Seven Things to Do in Athens, Greece
Athens is best known for its role in classical history and for the tourist this is still the primary appeal. Other Greek destinations have overtaken Athens in promoting the nightlife and beach holidays, but Athens still reigns supreme for its history and tradition. However, Athens is also a modern city and the capital of Greece, so it still offers plenty more than just the ancient ruins of its glorious past.
Here is a list of seven of the more popular sights and activities for tourists visiting Athens:
The Acropolis. This has been the heart of Athens from antiquity and remains so today. The Parthenon, a massive marble temple in the center of Acropolis, is visible from almost everywhere in the city. The Acropolis actually has more than this and is a whole complex well worth exploring in detail.
Plaka. To get a sense of the modern city, visit the Plaka district. Full of souvenir shops, small cafes, restaurants and other local attractions, this is where you should go to get a feel of modern Athens and its people.
Psirri. This district has been fully renovated since the 2004 Olympics and is now the center of the Athens nightlife. If you want to find a party, head on down. The Gazi district is also happening, but is more popular with the gay scene.
Anafiotika District. To get a feel for the real city and escape the tourists in Plaka, visit this district. A maze of tiny, winding streets and alleys, this is more like the real Athens and is very picturesque.
National Archaeological Museum. This is an absolute must for those interested in Greek history and features the largest collection of ancient Greek artifacts anywhere. These come from all over Greece, not just Athens and Attica.
The Agora. Outside of, and below, the Acropolis, this was the marketplace of ancient Athens. Some of the ancient buildings still stand and some of the newer additions are quite notable in their own right.
Delphi. Along the same theme of ancient Greece, you can take a day trip from Athens to visit the ruins at Delphi, home of the famous Oracle. The organized tours are expensive, so consider just renting a car and going on your own.
Modern Athens is still a dynamic city in its own right, but no one denies that the primary tourist draw is the ancient ruins. For history buffs this place is wonderful while for others a brief visit will probably be satisfactory.