Holidaymakers with an interest in ancient history need look no further than Athens when planning their next overseas trip. The Greek capital is one of the oldest cities in the world, with records showing it has been inhabited for thousands of years. Understandably, the city is literally dripping in history - but there is far more to this popular city break destination than the relics of its past, as Athens has moved with the times and been transformed into a truly modern metropolis.
Athens is located in the south-east of Greece, on a peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. Modern-day Athens is much larger than its classical counterpart and the wider urban area is currently home to more than four million people. Millions of tourists also visit Athens each year, while Greece as a whole attracts more than 17.5 million per year. While other parts of the country are popular for their beaches and coastal views, Athens' main draw is undoubtedly its long and rich history.
The city has its fair share of upmarket hotels and restaurants, but those travelling on a budget can certainly stay comfortably in the Greek capital, particularly if they choose to book a holiday apartment in Athens.
Visitors are never going to be short of things to do and see in Athens, but here are some of the sites that should definitely feature on every traveller's itinerary:
The Acropolis of Athens - The Acropolis - which translates as the 'high city' - is a collection of monuments located on a rocky outcrop above the city. This is where important structures were built in ancient times and visitors can take in the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaia here.
The Daphni Monastery - This 11th-century Byzantine monastery houses an impressive array of mosaics that date back to the 12th century. The monastery is now a museum and World Heritage Site, although visitors should note that restoration work is currently underway.
Hellenic Parliament - The 19th century Greek parliament building was originally designed to be a palace for the Greek monarchs. However, the royal family moved out during the 1920s and the building became the permanent home of Parliament in the 1930s.
National Archaeological Museum - This recently refurbished museum houses the best collection of ancient Greek art and sculpture in the world. Whether you have an hour or an entire afternoon to fill, this should be an essential stop during your visit to Athens.
The main way for international visitors to reach Athens is via Athens International Airport, which handles approximately 13 million passengers each year and is currently the 30th busiest airport in Europe. Located 20km to the east of central Athens, the airport has its own rail station, where passengers can board the city's Metro or the suburban rail service.
Summer is the most popular tourist season and prices tend to rise during the months of July and August to reflect this. Greece is warm year-round, and probably the most pleasant times to visit are during the spring and autumn.
If you're planning a trip to Greece, why not take a look at our holiday apartments in Athens? We offer high quality accommodation in key central locations that is often much more affordable than staying in a hotel.
All Athens apartments are available for online booking for the convenience of the travelers and direct reservation.
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