Athens Travel guides:Greece is going through a difficult period, but Athens will always be a European center of culture, with beautiful classical sites and world-class museums.

The city was named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom, which was celebrated by an ancient temple on the Acropolis, rising proudly above the concrete jungle of modern Athens. It reached its peak in the 5th century BC as a city-state, and then was set up by many of the icons of the ancient Greece.

The UNESCO World Heritage site is crowned by four ancient Greek temples, the most famous of which is the majestic Parthenon. Nearby, is the new Acropolis Museum opened in 2009, making 21-century design in the Greek urban landscape with its high-tech structure and minimal exhibition spaces. Then there’s the sedate 19th-century neo-classical National Archaeological Museum, displaying the world’s finest collection of ancient Greek artifacts.

Under the Acropolis, Plaka tourist overgaat in the flea-studded Monastiraki, which in turn is connected through the busy shopping street of Ermou Street, Syntagma Sqaure, home of the Greek Parliament – the site of numerous popular protests since the economic crisis.

West of Monastiraki is Psiri, full of bars and taverns, and further west,is the fashionable post-industrial district of Gazi, known for its nightlife.

Greek food is popular around the world, and whether you want the gyros and moussaka , there are plenty of eateries to choose from. Venture out from the city are more varied dishes, to find more creative restaurants.

After dinner there is the insatiable nightlife, with chic cocktail bars and dance clubs. With so much fun to have, and a blissful Mediterranean climate, which extends into the night you really have nothing to worry about.

What to see in Athens Travel guides

Agorá (Market)

Now in the heyday of Athens, the Agora is the center of city life, serving as a place of trade and the political, administrative and cultural heart of the city. Courts, temples and public buildings are all in this area, where ordinary Athenians, market traders and merchants mingled with officials, politicians and philosophers. Today, the site is dominated by the 5th century BC Hephaisteion (Temple of Haephaistos), one of the best preserved ancient temples of Greece. The fascinating Mouseio tis Agoras (Museum Agorá) has found an eccentric array of everyday artifacts in the area. It is housed in the second century BC Stoa Attalou (Stoa of Attalos), which is thought to have been an early shopping arcade with 42 individual stores.

Neo Mouseio Akropolis

This great ultra-modern glass structure displays priceless ancient statues and artifacts from the Acropolis site.

Acropolis (Acropolis)

The show-stopping Acropolis (upper city) dominates both the skyline of the city and the route of every tourist. Athens original settlement was founded on the rock . The site contains four sacred buildings, all from the Golden Age of Pericles (461-429BC). The steep climb to the top leads to the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the site in Ionic and Doric styles. Athena Nike temple is to the left of the Propylaea; the original was damaged by Turkish troops in the 17th century, but has been beautifully restored. The Parthenon is the largest building in Acropolis and an icon of Western civilization. It was built entirely of marble, was designed as a refuge for the Athena goddess. Despite the tourists, the perfect harmony of the structure is still awesome.

 

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