Greece and Humanities Birthplace

Athens has been widely described as both the birthplace of democracy and the cradle of civilisation. One of the world’s oldest cities, this place has probably been the most influential city in world history. I don’t say that lightly, believe me. Athens was the centre of ancient Greek civilisation, just like it’s the centre of modern Greece today. It was where the ancient Greek philosophers and scientists worked, and it’s where the Greeks built the enormous structures (structures far, far ahead of their time) that we still see today. All of these facts contribute towards one simple statement: everybody should visit Athens.

3 days in greece athens

I propose that Athens should be visited in modern times by every supporter of democracy and civilisation in the world, if they’re able to: it should be treated like a pilgrimage. In these difficult times it’s important to remember how far we’ve come (or how far we have to go, depending on your outlook) since Athens was born 7000 years ago. The ideas spawned in Athens have carried the world into a more tolerant and powerful modern age, where we have ways and means of expressing ourselves unlike anything before. The world would have turned out to be a very different place is Athens had never existed.

trip to greece

So, now we’re all agreed that making a pilgrimage to Athens to celebrate the modern world is an excellent idea, what should us pilgrims do when we get there? Well. There’s a lot. An awful lot. First of, it is, of course, The Parthenon. Built as a temple to the Goddess of Athens; Athena, it has had a variety of uses over the years. It’s remarkable it is still in such good shape – the site has suffered from various bombardments over the years, the most significant of which was an explosion after an Ottoman gunpowder reserve inside the building was hit by a Venetian cannonball in 1687. Make sure to also check out the Temple of Zeus: it’s an incredible building and took over 700 years to build.

best things about athens

For other historical sites, it’s best to take a day trip to nearby Delphi, instead of looking around Athens. Granted; there are some historical sights to see, but Delphi makes the whole business of looking around Athens a lot easier, and generally has more to offer on that front, such as the Temple of Apollo. This will save any traveller some time to enjoy Athens as a local in the modern age.

trip to athens

Athens, despite being incredibly old, is a very modern city; and you can have a lot of fun here without considering the historical aspects of the city. The street life is vibrant and exciting, and the nightlife is even more so, with clubs, bars and cafes constantly moving in and out of favour among the Athenians. One place that will always stay in favour, though, is Bios. Check out their website to see what’s on each day, but whatever it is, it’s almost certainly guaranteed to be great fun.

It’s ironic, really: Athens should be remembered as the place where modern society was born, and yet people view it as an old historic city, with not much modern attraction to it. How very wrong people can be. Who says a pilgrimage can’t be fun?