Greek Classics; Destination: ATHENS despite Economic Woe, City's Array of Iconic Buildings Still Make It a Must-Visit

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ALTHOUGH the economic woes which beset Greece have sent shockwaves through Europe, there's good news for tourists.

Although the heady days when you could dine like a king for a handful of drachma are long gone, holiday prices have fallen.

And if you're headed for Athens, traditionally an expensive city in which to stay, there could be no better time to visit.

Once known for its smog and tacky tourist traps, the Greek capital these days boasts spotless parks and streets, a modern metro system, new motorways, an accessible airport and signs in perfect English.

But the big attraction is history and heritage. You'll find attractions ranging from the iconic Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

FACTFILE LANGUAGE: Greek CURRENCY: Euro TIME ZONE: GMT + 3 FLIGHTS: British Airways, Thomson, flybe, Thomas Cook and easyjet are among the main carriers.

BEST MONTHS: Autumn and spring still get the sunshine but lack the hordes of tourists.

VISAS ETC: EU passport holders do not require a visa. No vaccinations required.

HOTELS POSH: Hotel Grande Bretagne, Vas. Georgiou A' 1, Constitution Square ( A 19th century palace facing the main Syntagma Square and adjacent to the Parliament Building. The Acropolis, the New Acropolis Museum and Plaka are within a kilometre.

Built in 1862, locals call the hotel the 'Royal Box'.

The skylit Winter Garden is the setting for meals.

Expect to pay around PS230 a night for a luxurious double room this June.

BUDGET: Athens House Hostel Aristotelous 4 THE hostel-style Athens House is within 800 metres of the Acropolis district. Facilities include a lounge, 24-hour reception and internet access.

Pay from PS8.85 per person per night in June this year for a twin room with a shared toilet. …