Attracting inquisitive travelers from all over the world, the city of Athens is a wonderful destination. The tourists have a remarkable chance to enjoy all its magnificence.
As the capital of the Greek state, this city is a symbol of art and democracy for the whole world. Its history has gone through countless centuries, and much of it still retains details of antiquity.
Now it is quite a modern big city, but very different from most Western metropolitan areas. Perhaps that is why it enjoys such popularity. But it is better to see it with your own eyes at least once.
There is no doubt that one of the most beautiful cities in Greece charms visitors with its special atmosphere of freedom and the abundance of historical and cultural values.
Try Athens’s free walking tour and you will not regret your decision to travel.
Before we do so, let us find out interesting facts about Athens that you probably do not know.
13 Interesting Facts about Athens
Tourists come here, as a rule, not in search of the warm sun and the gentle sea, but to see with their own eyes the history and to dive into the myths and legends.
Here are some facts about Athens:
- Of all Greek cities that have survived since ancient times, Athens is one of the oldest. In total once existed about fifteen hundred cities-polis, each of which was an independent state.
- Despite such a respectable age, Athens is the youngest European capital. The city received this status only in 1834.
- Almost 40% of the Greek population lives in this city. The city’s suburbs are home to quite a few people as well.
- The city once got its name in honor of the goddess Athena. According to legend, Athena and Poseidon vied for the right to patronize the city, but the residents chose the goddess.
- Democracy emerged here, emerged here. And it happened about two and a half thousand years ago.
- The world’s first Olympic Games were held in Athens.
- Among all the Greek city-polis no rival could compete with this city, because its inhabitants possessed the most powerful and numerous fleet.
- Theaters first appeared in Athens-the art of theater was held in high esteem by the ancient Greeks.
- One of the most popular places for tourists visiting Greece is the Athens Acropolis. This monumental structure is more than two thousand years old.
- In this city and its surroundings probably the largest number of archaeological sites in the world.
- In ancient Athens the highest penalty was ostracism – the banishment of a man from the city for ten years. Surviving alone outside the city in a country of often warring city-states was very difficult.
- At night, workers scatter stones around the ancient Athenian Parthenon for tourists to take with them as a memento, genuinely believing that they have taken a piece of the monument away with them. If not for this, the Parthenon would have been pillaged for souvenirs long ago.
- The sport of marathon running was invented in Athens.
This huge city of 5 million inhabitants is an unusually harmonious meeting place of antiquity and modernity.
Must-see Places in Athens
There are plenty of attractions in the Greek capital. But the time for tourists who come from the resort coast to “rest” from the beach vacation and look at the ancient city, which experienced its heyday more than two thousand years ago, sometimes very little.
If you are determined to explore the city, below is a list of must-see places.
- Acropolis & Parfenon.
- National Archaeological Museum.
- Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.
- The Piraeus Area.
- Plaka and Monastiraki.
- Likavitos (Likabet).
- Syntagma Square in Downtown Athens.
- Museum of Benaki.
- Byzantine Museum.
- Dome of Zeus the Olympic.
- Kerameikos Cemetery.
- The Athenian Agora.
- The Church of Saint Demetrios Lumbardiaris.
- The Ancient Gates of the Propylaeum.
- Temple of Hephaestus.
- Panathenaic Stadium.
- Numismatic Museum.
- Athens Academy of Sciences.
- Daphne Monastery.
The list of iconic places in this city is almost endless, and to see them all during a tourist trip you need to plan everything carefully.
So, Athens is not only the ancient cultural center of Greece and simply a very beautiful and distinctive city.
The main sights of the Greek capital can easily be stretched over several days, but if time in the city is limited, it is worth using the services of guides.
With freetour.com you can turn your Athens vacation into an unforgettable magical fairytale and visit all the listed sights.