Athens is a global city and one of the biggest economic centers in southeastern Europe. It has a large financial sector, and its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe and the second-largest in the world. The Municipality of Athens (also City of Athens), which actually constitutes a small administrative unit of the entire city, had a population of 664,046 (in 2011) within its official limits, and a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens (Greater Athens and Greater Piraeus) extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 (in 2011) over an area of 412 km2. According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, with a population of 3.8 million people. Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland and the warmest major city in Europe.
Athens has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. The dominant feature of Athens’ climate is an alternation between prolonged hot and dry summers and mild winters with moderate rainfall. With an average of 432 millimeters (17.0 in) of yearly precipitation, rainfall occurs largely between the months of October and April. July and August are the driest months when thunderstorms occur sparsely. After Valletta in Malta, Athens is the warmest capital in Europe.
Most beautiful places to visit in Athens:
• The Acropolis:
It is the most important monument today. It was dedicated to the patron goddess of the city, Athena since Parthenon means also the apartment of the virgin. Athena was the goddess of wisdom, war and also a virgin. The Parthenon is located on the top of the Acropolis hill.
• National Archaeology Museum:
The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece with some of the greatest collections of antiquities in the world. The museum was established in 1829 to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece and has operated from its neo-classical home in Athens since 1889.
• Byzantine Museum:
It was founded in 1914, and houses more than 25,000 exhibits with rare collections of pictures, scriptures, frescoes, pottery, fabrics, manuscripts, and copies of artifacts from the 3rd century AD to the Late Middle Ages. It is one of the most important museums in the world in Byzantine Art.
Ruins of the Ancient Marketplace: Arguably, it's most important purpose was as the home base for all of the city-state's administrative, legal and political functions some of the most important, yet least acclaimed, buildings of ancient history and Classical Athens were located in the Agora.
• Museum Of Cycladic Art:
One of the leading museums in Athens, the Museum of Cycladic Art is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC. It was founded in 1986, to house the collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris.
• Church of the Holy Apostles:
After Saint Sophia, the Holy Apostles was the most important church in the capital of the Byzantine Empire, not only because of its size and dedication but also because of its function as the burial place of the emperors from the fourth to the eleventh century.
• Panaghia Kapnikaréa Church:
The Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea is the oldest church in Athens, it was built during the middle of the 11th century. The church is dedicated to Saint Mary but it is better known as Kapnikarea.
• Olympieion: Temple Of Olympian Zeus:
The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, also known as the Olympieion, was built over several centuries starting in 174 BCE and only finally completed by the Roman emperor Hadrian in 131 CE. Its unusually tall columns and ambitious layout made the temple one of the largest ever built in the ancient world.
• Panathenaic Stadium & Olympic Stadium:
The Panathenaic Stadium is a classical cultural and touristic monument of Greece and one of the most significant monuments not only for Athens but for the whole of Greece. ... Its rich history is directly connected to the Modern Olympic Games as from their revival in 1896 until the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.
• The Charming Neighborhoods Of Pláka And Anafiotika:
Between the northern slopes of the Acropolis and Ermoú Street, the picturesque Pláka neighborhood boasts two important archaeological sites on Pepopida Street: the first-century BC Roman Agora and the second-century Library of Hadrian.