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Experiences in Athens
Where to go
Things to do in Athens
“So many things I don’t need!” remarked Socrates as he strolled around the agora (marketplace) of ancient Athens. You may feel the same browsing the flea markets of Plaka and the tourist alleys of Athens’ varied neighborhoods, but you’ll be walking in the footsteps of Saint Paul, Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, Plato, Aristotle . . . Naturally, the Acropolis and its immortal buildings will draw your attention. There’s nothing quite like ascending through the monumental gate and facing the Parthenon’s august facade, the Temple of Athena Nike unassuming just to your side. Then there’s the Ancient Agora where Socrates and Diogenes argued, Plato’s Academy, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and more famous ruins that you can possibly visit. It’s a good idea to join a walking tour. Syntagma, Anafiotika, Monastiraki and Psirri are some of the better-known districts, and you may want to spend some time among the cafes and shops of Ermou Street in the retail center. Pireaus is a little further out, but has more of a village vibe around the old port of Athens. Be sure to pause, order a Greek coffee or iced Frappe and watch the people go by – it’s a national pastime! With such good transport connections, Athens is also good for excursions to the islands and the mainland. The monastic towers of Meteora and the stupendous vistas of Delphi are within reach, while out to sea you’ll discover the sleepy islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina. It doesn’t matter what time you return – Athens is one of those cities that has a rush hour at 2.00am!