Athens should not be left out in any Greece vacation. First and foremost, it is the capital city of this beautiful country and hence one of the main attractions of the land. Getting to know about Greece is getting to know about life and culture in its cities. And with Athens being a major city, it truly needs a special mention for tourists visiting for the first time.
Athens is a city with about 3.7 million inhabitants. This city is also considered as the birthplace of the whole nation and therefore, also the birthplace of Western civilization. This metropolitan city is bounded by mountains on three sides namely, Mt. Ymettos, Mt. Parnitha and Mt. Pendeli. Inside Athens, there are twelve hills that can be found of which Acropolis and Lykavittos are the most prominent.
Places of Interest
For the tourists, Athens has a lot to offer in terms of attractions and places of interest. One of the most notable ancient landmarks in the city is the Acropolis, the ancient high city where marble temples sacred to the city’s goddess Athena can be found. At the foot of the hill of Acropolis are places worth visiting. These are the districts of Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio. Notable on these districts are the various restored 19th Century neoclassical homes, restaurants and the picturesque ruins of the city’s Roman era.
Another place worth visiting in Athens is Piraeus, the city’s ancient port. This port still serves as an industrial hub for products going in and out of Greece. It is also where ferry connections to Crete and the Aegean Islands as well as almost all of Attica can be found. Tourists can then head out to the city’s business district, Syntagma Square. A notable landmark of the Square is the old Royal Palace. This is also where most of the major hotels, banks, restaurants and other offices of note are located.
Getting to Athens is fairly convenient with it being the Greek capital. This is especially true for tourists from other countries getting in by plane. The city has the new Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport which opened last 2001. It is located just 27 km east of the city center and has become a more attractive and efficient means of getting into Greece. The new airport contains excellent public transit networks that can connect arriving tourists to various points of the city.
From the airport, tourists can get into the city center by Metro, the city’s railway system. The airport Metro is the city’s Line 3 extension which then leads to downtown Syntagma and Monastiraki stations. There are also available buses as well as taxis operating from the airport going into the city.
If coming from other regions of Greece, there are regional coaches that connect Athens to the other cities in Greece. There is also a national railway service available connecting the various Greek cities including Athens. Public transport in Athens is considered relatively cheap with a simplified ticketing system that allows commuters to travel on any means of public transport.
An Athens Greece vacation need not be a problem in terms of transportation since they are readily available from the city.