Athens is the cradle of western civilisation. It is here where democracy first took hold, where modern day literature was born and where modern medicine was first practised.
Today, despite going through recent economic turmoil, Athens is one of the most unique and absorbing cities on the planet. And a new generation of savvy travellers is starting to realise it.
Whether it’s watching the sun go down over ancient monuments from one of the city’s stylish rooftop bars or soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine with the beautiful Athenians on a local beach, the city has transformed into a chic hub of creativity and one of the most exciting capitals in Europe.
Here are 5 reasons you should visit Athens this autumn:
- 1. Unbeatable history
Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a recorded history spanning over 3,400 years. These days, Athens retains reverence for its illustrious past with various archaeological sites, museums and ancient monuments dotted about the city. The most notable of these is the incredible Acropolis of Athens, where the Parthenon sits proudly at the top overlooking the city below.
- 2. The food
The traditional Mediterranean cuisine of Greece is reason enough to visit Athens on its own. Overflowing with an abundance of vibrant flavours and fresh local ingredients, expect succulent meats, fresh vegetables, and plenty of olive oil, cheeses, nuts and fruits. Make sure to try a traditional Yemista (stuffed tomatoes) or a crumbly Greek Baklava for those with a sweet tooth.
- 3. Competitive prices
You’ve probably heard about the economic crisis in Greece over recent years. And while this has seen public spending cut and local wages stall, it does mean that prices for things like food, drink and accommodation are very competitive. Local wine is especially well-priced, by the way.
- 4. The weather
While the summer months in Athens sees the mercury consistently reach the high 30s, in September you can widely expect temperatures in the mid to high 20s. This makes ambling around the city – or lounging on a beach (see below) – a much more comfortable experience.
- 5. Beaches
Being a port city, Athens is conveniently situated near a number of beautiful sandy beaches. All easily accessible via public transport from the city centre, the beaches of Athens can make an idyllic contrast to the bustling city.
Where to stay?
When looking for a great hotel in Athens, there are several that stand out above the rest. For stunning views of the Acropolis (highly recommended), a stay at the Electra Metropolis, which opened last year, is bound to please.
Alternatively, situated in the heart of Athens, the King George a Luxury Collection Hotel offers a refined stay with its outstanding personalised service. Truly push the boat out by booking the Penthouse Suite, which has its own private outdoor pool overlooking the fabled Acropolis.