The heart of modern Greece beats in the historic centre of Athens—but contrary to what you’d think, it has little to do with ancient ruins.

Shopping, Politics & Grand Designs

Most visitors would imagine the Acropolis to be the ‘historic centre’ of Athens. But just as classical Greek society centred on politics and trade, so does modern Greece. Commerce remains anchored in the triangle formed by Syntagma, Omonia, and Monastiraki Squares—the city’s ‘historic triangle’ that contains both the banking institutions that are the economy’s backbone and the one-man enterprises that represent its psyche. Politics is also firmly rooted here: Parliament overlooks the city’s largest public square and many key ministries such as Finance and Foreign Affairs are located here. It is not quite the ‘navel of the earth’ like Delphi, but it is certainly where a place where the decisions made reverberate throughout Greece.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Syntagma

Shopping on Ermou & Aiolou

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Varvakios Market

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

The Neoclassical Triad

Photo: Thomas Gravanis