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Why fly to Athens?
It is the birthplace of democracy and Western civilization. Athens is a remarkable city and is home to numerous ruins of great historical significance. The Acropolis sits high above the city and the work that would have been required to build such a place without the use of modern day machinery is unfathomable. The citadel houses the remains of a number of buildings including the world famous Parthenon as well as the remains of an ancient theatre and churches.
The city itself sits on a great plain and is surrounded by four mountains and the architecture that makes up the city is varied as you can imagine due to its history and its location. You can find Neo-classical buildings next to those with modern Bauhaus influence. Athens is an important archaeological research center and as a result is home to numerous international research institutions and libraries.
The city hosts more museums, galleries and theatres per square inch of its space than many countries do on a whole. Athens is also where the first official Olympic games were held and with that, sports has always been a huge part of life in the city. The city is home to numerous professional sports clubs that range from water polo to the city's beloved football
For a taste of Greek nightlife head to the Gazi neighborhood. This is where you will find restaurants, night clubs as well as the gay district. If you are looking to experience a little more traditional-style Greek evening than head to the central Plaka district where you will find tavernas serving up delicious Greek fare. Make sure you eat a light lunch before you head there as the dinners are big and so good that you'll want to try a little of everything.
For fancy shopping and equally fancy dining you will want to take an afternoon out for Kolonaki. This is where you can find high-end goods, galleries, museums and the elite of Athens.
For a nice wind down at the end of a day and a lovely view of the whole city, head to Lycabettus. As you gaze across Athens from high above and the sun begins to set, you will get this strange feeling in the pit of your stomach. It is at this point, that you will truly realize you are standing in the cradle of Western civilization.
Some would venture to say that feeling alone is worth the trip to Athens.
Weather in Athens is a bit of a roller coaster ride, there's some rises and some falls, some steeper than others causing the ride to feel more extreme than it actually is. The temperatures in the summer slam into the high 30s and residents run for the coastal regions. Humidity is especially high in the tail end of summer as the rains of the fall approach. The numbers drop in September and winds wave hello in October. Winter is fairly cool although the numbers stay above the zero mark. It can be quite rainy in December through to February.
When to fly to Athens
Athens summer heat is no deterrent for enthusiastic travellers. Despite the fried egg-on-the-pantheon temperatures, July and August are still buzzing with tourists. This also means flight ticket prices during this time are at an all time high.
The visitor numbers coincide with temperatures in Athens so as the numbers drop so do the visitors. Fall is the perfect time to snatch up deals to the city. The temperatures are cool but not cold and for some people a lot more bearable than the wicked summer heat. The early parts of the new year are also a good time to lock in some flight deals.
Getting into Athens
Your gateway to the city is Athens International Airport. Relax during your flight since getting into the city once you land will be a breeze. Options for getting into the city center include extensive bus service or the quick metro line that provides a direct link between the airport and the center of Athens. Alternatively you can grab a taxi from outside the airport terminal.
Getting around Athens
There has been significant investment in the Athens public transportation system, resulting in integration and in turn an efficient system. The metro system is a very quick way to get around. The buses and trolleys are also a good option, depending on how far you want to travel. Once you're in the city center a lot of the touristic sites are fairly concentrated and means walking is the best way to get from point A to point B. However if you're hot and tired there are plenty of taxis around to get you back to your hotel.
- You have not tried lamb until you have tried Greek lamb. The succulent slow-roasted method used in Athens will have you seriously wondering how quickly Fedex might be able to deliver a fresh lamb dish from Greece to your door. The lamb is traditionally served with delicately-seasoned potatoes and a lovely Mediterranean salad that tastes like the smell of fresh air. Make sure to get some extra garlicky tzatziki and lovingly douse a bite of lamb in it for a flavor explosion of manic proportions.
- Once you have had your fill of historical artifacts and ancient buildings, head to Banki Museum. This is Athens answer and interpretation of contemporary art. The venue hosts some thoroughly though-provoking exhibits which show that Athens roots as the world's artistic and philosophical center are firmly entrenched.
- All cities have some sort of central meeting point in the center and in Athens it is Omonoia Square. The square is a big public transportation hub and this is also where friends meet for a night on the town or converge on when something of significance occurs like a major football victory. This is also where you will find all sorts of international brands and fast-food joints if the craving should hit you.
- Get out of the old city and head into Parnitha National Park, this burst of green is great for picnicking and exploring. The park boasts beautiful springs and secretive caves and also is a great place for hiking, jogging and biking. The park is a protected area.
- Compare flights to Athens from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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