About Athens

Things to know about Athens

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece, and is known as one of the world oldest city with a glorious history that goes back to more than 3,000 years. Athens is known as the birthplace of civilization, democracy and the Olympic Games. Built on low land surrounded by the mountains of Parnitha, Pendeli and Ymmytos and on the south and west side by the Saronic sea. Athens has a population near to 5,000,000 (almost half of the population of Greece) and increasing on yearly basis.

Athens city has plenty of archaelogical sites including the most amazing the Acropolis of Athens. The Acropolis was dedicated to its patron the goddess Athena which is were the city has its name from.

Within the last 10 years and due to the 2004 Olympic Games Athens city has undergone great developments with new highways, a new Athens airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) , new metro, a new tram, a new railway, and also with plenty of new stadiums. Many historic areas of Athens have been made for pedestrians only like the entire area around the Acropolis, Old Athens also very well know as Plaka is also 90% pedestrianised as well as the Ermou street the main shopping street in the city center. The port of Piraeus has been modernized with new docks and terminals for the Greek ferries and Cruise ships. The newest gem of Athens is the new Acropolis Museum, opened to the public on June 21, 2009. The 14,000 square meter building hosts nearly 4,000 objects and is said to be the most spectacular museum in the world.

Athens Athens
Useful Information
Electric current: 220V AC
Time: Greek time is GMT +2 hours
Language: Greek
Currency: Euro
Major religion: Greek Orthodox
Intl call code: +30 210
Bank operating hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 - 14:00
Post Office operating hours: Monday to Friday 07:30 - 14:30
Climate conditions

Athens climate conditions are similar to those of other Mediterranean countries. Sunshine in Athens is almost during any season, with hot summers and mild winters.

Average Day Temperature (Celsius) 13 13 16 20 25 30 32 32 29 23 18 14
Average Night Temperature (Celsius) 6 6 7 10 12 19 21 21 18 14 10 8
Average Hours of Daylight (approx) 10 11 12 13 14 15 15 14 12 11 10 10
Hours of Sunshine (approx) 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 11 9 7 5 4

Athens city is a shopping paradise. The main shopping area is located in the center of Athens on Ermou street a 1km pedestrian street with plenty of fashion boutiques, shops, and major Greek department stores. Plaka area offers plenty of souvenir and jewelry shops. Monastiraki has a great flea market that opens also on Sundays. A more prestigious area of Athens that has major designer boutiques is Kolonaki with plenty of restaurants and cafes. These are just a few areas in general shops are just about everywhere in Athens in every suburb. Recently a major department store has opened in Athens city the well know Attika center that has a variety of brand names.

Shops are opened:
Monday - Friday: 09:00 - 14:30
Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 09:00 - 14:30 & 17:30 - 20:30
Saturday: 09:00 - 15:00

Most tourist shops are opened 7 days a week from the morning till late night and also some shopping centers.


There plenty of sandy beaches along the coast if Athens. Most are free but some organized beaches with sunbeds and umbrellas may have an entrance fees. Most popular are the beaches in Alimos, Kavouri, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza and Lagonisi.


Athens is very well known for its nightlife and entertainment to satisfy all tastes, cafes, clubs, bars, theatres and of course Greek bouzoukia that close in the early morning hours. Nightlife is all over Athens but the most frequented areas are Syntagma, Kolonaki and Glyfada.

Restaurants & Taverns

The restaurants and taverns are everywhere in Athens. Plaka (old Athens) is the most popular for tourists. Syntagma, Kololonaki and Psirri have a variety of tastes in picturesque small cozy taverns that offer Greek cuisine or if you prefer trendy and fashionable bar-restaurants offering international cuisine. The most popular dish for the Athenians is the Souvlaki restaurants, where you can taste souvlaki with pita bread and gyro, this is the fast food restaurants for Greeks.

Public Holidays - 2010

1 January: New Year's Day
6 January: Epiphany: Ash Monday
25 March: National Holiday
2 April: Good Friday
4 and 5 April: Easter
1 May: May Day
24 May: Whit Monday ( Holiday only for public sector)
15 August: Dormition (Assumption) of The Virgin
28 October: National Holiday
25 and 26 December: Christmas