The history of Athens spans over 3,000 years and has been shaped by multiple civilisations. Today the city is a cosmopolitan hub where the contemporary nestles alongside the ancient.
Visit the hilltop Acropolis and take a step back in time as you wander amongst these formidable ruins. Nearby in the quaint neighbourhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki, you can stroll through cobbled backstreets, shop in bustling markets, and dine at family-run tavernas. In Exarcheia, you’ll encounter Athen’s young, alternative scene. Popular with students, this neighbourhood is a hotspot for live music, bookshops, and casual eateries – it’s also where you’ll find the best museum in the city: the National Archaeological Museum.
To see more of the city's modern side, head to Syntagma Square and stroll along Ermou, Athens’ central shopping street. In the upscale district of Kolonaki, you can indulge in a little more retail therapy, by browsing the chic boutiques and enjoying fine dining experiences. Kolonaki is also home to the excellent Museum of Cycladic Art and the Benaki Museum.
Away from the city, the wider Attica region promises spectacular beaches, luxury seafront resorts, and ancient sites such as the Temple of Poseidon.
As a historic city with much to offer beyond sunshine and blue skies, Athens is truly a year-round destination – but if you want to catch the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, an event which brings music, dance and theatre to the city, visit between June and August.
For the beach resorts you may want to travel in the summer when the temperature hovers in the late 20s. However, the spring and autumn are also an excellent time to visit, as the cooler temperatures are ideal for sightseeing.
Athens is an international city, which means the dining here is richly varied. You’ll encounter home-style cooking in the tavernas, world-class experimental dishes in the Michelin-starred restaurants, and everything in between!
Luxury hotels in the city and on the coast will offer their own culinary experiences, typically serving sophisticated modern twists on Greek classics. Popular Greek dishes to try in Athens include moussaka, pastitsio and briam. As for the drinks? Expect excellent wine from the Peloponnese and plenty of ouzo.
Before booking your trip to Athens, make sure you’re aware of the entry requirements – you can check these at GOV.UK. When travelling, carry your passport with you at all times and keep a photocopy of official documents.