Last Updated: 15th Dec 2011
by – Matt Vernick, Tour Manager, Europe
Athens (Greek: Athena) is an ancient city, whose establishment is lost in antiquity. It is unlike so many other ancient cities in that it is still a prominent and thriving center almost 6000 years after it was established. The capital of Greece is home to over half the country during the winters while in the summers is the hub and jumping off point for people heading out to the Greek Islands and other ancient Greek sites.
It is impossible to understate the contributions of the ancient city to modern western civilization. Athens was the birthplace of democracy and was also home to Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and one of the most advance civilizations of all time. Still today the ideals, principals and philosophies used by the ancient Athenians are studied, applied and are visible in peoples lives, work and art.
A busy, bustling, and kinetic city, modern Athens continues to shine of the world stage and home not only to the wonders left behind by the ancients but also world wide events like the 2004 Olympic Games.
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The Plaka district is awesome make sure to set aside several hours for shopping and barganing. The quality is usually quite good and the prices are even better. the metro is also very facinating if you are into archaeology they have artifacts and burial tombs on display in the metro of things they found while digging it up. The changing of the guards is a must see.