An Athens travel guide – 2,500 years of history, hot sunny days and glamorous nightlife

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Expect Ancient Greek relics, creative Mediterranean cuisine and vibrant nightlife on an Athens city break. Book an Athens hotel to discover the roots of European civilisation.

Ancient wonders

Touring the ruins of one of the ancient world’s most important civilisations is top of every Athens itinerary. Rising in the city centre, the Acropolis is a rocky mound crowned by the 5th-century BC marble Parthenon. Nearby, the New Acropolis Museum is a hi-tech, all-glass building displaying ancient sculptures. Visit the National Archaeological Museum to marvel at the world’s finest collection of Ancient Greek treasures, including Mycenaean golden jewellery and Minoan frescoes.

Eating out

After exploring the Acropolis, relax over lunch at a rustic taverna in the Plaka district or grab a souvlaki to eat on the go in the nearby Monastiraki bazaar. Come sunset, head for Psirri or Gazi, both packed with trendy restaurants and late-night bars. The smart set prefers up-market Kolonaki, home to excellent Greek, French, Italian and Japanese restaurants. For seafood, try Mikrolimano, a pretty fishing harbour rimmed with seafood restaurants. The covered Central Market is the place to pick up local picnic ingredients.

After dark

For an unforgettable view of the floodlit Acropolis, enjoy a nightcap at an open-air bar in Thissio. In Psirri and Gazi, countless bars and small clubs play music ranging from traditional Greek to rock and electro. In summer, the big clubs move from the centre to open-air coastal locations in Glyfada and Vouliagmeni, while the Athens Festival has evening cultural performances in the ancient Herodes Atticus Theatre below the Acropolis.