Everybody should see Athens at least once in their life – and to see the Best of Athens you need to see it four ways. The first is the City by day. The second is the City by night. The third and fourth are the Acropolis – by day and by moonlight. Be careful, they say that if you see this most famous of monuments under a full moon you cannot help but fall in love!
Quite simply Athens is a wonderful place for a city-break. Oozing history, proud and fierce, a cosmopolitan cradle of civilisation – what’s not to love about it. It’s classy too with a seriously chic and cosmopolitan modern vibe wrapped up amongst the heritage. Then again it’s been one of the Med’s most happening places for 7,000 years so no surprises that you find café culture, old style tavernas, modern bars, great restaurants and excellent late night clubbing. All in all it’s a fashion-conscious place with a fashionable crowd and that brilliant shopping as well as great souvenir hunting among the 3 kms of pedestrianized streets.
One of the great things about Athens is that just about everything is sign-posted in English so you don’t get lost in translation. If you’re here for a few days follow the signs down to the port of Piraeus and hop off on a day cruise to explore an island or three. Alternatively head south and laze away a day on the beaches of the Saronic Gulf or stroll along the prom with the locals. Even better with the mild climate and sunshine most of the year you can come here all year round.
As the place that gave the world Socrates, Plato, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and many others no city has contributed more towards civilisation than Athens – it’s the place where theatre, as we know it, and democracy were born. The intellectual light that Athens created will always be alive. It is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for at least 7000 years.
At a nautical crossroads at the centre of the Eastern Mediterranean it’s been conquered a multitude of times since the days of myth and legend but, after a long period of decline, it became the capital city again in 1834 as a result of the Greek War of Independence and the creation of an independent Greek Kingdom. Since then Athens has never looked back and, in 2004, the Olympic Games finally returning to their birthplace and meant Athens underwent massive redevelopment and modernization with a new airport and much improved transport system.
There is a monumental amount of history in Athens. The most imposing is the Parthenon sitting atop the Acropolis (Acropolis actually means hill, and there are other Acropoli around Greece – start your collection here!). It’s always been well worth the walk up just for the view and the ruins but the New Acropolis Museum is now the city’s Number One attraction. Make sure you come back after dark to eat or drink in one of the many cafes and restaurants nearby and see the old stones illuminated against the black velvet sky.
That’s not even the half of it though – any culture vulture or historian should see the theatre of Herod Atticus built by the Romans in 161 AD and still used today for classical concerts and ballet. Then just down the road is the Theater of Dionysious the first stone theatre and home to Sophocles, Aeschylus, Eripides and Aristophanes. It was rebuilt around 342 BC by Lykourgos and then enlarged by the Romans to be used for gladiator fights. From here a short stroll away is Hadrian's Arch, a monumental triumphal Roman gateway. Equally high on a more modern culture agenda should be a visit to the Megaro Musikis for some jazz, ballet or a classical concert.
Finally it’s a great base-camp for excursions to other famous sights in Attica – ask and we can organise a private or group tour to great historic places like Sounion, Delphi, Mycenae, Nafplion and many others.
If nights in Athens are hot, nightlife is hotter. You’ll find a vibrant café society, excellent restaurants and amazing night clubs in nearly all major areas of Athens. It’s also well worth a drive along the Corniche of the Athenean Riviera, with perhaps a candlelight dinner in one of the sea front restaurants – these range from the quiet and traditional to the ultra-sophisticated Bar- Restaurants bars where you can see the sea on the one side and people chatting or dancing in the bar on the other. Be prepared to stay up late – don’t worry you can sleep in tomorrow.
A landmark in Syntagma Square and situated opposite the Greek Parliament and the National Gardens, the Grande Bretagne is the only authentic 'Grand' hotel in Greece.
2 nights from £ 619 Per Person incl flights
The hotel lies just in front of the famous Temple of Zeus and the National Gardens. It is underneath the Acropolis and only 2 minutes walk to the
new Athens Acropolis Museum.
After a complete renovation that finished in 2009, the Royal Olympic was transformed to an art hotel very elegantly decorated and more important very well looked after in every detail. One of the aspects given particular attention to, was to create a very personal hotel and as much environmentally friendly as possible.
2 Nights from £369 per person incl flights
Welcome to the Herodion hotel of Athens. Just a few steps from the Acropolis and Plaka, adjacent to the new Acropolis museum, they are situated at the very heart of Athens historic centre.
2 Nights from £349 per person incl flights
Grand Resort Lagonissi invites you to enjoy a seafront paradise on the Athens Riviera, set in a 72-acre verdant peninsula. Boasting twenty exclusive sandy beach coves and lush natural beauty the resort is nestled in a magnificent private peninsula offering breathtaking sunsets and views to inspire.
At the Classic Greek location, a hotel to match Athens' classicism and style. Located in the heart of old Athens, where the old town converges with the commercial and business centre, and with unsurpassed-attention to detail-service, Electra offers the kind of stay that will make you want to go back
2 Nights from £ 449 per person incl flights
Fresh hotel is a breath of fresh air in the middle of the buzzing, colourful and cosmopolitan downtown Athens area. Its rooms are minimalistic, individual and ooze a luxurious calm atmosphere. Perfectly located in the old centre of Athens, within walking distance from the shopping area, the Acropolis, the flea market and Plaka. Facilities include pool, free Wi-Fi, gym, sauna and steam room, bars and restaurant with impressive views.
2 Nights from £ 349 Per Person incl flights
Right in the heart of Athens and its commercial and cultural centre is Electra hotel. Renovated last April to a very high standard of contemporary style and combined with high-quality services for its guests, Electra is ideal for those who want to do business and also taste the Athens shopping experience. Syntagma square, where the hotel is located, is the main part of the cafe and culinary society that is Athens.
2 Nights from £ 379 per person incl flights
New is a designer, vibrant hotel with an eye for the improbable and the artistic, while also focusing on fabulous service and culinary experience. In the shopping and commercial centre of Athens, New hotel is designed with an eco-friendly and natural approach by the award winning Campana Brothers
<2 Nights from £409 per person incl flights
In Kavouri, on the Athenian Riviera, Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso offers seaside facilities like a private beach and easy access to the city of Athens. One of the most popular hotels by the sea, it has everything one would expect from a five star hotel including 3 pools, spa with Roman and Turkish baths and Thalassotherapy treatment.
2 Nights from 429 per person incl flights
Located in the very centre of this exciting city, Athens Hilton has given its name to the district around it and continues to provide a high quality experience for travellers and locals alike. With an impressive range of facilities and a harmonious blend of traditional Greek with contemporary art and design, this landmark hotel has spectacular Acropolis and city views.
2 nights from £420.00 per person including flights
This ultra cool design hotel is located at a vantage point overlooking the chic quarter known as Kolonaki, home to some of the capital’s most fashionable shops and cafes. Offering the latest in technology and facilities with futuristic styled rooms, Periscope Hotel invites its guests to enjoy its minimalist shapes and contemporary art. The area has the feel of a sophisticated quiet neighbourhood and yet it is within walking distance of Syntagma Square and the major tourist and commercial areas of Athens.
Acropolis, the Royal Palce, Temples of Olympian Zues, the Hadrian's Arch & the new Acropolis museum in just one day.
£ 60 Per Person