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Athens

Athens

Cheap city breaks to Athens

 

Athens is probably the one that has changed the most in recent years. But even though Athens has become a modern metropolis, it still retains a good deal of its old small town feel. Here antiquity meets the future, and the ancient monuments form a classical backdrop to a new and trendier Athens – and it is precisely these great contrasts that make the city such a fascinating place to explore.

Athens heyday was around 400 years BC—that’s when most of the classical monuments were built.

During the Byzantine and Turkish eras, the city decayed into just an insignificant little village, only to become the capital of newly-liberated Greece in 1833. Ahead of the 2004 Olympics, almost the entire infrastructure was transformed—the Metro, trams, new ring roads and viaducts have eased the pressure of the heavy traffic.

Athens is still a rather messy and chaotic place—it wouldn’t be Athens otherwise—and despite all the improvements, still retains a great deal of its oriental charm. The whole coastal stretch from Piraeus to the old Hellenikon airport has been improved with new plantings, viaducts and paths for walking. The Plaka quarter is becoming more popular and is on the way to catching up with Psyrri, Gazi and Rouf as regards restaurants. Discover the right places in the Anafiotika district, at the feet of the Acropolis, and you will find it still has a village feel in the midst of the city. In Exarchia, there is still a somewhat in-your-face anarchic atmosphere around the Technical University. Meanwhile, Kolonaki is becoming more and more chic.

Discover the right places in the Anafiotika district, at the feet of the Acropolis, and you will find it still has a village feel in the midst of the city. In Exarchia, there is still a somewhat in-your-face anarchic atmosphere around the Technical University.

In the Psyrri district, the former handicraft workshops have been converted to trendy restaurants and cafés, and this has continued out to Gazi and Rouf. Many chefs came ‘home’ from Australia or America, carrying granny’s recipes in their luggage, and were appalled at the Turkish menus. You can still find simple taverns serving good home fare, but it is the ”new” Greek cuisine that has been winning all the laurels.

Athenians love to sit in a kafeneion, sipping Greek coffee or frappé, iced coffee. But these days the new fashion for caffe latte and cappuccino is gaining ground. Try also an ouzerie- an establishment specializing in small dishes (mezes), mostly served with Greek ouzo, hence the name. They are not that common any more, usually they come in combinations such as mezedopolio-ouzerie (more like a restaurant), Café/ouzeries or kafeneion-ouzerie (serving coffee and ouzo).

Athens is not really a city of fine bars – for that you should visit some of the international hotels. On the other hand, there are lots of combined bars/cafés that serve both. Often combined with some food, as it is the Greek custom to eat a little snack to go with drinks. In the summer, much of the night life moves out to Glyfada and Vouliagmenis along the coast.

The best shopping streets are Voukourestiou, Patriarhou Ioakim, Skoufa, Tsakalof, Kanari and the side streets around Kolonaki. There are many designer clothes, expensive boutiques and jewellers. Try, for example, Emporiko Centro, an exclusive galleria of several floors with gold, ties, clocks and watches, glasses and a Gucci boutique. In this area is also Old Athens—a shoe and handbag shop with a 1960s flavour, when ladies wore gloves and pearl necklaces à la Jackie O and Maria Callas. The shop owner was a fashion editor before setting up on his own, putting Greek handmade accessories on the map.

In the middle of Athinas street which runs between Monastiraki and Omonia square is the covered market hall which occupies a whole block, with a fish market in the middle. All around are butchers and spice shops, and around the market are several simple but good places to eat. Like onion soup in the Paris markets, here you eat patsa or tripe soup to ease the effects of ouzo. You will also find little shops selling specialties like Pastourma (a kind of Pastrami) and Armenian and Russian specialties brought here by the Greeks who once resided in the Black Sea region and now belong to the Greek cuisine. This is the area to go if you are a foodie.

 

This 3 star modern hotel conveniently located next to Athens Central Market. Every guest room is individually decorated and equipped with air conditioning- fridge- flat-screen satellite TV and safe. Start each day with a rich buffet breakfast included..
This city hotel lies very close to the centre of Athens. Its location on Patission Street means that it is directly accessible by bus and trolley bus. Numerous stores and services - from supermarkets to rent-a-car stations- can be found in the hotel's..
The hotel is located in the heart of Athens. Whether visiting Athens either on business or for pleasure, the hotel provides a warm and friendly. It has 115 rooms in total and there is also a bar/café available. Guests can relax in their rooms (singles,..
The hotel is located in the heart of Athens. Whether visiting Athens either on business or for pleasure- the hotel provides a warm and friendly. It has 115 rooms in total and there is also a bar/café available. Guests can relax in their rooms (singles-..
Property Location With a stay at Athens Diamond Plus, you'll be centrally located in Athens, minutes from Metropolis Greek Orthodox Cathedral and Syntagma Square. This romantic hotel is close to Hellenic Parliament and Roman Agora.Rooms Make yourself..
The hotel provides guests with a comfortable place to stay at reasonable prices and features all the amenities of a modern hotel. It is a great choice for any stay in the centre of Athens. Further facilities include an entrance hall, hotel safe, lift..
This hotel has a great location on Pireos Street, just five minutes¿ walk from Omonia Square and 10 minutes from Monastiraki old town and its historical sites, including the Acropolis. Plaka is just beyond Monastiraki, a further five minutes¿..
Athens odeon hotel is housed in an eight-storey building that was fully remodelled in 2004 and offers to guests single, double and triple rooms according to requirements. Rooms are distinguished as those facing the front of the building and piraeus street..
It is located in the heart of Athens next to Mavili square, in a safe area 10 min. walk from Kolonaki area, the most popular commercial and shopping area. Just 5 min walk to the Athens Concert Hall and Venizelos Park, 15 min from the National Gallery...
Property Location With a stay at Athinais Hotel, you'll be centrally located in Athens, steps from U.S. Embassy and Mavili Square. This hotel is close to Hellenic Parliament and Syntagma Square. Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 84 air-conditioned..
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