Greece has many acropoleis, but only one Acropolis. Towering over the city with the magnificent Parthenon astride it, this iconic ancient monument is just one of a host of heritage sites on display in Athens, the oldest city in Europe.
Times have changed since Plato and Aristotle walked amid these ruins; modern Athens is a cosmopolitan boomtown undergoing rapid evolution that leaves it almost unrecognisable from even a decade before. The banning of cars from the city centre has created Europe’s longest and most stunning pedestrian promenade, while a host of new arts facilities and sponsored events are marks of growing prosperity.
Shop till you drop in the inviting commercial district or just browse in the famous market of Monastiraki, sample red wine and sun-soaked olives at pavement cafes and then chill out on the Mediterranean beaches of the Attica peninsula. Athens combines an unparalleled heritage with a host of modern riches to keep even the most restless of visitors entertained.
Where to stay
For stunning views over the city it’s hard to beat the O&B Boutique, but you’ll find better facilities in a central location at the King George. The AVA Hotel provides superb, spacious rooms which can feel like an apartment away from home.
Where to eat
The Gazi is the place to be for restaurants, bars and much more. Varoulko has a Michelin star but mixed reviews suggest it may be in decline; Spondi serves superb French cuisine in an attractive restaurant with great attention to detail and décor.
What to see
The Acropolis is a must see; beyond that, Athens Walking Tours are the best way to take in sights such as Agora, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Plaka, a historic neighbourhood still bustling with life which is a great place to get some refreshment.