Athens
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Athens Hotels

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Athens Hotel Deals

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Athens is the capital city of Greece with a metropolitan population of 3.7 million inhabitants. It is in many ways the birthplace of Classical Greece, and therefore of Western civilization. Places of interest to travellers can be found within a relatively small area surrounding the city centre at Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos). This epicentre is surrounded by the districts of the Plaka to the south, Monastiraki to the west, Kolonaki to the east and Omonia to the north. Further afield is the port of Athens, the Piraeus. The Acropolis is the ancient "high city" of Athens, crowned by marble temples sacred to the city's goddess Athena. Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio are charming historic districts at the foot of the Acropolis, with restored 19th century neoclassical homes, pedestrianized streets, shops and restaurants, and picturesque ruins from the city's Roman era. The new Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport 27 km (17 miles) east of the city center, near the suburb of Spata, opened in 2001 as part of the infrastructure improvements in preparation for the Olympics and is now one of the more attractive and efficient major European airports. There is a Tourist information station in Arrivals that will have the latest literature put out by the Tourist Information Department; this is useful for getting information of arranged local festivities in Athens and Attica. They will also have a printed brochure of Ferry information from Piraeus and other Attica ports. The national rail service, OSE, connects Athens to other cities in Greece -however, do not expect the diversity and complexity of railroads you usually find in other European countries; the national railroad system is poor in Greece, in effect having only two train lines. One goes south to the Pelopponese and the other to the north, connecting Athens with the second major city in Greece, Thessaloniki. The port of Piraeus acts as the marine gateway to Athens, and is served by many ferries. Cruise ships also regularly visit, especially during warm months. (Pause for advertisement): Book deals on hotels in the best locations at your travel destinations. Make hotel reservations. Reserve hotel rooms and suites. Find lodging and accommodations to suit your tastes. Look up hotel deals at AirGorilla and HotelGorilla.com (end of ad). Public transport in Athens has improved by leaps and bounds in the last ten years. The simple cheap ticket lets you travel on any means of transport metro, suburban trains, trams, trolleybuses, buses with unlimited transfers anywhere within Athens. Athens offers some of the best and worst urban walking in Europe. Several major streets have been recently pedestrianized, and a mostly car-free archeological walk has been implemented connecting the Acropolis and nearby sites. Pleasant walking can also be had in Plaka, especially its upper reaches, and in much of Kolonaki, and the National Garden can provide a welcome respite from the heat and noise of the city center. The site of the Ancient Agora in a very green space and a very beautiful view of the Acropolis. You will see the Temple of Hephaestus, the best preserved ancient greek temple, the Attalos Stoa, the museum of the agora which is a reconstructed ancient building. From the agora you can walk towards Acropolis. Extension of the agora is the Roman Forum. Because of its antiquity and influence, Athens is full of museums and galleries. The major ones are the National Archeological Museum near Omonia, the New Acropolis Museum by the Acropolis, the Benaki and Cycladic Art Museums in Kolonaki, the Agora Museum near Monastiraki, and the Kanellopoulos and Folk Art Museums in Plaka. Details of these and others will be found in the district sections.
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