden Retreats


Visit the lovely Plaka area near the Acropolis for a change of pace on your Athens holiday. Most traffic is banned here, so it’s the nearest thing to a quaint Greek village, right in the city centre. Hop on a tram to make the short trip to one of the many beaches near Athens, like the sandy Vouliagmeni beach, only 23km south of the city.

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Athens After Dark

Athens After Dark


Most of Plaka’s restaurants are aimed at tourists, so if you want to sample food the locals eat on your Athens holiday, head to the city centre for stylish modern tavernas. The city comes alive at night with a fantastic bar scene. Iconic Brettos bar, with its rows of backlit bottles, has been serving homemade liqueurs since 1909.

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Conquer a Mountain

Conquer a Mountain


Active travellers who climb up Mount Lycabettus will be rewarded with panoramic views of the city and glimmering Aegean sea. The climb up can be taxing, so if you’re less mobile or simply feel like a more leisurely day out, take the funicular railway. Admire the pinewood trees on the way up and reward yourself with a treat in the café at the top!

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Athens' Secret Island

Athens' Secret Island


Step back in time at Agora, the ancient marketplace, home to traditional temples and a concert hall within its colonnaded arcades. For a peek into life in ancient Athens, take a walk through the scenic 19th century whitewashed neighbourhood of Anafiotika. Described as a 'Greek island in the middle of Athens' this pretty, flower-filled quarter on the northern slopes of the Acropolis is above Athens’ centre of Plaka.

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Day Trip to Aegina

Day Trip to Aegina


About an hour by boat, the quiet island of Aegina boasts a picturesque crescent-shaped harbour, filled with fishing boats as well as glamorous yachts. The island is home to pistachio farming and fishing and takes its name from the mythical daughter of the river God Asopos, who eloped with Zeus to the then deserted island. Some popular spots to visit are the Temple of Aphaia and church of Agios Nektarios.

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Get Arty in Athens

Get Arty in Athens


Soak up some art and culture on your Athens holiday at GazArte. This multipurpose art space is found in Gazi. It screens Greek cinema and has a bar and bookstore. Enjoy sipping cocktails at the outdoor terrace with views over the pomegranate trees. Nearby, an industrial plant has been given a makeover and is now the Technopolis - a popular spot for concerts and art exhibitions. For an insight into art and design in Athens, visit the Benaki Museum.

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Shop for Souvenirs

Shop for Souvenirs


Pick up gorgeous handmade replicas of ancient Greek pieces, plus some Matia (bright blue charms) to ward off the infamous Greek 'evil eye'. Drop in at the Sunday flea market at Avissynias Square for paintings and trinkets and barter for a bargain here. You can also explore vintage stores in the scenic warren of streets at Psiri.

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