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Posted by arbanlol on
Category: Athens Plaka
Plaka is one of the most picturesque and oldest districts of Athens. It is characterized by the several monuments that carry an important history. The historic neighborhoods of Plaka are actually a symbol of authenticity in Athens, you certainly think about it as you walk around. Anafiotika is a quarter with old traditional houses and blue doors that bring a Cycladic atmosphere. This quarter was first inhabited by refugees from Anafi, a small island next to Santorini, and the people have maintained the architecure of their homeland.
Plaka is a trading spot with high tourist movement as it has several archeological places to demonstrate. Walking around, we saw Byzantine churches, the ancient market and the Tower of the Winds. Our travel guide said that we couldn't miss Plaka and indeed you go through this quarter to visit most sights in Athens.
Every little shop of Plaka satisfies the need of every customer. They sell a huge variety of things such as books, clothes and rare pieces of jewelry. Going out from Monastiraki station you will surely enjoy walking around market places, the antique shops and flea markets.
Posted by yoloya on
Category: Athens Syntagma
Indeed Syntagma is the centre of Athens. Everything, from restaurants to theatres, museums and ancient sites are only a walking distance away from Syntagma. Of course, the subway is also a great help. Best subway I've used in Europe, large clean trains, security people and timetables every 5 min. Every time in Athens, we choose a hotel in Syntagma. I know that most people are headed to Omonoia, but this is a very dangerous spot of Athens, so better avoid it, especially at night. Syntagma is a short walk from the Acropolis, Plaka, Monastiraki down the shopping street of Ermou and the beautiful National Gardens.
How can there be such a green spot in the centre of a large busy town like Athens. Once you enter the gardens, you no longer hear the noise of the cars but birds singing and the water sound of the small lakes all over. A great place for botanologists, as it has so many plant species from around the world. After a long morning walk in the gardens, we usually have coffee in Zappeio and then we head to the museums. Visiting the museums is our favorite activity in Athens, as fortunately the city has lots.
Posted by sobugia on
Category: Athens Kifisia
Athens is a place I visit at least twice a year on work, and my impressions of the city, if I were to be realistic, are that the city is not a lot different from any other European metropolis, where a kind of chaotic harmony exists between the ancient and the modern, the moral and the immoral, and the clean and the unclean. If you can actually stop complaining about all the negative aspects and start looking at the positive side, I am sure you will find that the city has a lot to offer, be it its bustling nightlife, or the grand archeological sites, or the fabulous museums, or the mouthwatering cuisine.
One of my favorite pastimes is to climb on the metro and take a tour of the city. The ride in itself is a journey through the history of Athens, opening up a whole new world of shiny marble and ancient artifacts which have never failed to fascinate me. On my last trip, I visited Kifissia, a green and elegant suburb in the northern part of Athens. Located around a beautiful square and a botanical garden, Kifissia has become a retreat for many Athenians who wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.
I enjoyed taking a walk around the square with its many restaurants and cafes offering an excellent choice of food and wine. They even made their own ice creams! I went for the cheese pies and spinach pies, followed by a delicious rice pudding and a frappe to wash down the goodies. With sinful treats like these, it is little wonder that the square is buzzing with sport clubs, gyms and spas!
Posted by wolfme on
Category: Athens Thissio
Time just flew in Athens. We were there during the summer season this year. We stayed at a charming apartment in Thissio. This beautiful neighbourhood is really something different in the heart of Athens. In a distance of 10 minutes walking from Thissio, there was busy Monastiraki with a lovely open bazaar in the weekends. In 20 minutes walking on the other side, there was the hill of Philopappos with a burial monument on top and the Acropolis.
The streets in Thissio were paved but busy with backpackers and lovely locals who would come every afternoon to have a coffee. The houses were of Neoclassical architecture and many of these buildings had been turned in coffee-houses or classy restaurants. For me, Thissio and Plaka were the nicest parts of Athens. Of course, the centre was not attractive at all and sometimes it could be dangerous to walk alone there.
Like all the centres in all European capitals, Athens hasn't escaped high criminality rates. Do not walk alone and do not have your pocket and valuables in public view. The most dangerous squares we visited in Athens was Omonoia and Metaxourgio. Hardly any police officer there!
No need for a car rental in Athens, except if you want to travel away from the town. Public transportation is very efficient and comfortable, however pay attention of pick-pockers. The underground is one of the best in the world but the buses are a bit filthy. We stayed in Athens for four days, which were enough to see all the town in our pace and then we took a 2-days tour to Mycenae, Nafplion and Epidaurus. A nice idea to see some mainland Greece and historical sites before we take the ferry to Naxos.
Posted by jeffers on
Category: Athens Piraeus
While I have no doubt Piraeus has a beauty of its own, but an experience three years ago has put me off for good.
Before embarking on a hop across the Cyclades, we decided to stay overnight in Piraeus to get the early morning ferry. Sadly there was only one ferry a day at the time and, with a late flight from the UK, staying overnight in the port was unavoidable.
We booked a cheapish hotel (I think it was 85 Euros a room) within a 10-minute walk of the ferry and it looked OK on the website. How naive we were. Even when we arrived at reception it didn't look too bad. You know a little dog-eared and worn, but just about acceptable.
Once we got to the room, past the ripped and stained carpets and the hole in the outer skin of the door, we got a little twitchy. And, once inside we weren't exactly ecstatic. Everything about it was dirty and unkempt.
I know we could have walked straight out, but it was gone midnight when we arrived and as the ferry sailed at 8am, we decided to just stick with it for the few hours we had left.
We slept fully clothed on top of the bed covers and managed a few hours despite the constant noise in the street outside. We opened the windows because we thought switching the air-conditioning would surely wake the cockroaches.
But morning came and as the mould-blackened shower only had two curtain rings, an unsatisfactory wash at the sink had to do - not a good start to the day. Nevertheless, we were soon on our way to the ferry and looking forward to our first stop, Syros.
I accept I can't be too critical of Pireaus, after all I was only there for one night and most probably in the wrong place. I'm sure it has some redeeming features, but I felt I needed to write this as a warning to anyone who finds themselves in a similar position.
If we learned anything from our experience that night it was, don't go too cheap and make sure you get a recommendation before you book.
Fortunately it didn't spoil our holiday, but suffice to say we stayed in a lovely hotel in the centre of Athenswith rooftop views across to the Acropolis on our return trip home - and it was only another 20 Euro per night more than the hotel in Piraeus. A real bargain.
Posted by olivia3rch on
Category: Athens Monastiraki
Our hostel was near Monastiraki, so we would frequently pass by this beautiful area. I spend a whole week in Athens last summer. The weather was extremely hot in the middle of July and the beaches far away, but I felt I wanted to see more of this town. In any case, our hostel was cheap, so we didn't mind staying for two or three more days. Monastiraki is the centre of ancient Athens, as there are many archaeological sites in a walking distance: the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, the Hadrian Library. Many antique shops line the streets around the square of Monastiraki and the railway station. In a word, this is the place of the opposite in Athens: expensive restaurants next to cheap kebap taverns, luxurious shop centres close to open markets, fancy street actors side by side to beggars, ancient sites close to modern constructions...
Posted by susiler on
Category: Athens Monastiraki
Monastiraki was my best district of Athens. Although it was usually very crowded and it could get pretty dangerous at night with so many economic immigrants that live there, in the day it was just a lovely place to have a coffee with view to the Acropolis and to shop in the flea markets. I didn't shop much from Monastiraki, but I saw some excellent antique items. I just bought a miniature of the Acropolis and a cup with the word "Athens" on it. However, I really enjoyed my walks along the narrow paths.
Posted by susu47 on
Category: Athens Thissio
I loved this paved area in the shadow of Acropolis!! For me, it was the best district of Athens. Very close to the centre but still so calm and crowded at the same time. It is an area with old, restored houses and nice cafes. You can have a coffee after walking all day from monument to monument or from Thissio you can start the stroll to Acropolis. The Ancient Agora is in a park in Thissio and there are the Stoa of Attalos and the Temple of Hephaistos. from Thissio, you can get amazing photos of the Acropolis.
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