Athens Regional Info (App Version)
There are some places in the world you can’t help but fall in love with. The bustling capital of Greece, Athens, is one of them.
Few cities boast a historic heritage as impressive as that of Athens. Worshipped by gods and people, many regard this city as the birthplace of civilisation and democracy. What's more, it’s home to the astonishing archaeological monument that is the Acropolis – nominated to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world. But although symbols of history and culture, like that of the majestic Acropolis, might draw travellers to this unique destination, Athens has a lot more to offer than a thorough on-site history apprenticeship, endless hours in museums and a particularly rich treasure trove of antiquities.
Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, with one of the longest histories - 3,400 years.
Athens is the birthplace of philosophy and all the majormathematical principles.
The first Olympic Games were held in Athens in 776BC attracting competitors from all over Greece. Winners were presented with wreaths of olive leaves.
The first modern day Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896.
Athens was where theatre was born with the Ancient Greek dramas.
Athens has 148 theatrical stages - more than any other capital in the world.
The most popular meal in Athens is the gyro - meat cooked on a vertical spit and served in pitta bread with salad and onions.
Greek is one of the world’s oldest recorded living languages and holds an important place in the histories and cultures of Europe. It is the language of Aristotle, Homer, Plato, Herodotus and Alexander the Great.
Greek was a widely spoken lingua franca in the Mediterranean world and beyond during Classical Antiquity, and would eventually become the official parlance of the Byzantine Empire. In its modern form, it is the official language of Greece and Cyprus and one of the 23 official languages of the European Union. The language is spoken by approximately 13 million people today. Many modern languages, such as English, have adopted words from Greek. English has over 50,000 words in its lexicon which are derived from the Greek language, especially in the sciences and medicine. As with Latin, Greek is used in the process of new word production in modern languages.
The Modern Greek alphabet consists of 24 letters. Adjectives in Greek normally come before the noun, just like in English. They take different endings to agree with the noun they qualify. Greek nouns have genders - masculine, feminine and neutral. Plural nouns take different endings depending on gender.
Actually, some would argue that it is the city’s authenticity; vibe, diversity and atmosphere that really astonish visitors and make them want to return. Once within the city’s historic centre, you might start to feel that you are walking through a giant archaeological park, yet will still be amazed by the quiet and shaded cafes, quaint tavernas, art galleries, lively bars, chic restaurants and sophisticated shopping strips that define Athen’s contemporary character, which is a daily balancing act between tradition and modernisation.
Just a short meander through the city streets and you will soon become a part of this unique celebration of the smaller, gentler things in life that take place here. This alfresco, laid-back way of life gives Athens a lively buzz, a contagious 'joie de vivre' which visitors are thrilled to experience. The prominent Westernisation of the city goes along with its traditional side; as lottery sellers roam around rattling their ticket poles, old-timers play their archaic music boxes and shopkeepers chat leisurely outside their stores, postmodern tavernas present alternative versions of traditional flavours and dishes of the world famous Greek cuisine which is enjoying a renaissance. Major new arts venues flood the city with creative energy, showing the work of emerging, as well as reputable, foreign and Greek artists. Chic boutiques, dining and entertainment hotspots are constantly sprouting up in hip urban neighbourhoods. Going for a drink in Athens is a guaranteed good time, with its renowned hedonistic nightlife - anything from high-profile glamorous clubs to arty hangouts - giving Athens the label as one of the liveliest capitals in Europe.
At first thought, visiting Athens might conjure up images of its epic Grecian history. But once its contrasting sides have been experienced, its 'East-meets-West' character and almost permanent festive atmosphere transforms this trip into a mind-blowing experience.
Athens was favoured by the Greek Gods; you could soon be feeling the same...