Athens Overview

Take a look at this article for having a view of Athens in 5 mins read.

Athens is the capital of Greece and one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence started somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. That means you will find in this city many Antic sites really worth the visit and make the city of Athens so special where Antiquity and Modern sites cohabit.  

During your stay in Athens, center for the arts, learning and philosophy, you will be surrounded by a long heritage, history which will immerse you in the heart of old Europe, as Athens is widely referred as the cradle of Western civilization. The Urban Area of Athens brings a population of 3.8 million people together in a large city of 2,900km2 which represents four New-York city.

Well, you’re not there yet, or just arrive and you want to organize your journey. This article is to help you to understand and visualize this big city of Athens.

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Roughly, Athens center may be divided into six big Neighborhoods, from the East to the West let’s explore those 6 districts.

Syntagma and Panepistimio

From the Airport to the city, if you take the Metro Line 3 or the Bus line, I recommend you to stop at Syntagma station, the largest and main square of Athens. At Syntagma, you’ve got two Metro Lines, 2 and 3 so it’s easy to change and find the closest metro station of your hotel.

Syntagma square on afternoon

Syntagma Square is highly animated and just in the front of the Hellenic Parliament and the beautiful National Park. Every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. you can assist to the Traditional ceremony of changing guards in front of the Unknown Soldier’s tomb.

Front of the Hellenic Parliament

And if you take a walk behind  the Park, you can visit the Presidential Palace and assist to the traditional changing Presidential Guard dance too in front of the Palace, which is each hour and with less tourists, makes it easier to capture this ceremony.

After walking in this area, I recommend you to take through the north until Panepistimio, on metro Line 2, where you can follow to visit the famous Neoclassical Hellenic architecture with the famous “architectural trilogy of Athens”, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens.

the famous “architectural trilogy of Athens”

In this district you’ve got several coffee shops, restaurants and bookstores to have a rest and a great air conditioning Bookstore Ianos with a coffee shop inside to have the best place to rest in this cultural area.

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coffee shops around the district of Panepistimio

If we keep going to the north, still on line 2, we will find the Omonia and Exarcheia  Neighborhoods.

Omonia

Omonia station

The Omonia Square, not the best place to stay, but a place with many hotels and restaurants and if you keep walking to the north of the Omonia square, about 10 minutes you’ll arrive at the National Archeological Museum.

Metaxourgeio

Metaxourgeio station

The Metaxourgeio (Metro station Line 2 ) neighborhood is located in the north of the historical centre of Athens. More residential and less touristic part of Athens, this area is in reconstruction area and in development.
There,  you’ve got the great Bread Factory Bakery, one of my favorite and open 24 hours !

Let’s keep walking to the south now until the heart of Athens, the Athens’s Belly

Monastiraki

Monastiraki is the square well-known for its crowded flea Market and taverns .

In this District you’ve got also a large choice of attractive restaurants and Bars.

It’s a really crowded district, so you need to be careful of your belongings during the shopping.

Monastiraki is connected to Syntagma square with the Ermou Street, the Shopping Paradise street for Greeks and Tourists.

Monastiraki is also very closed to the Athens Agora and you can see it during your shopping time in Monastiraki.

Monastiraki’s square

On the west of Monastiraki, there is Thissio station.  

Thissio and Acropoli

Thissio on line 1 is the station where all tourists have to go for visiting the Iconic ancient Agora of Athens and many other ancient ruins in Athens.

From Thissio to Acropoli (station on Line 2) you’ve got to walk about 20 mins but what 20mins! During all your walk you can visit the famous sites of Athens, the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis and the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization.

Unforgettable trip in Ancient Greece! Don’t forget to wear good shoes to walk, bottles of water, sunscreen and a great hat for your journey! Besides, all sites have fees.

At Acropoli station you can also visit the amazing Panathenaic Stadium, the world’s only white marble stadium, in the city who was the host of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics. Its making one of the few cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once.

Walking around its district, South Plaka, will also let you discover plentiful neoclassical Architectures.

Piraeus and Faliro

Then, if you’re following to the south you can reach the Piraeus (Metro station on line 3).

But first, for fans of Football’s team Athens Olympiakos, you can have a stop at the Faliro Station to visit the Football’s Team stadium.

Olympiakos Stadium

Finally, keep going to the south until the last stop Piraeus.

Piraeus Station, last top of Line 3 from Athens

There its harbor Piraeus, both the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world. There you’ve got cruises boats, many sellers and Travel agencies and a lot of Taxis who will take you to the city center. Just be careful to the Tourist scammers.

Taxi’s Line at Piraeus Harbor

Hope you’ve enjoyed this quick Athens tour.

For more info about Athens and Greek food, you can also check more articles about Greece here or check my new book.

Author: viniedaily

I'm an European citizen, living in Paris, who has lived in Taipei during 5 years before moving back in Paris for Work. Living in Europe gives me the opportunity to easy travel for 2 to 3 days and experiment new cultures and foods. That's what I'm doing during my free time! I love eat, discover new flavors and new cultures, through the way each people has to approach the meal time. For all those Cultures I've met, I create this daily diary, to memorize all the places I've been, and all the delicious food and flavors I've discovered. This is my personal blog, I would like to share it with you

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