Discover Athens City the Capital of Greece

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Athens city is the capital of Greece, a vast metropolis that still stands tall bearing thousands of years of history and culture.

Being one of the oldest continuously inhabited places on Earth, the civilization, culture, art, values and ideas developed in the Greek capital have beyond any doubt defined the entirety of the western world and left their mark on the course of time.

For centuries, Athens has been acclaimed worldwide as a popular tourist destination, celebrated for its ancient wonders, magnificent architecture, immaculate gastronomy, and flawless Mediterranean climate.

greek capital herodus atticus theatre
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone Roman theater structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens, Greece

Athens Location

Athens city occupies a wide stretch of land on the southern Greek peninsula mainland that is often called the Attica basin. 

The city is nestled in the cradle of four mountains – Mount Parnitha, Mount Hymettus, Mount Aigaleo, and Mount Pentelicus. Athens expands all the way to the seafront and the Saronic Gulf to the southwest where the famous Athenian Riviera lies. 

Athens city center is built around several hills, with Lycabettus being the most well-known among them.

Mount Lycabettus athens
Standing 277 meters above sea level, Lycabettus Hill (sometimes spelt Lykavitos) is the highest point of Athens

Athens History

The story of Athens is almost as old as time itself with a history that spans back for more than seven thousand years.

The grounds where Athens stands nowadays were once home to a prominent residential center of the Mycenaean civilization and Acropolis Hill was occupied by a large fortress.

After the Dorian invasion, the region suffered an extensive economic recess period that lasted more than a century.  However, the advantageous geographic location of the city made Athens advance and prosper in the following years. Thus, along with Sparta and Thebes, Athens became a major trading center and a considerable center of naval power.

The 6th and 5th centuries BC were probably the most paramount historical period for the violet-crowned city. Ensuing the reforms of Solomon, democracy was introduced for the first time to Athenians by Cleisthenes.

view of athens city with temple of hephaestus from acropolis hill athens greece
View of Athens city with Temple of Hephaestus from Acropolis hill, Athens, Greece

But the new regime had no time to properly flourish as shortly after, Athens and Sparta spearheaded the Greek states’ forces in the Greco-Persian wars and came out victorious after the famous battles of Marathon and Salamis.

The peaceful period of the following decades was named the Golden Age of Athenian democracy with sciences and culture coming to the foreground.

An abundance of achievements in physics, philosophy, politics and arts were laying the ground for the rest of the western civilization that was soon to follow.

What To See And Do in Athens

Athens city offers travelers a chance to get a glimpse into its marvelous past and get a taste of its contemporary brilliance at the same time. The Greek capital can unquestionably fascinate even the most discerning visitor.

athens things to do
When in Athens, enjoy a drink under the Acropolis. Courtesy: ᴅɪᴍɪᴛʀɪs ᴀɴᴅʀ| ᴘʜᴏᴛᴏɢʀᴀᴘʜᴇʀ

Explore the most popular and historical neighborhoods of Athens and find some of the best museums in the world, architectural wonders of antiquity alongside modern art museums, traditional tavernas next to high-end restaurants and hotels, and chic cocktail bars under the shade of the Acropolis.

Make sure to tour the most important historical sites, stroll through the serpentine streets of the scenic city center, mingle with the locals at one of the numerous nightlife hotspots, and of course savor the legendary Greek cuisine.

Monastiraki in Athens Greece
Monastiraki in Athens Greece. Courtesy: ᴅɪᴍɪᴛʀɪs ᴀɴᴅʀ| ᴘʜᴏᴛᴏɢʀᴀᴘʜᴇʀ

You can even take some time to explore the Athenian Riviera at the oceanfront or make a day trip to one of the nearby islands.

temple of poseidon at cape sounion
The ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

See some more ideas for activities and things to do in Athens:

Athens Public Transportation

Although a colossal capital city, Athens is quite easy to navigate and get around.

There are three different metro lines in the city – the green line (number one), the red line (number two), and the blue line (number 3).

You will often hear locals refer to the first one as “ilektrikos” or simply “the train”. 

The green line is the oldest one and it connects the northern suburbs to the port of Piraeus on the south. The red line connects the Athens city center with the southern suburbs at the seaside. 

The blue line connects the northern suburbs and the city center with the International Airport of Athens.

Apart from the metro lines, there are also numerous bus, trolley and tram lines running throughout the city that are ideal for shorter distances.

Photos From the City of Athens

Final Thoughts

Athens city is one of the most popular destinations on the globe for good reason.

Its wondrous culture and history, exquisite gastronomy, amazing hotels, and flamboyant nightlife are what make the Greek capital deserve a spot on the top of your travel bucket list.

No matter what kind of experience you’re after on your trip to Athens, the glorious city will certainly have a few surprises in store for you.

A Quick Reminder:

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