Why Athens City Guide Greece

Letter from the Editor

Why Athens is indeed a rhetorical question and one that is very much of the moment.

Amid the political and economic upheaval, Greece remains a popular destination and continues to attract tourism investment. With a greater offering of flights and accommodation, the tourist season now extends beyond the traditional summer months.

Why Athens?

As a 3000-year-old city steeped with history and legacy, there’s no question about the contributions it has made to Western civilisation.  And now, almost eighteen years into a new millennia, it is again at the cultural fore. After undergoing a pre-Olympics revamp more than ten years ago, things around Athens improved greatly, particularly in the way of transport and infrastructure.

Since then, Athens has gone a little further, reinvigorating itself again and offering a much more rounded cultural experience and a perfect city break anytime of the year.

Athens is a city that requires exploration and is not always an aesthetically pleasing place. You may start to question the definition of ‘street art’ when almost anything fixed and upright has been sprayed in one way or another, but it is this grittiness and underlying youthful energy that makes it so appealing.

It has evolved into the perfect classic-modern city, where in addition to the traditional ancient attractions, there is a new and emerging beat. Central Athens has expanded into neighbourhoods you wouldn’t have visited five years ago. Areas like Agias Irinis and Omonia are buzzing and vibrant, whilst the emerging suburbs of Exarchia and Metaxourgeio are luring in visitors with their vintage shops, delicious Cretan meze and creative art spaces.

Athena is finally coming into her own, offering a full urban and cultural experience. The pressures of years of austerity have hit the city hard. Many have left to seek employment overseas but for those who have decided to stick it out, the adversity has inspired opportunity and creativity, thankfully it seems to be contagious. Athenians have carved out a new vision of their city and how they see themselves.

Old World. New Beginnings. I believe that is the essence of Athens today and the foundation and compass for Why Athens. With our guidance and a small effort on your part, you too will experience this wonderful metropolis for yourself.

Wishing you kalo taxidi – happy travels.

Anastasia Mangafas

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