Athenians are the first to admit that their city isn’t the typical European capital with acres of parkland, bicycle lanes, and well-thought-out architecture. Rather, it’s compulsively spontaneous, full of energy, and brimming with dualities -- bohemian versus mainstream, classical theater versus bouzoukia (nightclubs with live folk music), protests versus festivals. You can explore the mythical world of ancient deities and heroes then stumble across graffiti art in downtown alleyways.

Beneath the 2,500-year-old Acropolis, where some of the most pivotal foundations of Western civilization are rooted, lies a city that can be as exciting on Monday evenings as on Saturday nights. Athens means something different to every person who gets to know it, so forget everything you have heard about it, and make it yours.