Photograph by Maro Kouri/IML Image Group/DRR.net
Birthplace of drama, democracy, and philosophy, Athens today is synonymous with smog, cement, and aesthetic anarchy. But after a radical revamp for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, Athens is enjoying a renaissance. The clash between myth and modern-day grit is an Athenian trademark: marble busts adorn souvlaki joints, Byzantine churches nestle beside bouzouki clubs, the Parthenon reigns serene above a ragged expanse of apartment blocks. More than three million people are crammed into this loud, laid-back city. With 300 days of sunshine a year, a 75-mile (120-kilometer) coastline, and 3 a.m. traffic jams, irrepressible Athens is a muse for beach bums and barflies, as much as classical scholars and art lovers.
Travel to the stylish streets, historic quarters, and cultural delights of some of Europe's most beloved cities with these photos submitted to My Shot by users like you.
Get recommendations on the top Athens attractions (what to see, where to go) from experts at National Geographic.
Wind your way through the villages, beaches, and mountains of Italy's most scenic stretch of coastline.
Often labeled as poor, rural, and beholden to the Mafia, Sicily insists that change has arrived. Explore this small Italian island—a unique world unto itself.
Nat Geo Traveler All Access
Available in print and for iPad®! See destinations come alive with 360-degree photos, videos, and more!