Welcome to Athens, a city as old as Western Civilization but where the Acropolis towers over streets claimed by the youth and covered with graffiti. With so much history, so many ruins, and so many sculptures that can be seen just about everywhere (including the train stations), it’s easy to get lost in the vastness of time and space in Athens. But you—you lucky bastard—have us as a guide. Don’t let the ruins build up your entire trip. Athens is full of history, but it’s a bustling city that’s very much part of this century as well. Be sure to check out the Agora, the ancient marketplace of the Athenians, but don’t forget about Monastriaki, the marketplace for today’s locals. A vibrant cultural city, the symbolic and literal center of Athens stands at Syntagma Square. Leading straight into it is Ermou, the main crowded shopping street with a pretty cool Byzantine church, too. Walk west and you’ll stumble into the old city of Plaka, Acropolis included. Head down Adrianou, and you’ll get to Athens’s flea market and souvlaki heaven of Monastiraki. On the other side of Syntagma is high society (literally and figuratively) in Kolonaki, the poshest neighborhood in Athens. Keep heading that way, though, and you’ll reach the young, gritty, and raw Exarhia. The furthest neighborhood is Pagrati, with far more residential leanings. You’ll have a hard time finding a map that covers it all and a harder time embracing it all yourself. But it’s a city where Socrates and Aristotle strolled, democracy was born, and you’ve just arrived. So let’s go.
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The Athens Top 5
National Archeological Museum
You’re in Greece. You should spend your days staring at gorgeous, sculpted naked bodies.
The Ancient Agora
The Ancient Agora is kind of everything you ever wanted in Athens.
It’s the Acropolis. Of course you’re going to stumble across it.
It’s time to check out the Athens flea market.
Forget Amsterdam—Athens is another great city if you want to get high.