Among the most iconic cities in the world, Athens sits at the heart of ancient civilization, the root of Western culture, and the edge of Europe. A city at once familiar and exotic, Athens is both postcard and frontier for the traveler.

Standing at the foot of the Parthenon on the famous Acropolis, you will feel the awe architects intended as you look upon the houses of the gods. Millennia have passed beneath its gaze, and today you can look out over the sprawling metropolis that has grown out from the agora and the ancient centers. Stand on the very spot where the Apostle Paul addressed the people of Athens, then in the epicenter of contemporary philosophy.

In the later—but still historical—sections of Athens, you will find modern Athens perfectly at home within the walls of antiquity. The warrens of the Plaka are filled with shops, restaurants and modest revelry, all in the shadow of the Acropolis. A true feast for the senses, the city is filled with Greek Orthodox churches, and on Sundays the smell of incense wafts from the doors like a sacred perfume, while the springtime streets are drenched in the fragrance of orange blossoms.

Shoppers will want to pay a visit to posh Kolonaki, and foodies will want to make more than one pilgrimage to Exarchia where it’s possible to find family-style Greek cuisine in a lively, local atmosphere. Pay a visit to Syntagma Square where museums and ministries help make the connection between the Greece of ancient times and modern.

The city is perfectly located for day trips by land a sea. Take a speedboat to nearby islands in the Aegean, or venture further into the mainland to see cities like Corinth, or legendary Delphi, home to the temple of Apollo.

Our private guides will sift through centuries of history and culture to help you discover the Athens you seek, whether it’s at the top of the Acropolis or on a boat on the Aegean waters.