Athens, the historic city and capital of Greece, holds a remarkable place in the annals of civilization. It is widely considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization, nurturing Western thought, philosophy, architecture, literature, and political ideals thousands of years ago.

Geographically, Athens lies approximately 5 miles (8 km) from the Bay of Phaleron, an inlet of the Aegean Sea. The city is nestled in a mountain-girt arid basin, divided north-south by a line of hills. Greater Athens covers an area of 165 square miles (427 square km). Rivers like the Kifisós and Ilisós traverse the city, and surrounding mountains—PárnisPentelicusHymettos, and Aigáleon—add to its character.

Contemporary Athens blends modernity with ancient heritage. When approached from the Middle East, it appears as a European city with tall buildings and modern shops. Yet, from the west (elsewhere in Europe), traces of the East—reflected in food, music, and lively street life—are evident. Athens remains distinctly Greek and, more specifically, Athenian. Its legacy continues to resonate globally through philosophy, architecture, literature, and political ideals.

The iconic Parthenon atop the Acropolis stands as a testament to Athens’s ancient glory. Unique street art rivals that of Berlin, and the glittering coastline beckons visitors to explore further. Athens is a captivating destination where ancient history and vibrant modernity coexist harmoniously.