Athens is the birthplace of European civilization and has been inhabited for over 7,000 years. It played host to original birth of western thought in the golden age of the 5th century BC, when Athens controlled most of the Eastern Mediterranean. The existing buildings from this time are primarily found in the southern part of the city – namely, the Acropolis and Agora.
The northern part of the city has grown in prominence since the early 1800s when King Otto made Athens the new capital of Greece. When the new city was being planned, the city planners envisioned one on Parisian lines – complete wide, tree-lined avenues, such as Panepistimous Street and Akadimias Street. These streets were home to many grand Neo-Classical mansions and public buildings. Although significantly reduced in number, these buildings still provide posh locations for embassies, banks, and numerous public institutions.
The chic residential area of the city, Kolonaki, is in the northern part of the city. The area around Patriarchou Iokaeim and Irodotou are particularly cosmopolitan, with a classy vibe that is perfect for shopping and entertainment.
The War Museum
The National Gallery
The Byzantine Museum
The Theatrical Museum
The City of Athens Museum
The National Archaeological Museum
The Museum of Cycladic Art
The National Historic Museum
The Benaki Museum