ATHENS
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Athens Apartments: Athens post Olympics, with the antiquities with parks and pedestrian streets and avenues combined with the nightlife areas of the Plaka, Psiri and Thission, is one of the most exciting, art, music and entertainment centres in the world. The restaurants, tavernas, cafes, clubs and bars stay open late as many who came for the Olympics discovered. And if you prefer a quieter Athens there are parks and quiet neighbourhoods that will suit you too. What this means is that anytime of the year Athens is entertaining, whether it is your stop-off on the way to and from the Greek Islands in the summer or if you visit during the 3 other seasons and use it as your base for daytrips to explore the Peloponnese and the mainland.

Athens is built around the Acropolis and the pinnacled crag of Mt. Lycabettus, which the goddess Athena was said to have dropped from the heavens as a bulwark to defend the city. The Acropolis is unsurpassed in its beauty, architectural splendour and historic importance. The entrance to the Acropolis is the Propylea, which extends 150 feet adjoining the temple of Athena Nike or Wingless Victory. The Parthenon is on the highest part of the Acropolis and was built between 447 and 437 BC. It was here that modern democracy began.

An apartment in Athens puts you in the heart of one of the most exciting cities in Greece.

The centre of the modern city is at Syntagma Square (Constitution Square), site of the former Royal Palace, the Greek Parliament and other 19th century public buildings. Most of the older and wealthier parts of the city and clustered around this area, which is also where most of the tourist attractions and museums are. The newer parts of the city are mostly constructed from grey concrete and suffer from a lack of parks and amenities.

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May-June and September-October are the best times to visit Athens. In November to March can be cold and rainy but it can also be like an Indian summer. February can be cool with periods of rain but it can also be what they call the halcyones which is an extended period of spring-like weather. July and August are very hot.

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Athens has a good international airport with direct flights from most major cities in Europe and the rest of the world. Athens International Airport is located 33km southeast of Athens and is easily accessible via the Athens City Ring Road, a six-lane motorway. Public transport to Athens and the port of Piraeus is provided by metro, railway and express airport buses. The Athens Metro is one of the most modern systems in the world.

Many people coming from Europe and Scandinavia drive or take a train to one of the coast cities of Italy where they can catch a ferry to Greece. The shortest ferry trip is from Brindisi

Regional Image of ParthenonParthenon

Strolling, eating, shopping and soaking up the city's art and history should take up most of your time in Athens. The classic museums like the National Archaeological Museum (which holds the world's greatest collection of Greek art), the Benaki Museum (including its new Islamic Art branch), the Byzantine Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art) were all renovated in for the 2004 Olympics.

The coastline is connected to the city centre with a gleaming new tramway and boasts a series of exciting venues next to the beaches. The Psirri district - aka Athens' 'meat packing district'- has many bars and restaurants and is a center for young Athenians. The Plaka remains the traditional tourist destination, with many tavernas featuring 'traditional' music, but the food, though good, is expensive compared to other parts of the city. The chic Kolonaki area, near Syntagma Square, is full of boutiques catering to well-heeled customers by day and bars and restaurants by night. Some rundown central areas (south of Omonia Square) are mainly peopled by immigrants and are full of colourful if modest ethnic restaurants and shops. Casinos operate on Mount Parnitha (accessible by car or cable car) and the near town of Loutraki (accessible by car or suburban railway). The upgraded Olympic Stadium Complex (known by its Greek initials OAKA) was remodelled with monuments, gardens, futuristic passages and a characteristic new blue glass roof, added to the main Stadium. A second olympic area, next to the sea at the beach of Kallithea (Faliron), also boasts futuristic stadiums, shops and an elevated esplanade.

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