The city is an open museum and history unfolds at every step. One can hike up to the Acropolis to see the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historical significance among which the Parthenon, built during the 5th century BC, dedicated to goddess Athena; or visit the Pnyx, one of the most important sites in the creation of democracy, where Athenians gathered to host their popular assemblies; or wander through the ruins of the ancient Agora, the Hephaestus temple, the Byzantine churches of Plaka and the open markets of Monastiraki and Thisseio; and finally, stop at one of the numerous tavernas and roof top cafes offering breath-taking views of the entire area.
The spectacular new Acropolis museum is also not to be missed. History enthusiasts can spend an entire day here admiring the hundreds of thousands of artefacts recovered since systematic archaeological research started over a century ago. Several were found during the recent excavations for the Athens metro system and the building of the museum itself!
A modern metropolis
Aside from its ancient glory, Athens is a modern metropolis, home to over 4 million people. Most people live in the suburbs but if you wish to feel like an Athenian, this is where you need to go. Athens’ districts are many and the options are limitless.
The City Center & Northern Suburbs
There are many interesting districts around the old city, a stone’s throw away from the ancient sites. You can watch a movie at Cine Thisseio, an open-air theatre ranked as one of the world’s best; walk towards the lively streets of Psiri and dine in one of the numerous tavernas playing live Greek ‘rebetiko’ music; explore Gazi with its diverse nightlife options and its rooftop bars; pick up the rebellious student vibe in the intense, graffiti-filled streets of Exharheia; visit the neo-classical Zappeio; walk through the National Gardens to Syntagma square; enjoy shopping at Kolonaki and have a coffee alongside politicians, lawyers and other high-profile professionals; try a cocktail in the fancy rooftops of Grand Bretagne and Hilton hotels offering great views of the city, or at the designer bars around Karytsi and Agias Eirinis squares.
Athens stretches all the way to its surrounding mountains and there is more to explore in the city’s northern suburbs. Regardless of your choice, Alimos marina offers easy access around the city by either taxi or public transport. Our team can provide more details and specific guidance depending on your taste.
The Athens riviera
The Athens riviera stretches over 20km of urban coastline between the busy port of Piraeus and the fancy green suburb of Vouliagmeni – and even 40 km farther all the way to Cape Sounio. It is the city’s bright window to the beautiful sea of the Saronic gulf. Here you can enjoy spectacular performances at the Onassis Cultural Center, go shopping at the trendy boutiques of Glyfada, get into the Greek “coffee culture” enjoying frappés and freddos for hours, mingle with prominent Athenians at the fancy beaches of Vouliagmeni, dive into the secluded coves at Kavouri, sip a sundowners cocktail at one of the plenty stylish waterfront beach bars, or experience the “flower-war” at the legendary “bouzoukia” nightclubs offering live late night performances by popular folk singers.
Here you can admire the Ancient Greek temple of Poseidon sitting atop the cape. The sunset views from the temple and the moonrise views from the boat are stunning! The two tavernas ashore offer fresh fish food and amazing views of the temple and the bay.
Archaeologically, the temple was built around 450BC to honour Poseidon, God of the sea. According to Greek mythology, this is where King Aegeus jumped to his death when he saw his son ship’s black sails on the horizon, thinking he lost his life during his venture to kill the Minotaur in Crete. Theseus succeeded in his mission but had forgotten to put the white sails on. Following the tragic death of the King Aegeus, the Athenians named this body of water the “Aegean Sea”.