The ancient Greek capital and heart of worldwide democracy
Athens is not only the ancient birthplace of western democracy, science and mathematics; it is a bustling modern city with living, breathing Greek culture to be found on every street corner. Whether strolling among the ancient ruins of the Acropolis or dining in sophisticated modern Greek restaurants, the irrepressible spirit of the Greek capital will be sure to put you under its spell. Athens is a large, diverse city with lots to offer, from shopping, dining and exhilarating nightlife, to an unbelievable array of historical sightseeing opportunities. After getting a major make-over to host the Olympics in 2004, now is definitely the right time to visit Athens. While the city still basks in the shallow wake of a successful summer games, the distinction between the ancient ruined stuff and the cool new stuff is at its most apparent, and both these faces of Athens have never looked better!
History, history and more history are the main reasons for a trip to Athens. Although there are countless other explanations why people book flights to Athens, for the vast majority, tourism will be high on the agenda. If you are travelling elsewhere in Greece, spend at least a night or two in Athens, and give yourself an opportunity to explore. For anyone with even the slightest interest in ancient history and culture, prepare to be awestruck by Athens!
When to Go?
The ‘holiday’ season in Athens is spring to October, but it is possible to find flights to Athens most times of the year. In the middle of the summer the blistering heat in Athens can be off-putting to some people, particularly if you plan to do some sightseeing. April to May and September to October prove popular as you can still enjoy warm sunny days without melting in the midday sun.
How to get there?
There are now several options for flights to Athens, including low cost and scheduled airlines. Catching a flight to Athens may be the only way you are able to get to many of the Greek island resorts if you intend on going out of season. British Airways and easyjet will be the two main options for most passengers, with BA offering London Heathrow to Athens flights, and easyjet flying from Manchester and Gatwick.
If you are only in Athens for a day, the number one star attraction has got to be the Acropolis, the large flat rock upon which the magnificent ancient temple known the Parthenon is located. The Parthenon sits on top of a hill overlooking the hustle and bustle of modern Athens below, maintaining the same dignified grace it has had since it was built to honour the goddess Athena over 2,500 years ago.