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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.

 

Ideally situated in the heart of Athens- this city hotel is only an eight-minute walk from the fascinating National Archaeological Museum. Sightseers will definitely wish to see the Acropolis and explore the New Acropolis Museum- and might also visit..
Hotel are spacious and equipped with a satellite tv, fridge and ironing facilities. Each is decorated with earthy colours, carpeted floors and draped curtains.The lobby bar serves light snacks, sweets and drinks. The hotel features an internet café..
This hotel offers great value for money and is ideally situated in Metaxourgeio area with easy access to all city`s attractions such as National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Benaki, Acropolis Museums and just 10 minutes walk from Parthenon. Golden..
The property consists of 540 units on 3 levels (elevator) and in several low rise bungalows surrounded by landscaped gardens. The main building features lobby, reception, safety boxes, bar, restaurant, barbecue, cafe, wine bar, Wi Fi internet, children´s..
Other amenities/services: Rooms with Direct-dial phone, Safe box, Free vdsl wifi, Private Balcony, heating/AC, hairdryer, mini bar. Important place or monument close to the hotel: Beach - 100m. Nearest airport: Athens International Airport - 20km. Glyfada..
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antebellum charm meets space age fun...welcome to the Hampton Inn & Suites Athens/I-65 Welcome to the Hampton Inn & Suites Athens/I-65, ideally nestled at the base of the Smokey Mountains, just 25 miles West of Huntsville, AL. The Hampton Inn..
This hotel has a good location on the Sygrou Avenue side of Athens, offering easy access to the business district, Syntagma Square (two metro stops or a three minute drive), the Acropolis/Plaka sightseeing area (one metro stop) and the downtown heart..
Hellinis Hotel is located in Athens just a three minute drive from the city centre, Syntagma Square and Port of Piraeus. There is a bus stop just outside the hotel and the nearest Metro Station is just 700 metres away giving you easy access to explore..
Ideally located in the Plaka Old Town district of Athens and within walking distance of Syntagma Square, the famous Ermou shopping street, Monastiraki Square, the Temple of Zeus and the Acropolis.The good-sized rooms, all recently refurbished, are bright..

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