Athens Greece

Some history first

One of the first things anyone thinks of when considering a trip to Greece is Athens. Its pantheons, temples, and ruins are unmatched by anything else on the planet. Athens is considered the birthplace of democracy (the word derives from a Greek word) and the cradle of Western Civilization.

Greece is one of the most visited countries in the world.  But, Greece isn’t called Greece!   English-speaking countries refer to a country like Greece, however, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. Grecians refer to the country as Hellas or Hellada (pronounced with a silent H, because, why not).

There are over 100 museums and art galleries that showcase the diverse complexity that makes up the city of Athens. A word from the wise, do not try to get to all of these… Pick a few and plan to visit the others on another trip. The most famous of the 100 are the National Archaeological Museum, Benaki Museum, and Acropolis. Check out the Shadow Puppet Museum if you want something fun to see other than all the artifacts.  Yes, this is a real thing.

The city of Athens was named after the Greek Goddess, Athena. There is a Greek myth wherein the ancient gods had a competition to see who the city’s patron and protector would be. Two gods stepped forward to compete – Athena and Poseidon. Each of the gods offered a gift to the city. Poseidon gave a spring that produced water with a salty taste on the Acropolis. Athena gave the city an olive tree. The citizens of the town decided that Athena’s gift was more useful than the salty spring and made her the patron of the city and thus named it Athens.

Did you know that Athens didn’t become the capital of Greece until 1834? You may ask, “Why?”  Greece wasn’t a country but instead a group of separate city-states until 1821 when the country united and gained its independence.

Some History Places in Athens

Getting around:

Visiting Athen’s main attractions will not cost as much as you think. Fees are very low in comparison to other tourist sites around Europe. The historical area, where most tourists go, was converted into a three-kilometer pedestrian zone for the 2004 Olympic games. Because of this, it is easy to get around to all the major sites on foot.

Metro Fun Fact: No matter where you dig in the city of Athens, you are likely to find something very, very old. In fact, during the construction of the Metro in the city, many items were located and sent to museums across Greece. Some can be found on display in the metro stations themselves. Keep an eye out for these little treasures.

I realize that a lot of these artifacts start looking similar after a while, so I put this guide together so you can differentiate between all the ruins. Good luck…


It is hot. All the time. In fact, the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was a scalding 118.4 F or 48C in July 1977!


Athens places to eat

POINT Bar and RestaurantWe ate here and it was lovely

4 Galli Rovertou

Herodion Hotel

 Athens 117 42

*Has a great view of the Acropolis, make a reservation.

Takis Bakery, Athens

14 Misaraliotou St.

Athens 117 42

Open 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The best baguette sandwich you’ll ever have in your life. It will cost you only 2 euros, and it’s the perfect breakfast to fuel your day in Athens. Go early.

Papadakis Restaurant

Fokilidou 15

Athena 106 73

Open 1:30 p.m. to midnight

Owned by Chef Argiro Barbarigou, Papadakis began on the island of Paros, Argiro’s birthplace. She ran a thriving restaurant there for many years then closed it and chose to reopen it in Athens. Chef Barbarigou is often known as the First Lady of Greek Cuisine.

The Ultimate Athens Travel Guide

Want a FREE printable downloadable itinerary on this city? Simply click the image, download it, and print it for easy use.

Things to do

Kristal Ham

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Traveler and Photographer

My name is Kristal and I am so happy to have you visit my site! 

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