Athens has been unceasingly rising towards the top of lists of travelers and travel agents around the globe. The Greek capital’s rise to fame was long overdue and it is now seeing its streets brimming with visitors throughout the year. And if you’re wondering what it is that makes Athens such an exceptional destination, here are ten reasons for you to visit this marvellous city.
Athens is a top destination for cultural tourism
It should come as no surprise that Athens is often referred to as the cradle of western civilization.
Arts, philosophy, history, mythology, science, linguistics, the contributions to the development of western culture by the Athenians over the millennia have been more than significant.
And not all is lost in the sands of time.
Even if you’re not a culture vulture, a visit to the birthplace of democracy and a tour of the most important historical attractions of Athens can give you a glimpse into the past and a better understanding of how the modern world was shaped.
Amazing weather all year
There is really no bad time to visit Athens.
The mild Mediterranean climate of Greece has gifted the capital city with mellow winters, sunny summers and soothing temperatures in between.
Regardless of when you choose to visit you can expect almost ideal weather conditions for your short city break or extended holiday.
Locals start heading towards the seafront as early as April and most of the cafes and restaurants in Athens follow a strong al-fresco attitude and offer outdoor seating almost year-round.
If you’re a film buff, make sure to visit an open-air cinema in the city center for an unprecedented experience.
Vibrant nightlife in Athens
The nightlife in Athens is nothing short of stellar.
There are countless bars and nightclubs to suit every taste and accommodate any desire.
Even through troubled times, locals never ceased to regularly roam the city’s streets after sundown in search of good cheer.
Due to its large size, Athens has several different nightlife hotspots that can sometimes extend to include entire neighbourhoods, each one with its one unique style and character.
If you’re a night owl, be well prepared to spend a considerable amount of time exploring the city’s hidden charms.
You will experience the Greek Hospitality
It’s not one of the legendary Greek myths.
Hospitality is a major part of the Greek culture and there’s no better way to experience it than a trip to Athens.
Locals will happily go out of their way to help you with directions, tips and advice and, of course, get to know you a little better.
The image of a vast metropolis that is always busy might make it seem odd at first but, given the chance, Athenians are very communicative and have a spontaneous urge to engage in conversation with travelers, especially over a glass of wine at their local tavern.
Sea, sun and sand near to Athens center
The title says it all.
You might be instantly thinking of the famous Greek islands when planning your holidays in Greece, but Athens holds some secrets to behold.
If you visit during summer, you’ll notice that half of the city’s population mysteriously disappears on weekends.
The key to this enigma is all too simple.
There are several magnificent beaches within a short radius from the city center that are perfect for a quick escape.
Umbrella dotted shores, a soft breeze, chilled drinks at the beach bar – who says you can’t combine sightseeing with a sunny day at the beach?
Greek cuisine is just wonderful
Even if you have never visited Greece before, you have probably heard about the famous Greek cuisine.
Its simplistic brilliance, splendid tastes and fresh ingredients have made it recognized the world over.
And Athens is the place to be if you want to get a real taste of the evolving gastronomy scene of Greece.
The Greek capital teems with restaurants and every other kind of eatery, serving anything from traditional finger food to gourmet high-end molecular dishes and everything in between.
According to most visitors, dining in Athens is a unique experience in itself.
Day trips from Athens
Athens’ location in the center of Greece makes it ideal for some extraordinary day trips.
While based in Athens you can easily wander to a great number of magnificent destinations.
Depending on what your interests are, you can explore the country’s mainland and witness some of the most phenomenal historical and religious sites like Meteora and Delphi, head towards the seafront and Cape Sounion to marvel at the sunset or even join a short luxurious cruise around the nearby islands in the Saronic Gulf.
The possibilities are endless.
Athens amazing views
There are very few places that can offer visitors such enchanting panoramas over the cityscape like Athens does.
Athens city is built within the confines of what is called the Attica Basin, surrounded by four large mountains, one at each end of the city.
Nature lovers make frequent excursions up their lush green sides to admire the astonishing views from the top.
But there are also exquisite view opportunities within the city, with hills Lycabettus and Filopappou being the most popular.
Nevertheless, if all that seems like too much trouble, don’t be disappointed.
There are several rooftop bars right in Athens city center that will allow you to enjoy your drink while marveling at Acropolis from above.
Events in Athens
Athens is buzzing with extraordinary events all year round.
Whether it’s Christmas or Easter celebrations, the springtime carnivals, an athletic event, a dramatic play at an ancient theater, a summer music festival, or just a spontaneous party, there’s always something special going on in the Greek capital.
Locals never miss a chance to celebrate every aspect of life, usually employing an over-the-top approach that lures visitors to surprise and fascinate them in the most incredible ways.
Make sure to check what is on when you take your trip to Athens and attend any event to get closer to local culture and witness the true Greek cheerfulness.
Shopping in Athens
It might not sound that special at first, but shopping in Athens is certainly an unparalleled experience.
Here you can find everything from refined clothing at famous fashion designers’ stores to second-hand vintage knick-knack on the streets.
Shopping in Athens is much more than practicality for the locals.
It involves long walks in the city followed by a cup of coffee, taking the form of a Sunday morning ritual.