Capital of Greece: Athens
Official language: Greek
The currency: Euro(€)
Weather: The average temperature during September; High 28°C – Low 19°C
Population: 11.306.183 (2010 estimate)
Calling code: The international calling code of Greece is +30
Time zone: GMT +2
Power Plugs and sockets: Type C and F (standard voltage: 220 V/ frequency:50 Hz)
Surrounded by a lining of stunning seas and mountains, this safe and travel-friendly city is filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered: renowned archeological sites, modern and classical art museums and galleries, spas, chic shops, restaurants and bars, street markets and bazaars, open-air cinemas, sandy beaches, picturesque Greek islands in close proximity and 300 sun-drenched days.
Arts & Culture
The city's rich classical tradition and its geographical location - at the crossroads of cultures - have always lent it a formidable platform for artistic expression. That high regard for the arts continues today, with a mushrooming of modern innovations. Every year, the city's cultural calendar presents exhibits and festivals of international scope, original productions and notable artistic happenings.
Athens takes the fuss out of sightseeing. It is a user-friendly town thanks to the pleasant demeanor of the English-speaking Athenians and the easy to use and manageable transportation system. The visitor can see a lot in one day. Archaeological Sites & Classical Greek Monuments, Byzantine Monuments & Ottoman Monuments, Museums, Art Galleries, street performances, festivals. Needless to say, The Acropolis remains a "must see". By the way, Athens is one of the few European cities where you can visit a museum during the day and jet off to a nearby island at night.
A state-of-the-art metro system, wide avenues, an efficient public transportation system and a compact city center, all make moving around Athens easy and convenient. The Athens transportation network now includes new buses, pollution-free trolleys, tram and a revamped electric railway system that connects to two metro lines. Piraeus's port, in short distance from the Athens city center, serves national and international sea lines. The modern highways make driving to and from the city, a pleasant experience.
Gourmet and traditional Greek cuisine, in the past decade, has become one of the most popular in the world as it has been proven to provide a flavorful healthy and balanced diet. Culinary aficionados are encouraged to delight in the myriad of sophisticated restaurants that boast tastes and interiors inspired from all parts of the world. The local and traditional outdoor seaside taverns and cafes are plentiful and a cultural mainstay.
Shopping in Athens -- a showcase for its traditional and modern culture and lifestyle -- can be a fascinating and satisfying experience for all. Amidst the many well-known international name brand outposts and traditional Greek art and folklore shops, are hundreds of chic boutiques and specialty stores blossoming with great fashion finds for every taste and budget. Make sure to stop in at one of the many wonderful year-round outdoor cafés and restaurants to make your experience of shopping in the Athenian way, complete!
Sea & Sun
Athens is the only European city surrounded by pristine beaches, where you can swim for many months during the year. Visit a beach in Athens and you are likely to feel like you're on a Greek island, as you are greeted with stretches of crystal sands, fine pebbles and breathtaking, blue clean waters. Some beaches boast barren rocks and cliffs that carve caves and coves you can explore. Other beaches have floating bars, music and seaside spas, while others are secluded for romance. Most offer beach amenities, such as lounge chairs, umbrellas, lifeguards, fun playgrounds, restaurants and water sports for all ages.
In Athens, enjoying a sunset stroll or a seaside meal is a part of daily life. Walk on the many Athenian esplanades lined by tropical palm trees. Beach hopping is made possible by the new tramway. Hop-in from the center of Athens and watch the sun set over the Saronic Gulf.
About Athens: www.thisisathens.org ; www.visitgreece.gr
Athens International Airport: www.aia.gr