Athens is as beautiful as Athena herself, the goddess of wisdom, which the amazing city of Athens is named after. Athena is celebrated by a temple on the acropolis, which UNESCO rightly named a world heritage site. During the cities celebrations, the inhabitants celebrate this historical city, which has despite being somewhat modern, has so much history attached to it. The city of Athens reached its pinnacle in the 5th century BC whereby the construction of many classical buildings which are regarded as the icons of Ancient Greece. During this time, ancient philosophy and drama was born and Socrates led to foundation of the western philosophy.
Athens is a major european culture centre with its many sites and world class museums. The capital of Greece has the best restaurants and most impressive nightlife in the whole country. The city underwent mass new development leading up to the return of olympic games in the year 2004. This global event had a major impact on not only the city – but the country as whole and breathed new life into Greece. The long waited new Acropolis Museum was eventually opened in the year 2009.
Some restaurants in Athens close during the summer time, which is the period from the middle of July to the middle of September. Restaurants in Athens are generally categorized into three groups – these being expensive, moderate and the cheaper restaurants.
Again and like the restaurants, hotels can also be categorized into three groups which depends as one would expect – related to pricing.
Athens has a very lively nightlife which covers bars, taverns and clubs and this vibrant city has all the trendiest places to hang out as you would expect.
For those of us who just love shopping, visit the less touristy areas of Athens, which will not only to save you money, but also give you an experience of the real Athens. The standard practice of selling in the areas where tourists are found in the capital is haggling. It is a very critical practice of selling since it avoids paying extortionate prices. The busiest streets in Athens where shopping mainly occurs is the pedestrianised Ermou, which is off Syntagma Square. This is where shoppers can buy the latest items such as clothing and accessories. Visit Kolonaki one of the most up market district for shopping in Athens. Here, designers and jewellery shops rub shoulders with cafes and chic restaurants. This is where Tsakalof is found – which is among the most costly streets in the world. Most of the Greek gifts are found in Pláka shops. These gifts include hand-woven rugs, also known as flokati, copper coffee pots, virgin olive oil and honey to name just a few.
If the designer shops are not really your thing then take a visit to the Monastiraki area on the edge of Pláka. Here, you can buy all sorts of products from army combat boots, second hand books to even ancient coins and fake sunglasses. Open on Sundays, you can find things like furniture and even dubious bric a brac. The central market is housed in a big metal structure which was built in the 19th century. It is operational from Monday to Saturday and sells fish, meat and fresh produce. In Athens, laiki, also known as peoples market is where household goods and fresh fruits and vegetables are sold on weekly basis.