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If the guidebooks are to be believed, there are surprises hidden around every unassuming corner in pretty much every city. We know that’s not true: it’s tourist board sloganry at its worst. But in higgledy-piggledy Athens – where ancient and modern, nature and civilisation, tradition and trends mingle – perhaps the cliché could hold. The very best things to do in Athens certainly suggest so.
Traffic-filled roads mask cobbled alleys with bougainvillea-drenched cafés and restaurants. Inside neoclassical buildings, cutting-edge galleries are thriving. The plainest of entranceways can lead to an outdoor cinema serving ouzo under the starry night sky. And then you turn one way, and chances are the twinkling Parthenon’s staring right back at you. Athens is the cosmopolitan heart of Greece, and indeed all of Western culture. Here’s how to get the best out of it.
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Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.