Hotels in Athens, Greece
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Athens – a city of myth and ancient wonders
Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, founded back in 3000 BC, and is the birthplace of some of the ideas valued today by societies across the world. The notion of democracy has its roots in ancient Greece, where Athens then as now was its capital city, while some fundamental aspects of mathematics have their roots in Athens too. In ancient times, the people of Athens worshipped many gods and Athens gets its name from one of these, the goddess Athena. Athens is the original home of the ancient Olympic games, and it had the honour of hosting the first games of the modern Olympiad in 1896 too. Athens played host once again in 2004. Thankfully, modern athletes are clothed unlike their ancient counterparts. Athens has everything you would expect from a modern city, except it sits side by side with some breath-taking ancient sites.
See ancient Greece
No visit to Athens would be complete without visiting some of the most amazing sites and monuments of ancient Greece. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an amazing 25 centuries old, the Acropolis of Athens is the remains of a city and sits high above modern day Athens. The most famous of the buildings it contains is the Parthenon, a temple built in honour of the goddess Athena. At the northwest of the Acropolis you will find the Agora, a place where the people of Athens would meet to socialise, as well as carry out their business and discuss politics. The site was also the scene of the occasional political murder in the constant jostle for power. The Temple of Olympian Zeus, which took 700 years to complete, has 15 of its impressive columns still standing. It is astounding to think of the temples size and scale when it was built, when there were more than 100 columns. With many hotels in Athens to choose from, amazing history is all around you.
Shop till you drop
Athenians like to shop and the main shopping street in Athens is Ermou. Here you will find well-known brands and department stores, while the streets around offer small, independent shops for everything from gadgets to art. For prestigious jewellery brands, visit Voukourestiou Street. For fashionable clothes shops, try Attica or Golden Hall shopping centres. If you are looking for a real bargain, try the Monastiraki Flea Market. From Monday to Sunday you can scour the stalls for all sorts of items, and maybe you will be able to haggle for a really good bargain too. Be warned though; some vendors are happy to sell original pieces next to fake items, so make sure you take care to tell the difference.
Go for a coffee
Coffee is an important part of life in Athens. It is considered a way for people to get together and socialise. In the heat of the summer, a popular way to drink coffee is over ice. The coffee in Athens may be much stronger than you are used to, but you can ask for it to be made weaker. You might get a piece of cake or some small biscuits with your coffee included in the price. While you are in Athens, make sure to try some of the most popular foods. Fava looks similar to humus but is made with yellow split peas. Two foods good to eat on the go are Spanakopita, which is a spinach pie, and tiropita, which is a cheese pie. You may have already tried moussaka, so if you like it pastitsio is worth a try too. Pastitsio uses pasta in place of the aubergines. For a large choice of cafes, bars and restaurants, try Syntagma Square and the streets around. The main square in the centre of Athens is called Syntagma Square and is the location of several luxury hotels.
On route to the islands
Some visitors to Athens are able to enjoy only a brief stay, perhaps on route to a holiday in the Greek islands. If you do not have much time in Athens you might want to consider staying at one of the hotels near the airport. Being out of the city centre, the hotels at the airport may also be cheap in comparison to those closest to the sights, and so could represent good value. If you want something to do in Athens close to the airport, you could visit Attica Zoological Park. There are lots of animals to see, including a popular lemur village habitat, and a dolphin show. If you prefer some last minute retail therapy, the Attica Zoological Park is close to a shopping centre.
Price rangefrom NZ$26to NZ$4,811
- Hotel Athens Comfortdeals from NZ$59
- Hotel Suitasdeals from NZ$93
- Hotel Candia Hotel Αthensdeals from NZ$66
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