Athens

Welcome to Athens

Athens has been in the international spotlight for all the wrong reasons, as images of violence and riots dominated the world view in recent years. But the hope of a new stability has now set in, and it is in many ways a more interesting and dynamic place to visit than ever. Times of political strife often foster the most interrogative art and culture, and when life is hard people turn to each other for solace. The restaurants, bars and cafes of this historic city still heave and buzz, as the nation strives to redefine itself.

This is after all the birthplace of modern culture and democracy, and a city with a rich and fascinating history of political change from the Ancient Greeks to today. The monuments are not confined to museums and galleries, but are all around you as you wander the cobbled streets. Some may say this is a city living in the long shadow of a golden age 2,500-years long gone, but nowhere else do new and old contrast so dynamically.

You can sip a glass of ouzo ogling that audacious achievement of mankind, the Acropolis, and yet the walls behind you will be graffitied and a DJ spins electro in the distance. The calm of island oasis of Anafiotika or the pretty Plaka make a striking contrast against the gritty art scene of Gazi or the rebel youth of Exarchia. This is a city where the classical past is the stage upon which a very contemporary world continues to carve its way.

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Quick facts

  • Inhabitants in Greece:
    10,9 million
  • Inhabitants in Athens:
    abt 4,5 mill.
  • Official language
    Greek
  • Currency
    Euro
  • Time zone
    +1
  • Emergency number
    112 SOS, 100 Police
  • Constitution
    Democracy
  • Country phone code
    +30
  • Country code
    GR
  • Local transportation
    Bus, Tram, Metro, Train