A stroll through Athens is like a stroll through an open-air museum. Located across the city are dozens of ancient and historic sites that you could spend many months exploring.
But for visitors, the hill of the Acropolis remains a favourite – and perhaps the most significant in all of Greece.
“Put on your most comfortable shoes and climb up to the sacred hill of the Acropolis, the greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena,” explains the Athens Tourism team.
The Acropolis is arguably Greece’s most famous attraction, a landmark in the history of humanity and on the UNESCO
World Heritage List. For a holistic understanding of the whole site, follow up with a tour to the impressive Acropolis Museum, housing more than 3,000 famous artefacts from the Acropolis.
Afterwards, you can cap your Acropolis visit off with an exploration of the National Archaeological Museum, which houses thousands of the finest and most fascinating relics from Greece’s past.
Athenian adventures: Fine food, nightlife, shopping
“Athens, a sophisticated cosmopolitan hub with signs of new art, emerging neighbourhoods, passionate street artists, style conscious wanderers and revamp hotels, is a must go European destination,” says the official Athens Tourism guide. Three things that continue to make Athens a magical place are its fine food, its nightlife, and its shopping…
A large part of Greece’s food culture is the fine art of making a meal into a social event – something that the Greek’s seem to have perfected! Having a meal with friends at home or at a restaurant or tavern is a deeply rooted social habit. Greek cuisine has four secrets: The first is high quality fresh ingredients; the second is the proper use of aromatic herbs and spices; the third is Greek olive oil (the “Greek Gold” – which many say is the finest in the world); and the fourth is simplicity, and the idea that a simple dish made from the best ingredients, the best way, is often the most memorable. Of course, Greece is also famous for its cheeses (in particular, feta); and many locals are proud to point out that Mediterranean seafood sourced from the clean Aegean Sea and Ionian Sea simply tastes better compared to other parts of the world.
For lovers of nightlife, it’s been said that Athens never sleeps. Indeed, after the sun sets, there are lots of options – everything from Ancient Greek drama performed in a theatre dated to the period the play was written; to world famous orchestras performing in modern concert halls; to music venues offering nights filled with live “bouzouki” style music, where you’re guaranteed a good time. You can start your evening out at one of the select restaurants or one of the distinctive Greek tavernas located in every neighbourhood of the city – where the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and the food is excellent, before heading out to celebrate the night.
Athens is also a shopper’s paradise. Given the level of talent of Greek designers and craftsmen and women, and their love for everything precious and beautiful, gold and silver jewellery can be found in abundance. The jewellery shops in Syntagma Square and the Kolonaki area especially have a wide selection of both traditional and modern Greek designs. For traditional hand-made goods – bronze and copper utensils, ceramic art and pottery, head to the suburb of Maroussi. For high quality wool and cotton goods, leather and shoes, head to Ermou Street and Kolonaki Square. You will also find lots of antique shops around Kolonaki, Syntagma and Monastiraki. Of course there’s also plenty of malls around town – stocking the latest fashion and designer goods.
Athens: The gateway to Greece
At the same time, Athens is the launching point into the wonders of the rest of Greece – a country that is proudly described as a “365 days a year destination” by the Greek Tourism team. It’s here where you can go island-hopping and bask in the Greek sun on glorious beaches; get acquainted with the country’s legendary history and culture; savour Greek cuisine across the country; stay at luxury 5 Star hotels, resorts and private villas, and pamper yourselves at luxurious health and wellness spas; and dive into the deep blue of the Aegean and Ionian Seas. It’s also where you can soak up athletic spirit in the legitimate homeland of the Olympic Games; appreciate being in one of the world’s birthplaces of philosophy, arts, science and sport; take part in local cultural festivals and fairs; discover whitewashed island villages; hike up magnificent mountains overlooking the sea; pick out seasonal ingredients in local markets; dance and sing the night away in local taverns – and much, much more.
Travel Info! For more on what to see and do around Greece’s capital, check out www.visitgreece.gr
Fly Oman Air! Oman Air flies from Muscat to Athens 7 times per week. To view the full flight schedules, visit www.omanair.com
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