This southern European city offers spectacular hilltop views, a fascinating history and some of the most striking architecture in the world.

Athens is where ancient Greece meets the best of the modern world. Whether you want to brush up on your knowledge of ancient history and Greek mythology, or just learn about a new culture, Athens is the perfect destination.

After a cup of strong Greek coffee, head out to explore the many archeological sites in and around the city center. Visit the Pnyx and the Areopagus, where impassioned speeches and sermons have been given over the centuries.

Stroll through the Ancient Agora and the Academy of Athens, on the site where Socrates and Plato walked in flowing togas, debating philosophy. Marvel at the remains of ancient temples dedicated to the gods of Mount Olympus and take in stellar views from atop the Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus. Visit the neoclassical trilogy, a group of three buildings located in central Athens that are considered to be exceptional examples of neoclassical architecture.

Days can get hot here in summer, but there are plenty of museums and galleries in which to keep cool during the afternoons. Visit the affluent downtown neighborhood of Kolonaki, home to high-end shops and restaurants as well as the Benaki Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored family mansion, this is a great place to get an understanding of the history and culture of Greece. The New Acropolis Museum, located in the historic area of Makrygianni, explores the art, culture and customs of the inhabitants of the area from pre-historic times.

While the city can easily keep you busy, don’t miss taking a trip out to the countryside. The Temple of Poseidon is set on a rocky hilltop on the picturesque Cape Sounion overlooking the Aegean Sea and the Saronic Gulf. Delphi and many other islands are close enough for a day trip, and if you’re not too tired upon your return, check out the nightlife in and around Omonia Square or the charming Plaka.

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