Athens (pronounced /ˈæθɨnz/; Greek: Αθήνα, Athina, IPA: [aˈθina]), the capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Atticaperiphery; as one of the world's oldest cities, its recorded history spans around 3,400 years.
The Greek capital has a population of 745,513 (in 2001) within its administrative limits and a land area of 39 km2 (15 sq mi). Theurban area of Athens extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3,130,841 (in 2001) and a land area of 412 km2(159 sq mi). According to Eurostat, the Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) is the 7th most populous LUZ in the European Union (the 5th most populous capital city of the EU) with a population of 4,013,368 (in 2004). A bustling and cosmopolitan metropolis, Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece and it is rated as an alpha- world city. It is rapidly becoming a leading business centre in the European Union. In 2008, Athens was ranked the world's 32nd richest city by purchasing power  and the 25th most expensive in a UBS study.