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Athens is Greece’s largest city and capital. The city has an interesting mix of Greek design as well as influences from the East and West, which is apparent in the cuisine, music and way of life of Athens. It is a well-developed city. This, as well as the Mediterranean climate it experiences, which brings mild, somewhat wet winters and hot, sunny summers, makes Athens a popular holiday destination amongst tourists.
Athens is a city steeped in history, and as such there is an abundance of museums and archaeological sites dotted around which make for a very interesting tour. If you’d rather stay outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Athens weather, there are a number of private and public beaches along the Athens Riviera just 25km outside of the city. To get a feel for authentic Athenian culture, a trip to the markets is a must. Here, you will find an array of items, from fresh produce to books and antiques. These markets are reminiscent of the bazaars found throughout the Middle East and are a unique way to learn about the city of Athens.
Athens has something to offer for every type of traveller. With so many things to see and do, and its mixture of rich history, bustling nightlife and vibrant culture, solo travellers, couples and families will all love an Athens city break.
Ryanair offer two flights a week from Dublin to Athens, with an estimated flight time of 4 hours 15 minutes. From the airport, it is an approximate 40 minute drive to Athens city centre.
To learn more about things to do in Athens, the best time to go and local info see here.
Athens is home to a number of bars and clubs which each have their own unique charm. The mixture of tasty food, live music and delicious cocktails make the Athens nightlife scene popular amongst both tourists and locals. From seaside clubs to rooftop bars, Athens has something for everyone!
While in Athens, trying some traditional Greek food is a must. Meze is popular in Greece; this involves setting out various dips, breads, meats, cheeses and vegetables and taking as much as you want on to your own plate. This is a fantastic way of experiencing a variety of traditional Greek cuisines and experimenting with the many flavours on offer. Follow this up with something sweet, like some baklava, and you’ll soon see why so many people love Greek cuisine!
Kids will love taking a trip on the Happy Train, a street train which takes passengers around some of the main landmarks and neighbourhoods dotted around Athens. Visit Psiri neighbourhood and see the Little Kook Café, a fairytale themed café which serves various cakes and savoury crepes. Once you’ve finished your sweet treats, stroll around the neighbourhood and browse the shops there.
Athens has a great selection of stores all over the city, so you’re sure to find everything you could ever want or need. From high-street clothing stores to unique boutiques, to the various markets that run regularly, Athens is sure to exceed any shopaholics’ expectations.
The entire country of Greece traditionally celebrates Carnival during the three weeks before Lent, and Athens is no exception. During this time, parties filled with music and firework shows and fancy-dress parades take place throughout the city, especially in the Plaka and Moschito neighbourhoods. Carnival ends on ‘Clean Monday’, the first day of Lent. The costumes and festivities make Carnival a truly special event, and is one any tourist would be lucky to experience.
Athens is a great city-break destination year-round. However, March to June and September to November are typically thought to be the prime times to visit the city, as the weather is pleasant and there are fewer crowds than during the peak summer months.
Euro is the currency used in Athens.
Athens is 2 hours ahead of Ireland.
For travelling short distances, it is recommended that you get around Athens on foot as this will give you the chance to take in all the sights and sounds that the city has to offer. For longer distances, there are a number of viable public transport options to consider, including the metro, the Suburban Railway (Proastikaos), the tram and a public bus service.