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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.

 

Enjoying a privileged situation in the heart of Athens, right in the centre of a commercial district of the Greek capital, this wonderful contemporary hotel is a perfect base for a business travel, romantic gateway or a city break. The ancient Acropolis..
Anixi boutique hotel is a newly renovated hotel close to airport. Guests enjoy refurbished rooms with free Wi-Fi and full American breakfast.Anixi boutique hotel offers bright and spacious guestrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Each air-conditioned unit..
The Candia Hotel offers comfortable accommodations at affordable rates within walking distance of some of Athens`s top attractions and its located near Metaxourgio metro station. Enjoy breakfast on the roof garden with views of the Acropolis. All of the..
Situated near the most popular pedestrian street of the city, in the center of old Athens, next to the Ancient Market. Monastiraki flea market, Syntagma square and many other monuments, are very close to the hotel. Hotel facilities include air conditioning,..
Central Hotel is centrally located in the heart of the Old City of Plaka and the Acropolis, only 200 m. away from the Constitution square, the city's business district. Enjoy a brief business trip or discover the Ancient Greek civilization in the area..
Central Athens Hotel is located in the heart of the Old Town area of Plaka close to the famous Acropolis. This is an ideal hotel for business travellers you will be just 200 metres from Constitution Square in the city¿s business district. This is..
This charming hotel is strategically situated in the picturesque area of Plaka, 200 metres from Syntagma Square. The central shopping district of Athens is a short stroll from the hotel. Local tourist attractions such as Metropolis Greek Orthodox Cathedral..
Enjoy a brief business trip or discover the Ancient Greek civilization in the area around the hotel and relax in our completely renovated rooms with the stunning view to the Acropolis. All rooms are designed to meet the highest standards of accommodation..
Located close to Victoria metro station, 3.5 km from the Acropolis, 3.5 km from the Temple of Olympian Zeus and 3 km from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens. Facilities and services include a 24 hrs reception, safety box at front desk, elevator, cafe..
This hotel enjoys a prime setting in Athens. The hotel lies within a short distance of a myriad of attractions- including Athens Olympic Stadium- Kavoutsakis Art Institute- Goulandris National History Museum and Mall Athens. The hotel welcomes guests..

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