Athens counts more than 3000 years of history, having gone through times of Glory, with peak during the Golden Age of Pericles, and times of decline, to finally become the Capital of Greece in 1834. Since then Athens has been transformed to an important financial European capital. The infrastructure of Athens has been developed very fast, including nowadays new highways, airport, metro lines, tram line, railway, huge shopping centres, stadiums and sport centres. Since the distances to most of main sights are short, walking is also a good way to explore Athens.
Athens, as a cultural capital, hosts many museums with most important the National Archaeological museum, one of the most important museums in the world. Here are also found numerous theatres, concert halls and of course the famous diversiform nightlife of Athens. There are many one of a kind places to visit within Athens. Monastiraki and its famous flea market, the area of Psiri with numerous restaurants, bars, cafes and taverns with live music, the Lycabettus hill offering breathtaking panoramic view of Athens, the Athenian Riviera stretching from Faliro till Sounio, the pedestrianised historic centre including almost all magnificent sights of Athens like the Acropolis, the new Acropolis museum, the Ancient theatre of Dionysus and the Herodes Atticus Odeon. Closely is also located the Filopappos Hill, the ancient Agora, the Temple of Hephaestus, the charming neighbourhoods of Plaka and Anafiotika, the Greek Parliament and Parliament square. Next to Parliament are the National Gardens and the Zappeion exhibition hall and not far away the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Hadrian arch. Panathinaikon stadium, where the first Olympic games took place, is a few minutes walk also.
Athens hosts many cultural events. The Athens Festival, one of Europe’s major festivals, was established in 1955 and is held in summer, at the open air Roman Herodes Atticus Odeon, with the participation of some of the best Greek and foreign groups and artists performing classical and modern music, opera, dance and theatre.
For food lovers, Athens is a place to be. Starting from the famous greek souvlaki, here one finds all kind of restaurants with local, international and ethnic cuisine, including the famous for seafood area of Piraeus. Athens is a shopping destination too, having famous shopping areas like Ermou street, Aiolou street and the area of Kolonaki while many shops are on the two main streets of city, Panepistimiou and Stadiou.