Built between historic hills with Lycabettus being the tallest and with a recorded history stretching back some 3,400 years, Athens is not only a grey city as those who run to catch up with its rhythms like to call it, but one of the oldest cities in the world, with some of the most important monuments and sites that make every tourist feel a shiver when visiting them.
And since many haven't visited the Acropolis since their primary school field trip or spent some time in the historic, touristic and beautiful corners of Athens since the melancholy of the crisis hadn't yet locked them in their homes, it's a good opportunity to reacquaint yourself with the most important places of your city, to visit them or to introduce them to your friends one by one.
In the heart of Athens, the National Garden is a small oasis of greenery for sunny Sunday strolls, a quiet place dominated by nature and not by the car exhausts that star in the centre of Athens. It hosts ancient ruins, columns, mosaics, busts, as well as crowds of people every day, since it is open from sunrise to sunset. It is located next to the Greek Parliament and extends to the south where the Zappeion Palace is located.
No passage through Athens is complete without a stop at the new Acropolis Museum, overlooking the entire city. The museum has the largest collection of ancient sculptures and Greek architecture and on its four levels visitors encounter over 4000 exhibits, while there is a 5th level for ancillary spaces such as the restaurant, the shop and the VIP room.
For romantic afternoons, urban sunsets and panoramic views of Athens, Lycabettus is a special adventure. As it is the highest point in all of Athens, rising 277 metres above sea level, from this hill you can see Athens, from its grey buildings to the sea, and if you reach the top (by cable car or hiking) you will also find the chapel of Agios Georgios. A worthwhile experience, especially for music lovers, is attending a concert at the Lycabettus Theatre, as it is an atmospheric venue for cultural events.
National Archaeological Museum
For those who love art, the collections of the National Archaeological Museum will not leave them unmoved, as it is one of the most important museums in the world in the field of ancient art. Its collections represent all the cultures that flourished in Greece from prehistoric times to the end of the Roman Empire. From small vases, to tools, clay objects and other artifacts, in the National Archaeological Museum and its more than 30 rooms, you will feel the greatness of art.
For the residents of Athens, Syntagma Square is their daily passageway through the centre. For tourists, however, it's one of the must-see sights of the city, with the changing of the Euzon garrison in front of the Unknown Soldier Monument and the Greek Parliament in the background. Syntagma Square is the place where all kinds of demonstrations, rallies, speeches and celebrations, political and otherwise, take place, while at the bottom is Ermou, Athens' famous shopping street.