Nowhere does ancient like Athens. Often referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, its recorded history stretches back 3,000 years. Most famous of all the classical traces to be found throughout Athens is the Parthenon, a temple of the goddess Athena, on the Acropolis.
Athens boasts excellent museums. The National Historical Museum is housed in the old parliament building, the Numismatic Museum covers the history of coinage and the stunning New Acropolis Museum exhibits artifacts related to the “sacred rock”.
The city has been modernized greatly over the past few years, a legacy from when the world took cheap flights to Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games. The airport is relatively new and getting around the city – on the metro and electriko – is a breeze.
Like their Iberian cousins, the Greeks take nightlife seriously. Dinner starts at 10pm or later and a night out ends only at dawn.
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March to May are pleasant and mild months, even if you have to pack a sweater for chill March winds. Temperatures rise in June and July, reaching their peak in August. This is when Athenians vacation, but it could be a good time to take cheap flights to Athens and enjoy a less crowded city – if you can survive the heat.A strong northerly wind, the meltemi, occasionally blows through Athens giving some relief from the stifling heat — more than 37 degrees Celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit). September and October are cooler months, with some light rain. Most rain falls November through February. Temperatures during these months fall to about 10 degrees (50F).
High summer is peak season, attracting the majority of visitors. The heat builds throughout the summer and, starting about June, most restaurants and clubs have shut down or moved to the shore. During August, most Athenians vacation outside the city and Athens belongs to tourists. If you plan to visit at this time, head out to see the sights in the early morning, rest during the midday heat and sight see some more in the cooler evenings.
Spring and late fall. These are good times to search for cheap flights to Athens.
Winter, when the tourist crowds have melted away and hotel rates are cheaper, is also a good time to visit Athens. While the weather is chilly with some rain, there is snow in the mountains. Perfect for skiing. Parnassos is 180km from Athens. It’s Greece’s largest and most popular resort. Kalavrita is 203km from the city.
Athens’ metro system is so easy to use that it has decreased the city’s traffic and pollution. The buses and trolleys are also cheap and efficient, but they are usually more crowded and can be confusing. Avoid travelling anywhere during rush hour, especially on public transportation.
It can be difficult to hail a taxi, so call ahead for one instead. You’ll find that taxis are cheap, although occasionally drivers will try to overcharge a clueless foreigner. One trick to catching a cab is calling out your destination to a cab already in use. The driver will stop and let you get in if he’s going the same way. You’ll still have to pay a full fare, though.
It’s also easy to set out on foot. Most of the major Athens’ sights are located in the same general area. And the ones that aren’t are easy to get to by public transportation. With all the easy transportation options, it’s not worth it to rent a car. Driving through the city is difficult to manage and parking spots are rare and expensive.