Five of Athens's most unique features and characteristics.
Athens is known for its fantastic climate almost all year round. Rain, cold and rarely snow might make a brief appearance during the winter months, but never last long. From March to November the weather is sunny, with mild temperatures, and some very hot days in summer. As a result, eating and/or drinking outside is an all year round pastime. Sunshine suits the city, enhancing the bright colors which are preponderant and the white of the ancient marbles. Athenians love the sun and spend as much time as possible enjoying the warmth and light.
Greek hospitality has its roots in mythology. Zeus, the father of all the gods, has a special manifestation with the name ‘Xenios Zeus’ which means ‘Zeus of guests’, and this tradition continues until today. Athenians and Greeks in general are one of the most hospitable people in the world and will go out of their way, literally, to offer every assistance and useful information to visitors. Friendly, talkative and outgoing, always happy to suggest the best taverna, the most interesting view, or the most practical solution, they embrace visitors with warmth and pride in showing off their beautiful city.
Greek history needs no introduction and visitors to Athens experience this unparalleled civilization everywhere. Not only seeing the unique ancient monuments, temples, theatres, museums and works of art, but also in many parts of the city, where least expected. All the area in the historical centre of Athens and even further reveals parts of ancient Athens, which have been excavated and are now protected with glass encasing. From the Syntagma Metro station to central Aiolou street, passersby catch a glimpse of the past of this great and enchanting city. In Athens you breathe history and mythology in the air. Some say they can feel the ancient gods’ presence!
Athens never sleeps, especially in the summer months, when a dinner date would be around 10 p.m. followed by drinks at a bar or dancing until the small hours. Watching the sun rise at Sounion is a favorite romantic way of concluding a night of festivity. The choice is immense: from restaurants of every kind, to trendy bars, to discos and clubs for the young crowd. Groups of friends spend the evenings enjoying a drink or an ice cream at one the many cafeterias in cool, shady squares all over the city. For the liveliest spots in town, Gazi is a must and in summer all the south coast, from Faliro to Vouliagmeni is the area for fashionable beach bars.
Named for her patron goddess Athena, goddess of wisdom amongst other things, Athens has a long tradition in culture, since ancient times, and today offers many interesting opportunities to learn more about art and culture. In the summer months tickets for the Athens festival at Herodus Atticus theatre are sold out fast to fans of theatre, dance and music. During the winter, the Megaron Mousikis is the place to listen to concerts and classical music. The National Archeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum offer a full immersion into ancient art and culture with their inestimable treasures, whilst many other museums specialize in contemporary art and design.