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About Athens

Athens’ heyday was around 400 years BC—that’s when most of the classical monuments were built. During the Byzantine and Turkish eras, the city decayed into just an insignificant little village, only to become the capital of newly-liberated Greece in 1833. Ahead of the 2004 Olympics, almost the entire infrastructure was transformed—the Metro, trams, new ring roads and viaducts have eased the pressure of the heavy traffic.

Athens is still a rather messy and chaotic place—it wouldn’t be Athens otherwise—and despite all the improvements, still retains a great deal of its oriental charm. The whole coastal stretch from Piraeus to the old Hellenikon airport has been improved with new plantings, viaducts and paths for walking. The Plaka quarter is becoming more popular and is on the way to catching up with Psyrri, Gazi and Rouf as regards restaurants. Discover the right places in the Anafiotika district, at the feet of the Acropolis, and you will find it still has a village feel in the midst of the city. In Exarchia, there is still a somewhat in-your-face anarchic atmosphere around the Technical University. Meanwhile, Kolonaki is becoming more and more chic.

The temple of the Ancient theater of Herodes under Acropolis of Athens Greece
imagIN.gr photography/Shutterstock.com

Tips

Good to know

Public Transport

The Metro stations are well worth seeing, and are kept spotlessly clean. At the Syntagma and Acropolis stations you will find a large collection of antiquities on display. There is a tram from the centre (Syntagma) running along the coast to Glyfada (50 minutes) and Voula (60 minutes).

Buses, trolley buses and the Metro run until around midnight. The tram runs between 5.30 am and 1 am and until 2.30 am on Friday and Saturday. Airport buses all run on a 24 hour schedule. The airport bus tickets are not valid on other public transport services but only for a single journey.

Ferries out to the island leave from the harbour in Piraeus or from Rafina.

Electricity

230 volts

City connections

Astypalaia Island Airport

JTY Greece, Hellenic Republic

Bucharest Otopeni

OTP Romania

Cluj

CLJ Romania

Heraklion

HER Greece, Hellenic Republic

Larnaca

LCA Cyprus, Republic of

Naxos Airport

JNX Greece, Hellenic Republic

Santorini Airport

JTR Greece, Hellenic Republic

Zakynthos

ZTH Greece, Hellenic Republic