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The Best Things to Do in Athens

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Athens is like an onion: it’s multilayered, flavorful, and can elicit tears. Under the city's vibrant contemporary life are layers of culture, craft, and history reaching back to the birth of western civilization millennia ago. The Acropolis is the absolute, number-one must, but there are many other treasures, old and new, to discover. Remember to take breaks to process it all: Athens, like Rome, wasn’t built in a day.
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Acropolis, Athens 116 36, Greece
Obviously, you can’t visit Athens without climbing up “the rock” (as locals fondly call the Acropolis) to commune with its crowning glory: the Parthenon. Although visible from most places in the city, getting up close to one of...
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Athens 105 58, Greece

You can’t miss the Parthenon, the majestic ruin towering above Athens. Originally painted in vivid hues, this feat of architecture, engineering, and artistry is still as awe-inspiring as it was almost 2,500 years ago. Le Corbusier, pioneer of...

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Plaka, Athens, Greece
We picked up some gyros to-go during our stroll through the historic Plaka neighborhood below the Acropolis. Thespidos street was particularly memorable for the cafe we stopped at and discovering Brettos bar, which we decided to come back to enjoy...
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Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou, Athina 116 35, Greece
Built in the 4th century B.C.E., rebuilt for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and refurbished for the 2004 Athens Olympics, this horseshoe stadium now serves as the finish line for the Athens Marathon. For centuries, nude male athletes...
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Ifestou 2, Athina 105 55, Greece
Centered around a flea market, Monastiraki Square is busy with musicians, beggars, street performers, and tourists. Sometimes you'll hear fireworks going off here, for no particular reason. Sometimes there'll be full-on drum circles. The...
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Pireas, Greece
It's hectic, crowded, hot, and loud. But Piraeus port is an unforgettable experience—all modes of humanity coming together on this intersection of land and sea. Luxury cruise ships, bigger and whiter than you ever imagined, slowly...
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28is Oktovriou 44, Athina 106 82, Greece
There are dozens of archaeological museums in Greece, but this is easily the biggest and best. Over 11,000 exhibits—including golden death masks, larger-than-life bronze gods and black-and-terracotta pottery—provide a panorama of Greek...
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Athinas, Athina 105 51, Greece
Athens' Central Market is a home to a tremendous number of vendors selling everything from fresh Aegean octopus, fish and meat of every variety, to spices, olives, and cheeses. The area is surrounded by little eateries, tavernas, and cafes taking...
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Leof. Posidonos 58, Glifada 166 74, Greece
Sometimes a day at the beach, soaking up the sun and gazing out over sparkling waters, soothes the soul. Athens' southern districts offer a string of sandy options right in the city. Especially good for children on this "Athenian Riviera" is...
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Neofitou Douka 4, Athina 106 74, Greece
This museum is small but perfectly formed, just like the enigmatic marble figurines from the early Bronze Age that are the centerpiece of its collection. Their stark yet sensual forms inspired modern artists like Picasso, Cy Twombly, and Ai Wei...