Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Athens is the capital and the largest city of modern Greece, and is one of the world’s oldest cities, spanning around 3,400 years. In ancient times, Athens was the largest and most powerful Greek state. It was a city with beautiful public buildings, shops and public baths.

Athens deserves at least 3 to 4 days alone to absorb both modern and ancient Greece. They best way to get to know Athen is by joining Walking Tours, or by walking around on your own with a good guide and a map. Getting around Athens is pretty easy with public transportation – Athens Metro, bus and taxi.

The Acropolis: is the ancient “high city” or “Sacred Rock” of Athens, crowned by marble temples sacred to the city’s goddess Athena. It is one the most recognizable monuments in the world.

On the western and highest side of the Acropolis is the marble Parthenon, a temple, built for the Goddess Athena. It was said that there was a large gold and ivory statue of Athena. Athena was the goddess of wisdom and war and was the patron of Athens. The legend says that Athene and Poseidon had a contest to have the city named after them. Poseidon promised the riches of the sea, but Athena’s gift was an olive tree, which was felt to be more valuable.

Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio: Charming historic districts at the foot of the Acropolis, with restored 19th century neoclassical homes, pedestrianized streets, shops and restaurants, and picturesque ruins from the city's Roman era.

Piraeus: The ancient port of Athens, Piraeus is today an independent, heavily industrial municipality located southwest of Athens, whose modern-day port serves almost all of Attica's ferry connections to Crete and the Aegean Islands.

Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos): Dominated by the old Royal Palace, Syntagma Square is the business district of Athens, complete with major hotels, banks, restaurants and airline offices.

As Athens was the host of the 2004 Summer Olympics, the city had to build and/or reconstruct buildings for the games as well as for tourism. One of the challenges the locals informed us during this period was that that every time an ancient artifact was discovered during construction, construction would come to a standstill.

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