Athens is considered as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. Piraeus, its port, is both the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world.
The city boasts many ancient monuments and works of art, including the Parthenon, the Acropolis and the medieval Daphni Monastery. It also was the home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum.
Last but not least, Athens hosted the first modern-day Olympic Games (1896) and the 2004 Summer Olympics. Its National Archeological Museum features the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities.
Another thing for which Athens is famous is its marathon.
The Athens Classic Marathon is a long-distance running road race happening every November. It is based on the story according to which Greek soldier Philippides ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens in 490 B.C. to announce that the Greeks had defeated the Persians. He then collapsed and died from exhaustion shortly after.
The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896. However, the distance (42.195 kilometres) became standardized in 1921.