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24 hours in Athens

Known as "the cradle of Western Civilisation and birthplace of democracy", it is one of the world's oldest cities. Athens is a Mediterranean gem and is based around seven historic hills, with an incredible mountain backdrop. Here are some of the highlights if you are planning a trip there soon.

1. See the Parthenon

One of the must-see archaeological sites within Athens (and there are many) is the Parthenon. It is an awe-inspiring sight located on the Acropolis, the hill standing tall over the city that includes several other marvellous ancient ruins too. 

2. Visit Athens Central Market

Situated on Athinas Street, this vibrant and busy market is a wonderful place to come for foodies. There is a great range of spices, cheese, olives and other local ingredients to try, so walk through and find yourself something tasty to eat. The market is in a prime position for shoppers as it is not too far from the main shopping district and the city's Chinatown.

3. Climb up Mount Lycabettus

With a name that translates into the ‘the one walked by wolves’, Mt. Lycabettus has an interesting history to say the least. Known as a refuge for wolves in ancient folklore this mountain has some of the best views of the whole area at 277m (908 ft) high. Take a hike to the top and enjoy the views or if you are short on time opt for the funicular instead.

4. Walk through Plaka

As the oldest neighbourhood within Athens - and that means really ancient in a city with this much history - Plaka is a charming area and is a popular tourist hotspot. Located next to the Acropolis, take your time to enjoy the many shops, restaurants and cafes in between visiting the nearby historical sites. Photo opportunities are plentiful in the pretty narrow streets.

5. Take a trip to Delphi

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and town situated to the north west of the city, Deplhi has a rich history within Greek mythology and is an incredibly important site in Greek history. Enjoy visiting the temple of Apollo and the superb on-site museum.

6. Visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus

The gigantic structure is rumoured to have taken a thousand years to build and was a symbol of Olympian and ruler of the gods, Zeus. Only a fraction of the original columns remain but they reveal how big this temple really was. During the course of history the temple was ransacked and damaged leaving the ruins of the building as a reminder of a once powerful nation. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Athens.

7. Get on a boat at the Port of Piraeus

If you don't have long to spend in Athens and love being by the sea, a must-see part of your trip is to visit nearby Piraeus, the port of Athens, which is easy to reach by metro. Enjoy a meal in one of the seaside restaurants and soak up the atmosphere next to the Mediterranean. 

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