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Book cheap holidays to Athens

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Flight and hotel Athens

Athens: From Ancient City To Modern Metropolis

With a history stretching back to the fifth century BC, Athens is known as the cradle of Western civilisation. Home to the Acropolis, Athens’ ancient ‘High City’, and a multitude of other architectural gems, Athens is an archaeologist's or history lover's dream destination. But Athens also offers a thriving arts scene and vibrant nightlife. Greece’s capital is firmly in the modern era, and it’s easy to see why city breaks in Athens are so popular. Take a flight to Athens and you can dive right in, as well as discover further archaeological sites, secluded beaches, and charming villages on the Attica Peninsula.

What to Know Before You Go to Athens

EU citizens are able to visit Athens with an identity card, and people from many countries, including New Zealand, Israel, Japan, and the USA, may stay without a visa for 90 days. Travellers from elsewhere may need a visa, though, so do be sure to check before you travel. The ultra-modern and easy to navigate Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is served by direct flights from the USA and Europe, and it’s easy to catch a plane from here to one of the Greek islands. Many people choose to take part of their package holidays in Athens, before heading to a beach location.

There are plenty of good value flights from London to Athens, and you’ll also find a selection of flights from Manchester to Athens. The Greek currency is the Euro, and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere these days, though it's a good idea to have cash for smaller bars and restaurants. While the official language in Greece is Greek, you’ll find English, French, and German widely spoken in central areas.

When Should You Visit Athens?

Athens’ high season is between June and August, when the whole of Europe has its summer holidays. The streets swell with visitors and the days can be quite hot. This is a popular time to take package holidays in Athens. But visit in spring or autumn, between March and May or September and November, and you’ll be rewarded with sunny days and comfortable temperatures. The winter months can also be a great time to look into a flight and hotel for Athens. You might see a bit of rainfall, but it’s definitely milder here than in the UK or northern Europe.

What Is There to Do in Athens?

City breaks in Athens are packed with things to do, from historic sites to its modern downtown.

  • Visit museums: Showcasing the best of Greek and Roman artefacts, Athens’ museums are a real treat for history buffs. Visit the Acropolis Museum, of course, as well as the Benaki Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art.
  • Take a cooking class: Learn how to cook like a Greek mother at one of the city’s cooking classes.
  • Go shopping: You’ll find designer goods in the Kolonaki district or handicrafts in Monastiraki.
  • Dine out: The adjacent neighbourhoods of Koukaki and Makriyianni are great for dinner and an evening stroll.
  • Relax on the beach: enjoy sunbathing, water skiing, fishing, and diving on Attica’s beautiful coast.

What Are Athens' Must-Visit Sights?

There are so many things to do during a weekend in Athens, but luckily, the attractions are fairly close together, making it easy to fit a lot in.

  • The Architectural Promenade: This is Athens' must-see attraction. From here you can take in the Acropolis, its iconic gateway, the Propylaea, the Parthenon, and many more ancient wonders.
  • Areios Pagos: This is the world’s oldest law court.
  • Plaka: Visit this pretty residential neighbourhood for a pleasant walk.
  • The National Museum of Contemporary Art: Set in trendy Koukaki, this museum is housed in a former brewery.
  • The Onassis Cultural Centre: Housed in the Olympic Tower, this centre supports Greek artists.

What Should You Eat in Athens?

Plan your flight and hotel for Athens, and be rewarded with a host of culinary delights. With its emphasis on seafood, fresh vegetables, and olive oil, Athens’ cuisine is considered some of Greece’s healthiest. You’ll find a wide selection of grilled fish, octopus, and squid, stuffed grape leaves, tomatoes or red peppers stuffed with minced beef and fresh mint, or a souvlaki (grilled meat) in a pita or on a skewer. Pastitsio is a kind of Greek lasagna, and you’ll find lots of local products, from goat’s cheese and honey to freshly baked baklava (cakes made with honey and pastry).

Find Greek Souvenirs in Athens

Even if you’re only in Athens for a weekend, you’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities, from the gift shops of Plaka and Monastiraki to the clothing stores of Athinas Street and Ermou Street. If you’ve spent time during your trip sipping strong coffee along with the locals, why not find your own elegant coffee cups to take home? Or buy yourself a briki, a special coffee pot that takes finely ground coffee.

You’ll find olive oil and olive oil products such as soap for sale everywhere, and evil eye beaded jewellery, which is said to protect you from the envy of others. On top of that, of course, Athens is a great place to find Greek pottery. With designs inspired by ancient traditions, you’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye. Greece is also known for its silver, and there is a lot of jewellery for sale in Athens. You might also consider buying a silver plated religious icon. Finally, you might like to take a flokati, or traditional wool rug, home with you.

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