The New York Times has included Athens in its “52 Places to Go in 2017” list, adding that “the Greek debt crisis has not dampened Athens’ thriving arts scene” and backed by a photo of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).
Athens is among 51 world destinations including such diverse places as Botswana, Tijuana, Mexico; the Wyoming Grand Teton National Park, Detroit, Pedregal in Ecuador, Madagascar, Kingston, Jamaica; Gabon; Ketchum in Idaho, Belize and Langtang Region in Nepal.
The list is drawn up by NYT’s regular contributors, many of whom live overseas or travel extensively. The decisive factor is the timing. In the words of the paper’s editors: ‘’Why now? Why is this the year to go to a particular place?’’ The idea behind the choice is “a geographic and thematic diversity’’.
Indicative of this year’s trends for travel, many of the destinations selected are way off the beaten path, many are “comeback” areas while others are selected for their culinary or underground art scenes, wine offerings, extreme sport and adventure activities, demonstrating that 2017 will indeed be a year of hands-on experiences.
Athens holds the 28th spot on the NYT list and is described as undergoing ‘’a post-crisis art boom in an ancient capital’’. The NYT refers to the 2017 edition of the documenta 14 art exhibition, to be co-hosted by Athens this year, the opening of new galleries, collectives and nonprofit art organizations, including Radio Athènes, which hosts pop-up lectures and performances, and the immigration-focused Nomadic Architecture Network. It also makes mention of the EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art, and of course the SNFCC, which is designed by Renzo Piano.
Cyprus holds the 21st spot for its ‘’cultural and culinary renewal”.
The remaining destinations are: Canada at number one, Chile’s Atacama Desert second and Agra, India third. Followed by Zermatt, Switzerland; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Detroit, Michigan; Hamburg, Germany; Marrakesh, Morocco; Greenville, South Carolina; Penzance, England; Osaka, Japan; Stockholm, Sweden; Sikkim, India; Île de Porquerolles, France; Sanya, China; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Comporta, Portugal; Kazakhstan; Northwest Puerto Rico; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Napa Valley, California; Puerto Escondido, Mexico; Sedona, Arizona; Madrid; Maldives; Calabria, Italy; Antequera, Spain; Lofoten Islands, Norway; Iberá Wetlands, Argentina; Istria, Croatia; Bozcaada (the former Greek island of Tenedos) in Turkey; Birmingham, Alabama; Sacred Valley, Peru; Laikipia, Kenya; Busan, South Korea; Portland, Oregon; Budapest, Hungary; South Bronx, New York and the Ryukyu Islands in Japan.