Athens is a city that embraces contemporary design and architecture, bussing bars and design-driven hotels, while the classics never go out of style.
Athens offers high quality of life, embracing contemporary design, art and architecture, friendly people, buzzing nightlife and good food. The best thing about living and working in Athens is that you can easily escape from it to beautiful seaside landscapes or snow-covered mountains, the nearest Greek island being only a 40-minute boat-trip away. Despite problems such as traffic, parking, relatively high prices and lack of parks, overall it is a rewarding place to live and work.
It is a fact that Athenians work hard and long hours, yet coffees and meals of shared (mezze) sometimes go on forever. During the weekends, lunch can easily slide into supper.
Fondest memory: The visit to the Acropolis citadel, and the visit to the New Athens museum are my best memories. It worths every single penny. After a sweaty hike up marble steps smoothed by centuries of sightseers, the first monument to see in the Acropolis citadel is Propylaea, Greek word for entrance. Walking through Propylaea one is faced by the Nikis Temple, Erechtheio and the Parthenon. Huddled below the Acropolis are the Dionyssus and Herodion theatres, the ancient Agora and the tiled neo-classical roofs of 19th century Plaka. Beyond, modern Athens stretches as far as the sea and the mountains surrounding it.
I remember when I walked up the Acropolis and visited all the Ancient sights how proud I felt for beeing born Greek!
You don't have to get on a ferry boat to the islands to enjoy swimming in the Aegean Sea. Athens has a string of beaches which begins in Pireaus, known as The Apollo Coast.
Like any city the further you get out of town the better the beaches are. Public beaches like Vouliagmeni, run by EOT(Greece's National Tourist Organization) offer changing cabins, self-service restaurants, tennis courts, basket-ball and volleyball pitches, children's playgrounds, canoes and pedal canoes for hire. Other public beaches run by EOT are in Paleo Faliro, Alimos, Glyfada, Voula, Varkiza, Alcyoni, and Lagonissi. But these beaches are overcrowded most of the time on summer.
In Sounion there is a small beach below the temple with two tavernas and a large hotel. Between Sounion and Lavrion are a number of tiny coves and beaches but the problem is finding them. You can find less crowded beaches following the direction of Porto Rafti, Loutsa and Rafina,Marathon, Schinias and Oropos.
The best way to go to the beaches of Atika is by car. For Glyfada, Voula take the Coastal Tram in the center of Athens.
The blue public buses go to Vouliagmeni and Varkiza (Nr.116 and Nr.117 from Amalias Street right by the National Gardens).
The yellow Attika buses leave from Areos Park and will take you to Agia Marina, Anavissos, Lagonissi, Sounion and Lavrion as well as to the beaches on the other side of Attika like Rafina, Porto Rafti, Marathon, Schinias and Oropos.
Athens' southern suburbs extend from the end of Syngrou Avenue, at Paleo Faliro, all the way to Vouliagmeni.
The area is mostly residential and it varies from the densely built suburb of Paleo Faliro to the luxury apartment blocks and single family homes of Voula and Vouliagmeni. These two are some of the most expensive real estate markets in the capital, due to their proximity with the sea and their great sunset views.
The main attractions of this area of Athens are the shopping and nightclubs of Glyfada, and the beaches.
The beaches of the southern suburbs extend from Alimos to Vouliagmeni, with a number of fee-paying, organized areas, offering a full menu of amenities and services, and a lot of coves where many area people choose to spend hot summer afternoons.
The southern suburbs host the entire city's nighlife in the summer months. Dozens of restaurants, bars, and clubs are built by the coast, with great sea views and whiffs of merciful breeze after another one of Athens' stifling hot summer days.
Fondest memory: Traffic to the southern suburbs can be awful, especially in the summer, after 11 pm, when the whole city seems to be in Voula and Glyfada in the coastal bars and clubs.
Piraeus is one of the largest cities in Greece. It has been the port of Athens since ancient times. Contemporary Piraeus, actually the same city with Athens, constitutes the Southwest part of the four million habitants city.
Piraeus Central Port is the largest, busiest and most important port in Greece. It is the gate to Argo-Saronic islands, Northeast Aegean islands, Dodecanese, Cyclades, and Crete. The Southeast side of the port docks the International ferries and Cruise ships next to the Passengers Terminal and the Customs office. Each of the many competing shipping companies has agents at the quayside, where you can book and buy your tickets.
Stray dogs are a problem in Athens. Seems they are everywhere and you start to consider them as city inhabitants and get used to cross the street together with them. Some of them are pets, some are former pets and some have never been pets at all...
I was always surprised how they cross the streets with such terrible traffic. I have noticed they are waiting for the green light but not because they understand they can cross, dogs are following pedestrians...
They are everywhere in old Athens, next to every Plaka's taverna just waiting for a food and looking for a shadow...
Sharing the food with them I understand the meaning of that gold quote: We are responsible for those who are tamed by us!
Fondest memory: http://www.greecetravel.com/mazarakis/wisdom/straydogs.htm
Favorite thing: Umbrella sculptures. They first appeared on Thessaloniki's seaside promenade. Then, like a new national symbol, they spread all over Athens as well: at the entrance of the Mega Channel building on Mesogion Avenue, and on the main junction in Psyhiko.
The driver always has the right of way, even when stopping the car in the middle of traffic, going out to buy something like bread and then coming back. It is so outrageous that it's fun. :-) Maybe they are a bit crazy - greek drivers - but try to drive in Athens by yourself, find the place for parking or stroll through very dangerous mountain turns.
They drive masterly and maybe have the best driving experience!
Fondest memory: During my driving in Athens I had maybe the most emotional impressions of my life! :-)
Athens isn't anymore what we've got used to see. It is much more better. Greeks have done a lot for preparing Athens for the Olympics. They turn a city into one of the most walkable, livable, exciting, art, music and entertainment centers in the world. They have created a model that other cities are sure to follow. With the new highways that divert traffic from the downtown they have not only made the city streets safer and the air cleaner but they have made it easier to get in and out of town by car, bus or taxi. The new metro makes the trip to the airport and the port easier shows new neighborhoods to visitors. And the coastal tram... Bravo!
Athenians have good reason to be proud of their city.
Favorite thing: The streets of Athens are fringed with fruit-bearing trees like figs, lemons or oranges. Nobody eats them and they look like Christmas decorations all year around. The bitter oranges that drop from the trees are sometimes used as weaponry by demonstrators against the police.
Favorite thing: The Zappeion Hall was built in 1888 by Evangelos Zappas (he gave his name to the building) During its history, it has developed into a multi-purpose centre, having served as the offices of the Greek Presidency of the European Union. During elections, it is used as a Press Centre. Its also used as exhibition center.
This is your place if you’re lnto live music. They sell tickets for almost every concert, from typical live venues till big arenas like the rockwave festival in summer. It’s in the center (near Panepistimio metro station) so you can pass by and see what’s going on around the days you’ll be in Athens.
You can also check for upcoming concerts at www.ticketpro.gr but they charge a small fee if you buy they ticket this way. They are open daily (except Sunday) 10:30-18:30 (Saturday till 16:00)
Address:Panepistimiou 42(turn right into the small alley. Tel.:3608366
ATHENS - Capital of Greece - Cradle of Democracy - Birthplace of Western Civilization! Whatever you want to call it.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Hans and I were here on a number of occasions during this vacation, but this is the day we planned to go to the Acropolis.
I am glad we waited until the end of our vacation, as the first week we were here, it rained just about every day.
We picked a warm, sunny day - perfect for exploring and walking up hills and steps, which there is plenty of at the Acropolis. Would it be the same as I remembered. It seemed small to me then and when you're young you don't appreciate what you're seeing anyway. This time I can share this experience with Hans. It truly is a magical place. We just sat there on a bench and looked at the Parthenon in awe as many others were doing.
Athens took its name from Athena, the goddess of wisdom and knowledge. A vibrant city where old and new co-exist. Athens is home to numerous architectural marvels, like Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, Temple of Hephaistes, Theatre of Herodes Atticus, Parliament Buildings, numerous museums and crowned by the majestic Parthenon.
Come along with Hans and I to experience not only the Acropolis but many other wonders that Athens has to offer.
Staying in Athens taught me one thing, the Locals like to go out and spend their time in the Local cafe's Like i never seen anywhere else.
To be honest, i thought this "culture" was a real Tel Avivi one all the time... that is till i was here in Athens !
Its unbelievable, So many cafe's and its so lively all the time. Yes i call it a kind of culture...
Where ever you go so many cafe's so many people, you hardly manage to find an available table. I like this though. its fun, everyone is out, relaxed, enjoying, and can spend hours in this nice cafe's.
I was spending lots of my time in Athens in its nice cafe's, Many of them i can't remember by name or definitely not by their address. The photo in this tip was taken in a street in Monastiraki area. Few meteres behind the fence in the left side the Agora is and if you look up you can have a great view of the Acropolis ! absolutely great Location for having some coffee and drinks in a sunny days !
You will find a lot of dogs walking around the streets of Athens by themselves without the company of an owner. Stray dogs aer very common here because during the war in Bosnia, many people fled to Athens and took their dogs with them. Then store keepers started using the dogs as guards to prevent theft. Since theu never bothered to have them fixed, this resulted in too many being born and then there were thousands of dogs romaing aimlessly around the city. They eventually started killing off the dogs because there were so many and it was getting to be a big problem. However, animal rights activists got involved and opposed to the killings. Nothing was ever done about getting homes for the dogs, so they are still a lot of them on the streets.
The dogs are generally well behaved, and street smart. They won't attack you or hurt you; you can touch them and pat them if you want. From my experience they're qquite friendly, and used to people.
ATHENS capital of Greece
Population About 5 million
Local time +2 GMT
Electric 220 V
- Country code +30
- Local code +210
- Police 100
Tourist police 171
Emergency number(for hospitals) 166
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