Athens is the capital of Greece, and is one of the most visited places in the world. World Data reports that Athens welcomed over 6.3 million visitors in 2019, ranking it the 41st most popular destination in the world. As borders continue to open and the economy continues to recover, the tourism industry in Greece is well on its way to prospering once more. So, if you’re looking for your next adventure, here are 10 reasons why Athens should be included in your bucket list.
1. It’s one of the oldest cities in Europe
Athens has been home to many important civilizations, including the ancient Greeks and Romans. It’s seen many wars and occupations throughout its long history that spans back to 3000 BC, and you can catch a glimpse of this through the city’s many ancient sites.
2. Savor the Mediterranean climate
If you’re sick of the cold, we have some good news for you – summers in Athens are hot and winters are mild, which makes this city perfect for basking in the sun all year round! You can expect average temperatures of 10°C in winter.
3. For the knowledge-seekers
There is much debate on whether Athens was named after the goddess Athena, or whether it was the other way around. Regardless, Love Holidays highlights that the goddess of wisdom’s presence is still felt in the city, with artwork, statues, and temples dedicated to her. Athens is also known as an academic center, with many universities and colleges being located in the area.
4. Taste the fantastic cuisine
Athens is home to Tudor Hall, a large outdoor area with incredible views of the Acropolis and Parthenon. You can have some souvlaki, moussaka, and fresh Greek salads, which are all commonly served here. You can also try Athens’ local variation of the Gemista.
5. You can relax in stunning beaches
The island of Santorini might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Greece. However, Athens also has quieter and more picturesque beaches such as the Skalakia Agias Marinas, and the Vouliagmeni beach, which is frequented by water sports lovers.
6. Experience its bustling nightlife
Nightlife in Athens begins past 10pm and ends well into the early hours of the morning. In other words, prepare for a long night of vibing to Rembetika music at Kavouras, drinking away with friends at the Monastiraki square, or meeting new people in the trendy Riviera area.
7. Support locals through the night markets
Those who love hunting for great finds are sure to have a blast in Athens. Greeking.me lists Monastiraki Flea Market, Piraeus Flea Market, and the To Pazari Rakosyllekton or the Scavenger’s Flea Market as some of the most popular ones.
8. Lots of cultural places to visit
If you’re in Athens, definitely make time to walk the winding streets of Plaka, explore the grand Temple of Olympian Zeus, and make a day trip to Delphi. Of course, there’s also the Acropolis, which houses the world-famous Parthenon temple and Theatre of Dionysus.
9. Plenty of beautiful accommodations
We recommend renting out one of the many gorgeous Airbnbs or looking for a hostel or homestay if you want to experience living like a local in Athens. Knowing someone from the area will also help you find the best places and get the best bang for your buck as well.
10. Starting point to get to other places
Finally, Athens is a great place to stay if you want to explore the rest of Greece, or if you want to go island-hopping. The flight from Athens to Santorini only takes an hour, and there are also connecting flights going to Rhodes and Crete.
This vibrant city ticks pretty much all the boxes – it has a rich history, mouthwatering cuisine, fantastic views, and a bustling nightlife. There’s truly something for everyone, which makes it one of our favorite destinations to explore.