General info about the city
Athens is the capital of Greece and the center of the historical region of Attica. It is the largest city in the country, its economic and cultural center. Athens is one of the most significant ancient Greek city-states and a symbol of Western civilization. This city is considered by many to be the cradle of European culture and science. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Euripides lived and worked here. The city is named after the goddess of wisdom, Athena and is known for its Acropolis, which is one of the most spectacular ancient ruins in the world with striking artefacts from the time of Ancient Greece.
Athens is not just a relic of the past. It is a lively, dynamic and modern capital city. The city has been shaped by thousands of years of history and several great ancient civilizations. Here you can find sights from the times of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, dazzling Byzantine churches and charming historic districts that still retain a wonderful village atmosphere.
Getting to the city center
There are 3 ways to get from the airport to the center of Athens: by metro to Akropoli station or by bus to Syntagma Square and from there on foot. The first method is faster and easier, the second is cheaper.
The metro is open from 5:30 am to 12:30 am. A one-way ticket from the airport costs 10 € (914 R), return tickets – 18 € (1644 R). Students under 25 and groups of tourists will get a discount.
It takes about an hour to get to the Acropoli station. The station is located right at the foot of the hill – all that remains is to climb to the entrance to the Acropolis.
The X95 bus to Syntagma costs 6 € (548 R) and runs around the clock. You can buy a ticket at the box office next to the bus stop or directly from the driver. The bus route will be one and a half kilometres longer than the metro. You will have to climb the mountain, and you will pass one point twice.
And the third one would be just rent a car in Athens airport, the price starts from 7 Euro per day and it is the easiest and most convenient way of getting to the city center.
Climate and geography
Athens is located in southern Greece on the shores of the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. The city is located on the Athenian Plain and is surrounded by the mountains Aigaleo, Parnis, Pentelikon and Imitos. Such features of the relief often cause smog and air pollution. The rivers Kifisos, Ilissos and Pikrodafni flow through Athens.
The climate is subtropical semi-desert. It is characterized by hot and dry summers. Winter is quite warm with very rare freezing temperatures. Athens receives only 400 mm of precipitation per year, most of which occurs between November and March. The most comfortable time to visit Athens is spring, when the weather is usually excellent. And because of that we surely recommend hiring a car in Greece, because when you walk under the sun and it is almost 40C, you can easily get a sunstroke.and considering the fact that most of the tourist are coming from Northern countries like Sweden, Denmark, England or Netherlands there is also a huge chance of getting a sunburn if you’ll travel only by foot.
- Population – more than 3 million people (agglomeration – more than 5 million people).
- The area is 412 km².
- Currency – Euro.
- Visa – Schengen.
- The language is Greek
- Time – UTC +2, during the summer +3.
- Large shopping centers: Athens Metro (90 stores) and Athens Heart (80 stores).
- The main shopping areas are Plaka, Kolonaki and Monastiraki.
- Athens is renowned for its excellent Greek cuisine. Popular street food: gyros (Greek shawarma), souvlaki (fried kebabs in pita bread with tomatoes and onions), tyropita (cheese pie).
- Excellent fish and seafood can be enjoyed at the port of Pireas.
- Clubs and bars are concentrated in the coastal area in Plaka, Kerameikos and north of Ermou Street.
- Although Athens is considered a safe city, scams and thefts are common. Be vigilant and watch your belongings.
- Best Areas to Stay: Plaka, Monastiraki, Syntagmatos, Koukak