Why It's Worth It

An ancient city dating to between 7,000 and 5,000 B.C.E., Athens is considered the birthplace of Western civilization. During the city's Golden Age, great thinkers, writers and artists, such as Hippocrates and Plato, thrived. Greece's capital has blossomed into a popular city break destination that marries archeological sites, contemporary cultural attractions and spirited day and nightlife. One of few European capitals to sport a coastline, the so-called Athens Riviera is being gradually redeveloped. —Helen Iatrou