Athens (Greece)

With thousands of years of history and mythology under its belt (这里指地域、地区), Athens - named for the olive-tree-loving Athena (雅典娜 goddess of wisdom) - is more than a concrete jungle. It's an affable (和蔼可亲的,友善的) city enlivened (使有生气) by outdoor cafes, pedestrian streets (行人步行街), parks, gardens and characters aplenty (丰富的,大量的). If you get into the spirit of things, you might not even notice the layer of nefos (smog) hanging overhead.
The city is bounded on three sides by Mt Parnitha, Mt Pendeli and MtHymettos. Within Athens there are no less than eight hills, of which the Acropolis and Lykavittos are the most prominent (重要的,著名的). The hills provide a peaceful respite (短暂的休息或喘息) from the clamour (喧嚣,吵闹) of the city, and offer stunning views to the glistening waters of the Saronic Gulf - the city's boundary on the south side.

Just about everything of interest to the traveller is within a small area surrounding Plateia Syntagmatos (Syntagma Square). This area is bounded by the districts of Plaka to the south, Monastiraki to the west, Kolonaki to the east and Omonia to the north.

Plateia Syntagmatos is dominated by the old Royal Palace and is the beating heart of the business district, with luxury hotels, banks and airline offices. Plaka, nestled below the Acropolis, is the old Turkish quarter and virtually all that existed when Athens was declared the capital of independent Greece. Though Plaka is packed with tourists in high season, it's also one of theprettiest and most atmospheric areas of the city. Monastiraki is the market district and a fascinating part of town to wander. Psiri, nearby, is brimming (盈满的) with stylish cafes and bars and makes a great place to stop for a spot of lunch. Kolonaki, a classy residential area tucked in under Lykavittos Hill, is full of trendy boutiques (时尚专卖店), art galleries and cafes.