Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence started somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Athens is located in the southern part of Greece. Athens is spread out across the central plain of Attica. In fact, Athens is located around a number of hills; Lycabettus is one of the tallest hills in the region. The Athens metropolitan area is the centre of economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece. The Athens as a metropolitan economic area produced 130 billion US-dollars as GDP in PPP, which consists nearly a half of the production for the whole country. In the list with the strongest economic metropoles of the world Athens was ranked that year 102nd, while the GDP per capita for the same year was 32,000 US-dollars.
Athens is one of the major economic centres in south-eastern Europe and is considered a regional economic power in Europe generally. The port of Piraeus, where big investments by COSCO have already been delivered during the recent decade, the completion of the new Cargo Centre in Thriasion, the expansion of the Athens Metro and the Athens Tram, as well as the Hellenikon metropolitan park redevelopment in Elliniko and other economic projects are the economic landmarks of the upcoming years.
Important Greek companies such as Hellenic Aerospace Industry, Hellas Sat, Mytilineos Holdings, Titan Cement, Hellenic Petroleum, Papadopoulos E.J., Folli Follie, Jumbo S.A., OPAP, and Cosmote have their headquarters in the metropolitan area of Athens. Multinational companies such as Ericsson, Sony, Siemens, Motorola, Samsung, Microsoft, Novartis, Mondelez, Coca-Cola, etc. have their regional research and development headquarters also there.
The 28-storey Athens Tower, which houses offices, was completed in 1971 and is the tallest building in Greece. The banking sector is represented by National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, and Piraeus Bank, while the Bank of Greece is also situated in the City Centre. The Athens Stock Exchange is the only Stock Exchange in Greece.
Tourism is also a great contributor for the economy of the city, which is considered one of the top destinations in Europe for city-break tourism and is also the gateway for excursions to the islands or the mainland. Greece attracted over 33 million in 2018, making Greece one of the most visited countries in Europe and the world, and contributing 18% to the nation's Gross Domestic Product. Athens welcomed more than 5 million tourists in 2018 and 1.4 million of them were on a city-break.
Athens is rated Beta by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions to the world economy.
Athens is the #92 city in the world according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) which evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of the major financial centres of the world according to a wide range of criteria – Human Capital, Business, Finance, Infrastructure and Reputation.
Athens is rated C+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. C+ cities are strong international gateway cities. Athens was ranked #62 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Athens has a population of over 3,100,000 people. Athens also forms part of the wider Athens metropolitan area which has a population of over 3,800,000 people.