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Thousands of people travel to Athens each year to take in the unique blend of history, culture, food, and grace that the city permeates. One of the birthplaces of civilization, the imprint of Ancient Greece pervades through a bevy of ruins and monuments still standing from ancient times. The culture and people exude a unique flair, embodied through their food, customs, and architecture. Plan your trip today! 5 Must-See Attractions: Parthenon- One of the absolute icons of the Old World and ancient times, the Parthenon still stands after thousands of years, wear, and war. The culture of the ancient Greeks still effuses from these early columns. Acropolis- Acropolis features an amazing collection of Greek ruins littered across the hilltop. More than just spectacular history, Acropolis doubles as the best vantage point in all of Athens, overlooking the entire city from the confines of ancient ruins. Temple of Hephaestus- Sensing a theme here? Athens is more than just historical sites, but those sites, like the Temple of Hephaestus, are icons of civilizations history, making the trip to the Temple a must. Plaka- Intermixed among the ruins and not far from Acropolis lays this neighborhood featuring tight streets, shops, cafes, quaint alleyways, and beautiful culture. Panathenaic Stadium- Used as a stadium for Olympic Games since the classical era, Panathenaic Stadium holds a combination of classical and nineteenth century athletic history on its hallowed grounds. 5 Great Sites for Kids: Athens Happy Train- The history of Athens is magnificent, but sometimes kids need a little more action; therefore, the Athens Happy Train provides an excellent venue for touring and hopping on and off at sites to keep the kids entertained. Allou Fun Park- An amusement park featuring all the classics, including a Ferris wheel, rollercoaster, and plenty of food for the whole family. Goulandris Museum of Natural History- A museum north of Athens featuring a fabulous collection of animal, insect, and botanical life on Earth. Athens Planetarium- Few places inspire more awe and wonder than a planetarium, combine that with the historical beauty and culture of Athens, and that’s a great day with the kids. Golden Hall Playground- A huge park complete with a basketball court, fields, and plenty of outdoor fun for the kids. 5 Free Attractions: The Changing of the Guard- Outside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, view the ceremony in which the elite guardsmen of Greece exchange posts. Aristotle’s Lyceum- The ground floor of many Greek greats and heroes of the Classical World, Aristotle’s Lyceum still pays tribute to the history of the old world. Antonis Tritsis- A huge park dedicated to environmental awareness, complete with a vast lake and preservation of natural beauty. National Gardens- The National Gardens exist as an excellent escape from the bustle of the city, as the garden areas are perfectly manicured, there are a number of beautiful, exotic trees and plants, and the atmosphere puts you at peace. Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments- Not far from Athens’s center lays the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments. It’s a quirky tour perfect for those looking for a break from the norm. 5 Great Restaurants: Juicy Grill- There is plenty of excellent Greek food in Athens, obviously, yet some people still get a hankering for a burger, and Juicy Grill might be the best one in town. Dio Dekares I Oka- When in Athens. Okay, maybe that’s the wrong city, but the Greek cuisine at Dio is difficult to match in Athens, especially the Kebabs and Moussaka. Karamanlidika- Another fantastic restaurant featuring Greek, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean flavors. The ouzo and ham are favorites of travelers and locals alike. Scala Vinoteca- A fabulous restaurant featuring some of the best tasting, finest presented, Mediterranean cuisine in Athens. While the food is great, the wine may be even better, with a bevy of options and eclectic flavors. Indian Chef- If you do find yourself needing a break from the Greek food extravaganza, then Indian Chef is the place to sample authentic Indian food like Lamb Kurma. 5 Great Nightlife Spots: The Gin Joint- Finely crafted drinks, excellent service, and a variety of Greek gin and tonics await at The Gin Joint. Athens Sports Bar- The Athens Sports Bar is the place to go for a little home away from home. They play all of the major American and European sports in a relaxed atmosphere. The Clumsies- A cool lounge and bar atmosphere equipped with carefully constructed drinks and plenty of Greek flair. The Local Pub- Simple in name, but brilliantly executed, The Local Pub may be the best beer bar in all of Athens and offers a huge selection. MoMix Molecular Mixology- MoMix takes the definition of unique cocktails to a new level, with all sorts of inventive creations including bubbling drinks and gel-like cocktails. 5 Romantic Getaways: Galazia Akti (Blue Bay)- Situated right near Marathon beach, Blue Bay offers every romantic amenity imaginable including deep blue waters, plenty of restaurant options, and a dreamy atmosphere. Diomidous Botanical Garden- A leisurely stroll through the botanical gardens provides a cozy and quiet date ambience with the bonus of outside air. BonBon- Dessert has been, and will remain the most romantic meal of the day, and both men and women fawn over the scrumptious variety of crepes at BonBon. Mount Lycabettus- One of the best views in Athens, Mount Lycabettus has been hosting couples looking for an awe-inspiring feeling and gorgeous views. Moorings- Looking for another stunning beach-front view? Moorings is a top notch restaurant with amazing views and even better food for your day date. 5 Must-Try Foods: Moussaka- A famous Greek dish consisting of eggplant, meat, cheese, potato, spices, and sauce. Spanakopita-A baked spinach dish consisting of pastry and olive oil. The aroma alone will sell you on this fabulous dish. Tiropites- Another baked pastry of Greek descent, Tiropites are pop-able and packed with cheese. Baklava- Again with the pastries? They are just that good. Baklava is a baked cinnamon pastry with syrup and other additives like nuts and other sweet flavors. Saganaki- A fried cheese slice that is sometimes breaded or seasoned depending on the preparer. Climate: The weather in Athens stays relatively mild throughout the year. The temperature slightly spikes in the summer months, particularly July and August, and drops lowest around January, but still remains around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Athens also experiences its highest volume of rain from October through January, which is something to consider when planning a trip. Transportation: The Athens Metro serves as the primary form of transport around the immediate municipal area of the city. The Red Line and the Blue line serve the surrounding area, providing both locals and travelers with a method of city transport. Athens also provides bus lines for individuals around the city as they please. While the Blue and Red lines are subway style trains, the Green Line is an above ground train that connects the different areas of the city. Safety Precautions: While Athens is a relatively safe city, it is important to do a little preparation before your stay. Try to plot your trip and travels around the city in order to familiarize yourself with the environment before leaving. Also, ensure that all valuables are kept in a secure location and organized throughout the trip to save you the headache of losing any vital documents. A slash-proof PacSafe bag might be a good option for those that need a secure travel bag. Souvenirs: The pictures and memories might be the best souvenirs to take home with you from Athens, although some locally produced olive oil is a great option also. Trip Highlights: Acropolis headlines the most memorable moments of a trip to Athens. Yet, the local cuisine, particularly a sampling of the Greek originals, spanakopita and moussaka, will keep the flavor of Athens present in your mind. Paperwork: U.S. residents must obtain a passport before traveling to Athens, and would be wise to bring any other necessary identification along with them for their trip. It is also important to keep a back-up copy of your flight itinerary in the event of electronic failure. Air Travel Information: Travelers to Athens are serviced by the Athens International Airport (ATH) through most major airlines. Travelers may reach the airport via the metro, bus, taxi, and rail systems.