In higgledy-piggledy Athens – where ancient and modern, nature and civilisation, tradition and trends mingle – there really are surprises hidden around every corner. Traffic-filled roads mask cobbled alleys with bougainvillaea-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 – you must go at least once in your life.