Presentation of the destination
At Athens, this name of course makes all the antiquity reverberate in many minds. The birthplace of democracy, a large part of the history and myths that forged the whole of Europe, Athens is not content to be a living museum. The city, despite a geographical situation that forced it to not be able to spread over the surrounding lands, has managed to develop and become a dynamic European metropolis. It took only fifty years in Athens to build a fame that will remain etched in the history of mankind until the end of time. On the strength of this influence, particularly philosophical, the ancient city has been transformed over time into a sprawling city, until it hosted the Olympic Games in 2004 (which made it a real complete layout). Between visits to ancient sites and night outings around a glass of ouzo on the Exarchia Square, enter this dreamed and fantasized city, discover that its highest quality remains without doubts. warm welcome as you reserve the Greeks.
Points of interests / things to see
Athens has gone through the ages by adapting century after century to the cults of its many occupants. Thus, first quoted ancient celebrating Athena, she becomes Christian, Muslim, atheist. Why this city was respected by each of its new masters, why the monuments were not destroyed? Perhaps because the splendor of the buildings of Ancient Greece has a universal human radiance. The name of Athens comes perhaps from the word "ath", which means "head". Indeed, the city is overlooked by the Acropolis hill and Athena is, according to the legend, out of the head of his father: Zeus. This city located on the plain of Attica is surrounded by a river, a gulf and mountains. These natural fortifications have made this, since the nérolithic, a prime location to build a city. Around 800 BC, several villages come together to form Athens, which explains the plural of its name. Between the 5th century BC and the 3rd century BC, she knows her golden age, becomes the cradle of philosophy with Aristotle and sees itself year after year year embellished. By losing its political role and its ramparts after the death of Alexander the Great, it focuses only on its intellectual influence. The Romans do not stop to make it live and to be inspired by it. Many monuments such as the Agora or Temple of Augustus date from this time. The temples become churches, Athena is replaced by Mary. Then under the Ottoman regime, the churches become mosques and minarets are built. The city falls in disuse. Freed from the Turkish Empire, Athens became Greek again in 1834. Ministries and museums occupied the Acropolis, and houses were growing on the field of ruins that had become Athens. It will be necessary to wait the 50 years for the city to resume a revival and out of the shadows. Finally, in 2004 it is chosen to host the Olympic Games, which encourages it to modernize its infrastructure (such as tram and metro).
As you can see, history fables are in the right place. For historical Athens, organized tours will help you find yourself in the heart of legends, while many travel agencies will offer one-day or half-day tours. In the most prestigious sites. However, if you want to explore these old stones on your own, here is a non-exhaustive list of monuments not to be missed. The Acropolis, of course, will certainly be the starting point for your visit. It includes monuments such as the Parthé non, the temple of Athéna or the Propylées. The Agora is the second historical landmark of the city, and the political center of the ancient era. Also visit the temple of HÃ © phaÃ¯stos, that of Zeus and the arc of Hadrian, quite south of the city. The Roman era will be very well represented by its own agora, you will admire the Tower of the Winds, which is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Besides the monuments, the city possesses many museums that will tell you all the history of the city. Athens has been a flagship venue in the world of culture and arts at an international level thanks to theater, ceramics, architectureâ € | The influence of AthÃ¨ nes and its conception of aesthetics have spread everywhere. You can see this by visiting, for example, the Acropolis Archeology Museum, the Folklore Museum, the Ceramic Museum or the Byzantine Museum.
Not only is Athens an artistic platform, but also sporty! This city which was the starting point of a whole culture of sports and tournaments has kept this tradition in its walls. Athletics, cycling, windsurfing and volleyball are among the most popular sports. Any type of sports is hosted and coached in Athens. The sea will allow you various aquatic activities, the hills surrounding the walks, horseback riding or horseback riding and many hotels offer fitness classes. At 2.5 kilometers from Athens, a perfect track for cycling starts bypassing Mount Lycabettus. The more adventurous will choose the Mont Parnès track. For family outings, enjoy the walk starting at Flisvos Marina, more accessible to the little ones. Competitions lovers will also be able to visit the OAKA (the Olympic complex). Athenian Sports Club). The latter has been revamped for the 2004 Games and includes an Olympic Stadium, Olympic Gymnasium, Aquatic Center, Tennis Court and Speedway.
Athens can also be a thriving city, especially if you visit it during the summer months. Its natural borders prevent it from stretching out as much as it could, which creates a sometimes heavy urban concentration. Fortunately, nature is not far and you can find rest and this same intramural! The national garden offers a beautiful, relaxing walk away from the noise. It is in the heart of the city. The flora is varied because imported from many exotic countries. There are greenhouses, turtle ponds, and ancient ruins. The Athenians meet there to relax a bit. The Cap Sounion Nature Park contains the Temple of Posidon. Located about 45 kilometers from Athens, this park offers one of the most beautiful views of Attica. The sunset over the sea through the columns of the temple is a spectacle that you should not miss!
Do you want to bring back memories of the beautiful Athens? Everything depends on your preferences. There are neighborhoods lined with luxury shops with signs reflecting all the Greek fashion. You will find small stalls selling antiques, traditional clothes, not to mention the flea market! To go shopping, go to the main Ermou shopping street, in addition to the international brands, you will find chic local shops. If you have not found your happiness, the Omonia district is also a favorite place for ready-to-wear. The flea market as for it is located In Monistiraki, it is open every day and you can find antiques worthy of the greatest collectors. We also advise you to go for a walk at Kedima, paradise for traditional embroidery. In Plaka, the old town, you will find countless souvenir shops for tourists, where budget travelers will be delighted to fill their bags with souvenirs.
Between two purchases, hunger will undoubtedly be felt. Greek cuisine, which has similarities with Mediterranean, Italian and Turkish cuisine, is recognized as one of the best for health and one of the tastiest. His fame has even earned him the World Heritage designation of "Intangible Heritage of Humanity". Derived from the creamy diet, the only fat used is olive oil, flavored with herbs and seeds. The sea, at the gates of the city, induces dishes of fish and seafood, however the meats are also very varied. Yogurt is one of the favorite products of the Greeks, as well as its derivatives such as hard and soft cheeses. Honey is more used than sugar. One of the typical dishes of the region is called "the mezze". This dish has the advantage of allowing an overview of Greek flavors, since the plate consists of small dishes. The meal is usually accompanied by a glass of retsina, a white wine with a slight taste of resin and, after the dessert, a little ouzo is always nice. Treat yourself to mixed salads, fried eggplant pastries or tzatziki spread over a simple piece of bread. Plaka district, the most visited by tourists, swarm of small restaurants. A tip, go to the most frequented stores by the Greek population, this will guarantee the quality of service. If you want a sophisticated and chic table than the small canteens of the old town, go to Glyfada and Vouliagmeni. If on the other hand you want to have a good meal with a concert or a party in a club, it's in Psiri that you have to go. Prices are higher, but the atmosphere is worth the cost.
Vacation rentals in Athens (Attica)
How to get there ?
By air, you will land at Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Spata. Located 35 kilometers from Athens, it serves flights from Paris and Marseille. From the airport you can get to the city from the motorway if you rent a car. A 24-hour shuttle will take you to the city center station and the E95 bus goes to the city. Anyway, you can always call a taxi if necessary. The new infrastructure dating from 2004 makes this airport also accessible by metro and interurban rail transport. Athens station, Larissa, serves many national destinations such as Thessaloniki, Patra, Corinth, Alexandropouli, Kalambaka, Trikala, Karditsa, Katerini, Lamia, Livadia or Volos.
Athens city hall
Athens twins towns, sister cities
Discover the athens's international relations with partnership cities and friendship cities.
Hotels in Athens (Attica)