Beyond the breathtaking beauty of the Parthenon, which dominates the city and the imagination, Athens is less well known than many other European cities. Surprisingly few guidebooks deal with it as a delightful destination in itself rather than a place to pass through. Based on walks through the city, the visitor is taken from the elegant neo-classical houses of the nineteenth century to arguably the most beautiful metro station in the world at Syntagma, a fantasy of shimmering reflections and a showcase for recent archaeology, or simply tracking down a rebetika club, where the revival of Greece's indigenous form of the blues continues until morning, this is the guide which reveals Athens in its every mood. This timely guide for both the first time visitor and the long established Grecophile includes an up to date selection of cafes, restaurants and hotels which reflect the best of Athens' eclectic character.
Elizabeth Speller read Archaeology and Classics at Cambridge. She has written for the Observer, Big Issue, Independent on Sunday and Woman's Journal, has appeared on Radio 4 and is the author of Granta City Guides: Rome. She lives in Gloucestershire, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Her memoir, Sunlight on the Garden, is also published by Granta Books in April 2006.