Traveling to Athens
Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the world’s oldest cities, dating back at least 3400 years. According to ancient Greek mythology, Athens was named after the goddess of wisdom, Athena, after competing with the God of the Seas, Poseidon, for power of the then unnamed city. There are 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Athens, the Acropolis of Athens, largely constructed in the 5th century, and the medieval Daphni Monastery, constructed in the 11th century. Its ancient architecture, unique mythology, deep philosophical history, and delicious food makes Athens a must-see destination.
Millions of tourists visit the ancient city annually. High season is typically experienced during the summer, between June and September. The best time to visit Athens is between March to June, or October to November. The hottest months fall between July to September, with temperatures averaging at 77°F. The coldest months fall between December to March, with temperatures averaging at 50°F. Athens’ wet season begins in October and ends in January.
Getting around Athens
Athens International Airport (ATH) is the major airport serving the city, and receives over 20 million passengers annually. The airport is located 12 miles east from the central Athens, around a 30-minute drive. Getting from Athens International Airport (ATH) to the city is extremely convenient. Taxis are available by exit 3 of arrivals, and cost between US$45-US$65 to reach the city. Athens Metro line 3 takes you directly to and from Athens International Airport (ATH) for around US$12. The Athens express bus service operates 24/7, and 4 different bus lines connect directly to central Athens for US$7 per trip.
Piraeus port in Athens is served by many ferries and some cruise ships. Consider boarding a ferry to embark on your big fat Greek adventure island-hopping through Greece!
Public transport in central Athens is fairly accessible. The Athens Metro system is operated across 3 lines, serving the city and suburbs. Single integrated trips cost around US$1.70, while integrated day-passes cost under US$6. Don’t forget to validate your ticket before heading to the platform.
The new Athens Tram allows passengers to commute between the city center and coastal areas. 3 tram lines are available, and are listed as T1, T2, and T3 for each corresponding tram line. Integrated tickets cost around US$1.70, and run between 05:30–00:30 daily at the time of writing. Integrated tickets may also be used for bus services.
Things to do in Athens
The Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Sites, was an ancient town consisting of temples and buildings, and remains Greece’s most famous attraction. The Parthenon, the Erectheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike are a few prominent buildings on site. Entry into the site ranges between US$24–US$36. Plaka, the neighborhood where the Acropolis is located, offers many hotels within a mile from site. Highly-rated hotels include the 5-star Electra Metropolis, the 4-star Electra Athens and Ava Hotel and Suites.
Syntagma Square is Athens’ political and commercial hub, and is easily accessible by metro. There, you’ll find the Old Royal Palace, which serves as the Hellenic Parliament building today. Many 5-star hotels are situated right in the square, including Hotel Grande Bretagne, a luxury Collection Hotel, King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel and NJV Athens Plaza Athens. Popular luxury hotels nearby include Coco-Mat Hotel Athens, and the Grand Hyatt Athens. On a budget? Check out the 3-star Central Hotel, for a cheaper hotel near Syntagma Square.
The 5-star Athenaeum InterContinental is in the heart of the Neos Kosmos neighborhood, with plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants in close proximity.
The Hilton Athens is located in the Athens City Center neighborhood, connected to a shopping center. Benaki Museum, Mount Lycabettus, the Chapel of St. George are all within 1 mile of the hotel.
Benaki Museum, Mount Lycabettus, the Chapel of St. George are all located within 1 mile of the hotel.