Destination Information - Athens, Greece
Without the Greeks, there would be no Western civilization. Huge parts of the knowledge we take for granted today are thanks to the ancient civilization founded in this small corner of the Mediterranean 3,000 years ago. It is no understatement: Athens is where the modern world was born.
While many holidaymakers treat Athens as only a stop-over en route to the islands, Greece's capital city remains a repository for its cultural treasures and the very core of its identity.
The great Greek thinkers Pythagoras, Archimedes, Socrates and Plato are still household names today, not bad for a bunch of philosophers and mathematicians that have been dead for millennia. Visit Athens, and the remnants of the Greek Empire scattered all over the city make it easy to imagine these fathers of civilization who once occupied the Ancient Agora, the social and commercial centre of Athens.
It is on the Acropolis, the ancient hill fort that rises above modern day Athens, that you'll find the most spectacular remains. The Parthenon, the Temple to Athena Nike and the Erechtheion are all located here and together they create one of the most spectacular and memorable backdrops of any city in the world.
But Athens' neighbourhoods - especially the Plaka with its relaxed cafés and excellent markets - are by no means relics of the past. Browsing the bazaars in these bustling, lively locales make a welcome break from touring the sites of the ancients.
And Athens also has its modern side. The central district is distinctly third millennium and the walk from the Acropolis to the modern buildings that surround Constitution Square takes you through 3,000 years of human civilization - a unique experience.