Athens Booking Hotel e Touristic Information
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Cradle of Western Civilization
Birthplace of Democracy
The City Worshipped by Gods
Athens is the capital city of Greece. It has a glorious history. One of the most important civilizations of the ancient world flourished in this city. As the birthplace of civilization, Athens is recorded to span around 3,400 years. This makes it one the oldest cities in the world.
Even in ancient times, Classical Athens was a powerful state. It was the centre of arts, learning and philosophy in the European continent. As time passed, modern Athens still takes the centre stage as a cosmopolitan metropolis. It is now the pillar of economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece.
Today, Athens is rated as an alpha world city. It is ranked as the 32nd richest city and the 25th most expensive city in the world.
It was said that both Athena and Poseidon wanted to name and be the patron of the city. To resolve the rivalry, they competed for the honor. Each of them presented a gift.
Poseidon produced a salt water spring with his trident. His gift symbolizes naval power. Meanwhile Athena presented an olive tree symbolizing peace and prosperity. King Crecrops and his people accepted the olive tree and named their city after the Goddess Athena.
The oldest civilization in Athens dates back around the 11th and 7th millennium BC. The city has been continuously inhabited for 7000 years.
In 1400 BC, the settlement in the Cave of Schist became the centre of the Mycenaean civilization. It became the major site of the Mycenaean fortress.
After the Dorian invasion in 1200 BC, Athens suffered an economic decline which lasted for 150 years.
Thanks to its natural advantage, from 900 BC, Athens became the leading centre of trade and prosperity. From then on the Classical Athens was born. Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece. In the 5th century BC, Athens laid the foundations of the Western Civilization. With its cultural achievements, Classical Athens surpassed its rival city – Sparta.
Like any other settlement, Athens experienced a decline in Late Antiquity. But it recovered afterwards in the Middle Byzantine Period. During the Crusades, the city became prosperous. It has largely benefited from the Italian trade.
In 1453 Athens was conquered by the Ottomans.
After the Greek War of Independence, Athens became the capital of Greece. But by then, the city is only of modest size. Otto of Bavaria, the first King of Greece, commissioned the modernization of the city fit for the capital of state.
Athens hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
After the Greco-Turkish War, Athens' population welled up. This is due to the number of Greeks who took refuge in the city in 1919-1922.
Athens' population continuously exploded from the 1950's to the 1960's.
By 1980, the city suffered from pollution due to congestion. The city faced the most important challenge in its entire existence.
A series of anti-pollution measures was implemented in 1990. It was coupled with substantial improvement of the infrastructures in the city.
Through these efforts, Athens transformed into a more functional city.
Since the Antiquity Period, Athens has been a popular vacation destination. Even before it received its new Olympic facelift, Athens is also the favorite getaway by international jet setters.
The city boasts of warm climate, world-acclaimed roster of performances, neighboring Greek isles and maritime mystique. Because of these elements, Athens became the top choice destinations for the rich and famous.
Entertainment and Performing Arts
Entertainment, arts and music played an important role in the development of Athens. Because of its great influence to the Athenian culture, 148 theatrical stages are found throughout the city.
Herodes Atticus Theatre
Also known as “Odeon of Herodes Atticus”, the stone structured theatre located in the Acropolis of Athens. It was built by Herodes Atticus in 161 AD in honor of his late wife Aspasia Annia Regilla. Today, Herodes Atticus Theatre is the venue of the Athens Festival which runs from May to October. It has also hosted a number of concerts by world acclaimed performing artists including Andrea Bocelli and Elton John.
The Athens Planetarium
It is said that the Athens Planetarium is the biggest planetaria in Greece! It is also the best equipped digital planetarium in the world!
With real time images and modern technology, the public can enjoy entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky.
Through the course of history, from ancient to modern times, Athens is rich with historical places and monuments. Relieve the rich Hellenistic culture as you take a walk in the city.
Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is the best known fortress in the world. It is also known as Cecropia named after the serpent-man Athenian king, Cecrops. It was a sacred place for ancient Athenians.
They have built temples there to worship their Gods. Ancient Athenians also held their festivities in its sacred ground. Moreover, they fortified themselves in the Acropolis whenever their enemies managed to reach the gates of Athens.
Today the Acropolis of Athens is an archeological site atop the impressive and sacred rock. It is the most visited monuments in Greece. The Acropolis was also nominated as one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.
The Ancient Agora
The heart of Athens beats in the ancient Agora. In Ancient times, Agora was the focal point of political, commercial, social and administrative activity in Athens. Agora was also the cultural and religious centre as well as the seat of justice.
Temples were also constructed in honor of the Greek Gods Zeus, Apollo and Hephaestus.
And it had remained so throughout the history of the city. But around 3000 BC, the Agora became a residential and burial area. And by the 6th century, it became a public area.
Plaka is one of the oldest parts of Athens. It is located downhill from the Acropolis. It is a labyrinth of 19th century structures with neoclassical designs and architecture. It was founded in 1813 and crammed with restaurants, cafés and bars. Walking through its stone-paved narrow streets will transform you back into olden times. Also, Plaka is the best place to shop for souvenirs and traditional Greek jewelry.
Olympeion or the Temple of Olympian Zeus is the largest temple in all of Greece. It was first built by Peisistratus and was completed by Emperor Hadrian in 130 CE. It took 700 years to finish the construction.
Originally, there were 104 Corinthian columns in the Olympeion. But only 15 columns remain standing today. The beautiful ruins of the temple are clearly seen from the Acropolis. And it offers a spectacular view when floodlit at night.
Other must-see and must visit tourist spots in Athens are:
The Port of Piraeus, Syntagma Square, The National Art Gallery, National Archeological Museum, The Attica Coastline
Where to Stay in Athens, Greece
For the past 20 years, there are great improvements in the hotel industry in Athens. This is to accommodate the 11 million tourists that Athens welcomes every year. As such, new hotels and accommodations are built in the centre of the city and along its coastal suburbs.
From luxurious hotel accommodations to modest Athens lodgings, you can find a neoclassical or modern escape with accommodations and amenities fit for even the most demanding traveler.
Many of these accommodations are affordable. Some have rooftop pools and restaurants. Meanwhile others have views of the beautiful skyline and surrounding blue seas and rolling mountains.
You can relax in any of these accommodations without compromising comfort and style.
Plus, there are hundreds of travel agents and online booking sites which can help you book a suitable accommodation in Athens. You can also enjoy big discounts and exclusive deals. They can even help you save up to 70% on your Athens accommodation.
Getting In and Around Athens
The trams, railway, buses, trolleybuses and the metro offer you a wide variety of routes to major hotspots in the city. For only €1.00 you can move in and around the city with one or two means of transportation. You can also avail of the weekly passes which you can buy tickets at discounted rates.
There are a number of car rental agencies in the city. Most of these local agencies are licensed by the Greek National Tourist Organization (GNTO). So before you avail of a rent-a-car service, always validate their license. Also, make sure the car has adequate insurance to cover you in case of accident.
A tip: If you visit in summer, it is wise to book a rental car service in advance.
Taxis in Athens are more affordable than in other European cities. They are equipped with meters. A display card will tell you the latest valid tariffs and surcharges. The fare is charged by km and per hour.
If you want to go around Athens in style, then a limo would be the perfect choice. There are many dependable limousine agencies in the city. They can offer excellent VIP services topped with all levels of comforts, convenience and security.
There could be no better way to explore Athens than day trips. You will be able to visit charming villages, beautiful Greek islands and ancient historical sites with less fuss. You will just follow the itinerary of the guided tour and enjoy each stop.
Did you know in Ancient Athens …
Couples must be pure blooded Athenians before they can get married?
During the Hellenistic period, citizenship is only given to the male child?
Slaves are required to have basic education?
Before they can get married, Athenian women must give away their toys to the temple of Artemis and cut their hair.
Before the wedding day, the bride and groom took ritual baths and sing hymns to the hymen.
Experience magical Athenian entertainment
Be awed by its marvelous wonders
Soak yourself with Hellenistic culture and traditions
And let this divine city enchant you.
Come and Visit Athens Today!