Attica is an administrative region that encompasses the entire metropolitan area of Athens, the capital of Greece. The region is coextensive with the former Attica Prefecture of Central Greece, but covers a greater area than the historical region of Attica.
Located on the eastern edge of Central Greece, Attica covers about 3,808km2. In addition to Athens, it contains within its area the cities of Piraeus, Eleusis, Megara, Laurium, and Marathon, as well as a small part of the Peloponnese peninsula and the islands of Salamis, Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetses, Kythira, and Antikythera. About 3,750,000 people live in the region, of whom more than 95% are inhabitants of the Athens metropolitan area.
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Originally built in the 5th century BC the Parthenon (Παρθενών) is the most famous ruin in all of Greece and is located on the Acropolis. This building was built as a temple to Athena in Athens. This building also represents an enduring symbol of Athenian democracy. It has many excellent examples of ancient Greek architecture and art work on the inside. The temple has had many forms in the different eras of occupation ranging from a temple to Athena, to a christian church to a mosque. Today it is one of the most popular tourist sights in all of Greece.
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The Academy of Athens, the National Libarary of Greece and The University of Athens are the 3 neoclassical buildings that make the so called Trilogy of Athens. Build by brothers Theophil and Christian Hansen these buildings are an absolute must for the lovers of architecture.
One of the best museums about the ancient greek civilization in the whole world, the National Archeological Museum houses true treasures about all the eras of Greek history as well as many exhibits from ancient Egypt.
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The combination of pollution and high temperatures (up to 43 °C), makes summer a bad time to visit Athens. Winters are mild with occasionally some frost at night, but usually above zero. Spring and autumn have very nice and warm conditions and nights are pleasant as well. In general, Athens is a dry and sunny city during these times with some showers possible but rarely rainy all day.
Athens International Airport (ATH) is the main airport in the city and is the main hub for the national airline of Olympic Airlines. Destinations with this airline include Alexandria, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cairo, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Montreal, Moscow, New York, Paris, Toronto and Vienna. Aegean Airlines has several flights within Europe as well, including Rome, Milan and Düsseldorf. Many European airlines have direct flights to Athens. Easyjet is a low-cost airline serving Athens from London, Berlin, Paris and Milan.
Olympic Airlines has domestic flights to many destinations from Athens including Alexandroupolis, Chania, Chios, Corfu, Heraklion, Ioannina, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kavala, Kefalonia, Kithira, Kos, Limnos, Milos, Mykonos, Mytilene (Lesbos), Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Sitia, Thessaloniki and Zakynthos. Aegean Airlines has a share of domestic flights as well.
To/from the airport
The Hellenic Railways Organisation operates a network of train, most of them originating and terminating in or near Athens. Trains north stop in Thessaloniki, Livadia, Paleofarsala, Larissa, Plati, Edessa, Florina, Seres, Drama, Komotini and Alexandroupolis while trains south stop in Kiato, Xylokastra, Diakofto, Patras, Olympia, Argos, Tripoli, Megalopolis and Kalamata.
Be aware though that driving in Greece is not as easy as you think, Greek drivers are speeding and overtaking many times without any warnings. There are some good highways like the Corinth - Athens and the Athens - Larissa highways. In Athens itself, traffic jams occur mainly at early morning and late afternoon rush hours, but traffic is heavy throughout the day as well.
There are dozens of ferries to and from Piraeus, the port of Athens and located within the municipality.
Check the Greek Travel Pages for an impression about companies, schedules and prices, as the choice is very wide. Or check the Greek Ferries website or another one about Ferries between islands in Greece. This applies to both international and even more so domestic connections to many of the islands. Routes from Piraeus usually go to the Argo-Saronic, Cyclades, Dodacanese and the Northeast Aegean island chains and also to Crete and other mainland ports as far as Thessaloniki.
On some routes, faster hydrofoil services operate. There are two classes on most ships (first and second) and couchettes are available on night trips. In summer, book well in advance.
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