Athens is not short of iconic neighbourhoods and landmarks that are recognized the world over. However, like any great city, she is constantly evolving and areas that were once written off as unfashionable are now emerging as interesting and dynamic places to be. It would be a disservice to attempt to cover every neighbourhood that you should try to visit, so for today, let us introduce you to three up and coming stars; Metaxourghio, Petralona & Koukaki. It’s time to leave the tourist trail and discover Athens like a local!
Coming to the metropolis of Athens, sandy beaches and cerulean waters may not be the image that springs to mind. Yet like so many things about this contradictory city, it is one of the many delights Athens has to offer. Whether you prefer to spend your days and nights in luxurious marinas, Tahitian-esque beach bars and decadent spas, or you simply want to seek out a tranquil escape from the trappings of the city, the Athens Riviera awaits you.
If there is one city in Europe that truly has something for everyone, it is the mythic city of Athens. Architecture, history, great food, nightlife, street art, shopping, music dens, beaches and even mountains… the list goes on! Not to mention the spirit of hospitality and cultivation that permeates the walls of this ancient city. Chaotic but bursting with character our enigmatic city of Athena, immortalised by Socrates, has famously charmed the likes of Byron, Leigh Fermor and De Benieres; now is your chance to let her charm you!
What associations are conjured up by the magical, mythical name of Athens? The hulking presence of the Acropolis, rising white over the city skyline like a phantom ship emerging from the mists of time? Inevitably; the jagged edges of Mount Lycabettus, standing erect in the centre of the city like a magnificent green iconostasis? Certainly; the Temple of Olympian Zeus, its ancient pillars melting into a backdrop of rocky outcrops, palm and cypress trees? Probably. But of all the associations one could make with Athens, the beach would not be high on the list. And yet surely when wandering around the Ancient Agora in 38 degree-heat the temptation must be to dive into the deliciously refreshing waters of the Aegean.
Symbolic of the prowess and prestige of Hellenic nautical history, the port of Piraeus is not only the heart of Greece’s shipping industry but one of the busiest passenger ports in Europe and has been since antiquity. Today, where cargo containers wait to be distributed across the world, lies the port from which Themistocles launched his fleet to defeat the Persians. Yet beyond the ferry births and naval ships lies a region rich in architecture, archaeology and culinary delights. Whether Piraeus is a short stop on your cruise or a day of adventure during your stay in Athens, this historic setting, with its eclectic mix of modern and ancient, has a little something for everyone.
Visiting a country for the first time usually implies visiting its capital: it’s often the country’s most widely-known region, the easiest point to access by plane and the historical and cultural centre of your destination.However, what do Athenians really think of Athens? Getting to know a city involves more than being able to wander its streets without a map, it also means learning the clichés, and sharing the local jokes ―and we help you do it!
It's a warm sunny morning and you're taking a walk in the center of Athens. From the vivid and colorful market of the Monastiraki Square, your steps lead you towards the hill of the Acropolis and the noise of the city starts giving way to the serenity of the lovely Plaka neighborhood. As you wander in its narrow streets, you start losing track of time and you suddenly find yourself going up some paved steps, which lead you to a magical place! Welcome to Anafiotika, a hidden island right in the heart of Athens!