Life in Athens - University of Kent at Athens

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Excavation site in Athens

Elefsina is a quiet suburb of Athens with a very rich past, both ancient and modern. In this area of world-class archaeological significance, you can immerse yourself in the history and culture of ancient Greece while exploring all that modern Athens has to offer.

History and heritage

Elefsina (greek name: Ελευσίνα, ancient name: Ελευσίς - Eleusis) is an Athenian suburb and municipality located approximately 18 km from the centre of Athens. The archaeological sites in and around Athens attract visitors from all over the world. From the Acropolis and the Theatre of Dionysus to the Temple of Zeus, the city is steeped in culture and history.

When you're not exploring the city's countless ancient ruins, visit one of the many museums exhibiting important works of Western art. Besides archaeology, there are various collections of folk art, music, Byzantine, Jewish and Islamic art to explore. Show your student ID at the entrance and you can get in for free (or for a reduced price at small, private museums).

Roman remains in excavation site at Eleusis
Roman remains in the Eleusis excavation site

Capitals of culture

The cities of Athens and Elefsina are both thriving cultural centres. Elefsina has been selected as the 2021 European Capital of Culture, an initiative started in 1985 as the European City of Culture, with Athens the first title-holder. There are cultural events almost every day of the week and all-year round, ranging from free exhibitions to world-class opera.

In the birthplace of drama, there is unsurprisingly a very active theatre scene with a season that runs from November until early spring. There are performances in English but it's definitely worth going to a Greek performance for the experience – even if you don't understand the language.

Social life

Whether you want to visit the cinema, go shopping, take in the sights or just sit and watch the world go by, there's sure to be something that interests you.

Cinemas show a variety of films, from Hollywood to Bollywood, and during the summer months many have open-air, rooftop showings. Films are usually shown in their original language with Greek subtitles, so you may find many that are in English.

Athens and Elefsina have plenty of shops where you can buy clothes, household goods and other essentials. There are also kiosks on street corners which are open most of the day and have everything you might need when walking around, from bottles of cold water to newspapers.

Food and drink

The country lies at the junction of Europe and the Middle East, so its cuisine is influenced by both regions. Olive oil is a must-have, while lemon juice, garlic and oregano feature heavily in many Greek signature dishes, such as moussaka and stuffed vine leaves.

Taverna menu board in Athens
A traditional Greek taverna

If you're eating out, central Athens has everything from rustic tavernas serving Greek classics to Michelin-starred restaurants showcasing the finest domestic ingredients. The city is also famous for its 'taverna' culture where evening meals start as late as 10pm. They can also carry on long into the night, with locals and tourists alike making the most of the flexible closing times.

The warm weather helps to make Greece a major fruit producing country. Autumn is the season to enjoy figs and grapes before the winter months introduce an array of citrus fruits. In the summer you can indulge in fresh cherries, nectarines, peaches and apricots, as well as the country's world-famous watermelons.

Relocating to Athens

Moving to another country is an exciting but potentially daunting experience. We are here to help with key practical issues such as visas, accommodation and transport to make the process as smooth as possible.

All non-EU or EEA students require a visa to study in Athens. The process can be fairly lengthy but AUEB (Athens University of Economics and Business) administrative staff can guide you through every step of the process.

You also need to secure your own accommodation as there are no halls of residence. We do have connections with letting companies and can help you find a suitable place to live. If you choose to look for accommodation yourself, we recommend that you arrive in Athens two weeks earlier than the programme’s start date.

Gallery

Herodes theatre of the Acropolis in Athens

Herodes theatre of the Acropolis in Athens

Erechtheum at the Acropolis

Erechtheum at the Acropolis

Archaeological remains in Eleusis

Archaeological remains in Eleusis

Davelis Cave at Penteli mountain

Davelis Cave at Penteli mountain

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

Archaeological remains

Archaeological remains

Elefsina

Eleusis, home of the Eleusinian Mysteries.