Discover Athens

Clustered around the north-eastern slopes of the Acropolis, Plaka is crowned with iconic splendour.

History rings from every street corner, as the city’s (and Greece’s) dynamic heritage  dating back to mythological times  is proudly displayed though a number of captivating Ancient, Roman, Byzantine and Modern tributes.  

Located in the heart of city, Plaka is a great starting point from which to discover Athens. Typified by its labyrinthine streets and vibrant atmosphere, and dotted with historical monuments, the district bears the nickname ‘the Neighbourhood of the Gods’. 

Impressive structures like Hadrian's Library, the Roman Agora, the Tower of the Winds, the Bath-house of the Winds and Byzantine churches wow visitors, but what truly attracts tourists to Plaka is the neighbourhood’s close proximity to city’s most prominent archaeological sites.

Clustered around the north-eastern slopes of the Acropolis, Plaka is crowned with iconic splendour. Built in fifth century BC, the ancient citadel combines the best of science, art and philosophy in the most definitive monument of human civilisation. Today, the Acropolis is a World Heritage Listed site and Athens’ most famous drawcard. 

A reflection of the power and wealth of Athens at its peak (during the golden age of Perikles), the ‘Sacred Rock’ contains four of Greece’s greatest masterpieces: monumental gate, the Propylaea; and revered temples, the Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the Temple of Athena Nike. 

Plaka is also a great base from which to explore the commercial, political and religious centre of Classical Athens, the Athenian Agora.  Situated at the northern foot of the Acropolis, the ancient marketplace once operated as the focal point of public life. Today, remnants of great public buildings and statues give visitors insight into the early workings of democracy, and tell tales of a turbulent past rife with diverse cultural influences.

Despite boasting a legendary and long-stretching history, Athens is not just all about ancient ruins. The Greek capital has been undergoing a radical period of urban renewal that has seen the city gradually gentrified and revitalised with new art and leisure precincts. 

To the north, Psirri offers a great window into Athens’ modern culture—a working class neighbourhood turned nightlife epicentre, where former factories and workshops host cafes, bars, restaurants and clubs.  

The city’s current epicentre of commercial activity, Syntagma Square also displays insight into modern Athens—a major public transportation hub and site of public celebration, protest and mourning, home to Greece’s House of Parliament and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

Plan Your Athens Adventure 

  • Flights to Athens: Together with partner Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to Athens, via Abu Dhabi, from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. 
  • Athens Holiday Packages: Plan your holiday with expert help; Virgin Australia Holidays can tailor an exceptional Athens holiday package to suit your needs.  
  • Athens Hotels: Establish a great base from which to experience all that the Greek capital has to offer. Select from a wide choice of hotels with our hotel partner Agoda.
  • Athens Car Hire: Take to the road and discover the city’s many riches, with car hire deals from one of our partners. 
Words by Alice Nash - Published 10 March 2014
Quick Facts 
Population Approx. 3 700 000
Time Zone UTC +1
Languages Greek
Currency Euro €
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