Plaka Neighborhoud
Plaka Neighborhoud : Image Owned by Greeking.me

When you hear that there is an island located in the heart of Athens, you may believe that we are crazy or there is a mistake in the title of this post. But it is completely true that when you visit the Plaka neighborhoud in Athens, you will feel like you are on one of our many Greek islands. It’s the perfect city escape...right in the heart of the city!

Best things to do in Athens: Plaka

Plaka may be a popular tourist spot but this doesn't mean that the neighborhood has lost it's authentic character. On the contrary, walking through the narrow streets of Plaka will give you a taste of a very different Athens. With charming architecture, picturesque cafes and tavernas and magenta bougainvillea adorning many a balcony, Plaka is a haven away from the more concrete dominant neighbourhoods of Athens. There are also a large number of boutique shops selling traditional products such as feta, honey, olive oils, ouzo and tsipouro. If you are looking for unique jewellery, organic cosmetics, brightly coloured pashminas, leather sandals or perhaps an oil painting of the Acropolis, Plaka is the place to go.

plaka-neighborhoodA picturesque cafe in Plaka
Image owned by Greeking.me

Plaka is known as the "Neighborhood of Gods" because of its beauty and proximity to the Acropolis and other archaeological sites. During King Otto's rule, the name "Plaka" became more known but its true origin is not certain. In the past, the neighborhood was known by various names such as Alikokou and Kontito.Situated between Syntagma Square, Psyrri district and Monastiraki Square, Plaka is located right in the heart of the city and is the neighbourhood around which modern Athens was built.

Athens Orientation Tour with Greek Coffee
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Access to Plaka
Plaka covers a wide area in the center of Athens and it is quite easy to find it. A nice way to do so is to find the exit of the Acropolis Metro Station at Makrygianni Street and enter the Plaka neighborhoud via Vyronos Street (it is the narrow street with tourist shops opposite to the Acropolis Metro Station exit).Most roads in Plaka do not allow for traffic however there are some that do so please keep that in mind as you are walking the streets.

plakaPlaka neighborhood
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Adrianou Street is the most central street in the Plaka neighborhood. It is a mostly commercial street nowadays, but the taste of old Athens in this beautiful street is indelible. It actually connects the Monastiraki Agora with Lysicratous Street, where you can find the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates. It also intersects with Kidathineon Str, where you can find Cine Paris, one of the most beautiful open air cinemas in Athens. When walking in Andrianou Str, chances are that you'll find something to buy, like a souvenir to bring back home, and, of course taste souvlaki, the most famous Greek street food. Be brave & order the original one, with lot's of gyros and tzatziki!

Anafiotika: An island in Athens!

On the slopes of the Acropolis lies a beautiful, hidden neighbourhood of Anafiotika. During King Otto’s reign carpenters and stone masons from the Cycladic island of Anafi were brought to Athens to help with the refurbishment of the King’s palace. They were housed here and in answer to their homesickness they build a charming neighbourhood in the style of their beloved island. Later, during the 1930s, Greek refugees from Asia Minor also established themselves in this area and added their own traditions to Anafiotika’s charm. Walking through this neighbourhood is an absolute must of an afternoon and by night, with the lights of traditional cafes and restaurants perched on the winding steps, the romantic atmosphere is truly captivating.

anafiotikaAnafiotika
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If you wish to explore the beautiful area of Plaka, learn more of its history and hidden cultural treasures, join us for a morning stroll of Athens!