The historical capital of Europe, Athens is recognized as a global city because of its geo-strategic location and its importance in shipping, finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, culture, education and tourism. It is one of the biggest economic centers in southeastern Europe, with a large financial sector, while its port Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe, and the second largest in the world..
Athens has an incredibly rich cultural heritage, which is clearly in evidence all over the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous attraction of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments.
Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Highlights of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the ‘Hellenic (19th century) and Athens Architectural Trilogy’, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the University and the Academy of Athens. The Greek capital hosted the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world’s largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.
As the Greek capital, Athens has a rich tradition of cultural, commercial and international events. It has something to offer every visitor as a travel destination – it’s famous for its wild nightlife and is unmatched when it comes to sites of archaeological interest!
Athens is also a great base from which to explore the easily accessible Aegean Islands and the Islands of the Saronic Gulf! The beautiful Cyclades complex and the picturesque islands in the Saronic Gulf offer a unique opportunity to wander along mythical paths, admire breathtaking sunsets and enjoy wonderful beaches. These fascinating destinations, are easy to get to from Athens – the cradle of the European civilization!