As part of our A to Z of Travel series, we’re going to be taking you around the world to inspire you to plan some once-in-a-lifetime adventures!
You’ll find plenty of fun facts including local attractions, nightlife and shopping, as well as important information such as the climate, in a wide range of countries and cities.
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This week we’re taking you to Athens, capital of Greece. A city rich in history, Athens was at the heart of Ancient Greece, a hugely powerful civilisation and empire.
The great city is still dominated by ancient landmarks, including the Acropolis, an iconic citadel which appears to be frozen in time. You can admire 360 degree panoramic views of the city here and snap some great photos.
Athens is fast-becoming the destination of choice for travellers looking for a sun-drenched city break. With temperatures reaching double figures for the majority of the year and its plethora of historical sites, not to mention it’s incredible value for money, Athens is certainly on our travel bucket list!
What to Do: With so many places to visit in this culturally rich city, it’s tricky to know where to start. Here are our top recommendations:
Athens Central Market is a must-visit for foodies. You can spend hours wandering around this market, and you can buy just about anything you can think of! With rows and rows of stalls selling fresh produce, meat and cheese, the market is a gastronomic delight that will leave your mouth watering.
The Parthenon, situated atop the Acropolis, is a spectacular building that must be seen to be truly appreciated (even if you aren’t a fan of archaeology!). It’s considered to be classical architecture’s most influential and beautiful building, and we can certainly see why.
Plaka, which is a residential quarter of Athens built into the hillside just below the Acropolis, is popular with tourists for its picturesque surroundings. It’s quaint, cobbled streets are lined with shops selling clothes, jewellery and locally-made ceramics, as well as bustling tavernas and pastel-coloured houses.
Where to Eat: Traditional Greek cuisine is second to none, and Athens does it better than any other. Greeks love to eat out, so make sure you pay close attention to where the locals are eating for the best seasonal produce and traditional cooking styles, which enhance the flavours of the Mediterranean.
We’d recommend a visit to Melilotos, an authentic family-run restaurant that prides itself on regional ingredients and simple cooking. It’s reasonably priced, centrally-located and most importantly, downright delicious.
Where to Drink: Coffee culture is on the rise in Athens thanks to an influx of young creatives. Pay a visit to Tailor Made, a trendy hangout offering delicious coffee and loose tea, as well as imaginative cocktails. With outdoor tables alongside the flower market, you can happily sit here all day and watch the world go by under the beating sun in the summer months.
Where to Stay: A for Athens, an urban hotel in the heart of the city, is ideal for a true Athenian experience. Embracing the city’s heritage as well as modern-day contemporary culture, this boutique hotel has elegant rooms overlooking the main square.
There’s also an impressive rooftop bar with a stunning view of the Acropolis - enjoy a cocktail (or two) and watch the sun set for an experience like no other. Doubles start from £78.