Athens is known as the capital of European civilization. It is one of the world’s oldest cities. It has recorded history that is touted to be 3,400 years. It was the center of philosophy, science and the arts in the ancient world. Athens used to be a very powerful city-state. It is also regarded as the birthplace of democracy.
Today, Athens is a bustling cosmopolitan area. Its metropolis is the center of Greece’s economic, financial and political activities. It is the 25th most expensive city to live in but is the 35th richest city in terms of purchasing power parity per capita. The heritage of ancient Athens is still evident in well preserved monuments and landscape. The most famous of the monuments is the Parthenon. It is a key landmark of Western Civilization. The city has also preserved some Roman and Byzantine landmarks as well as some monuments that were erected during the Ottoman occupation.
Athens is an Olympic city where is hosted the Olympiad twice and the latest being in 2004. The Olympic movement was born in Greece and it is fitting that after 108 years since the first Olympic also held in Greece; that the city hosted it anew.
The city is a hub for archaeological research. It has several institutions dedicate to the study of archaeology. The government has preserved well some of the museums of the ancient world. One example is the Nicholas P. Goulandris Foundation – Museum of Cycladic Art, which is a repository of Cycladic art. During the 1960s, the museum has been collecting arts of Greek antiquity and other prehistoric artifacts and art pieces that were sourced from the Cyclades islands and the Aegian sea.
The Epigraphy museum in Athens is an exhibit of epigraphs that were related to Greek history and culture. It provides the visitor a glimpse of the rich civilization of ancient Greece. There are also museums located at the Agora, Acropolis and Kerameikos. There is also a war museum that features war artifacts of wars from the ancient times to the modern era. There are also several museums in Athens that does not charge for admission.
If you want to have a 360-degree view of the city; it is recommended to have an early morning or late afternoon trek to the Lycabettus Hill. The hill is found just behind the neighborhood of Kolanaki. It provides a scenic perspective of Athens’ cityscape. The good thing about this activity is it’s for free.
Outside the city limits are the coasts of Attaca peninsula where you can bask in the sun and the beaches of Athens. You can choose from private beaches but there are free and public beaches where you can spend some time getting some sunshine and way from the hectic life in urban Athens.
You can sample a nice time atop Areopagus which has been one of the most historic places in Greece. It is a perfect nook to listen to some acoustic music and spend the night away. One can enjoy the well-lit Parthenon from specific vantage points on the hill which reveals the beauty of this ancient wonder during the night.
A trip to Athens is both an excursion into history and a place where you can relax. There are a lot of things to do in the city that were not mentioned in this article. You can ask the locals about other things to do when you get there. Make most of the time you spend in this ancient city that is lined with flavors of modernity.