Fly Lufthansa from New York to Athens, Greece for $257 roundtrip
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Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína), is the capital city of Greece with a registered metropolitan population of 3.7 million inhabitants, but indeed there are 5 million people estimated. It is in many ways the birthplace of Classical Greece, and therefore of Western civilization. The design of the city is marked by Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman civilizations. Today, greater Athens is by far the economic, political and cultural center of modern Greece, with nearly half of the country’s population.
Athens offers some of the best and worst urban walkings in Europe. Several major streets have been recently pedestrianized, and a mostly car-free archeological walk which starts at Vasilisis Amalias Street passes in front of the New Acropolis Museum, Acropolis, Herodion Theatre, Thiseio (Apostolou Pavlou Str), Ermou Street and ends at the popular area of Kerameikos (Gkazi) where numerous bars and clubs are located. Pleasant walking can also be had in Plaka, especially its upper reaches, and in much of Kolonaki, and the National Garden can provide a welcome respite from the heat and noise of the city center.
While Greek is the main language used in Athens, most Athenians speak English fluently and those in the tourism industry are likely to speak French and German too. Notices, menus and road signs are written in both English and Greek.
There are few things the Greeks are more famous for than their food, and Athens is considered one of the best places to find authentic Greek food. Tourists, as they wander from point to point, will want to stop and refresh themselves with some delicious Greek cuisine, but for many, the food itself is one of the main reasons for coming.
One “must-try” Greek menu item, so common it has been called the “Greek hamburger,” is a souvlaki. Souvlakia are grilled kebabs of beef, lamb, pork or chicken that are wrapped in pita bread with tomatoes, onions and lettuce. They are dipped in a yogurt flavored with garlic and cucumber called “tzatziki.” Many of the best souvlaki shops in Athens are found along Mitropoleos Street. Gyros (ğyros, “turn”) is often preferred instead of souvlaki, and it is made out of chopped pieces of chicken or pork. [read more]
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