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- How big is Athens?
- The area of Athens is roughly 412 km2 (159 sq mi).
- How many people inhabit it?
- There are roughly over 4 million people living in Athens.
- What are the language and the currency?
- Greek is the first language of Athens but English is widely spoken throughout the city also. They spend the Euro.
- The Temple of Olympian Zeus
Things to see in Athens
- What is Athens’ number one attraction?
- The Acropolis is probably the city’s most popular attraction. Athens is home to some historic sites and The Acropolis is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was once the ancient town of Athens and today it is where you will find the preserved ruins of some of Greece’s classical age. The Acropolis dominates the Athens skyline with historic buildings such as the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. It’s also a busy attraction so try visiting early in the day, especially during the summer months as you will also avoid the strong heat along with the crowds.
- Anything else which shouldn't be missed in Athens?
- The Theatre of Dionysus is a large open-aired theatre that was used for festivals to honour the god of Dionysus. Its remains today give you an idea of what these theatres looked like. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is another open aired theatre that can be found on the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens and dates back to 161 AD. You can also climb Lycabettus Hill for some amazing views of the city or visit one of the many parks like the Parnitha National Park for some hiking trails. Or check out The National Garden of Athens for a peaceful city park where you can escape city life
- What about art and culture?
- There’s no shortage of art and culture in Athens with some great museums on offer. The Benaki Museum is home to a great collection of Byzantine and Persian art and is often regarded as the city’s best museum. There’s also the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and the New Acropolis Museum as well as galleries such as the National Art Gallery. The City of Athens Technopolis is also worth a visit as it is an industrial museum that has been transformed into a cultural space for all uses.
Going out in Athens
- Is it expensive to go out in Athens?
- It can be expensive to drink in some of the bars and clubs in Athens however, their drinks measures are larger than a lot of their European counterparts.
- Where are most of the bars found?
- Socialising and nightlife are a popular past-time in Athens with a whole host of bars and neighbourhoods to choose from when deciding where to spend your night out. You will find a whole host of clubs and pubs in the centre of the city especially around areas such as Gazi, Psirri, Metaxourgio, Exarcheia, Monastiraki, Theseion, Kolonaki or around Karytsi Square. To check out the trendier side of Athens go towards Glyfada on the waterfront, especially during the summer months. Also, do note that during the summer months a lot of the city clubs move out to the coastal areas and the club nights here can be crazy!
- Is there anything to do that doesn't include alcohol?
- Theatre and the arts play a big part on the entertainment scene in Athens. You will find close to 150 theatrical stages around Athens. If you are visiting Athens during warmer months look out for open-air garden film screenings too. You can also avail of many music venues around Athens to catch some live entertainment of all types.
- Anything else I need to know?
- Nightlife in Athens doesn’t get started until late in the night as there are no closing hours. Most locals will go out for some dinner after 8pm and take their time over food and some drinks. Bars normally get going after 10pm and clubs after midnight.
- What can I expect from the food in Athens?
- Greeks really do love their food and there is a great selection on offer throughout the city of Athens. The more popular dishes are made up of meat, chicken or fish along with many salads and vegetables. Some of the more popular Greek dishes that has found its way around the world is the souvlaki and its close counterpart the gyros. These dishes mainly contain meat such as lamb or chicken that has been skewer cooked and placed in a warm pita bread with vegetables or salads and sauces such as the popular Greek tzatziki sauce. No trip to Athens will be complete without sampling one of these traditional foods.
Eating Out in Athens
- Is it expensive to eat out in Athens?
- If you avoid the tourist traps you can get some great value for money along with some amazing Greek cuisine.
- Where’s best to eat in Athens?
- It depends on what neighbourhood you are in as each district comes with some great restaurants and tavernas. Two areas that commonly get recommended for food are Kolonaki and Plaka but these can be full of tourists too. Look out for the hidden gems where you will find the locals dining.
- Anything else I need to know?
- You will also find a range of fast food restaurants in Athens. Some will be your typical international chains but you will also find some Greek chains that offer some great traditional based foods for cheap prices.
Transport in Athens
- How many different modes of public transport are there in Athens?
- Get around Athens using either the Metro, suburban rail, tram or bus.
- Can I buy a ticket that covers all modes of transport?
- Yes. There is a really simple 'one covers all' ticket available when it comes to Athens transport. For €1.40 you can purchase an "integrated" ticket that lets you travel on any means of transport — metro, suburban trains, trams, trolleybuses, buses — with unlimited transfers to most destinations within Athens (except the metro airport line east of Doukissis Plakentias and the airport buses) for 90 minutes. You can also buy a €3 ticket that is valid for 24 hours or if you are planning on staying for a week maybe purchase the €10 weekly ticket. There’s also ‘tourist tickets’ available that include airport transport so take a look at these options before you make your way into Athens from the airport.
- Will I need to use public transport at all?
- Athens is a large city so if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing or if your accommodation is not very central you will probably end up using some form of public transport.