Why go to Athens
Athens, the capital of Greece, is often referred to as the cradle of Western Civilization. Despite the recent economic downturn, tourism in Greece continues to grow and the 2500 old Athens City remains one of the main draws.
The archaeological promenade, a 2.5 miles long, treeline walkway now connects the Acropolis to the city’s major ancient sites making the visit to these places infinitely a much more pleasant experience.
While for most visitors Athens may be about its historical monuments the city has much more to offer. Athens promises one of the most happening nightlife options in Europe with everything on offer from the modern tavernas in the former district of Gazi to the sophisticated lounge-bars and eateries of Kolonaki.
Athens is well connected by Europe’s largest passenger port, Piraeus. The port serves more than one million of visitors who have the option of taking ferries, catamarans and hydrofoils to the various Greek islands. Piraeus is the gateway for short cruises around the Greek Islands and many companies stop here en route to their Mediterranean and world cruises. Visitors can disembark and explore the hilltop Acropolis, the Parthenon and Delphi.
When to go to Athens
Athens invites visitors all year round. For sightseeing, the best time to visit is during spring and autumn when the days are warm and sunny. The temperatures sore from mid-June to late August, while the whether remains unpredictable November and February ranging from bright to rainy to occasional snow.
How to reach
Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines operate direct flights from several countries. The cost of flights to Greece is highest from July and August when most Europeans take their holidays. For the rest of the year, prices vary according to demand.
Cruise ships disembark passengers at the city’s port, Piraeus, which is about 8miles from Athens city centre. Shuttle buses ferry passengers from the port to the city centre. Their frequency and cost depends on the cruise ship company involved. The metro (green line) also runs from Piraeus to Monastiraki, below the Acropolis and taxis are also available.
Athens International Airport is about 17 miles north-east of the city. The metro connects to Syntagma and Monastiraki in the city centre. Besides there are airport buses, operated by Athens Urban Transport Organisation that run to and from the city. Taxi services are also available.
Athens is best explored on foot, however, public transport system is both efficient and cheap. It includes buses, trolley buses and the metro. You can also hire a car in Athens city centre. However, roads are congested and parking is difficult and expensive.
There are several options available including Greece villas, hotels and guesthouses. The peak months are July and August and so if you are visiting during this period, it is advisable to book accommodation in advance.