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Athens is virtually a paradise for night owls. Whether you start with dinner and then hit the clubs or begin with a couple of drinks before making your way to one of the many live music establishments, the city is sure to keep you entertained until the early hours. The atmosphere in some of the bars and dance clubs has to be seen to be believed, while a visit to a bouzouki club is an experience not to be missed.

In summer in particular, it appears that everyone is out on the town. The seaside resorts of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza and the northern suburb of Kifissia are especially popular and provide a cool respite from the city.

But choice is not limited to bars and clubs. There are countless coffee shops that stay open until late at night, tavernas, restaurants, theatres and cinemas (both indoor and outdoor).

Athenians, like most Greeks, view dining out late in the evening as one of their main forms of entertainment. Literally thousands of traditional tavernas serving delicious, inexpensive food can be found throughout Athens and Attica. In addition, there are hundreds of restaurants serving a wide variety of international cuisine. And of course there is the ubiquitous Greek souvlaki!

Most eating establishments in and around Athens use excellent natural ingredients from all over Greece. Delicious grilled fish, salads, baked meat and tasty fruit have a wonderful fresh flavour. Try specialities such as the wonderful dzadziki, a dip made from garlic, yoghurt and cucumber, feta cheese served in olive oil, dolmades, vine leaves stuffed with minced meat, or grilled octopus.

At the lovely little yacht harbour of Mikrolimano in Piraeus, customers can choose from a number of excellent seafood restaurants that serve fresh fish, shrimp and lobster daily.

Athens has an impressive variety of goods on offer, from top designer labels and exquisite jewellery to rugs, carpets and high quality leather goods. A large section of the city centre is now for pedestrians only, making shopping a real treat.

Ermou has always been one of Athens' busiest shopping streets and is packed with clothing, accessory and quality souvenir stores. Nearby Voukourestiou has some fine jewellery shops and the district of Kolonaki is decidedly chic. In Kolonaki you will find the boutiques of top Greek fashion designers with successful international careers in Paris, New York and Milan.

The downtown Monastiraki area and the Flea Market is one of the most fascinating areas of the city, with scores of tiny shops selling everything imaginable - souvenirs, copper pans, icons, ceramics, old coins, battered furniture, bags and shawls, Turkish swords, folk art, etc.

Monastiraki lies next to the Plaka, the old quarters of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis. With its winding narrow streets, neo-classical houses, tavernas, souvenir shops and old-world charm, the Plaka is undoubtedly one of the most attractive areas of the city.

Situated in the south-eastern tip of Europe, one of the planet's most favourable and sunny corners, Greece has developed into a much preferred destination for all kinds of tourism, especially professional tourism, including international scientific and commercial conferences, incentives, exhibitions and fairs, seminars and all kinds of meetings.

Olympic-related renovation fever and major investment have brought great changes in the accommodation sector. Backed by almost half a century of experience in hosting international visitors, as well as the reputation for Greek hospitality, major hotel chains and medium-to-small size units in the Greek capital have undergone extensive upgrades and renovation. Almost all units have obtained a professional makeover, targeting eclectic tourists and above all business travellers and conference organisers. Executive floors, business centres and the concept of "an office in your hotel room" have become almost standard features for Athens hotels.

Athens has been the choice of Professional Congress Organisers (PCO's) who have long ago been aware of the advantages involved in holding events here. The extensive range of modern facilities, including hotels of all classes, high standard conference halls, showrooms, travel services and easy transportation are not concentrated in one city, they are spread throughout Greece to all directions in the mainland and hundreds of pretty islands. Mild weather conditions allow for the organisation of events year round. Organisers have found it interesting to hold incentives or conferences on board luxury cruisers and yachts, the 'floating congress', under the bright sun, enhancing the effectiveness and success of events while giving participants the opportunity for a unique experience in the tranquil, azure waters of the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas.

 
 
 
 
     
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