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A unique mix of historic Athens and modern day Mediterranean culture

Athens, which sprawls well beyond its official limits, is unlike any other European capital. Home to roughly one-third of the Greek population, its fabric has been woven by successive waves of migrants – initially from the Greek provinces, today from abroad – since it was established in the 11th century B.C. The Greek capital may exhibit all the characteristics of a big city but at heart it remains a small town.

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Famous The oldest section of Athens

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Ariana Hendrix Content Editor

It’s touristy, but the charming, winding streets and hanging trees and flowers make it worth it. You’ll also stumble upon some beautiful galleries with works by local artists, and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

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The oldest section of Athens Editors' Note

Labyrinthine and atmospheric Plaka is similarly tourist-focused, with lots of menutouting restaurateurs, stalls of handcrafted leather sandals and satchels, and souvenir shops with museum replica statuettes, cheesecloth dresses and olive oil soaps.

Plaka was once the nightclub district of Athens, but don’t expect to find many lively nightspots here now. The government outlawed loud music in the seventies, and today you’ll find more restaurants,bars and cafes in the area, and of course, some tourist shops. But it’s worth visiting if you want to get a real glimpse of the old times - all you need is your imagination.

Plaka, 10556 Athens