In this quarter, spreading between Vasilissis Sofias Avenue and Mount Lycabettus, history, the ‘aura’ from a series of symbolic buildings and the authenticity of old residents meet with an intense aesthetics, the trendy stores of all types and the always stylish people frequenting its streets. If you are looking for the latest trends, you should visit Kolonaki. Where else, in the capital’s centre no less, will you be able to find such a wide variety of choice in cosy bars with informed music, trendy bars and also value for money quality suggestions?
EXARCHIA – NEAPOLI
Exarchia is an historic urban area between Kolonaki and mount Lycabettus with an intense personality still fascinating today. People here want to have a good time and know exactly how to do just that, which is why the quarter has a distinctly friendly atmosphere. Irrespective of your budget, you will surely find various ways to spend your time creatively in Exarchia, exchange views and mainly just have fun.
Several neoclassical buildings, some deserted and others well kept, small stores reminiscent of old Athens, cafés with a distinct character, authentic little taverns, modern spots for street food, places to enjoy a glass of raki with honey or delicious tit bits, well informed bookstores and record stores, alternative hairdressers and atmospheric bars compose a unique and colourful setting.
This is an area mainly…rebellious, with an intense temperament, filled with galleries, print shops, art and culture centres, a city within the city supporting a culture of independence, an area that is alive, colourful, noisy and bohemian! It is not surprising that Exarchia was included in the list of the ten coolest areas of Europe by the Independent!
SYNTAGMA SQ / St IRENE SQ
Syntagma is an excellent choice for a cup of coffee or a night out because it has places where the most interesting people of the city hang out, where one may listen to good music and, since it is the centre of the city, one may find here transportation of all kinds and to all destinations.
A little bit further down, you will find St Irene Sq, one of the most beautiful squares of Athens and an ideal destination for a morning coffee, brunch, or a nice dinner followed by refreshing cocktails or drinks.
Right next to the square, on Kolocotroni St you can enjoy a drink in one of the most historic places of the city centre, have a cocktail on the street’s ‘new entries’ that became an immediate hit, eat a street burger or a crêpe and return home in the early hours of the morning after a magical night in the city!
In this bustling historic triangle of Athens, Karytsi Sq is a dominant player in the city’s night life with excellent choices of various little bars attracting Athenians with their unique style.
MONASTIRAKI / PSIRRI
Monastiraki is many things at once, much like Athens. This is why it is the city’s perfect miniature and also the place where its heart beats. An earthy and casual district, Monastiraki will always be a reference point as well as the ideal starting point for our walks around Athens.
Located on the other side of Ermou Str, in the square formed by Ermou, Athinas, Evripidou and Sarri Streets together with the tiny Heroes square, Psyrri has returned energetically, after a small period of economic recession, to play its role in Athenian entertainment.
This is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Athens, with dozens of workshops and small craft industries paired today with cosy coffee houses, new age taverns, casual little bars as well as studios of new designers, while the remaining neoclassical buildings and the narrow pedestrian alleys paint in distinct colours one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods of the city centre.
THISSIO / PLAKA
One of the best walks – and by extension neighbourhoods – of Athens is in the sunny Thissio with its pedestrian zones and wonderful neoclassical buildings in its back alleys. After a walk full of colours and perfumes, chances are that you will seek the flavours that will make up for the lost calories.
In Plaka, neighbourhoods perfume of jasmine and white lime. Alleys, the Acropolis, romance; this is an area with a distinct magical identity. Plaka is one of the most picturesque quarters of Athens. The little houses will make dream you lived here while its alleys remind one of a Greek island. It has cobblestone streets for endless walks, welcoming set of steps from where to enjoy a glass of raki with honey and loads of ancient sites to visit. It also has the beautiful neighbourhood of Anafiotika at the top end. It has flowerpots with basil, bougainvilleas, people greeting you with a smile, enjoying titbits and Greek coffees prepared in hot sand/ashes (hovoli) in their favourite little hangouts.
Other than the fact that this is one of the most historic and artistic neighbourhoods of Athens – it is here that you will find the house of Manos Hadjidakis among others – Pagrati has an intense night life with various choices without being extremely crowded. Those who want to enjoy a relaxed afternoon or evening with a cup of coffee, a bite to eat or a drink, come here to Proskopon Sq or the popular Archelaou St and so this area has become one of the most popular destinations of Athens with stores maintaining their quality and finesse!
ANO PETRALONA / KOUKAKI
Ano Petralona is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Athens, revived over the last few years and now a hotspot for young people. It has kept its unique character remaining a picturesque old neighborhood reminiscent of the aura of Athens of old. Cafés, bars, taverns, restaurants and even yoga studios, appear in each corner and alley, breathing new life in an ordinary area which is today one of the most elegant choices for entertainment.
If you walk around Koukaki, you shall find an area in constant alertness and mobility. All-day spaces with a beautiful design win you over immediately, coffee houses but also cute old shops are all to be found in a quarter which is now attracting those looking for an authentic area where one may relax and enjoy its varied colours.