The modern Greek capital was also the heart of Classical Greece. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, yet contemporary Athens is a city of many aspects. Mixing history and edginess, the Athenian cultural and social life plays out amid, around and inside ancient landmarks.
Places of interest
Around the Acropolis
The ancient temple dedicated to Athena, the Greek Goddes of wisdom, is a timeless architectural masterpiece and the iconic symbol of Classical Greece. Also worth a visit, the Acropolis Museum, an impressive work of contemporary architecture housing a unique collection of ancient Greek art.
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus
One of the largest and best preserved Roman stone theatres in Greece, still hosts theatre plays and concerts every summer (see the programme of the Athens & Epidaurus Festival).
The ancient agora
The main public forum of Classical Athens and the center of the city's political, commercial and cultural life.
The Kallimarmaron stadium
The ancient stadium, made of white marble and stone, was reconstructed in 1896 for the first modern Olympic Games and now annnually hosts the finish line of the Athens Marathon.
The old neighborhood at the foot of the rock of the Acropolis. Its narrow alleys are lined with souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants open round the clock.
A short tram ride from the center of the city, the sandy beaches of costal Athens offer a taste of the sea and sun of the Greek islands.
The Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
The ruins of the temple of the Greek God of the sea are an hour's drive from the center of Athens, on an imposing site at the very edge of mainland Greece, overlooking the Aegean Sea.
If you are in Athens a few days before or after the conference, you may want to schedule a short trip nearby.
Mycenae, with its walled citadel and the monumental tombs of its kings, was the centre of a great civilization that preceded classical antiquity by a millenium. Mycenae is a two-hour drive from Athens.
The first capital of modern Greece is also one of the most beautiful Greek towns. Naflpion is a two-hour drive from Athens, very close to Mycenae.
The sanctuary of Delphi, with the most famous oracle of ancient Greece, was regarded at the time as the centre of the world. Delphi is a 2.5-hour drive from Athens.
One of the most scenic Greek islands, with its stone-built mansions and no cars allowed on its narrow cobblestoned streets. Hydra is a 1.5-hour trip from Athens.