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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 is a very good product, with a first class location offering easy access to all the major tourist sights.
OverviewElectra Athens is a 4 star property located in the heart of Athens, next to Syntagma Square. Among its amenities the hotel offers comfortable accommodation, 24 hour-check-in, air conditioning in all public areas, business services, gym and fitness..
At the Electra Hotel Athens every dream becomes true, every request will be satisfied and every need will be easily met.Either if you are in town for business or leisure the Electra Hotel will be able to welcome you and let you know the meaning of "a..
Facilities and services include restaurants, bar, elevator, parking (extra charge), wireless Internet access in public areas, meeting rooms, outdoor and indoor pools, fitness center, sauna and 24-hour reception. Rooms feature air conditioning/heating,..
This is modern establishment, built in 2010, that offers a total of 14 rooms. It includes a lobby/reception area with a 24-hour reception and check-out service, a breakfast room and an underground car park. Other facilities at this air-conditioned establishment..
This hotel is located near the beach and near the old international airport. It offers a good standard of facilities, and easy access to Athens. Suitable for clients that don't want to stay in the busy city centre of Athens, and prefer something quiter,..
Privileged by it's location on the apollo coast of glyfada, a fascinating seaside resort, the emmantina hotel is 200 meters away from the sandy beach (one of the most popular in athens), 15 km from downtown athens and only 5 minutes walk from glyfada..
Located just a few minutes walk from Monastiraki and the old town, the hotel is also a short distance from the traditional spice and food markets. Monastiraki and Plaka have many cafes and restaurants overlooking the Acropolis site. The hotel is within..
The vibrancy of downtown Athens, capital city of Greece, is home to the Fresh Hotel which presents stylish urban accommodation in a boutique-style. Set next to the beautiful town hall, and only a few minutes walk from Monastiraki Square and the old market..
A great location right in the heart of athens, the 5 star fresh hotel is stylish, modern, and a great choice of stay in this historical city. All the main sights and attractions are within easy reach including omonia square, which is just a couple of..

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