Greetings from Sunny Greece, we are at the moment on the beautiful island of Rhodes. I’ll be honest I haven’t explored Greece very much at all and feel that this is something I need to address over the next few years. Top of my list is certainly Athens, and has been for quite a while. So when Giwta Markou, an Athens local got in touch offering information regarding touring the city I jumped at the chance of featuring her as a guest writer. She has certainly sold Athens to me and hopefully her information will inspire you to visit too.
The subway arrived on Syntagma Square. While we are going upstairs with the escalators we can see on the walls ancient pots and skeletons from the ancient years. Behind the square there is the Parliament and the National Garden with the cutest children’s library, the small lake and some archaic marvels. Before 1940 there were living deers, roe deers and exotic birds. Now, National Garden has only some ducks and birds. If the hot weather tired you from your ambulation to the fully green landscape, then you can rest in a café /bar on Voulis Street or on the beautiful Kolokotroni Street. Syntagma has a 24th hour bus so don’t be in a rush. If you want to go for shopping, then Ermou Street, which crosses over Monastiraki neighborhood, is ideal.
If you want to “get lost” in the small alleyways before you reach at Monastiraki then you should walk to Syntagma streets which lead you to Plaka or Ancient Athens. Plaka is full of paved roads, old houses with yards, quaint churches and lots of museums which are almost in a row for you to choose. There are also many café and taverns.
After you walk on Lussia Street, you will reach at Monastiraki with the ancient underground river Iridanos from 5th Century B.C and with the ancient church which is dated back at 11th century A.C. To the right there is the little tourist alley where you can buy souvenirs and it joins up with Aiolou Street and Saint Erin Square which is a center for cafés.
If you take the road down to your left you can reach at Psurri locality. This road has only bars, small tavernas with live music for wine and food. In that small neighborhood at the corner of Iroon Square you can find the most delicious sweet store with tables on the sidewalks. Remember, you are still next to the subway station and metro also. For a nice walk you can continue on Ifaistou Street [its old name was Giftadika]. Now, Ifaistou Street is the Flea Market of Monastiraki and it is opposite of Psurri. There you can find small clothing stores, antique shops and cafes in the small alleys with excellent view in Acropolis.
If we move straight ahead we already reached the ruins of the Ancient Agora of Athens, the heart of the old city. Lengthwise, there are numerous stores for food and coffee. At the end of the road is Thissio train station. For a nice walk, stroll to the pavement of Saint Paul with the flea jewelers and souvenirs market which is between the train station and Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, where the Museum of Acropolis and Odeon of Herodes Atticus are located. Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theater, which was made at 2th Century A.C, in honor of Aspasia Annia Regilla. On the other side of Dionysiou Areopagitou Street is Filoppapou Hill or Hill of the Muses named because of the Monument of the Muses. Filopappou is perfect for hiking and admiring the ancient ruins. There are small labels with the history of each monument.
For the night entertaiment you will love a visit at Gazi neighborhood, on the other side of Thissio. Lots of clubs that play all kind of music, from Rock to indie, house, electronic and greek of course. If you want to eat something after your drunkenness you can find traditional souvlaki, burgers, pasta, pizza and mexican food. It is cheap and tasty. Gazi has also a metro station “Kerameikos”, which Fridays and Saturdays
works till 2’oclock p.m and a night bus that gives you the opportunity to go everywhere you want.
Remember, all of these neighborhoods are in an “imaginary” circle, so whatever road you follow, there is no chance to lose your way because they are so close to walk them by feet and all the roads lead to:
o Ancient ruins
o Cafes and bars
o Food stores
o Happy people
Giwta Markou is a graduate of Librarian Arts and Information Studies Department of Athens, Greece. She believes that stories are inextricable with melodies from where she gets inspired the most. Her stories are available at her personal website – Aewnian You can also follow her on Instagram.