"Athens, Modern Greek Athínai, Ancient Greek Athēnai, historic city and capital of Greece. Many of Classical civilization’s intellectual and artistic ideas originated there, and the city is generally considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization. Athens lies 5 miles (8 km) from the Bay of Phaleron, an inlet of the Aegean (Aigaíon) Sea where Piraeus (Piraiévs), the port of Athens, is situated, in a mountain-girt arid basin divided north-south by a line of hills. Greater Athens has an area of 165 square miles (427 square km). The Kifisós River, only a trickle in summer, flows through the western half; the Ilisós River, often dry, traverses the eastern half. The surrounding mountains—Párnis, 4,636 feet (1,413 metres); Pentelicus (Pendéli), 3,631 feet; Hymettos (Imittós), 3,365 feet; and Aigáleon, 1,535 feet—add to the impression of barrenness. Yet such considerations are superficial when compared with the fecundity of Athens’s bequests to the world, such as its philosophy, its architecture, its literature, and its political ideals.
Athens, with its tall buildings and contemporary shops, is the first European city when approached from the Middle East. When approached from the west, from elsewhere in Europe, what strikes the visitor is the influence of the East—in the food, music, and clamorous street life—perhaps vestiges of a time when Athens was divorced from European society under the yoke of Ottoman rule. Nevertheless, it is wrong to say that Athens is a mixture of East and West: it is Greek and, more particularly, Athenian. The city, after all, nurtured Western civilization thousands of years ago. Athens remains on the world stage to this day, most recently as the designated host of the 2004 Olympic Games..." from Encyclopaedia Britannica
Athens is a modern city, vibrant, noisy that offers multiple options for short and long stays. Discover a few of its secrets in "One city. Neve ending stories" the official video for supporting its candidacy for the best 2017 European destination
A nice guide that can be downloaded and printed for Athens and the surrounding area, is published by Greek National Tourist Organisation and is available here. Among other, at the last pages, please find a detailed index and a nice overview map that you can print and have it on you with your arrival in Athens
Very useful is also the official online city guide with many details. So, This is Athens!
There is also a private site supported by Matt Barett, the Athens Survival Guide. There you can find a ton of practical information. For example, the top 10 things you should in Athens is a nice start for every visitor.
If there is time you should visit one of the close islands like Aegina, Angistri, Poros, Hydra either car ferry, highspeed catamaran, flying-dolphin. The ferries to these islands leave frequently from Pireaus Port starting at 7am and you can spend the entire day and return in the evening.
You can also get the Tram from Syntagma Square to the Beaches of Glyfada and Voula with stops in Nea Smyrni and all along the coast. The tram is worth a trip because it goes through neighborhoods that travelers don't normally visit, like Neos Kosmos and Nea Smyrni where you can still see remnants of the refugee settlements of the twenties. You can stop along the way at the yacht marina of Alimos or the beaches on the coast. You can catch the tram at the top of Syntagma Square on Amalias Avenue just across from the National Gardens and the Parliament Building.
Athens from different point of views