Athens has been a business city for around 6,000 years, and its shipping industry is as important today as it was millennia ago: As of 2007, Greek-run companies controlled almost 18 percent of the world fleet. Their headquarters are in Piraeus, a few miles from Athens centre. Tourism and services are also key industries.
Check out what’s on at the new Athens Metropolitan Expo center, which opened this past May right next to the airport. It hosts a wide variety of trade shows and events.
The Luxury Collection Hotel Grande Bretagne (Constitution Square, +30 210 333 0000) has it all, including a premier restaurant (GB Roof Garden) and fabulous views of the Acropolis, the Parthenon and many other classic sights.
Motivo Restaurant (in the Electra Palace Hotel, 18–20 N. Nikodimou Str., +30 210 337 0000) has sumptuous garden views and a breakfast buffet to match (from 7 a.m.).
An elegant, Michelin-starred seafood restaurant in Piraeus, Varoulko (80 Piraeus Str., +30 210 522 8400) is widely considered to serve Athens’ finest fish dishes.
Hit the beach. Only 10 miles south of the city (a 30- to 40-minute drive), you’ll find Vouliagmeni, with palm trees, tennis courts, a snack bar, water-sports equipment and a blue-flag certification for cleanliness.
• Greece’s contributions to world civilization, such as democracy and philosophy.
• Boats, sailing and shipping are local passions.
• The monuments, culture, history and beauty of Athens.