For years, Athens, concretized and crowded, was a one-night stand on the way to the Greek isles. But now a visit has become more than just a quickie for the sake of the Parthenon, left. With new museums and galleries abounding, the city is reinventing itself as a place where antiquity meets edginess.
The jolting iced Nescafé frappé and the thick, grainy elliniko (don't call it Turkish coffee) have lately been eclipsed in Athens by the freddo, left, cappuccino or espresso blended with crushed ice.
A number of patisseries can be found in Syntagma Square, including the baklava-crazy Karavan bakery on Voukourestiou street.
The Museum of Cycladic Art has possibly the world's largest collection of art from the island group that includes Mykonos as well as Delos, Milos, Naxos and Siros.
The Unification of Archaeological Sites walkway is one of the best things that has happened to Athens in recent decades. About two and a half miles long, it connects the city's most important historical sites and is lined with cafes, chapels and neo-Classical homes.
In the last five years, the Gazi district — once the site of the city's gasworks, which blanketed much of the area with soot — has turned into the hottest area in Athens. A central square where a new metro stop opened last year is lined with bars, restaurants and cafes.
A cypress-lined road leads to Mount Hymettus, which ancient Greeks believed to be the source of honey.