European Union

Why Athens

Why Athens

Once upon a time…

in Ancient Greece, a mythical king of the city, Cecrops, decided to look for a patron deity for what was later to become the grand city-state of Athens.

Two Olympian gods appeared particularly interested in assuming the patronage: Poseidon, the god of the Seas and Athena, the goddess of Wisdom and Skill. In a judgment competition, they were asked to o‑er a unique gift that would be truly valuable for the city.

Poseidon was first in line and used his trident to create a well. However the water turned out salty and was thus deemed not very useful by the locals. Athena came next and she chose to plant an olive tree, as a symbol of peace and prosperity on earth. The olive tree which to this day symbolizes peace, kindness and friendship has become an intimate feature of the city and its philosophy, establishing the primacy of the goddess within the city that would take her name. From Athens’ foundation myth to dozens of other tales, Ancient Greece was immersed in myths and captivating stories. This is very much reflected in the contemporary Athenian scene, which is also full of stories bursting with creativity and character, lively debates and intellectual exchange. Athens today is a mix of Athena’s wisdom and Poseidon’s extravagance. Still, these juxtapositions weave the city’s DNA and pave an arena of open dialogue and out of the box concepts and a field of continuous search for ingenious approaches to resolve all kinds of challenges, even the most complex ones.

As the story goes…

As a result, today, Athens has evolved into a shining example of a city that taps into initiatives and networks to drive growth and come up with attractive solutions for its residents and visitors, those who want to invest and create. Against all adversities, we have been working intensively towards building coalitions that showcase our great potential and outstanding attractions. We know that our unique history and heritage juxtaposed with our contemporary vibe, however using Athena's wisdom and Poseidon's power we have started creating stories which we are proud to share again and which put forth the city's new profile.

Contact Details

Athens Development and

Destination Agency


Xenofontos 7, 105 57

Athens, Greece


+30 210 32 53 123

+30 210 52 01 611

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