Athens Mini Guide
Greece’s capital Athens is considered to be the birthplace of Western civilisation and there are many amazing sights there for visitors to explore and enjoy.
The foremost of these is the Acropolis which is visible from anywhere is in this huge city as it is perched up high on a cliff top. Consider taking the time to visit the Acropolis at night. Not only is it beautifully lit up but you will have incredible views out over Athens.
This sprawling city can be somewhat smoggy and polluted and so the best times of year to visit are during spring and autumn months when you will not be smothered in suffocating heat.
If you want to see something truly spectacular then head to Athens to coincide with the Easter weekend when the streets will be illuminated by candlelit processions. By plane you will fly into the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport which has many connections with the Greek Islands and other domestic flights to places such as Thessaloniki
. If you are departing from Eleftherios Venizelos there are flights to destinations all over the world including Europe, Africa, America
and the Middle East.
The airport is located around 30 kilometres out of the city centre near the suburb of Spata. Having been revamped for the Olympic Games, Athens International is an extremely modern and efficient airport complete with a useful tourist information office which is a good port of call before you pick up your Rhino rental car.
Having a car is a good way to get around Athens as many parts of it are not particularly bicycle or pedestrian friendly and prices for the taxis will quietly rack up if you get stuck in traffic. This also gives you the freedom to fly into Athens and get out to explore the rest of what Greece has to offer - which is a great deal.
If you are desperate for the beach on hot summer days, the nearest and most popular is four miles south of the centre at Alimos. It's pretty and sandy and has good facilities.
A good starting point for your adventure is to Piraeus, the harbour of Athens. From there you can take a ferry to islands such as Rhodes and Mykonos.
Athens itself has many fine pieces of architecture as well as interesting museums. Go to the Kerameikos which is an ancient cemetery that houses the Dipylon Gate and a museum full of interesting artefacts. If you prefer to just walk around the pleasant areas like Kolonaki and Plaka then make sure you keep your valuables safe at all times.
- Protests against the austerity measures the Greek government have been forced to make now mean that violent demonstrations can break out anywhere in the city. Be aware at all times of what is happening around you and listen to news reports. If in doubt, your hotel manager should be able to advise you of safe areas to visit.