One of the world’s oldest cities, Athens is reputedly the birthplace of democracy, philosophy and perhaps even the sun tan.
History lovers should book cheap flights to Athens as soon as they can and soak up the origins of western civilisation. As one of the world’s premier centres of archaeological research, there are so many world-famous sights that you’re spoilt for choice. The Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Temple of Hephaestus and the Agora marketplace are all thousands of years old and open to visits.
Walk around the historic neighbourhoods of Plaka, Psyri and Thiseio to see how Athens has morphed over the centuries with every mansion, ruin, taverna, street stall and temple surrounded by locals - photo opportunities that also make you appreciate everyday life here. The locals are famous for their friendly and relaxed attitudes, and you can find many soaking up the rays along the huge beaches of Paraliaki by the Aegean Sea. Come at the end of March for Independence Day when they enjoy street parades, both traditional and modern.
The mix of history and beauty is everywhere in Athens. Take a walk around the National Garden of Athens or visit the renovated Hammam Baths. Flights to Athens are worth it just to head down to the peninsula of Sounio to watch the sun go down on an ancient fortress containing temples to Athena and Poseidon – a stunning and popular sight. Afterwards, sample some of the Athens nightlife, perhaps the bars in Psyri, dance clubs in Gazi or rock and jazz dens in Plaka.