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Athens, Greece: Travel Guide

Where to go and what to see in the Greek capital.
Athens, the capital city of Greece, is often referred to as the cradle of Western civilization. Home to some of the world's greatest philosophers, the ancient city also boasts magnificent monuments -- from ancient temples such as the Acropolis and its iconic Parthenon to the ancient Agora marketplace. Museums and galleries abound, and you'll be hard pressed to find a city with richer history and culture than Athens.

Weather/ when to go:

Having a Mediterranea climate, Athens is for the most part very hot and humid in summer, when temperature can hit the mid 30s. Spring and autumn, when temperatures are a little cooler and there is still a lot of sunshine, are arguably the best time to visit the city. Winters tend to be mild -- while rain is more than possible, you'd have to be very unlucky to see snow at this time!

Do & see:

Acropolis

The main focal point for both ancient and modern day Athens, the Acropolis hill is located on the edge of the city ("acro" means edge and "polis" means city) and is one of the most famous monuments in the world. The iconic Parthenon building was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the city's patron goddess. You'll also find the Temple of Athena Nike to the south-west of the entrance.
Address: Akropoli
Website: www.culture.gr


Acropolis Museum

To the east of the iconic Parthenon is the Acropolis Museum. Home to some of the most priceless ancient sculptures in the world, this museum is of huge global importance.
Address: Makrygianni 2-4 Akropoli
Website: www.newacropolismuseum.gr


Ancient Agora

Once Athen's most prominent marketplace and the very centre of the ancient city, the Agora was the venue at which Socrates and St Paul held public speeches. It was also used as a burial ground. Within the Agora, you'll find the Temple of Hephaistos, the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios (which was built in honor of those who fought for freedom in Athens), the Temple of Apollo Patroos, and the Altar of the Twelve Gods (which was once considered to be the heart of Athens and was the milestone from which everything else was measured). Even today, ruined columns are still visible amongst the olive groves. In the 2nd century Stoa of Attalos is the Agora Museum, which is home to some of the discoveries from the excavation of ancient Agora.
Address: Adrianou 24 Monastiraki
Website: www.culture.gr


National Archaeological Museum

Here you'll find the world's most impressive collection of ancient Greek art, including stunning bronze and marble statues and intricate gold jewelry items. Look out for Agamemnon's golden death mask in particular.
Address: 28 Oktovriou-Patission 44
Website: www.culture.gr


Benaki Museum

The Benaki Museum is home to a collection of Greek art from ancient through to the modern day. Permanent exhibitions currently include art from the Byzantine and Prehistoric Greek and Roman periods, as well as 20th century Greek art.
Address: Koumbari 1 cnr Vasilissis Sofias
Website: www.benaki.gr


The War Museum

This museum is dedicated to Greece's struggles for power throughout its history. Permanent exhibitions currently include information relating to the Stone Age and Early Bronze Age periods, the pre-history of Greece, the Byzantine period, the Greek War of Independence, the Balkan Wars, and the Greco-Italian War and German invasion of World War II.

Mount Lycabettus

Get the best views over the city from this awesome viewpoint, which is essentially a limestone rock that towers above the city. It also features a small church, restaurant and café. Catching a funicular train from Ploutarchou Street in Kolonaki is the easiest way to reach the top.

Limni Vouliagmenis

When you're ready to take a break from the sightseeing, why not take a trip to this beautiful peninsula, located around 20km outside of Athens? Its mild climate means that it's an attractive tourist destination throughout the year. The Vouliagmeni lake is known for its mineral spa.
Address: Leoforos Poseidonos Limni Vouliagmenis
Website: www.limnivouliagmenis.gr


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