With its many historical sights and a delicious Mediterranean climate, Athens is a favorite destination for tourists from all over the world, and especially Norwegians. The Greek capital is one of the world’s oldest cities, and has a rich history that today can be experienced through very great contrasts. According to DigoPaul, the city of Athens is in constant growth and is now home to almost three million Greeks, and in relatively few years has grown as a modern city.
Many people who travel to Athens choose to spend their entire holiday here, or just as a visit through a holiday on several of the nearby Greek tourist islands. Greece is known for its warm climate, and a visit to the city is just as appropriate in April as in August. In the summer months, the sun scorches the worst, at the same time as it is when most tourists arrive, so a visit in the autumn can be better both for the temperatures and for the queuing.
Recommended hotels in Athens
- The Margi-This gem of a hotel is located a short distance outside the center of Athens in the quiet suburb of Vári-Voúla-Vouliagméni. The hotel is a 6 minute walk from Astir beach and the standard of everything is very good. The hotel has five stars, so here you can expect luxurious surroundings and beautiful rooms with a high standard. You can relax and enjoy life in the hotel’s spa, or go for a swim in the hotel’s indoor or outdoor pool.
- Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso-Five star hotel in the suburb of Vári-Voúla-Vouliagméni. Fantastic location in quiet surroundings along the beach. Here you can relax overlooking the sea. The hotel has three good restaurants, a great pool area and spa. Very good feedback from guests
- Athens Lodge– If you want to stay in the center of Athens, this hotel is for you. The hotel is centrally located, an 8-minute walk from the Acropolis. You can expect a good standard at a reasonable price.
Travel to Athens
If you fly directly to Athens from Oslo Airport, the flight takes just under four hours. In the summer, there are often direct flights, while in late autumn and early spring there are fewer alternatives. In any case, it will be possible to get to the Greek capital relatively cheaply, and many charter packages are sold here. As a member of the EU, Greece has introduced the euro as its official currency, which has led to a certain increase in the price level compared to what many Norwegians knew from the “charter days” in the 90s.
The price level in Athens will be experienced as somewhat higher than if you visit one of the less touristy islands in Greece. Still, it is very much cheaper than in Norway, and you will be able to eat well and drink a lot for an affordable money. Athens is a safe city to travel in as a tourist, and the biggest danger is scammers or pickpockets. Due to the high chlorine content in the drinking water, very few people will want to drink the tap water.
Hotels and Restaurants in Athens
As a major tourist city, there is no shortage of hotels in Athens, and they maintain different standards, which together with location are often decisive factors for the price. If you want to stay as affordable as possible, there are many great tourist hotels in the city’s old town. If you want to be sure that you get a good stay, you may want to buy a combined package with flights and hotels from a travel agency.
Attractions in Athens
Athens is best known for its ancient buildings and monuments, but can also offer attractions such as zoos and a bustling nightlife. In other words, Athens is like most city breaks, just with the little extra.
The Acropolis is the most historic part of Athens, and it is the name of the mountain ledge that is centrally located in the city. Here you can see both ruins and better preserved temples from antiquity, which are almost 2500 years old. Sights here include everything from ancient temples to giant pillars and ruins after what was once built to pay homage to the Greek gods.
Most tourists in Athens will visit the Plaka district, located just below the Acropolis. It is in many ways like a small village where you get the authentic feel of Greek culture, with small and intimate streets that are lush and pleasant. It is a quiet area with many pleasant restaurants, cafes and simple shops.
A love trip to Athens is not complete without walking to Mount Lycabettus. It is a mountain peak right in the center of Athens, and is a perfect place to be when the sun goes down. It is the highest point of the city and consequently gives you the best view of the Greek capital. At the top there is also a small cafe where you can enjoy a romantic meal.
Museums in Athens
Athens is also a city where museum goers will thrive. We recommend a visit to the new Acropolis Museum, located in a modern building near the Acropolis. Here, over 4,000 objects from ancient Athens are exhibited. Also consider a visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, where you can also see both archeological finds and re-creations from artefacts dating back to antiquity.
The Athens Zoo
A city break is not complete without a visit to the city zoo. Since 2000, Athens has had a zoo where animal welfare is in focus, and no animals should be caged here. There are many exotic animals here, and a visit to the Athens Zoo should be high on the list if you visit the city with children.