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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.

 

The Jason Inn Hotel is in a fabulous position in the up market entertainment district of Psyri with a stunning view of the Acropolis, and within walking distance of Plaka, the Ancient Agora, Keramikos, the Herod of Atticus theatre, the new Acropolis museum,..
Kefarali Suites is located in the heart of Kifissia close to the business district of Maroussi. There are a number of cafés, restaurants and shops within a five minute walk of this hotel. The Metro station is within walking distance giving you easy..
In the harbour of Pasalimani, only 800 meters from the main port of Piraeus. Situated in one of the most beautiful Greek harbors, Pasalimani, Lilia Hotel is 800 meters from the main port of Piraeus. The Lilia Hotel is conveniently located near all major..
The hotel is 17 km away from the airport and 12 km away from the centre of Piraeus. It is situated just 100 metres from the sea, the beach and the tram station. This hotel is the ideal place due to its easy access to Athens city and for enjoying the relaxation..
Property Location With a stay at London Hotel in Glyfada (Athens Coast), you'll be minutes from Glyfada Marina and close to Glyfada Golf Club of Athens. This hotel is within close proximity of Esperidon Square and Voula Beach. Rooms Make yourself at home..
This resort boasts a prime setting in Nea Makri town. The resort is located close to the many attractions that the area has to offer. Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is just 25 km away. Marathon Village is conveniently situated 7 km from..
The Marathon Beach Resort, a legendary destination hotel of the 70s, 80s and 90s in Nea Makri has been recently regenerated. A rewarding choice, in front of the Nea Makri beach and marina, one of the most beautiful locations of the historical area of..
This is a very good product, with a superb location, offering easy access to all the major tourist sights. Wi-Fi is also available in the lobby and breakfast room. (0507/AC)
The comfortable and cosy Hotel Marina is ideally located in the Omonia area, the heart of Athens. Guests will appreciate the warm and friendly atmosphere of the family-run hotel. All of the major attractions of the Greek capital such as the archaeological..
Centrally located, near omonia and karaiskari square, the 3 stars hotel marina is a very comfortable, privately owned property. The lobby is very nicely decorated with original works of art and makes guests feel very welcome. All the 81 rooms are spacious..

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