Meet Athens (Greece)
The best things to do in Athens certainly suggest this.
If travel guides deserve credits, there are surprises hidden around every unpretentious corner in virtually every city.
We know that this is not true: it is the slogan of the tourist board at its worst moment.
But in Athens-where ancient and modern, nature and civilization, tradition and tendencies blend-perhaps the cliché could sustain itself.
Roads full of transit cover cobblestone alleys with cafes and restaurants filled with bougainvillea.
Inside Neoclassic buildings, cutting-edge galleries are thriving.
The simplest of the entrance paths can lead to an outdoor cinema that serves ouzo under the Starry night sky.
And then you turn to one side, and chances are that the shimmering Parthenon is looking back at you.
Athens is the cosmopolitan heart of Greece and, in fact, all Western culture.
See how to get the best out of it.
When you think of Athens, you think of these ancient buildings.
You would fight to name a more iconic view anywhere in the world.
Perched atop a rocky outcrop for 2,500 years, they have now been absorbed into a modern metropolis, but you will still be dazzled.
The monuments here are considered the greatest architectural achievements of Greek antiquity.
The temple of the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, is perfectly proportioned and considered the best dory masterpiece in the world.
The National Gardens
Tucked away in the heart of Athens, the National Gardens offer a beautiful refuge from the hustle and bustle of concrete capital.
This grand Park was commissioned by Queen Amalia, the first Queen of Greece, in 1838 and completed two years later.
The gardens cover 16 hectares of narrow gravel paths and lagoons, as well as a small zoo with goats, peacocks and wild chickens.
Cycladic Art Museum
A luxurious museum that houses more than 3,000 artifacts of cyclade origin, ancient Greek and Cypriot.
To see the statuettes and marble statues outlined differently that date back to the Bronze age.
Or one of the 150 objects of ancient Greek art collections, including vases, statuettes and weapons grouped by the themes ‘ Gods and Heroes ‘, ‘ Eros ‘, ‘ The world of women ‘ and ‘ the Underworld ‘.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
An oasis of Mediterranean vegetation.
For 170,000 square meters of park, complete with playgrounds, gardens, cafes, an impressive ecological glass complex (also home to the Greek National Opera), an artificial river and a new national Library of Greece.
In addition, there is a great view of the Acropolis.
Monastiraki is one of the oldest and busiest areas of the capital, full of rooftop bars, old places and large markets.
Monastiraki Metro station is right on the picturesque main square (which also has an incredible view of the Acropolis).
Go shopping in Monastiraki flea market, squeeze through busy pedestrian streets and examine shops full of antiques, hand-made jewellery and Greek handicrafts.
The internal and external food market of the Monastiraki region delights the senses.
From the early hours of Dawn, Greek sellers announce their best deals in an attempt to sell fresh meat, fish, fruits, spices and products from all over the country.
The atmosphere is unlike any other while travelers and locals cross the narrow corridors lined with suspended meat carcasses, Greek delicacies stalls and fresh frozen seafood in vibrant exhibits.
Lycabettus Hill is one of the highest peaks in Athens. You can reach there climbing a hillside covered with forests-just for a brief moment, remember-or, if you are lazy, there is a cable car to the top.
At the peak you will find one of the broadest views of the city.
There is also a beautiful whitewashed church called St George, a café and Orizontes, a gourmet Greek restaurant with certainly the most scenic terrace in the capital.
The concerts are held at the Lycabettus Outdoor Theatre, built on another part of the hill in the summer.