Almost three-and-a-half millennium old, the city of Athens is the largest city in Greece today. Athens is also the capital of Greece and has the most developed economy in the country. The cities in Greece bear monuments belonging to the Jewish, Roman, Ottoman, and Byzantine settlement. The city’s history dates back to several centuries and cultures the cities were influenced by the Roman Empire and the Turkish Empire before independence. The cities flourished to make Greece the cradle of Western civilization. Besides, the strategic location of the country along the Balkan Peninsula facilitated the development of ports, trading centers, and shipping docks.
Athens, the capital city of Greece, is also the largest city in the country. The town’s history dates back to the 11th and 7th millennia BC. It developed as a port of Piraeus, a center for arts, and as a scholarly center of the old world. The city development and diversified economy helped it grow to the birthplace of democracy and also the cradle of western civilization. Today, Athens is the largest cosmopolitan metropolis of Greece and serves as an economic, industrial, financial, maritime, culture, and political center of the country. The UBS study of 2015 ranked Athens as the 29th richest and 67th most expensive city in the world. The economy of Athens prospers on shipping, tourism, commerce, media, education, culture, international trade and arts, and entertainment. Athens has a population of 3,753,783 as of 2011.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city and the capital of Macedonia, Greece. As of 2011, the population of the city was 1,084,001. The city has the second-largest economy, transportation, industrial, commercial and political centers in the country. The port of Thessaloniki serves both Greece and the European hinterland. The economy is based on services like trade, education and healthcare, real estate, transport, communications and storing, financial institutions, public administration, and hospitality. The Thessaloniki port is one of the largest ports in the world and in 2010, the port served more than 15.8 million tons of products. The city GDP by 2011 was €18.293 billion with per capita income of €15,900. The city economy accounts for 8.9% of the total economy of the country.
Built on the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, Patras is the 3rd largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece. As of 2011, the city had a population of approximately 260,308. The city is a commercial hub while its port is a trading and communication point between Italy and Western Europe. Its economy is based on public sector services, finance industry, logistics, and trade. Other areas of the economy include tertiary education, construction and real estate, tourism, and manufacturing. Also every year the city hosts the Patras Carnival, the largest and most successful carnivore in the whole of Europe. In 2006, the city was named European Capital of culture thanks to the indigenous culture of the city.
Larissa is the transportation hub of Greece linked by roads and rails to the port of Volos, Athens, and Thessaloniki. The city is also connected to other cities in Europe via an international airport of Central Greece in Nea Anchialos. It is also a principal agricultural, industrial, and commercial center of the country. The city experiences cold and wet winters and the summers are hot and moist with destructive thunderstorms. Larissa has existed since antiquity. The region around Larissa had an important agricultural impact back in its developing days as it does today.
The principal environmental problem facing cities in Greece are industrial smog and automobile exhausts. Since over half of all Greece industries are in Athens, the pollution problem is quite high in the city. Over the years the government has had to shut down some industries, limit operations in others, and ban traffic in the city areas to regulate the smog and exhausts. Water pollution is another environmental problem in the cities. Most industries dump their industrial waste on water bodies because the country has few environmental protection laws and regulations.