Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece but for many considered as the historical capital of Europe. Located in the Attica region, Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years, the birthplace of democracy, arts, science and philosophy of western civilization and the home of Plato, Socrates, Pericles, Euripides, Sophocles and Aeschylus. Today, under the shadow of Parthenon, the contemporary urban scenery of the sprawling city reflects its exciting history, its multi- cultural modern personality as well as the infrastructure and facilities.
The perfect Mediterranean climate with the legendary greek sunlight, the unique combination of glorious history with modern, urban innovation, the coexistence of great culture with astonishing natural beauty, the high standard hotel accommodation, modern means of transportation such as the cutting edge modern metro, the vibrant rhythm of life, the wide choice of opportunities for shopping, dining and night life and of course the warmth of the Athenians people feature Athens as the ideal all year round city break destination.
Nearby RawMat2021 conference location, participants may discover the heart of the city with numerous sites of interests such as:
Syntagma (Constitution) Square is the hub of Athens, close to many sights and transport links.
The Acropolis, or Sacred Rock, is synonymous with Athens. It is home to the Parthenon and several other ancient Greek monuments built under Pericles in 5 BC by what was then the most advanced civilization in the world.
Built during the 1990s and open since 2009, the modern Acropolis Museum was commissioned as the existing museum could no longer house the growing volume of archaeological treasures discovered on the site. Its exhibits cover the period from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece.
Impressive and fully renovated the National Gallery of Greece opened its doors again in March 2021 to celebrate the occasion of the 200th anniversary from the beginning of the Greek Revolution. Here visitors will find a treasury of modern Greek art, from the post-Byzantine years to the present day: 20,000 works of painting, sculpture, engravings, magnificent collections proving that Greek Arts in the 19th century, followed the movements of the European avant-garde.
The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best in the world, housing artifacts from pre-history to late Antiquity with its Cycladic, Mycenaean and Egyptian collections. Unsurprisingly, it has best collection from Ancient Greece anywhere in the world.
The Byzantine and Christian Museum offers an impressive collection of Christian and Byzantine art. Exhibits are divided into ancient (4th to 15th century) and modern (15th to 20th century).
Monastiraki counts as the most visited area of Athens, for both Greeks and tourists. It is one of the most picturesque areas of Athens, neighboring and connected to Plaka. Its famous flea market, a paradise for collectors, you can find anything from Greek souvenirs and Greek art shops, antiques, carpets, old books, old stamps and old books, you can even find clothing and helmets from the second world war! The best thing about going to Monastiraki is the cafes which on sunny weekends is the best place to enjoy a drink or a coffee or an ouzo while looking at the view of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Agora.
The Panathenaic Stadium, also known as the Kallimármaro (meaning the “beautifully marbled”), is a multi-purpose stadium used for several events and athletics in Athens. The Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic is the only stadium in the world built entirely by marble and is one of the oldest in the world.
The Athens public transport system is affordable, reliable and covers most of the city and suburbs. You can use all means of public transport using the same ticket (a single ticket costs €1.40 and is valid for 90 minutes).
The fastest means of getting around Athens is the Metro. The Athens Metro system consists of 3 lines and connects to the tram, bus routes and suburban railway. The Metro runs daily from 5 am to midnight. Lines 2 and 3 operate until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. At peak hours, trains run every 5-6 minutes.
The Athens bus and trolleybus network is very extensive. Most buses and trolleybuses run daily from 5 am to midnight, but do check the timetable of your route. Airport Express buses operate on a 24-hour basis. These services connect Athens International Airport with the city centre (Syntagma Square), Piraeus port and the Intercity Bus Terminal (KTEL Kifissos).
The tram network connects central Athens with the coastal suburbs of Faliro and Voula. It takes approximately one hour to get from Syntagma to the final seaside stop at Voula. The tram connects to the Metro and overground train at four stops: Syntagma, Syngrou/Fix, Neos Kosmos and SEF (Peace and Friendship Stadium in Faliro). The tram operates from 5:30 am to 1 am daily and until 2:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Tickets and passes (Ath.ena tickets) for public transport are sold at ticket booths and machines in all Athens Metro and tram stations. There are three types of Ath.ena tickets: a paper ticket, an anonymous card that you can top up, and a personalised card. These tickets can be used on all forms of public transport.
- A standard ticket on Athens public transport costs €1.40. Students and senior citizens over 65 pay €0.60 (student ID and proof of age required).
- Each ticket can be used for 90 minutes on any form of public transport (except services to/from the airport).
- A Day Pass (€4.50) is valid for unlimited travel (except airport services) for 24 hours.
- A 5-Day Ticket (€9) is valid for unlimited travel on all modes of transport (except airport services) for 5 days.
- A 3-Day Tourist Ticket (€22) is valid for unlimited travel (including 1 round trip to/from Athens International Airport).