Contributed by Sue Bradford of Journeys Around the World
If history is what you are looking for in your next vacation, then look no further than Athens.
A city rich in history and culture, Athens is a must see for any European vacation.
Most people do have a love-hate relationship to Greece’s capital. On one hand it is a city with a wide variety of things to see and do. From here you can also get to most places in Greece: by air, train, boat or bus. On the other hand it is a huge, busy place with about half of Greece’s population living there (close to 5 million), which leads to problems with traffic jams and pollution, especially the smog. It is a fascinating place, though. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and walking through its ancient Agora or on the Acropolis, it does make you feel you are walking on, if not sacred, very important ground. Many historic areas of Athens have been made for pedestrians only, like the whole Area around Acropolis, as well as the Ermou Street, the main shopping street of Athens.
WHAT TO DO THERE
The first place you should visit when in Athens is of course the Acropolis. Standing up there, on the sacred rock as the Greeks call it, you can practically feel the magnificence of ancient Greece. Don’t think you’ll be alone there though.
Other archaeological sites are the agora, the market, with the temple to Hephaistos still in quite good shape, as well as the temple to Zeus and the arch of Hadrian. Museums of interest are the Acropolis museum, the National Archeological museum, the Folklore museum, the Ceramics museum (Keramikos), the Byzantine museum, the Music museum, the War museum, and the Benaki museum. All in all, there are about 50 museums in Athens.
A popular place for shopping or food and drink is Plaka, just below the Acropolis. It is considered quite a touristy area, but the fact is that you here can get an idea of old Athens, with low buildings and little streets. In Monastiraki there is a bazaar which is quite incredible and considered to be a must stop for shopping.
At the Syntagma Square you can visit the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. Here you can see the guards in their impressing uniforms, the Evzones, and if you are lucky you will see the slow and complicated change of guards. Interestingly, there used to be a tomb to the unknown hero in ancient Athens as well.
There are also several beaches at Athens Riviera The most popular ones are in Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza, Nea Makri, Crysi Akti (Golden Coast ), Lagonisi, Kavouri and Alimos. Most of the beaches in Athens are organized and you have to pay a small entrance fee to these beaches. This is to keep them clean since they have millions of visitors every summer.
Athens is a city full of wonder and enchantment.
If you are ready to plan your vacation to Athens or any other destination, then before you do anything else, call me Sue Bradford at Journeys Around the World travel. Call 775-781-9573 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here to help you plan your next great vacation.