Once known for smog, traffic and tacky architecture, Athens is a city reformed thanks to fortunes brought by the 2004 Summer Olympics. Spotless parks and streets, an ultra-modern subway, new freeways, an accessible airport and all signs in perfect English make the city easily negotiable.
Located in the centre of Greece, Athens is a convenient transportation hub for the Greek islands and road trips to the mainland. Due to the long history and rich culture, this is also an interesting place for sightseeing. The Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, the Hellenic Parliament and the Neoclassical trilogy is among the top ancient sites to visit in the Greek capital.
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Meriting more than a stopover en route to the islands, sophisticated Athens sites include many pillars of Western history, from the Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, as well as treasures in the National Archaeological Museum.
Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in the Neolithic age. In the 5th Century BC (the “Golden Age of Pericles”) – the culmination of Athens’ long, fascinating history – the city’s values and civilization acquired a universal significance. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens, and erected unique, splendid monuments – a rare historical palimpsest. In 1834, Athens became the capital of the modern Greek state and in two centuries since it has become an attractive modern metropolis with unrivaled charm.