Think of Athens and the first things that spring to mind are ancient ruins and camera-toting crowds (before they hotfoot it to the island-bound ferries at the port of Piraeus, that is). It's true, the Acropolis is ever present and during summer the city thrums with schools of holidaymakers. But there's much more to the Greek capital than temples and tourists. We've looked beyond the admittedly awe-inspiring Parthenon and explored the city's modernist marvels, from circular school to colonnaded embassy. We've combed the cobbled streets for independent boutiques offering straw hats, hand-thrown ceramics and golden jewellery - all proudly "Made in Greece". When you're feeling peckish, choose between traditional family-run tavernas and contemporary restaurants spicing up classic Greek dishes. Attica is a region of riches and, of course, some of the nearby islands are simply too good to miss - so we've included a short and sharp list of our top stopovers. For now, though, strap up your sandals and allow us to introduce you to this chaotic but ever-so-charismatic city.
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