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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.

 

Novotel athens is located in the city centre, within a 5-minute walk from the nearest metro station. It offers elegant rooms, a rooftop swimming pool and a restaurant-bar with breathtaking views of the acropolis.The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms..
Novotel Athens is a three star complex designed for natural living and ideal for families on holidays or business travellers. The hotel is situated close to a train station (Larissis) making it an excellent base for your holidays in Athens, with its spectacular..
At the centre of the historical capital of Greece, Novotel Athens Hotel offers you the best place to accomodate your leisure or business needs. Enjoy your stay in one of the 195 modern rooms or the 5 upgraded suites, get useful tourist information for..
Novus City Hotel is a recently established 4 Star Hotel- superbly located in the hip area of Metaxourgio- within walking distance from Omonia- Syntagma- Plaka-Monastiraki- the Parthenon and the brand new Acropolis Museum. All air conditioned rooms feature..
This brand new hotel welcomes its guests into a stylish, urban and essential experience of the city. It comprises 85 rooms and suites. Hotel facilities include a lobby with 24-hour reception, check-out and concierge services, porter service and luggage..
With a stay at O&B Athens Boutique Hotel, you'll be centrally located in Athens, steps from Apothiki Theater and Alex Mylonas Museum of Contemporary Art. This 4-star hotel is close to Ancient Agora and Roman Agora.Rooms Make yourself at home in one..
O&B Athens is a cozy 4 Stars Boutique Hotel, in the centre of Athens, a few steps from Ermou street, next to the main sites of the city and just 2 minutes walking from Thisio Metro Station.||With its Acropolis Suites with private terraces and view..
Ochre & Brown Boutique Hotel is a dramatic and daring reinvention of the urban essence for energy, vitality and magic. Additionally, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the stay and nightlife, as theatres, galleries and pubs are just around the block...
Right in the heart of Athens Riviera is privileged by its location. Situated in the most cosmopolitan suburb of Glyfada- is only 20 min. drive from the center of Athens and Piraeus and 25 km away from the ¿ew Int'l Athens airport ¿Eleftherios..
With a stay at Palace Hotel in Glyfada (Athens Coast), you'll be minutes from Glyfada Marina and close to Glyfada Golf Club of Athens. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Glyfada Sea Turtle Rescue Centre and Saints Constantine and Helen Orthodox..

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