A holiday in Athens is pretty much essential for anyone interested in history. After all, as the seat of Ancient Greece, it's arguably the birthplace of Western civilisation. Its most important monumentand one of the most famous in all Europeis the Acropolis, which boasts ancient sites such as the Parthenon and the similarly majestic Erechtheion. The Temple of Olympian Zeus is another historical must-see, while the utterly charming districts of Plaka, Thissio and Monastiraki are wonderful to wander on a day out in Athens.
Direct flights to Athens are available from UK airports including London Heathrow, Edinburgh and Manchester, courtesy of airlines such as easyJet, Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines. Average journey time is around three and a half hours, but if you're fine with a longer journey and would rather depart from a closer airport, you have a wider variety of departure points to choose from if you choose to take the indirect route.
The gateway to your Athens holiday will be Athens International Airport, which is located around 27 kilometres from the city itself. You can get a Metro train straight from the airport to Athens, or you can choose to take one of the many buses instead. The more expensive, though speediest, option is to get a cab, but make sure you check what the complete fare will be before starting your journey. Athens itself has an extensive and very modern public transport network, including the Metro, trams and buses. An integrated ticket will give you unlimited access across all forms of transport for a set time period.
There are plenty of hotels in the Athens to fit any budget, whether you want to splurge a bit or are keeping a tight hold of the finances. The rule of thumb is to search online, compare prices and accommodation, and book somewhere as far ahead of time as possible.
One of the great things about a holiday in Athens is you can eat well without spending a fortune. In fact, going to posh, swanky restaurants would almost be missing the point, when the most authentic cuisine can be bought from humble cafes and stalls. Things like souvlaki, grilled meat, salad and sauce wrapped in flatbreads, and spinach and cheese pies are filling, delicious and cheap. Perfect for impromptu picnics in one of Athens' many green spaces and parks!
Updated 19th June 2013
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posted by ktoyleyI just thought this museum was wonderful. My husband had been before, before the renovations, and says it's so much better now. The collection, the displays, the facilities, all great. And the queues a lot smaller too than at some of the other big name places.
posted by bjacksonWe went to a couple of things from the Athens Festival here and it was spectacular. Amazing setting, really memorable, and totally enjoyable.