summer 2013• www.athensvoice.GR • free press
Your indispensable free city guide written by AthEnian experts
Photos: VANGELIS KORONAKIS
s Greece is slowly recovering from one of the most turbulent periods of its modern history, there are signs that this summer is going to be one of the best for years in terms of visitorsâ€™ numbers. And rightly so, as all the good reasons to pick Athens as a holiday destination are still in place: Magnificent monuments, glorious museums, perfect weather, daily cultural events, clean and plentiful beaches, warm hospitality, delicious food, buzzing nightlife and plenty of shopping opportunities.
And what better team to guide you through the thousands of choices and help you make the most of your stay in the city, than the staff of the leading weekly free press of the capital: ATHENS VOICE. A publication that for the past decade has been covering best than any other the pulse of the city: politics, culture, events, cinema, theatre, restaurants, and nightlife. Every summer our staff puts together all its inside knowledge and experience of the city and produces this annual free publication, hoping that it will become your indispensable guide during your daily explorations of the city.
Welcome and enjoy your stay CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 3
Publisher Fotis Georgeles Editorial Consultant: Stavroula Panagiotaki
Editorial Director: Angeliki Birbili
Editor: Vangelis Koronakis Art Director: Konstantina Vlachopoulou Sub-editor: Konstantinos Tzikas IT Manager: Vaios Syntsirmas Editorial Team: Yannis Nenes, Dimitris Mastrogiannitis, Nenela Georgele, Lena Chourmouzi, Panagiotis Menegos, George Dimitrakopoulos, Takis Skrivanos, Makis Milatos, Zizi Sfyri, Georgia Skamanga, Giannis Dimopoulos, Harris Markakis, Karolina Niamonitaki, Angeliki Nikolari, Natalia Damigou-Papoti Copy Editor: Dimitra Grous, Christina Vasil Creative Art Director: Fotis Pechlivanidis Layout & Design: Morfoula Vogiatzoglou, Sotos Anagnos
Direct Market Manager: Vassilis Zarkadoulas Direct Market: George Apergis, Dimitris Kalamaris, Nontas Dabanis, Mimika Tsonga, Theodora Themeli Advertising Coordinator: Maria Avgerinou Financial Director: Efi Mourtzi Accounting: Sotiria Psichogiou An annual publication of Athens Voice S.A. Harilaou Trikoupi 22, 106 79 Athens-Greece Editorial: tel (+30) 210 3617360, fax(+30) 210 3632317 Advertising: tel (+30) 210 3617530, fax (+30) 210 3617310 www.athensvoice.gr e-mail: email@example.com Copyright ATHENS VOICE 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher and
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4 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Artwork POINT SUPREME
Advertising Director: Louiza Nathanail Commercial Development Director: Nikos Tsouanatos Digital Advertising Manager: Anastasia Bafouni Key Account Managers: Christos Polychroniou, Rena Pantaleon
Contents 06 Welcome to Athens 08 This is Athens 14 5,000 years of history in two pages 16 Historic buildings 18 Monuments 22 Acropolis Museum 24 Museums 30 The secret gardens of Athens 32 Green life 34 Athens-Epidaurus Festival 2013 36 Art mania 40 Live concerts 42 Hotels 48 Restaurants 64 Nightlife 72 Gay Athens 74 Shopping 82 Family Athens 84 Beaches 88 Day trips 92 Athens on the move 94 Maps 98 Metro
COVER ARTIST â€œAthens as Islandâ€? by Point Supreme Architects. The team was founded in Rotterdam in 2007 by Konstantinos Pantazis and Marianna Rentzou and are now based in Athens. Their muchacclaimed work integrates research, architecture, urbanism, landscape and graphic design. Eight of their proposals for Athens were recently presented in the Venice Biennale of Architecture. They are regular visiting professors in the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 5
WELCOME TO ATHENS
ear friends, I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet and greet you all, through the pages of this guide, published by ATHENS VOICE. Our city has gone through a rough patch lately. Yet, it remains a city that continually reinvents itself, overcomes its difficulties and highlights its numerous advantages. It remains a city that dynamically reflects the union of new and old: the marriage of a historic past with a promising future. For Athens is a city full of surprises: full of secrets and hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. It is a city that emphasises its architec6 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
tural individuality. A city that combines landmarks as disparate as Acropolis, Syntagma and Omonia. A city that merges culture and tourism. A city that proudly hosts major festivals such as the Athens-Epidaurus Festival. In the summer, its streets bustle with music from live concerts, the buzz of open-air cinemas and the strollersâ€™ voices in the neighbourhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki. Athens remains a unique choice, both for visitors seeking cultural and archaeological tourism, as well as for youths who live and breathe in urban rhythms and those who look for the best beaches and covet the intense lifestyle of a modern metropolis.
Athens remains a unique choice, for all ages and seasons. Dear friends, the capital of Greece continually transforms. The renovation plans of historic parts of the city, around Plato's Academy and the Panathenaic Museum, the renewed focus on a seaside front that will help shape an Athenian Riviera, and last but not least, the formation of a powerful cultural axis in the Delta of Faliro, will all contribute to this profound makeover. People in the tourism business and the inhabitants of Athens, equipped with joy, professionalism and the famous Greek hospitality, welcome you all and look forward to guiding you to the capital.
Minister of Tourism
Mayor of Athens
thens is home to the prominent Greek antiquity. From the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis to the amazing sculptures and monuments that adorn the city centre, the Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum and the unified archaeological sites one can witness the birthplace of Democracy, Rhetoric, Citizensâ€™ Rights, Philosophy, Science and the foundations of Western European Civilization. The rich legacy in monuments and works of art impress the more than 2.5 millions of visitors that come to Athens every year, rendering the city as one of the most popular city-break and business destinations. However, Athens is not just about ancient history. Athens is a friendly city with warm and hospitable people which offers genuine experiences, enchanting tours and engaging in action packed activities, both within and beyond the city limits all year round. Despite difficulties, the City of Athens seeks solutions for the contemporary problems that arise, committed to always protect the environment, promote sustainable and unimpeded transport in the city and with emphasis on security and social welfare. In this realm, we plan to implement very soon a pilot bike rental system, in 70 spots around the city for citizens and visitors to use, following the best practices of other European capitals. We urge you to explore the cityâ€™s world-renowned cultural heritage sites, neoclassical buildings and its historic centre. By wandering through the neighbourhoods that surround the historic centre one can meet the local craftsmen, visit the art galleries and the post-industrial venue of the Technopolis and the Industrial Gas Museum. Taste the famous excellent-quality products of the traditional Mediterranean cuisine and homemade desserts. Enjoy the year-round Athenian sun and mild temperatures and discover the amazing Athenian Riviera. Athens is the only European capital offering 15 blue flag beaches and marinas in very close proximity to the city centre and numerous opportunities for water sports and daily cruises to the nearby islands. For your convenience, the City of Athens has four info-points providing information and assistance to visitors and business travellers. They are located at the Athens International Airport, at the Port of Piraeus, the Acropolis Museum and another one right next to the Thissio Metro station. CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 7
ATHENS Athens at a quick glance
Monastiraki - Plaka 8 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Photo: VANGELIS KORONAKIS
By KONSTANTINOS TZIKAS
Athens is a city of neighbourhoods, each of them vividly distinct, each with its own aroma and flavour. It is a city of often startling, exciting contradictions. From posh, glitzy Kolonaki to alternative, bohemian Exarchia, Athens, this ancient blend of cultures and subcultures, offers a vast collection of microcosms. To put it more simply, many cities in one, each of them interesting in its own merit.
Historic centre Bordered by Stadiou, Athinas and Ermou str. Monastiraki/ Syntagma/ Panepistimio
he historic centre of Athens forms a triangular shape which has plenty to offer to the visitor. Bordered by the streets of Stadiou, Athinas and Ermou, it is the homebase of art, finance, enterprises and politics in Greece and as such a perpetually buzzing, lively, busy area. To fully experience the centre of Athens you have to walk it. In fact, it is a pity not to stroll around and have a glance at its numerous neoclassical buildings and landmarks. Syntagma Sq. (Map K11) is as a good a spot as any to begin your exploration of the centre. The most socially important and famous square of Greece is named after the Constitution (‘Syntagma’) King Otto was forced to grant to the people following an uprising on 3 September 1843. Above the square lies the House of the Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, both popular landmarks among visitors. But it is the ceremonial changing of the guard (the so-called tsoliades or evzones) that occurs on the hour that invariably attracts large crowds and photographs. Tourists love being photographed next to the evzones and their impressive traditional attires, including the dress known as foustanella. On Sundays and public holidays, the change of the presidential guard takes place with an official ceremony including a military band. The evzones march in group formation at 11:00. Syntagma is also a hub for various means of transportation, such as Metro lines 2 and 3, tram, various bus lines and special express buses to the airport. It is a regular hangout spot for skaters, teenagers, elderly people basking in the sun on one of the benches around the square, people using it as a meeting spot and the ubiquitous pigeons. Various festivities and events are held here. It has also been a standard spot for the gathering of large crowds, mass protests and demonstrations. In close proximity to Syntagma sq. lie a number of landmarks, including the National Gardens (Map M12) and Zappeion (Map N12), and the Temple of the Olympian Zeus (Map O10) and the Hadrian’s Arch (Map O9). Other memorable buildings include the Maximou Megaron and the Presidential Mansion at Irodou Attikou str. (Map M13), official residence of the Prime Minister and the President of the Hellenic Republic respectively. Entering the National Garden and past Zappeion one comes across the majestic Panathenaic Stadium (Map P13). In the opposite direction, walking along the sprawling Panepistimiou str., will lead you to the so-called trilogy of important buildings built in neoclassical style during the 19th century: the National Library (Map H10), the University (Map H10) and the National Academy (Map I11). Panepistimiou concludes in the other famous (and ever-renovated) square, Omonia (Map F8). A few surviving neoclassical buildings come as a welcome contrast to the concrete of the square. Numerous street traders, vendors and lottery ticket sellers make up the colourful crowd of Omonia.
Stadiou str. that runs parallel to Panepistimiou features the squares of Klafthmonos (Map I9) and Kolokotroni (Map J10) - the latter easily discernible by the statue of Greek national hero Theodoros Kolokotronis riding his horse into battle. Visitors can also spot the building of the old Greek Parliament (functioning as the National Historical Museum) and enjoy drinks in the numerous tiny bars along Kolokotroni str. and the nearby Karitsi sq.
Bordered by Ermou str., Filopapou Hill, Ancient Agora Monastiraki/ Thissio
rmou str. (Map K10), the premier shopping street of Athens, connects Syntagma sq. to Agion Asomaton sq. in Thission. Rows of shops, many of them high-end boutiques and also superstores are aligned on each side. This pedestrianised street, perpetually busy but especially so in the weekends, is a standard walk for tourists with its shops and landmarks, including the distinctive old Church of Panagia Kapnikarea (Map K8). The walk along Ermou leads to the Monastiraki sq. (Map K7), a colourful mishmash of tourists and natives enjoying icecream, strolling around, leisuring or watching the various impromptu music gigs and jugglers. Monastiraki is named after a small church that is located at the corner of Athinas and Ermou, close to the Tzisdarakis Mosque that nowadays houses the Museum of Greek Ceramic Art. Several other monuments, such as the Roman Forum and the Library of Hadrian are also in close proximity to this area. This district is home to an impressive flea market, which spreads along Adrianou str. and its side-streets. Shops here abound selling beads, shoes, clothes, memorabilia, souvenirs, and haggling is not uncommon. Eolou str., another pedestrianised road with cafés and bars, many of which are scattered around the Agia Irini sq. (Map J8), offers a leisurely distraction from the hustle and bustle of the flea market. Athinas str. (Map J7), which connects the Monastiraki and Omonia squares, is noted for its Central Market (Map H8), where one can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, fish and meat. Close to Omonia, one comes across the Athens City Hall (Map G8) in the Kotzia sq., a sprawling, stunning square that is the closest Athens has to a “Grand Place”. The nearby Psiri (Map I6) is a busy area of narrow streets, low, neoclassical buildings and numerous cafés serving traditional drinks such as ouzo, raki and rakomelo, and frequently offering live Greek music. If you follow Ermou str. further to the east, you end up in the Agion Asomaton sq. (Map J5). Nearby there is pedestrianised Apostolou Pavlou st. (Map J4) an extension of Dionysiou Areopagitou st. This district is called Thissio: yet another busy area and a favourite among local youths, with many cafés and bars, as well as monuments, such as the CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 9
Photos: VANGELIS KORONAKIS
this is ATHENS
Varvakios Fish Market
Ancient Agora (Map K5) and Temple of Hephaestus (Map L5). The final segment of the pedestrianised Ermou str. will lead the visitor to the areas of Kerameikos (Map J2), which features the eponymous museum of funereal artifacts the nightlife scene of Gazi.
Bordered by the Acropolis, Amalias and Mitropoleos str. Syntagma/ Akropoli
laka (M M8) is the “old town” of Athens. It is built in the area immediately surrounding the Hill of Acropolis and as such is the foremost tourist destination for whomever visits the capital. Small, narrow streets and low houses in neoclassical style comprise this almost unbearably beautiful, picturesque area that begs to be photographed. Plaka is almost entirely pedestrianised and thus not accessible by car. Like the adjacent Monastiraki – the borders of the two neighbours are not entirely clear – Plaka is filled with small tourist shops selling memorabilia and souvenirs, as well as many tavernas (many of them quite pricey). Salesmen here are also friendly and open to bargaining. The neighbourhood of Makrigianni (Map P8), with its many blocks of flats from the 60s (and some forgotten neoclassical treasures amongst them) has become packed with people ever since the New Acropolis Museum opened its doors here a few years back. Anafiotika, an area higher up in Plaka, located right beneath the Acropolis (Map M7), exudes the sense of being in an island – this breathtakingly beautiful neighbourhood was, after all, 10 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Athens Info-Point kiosks provide you with everything you need to know about the city of Athens, from sightseeing options and details, to transportation choices and routes. Athens Info-Point kiosks may be found at the following tourist locations: Athens International Airport El. Venizelos arrivals level, (+30) 210 3530390, daily and weekends 08:00-20:00. Amalias Av. & Dionissiou Areopagitou str. (+) 30 210 3217116, daily and weekends 09:00-21:00. Pireaus Port Authority, cruise ship arrival terminal, daily, 08:00-14:00, closed Sun.
modelled after the island of Anafi. Many of the tiny, delapitated houses in the neighbourhood are still inhabited. The Hill of Pnika (Map M4), the place in which the Public Assembly of the People (demos) was held in the ancient years,provides an astounding view of the city and possibly the best view to Acropolis. Right next to Pnika, the Hill of Filopapou (Map P4), also known as Hill of the Nymphs, features a monument of the same name, plus a modern observatory. The pedestrianised street of Dionysiou Areopagitou constitutes one of the best strolls in the city, with all the aforementioned hills, the Acropolis and the famous Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Map N6) to its left and right.
Bordered by Vassilissis Sofias, Akadimias and Lycabettus Hill Syntagma/ Evangelismos
olonaki is the temple of fashionmongers, compulsive shop-goers, trendy types and the upper-middle class in general. It has traditionally been a favourite place of residence for upper bourgeois classes and expats, retaining its status as a prestigious district for more than 60 years. Kolonaki is primarily known for its shops with brand names and extremely high prices. Here, it is not uncommon to come across some of the most impeccably dressed people in Athens. Actors, journalists and businessmen often frequent the cafes, especially on a sunny Sunday noon. Voukourestiou and Tsakalof str. (Map J13) feature many shops with brand-names in jewellery, bags and accessories. Gourmet restaurants and patisseries (many of the latter in Herodotou str., commonly known as “chocolate street” for obvious reasons) are also plenty. Kolonaki is also home to many cafés (along Tsakalof and Patriarchou Ioakim st. al the way up to Kolonaki sq.) and hip bars, mainly in Charitos str. (M I16), restaurants and eateries offering souvlaki, as well as galleries and prestigious institutions such as the British Council and the French Institute. Lycabettus Hill (Map H15) offers a majestic view of the city and is well worth the visit. To reach the hill’s summit visitors can take the funicular (teleferik) (M H16), daily 09:00-13:00 at the price of €7. For the brave at heart there is also a footpath leading up to the top.
Photo: harris markakis
Vassilisis Sofias Av. (Map K12) is one of the most visually striking streets in Athens, crammed with neoclassical two-or-three-storey mansions, most of them serving as institutions or embassies.
Bordered by Asklipiou, Akadimias and Patission (October 28th) str. Panepistimio/ Omonia
t is one of those wonderful eccentricities of Athens: side by side with Kolonaki, arguably the most expensive and glamorous neighbourhood of Athens, lies the alternative-minded district of Exarchia (Map D11). In fact, the borders between the two zones are not always easily defined. Exarchia has traditionally been a hotchpotch and hothousefor intellectuals, radicals, artists, youngsters, musicians and bohemian types. Urban, noisy, lively, youth-ridden, always on the vanguard of musical and artistic innovations, unpretentious and generally cheap, it is flooded with vintage and second-hand stores, clothes and accessories shops, bars and cafés (many of them scattered in and around Exarchia sq.), bookshops, record stores, eateries and inexpensive hotels. Exarchia is to Athens what Dalston is to London: a mainstay for graffitti artists, hippies, rockers and Goths and many foreigners. Walls are adorned with posters advertising numerous cultural events, concerts, demonstrations and political events. True to its history of poets and artists, here one can come across the most unconventional assortment of personalities. CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 11
Photo: aNgeliki birbili
this is ATHENS
The local street market (laiki) held every Saturday morning at Kalidromiou str. (Map D13), is a colourful, loud place where vendors will offer you a wide cariety of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. The architecture of Exarchia is no less interesting than its anthropography: blocks of flats, covered in massive graffitis exist side by side with beautiful neoclassical buildings. The pedestrianised Valtetsiou str. (Map F12), with its many tavernas with inner patios, offers one of the most relaxing places to walk. Strefi Hill (Map C13), with its breathtaking view, is wellknown for it’s all-day and all-night techno parties, tavernas and for being the home for the local football team, Red Star Exarchion.
ne of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of Athens, its trademarks are its cycling lanes, pedestrianised centre, impressive mansions, huge shopping centres and most importantly, its parks. Alsos Kifisias is ideal for children, with its trees, bushes, a mini lake and two fountains. A large flower fair occurs here on a yearly basis.
Psiri 12 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Photos: VANGELIS KORONAKIS
For batteries, cigarettes, snacks, chewing gum, magazines, dairy products, refreshments, and much more, look for the small kiosks (ÒperipteraÓ) that can be found practically everywhere. There you will find everything you need. The big kiosks, located mostly downtown around the squares of Syntagma, Omonia and Kolonaki, usually stay open all night and also sell international press, tourist guides and more. TIP If you are lost, ask the owner of the kiosk for instructions. They usually speak English and can help you find your way.
Traditionally a place where the wealthy and famous reside, Kifissia is filled with many high-end boutiques (many of them along Kolokotroni str.), trendy restaurants and patisseries, the most famous of which is probably Varsos Patisseries (Kassaveti 5). Kifissia may be a posh area, but it is not without its fair share of culture. Goulandris Natural History Museum - Gaia Centre (Levidou St., (+30) 210 8015870) is a delight to visit, both for adults and minors. The nearby neighbourhood of Nea Erythrea has become a relatively recent hotspot of nightlife, with its many stylish bars.
he largest and most important port of Greece, Piraeus has played its own pivotal role in modern Greek history. Most visitors heading to the islands will have to deal with Piraeus and be acquainted, even if only for a few hours, with its unorthodox beauty and its many furtive spots. Its name will ring a bell, even with those not particularly wellread in modern Greek history: Piraeus was immortalised in composer Manos Hadjidakis’ Oscar-winning song “The Children of Piraeus” from the 1960 film “Never on Sunday”. Piraeus is primarily a working-class, busy hubbub of activity. However, it is also highly diverse, with several different areas to visit. Chief among these is Pasalimani, a harbour that is home to luxury yachts, cafes and bars. There is also Mikrolimano, also known as Tourkolimano, a romantic little port with fishing boats and many charming fish tavernas. Foreign visitors often enjoy their fish and coffee by the sea here. By far the most picturesque area of Piraeus is Kastela. Old captains’ houses and an island atmosphere evoke memories of old-time postcards. The Hill of Profitis Ilias, with its lovely small church on top, offers a stunning view of the Saronic Gulf. Piraeus is also home to one of the major football clubs in Greece: Olympiakos. Its colours are red and white, and one can spot many flags in these colours hanging from the balconies of houses and shops. The history of Olympiakos has been inextricably bound with the modern history of Piraeus.
lyfada is one of the hotspots of summer. Located roughly 14 km south of the city centre, it is a prestigious, posh neighbourhood, which combines beaches, nightlife and shopping, all in one. Glyfada once served as host to a USA military base and has therefore housed many American residents over the years. Its American character is evident in its numerous burger hourses, steakhouses, diners and Mexican restaurants. The area also features luxury hotels, four marinas fully equipped for every type of yacht and possibly the widest streets and pavements of Athens, truly giving it a vibe reminiscent of Beverly Hills in California. The International Luna Park on the 4th marina of the area (open 17:00-01:00 weekly) offers a taste of vintage Greece, being one of the old-school amusement park still in use. A safe bet for a nice evening: take the tram from Syntagma sq. to Flisvos Marina. Cool breeze, nice coffee shops by the sea and lots of yachts. A typical summer night and a favourite stroll of the Athenians in the southern suburbs.
Cinema under the stars Open-air cinemas: a trademark of the Athenian summer
o not miss the opportunity to spend a lovely evening in one of the numerous open-air cinemas of Athens. Once the weather is warm enough, people of all ages choose to spend their evenings watching new releases or re-releases of older films under the starlit sky. Enjoy the best movies of the season in a one of a kind experience. Although most open-air cinemas are located in the centre of Athens, they are usually isolated gardens with trees. Indulge in your favourite cinema snacks and beverages along with cold summer drinks and beers and let the atmosphere guide you through the night. More importantly, screenings will pose no language problem to foreigners: in Greece, films are not dubbed but subtitled. Open-air cinemas began as an experiment in Athens in the latter half of the twentieth century and gradually became a trademark experience of the Athenian summer. The ticket price ranges between €7 and €8. With an additional amount of money you will be able to buy snacks and drinks of all kinds. Good news for smokers: smoking is allowed at all times.
The most traditional open-air cinemas in Athens Cine Psiri Vox (Map I6 Monastiraki) Sari 40-44, Psiri (+30) 210 3212476
(Map D12 Omonia) Themistokleous 82, Exarchia (+30) 210 3301020
(Map I14 Evangelismos) Dexameni sq., Kolonaki (+30) 210 3623942
(Map E12 Omonia) Valtetsiou 46, Exarchia (+30) 210 3837716
(Map N12 Syntagma) Zapion Garden (+30) 210 3369370
(Map I16 Evangelismos) Charitos 50, Kolonaki (+30) 210 7215717
(Map M8 Akropoli) Kidathineon 22, Plaka (+30) 210 3222071
(Map M5 Thissio) Apostolou Pavlou 7, Thissio (+30) 210 3420864
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 13
A concise overview of Athenian and Greek history from the ancient times to the present By Vangelis Koronakis
c.3000 Evidence of human habitation at the foot of the Acropolis Hill in Athens. 2700-1450 The Minoan Civilisation flourishes in Crete and the Aegean, centred on the palaces at Knossos and Phaestus in Crete, with trade relations with Egypt and Syria. 1700-1100 Rise of the Mycenaean Civilisation. Mycenaean trade with Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean. Successive invasions of the Greek (Hellenic) Tribes: Achaeans, Aeolians, Ionians and Dorians. A royal fortress is built on the Athenian Acropolis. 1200 A legend regarding the foundation of Athens: upon his return to the city after slaying the Minotaur in Crete and rescuing Athenians held captive by Minos, King Theseus unites the province of Attica with Athens as its capital. 1100 The collapse of the Mycenaean Civilisation is followed by the Hellenic Dark Ages. Aeolian, Ionian and Dorian Greek colonisation of Asia Minor. c.1000 The city limits of Athens expand, construction of the first Agora. 8th century Greeks found colonies around the Mediterranean basin. Rise of aristocracies throughout Greece. 776 The first Olympic Games in history, held at Olympia, mark the beginning of the Classical Greek period. 621 Dracon drafts strict “draconian” law code in Athens. c.600 Athens wins Salamis from neighbouring Megara and founds a colony, Sigeum, at the mouth of the Hellespont. 594-593 Archonship of Solon. First democratic reforms in Athens (cancellation of debts, replacement of birth by wealth as the criterion for office, creation of a people’s court). 566 First Panathenaic Games held in Athens to honour Athena, goddess of wisdom and patron-goddess of the city. 561-560 Peisistratus seizes power and becomes tyrant in Athens. c.530 New temple of Athena built on the Acropolis. 508-507 Democratic reforms of Cleisthenes in Athens upheld by the “Eclesia” (public assembly of male Athenian citizens with the right to vote at public hearings and elect magistrates). 499 Beginning of the Persian wars with the revolt of the Ionian city-states against Darius. Athens sends a fleet in support of the Ionians. Darius pledges to avenge the Athenians. 490 The Athenians block the Persian invasion with their victory in the battle of Marathon. Legend has it that Pheidipides, an Athenian herald, ran from the battlefield back to Athens to announce the triumph with the word “nenikikamen” (we won) and died on the spot. This story inspired the modern Marathon run. 490-480 Extraction of silver ore from the mines at Laurium, 14 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
used for minting the Athenian silver “owl” coins that financed the expansion of Athens’ navy. 480 King Leonidas of Sparta, vastly outnumbered by the Persian army under Xerxes, falls with his warriors in the battle of Thermopylae. The Persians sack Athens but are badly defeated in the naval battle of Salamis. 461-429 Named by historians The Golden Age of Athens. During this period, Athens establishes the Athenian (or Delian) League and takes control of a large number of Greek citymembers of the League. Athens and its allies pursue an offensive war against both the Persians and the Peloponnesian League led by the Spartans. In 451BC, Athenians and Spartans sign a five-year truce, which lasts until 446, whereupon begins the period known as the Thirty Year Peace. During this period, Athens reaches the peak of its prosperity. Democracy, science, philosophy, drama, architecture, sculpture, all flourish. The Parthenon, among other architectural masterpieces, is built between 447-437BC. 431 The peace is broken with the onset of the Peloponnesian War. Athens goes at war with Sparta once again. 430-428 The plague decimates a quarter of the population of Athens, including Pericles. 415 Athenian expedition sails to Sicily under Alcibiades. 404 The end of the Peloponnesian war and Athens’ surrender usher in Sparta’s hegemony in the Hellenic World. This is followed by a short period of Theban dominance. 360 Philip II is crowned king of Macedon and the period of the kingdom’s dominance begins. 356 Alexander the Great, son of Philip II, is born in Pella. 336 Philip dies and Alexander succeeds him as King of Macedon. 334-323 Alexander is proclaimed King of all Hellenes and embarks on the conquest of Persian lands, expanding his empire as far as Egypt and India. 323 Alexander dies in Babylon and the Hellenistic Period begins. Macedonia becomes dominant in the Hellenic World. 146 Greece becomes a province of the Roman Empire. 86 Following Athens’ support to Mithridates, king of Pontus, Sulla attacks the city. Athens loses all political influence and Corinth is established as the capital of the Roman province.
54 The Apostle Paul visits Athens and delivers the Sermon on Aeropagus Hill. 150 Herodes Atticus becomes governor of Athens, constructs the theatre at the foot of the Acropolis that bears his name. 330 Constantine the Great transfers the capital of the Roman
Empire to Byzantium, which is renamed Constantinople. The Byzantine Empire is established. Before his death, Constantine the Great establishes Christianity as the official religion of the Byzantine Empire. 529 Philosophical academies closed by Emperor Justinian I, temples reconsecrated as Christian churches. 1054 Schism between the Eastern Orthodox and (Western) Roman Catholic Churches. 1204 Capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade by the Franks and Venetians. 1453 Sultan Mohammed II captures Constantinople. End of the Byzantine Empire. 1456 Capture of Athens by Omar. 1460-1715 Turks occupy all of Greece after continuous warfare with the Venetians. 1687 Venetians lay siege to Athens under Morosini. The Acropolis, which was used as a Turkish gunpowder store, is partially destroyed. 1801 Lord Elgin removes Parthenon marbles to London. 1821 The Greek Revolution against Ottoman occupation begins. 1827 The fleet of the mediating powers (France, Britain, Rus-
sia) destroys the Turkish fleet at Navarino. End of Ottoman Rule in Greece. 1830 Greek sovereignty recognised under the London Protocol. Nafplio becomes the first capital of independent Greece. 1831-1834 The assassination of the first governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, leads to the establishment of the monarchy by foreign powers. Bavarian King Otto I arrives in Greece and Athens is established as the new capital. 1838 The Royal Palace (now the House of Parliament) completed on Syntagma Square. 1843 King Otto grants a constitution and representative Assembly, following popular uprisings. 1863 King Otto is dethroned and prince William of Denmark is crowned King of Greece under the name George I. He brings the Ionian islands as a coronation gift from Britain. 1866 Cretan uprisings against the Ottomans lead to war between Greece and Turkey. 1877 Prime Minister Charilaos Trikoupis introduces measures that limit the power of the monarchy to interfere in democratic institutions. 1896 The first modern Olympic Games held in Athens.
20th & 21st centuries 1910 Cretan politician Eleftherios Venizelos is elected prime minister of Greece. 1912 First Balkan War. Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria fight against the Ottomans. Greece obtains parts of Macedonia, Epirus and the north Aegean islands. 1913 Second Balkan War. Greece and Serbia fight against Bulgaria. Crete unites with Greece. 1914 King Constantine insists that Greece remains neutral during the First World War. Venizelos wants to enter the war on the side of the Allies. The King flees the country and Greece enters the war. 1919 The Allies award Venizelos, being on the winners’ side, certain parts of Turkish and Bulgarian Thrace and the right to place troops in the area of Smyrna on the Turkish coast, home to a large and prosperous Greek population. 1921 The Greek troops begin a massive campaign and advance towards Ankara. 1922 The resurgent Turkish army drives the Greeks back to the coast and Smyrna is burnt down on August 31. More than a million Greeks abandon their homes and become refugees on the Greek mainland. There follows a massive exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey, based on religious faith, under the Treaty of Lausanne. 1940 After occupying Albania, Italy demands the right of passage through Greece. Greeks respond to the Italian ultimatum with a single word, “No”, on October 28. Greek troops repel the Italian forces into the Albanian moun-
tains, advancing towards Albania during the winter. 1941 In April, Germany invades Greece and the country is occupied by German, Italian and Bulgarian forces. The great famine of the winter of 1941 leaves more than 40,000 dead, mainly in Athens and other major cities. Greeks take to the mountains, form resistance groups and declare a “Free Greece” on the inaccessible mountainous mainland. 1944 The last Wermacht soldier departs from Athens on October 12. Greek and British troops enter the liberated capital. In December, fighting breaks out in the streets of Athens between communist supported resistance groups and the National Army supported by the British. After a month of intense fighting, the guerrillas surrender. 1946 A guerrilla army is put together in the mountains by the Communist Party and a bitter three-year civil war erupts. The Dodecanese islands are united with Greece, giving the country its final shape. 1949 The National Army, with heavy support from the US, drives back the guerrillas through the northern borders of Greece. More than 50,000 communists and their families become political refugees behind the Iron Curtain. 1952 Greece joins NATO. 1962 Greece becomes the first associated member of the European Community. 1967 A group of middle ranking army officers seize power and a seven-year dictatorship begins. King Constantine II flees the country. Military junta led by Colonel Papadopoulos rules Greece.
1973 In November, an uprising of students in Athens against the dictatorial regime, known as the Athens Polytechnic Uprising, is crushed with bullets and tanks. 1974 A coup in Cyprus results in Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern part of the island. Military regime collapses in Athens. A Republic is proclaimed by referendum. Presidential democracy adopted. 1981 Greece becomes the tenth member of the European Community. 1985 Athens becomes Europe’s first Cultural Capital. 2002 Greece joins the Euro zone and abandons the drachma after 167 years. 2004 Greece successfully organises the Olympic Games. 2010 Karolos Papoulias, is elected President of the Republic for a second five year term. Prime Minister George Papandreou announces Greece is in immediate need of financial help. A formal request is placed with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the Central European Bank. 2011 Lucas Papademos, ex central banker, becomes Prime Minister of Greece head of an interim coalition government. A rescue package worth 130 billion euros is agreed on the condition of unprecedented austerity measures for the population. 2012 Double election results in coalition government, supported by New Democracy (centre right), PASOK (centre left) and DIMAR (moderate left) under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 15
A guide to eye-catching buildings you'll stumble upon during your strolls in the city By Vangelis Koronakis
method than appropriating the very materials the ancient building was made of, for “holy purposes”. According to the inscription found on the west wall, this church dates back to 1065AD. The last known restoration was in 1840, following damages sustained during the Greek War of Independence. As is the case with most churches in Greece, the bell tower was added later. As for the imposing wall paintings, they date back to the 19th century.
Aristidou & Evripidou st.
National Library Athens Academy Athens University Panepistimio)
Arsakeion Megaron (Map H10
Built by the renowned 19th century architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou, this imposing building is among the finest examples of modern Athenian architecture and hosts the Council of State High Court. Adjacent to the Arsakeion is the pleasant Books’ Arcade, an ideal book-lovers’ haunt and for anyone looking for a shelter during a hot day.
Athens City Hall (Map H8
An impressive neoclassical building situated in a breathtaking cobblestone square, bristling with pleasant cafés and busy shopping centres (the picturesque Central Athens open-air meat market 16 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
is right down the street). The square also functions as an open-air antiquities museum and is surrounded by beautiful neoclassical buildings from the turn of the century. The City Hall also houses a valuable art collection.
These striking neoclassical buildings were built by the Hansen brothers of Copenhagen. The National Library is reached via an impressive sculpted marble staircase. The Athens Academy is flanked by imposing statues of Apollo and Athena on either side, while the impressive frescoes at its entrance depict the myth of Prometheus.
House of Parliament (Vouli) (Map K11
Overlooking Syntagma square, it was originally the Royal Palace of King Otto and Queen Amalia, the first monarchs of modern Greece. Designed in the neoclassical style by Friedrich von Gartner, the palace was completed in 1843. It was used as the Royal Residence until 1924 and, since 1934, has housed the Greek Parliament. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument in honour of the servicemen who fell in the struggles for Greek Independence, is located in the forecourt of the building.
The Tomb is guarded by the Presidential Guard (evzones) in traditional dress, whose intricately orchestrated changing of the guard at the turn of the hour attracts many visitors who also take the opportunity to feed the flocks of ubiquitous pigeons.
Church of St. Theodoroi (Map I9
Yet another structure built over the ruins of a much earlier temple. This was common practice during Byzantine ages, in an attempt to wipe out idolatry. And what less costly
Bank Of Greece (Map I11
The headquarters of the Central Bank of Greece. The building was designed by architects K. Papadakis and N. Zoumpoulidis and its foundations were laid in 1933. The official inauguration took place in 1938, under Governor Emmanouil Tsouderos.
Church of Panagia Kapnikarea (Map K8
Syntagma / Monastiraki)
Built on the ruins of an ancient temple, which was dedicated to goddess Athena or Demeter, this miniscule church is commonly known as Kapnikarea. It is usually surrounded by hundreds of people, either waiting for someone or having their portrait drawn and even having a breather in between shopping. In a poll, it would probably be voted the best loved church in Athens. As for its background, it was
erected around 1050AD, but the small porch with the two columns was built closer to the end of the 12th century. It is cross-in-square shaped, with three apses on the east side and a narthex on the west. A chapel, dedicated to St. Varvara, was later added to the north side. As for the interior, which is open to the public, there are paintings signed in 1955 by Greek artist Photis Kontoglou.
Ermou & Kapnikareas str.
disrepair due to persistent student sit-ins, is worth visiting because of its connection with the historic student uprisings against the military dictatorship, which were violently put down on 17 November 1973. There is a monument in honour of the students’ uprising situated in the forecourt of the University, on which students and politicians lay wreaths on the anniversary of the uprising, in order to commemorate the event.
Patission (28th October) 46
This historic Observatory, the first of its kind in Greece and the Balkans, was designed by renowned architect Theophile Hansen and was inaugurated in 1842. It has a unique crossshaped structure, that points to the four points of the horizon, while its resplendent golden dome can be seen gleaming in the Athens sky from quite a distance.
Overlooking Monastiraki square, this was a historic Ottoman mosque constructed during the governorship of the “voivode” Tzisdarakis in Athens, in 1759. It now houses the Museum of Greek Ceramic Art, while its Minaret has been removed.
Hill of the Nymphs
National Theatre (Map F7
Housed in an impressive neoclassical building, with a grand colonnaded façade and beautiful interior, it is the foremost establishment of the National Theatre of Greece.
Ag. Konstantinou 22
National Polytechnic University (Map C10
This building, although in an unfortunate state of
Old House of Parliament (Map J10
It was the first residence of King Otto, while he awaited completion of the Royal Palace (now House of Parliament) and subsequently housed the Greek Parliament between 1843-1854 and 1875-1932. In front of the building there stands an imposing equestrian bronze statue of General Theodoros Kolokotronis, among the leaders of the Greek War of Independence. Today, this stately neoclassical building houses the National Historical Museum (see museums).
Zapion Presidential Palace and Megaron Maximou (Map M13
The imposing Presidential Palace, which was formerly a Royal Residence, now hosts the Republic’s Presidency and is guarded by evzones (Presidential Guards). It was designed by renowned architect Ernst Ziller in the 1870s. Nearby is the neoclassical Megaron Maximou, which functions as the Prime Minister’s office.
Irodou Attikou 19
Built in 1874-1878 by architect Theophile Hansen, on the order of Greek-Romanian national benefactors and cousins Zapas, this lofty neoclassical structure originally housed an exhibition hall. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, that include a pleasant coffeeshop and restaurant, as well as an array of interesting sculptures, it is now used for international conferences and commercial events.
Amalias & Vasilissis Olgas
Cemeteries First cemetery of Athens (Map Q12
ost famous Greeks are buried here. It is a museum in its own right with every kind of monument and ornamental patterns, marble sculptures, columns, sarcophagi and neoclassical temples, conveying the memorial art that flourished during the 19th century along the rebirth of the new Greek state. It was founded around 1837, when Athens was also established as the capital city of the modern Greek state (1834). It
spreads on the slope of the Ardittos hill, close to the Panathenaic Stadium.
Trivonianou 29 & Anapafseos, Mets
Commonwealth war cemetery
,028 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War are buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 596 of the burials are unidentified and there are also 74 men of the army of undivided India who died during the campaigns in Greece and Crete in the Second World War. In the northeast corner of the cem-
etery, a plot contains the graves of servicemen and civilians who after serving in the Crimean War, died in Greece. A Memorial within Phaleron War Cemetery commemorates nearly 3,000 members of the land forces of the Commonwealth who lost their lives during the campaigns in Greece and Crete in 1941 and 1944-1945, in the Dodecanese Islands in 1943-1945 and in Yugoslavia in 19431945, and who have no known grave. Tram stop: Pikrodafni
Poseidonos av., Alimos CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 17
HERITAGE OF A
The classical monuments of Athens are known all over the world. They are living testaments to a glorious past. Chief among these is Acropolis, the undisputed emblem of Western civilization, which stands proud of its rich history of 2500 years. An iconic landmark, with some of the finest monuments in the world in its vicinity, it defies both time and preconceptions as it astonishes even the most dispassionate visitor. By Konstantinos Tzikas - Photos VANGELIS KORONAKIS
At the time this guide was going to print, the extended summer timetable had not yet been announced. Generally, most archaeological sites open around 08:00 and close around 19:00. If you wish to visit a site in the late afternoon, it is advisable to call and check beforehand, at least during June until the seasonal staff is hired. Temple of Hephaestus (Thission) 18 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Acropolis of Athens (Map N6
pread throughout a vast area, the Acropolis of Athens is an example of smooth integration between a natural site and a man-made construction: a cluster of monuments built atop of a rock of roughly 30,000 sqm. The most important religious centre of Athens in the ancient times, the Acropolis houses an impressive collection of architectural works that were created during the Golden Age of Pericles (5th BC). Under the guidance of sculptor Phidias and the vision of statesman Pericles, some of the most significant monuments of the city were built during that period. Arguably the most famous among them is the temple of Parthenon, built by Ictinos (447-432BC), a shrine to the city’s patron-goddess, Athena Polias. There is also the Erectheion, dedicated to the god Poseidon. In its porch one can see the replacements of the famous Caryatids (421-406BC) that are now housed in the Acropolis museum. Other monuments include the impressive entrance to the Acropolis, known as the Propylaea, designed by Mnesicles (437-431BC) and the temple of Athena Nike (421-407BC).
Parthenon (Map N7
ne of the world’s most famous and instantly recognisable monuments, the Parthenon is a paragon of perfection and harmony, a living proof of the levels of expertise and craftsmanship reached during the Golden Age of Pericles. The Parthenon is also fascinating from an architectural point of view, combining the austere simplicity of the Doric order and the exquisite sophistication of the Ionic order. It is also renowned for its beautiful frieze, perhaps the most famous in the world, which depicts the religious ceremony known as the Panathinea. Closing time: 19:30. € Admission Fee: œ12 Conces-
sions: œ6 (non-E.U. students/ over 65 y. o.) Free admission: E.U. students (+30) 210 3210219
The Theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Map N6, N7
ne of the world’s oldest theatres, the Theatre of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility, lies on the South Slope of the rock of the Acropolis. The works of the three great dramatists, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were performed here. Often confused with the Theatre of Dionysus and also found here is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, established in 161AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife. The amphitheatre was restored in the 1950s, using white marble from the Penteliko Mountain. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens festival and has featured performances by many famous Greek and international artists and performers. The sanctuary of Dionysus Eleuthereus can also be found here, established in the 6th century BC as a site for the festivities known as Great Dionysia. Many of the buildings found here were converted
into Christian monuments during the 5th century AD. The East Slope features the cave of Aglauros, where Athenian youths (ephebes) took an oath to protect the sacred institutions of the city, whereas the North Slope offers the spring of Clepsydra, as well as cave sanctuaries dedicated to the cults of Pan, Zeus and Apollo, the cave with the Mycenaean spring and the sanctuary of Aphrodite and Eros.
The Ancient Agora (Map L5
he ancient Agora (gathering place) was the heart of public life in Athens, a large, open square that acted as forum for social, political, commercial and cultural activity. This is literally the birthplace of Athenian Democracy. According to tradition, the first law court in Europe was at the Areopagus (“rock of Ares”, the god of war), next to the Agora. € Admission Fee: œ4 Concessions:
(+30) 210 3210185
PNIKA (Map M4
n ancient times, the Assembly of the Demos (i.e. Public Assembly of the citizens) was held on the nearby hill of the Pnika, which offers a breathtaking view of the city.
filopapou (Map P4
ext to Pnika is the Filopapou Hill, also known as Hill of the Muses. Filopapou also features a monument of the same name, as well as a modern Observatory. The monument is a funerary column erected in 114-116AD by the Athenians in honour of Caius Julius Antiochus Filopapous, the exiled prince of the ancient kingdom of Commagene.
The Roman Forum and the Library of Hadrian (Map K7
wo of the largest monuments dating from the Roman era can be found north of the Acropolis and east of the Ancient Agora, in the district of Plaka, in an area of 28,000 sqm. The Roman Forum was the commercial centre of Athens during the Roman times. It was built under the supervision of Roman emperor Augustus (19-11 BC) to house the commercial enterprises of the city. Hadrian's Library, constructed by Hadrian as part of an effort to redesign Athens, in 132 AD, was utilized to accommodate the city’s largest library, state archives and philosophy schools. Another monument in this site is the Water Clock (Horologion) or Tower of the Winds, with sculpted depictions of wind-related deities and an internal water clock, built in the 1st century BC by Macedonian astronomer Andronikos Kyrhestes. Other monuments include the Vespasianae (public latrines), the Agoranomion and the Fethiye Mosque (Tzami).
Lysikrates Monument (Map M9
n Tripodon str., stands a structure with an unusual shape: it is a monument in honour of the CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 19
SEE MORE FOR LESS A four day pass at a price of œ12 (concessions œ6), can get you into: the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and its museum, Kerameikos and its museum, the Roman Agora, AcropolisÕ North and South slopes and the Temple of Olympian Zeus (not applicable for the Acropolis Museum). Panathenaic Stadium
founder and benefactor of the nearby Theatre of Dionysus. Also known as the Lantern of Diogenes, it was established in 335BC by Lysicrates and is one of the best preserved monuments of its kind.
Concessions: œ1 (non E.U. students/ over 65 y. o.) € Free admission (EU students/ under 19 y. o.) (+30) 210 9226330
KeramEikos (Map I4
orthwest of Acropolis, Kerameikos used to be the potters’quarters of the city in ancient times (“keramos” means pottery-clay, from which the English word “ceramic” is also derived). It was also the site of an important cemetery. In modern times, the site houses a museum with the most extensive collection of funereal artifacts in Greece, from urns to jewellery. € Admission Fee: œ2 Concessions: œ1 (E.U. students/over
65 years old) € Free admission (under 19 y. o.)
Temple of Olympian Zeus (Map O10
his temple represents a number of different periods of Athenian history. Its construction began in the 6th century BC under the tyrants Hippias and Hipparchos, at the exact locations where lay the ruins of an earlier temple built by their father, the tyrant Peisistratos. It remained unfinished, until it was completed centuries later, in 20 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
132 AD, by the Roman governor Hadrian. Originally enormous by ancient standards, today only fifteen of its 104 columns are still standing. A sixteenth column lies on the ground, where it fell during a storm in the 19th century. € Admission Fee: œ2
Panathenaic Stadium (Map O13
Syntagma / Akropoli)
nother landmark of the city is the Panathenaic Stadium. A stadium on this site existed since at least the 4th century BC and was used for mystical ceremonies held for the Panathenaic Festival in honour of Athena, goddess of wisdom and patron of the city. During the occupation of Athens by the (+30) 210 3463552 Romans, governor Hadrian had also constructed a stadium at this exact location, where gladiatorial contests were held for the public. In 1896, it was completely restored with pentelic marble, as an exact replica of the ancient one, with the purpose of hosting the first modern Olympic Games. During the Athens Olympic In 2013, Acropolis was voted Games of 2004, it provided the venue for the archery event as well as for the finish the second most beautiful of the Marathon Run. Next to the stadium Unesco World Heritage site is a beautiful hill, the Arditos Hill, ideal for a in the world by CNN. walk after a visit to the stadium. € Admis-
(+30) 210 7522986
THE ACROPOLIS MUSEUM ave ÒYou can hat the h a Van Gognd another at a n ta Metropoli eÓ, says architect ned the Louvr umi who co-desig t, sch . ÒBu Bernard TAcropolis Museum re the new rthenon Marbles a ther the Pa 's got to be toge It one story.e same place and ce at th better pla there's no hereÓ. than
A vivid guide of the Hellenic civilization By LENA CHOURMOUZI Photos VANGELIS KORONAKIS 22 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Details from the Parthenon gallery
he Acropolis Museum, a shiny new home for the host of the most important legacies of classical civilization, is located on the ancient road that leads to the Holy Rock, on which the majestic Parthenon rises above Athens. Hundreds of thousands of visitors arrive every year to see the cultural wonders of a glorious past, which stand flooded with natural light, having the admirable view of the original temple as its evocative background”, according to the Sunday Times, which have placed the Acropolis Museum third in their recent list of the best 50 museums of the world. Located on Dionysiou Areopagitou str., this museum, “Athens's latest and most modern piece of architecture”, faces the monumental hill of the Acropolis. Long awaited, it is by far the most popular museum in the city, as its treasures include more than 50,000 pieces unearthed during excavations in Athens. It is impossible not to feel its positive energy. What’s more, the variety of activities organised by the museum guarantee you will have a few truly fascinating hours.
Look, listen and learn Museum archaeologists-hosts hold brief presentations for history buffs every Fri, Sat and Sun. The presentations are held both in Greek and English. Be warned, however, participation is limited (up to 20 visitors per session). Coupons are available on a first-come, first-served basis every Fri (15:00-18:00) and Sat, Sun (12:30-16:30) at the Information
Dos & Don'ts Always look down, or you'll miss all the Indiana Jones-style workmen excavating under the cool glass floor Follow a Gallery talk on the Archaic Colours by a museum archaeologist-host Visit the museum before you head for the Parthenon temple Take the Metro: the ÒAcropolisÓ station offers the best preview of what you'll see in the museum.
The famous Caryatids
Every Friday the Acropolis Museum stays open until 22:00 and its restaurant until midnight. Enjoy a special menu with beautiful night views of the Acropolis and great value for money. Not to mention that Greek traditional breakfast is served daily until 12:00 at the museumÕs second floor restaurant (except on Mondays when the museum remains closed). Desk. Another special treat: the 3D projections that take place every weekend.
Follow the hostsÕ tips Be prepared, the museum’s hosts will follow you everywhere. It’s not that they don’t trust visitors, it’s because they have all the good stories, the knowledge (and desire) to answer all your questions about the museum exhibits. Archaeologists are available to answer your questions about the museum exhibits every day between 09:00 and 17:00. Just look for staff wearing large red and white “archaeologist” badges in the Museum exhibition areas. We asked them for their tips to help you get the most out of your visit to the museum. Here they are: If you have a choice, avoid the hours between 10:00 and 14:00, when the museum gets flooded with cruise ship passengers and school groups. Always begin the tour of the first floor from the northeast corner. Otherwise you won’t appreciate the significance of the Acropolis in the Mycenaean Period.
Acropolis of Athens (Map O8
Akropoli) Dionysiou Areopagitou 15 (+30) 210 9000900/ Public entrance from Dionysiou Areopagitou/ For groups from Mitseon Tue-Sun 08:00-20:00 Fri 08:00 - 22:00, Closed Mon € Admission Fee: œ5 Concessions: œ3 CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 23
hey hold treasures of unrivalled value and beauty. The capital's museums are mainly scattered around the city centre. Some are brand new, stunning pieces of contemporary architecture, like the light airy glass-and-concrete Acropolis Museum building designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi. Others are bright examples of the imposing neoclassical architecture of the 19th century, like the National Archaeological Museum. They all host a diverse collection of artifacts and finds from antiquity to the Byzantine era till the present time. However, the private local museums should not be underestimated since they host smaller yet diverse collections with themes that range from ceramics and jewellery to folk art and war. Always bear in mind that in July and August the mercury can soar to 40°C (over 100°F) in the shade just about anywhere in the city. So, it's always better to pay your visits in the early hours of the day. It’s the key to a successful visit: you will surely find no queues, and it’s the safest way to avoid getting sunstroke. Bear in mind that opening hours can change without notice. Some museums remain closed either on Mondays or Tuesdays.
tipS Some tips that might prove useful
–Wednesdays are usually the quietest of days to visit any museum in the capital –Some museums let EU students in for free (others charge half price) and offer concessions for senior citizens over 65 and under 19 –In general, entrance fees range from œ5-œ10 –Most museums have websites with updated practical information and upcoming events. However itÕs worth visiting the Greek National Tourism Information Office (Areopagitou 18-20, just opposite the Acropolis Museum entrance), for information on current opening hours, entrance fees and events. Or even better, use this guide to experience this ancient cityÕs heritage. 24 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Jockey of Artemision in the National Archaeological Museum
Discover the past and present of Greece with our easy museumsÕ guide By LENA CHOURMOUZI
HISTORICAL National Archaeological Museum (Map C10
y far the largest archaeological museum in Greece. A true panorama of Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to late Antiquity. Since the end of the 19th century it houses and protects antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural and artistic value. You will effortlessly spend an entire morning or afternoon wandering its rooms and corridors. The interior is quite spacious and the more than 11,000 exhibits are clearly labelled. Among the biggest crowd pullers is the Gold Mask of Agamemnon unearthed by H. Schliemann in Mycenae. The highlight of the entire collection, however, has to be to the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical computer
Cycladic ART MUSEUM
If you like a touch of antiquity in your living room pay a visit to the museum's shop. It is renowned for its stunning replicas of Cycladic Art. You could also combine your visit with a light meal in the cosy atrium of the ground floor. able to predict the movements of stars and planets. Latest additions include a 4th century BC gold funerary wreath and 6th century marble statue of a young woman, returned to Greece in 2007 by the Getty Museum in California.
Until 31st August 2013 ÒThe Antikythera Shipwreck The Ship - the treasures - the MechanismÓ
ll antiquities recovered in 1900-1901 and 1976 from the legendary shipwreck off the islet of Antikythera, south of the Peloponnese, are presented for the first time in a temporary exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum. The recovery of the shipwreck itself was the first major underwater archaeological expedition. It was undertaken by sponge divers, with the assistance of the Greek Royal Navy. The second underwater research was carried out in 1976 by the Greek Archaeological service and J.-Y. Cousteau’s oceonographic vessel “Calypso”. The wreck dates approximately back to 60-50 BC, while its cargo from the 4th-1st century BC. Patission (28 October) 44, Victoria (+30)
213 2144800 Mon 13:00-19:45/ Tue-Sun 08:00-14:45 € Admission fee: œ7 Concessions: œ3 for E.U. senior citizens (over 65 y. o.), students from countries outside the E.U. Free admission: Visitors under 19 y. o., students from E.U. countries, admission card holders (Free Entrance Card, Culture Card, ICOM, ICOMOS), journalists, guides, soldiers. Free admission to all visitors in the last weekend of September (European Day of Cultural Heritage) and on Tue 27 September (International Tourism Day) – www.namuseum.gr
Cycladic Art Museum (MapK14
Syntagma / Evangelismos)
museum that houses in two separate buildings approximately 3,000 objects from all phases of Cycladic, Ancient Greek and Cypriot art, dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on the Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC. Of
Cycladic Art Museum
special beauty is the glass-roofed corridor, which connects the modern building of Neofytou Douka str. to the 19th century neoclassical Stathatos Mansion, restored as an extension for temporary exhibitions. There are two entrances to the
museum. The Main Building (permanent collection), Neophytou Douka 4 and Stathatos Mansion (temporary exhibitions), Vasilissis Sophias & Irodotou 1, Kolonaki (+30) 210 7228321-3 Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat 10:0017:00/ Thu 10:00-20:00/ Sun 11:00-17:00/ Closed Tue € Admission fee: œ7/ Mon œ3.5 Concessions: Seniors (over 65 y.o.) œ3.5 - students 19-26 y. o. œ3.5 - groups of 15 or more œ5 each Free admission: Kids and young persons under 18, visitors with disabilities and their companion, archaeologists, archaeology and art history students, members of ICOM, ICOMOS, journalists, qualified guides – www.cycladic.gr
The Byzantine and Christian Museum (Map K15
time travel to the everyday life, art, religious practices and customs of the Byzantine and Medieval periods of Greece. Reconstruction of parts of early churches, wonderfully preserved mosaic floors and wall paintings. It is worth seeing the ecclesiastical artifacts from the earliest years of Christianity. Maybe the wide range of Byzantine and postByzantine icons will whet your appetite for a church tour in Athens. It was once the villa of the eccentric French-American phihellene Duchess of Plaisance who was so inspired by the Greek War of Independence that she decided to fund a museum. Vasilissis Sofias 22, Kolonaki (+30) 213 2139572
Tue-Sun 08:00-15:00/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: œ4 Concessions: œ2 Free admission: Under 18 y. o. – www.byzantinemuseum.gr
Epigraphical Museum (Map C10
true challenge. The Epigraphical Museum of Athens is the third largest museum of ancient inscriptions in the world. Its 13,536 inscriptions displayed will definitely put your knowledge of ancient Greek to the test. It safeguards inscriptions, mostly on stone or marble, like decrees, tribute lists, records that mainly come from sites in Attica. It is CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 25
The New m. seu Benaki Muarchitects by Designed okkinou and K Maria oulas, it opened ourk y Andreas KBesides its visuall . 4 le 0 b 0 a in 2 nd memor striking a al style, it is also r architectu ed for the many renown exhibitions periodic sts. it ho
The New Benaki Museum: a paragon of modern architecture
located in the south wing ground floor of the National Archaeological Museum and comprises an internal and external courtyard, a lobby, eleven rooms, a large hypostyle corridor and a laboratory for the conservation of the inscribed stone monuments. There are also some Latin inscriptions and a small number of Hebrew funerary inscriptions of the 16th and 17th centuries from Mystra (Peleponnese). To-
sitsa 1, Exarchia (+30) 210 8217637 Mon € Admission fee: œ3
The War Museum (Map K16
Tue-Sun 08:00-15:00/ Closed
naugurated after the fall of the military regime, in July 1975, the museum’s militaristic approach explores the Asia Minor campaign, the Balkan Wars and the Greek forces in Korea. There is also a room dedicated to Cyprus. Other than that there is a collection of 18th and 19th century swords, handguns and military uniforms. The full-scale model of the Daedalus and the fighter planes in front of the entrance are worth seeing. Rizari 2, Evangelismos (+30) 210 7244464 Tue-
Fri 09:00-19:00 € Admission fee: œ3 Free admission: Visitors under 19 years old, students from E.U. countries, senior citizens (over 65 y. o.)
National Historical Museum (Map J11
his historic building is the first Greek House of Parliament, later turned into a museum. It provides an insight into the history of Greece since the fall of the Byzantine
26 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Empire in 1453. Among its most interesting exhibits are archival records, photographs, costumes and flags. The museum stands behind the commanding statue of General Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the most respected and revered leaders of the Greek War of Independence. There are quite a few urban legends about the equestrian bronze statue of the General. Notice that he turns his head towards the Parliament House and his hand is pointing the other way to where the 19th century Royal Mews were located. Urban legend says the hero of the revolution is indicating to parliamentarians loyal to the King that their rightful place was in the stables. There is a gift shop at the museum. Stadiou 13, Syntagma (+30) 210 3237617 Tue-
Sun 09:00-14:00/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: œ3 Concessions: œ1.5 for students and senior citizens (+65 y. o.) Free admission: On Sun and for kids under 18 years old
Museum of Ancient Agora (Map K6
Monastiraki / Thissio)
oused in the renovated Stoa of Attalos within the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora. Its collection mainly consists of finds from wells, deposits, burials, workshops and sanctuaries. It is a veritable museum of the history of Democracy and is the place where in 2003 the Treaty of the European Union enlargement was signed. Adrianou 24, Thissio
(+30) 210 3210185 Tue-Sun 08:30-15:00/ Mon 11:00-15:00 € Admission fee: œ4 Concessions: œ2
must visit after a brief stroll around Kolonaki upmarket district. It is located right opposite the lush greenery of the National Gardens and the garden of the Presidential Mansion. Its impressive neoclassical building continues to resist the aesthetic deterioration of postwar Athens. Its permanent collection with more than 40,000 items offers a timeline of Greek history through the private collection of Antonis Benakis; the wealthy cotton merchant who donated all he owned to the state in the 1950s. There’s a wide range of Mycenaean jewellery and dazzling embroideries. Also on display are the personal belongings of one of Greece’s most revered politicians, Cretan statesman and Prime Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos. The exhibits are impeccably labelled and you can spend several hours strolling the museum. A break at the rooftop café offers a refreshing view of the National Gardens. The museum shop stocks a fine selection of art books, catalogues, CDs and stationery.
Koumbari 1 & Vasilissis Sofias, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3671000 Wed-Fri 09:00-17:00/ Thu -Sat 09:00-24:00/ Sun 09:00-15:00 € Admission fee: œ7 Temporary Exhibition: œ3-5 Concessions: œ5 persons over 65, an adult accompanying a child Free admission: Every Thu (except temporary exhibition and guided group which costs œ7), academics and teachers, archaeologists, conservators, journalists, families with three or more children
The New Benaki Museum (Map K1
vast industrial art space organised around a central courtyard. It is Athens’s window to contemporary art and design with no permanent collections. The Museum shop is so luminous and filled with unique pieces like items to decorate a flat or to enrich a library. The café-restaurant on the ground floor serves a good selection of dishes and is a good place for breakfast.
Pireos 138, Rouf (+30) 210 3453111 Thu-Sun 10:00-18:00/ Fri-Sat 10:00-22:00/ Closed Mon-Tue -Wed
ARTS-GALLERIES Herakleidon-Experience in Visual Arts
Sat-Sun 11:00-19:00 € Admission fee: œ6, Students & over 65 œ4 Free admission: Children up to 12 years old – www.herakleidon-art.gr (Map K4
picturesque private museum in the heart of Athens. A striking example of neoclassical architecture, which was renovated and inaugurated during the 2004 Summer Olympics. The exhibition program is loaded with works that play or have played an important role in the evolution of contemporary art. Don’t leave without a visit to the gift shop. It offers a wide selection of collectables that have been inspired by the periodic visual arts exhibitions including M.C. Escher, Constantin Xenakis and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Herakleidon 16, Thissio
(+30) 210 3461981
National Museum of Contemporary Art (Map L15
ocated temporarily in the Athens Conservatory, this museum fulfils the capital's long standing requirement for a modern art museum. Since its opening in 2000 it remains true to its mission to showcase the transcultural, experimental and thought-provoking aspects of contemporary international art. By the end of 2013 the National Museum of Contemporary Art will have moved to its permanent premises at the former Fix brewery. A remarkable industrial building, which is reconstructed in accordance with the edificial and functional demands of the Museum. Its strategic location close to the historic and commercial centre of Athens and the New Acropolis Museum favours the creation of a grand promenade where classic antiquity meets contemporary art. The exhibitions’ catalogues are reasonably priced.
Vassileos Georgiou B 17-19 & Rigilis, Syntagma (+30) 210 9242111-3 Tue-Sun 11:00-19:00/ Thu 11:00-22:00/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: œ3 Concessions: œ1.5 – www.emst.gr
Municipal Gallery of Athens (Map G4
rimarily designed to become Athens’ first indoor commercial centre nowadays the gallery hosts nearly 3,000 CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 27
paintings from leading 19th and 20th century Greek artists. The recently renovated neoclassical building has a long history of identities. It was abandoned until 1854 and later housed a silk processing plant, a shopping and residential complex, and the headquarters of the Hellenic Police. Of special interest are the drawings of German architect Ernst Ziller; the so-called father of neoclassical design in modern Greece.
The ÒGeorge Economou CollectionÓ. An exhibition focussing on surrealism, the School of Paris, art of the first post-war decade, Neo-Fauves as well as prints from the collection. The adjacent Avdi sq. is ideal for a quiet coffee and a newspaper read in the morning. Leonidou & Mylerou, Metaxourgio (+30) 210 3243023 Tue 10:00 21:00/ Wed-Sat 10:00-19:00/ Sun 10:00-17:00/Closed Mon € Free admission (Guided tour every Mon) – www.nationalgallery.gr
Islamic Art Museum (Map I5
three storey neoclassical building with collections dedicated to the evolution of Islamic art in relation to the historic development of Islamic civilisation. Its fine collections come from the Middle East, the Far East and North Africa. Located at Kerameikos district the Islamic Art Museum offers a break from Classical Athens, temples and amphorae. However, it includes a section of the ancient city wall of Athens and an ancient tomb both uncovered at the level of the houses’ foundations during the preservation works. Don’t leave without a glimpse at the view from its terrace café. Ag. Asomaton 22 & Dipilou 12, Thissio (+30) 210 3251311
Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun 09:00-17:00/ Wed 09:00-21:00/ Closed Mon-Tue Admission fee: œ7 Concessions: œ5 – www.benaki.gr
MISCELLANEOUS Ilias Lalaounis - Jewellery Museum (Map O7
thens born and bred Ilias Lalaounis is the country’s most internationally renowned artist and jeweller. His museum is a private non-profit organisation devoted to the historical development of the art of jewellery. Its main edifice was the original workshop of Ilias Lalounis Company. The 4,000 pieces of the permanent collection will dazzle you. Kids, though, are more likely to get stuck at the authentic jewellery workshop where one can see the house goldsmiths in action sharing tips on ancient goldsmithery techniques. Big spenders usually head straight to the shop for 24K gifts. If you are frugal there are mugs and T-shirts with the museum’s logo. Karyatidon & Kalisperi 12, Plaka
(+30) 210 9221044 Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat 09:00-15:00/ Sun 11:00-16:00/ Closed Mon - Tue € Admission fee: œ5 € Concessions: œ4 for students, senior citizens and groups – www.lalaounis-jewelrymuseum.gr
Zoom, scroll & click Athens Museums with the Google Art Project See a virtual preview of three Athens museums before arriving in Greece. The Acropolis, the Benaki and the Museum of Cycladic Art are the latest additions to the Google Art project. A project that offers a virtual and online presentation of hundreds of museum exhibits from around the world. The three Greek museums participate in the Project with 693 exhibits. Just type www.googleartproject.com 28 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Industrial Gas Museum
Melina Cultural Centre
museum named after the late actress and Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri who heralded the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles presently in the British Museum. The old stone millinery of Poulopoulos is a hidden gem of a typical early 20th century Athenian neighborhood. It houses replicas of neoclassical buildings, a traditional barbershop, shop windows with original products of the time and the interior decoration of a bourgeois house. The cultural centre regularly houses periodic arts exhibitions. Heraklidon 16 & Thessalonikis, Gazi (+30) 210 3452150
Weekdays 10:00-20:00/ Sun 10:00-14:00/ Closed Mon – www.melinamercourifoundation.org.gr
Museum of Greek Folk Art
treasure trove of Greek folk embroidery, weaving, traditional costumes and household items. The highlight is on the first floor: a reconstructed room from a house on the island of Lesvos with a series of murals by the folk artist Theofilos. For pompom shoe (tsarouchia) aficionados, this museum is a paradise. Kydathineon 17, Plaka (+30)
210 3229031 Tue-Sun: 08:00-15:00/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: œ2 Concessions: œ1 students from non-E.U. countries, senior citizens from E.U. Free admission: Persons under 19, EU students, classical studies and Art students – www.melt.gr
Railway Museum of Athens
museum off the beaten track of Athens city centre. A real haven for the railway aficionados run by former em-
INTERNATIONAL BOOKSTORES Anavasi (Map K10 Syntagma) A specialised, major travel bookshop, notable for its rich collection of maps and guides. Voulis 32, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3218104
Benaki Museum (Map K13
Syntagma) The museum shop stocks a fine selection of art books, catalogues, CDs and stationery. Koumbari 1 & Vasilissis Sofias, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3671000 / The New Benaki Museum (Map K1 Kerameikos) Pireos 138, Rouf (+30) 210 3453111
Best Book Hunters (Map E12 Panepistimio) New and used books in many different languages. Literature, science and fine arts in low prices. Housed in a neoclassical building which is adorned with a very original graffiti. Zoodohou Pigis 41A, Exarchia
(+30) 210 3603473
Deutsche Buchhandlung (Map I10
For German-speaking book lovers. Plenty of board and other games for kids. Omirou 4 & Stadiou 10, Gallery Lemos
(+30) 210 3225294
Eleftheroudakis (Map J11
Syntagma) One of the best known Athenian bookstores. It boasts a large English section with paperbacks and hardcovers of both classic and contemporary literature. Panepistimiou 15, Syntagma (+30) 210 3233861
Ianos (Map I10 Panepistimio) Οne of the most successful large bookstores for book and art lovers. Keep you eyes open for the cultural events that are frequently held at the bookstore’s coffee shop. Stadiou 24, Panepistimio (+30) 210 3217917
International Press (Map F9 Omonia) A meeting point for those interested in newspapers and magazines from around the globe. By far the largest store with international press in Athens. Panepistimiou 73, Omonia (+30) 210
ployees of the National Railways. You will come across the famous “Μoutzouris” steam locomotive, the smoking carriage of the Sultan, as well as the royal car of King George I of Greece. Taking photographs of the exhibits or getting on the wagons isn’t allowed. However, the museum’s managers are not too strict and they are willing to turn a blind eye. So hop on! You can take the Metro to station “Attiki” and then get on to bus line No 24 until “Praktoreia” stop. Siokou 4, Sepolia
(+30) 210 5126295
Tue-Fri-Sun 09:00-13:00 € Free admission
Industrial Gas Museum (Map J1
he Athens gasworks, the site where Technopolis of Athens is located, reopened its gates to the public on January 2013, approximately 30 years after its operation closedown, as Athens’s first industrial museum. The Athens gasworks had supplied the city with lighting and energy for almost 130 years, up until 1984 when it was permanently closed down. Visitors have the opportunity to tour the plant’s facilities, observe the coal gas production line and discover a forgotten part of the history of Athens. Topics such as industrial heritage and industrial archaeology, industrial working conditions at the plant, old and new forms of energy, unfold before the visitors’ eyes through original objects and equipment, numerous photographs, audio testimonials and video projections. The museum’s gift shop includes large range of items inspired by the old gasworks, such as original jewellery, stationery and decorative items. Pireos
100, Kerameikos (+30) 210 3475518 Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: œ1 – www.technopolis-athens.com
Le Livre Ouvert (Map G11 Panepistimio) Located very close to the French Institute in Kolonaki, it boasts a large French and international section. Solonos 77, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3629703
Papasotiriou (Map H10
Panepistimio) Number one destination for booklovers of foreign and domestic literature. Updated travel guides for destinations in Greece. Panepistimiou 37, Korai sq. (+30) 210 3253232 - 210 3809821 Newsstand Papasotiriou at Athens International Airport
Politeia (Map G11 Panepistimio) Huge bookstore with thousands of titles, very low prices and knowledgeable staff. Asklipiou 1-3, Panepistimio
(+30) 210 3600235
Public (Map K10
Syntagma) A large department store on Syntagma square. Huge section of foreign books, maps as well as travel guides. On the top floor of this impressive building there is a coffee shop overlooking the square. Karagiorgi Servias 1, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3246210
Travel Bookstore (Map G12 Panepistimio) This excellent travel bookshop belongs to the top Greek cartography company ORAMA Editions, which is our map supplier. Huge variety of top quality maps and travel guides covering every last corner of the country, as well as international maps and travel guides series. If you mention you’re a reader of this guide, the bookshop’s experienced staff will happily give you an extra discount. Solonos 71, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3616943 23rd km of Marathonos Av., Rafina
(+30) 22940 32670 CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 29
gardens of Athens By Nenela Georgele
Numismatic Museum of Athens (Map J11
hen he wasn’t supervising excavations in the Peleponnese, Heinrich Schliemann –the so-called “father of Mycenaean and Trojan archaeology”– lived in downtown Athens. Iliou Melathron was built and designed by German architect Ernst Ziller, as the residence of the Schliemann family. Just off Syntagma square, the museum is distinguished for its enormous collection of coins, medals, as well as gems dating from Classical, Macedonian, Roman and Byzantine eras up to the foundation of the Modern Greek state. In the 800 sqm garden backyard, replicas of ancient statues mingle with plants of the Greek flora. The yard comes complete with a beautiful café that offers beverages, wine, sandwiches, salads, pizza and beer.
The garden of the Numismatic Museum of Athens is a delight, just off the hustle and bustle of Syntagma sq. 30 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Panepistimiou 12, Syntagma (+30) 210 3632057, 210 3612834, 210 3612872 Tue-Sun: 08:30-15:15/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: œ3/ Concessions: œ2 Lift access for persons with mobility problems
or all its (partly justified) reputation as a city of concrete, Athens is not without its fair share of green oases. In fact, in the spring, its gardens are brimming with joy and life. Many of these gardens are “secret”, akin to a modern fairy tale. Located in the heart of the city, in the patios and yards of museums, complete with their own quiet little cafés, they are waiting to be discovered by visitors eager to combine culture with leisure.
Aethrion at Cycladic Art Museum (Map K15 Evangelismos) The café-restaurant of the Cycladic Art Museum houses a secret garden right in the centre of Athens. Ideal for coffee or tea, homemade cakes or tasty sandwiches, it offers a menu of both traditional Greek and international dishes. Neofytou Douka 4, Kolonaki (+30) 210 7228321-3
Mon-Wed-Fri 10:00-17:00, Thu 10:00-20:00 Free WiFi
Benaki Museum Caf (Map K15 Evangelismos) One of the most well-known, successful museum cafés of Athens, known for its beautiful bougainvilleas and its terrace with its truly remarkable view. A hangout spot for artists, archaeologists and tourists. Ideal to visit during sunset, but also on Thursday and Saturday evenings, when it stays open until late and offers a breathtaking view to the illuminated Acropolis. Vasilissis Sofias & Koumpari 1, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3671000 Wed & Fri 21:00-17:00, Thu & Sat 09:00-24:00, Sun 09:00-16:00. Closed on Mon-Tue
Byzantine and Christian Museum Caf (Map K15 Evangelismos) A ravishing garden with a footpath, large trees with ample shades and the glorious villa of the Duchess of Plakentia in its premises. Small tables on the sidewalk with a view to the villa and the Lyceum of Aristotle, an archaeological site newly opened to the public. Vasilissis Sofias 22,
(+30) 211 0120441
Caf of the National and Archaeological Museum (Map C10
Victoria) One of the must-see museums of Athens has its own beautiful, modern café in which you can enjoy coffee, beverages, salads and organic snacks. Patission 44, Victoria
(+30) 210 8834139
Dexameni (Map I15 Evangelismos) One of the oldest hangouts of the Greek intellectuals who once sought inspiration underneath its large trees. Nowadays, it is a busy café, bustling with life from 10:00 until late in the night. Coffee, Greek mezedes, raki, pies, soups. Dexamenis Sq,, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7224609
Fuga (Map G22 Megaro Moussikis) A café located in the quiet, breezy garden of the Athens Concert Hall. It offers tasty dishes and holds frequent events Vasilissis Sofias 7 & Kokkali, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7242979
National Garden Caf (Map N12 Syntagma) By far the largest garden of Athens, full of perennial trees, rare plants, flowers and lakes. In the heart of this lush greenery lies a serene small café, with echoes of Belle Epoque. National Gardens, Syntagma
(+30) 210 7232820
Open from 09:00 to sunset
Parko Eleftherias (Map H21 Megaro Moussikis) Named after the eponymous park, this romantic café-restaurant is open all week round from morning until late at night. Vasilissis Sofias, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7228321-3
By LENA CHOURMOUZI
Photo VANGELIS KORONAKIS
Parks are cool
reen city” is not a phrase that one normally associates with Athens. Yet, Athens does have several beautiful parks and hills, ideal for jogging, picnics or just a relaxed walk.
parks & hills of Athens National Gardens (Map L12
reated and designed by Queen Amalia in the 19th century, the National Gardens provide a pleasant green haven in the heart of bustling downtown Athens. Its meandering bench-laden paths, cool trees and popular ponds, make a favourite stroll for everyone. There is a Botanical Museum for the garden aficionados and for the young (or young at heart) there is the dedicated Childrens’ Museum. A pleasant coffee shop is also located here (see “secret gardens”). 32 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Zapion Garden (Map N11
ituated right next to (and actually forming an extension of) the National Gardens, the Zapion Garden generously provides a serene get-away from the hustle and bustle. There are wonderfully crafted statues to be seen, while the café and restaurant are well worth a visit. These Gardens harmoniously combine the grand (imposing architecture of the Zapion Hall) with the pristine, in its cool shady vistas and green corner get-aways.
Botanical Garden - Diomidous Gardens
xtending over a vast area of 1,800 hectares in Athens’s western suburbs of Korydallos, Dafni and Agia Varvara, it makes for a lovely, invigorating scenic stroll. Within its expansive serene grounds you can find an overwhelming abundance of flora (more than 3,000), some of which are exceedingly rare, as well as a dedicated botanic section with
pharmaceutical plants. University students prefer this garden for their summer concerts. Iera Odos 401, Votanikos
08:00-14:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-15:00
he adventurous reach the top of the hill on foot. The strenuous but rewarding walk to the summit via the stairs was built by the “Union of Forest Friends” during the decade from 1908 to 1918. Pine trees that offer the ideal habitat for dozens of bird species surround the path. You also ascend to the top by the funicular or by car, offering excellent views of the entire city and the Saronic Gulf. There is an open-air theatre atop the Hill that regularly hosts concerts during summer months. However the most photographed attraction of Lycabettus is the small gleamingwhite picturesque church of Saint George. A coffee-shop and restaurant (see our restaurant pages) are also to be found here offering the same breathtaking views of the capital.
Pedion tou Areos
A lovely recently renovated park located within easy walking distance (just five minutes) from the National Archaeological Museum. Its expansive tree-lined vistas make for a pleasant stroll during the day – there are also numerous impressive statues of Greek War of Independence heroes.
Akademia Platonos (Map E2) A significant cultural centre of Athens in ancient times, Akademia Platonos or “Plato’s Academy” is where philosopher Plato taught his disciples back on 5th century BC. These days, it is an oasis of green filled with monuments, ideal for strolls and picnics. One of the liveliest parks in Athens, it is a favourite among youths who often gather here for parties, feasts and festivities. It also houses the “Cooperative Café”, a hangout for more alternative crowds, offering mezedes and rakomelo.
Garden of the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) (Map E21 Megaro Moussikis)
An oasis of green in the heart of the city with many cultural events. From June to September visitors will enjoy its shade whilst listening to numerous famous Greek musicians. Vasilissis Sofias & Kokali
Photo Haris Akriviadis
Photo VANGELIS KORONAKIS
A green area south west of the Acropolis known in the ancient times as the Hill of the Muses. It is a favourite promenade of the Athenians and from there you can have great views of the Acropolis, the whole city of Athens and the
Aegean Sea that surrounds Attica. In 115 AD, a monument dedicated to the exiled Roman Prince Gaius Julius Antichus Philopappos of Commagene was erected on top of the hill. A paved path starts from Filopapou and leads to the Pnika Hill, where the great orators of Greek antiquity used to gather and discuss political issues.
Garden of the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 33
reeks and foreign visitors alike will flock to ancient theatres and modern art spaces to enjoy international and domestic productions in theatre, music and dance. Acclaimed artists from Greece and abroad are bound to attract large crowds. Summer in Greece is so much more than sun and beaches.
By DIMITRIS MASTROGIANNITIS
THEATRE The Schaubühne group from Berlin produces Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” 03-05.07.13 French director and actor Olivier Py disguises himself into “Miss Knife” 09 & 10.07.13 Fellow Frenchman Εmmanuel Demarcy Mota, director and head of the Théâtre de la Ville, presents Eugène Ionesco’s “Rhinocerus” 30.06 & 01.07.13 In the Theatre of Epidaurus, Greek troupes present Euripides’ “Cyclops” 02 & 03.08.13 , Aristophanes’ “Women of Trachis” 09 & 10.08.13 , Aristophanes’ “Peace” 26 & 27.07.13 , Euripides’ “The Trojan Women” 23 & 24.08.13 , Menandros’ “Samia” 19 & 20.07.13 , Euripides’ “Medea” 05 & 06.07.13 and Aristophanes’ “Pluto” 12 & 13.07.13
DANCE Dimitris Papaioannou, creative director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Athens Olympics, presents his choreography “Primal Matter”. Until 14.07.13 Two Greek dancers, Stavroula Siamou and Persa Stamatopoulou join forces in “Fight or Fight?” 26 & 27.07.13 Antonio Ruz and his team from Spain present his choreography “Ojo”
14 & 15.07.13
MUSIC Lucinda Childs (direction) and Giorgos Petros (musical direction) present Handel’s acclaimed opera “Alessandro” for Camerata – Friends of Music Orchestra 28 & 30.06.13 Diana Krall's voice and piano promise a bewitching night 1.07.13
(+30) 210 3272000 www.ticketservices.gr
TICKET CENTRE (Map H10 (+30) 210 7234567
Panepistimio) Panepistimiou 39 Mon-Fri 08:30-16:00/Sat 09:00-14:30
ODEON OF HERODES ATTICUS (Map N6 Dionisiou Areopagitou, Makrigianni Mon-Sun 09:00-14:00/ 18:00-21:00
Akropoli) (+30) 210 3241807
ANCIENT THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS (Argolida Prefecture) (+30) 2753 022026 & 2753 022096 21:30
FESTIVAL INFORMATION 34 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Mon-Thu 09:00-14:00/ Fri-Sat 09:30-
(+30) 210 9282900 www.greekfestival.gr
The most celebrated Greek festival
Watching a performance in Epidaurus is a magical experience every person should have at least once in their lifetime. One of the oldest theatres in the world still in use (it was built ca 330 BC), it impresses even contemporary audiences with its extraordinary acoustics. Naturally, it attracts visitors from around the world, so it is highly advisable to book well beforehand. Special buses depart Athens from the intercity bus (KTEL) central station (Kifissou 100) for the ancient theatre of Epidaurus at 17:00 on the days of the performances. The buses depart from the theatre to Athens about 15 minutes following the end of the performances. KTEL Argolidas Sygrou 8, Nafplio (+30) 27520 27323 & 27520 27423 www.ktel-argolidas.gr Odeon of Herodes Atticus CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 35
From video portraits to painting, art thrives in the hot Athenian summer
Don't miss Onassis Cultural Center (Map Q7
obert Wilson's exhibition of Video Portraits. Photography, cinema, literature and sound conflagrate in videos featuring famous actors, singers, dancers and writers, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Marianne Faithfull, Salma Hayek, Isabelle Huppert, Jeanne Moreau, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Isabella Rossellini etc. Until 07.07.13 Sygrou 107-109 (+30) 210 9005800 www.sgt.gr 36 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Isabella Rossellini. Courtesy of RW Work Ltd. Produced by Dissident Industries Inc.
By DIMITRIS MASTROGIANNITIS
Alexandros Tzannis, Museum of Cycladic Art
endering homage to Constantine Manos, prominent artist of the Greek Diaspora, the Benaki Museum presents an exhibition/tribute to his renowned photographic series “A Greek Portfolio”. With his exquisite images Manos invites us to travel with him to remote villages and islands of Greece in the 1960s, where, in a landscape of simple farm life and tranquillity, poor yet proud people struggle to survive with dignity, dedicated to a way of life that hasn’t changed for centuries. Until 25.08.13 (Map K10 Syntagma) Main Building (Map
K15 Syntagma/ Evangelismos) (+30) 210 3671000
Koumbari St. 1 & Vas. Sofias Av.
etrospective tribute to Kyriakos Katzourakis covers 50 years of creative work. Large-scale oils, drawings, models of stage-set designs. A specially designed area will be used to show excerpts of his films. All the pieces are from private collections in Greece and abroad. Until 28.07.13 Building at Pireos
str. (Map J1 3453111
Pireos 138 & Andronikou
Museum of Cycladic Art (Map K15
he DESTE Award was instituted in 1999 and is given every two years in a Greek or Cypriot artist who resides in Greece or abroad. The award seeks to promote up-and-coming artists. The support and promotion of contemporary art has been one of the major policies of the DESTE Institute. The exhibition consists of works by six candidate artists.
Vasilissis Sofias & Herodotou 1
(+30) 210 7228321
DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art
nspired by Jean Baudrillard’s seminal 1968 book “The System of Objects”, Greek architect and writer Andreas Angelidakis takes a look at the various collections Dakis Joannou has put together over the years, and enters the headquarters of the DESTE Foundation in Athens with the purpose of
Michael Cacoyannis Foundation A House of the World in the heart of Athens
ichael Cacoyannis Foundation (MCF) sets annually a program that aims to establish research and promotion of the performing arts as well as cinema and visual arts in Greece. The Cultural Centre of MCF draws plans for cultural events equal to the expectations, the artistic range as well as the vision of its founder, the famous director Michael Cacoyannis (1921-2011). MCF has already shaped a distinct identity, both in artists’ as well as the audience’s conscience, being a meeting point for young artists and pioneering trends. It is a house for artistic forms of expression that incorporates novelty and experimentation, which are either being born currently or belong to avant-garde artistic creation. It has also established an international dialogue with foreign embassies, NGOs and various institutions. The building that houses MCF comprises a total area of 6,810 sqm. The venue features four floors with an amphitheatre of 330 seats, a cinema of 120 seats, a multi use black box hall of 68 seats, exhibition areas, while there is also a café-bar, a bar-restaurant (it is being renovated and opens in September 2013) and the foundation's shop. Highlights of this summer include: “All About Epidaurus”, an exhibition by Vassilis Kavvathas
Until 28.07.13 A new adaptation of Sophocles’ “Antigone” 12-14.09.13
Piraeus 206, Tavros
(+30) 210 3418550 www.mcf.gr
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 37
Constantine Manos, Benaki Museum
Pireos 260 [In Athens Festival]
he exhibition is titled “Heart of Darkness”. The artwork Red Carpet by Maro Michalakakou is directly related to power, dominance and the inextricable relationship between life and death. The installation Acropolis Now by Kendell Geers constitutes an inner journey inside the dark underbelly of the human psyche. Until 17.07.13 (Building A) assilis Koltoukis records with his camera road musicians he encountered during his travels from the Balkans to Africa, from musicians in street fairs to others in street corners, both amateurs and professionals. Until 17.07.13 (Dia-
dromos) Pireos 260 (+30) 210 9282900 By bus (No 049, 914) stop "Ifantiria" or "School of Fine Arts" www.oasa.gr
Herakleidon Museum (Map K4
. C. Escher – V. Vasalery: From the aesthetics of art to the logic of mathematics“. Serigraphs and prints of two notable artists, from the permanent collection of the museum. Iraklidon 16 (+30) 210 3461981
I Dimitris Sarassitis, "The Deceit of the Flesh", Frissiras Museum
“reloading” them. Until 30.11.13
Filellinon 11 & Emmanouil Pappa
(+30) 210 2758490
Frissiras Museum (Map M10-11
floor), Psyri Akropolis)
n her diaries, Demi Kaia records her personal experiences, her insatiable sexual curiosity and her fantasies that doubt the limits of what is permissible. Her art is interested in sexual transgression and its connection to fantasy. Everything is allowed, especially in that dark zone where the artist become simultaneously an orgiastic Maenad and a blood-thirsty murderer. Until 27.06.13 Aristofanous 20 (4th
(+30) 210 3214994
he exhibition "The Deceit of the Flesh" constitutes a juxtaposition between the tribute to the female body and its beauty and sensuality, reflected in the works by the 31 Greek and foreign participating artists and the work of French painter Jean Rustin in which man’s suffering and decay are portrayed. Until 27.10.13 3 & 7, Monis Asteriou, Plaka
ove Letters to XAOS”. A postmodern love manifesto. Vassilia Kanga and Katerina Stamou, through the works of 14 new Greek artists, compose the experience of love in they way it is enacted in modern cities – a brand-new form of adventure. Until 23.06.13 Normanou 5, Monastiraki
(at the junction of Kydathineon str.)
38 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
(+30) 210 3234678
info You can go to Malakasa TerraVibe by train (Ă’SfendaliĂ“ station) or specially chartered buses. 37th km of the Athens-Lamia Motorway (+30) 210 8820426
Lana del Rey
Lycabettus Theatre (Map F17)
(+30) 210 7227209
OAKA ( Neratziotissa / Irini) Kifisias 37, Maroussi (+30) 210 6834060-61 Gagarin 205 Live Music Space (
Liosion 205, Attiki
(+30) 210 8547600
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Dionysiou Areopagitou, Makrigianni (+30) 210 32 41807
Plateia Nerou, Olympiakos Polos Falirou Dionysiou Areopagitou, Makrigianni (+30) 210 961118
Badminton Theater (
Olympic Properties, Goudi
Katechaki) (+30) 210 8840600
Technopolis (Map J1 Kerameikos) Pireos 100, Kerameikos (+30) 210 3475518 Bios (Map I4 Kerameikos) Pireos 84, Kerameikos (+30) 210 3425335 40 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Pet Shop Boys
4 LIVE The best summer gigs By GEORGE DIMITRAKOPOULOS
ull concert season this summer in Athens. Big names, surprising gigs, French invasion and music for all tastes.
22.06.13 PATTI SMITH The priestess of punk we know all too well. Odeon of Herodes Atticus 27.06.13 GRUPO COMPAY SEGUNDO FROM BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB Unleash your hidden Latino self. Technopolis
01.07.13 SLAYER,ROTTING CHRIST,DOWN,KVELERTAK A feast for metalheads. Plateia Nerou 01.07.13 DIANA KRALL Krall will take us back to the 20s-30s. A time-travel to the age of Prohibition. Odeon of Herodes Atticus 04.07.13 KRS-ONE A significant figure in hip-hop, associated with the Boogie Down Productions and numerous major collaborations. Bios 06.07-09.07.13 ROCKWAVE FESTIVAL This year Rockwave will last four days. Headliners include Lana Del Rey (08.07), the mystical Dead Can Dance, Echo & the Bunnymen, plus a surprise day with Greek gigs. Malakasa TerraVibe 15.07.13 MADELEINE PEYROUX French-Greek alliance with Elli Paspala. Lycabettus Theatre 15.07-19.07.2013 ATHENS WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL PIGS The four Mediterranean countries that make up the infamous PIGS acronym join forces in this musical festivity. Big names include Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare, Cristina Branco, Andre Maia Band. Technopolis 16.07.13 EJEKT FESTIVAL The most feelgood festival of the summer. Pet Shop Boys is the hottest name. Other artists include James Blake, Happy Mondays and new blood from the winners of the Red Bull Bedroom Jam. Plateia Nerou 28.07.2013 ANTHRAX Fans of metal music are ready for headbanging. Gagarin 205 Live Music Space 31.07.2013 ROGERWATERS The most famous music Wall in an extravagant production. OAKA
03.09.2013 ZAZ A night out with words of love in French and a collaboration with Marietta Fafouti. Lycabettus Theatre 13.09.2013 NOUVELLE VAGUE In many years from now the bossa nova covers of Nouvelle Vague will enjoy their own covers. Musical history is being rewritten. Technopolis
To go to Plateia Nerou from Syntagma, take the Tram line No 4 (Syntagma to S.E.F.) and alight at stop ÒDelta FalirouÓ or bus lines E22 or B2 (stop ÒForosÓ)
Modernised versions of traditional Greek music, aimed at an international audience By Makis milatos
Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis Greekadelia
This globally famous Greek duet spices up the traditional dimotika (folk) songs of Greece with a rock and psychedelic flavour. They cover both known and unknown dimotika and nisiotika (island folk) songs using instruments such as the Greek laouto and the Hindi harmonium. (www.worldmusic.net/greekadelia)
Babis Papadopoulos From Draco’s Cave
One of the most well-known Greek rock guitarists, he delivers his own contemporary instrumental version of old rebetika songs that originated in the Piraeus area. (myspace.com/puzzlemusik)
Dimitris Kalantzis Quintet Mano’s
Academy Award winner Manos Hadjidakis is one of the most celebrated Greek composers in the world. In this record, his most famous compositions are tinged with a jazzy groove.
Daemonia Nymphe Psychostasia
An internationally acclaimed Greek duet whose music and lyrics are inspired by the ancient Greek civilization. Instruments similar to those used in ancient Greece, recitation of classical texts and a goth, dark soundscape reminiscent of Dead Can Dance. (www.prikosnovenie.com)
May Roosevelt Haunted Using electronic
sounds and her main instrument, the theremin, this musician from the city of Thessaloniki modernises traditional Greek dance rhythms, including zeibekiko, chasapiko, kalamatiano, tsamiko, zonaradiko, kotsari et al.
The Burger Project Ftina Charemia
By way of mixing jazz, funk, reggae, dub and plenty of humour, this entertaining Greek quartet (with the vocal participation of the excellent Matoula Zamani) cover old Greek laika (popular folk) songs with Oriental flavour. (www.burgerproject.gr)
Happy Dog Project Dog to the Bone
Traditional jazz grooves, funky beats, Hammond echoes and covers of old Greek laika. (myspace.com/happydogproject)
Kyriakides / Moor Rebetika Renowned British guitarist Andy Moore (the Ex) and Cypriot musician Yannis Kyriakides collaborate on an experimental and interesting take on Greek rebetika. (www.unsounds.com) CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 41
TO STAY Best hotels By KAROLINA NIAMONITAKI
reece” often comes with connotations of “hospitality”. For many foreigners, it is a country identified with friendliness and welcoming people. Athens, with its nearly 500 hotels, actively proves this notion. From luxurious five stars to youth hostels, there are accommodations for all budgets and tastes.
Arion Luxury Collection Resort & Spa Location Vouliagmeni | No of Rooms 239 | No of Beds 462 Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni (+30) 210 8902000 www.arionresortathens.com
(Map Q8 Sygrou-Fix) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 559 | No of Beds 1,086 Sygrou 89-93 (+30) 210 9206000 www.ichotelsgroup.com
Evangelismos) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 506 | No of Beds 892 Vasilissis Sofias 46 (+30) 210 7281000 www.hiltonathens.gr
Crowne Plaza (Map J21
Megaro Moussikis) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 193 | No of Beds 334 Mihalakopoulou 50 (+30) 210 7278000 www.cpathens.com
ocated in the affluent and leafy suburb of Kifissia, Semiramis is at the heart of the finest shopping and entertainment venues, also enjoying quick and easy access to the city’s business districts. In this exclusive 51-room hotel, where art blends with modern hotel technology, and functionality exudes style, the educated business or leisure traveller will feel at home. Curvaceous forms and lollipop colours offer a young, enthusiastic and seductive alternative to more traditional conceptions of hospitality. No of Rooms 51 | No of Beds 96 Charilaou Trikoupi 48, Kifissia
(+30) 210 6284400 semiramis.athenshotels.it
Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 320 | No of Beds 594 Syntagma sq. (+30) 210 3330000 www.grandebretagne.gr
King George II (Map K11 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 102 | No of Beds 210 Syntagma sq. (+30) 210 3222210 www.classicalhotels.com Ledra Marriott Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 314 | No of Beds 331 Sygrou 115 (+30) 210 9300000 www.marriott.com
Melia Athens (Map E9 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 136 | No of Beds 259 Chalkokondili 14 (+30) 210 3320100 www.melia-athens.com Metropolitan Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 374 | No of Beds 698 Sygrou 385 (+30) 210 9471000 www.chandris.gr
Electra Palace (Map L10
N. J. V. Athens Plaza ( Map K11 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 182 | No of Beds 336 Vasileos Georgiou 2 (+30) 210 3352400 www.njvathensplaza.gr
Grand Resort Lagonissi
Park (Map A11 Victoria) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 152 | No of Beds 271 Alexandras 10 (+30) 210 8894500 www.athensparkhotel.gr
Syntagma) Location Athens City Center | No of Rooms 155 | No of Beds 291 Navarchou Nikodimou 18 (+30) 210 3370000 www.electrahotels.gr Location Lagonissi | No of Rooms 346 | No of Beds 689 40th Km Athinon-Souniou (+30) 22910 76000 www.lagonissiresort.gr
Grande Bretagne (Map K11 42 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Royal Olympic (Map IΡ8 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 264 | No of Beds 535 Athanasiou Diakou 28-34 (+30) 210 9288400 www.royalolympic.com
new hotel ( Map L11
Saint George Lycabettus (Map I15) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 154 | No of Beds 305 Kleomenous 2 (+30) 210 7416000 www.sglycabettus.gr Sofitel Athens Airport Location Athens Airport | No of Rooms 345 | No of Beds 681 El. Venizelos Airport (+30) 210 3544000 www.sofitelathens.gr
n intriguing 79-room establishment, where every public space and every floor has been creatively renewed to include remnants of the former Olympic Palace Hotel. The interiors are simply outstanding, the unusual custommade furniture and handmade fixtures making guests feel that they live and breathe in a major art installation. Designed by award winning designer duo, Fernando and Humberto Campana, it draws from urban street life, contemporary art and the Sao Paulo favela culture. No of Rooms 79 | No of Beds 165 Filelinon 16, Syntagma (+30) 210 3273000
The Westin Athens Location Vouliagmeni | No of Rooms 162 | No of Beds 319 Apollonos 40 (+30) 210 8902000 www.westinathens.com
Alexandros (Map F22 Megaro Moussikis) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 93| No of Beds 174 Timoleontos Vassou 8, Ampelokipi (+30) 210 6430464 www.airotel.gr
Amalia (Map L11 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 97 | No of Beds 188 Amalias 10 (+30) 210 3237301-9 | www.amalia.gr Art Hotel Athens (Map D8 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 30 | No of Beds 56 Marni 27 (+30) 210 5240501 www.arthotelathens.gr Art Suites Athens Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 11 | No of Beds 25 Sevastias 3 & Michalakopoulou 88A, Ilisia (+30) 210 7473177 www.artsuitesathens.gr
Athens Atrium ( Neos Kosmos) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 56 | No of Beds145 Okeanidon 21 (+30) 210 9319300-4 www.athensatrium.gr
AthenStyle (Map J6
Athens Lotus (Map D5 Metaxourghio) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 31 | No of Beds 62 Chiou 9 (+30) 210 5249050 www.athenslotushotel.gr Monastiraki)
he Europeâ€™s Famous Hostels outpost in Athens has just celebrated five years in the business. Premium accommodation at the best price, friendly staff and unforgettable views. Recommended by Lonely Planet and other travel guides. Their rooftop bar has become a hotspot for travellers and Athenians alike. Freshly made dishes of the day based on Greek traditional recipes, and refreshing cocktails at hostel prices. No of Rooms 25 | No of Beds 150
Agias Theklas 10, Monastiraki (+30) 210 322 5010 www.famoushostels.com/athens-hostel www.AthenStyle.com
44 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
AVA Hotel & Suites (Map N9 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 23 | No of Beds 38 Lisikratous 9-11 (+30) 210 3259000 www.avahotel.gr Delice Hotel (Map L19 Evangelismos) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 44 | No of Beds 77 Vasileos Alexandrou 3 & Vrassida (+30) 210 7238311-3 www.delice.gr Electra Hotel (Map K10 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 109 | No of Beds 178
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 45
make a splash
Sparkling turquoise waters, spacious terraces, relaxing deckchairs with an inspiring view of the Acropolis or the Aegean. Most hotels in Athens offer swimming pool facilities for a refreshing dip. Listed below are our favourite spots for urban swimming.
t features the largest outdoor swimming pool in the heart of the city. You can unwind beside palm trees sipping a cocktail from the stylish bar while the kids splash around in the adjacent children’s pool. Hilton’s pool is open from May to September.
Vasilissis Sofias 25 (+30) 210 7281000 www.hiltonathens.gr/en
St. George Lycabettus
he best for the hot summer days in Athens. There is also a contemporary steam bath with outstanding views of Athens as a backdrop.
(+30) 210 7416000 www.sglycabettus.gr
Radisson Blue Park Hotel
ocated on the border of the central park of Athens, Pedion Areos. Its outdoor swimming pool on the rooftop (8th floor) offers a breathtaking view to Lycabettus Hill.
(+30) 210 8994500 www.rbathenspark.com
Classical Athens Imperial
ocated within walking distance from the historical centre of Athens. Its swimming pool on the rooftop overlooks the Acropolis. The very stylish “Hippy Chic Lounge Bar” guarantees a visit to remember.
M. Alexandrou 2-6 & Karaiskaki (+30) 210 5201600 www.classicalhotels.com/athensimperial
he place to enjoy both the Acropolis and the Lycabettus Hill while in the water.
Vasileos Alexandrou 2 (+30) 210 7207000 www.divanis.com/caravel/default-gr.htm
Asteras Glyfadas Complex
n exotic seaside paradise. The parties at the Balux Café by the open-air pool are always the talk of the town.
(+30) 210 8941620 www.asterascomplex.com
resort for refreshing dives with a cosmopolitan flair by the clear waters of the Saronic Gulf. It is also equipped with sea sports of all kinds such as water-skiing, windsurfing, paragliding and others.
Apolonos 40, Vouliagmeni www.astir-palace.com
(+30) 210 8902000
Grand Resort Lagonissi
truly blissful hideaway with private outdoor swimming pools overlooking the Aegean.
40th km Athens-Sounio www.grandresort.gr
46 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
(+30) 229 1076000
(+30) 210 3378000 www.electrahotels.gr
Emmantina Location Glyfada | No of Rooms 80 | No of Beds 144 Posidonos 33 (+30) 210 8980683 www.emmantina.gr
Fresh Hotel (Map H7 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 133 | No of Beds 253 Sofokleous 26 & Klisthenous 2 (+30) 210 5248511-6 www.freshhotel.gr Golden Age (Map I21 Megaro Moussikis) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 122 | No of Beds 226 Michalakopoulou 57 (+30) 210 7240861-9 www.goldenage.gr Hera Hotel (Map Q8 Sygrou-Fix) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 37 | No of Beds 74 Falirou 9 (+30) 210 9236682 www.herahotel.gr Herodion (Map P7 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 90 | No of Beds 171 Rovertou Gali 4 (+30) 210 9236832-6 www.herodion.gr Holiday Suites Hotel (Map I21 Megaro Moussikis) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 29 | No of Beds 58 Arnis 4 (+30) 210 7278000 www.holiday-suites.com Ilissia (Map K19 Evangelismos / Megaro Moussikis) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 91 | No of Beds 166 Mihalakopoulou 25 (+30) 210 7244051-6 www.ilisiahotel.gr Ilissos ( Sygrou-Fix) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 91 | No of Beds 173 Kalirois 72 (+30) 210 9202000 www.ilissos.gr Novotel Athenes (Map C7
Larissa Station) Location
Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 196 | No of Beds 361
Michail Voda 4-6
(+30) 210 8200700 www.novotelathens.gr
Parthenon (Map O9 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 79 | No of Beds 148 Makri 6, Plaka (+30) 210 9234594 www.airotel.gr Periscope (Map I5 Evangelismos) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 21 | No of Beds 46 Haritos 22 (+30) 210 7297200 www.yeshotels.gr Stratos Vassilikos (Map G23 Megaro Moussikis) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 88 | No of Beds 163 Mihalakopoulou 114 (+30) 210 7706611 www.airotel.gr The Athenian Callirhoe (Map Q8 Sygrou-Fix) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 84 | No of Beds 173 Kallirois 32 & Petmeza (+30) 210 9215353 www.tac.gr Titania (Map G9 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 398 | No of Beds 754 Panepistimiou 52 (+30) 210 3326000 www.titania.gr Tropical Location Alimos | No of Rooms 38 | No of Beds 62 Posidonos 74 (+30) 210 9813993/4 www.tropicalhotel.gr
Zafolia (Map B17) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 191 | No of Beds 350
(+30) 210 6449002 www.zafoliahotel.gr
Achilleas (Map J10 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 34 | No of Beds 74 Leka 21, Syntagma (+30) 210 3233197 www.achilleashotel.gr Acropolis Select (Map Q7 Sygrou-Fix) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 72 | No of Beds 137 Falirou 37-39 (+30) 210 9211611 www.acropoliselect.gr Adrian Hotel (Map L8 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 22 | No of Beds 44 Adrianou 74 (+30) 210 3221553 www.douros-hotels.com Arethusa Hotel (Map K10 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 87 | No of Beds 158 Mitropoleos 6-8 & Nikis 12 (+30) 210 3229431-8 www.arethusahotel.gr Arion Athens Hotel (Map I7 Monastiraki, Omonia) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 51 | No of Beds 86 Agiou Dimitriou 18 (+30) 210 3240415 www.arionhotel.gr Athens Center Square (Map H7 Syntagma) Location Monastiraki | No of Rooms 54 | No of Beds 108 Aristogitonos 15 (+30) 210 3211770 www.athenscentersquarehotel.gr Attalos (Map K10 Syntagma) Location Monastiraki | No of Rooms 78 | No of Beds 155 Athinas 29 (+30) 210 3212801 www.attaloshotel.com Dorian Inn Hotel (Map G7 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 146 | No of Beds 287 Pireos 15-17 (+30) 210 5239782 www.dorianinnhotel.com Iniohos Hotel (Map E8 Metaxourghio) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 134 | No of Beds 250 Veranzerou 26 (+30) 210 5230811-5 www.iniohoshotel.gr Jason Inn Hotel (Map I5 Monastiraki) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 53 | No of Beds 98 Asomaton 12-14 (+30) 210 3251106-8 www.douros-hotels.com Museum (Map C11 Victoria / Omonia) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 93 | No of Beds 175 Bouboulinas & Tositsa 16 (+30) 210 3805611-3 www.museum-hotel.gr Omiros Hotel (Map L9 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 37 | No of Beds 60 Apollonos 15 (+30) 210 3235486-7 www.omiroshotel.gr Pan (Map K10 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 33 | No of Beds 63 Mitropoleos 11 (+30) 210 3237.816 www.panhotel.gr Philippos Hotel (Map P7 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 50 | No of Beds 84 Mitseon 3, Makrigianni (+30) 210 9223611-4 www.philipposhotel.gr
HOSTELS Athens Backpackers (Map P9 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre Makri 12 (+30) 210 9224044 www.backpackers.gr Athenstyle (Map J7 Monastiraki) Location Athens City Centre Agias Theklas 10 (+30) 210 3225010 www.athenstyle.com Dioskouros (Map N10 Akropoli, Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre Pitakou 6 (+30) 210 3248165 www.hotelfivos.gr The Student and Travellers Inn (Map M9 Akropoli / Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre Kidathineon 16 (+30) 210 3244808 www.studenttravellersinn.com
APARTMENTS Athens Designed Apartments
Location Athens City Centre Chatzichristou (+30) 6937 000787
Athens Studios (Map Q7 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre Veikou 3A (+30) 210 9235811 www.athensstudios.gr
Artwork: THODORIS BARGIOTAS 48 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Restaurants The best food in the city By NENELA GEORGELE - ZIZI SFYRI
ating in Greece is a treat for the senses. In recent years, culinary tourism has been on the rise as the world learns to appreciate the delights and health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Throughout the capital you’ll find a range of eateries representing the country’s gastronomic scene – from traditional tavernas serving good homely Greek cuisine “just like Mama used to make it”, to chic restaurants serving up great dishes with a modern, creative twist. And, of course, the city also has many bar-restaurants, fast casual outlets, and a wide choice of international cuisine to satisfy any visitor’s appetite.
œ below 15 œœ 15-25 œœœ 25-35 œœœœ 35+
xtra virgin olive oil, fresh seasonal vegetables, greens and herbs, crispy pies and juicy roasts, fresh fish and seafood are some of the ingredients that have established the Greek cuisine as one of the best in the world. You will find it in all tavernas and restaurants throughout the city.
Alepou (Map I16
mall dishes, tasty cuisine, cosy space with a nostalgic vibe. Friendly prices. Open late on Fri-Sat for an afterhours bite. œ
Charitos 29B & Ploutarchou
Grammes ton Orizonton (greek traditional)
(+30) 210 7242717
elicious mezedes in really low prices in this small, sweet taverna. Traditional feta, sausages and olive. In days with fine weather, the owner will guide you to a fragrant garden of orange trees and parsley. œ
Dionisou 16, Chalandri
(+30) 210 6854880
Butcher Shop (Map J1
modern taverna with extraordinary meat specialties and a great variety of domestic products. One of the few where you can enjoy the simple pleasure of eggs and potatoes. Fair prices, amazingly crowded. œœ
Persefonis 19, Gazi
Filippou (Map I15
(+30) 210 3413440 Evangelismos)
food. A standard lunch meeting point on Sat. œœœ
his historic restaurant will serve you “mama’s” food in very good prices. Closed Sat evening and Sun. œœ
Xenokratous 19, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7216390
Grammes ton Orizonton
new, pretty, traditional eatery with mezedes with a décor reminiscent of an island kafeneio. Dishes from all around Greece, plus tsipouro, raki and fine wine. A very cosy place that makes you feel at home. Live Greek music every night. Open from 13:00. œœ
Grigoriou Afxentiou 58-60, Ilissia
Mamacas (Map J1
ROZALIA (GREEK TRADITIONAL)
(+30) 210 7775050
t has redefined the concept “modern Greek taverna”. In simple terms, this means nothing less than lovingly prepared
Persefonis 41, Gazi
(+30) 210 3464984
Myrovolos (Map F4
ne of the best-known haunts of the area, it draws a primarily young clientele. Open from morning, with tables outside, for coffee, alcohol or Greek cuisine. Relaxed vibe and good music that keeps people until late at night. œ
Giatrakou 12, Metaxourgio
Rozalia (Map D11
(+30) 210 5228806
ne of the classic eateries of Exarchia. Uiversity students love it. Its Greek cuisine and lush green roof garden make it very popular. Another plus is the fact that it stays open until very late at night all week. œ
Valtetsiou 58, Exarchia
(+30) 210 3302933 CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 49
FINE DINING BOTRINI'S The restaurant of the excellent chef Hector Botrini. Great and very inventine, creative dishes, high quality. œœœœ Vassileos Georgiou B 24B, Chalandri
(+30) 210 6857324
Spondi (Map Q14) The most acclaimed restaurant in town, Spondi already has 2 Michelin stars and many international awards to its credit. It has the best wine list in Greece, a fact that earned the restaurant yet another special award. Avant-garde contemporary French cuisine and great desserts. œœœœ Pyronos 5, Pagrati
(+30) 210 7520658, 210 7564021
athiri (Map H3
Kerameikos) One of the finest restaurants of the city with an incredibly beautiful garden. The multi-awarded chef Alexis Kardasis produces a fresh version of Greek cuisine. Thu-Sat 20:00-01:30, Sun evening & Mon closed. œœœ Plateon 15, Gazi
(+30) 210 3462983
Funky Gourmet (Map G3
Kerameikos) The food here
is inspired by contemporary art and you’ll find pioneering spirit behind every culinary creation. Chefs Georgianna Chiliadaki and Nikos Roussos were awarded their first Michelin this year. The setting is beautiful. œœœœ Paramithias 13 & Salaminos, Keramikos
(+30) 210 5242727
KUZINA (Map K5
Thissio) Stylish modern taverna with fusion dishes from chef Aris Tsanaklides. Continue your night with a drink up on the roof while enjoying the breathtaking view of Acropolis and the Temple of Hephaestus. œœœœ Adrianou 9, Thissio
(+30) 210 3240133
Varoulko (Map I4 Kerameikos) Lefteris Lazarou is Greece’s star cook. Winner of multiple awards, including a Michelin star, he is a restaurant business owner and TV personality. His cooking mostly features seafood with a creative twist. œœœœ Pireos 80, Keramikos
(+30) 210 5228400
Matsuhisa Athens Japan in Greece. It meets the highest standards for sushi. Highlights: black cod, nice cocktails, fantastic location on the sea front. œœœœ Astir Palace Hotel, Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni (+30) 210 8960510
Blue Hytra Second-time winner of a Michelin star, this restaurant shines with its flamboyant chef’s personality: Nikos Karathanos, who takes a Mediterranean approach to every dish. œœœ
Strofi (Map O6
ne of the oldest urban tavernas, right across the imposing walls of Odeon of Herodes Atticus. No better place to dine after experiencing a live performance. Authentic Greek dishes and a breathtaking view to the Acropolis from its cool breezy terrace. œœœ
R. Gali 25, Makrigianni
lain and simple space with an “intellectual” touch, but its passion for original Greek food remains intact. Splendid cooked dishes, and even better grilled or fried seafood. Closed Sun. œœ
Meandrou 15, Ilissia
reeks love their traditional homemade cuisine, and renowned Greek chefs love to tackle its recipes. What they come up with is some of the country's most representative dishes served up "with a twist". The finest restaurants of the Greek creative cuisine are...
hen making your reservation, be sure to ask for a table in the beautiful garden. Aleria is renowned for its imaginative working of nouvelle Greek cuisine. œœœ
Megalou Alexandrou 57, Metaxourgio
reek taste in its best version. Emphasis on regional cuisines. Ideal for business lunches. Refreshing, beautiful garden where you can enjoy your food. Beer house next door. Closed Sun. œ
Argentinis Dimokratias 8A & Zonara 21, L. Alexandras (+30) 210 6420874 Argentinis Dimokratias 14 (+30) 210 6450345
ne of the oldest restaurants of Athens, the experience of eating excellent Greek food comes true with its delicious traditional cuisine and cosy atmosphere, loved by the locals but also famous people such as Hillary Clinton. œœ
Kifissias 70, Maroussi
(+30) 210 6120808
Cucina Povera (Map O14
ery good wine restaurant by sommelier John Kaimenakis with a long list of wines. Enjoy your favourite wines served in glass or bottle along with the seasonal cuisine served. Closed Sun. œœ
Eforionos 13 & Eratosthenous, Pagrati
Electra Palace Hotel, Nikodimou 18-20, Plaka (+30) 210 3370000
Milos Estiatorio (Map K19 Evangelismos) Inside the Hilton Hotel, minimal ambience, fish and seafood experts. Fixed lunch menu at €27. œœœœ 50 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
(+30) 210 5222633
Electra Restaurant (Map L10 Akropoli) Classical Greek cuisine in a new form. Beautiful verandah with a view of the Acropolis. œœœ
(+30) 210 7244400
(+30) 210 7256335
Westin Athens Hotel, Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni (+30) 210 8902000
Hilton Hotel, Vasilissis Sofias 46
(+30) 210 9214130
athiri (fine dining)
(+30) 210 7566008
Price: €13 with w -19 ine Open d aily: 12:00-0 2:00
ome know it as a traditional taverna, some as a cookhouse. Since 1978, “Rosalia”, located in the neighbourhood of Exarchia, is one of the best options for food in the centre of Athens. Its wonderful, green garden, an oasis of freshness in the heart of the capital, surrounded by mulberries, planes and olives in front of the Valtetsiou pedestrian, is ideal for any time of the day. Cooked meals (over 20 choices daily) and dishes with fresh fish and grilled meat, plus ouzo, wine, beer and raki with homemade mezedes that are made on the spot. But first, you can choose from the tray with the appetisers, including hummus, politiki salad, fava, beetroots, blackeyed peas and Mexican salad. Then, it’s time to choose among the specialties, such as peppered tenderloin and other delicacies. A great hangout of taste in Exarchia with delicious dishes, cool environment and a friendly vibe.
Valtetsiou 58, Exarchia, +30 210 3302933
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 51
WINE L VERS
Dionysos (Map O7
njoy magnificent Mediterranean cuisine in this emblematic restaurant of Athens facing the Acropolis. Beautiful garden and posh customers. œœœœ
Rovertou Gali 43, Makrigianni
(+30) 210 9233182
DimitrisTalianis, "Bellonio Politistiko", 07-26.07.13 Kentro Thiras, Santorini
ne of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions, Greece has been making its own wine for the past 6,500 years. Since the tourism boom of the country in the 1960s, retsina, a white wine with resin aroma, has become almost synonymous to Greece and Greek wine. But there is far more than that for the wine lovers. For many years now, top international varieties have been cultivated with great success. Top sommeliers, wine writers and traders have put Greece firmly on the global “wine map”. There are also many rare regional varieties, which are well worth trying. Some of the best producers and their top wines are listed below. A bottle of good white wine in the liqueur stores costs between € 10-15 and a bottle of red € 12-25.
The most important Greek wine grapes White varieties
Assyrtico The finest white grape from Santorini Island. Mineral with high acidity, ages well Malagousia Aromatic, with a scent of ripe peaches and apricots Moschofilero A sweet, aromatic grape
Agiorgitico Rich, deeply coloured, ages well Xinomavro Greece’s answer to Barolo, needs time to develop
Aivalis Especially red Monopati Alpha Estate Εspecially Sauvignon Blanc and Xinomavro Antonopoulos Εspecially Chardonnay and Nea Dris red Arghyros Especially Vareli Assyrtico and Top Vinsanto Biblia Chora Εspecially Assyrtico and red and white Ovilos Driopi Red Agiorgitico Gaia Εspecially Agiorgitico and thalassitis white Gerovassiliou Εspecially Chardonnay, Avaton red and Syrah Hatzidakis Nihteri white Katogi Strofilia Ktima Averof red Katsaros Chardonnay Kir-Yanni Samaropetra white, Diaporos red Manousakis Roussanne and Syrah Mercouri Refosco and Malvasia Papaioannou Εspecially Palaia Ktimata red Sigalas Εspecially Vareli Assyrtico Skouras Grand Cuvée red Tselepos Top Merlot - Giannis Dimopoulos 52 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
erfect for a day away from the city, in an area of serenity, only 28 km from Athens, right next to Lake Marathon, and serving excellent Mediterranean cuisine. Lake-view tables, great food, refreshing cocktails, wines and coffee. Visit at sunset when the colours of the sky reflect on the lake or after dark when the dam is spectacularly lit. œœ
Marathon Lake Dam
Mani Mani (Map Q7
(+30) 210 8143415 Akropoli)
ani is the rocky area in the south of the Peloponnese, and many of its local dishes are served in this superb modern restaurant, housed in a neoclassical building a few steps away from the Acropolis museum. If you are looking for real, non-tourist Greek food at surprisingly low prices, this is your first choice. We cannot recommend it enough. Closed Mon. œœ
Falirou 10, Makrigianni
Rififi (Map E12
(+30) 210 9218180
beloved, warm restaurant in the district of Exarchia, with tables on the sidewalk and a unique culinary philosophy: buying from small producers, offering a limited selection of dishes and portions on a daily basis and making everything on their own using traditional and organic ingredients. Menu at €10. œœ
Em. Benaki 69A & Valtetsiou, Exarchia
(+30) 210 3300237
inston Churchill, Sophia Loren and many others have dined here. Renato Mecolli knows how to handle seafood. By far one of Piraeus’ most well known and historic restaurants. œœœ
Etolikou 72, Piraeus
(+30) 210 4612457
reece is the centre of Mediterranean cuisine and the best place to enjoy the tastiest and most creative Mediterranean dishes.
ocated inside a green garden, this is a multilevel space open from early in the morning for a poolside coffee.
FRAGMA (GREEK CREATIVE)
ALEXANDRA (GREEK CREATIVE)
rififi (greek creative)
reek food, like any other Mediterranean cuisine, is based on virgin olive oil, fresh products, the aromatic herbs of the Greek countryside and the talent of its cooks. Some of the most famous Greek tastes are...
œœœ Agiou Ioannou 23, Agia Paraskevi
Fuga (Map G21
salads Choriatiki The most famous Greek salad. The Koulouri name means “village salad” and it’s a real work of art, an explosion of colour on your plate. The red of the tomatoes, deep green of the peppers, delicate pale green of cucumber, white of the feta cheese and onions, black of the olives – all topped off with a bright, glistening touch of virgin oil. Don’t forget a pinch of dried oregano to add fragrance. Dakos A popular Cretan dish. Small rusks, topped with grated tomato and crumbled mitzithra cheese. The secret lays in the good quality olive oil to sprinkle over it. Stamnagathi Piney chicory herb found mostly on the island of Crete, served boiled in water and lemon juice or fresh in a salad. A beautiful, powerful taste of Greek flora.
(+30) 210 6000102
he restaurant of the Megaron with modern Mediterranean cuisine from the famous chef Giorgos Venieris will satisfy your appetite. Wonderful garden. œœœœ
Vasilissis Sofias & Kokali 1, Megaron Moussikis (+30) 210 7242979
Koulouri A small bread
ring coated in sesame seeds. It is a traditional Greek favourite street food sold from small stands around the city. Souvlaki The quintessenApaki tial street food – loved by Greeks and tourists alike. You can find souvlaki on every corner, in every neighbourhood, all over the city. Thin slices of “gyros”, pork cubes grilled on the skewer, or even a lamb kebab, all wrapped up in a thin pita bread and served with tomatoes, onion, tzatziki sauce and fried potatoes. A full nutritious meal for under € 2. Apaki - Syglino The Greek equivalent of bacon. Salted and smoked pieces of pork, ideal for adding to salads, omelettes or just eating straight with a glass of wine, beer or ouzo.
54 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Very nice atmosphere, great cocktails, rich wine list. The highlight is the pool surrounded by palm trees. Very often, there is a live orchestra and the bar stays open until late.
lovely eatery split into two parts, one dedicated to tasty Mediterranean cuisine, the other to drinks, nice cocktails and music. Perfect for a satisfactory meal and for relaxing with a cocktail afterwards. œ
Akamantos 28, Thissio
(+30) 210 3464285
xquisite Mediterranean cuisine in a wonderful space that will remind you of a medieval castle. Don’t miss out on the weekday specials (menu with €19) and the live music nights on Fri -Sat. Every Tue night, Argentinean tango and every Wed ballroom Latin. œœ
Agathimerou 1, Rouf
(+30) 210 3417010
New Taste (Map L19
he restaurant of the design hotel “New” –made by Campana– with nice breakfasts and Mediterranean cuisine.
œœœœ Filellinon 16, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3273000
top choice for its location –in one of the oldest and most picturesque areas of downtown Athens– beloved for its delicious Mediterranean dishes. Enjoy food under the stars. œœ
Konstantinoupoleos 4 & Megalou Vasiliou 52, Rouf (+30) 210 3413433
Vezene (Map K19
ne of the best restaurants of the city, located behind Hilton Hotel. Reservations are required: it is always packed with afficionados of nouvelle cuisine. A restaurant that originally started in the island of Lefkada. Enjoy the delicacies from Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Closed Sun.
œœœœ Vrasida 11, Hilton
(+30) 210 7232002
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 55
ealthy, delicious, favoured by all Greeks, and celebrated across the globe. There are many good restaurants in the city where you can sample original Cretan atmosphere and speciality dishes.
Alatsi (Map K19
wned by famous Greek journalist Stavros Theodorakis. With its exquisite Cretan cuisine, Alatsi is always packed, so reservations are a must. The menu features different cheeses, meats, even alatsi (means salt, all pure and natural) – all delivered fresh daily all the way from Crete. Try the gamopilafo, meat with rice, a traditional recipe for Cretan weddings. œœœ
Vrasida 13 (behind Hilton Hotel) da vinci (mediterranean)
Eros Iros (Map K19
(+30) 210 7210501, 6977 210501
genuine Greek taverna, just behind the stadium of the Panathinaikos football party. Cheese, dairy, oil, wine and raki straight from the beautiful island of Crete. Unpretentious and cosy, and very good prices. Open from morning for coffee until late at night. Closed Sun. œ
Tsocha 41 & P. Kyriakou 7, Ambelokipi
(+30) 210 6463820
ATHENS FROM ABOVE
ome restaurants have an ace under their tables and thatÕs their privileged location. They can guarantee not only the good quality of the food but also the most spectacular views of the city. Most are housed in large central hotels or are located in the historical centre of the city.
Athens Gate (Map P9
he restaurant of the Athens Gate Hotel. Mediterranean cuisine combined with an amazing view to the Parthenon and the historical site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus will satisfy all your senses. Open every night 19:00-23:00. œœœœ
Sygrou 10, Athens
(+30) 210 9238302-3
Caf Avyssinia (Map J6
he whole city knows this low-profile but greatly respected taverna, which still carries the good old Athenian atmosphere. The décor and the menu combines aspects of the Balkans, Europe and Middle East. Closed on Sun evenings and Mon. œœ
Kynetou 7, Avyssinias sq., Monastiraki
Galaxy Bar (Map K19
(+30) 210 3224501
warded as one of the best “sky bars” in the world and totally cosmopolitan. Indulge yourself with a fantastic view of the entire city, cocktails and fingerfood in martini glasses. You can also enjoy barbequed fillet steaks or fish on incandescent stones provided by The Galaxy BBQ diner. œœœœ
Hilton Hotel, Vasilissis Sofias 46
(+30) 210 7281000
eluxe art deco interior and impeccable service. An excellent choice after shopping in what can only be branded as Athens’ most chic and historical brasserie. You’ll be sitting next to powerful businessmen, and journalists in search of their next story. Delectable Mediterranean cuisine. œœœœ
Grande Bretagne Hotel, Syntagma sq.
La Suite Lounge (Map I15
(+30) 210 3330000
otal luxury with influences from the 70s, “creative” Greek tastes, panoramic view and beautiful music. œœœœ
malvazia (mediterranean) 56 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
St. George Lycabettus Hotel, Cleomenous 2, Kolonaki (+30) 210 7290712
RIFIFI r e s t a u r a n t
Î•m. Mpenaki 69A & Baltetsiou, Exarhia, Athens, 210 3300237 www.rififi-restaurant.grs facebook.com/Rififi Restaurant
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 57
Olive Garden (Map G9
dishes Taramosalata This is a mousse salad made from fish roe blended with onion, lemon and yesterday’s bread soaked Keftedes in water. It is the perfect accompaniment for a glass of ouzo on ice and a great appetizer before a seafood dinner. Melitzanosalata A puree of grilled or smoked eggplant mixed with olive oil, garlic, onion and vinegar. Tzatziki Greek yogurt is famous all over the world. This cool yogurt, cucumber, garlic and dill sauce blended with oil, vinegar and salt goes wonderfully with souvlaki and meze, Greece’s answer to tapas. Tyrokafteri Dip made from feta cheese, hot chilli pepper, oil and vinegar. Skordalia A pungent dip made from garlic, yesterday’s bread, oil and vinegar. It’s the perfect sauce to serve with fried battered cod croquettes. Saganaki Sagani means pan, so saganaki is the small pan and the food that is fried in it. Usually, it is crusty melted cheese served with lemon, shrimps or mussels in a tomato sauce and topped with crumbled feta. Fava A puree made of fava beans served with onion, lemon and oil. The islands of Santorini and Lefkada are famous for their fava dishes. Keftedes Small fried meatballs, an all-time Greek favourite. Variations use vegetables instead of minced meat, like tomato-keftedes, kolokytho-keftedes (made with grated or chopped courgette), or even psaro-keftedes (with fish).
ontemporary Mediterranean cuisine in surroundings that offer an impressive, surprising glance into the life of the city’s centre. Closed Sun. œœœ
Titania Hotel, Panepistimiou 52
(+30) 210 3838511
Parliament (The) (Map K11
uxury and elegance define both the interior and the menu. True to its Mediterranean origins, it keeps the Greek aromas pretty strong. Also has an open buffet for breakfast from 07:00 until 11:00. œœœœ
NJV Athens Plaza Hotel, Vasileos Georgiou A, Syntagma (+30) 210 3352400
Point of View (Map G7
ocated on a truly privileged spot, it can give you an amazing view, from the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill all the way to the sea. Fine Mediterranean cuisine, served from noon till night. Good cocktails too. œœœ
Dorian Inn Hotel, 12th floor, Pireos 17-19
(+30) 210 5231755
St' Astra Blu (Map B11)
ere, at the rooftop of the Radisson Blu Park Hotel, you can enjoy a barbecue under the stars. Turn your head to the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill: they look almost close enough to touch. Very romantic with delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Closed Sun-Mon. œœœ
Alexandras 10, Pedion Areos
(+30) 2210 8894500
n all-time classic and justly famous. Fish cuisine of the highest standards. œœœ
Akti Protopsalti 27, Piraeus
(+30) 210 4122092
Main dishes Dolmadakia Little parcels of vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat, rice and vegetables –or just plain Dolmadakia rice flavoured with herbs and spices– in a creamy egg and lemon broth or with a portion of yogurt served on the side. This is a must if you want to say you have tried Greek cuisine. Mousaka One of the most popular and best-known Greek dishes. When well-made, it is delicious, but badly done it can be inedible – so beware where you order. Slices of fried eggplants layered with minced meat in tomato sauce, covered with béchamel sauce rich in eggs and cheese. Giouvetsi It’s meat (veal or lamb) or seafood roasted in the oven, with pasta and tomato sauce. A typical Greek family Sunday lunch. Patsas Tripe soup. The ultimate pre-hangover food, really soothing on the stomach. It is served with a mix of extra strong vinegar with garlic. Cacavia Greek fisherman’s soup made of many different kinds of small fishes (the ones not easily sold at the fish market). You can order it in most seafood tavernas. 58 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
landmark of Mikrolimano overlooking the Saronic Gulf. On Sunday evenings it feels like you are at a beach bar. Modern, Mediterranean cuisine. The café looks like a boat deck. œœœœ
Akti Mikrolimano, Piraeus
(+30) 210 4134084 -184, 694 4915220
Jimmy and the Fish
t stands out among all the tourist tavernas of Mikrolimano. A meeting point for fish lunch on Sun by the yachts and fishing boats. œœœœ
Akti Koumoundourou 46, Mikrolimano
(+30) 210 4124417
he owner is an expert of fish like no one else. Closed on Sun nights. œœœ
Sygrou Av. 303 & Dimosthenous, P. Faliro
Papadakis (Map I14
(+30) 210 9408620
he legendary restaurant of Paros island moved to Athens a few years ago and is now considered one of the best of its kind in the city, thanks to its celebrity chef and TV personality, Argirο Barbarigou. It is essential to book in advance. Closed Sun. œœœœ
Fokilidou 15, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3608621
odern taverna serving traditionally grilled fish. You must try the creamy taramosalata, the sea urchin salad
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 59
and of course big grilled fishes. Closed on Sun nights and Mon. œœ
Herakleous & Lysikratous 32, Tzitzifies
(+30) 210 9404518
BAR RESTAURANTS Balthazar (Map D21
winepoint (Map P9
Wine bars are the hot thing in Athens this year. Finest among these is Wine Point, which offers a huge variety of wine (150 unique choices) from 4,000 labels, 600 wineries and 200 local grape varieties, plus live music and other surprises. Athanasiou Diakou 2 & Porinou, Makrigianni
(+30) 210 9227050/ (+30) 210 3219855
ne of the most beautiful buildings in Athens (and once the home of famous Greek actress Kiveli), it attracts the city’s elite. Here is where politicians, businessmen, actors, artists enjoy their early meals and drinks and where Athens’s power game is played. You’ll see them all – and everyone will see you. Mediterranean cuisine and a small garden, where sushi is served. œœœœ
Tsoxa & Vournazou 27, Ambelokipi
Dirty Ginger (Map J1
ne of the best bars in the city. Its Mediterranean cuisine is a “must try”, not to mention its cocktails. Lounge around its beautiful little garden and mingle with its crowd. œœœ
Triptolemou & Persefonis 46, Gazi
Cooked in oil (Ladera)
number of Greek summer dishes are made with fresh seasonal Gemista vegetables,added spices, oil and occasionally potatoes or rice. They are served hot or cold with feta cheese and bread for a typical, delicious summer meal after a day on the beach.
Fasolakia Small green beans in tomato sauce, with garlic,
onion, parsley and potatoes. Imam baildi This dish has a pedigree that dates back to the Ottoman occupation, and translates as “the Imam (Turkish holy man) fainted” – because he ate too much of it! You don’t have to go to such extremes, but you’ll love the vibrant sweetness of just fried eggplants in tomato sauce flavoured with garlic, onion and parsley. Briam Baked vegetables (courgettes with potatoes, plenty of garlic and onions, tomatoes and parsley). Gemista The king of the ladera category. Baked tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and courgettes, stuffed with rice and lots of spices (and in some cases, minced meat).
(+30) 2210 6441215
(+30) 210 3423809
s the name suggests, it feels like you’re on an island of the Aegean sea. Located on a unique seaside spot, not far from the city, its food is inspired by the Mediterranean temperament and prepared by award-winning chef Nikos Skliras. Extraordinary cocktails and music will definitely add to the carefree spirit. œœœœ
27th klm Athinon Av., Sounio, Varkiza
(+30) 210 9653563-4
ll-day bar restaurant, with cheerful décor. It utilises school desks for tables. Ideal for coffee, tasty pizza and cocktails. The hot trend of this summer, it wll make you feel like a schoolboy/ schoolgirl all over again. œ
Agias Irinis sq. 8, Monastiraki
Shamone (Map J1
(+30) 210 3251444
wner -and famous actor and TV personality- Fotis Sergoulopoulos has managed to create a magnificent environment with a tasteful menu of 16 dishes in low prices (€6-14 per dish). In the restaurant’s cocktail bars you can sit, relax and watch burlesque happenings from performers every Fri and Sat. œœ
Konstantinoupoleos 46, Gazi
(+30) 210 3450144
ive some “flavour” to your evenings at TGI Friday’s with appetizers and cocktails at happy hour prices from Mon-
lthough they are appetizers, Greek pies are a whole meal of their own. Made from fyllo pastry, they are filled Spanakopita with a variety of ingredients depending on the season or what is available locally in the various regions, and then baked in the oven.
Tiropita A pie filled with various types of cheese, usually feta or yellow mild varieties. This favorite snack of Greeks can be found anywhere, from restaurants to snack bars in the street. Spanakopita or chortopita Pie filled with spinach, wild greens and a variety of herbs. Even more delicious if cheese is added to the filling.
60 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
school (bar restaraunts)
Fri, 17:00-20:00. Enjoy the rest of your day in a fun and unique atmosphere, where servers and bartenders are willing to exceed your expectations. At TGI Friday’s you will find a variety of refreshing signature cocktails and straight drinks mixed by the greatest bartenders in the world. Try the Living Well Menu. Mon-Thu menu at €12,90.œœ
Kolokotroni 35, Kifisia (+30) 210 623 3947-8 Neofytou Vamva 2, Kolonaki (Map Κ15 Syntagma) (+30) 210 7227721 Kifisias & Alexandras (Map D24 Ambelokipi) (+30) 210 6475417-8 Lazaraki 43, Glyfada (+30) 210 8982608-9 Marina Flisvou, Pier One, Palio Faliro (+30) 210 9853281 Vouliagmenis 276, Agios Dimitrios (The Athens Metro Mall) (+30) 210 9717223 Apollonos 40, Asteras Vouliagmenis (+30) 210 8901625
Fast & Casual
hey pop-up all around the city, offering nicely designed interiors and quick and cheap food.
ere is where crepes are worshipped. Tasty, colourful, savoury or sweet, it will be a little hard to choose what to order! œ
Martiou 25 & Irinis 2, Nea Smyrni (+30) 210 9317705 Traleon 71, Lambrini (+30) 210 2222071 Herakliou 3-5, Halandri (+30) 210 6858138 Skoufa 46, Kolonaki (Map H12, Panepistimio) (+30) 211 4044803 Iroon Sq. 5 & Pallados 24-26, Psiri (Map I7 Monastiraki) (+30) 210 3218484 Argyroupoleos & Alexandroupoleos 34, Argyroupoli (+30) 210 993000 Vouliagmenis 276 (The Athens Metro Mall) (+30) 210 9731190
Derlicatessen (Map I13
ocated in the heart of the shoping district in Kolonaki, a souvlaki place with a healthier twist. Freshly cut french fries, meat with very little fat, Turkey burger, Greek water buffalo, chicken souvlaki and more. The souvlaki is handmade and everything is freshly prepared as there is no freezer in the place. Sun-Wed until 02:00, Thu until 03:00, Fri-Sat until 06:00. œ
Tsakalof 14, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3630284
here’s one on every corner. Whether you’re walking through the city centre or exploring the most remote area, every neighbourhood has its own. A dazzling array of ingredients to choose from and make your own dream sandwich. The same applies for pies, salads, pastry, coffees, beverages and drinks. Those in the city’s centre are usually open 24 hours. œ
ealthy, tasty burgers made from organic ingredients. Buffalo Ribeye is highly recommended. 1960s décor. Also delivers at home. œ
Vrioulon 3, N. Filadelfia (+30) 213 0246631 Panepistimio (+30) 213 0272440
New York Sandwich
rab a bite in “New York” style. Beef sandwiches, meatballs with sauce, chicken, soups and, for dessert, a piece of the best cheesecake in town. Take-away or enjoy your food at the communal table with 20 seats. Open from 10:00-24:00. œ
Sinopis 3, Pyrgos Athinon
(+30) 210 7778475 CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 61
Nice n Easy (Map H13
robably the only place in Athens with a combination of mostly organic food and calorie counts in the menu. Fresh, local ingredients used. Menu of healthy and delicious choices. Sushi Mon-Thu after 18:30. Free wifi. Kitchen open until 01:30. Open for coffee and breakfast at 09:00. œ
Omirou 60 & Skoufa, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3617201
Schweinchen Dick (Map J1
Sweet Αlchemy by Stelios Parliaros
Traditional Greek pastries are sweet, rich and soaked in flavour Halva A fudge made with sesame seed paste, sesame oil and sugar. It is offered as a dessert in many tavernas, after the end of a meal. Baclava Nuts, almonds, cinnamon, cloves and syrup. One of the most popular pastry desserts. Galaktoboureko Another popular sweet. A pie filled with custard and then doused in vanilla syrup. Loukoumades Deep fried little doughnuts served with honey, syrup or ice cream. Glyka koutaliou Various Greek fruits preserved in thick sugary syrup. They come in small jars and are an ideal gift for friends back home. Ryzogalo Rice pudding made of rice boiled in milk, sugar and vanilla, sprinkled with cinnamon. You can find it in dairies and super markets. Diples Deep fried honey rolls served with nuts.
Agapitos (Map K10
tradition linked to the sweet history of Thessaloniki. Its delicious profiteroles and famous tsoureki (sweet bread) are both highly recommended. Voulis 7, Syntagma (+30)
Chatzis (Map K10 Syntagma) Traditional sweet tastes since 1908. Try the baklava, the cream pie (galaktoboureko) and ekmek kantaifi with butter made from buffalo milk. Mitropoleos 5, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3222647
Sweet Alchemy The pastry chef who has changed the face of confectionary in Greece, Stelios Parliaros, studied art and pastry-making in France. Author of eight books, since 2008 Parliaros has hosted the weekly Greek TV show “Sweet Alchemies” on Mega channel. He has rightfully earned the title of the top Greek chef pâtissier. Irodotou 24, Kolonaki (Map
K15 Evangelismos) (+30) 210 7240205 (ISAP Line 1) (+30) 210 8080480
Kolokotroni 9, Kifisia
Varsos Long and rich tradition in sweets. Specialties include ryzogalo (creamy rice pudding topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon) and delicious tsoureki. Kassaveti 5, Kifisia
(+30) 210 8012472
Frozen yogurt Cool and refreshing, frozen yogurt is currently all the rage in Athens. Chillbox (Ermou & Evangelistrias 2, Monastiraki) is the largest and most popular frozen yogurt franchise in Greece. Ice cream and frozen yogurt by Nirvana, the multi-flavoured Kayo by Kayak and the products of Everest are also a treat for the senses. 62 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Iakhou 9-11, Gazi
Souvlaki Bar (Map J5
ow about a souvlaki right beside the Ancient Temple of Hephaestus in Monastiraki? it serves Greek street food with a modern twist both in service and décor. Open all day until late – and cheap too. œ
Adrianou & Thissiou 15
(+30) 210 5150550
beer-restaurant by the sea, it offers a range of 70 selected beer brands. Accompany them with one of the many Mediterranean dishes they serve or with the classic beer appetizers. The variety of DJ styles, the green veranda, the sea breeze will all keep you entertained. œœ
Posidonos 38, Alimos Syntagma) This patisserie has a long
hether you have just stepped out for the evening or are heading back to bed after a long night out, this is the place to be. Industrial “Berlin” design, blues, jazz and rock on the decks and juicy Nuremberg, Vienna or Krakow sausages, potato salads from Bavaria and Berlin, original Bavarian delicatessen and, of course, lots of beer. œ
(+30) 210 9836550
Kingsize Beer House
ocated in a beautiful pedestrianised street, an all-day beer house with 70 different beer varieties and five draft. Daily DJ sets and a terrace for cool, refreshing summer evenings. œœ
Sardeon 6, Eleftherios Venizelos sq., N. Filadelfia 2510977
n authentic Bavarian corner, evident in its decoration and a large selection of beers from all over the world. Quite often you’ll come across beer drinking competitions. The food is great and includes German sausages, schnitzel and other Bavarian specialties. 19:00-20:00 is happy hour. œœ
Agiou Ioannou 82, Agia Paraskevi
(+30) 210 6082999
he city boasts plenty of fine French restaurants. Furthermore, you will find selected French dishes in the menu of almost every restaurant in Athens.
Chez Lucien (Map N1
rench chef-owner, authentic French specialties and wines at reasonable prices. It’s always crowded, so you may have to share your table with others. It takes no reservations. œœ
Troon 32, Ano Petralona
L' Abreuvoir (Map I16
(+30) 210 3464236 Evangelismos)
ll time classic French cuisine, elegant and stylish. Its escargot bourguignon and the filet café de Paris are “mag-
nifique”. Enjoy the food in its beautiful garden – alongside politicians, esteemed businessmen and VIPs. œœœœ
Xenokratous 51, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7229106
Polly Maggoo (Map G3
tiny French restaurant, decorated to resemble Paris in the 70s. We recommend the eggs brouille with myrrh and truffle oil. Wine catalogue with excellent prices. œœ
Leonidou & Salaminos 80, Metaxourgio
(+30) 210 5241120
nspired chefs who keep up with international trends, Athenians who love sushi, and the city’s growing population of Oriental people, have made the exotic flavours of Asian cuisine available in many good restaurants.
Aethrion (Map K19
n one of the city’s most emblematic hotels, you will find one of Athens’s best Asian restaurants. Respected businessmen make deals over dishes of highly mastered Japanese recipes, in a minimal Far East environment. œœœ
Hilton Hotel, Vasilissis Sofias 46
Furin Kazan (Map L10
(+30) 210 7281000
ne of the best known and crowded places in downtown Athens, with an overloaded and tempting menu, courteous and helpful service, and good prices. Don’t let the long wait for a table put you off. œœ
Apollonos 2, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3229170
ine restaurants, chain brands, diners and cosy trattorias with the sights and scents of Italy.
Alexandras 10, Radisson Blu Park Hotel, Pedion Areos (+30) 210 8894500 Panepistimio)
ight next to buzzing Skoufa str., a restaurant with tasteful dishes right out of an Italian mama’s casserole. A treat for the senses. œœ
Griveon 3, Kolonaki
Krokos (Map N9
Kerameikos / Akropoli)
nder the shadow of Acropolis, in a unique example of a neoclassical building, “Krokos – fine food and wine” covers an extensive range of traditional Greek food and wine brands and labels. Dedicated in promoting Mediterranean diet and discovering unique Greek products and delicacies from all around the Greek countryside. Here you can also find the products of the renowned international gourmet brand Oliviers & Co. Vironos 6 & Vakhou, Plaka (+30) 210 3313509
Zempili (Map N1
fragrance of Greek food in the traditional neighbourhood of Ano Petralona, in a beautiful building dating from the 1900s. Products from every corner of Greece for those who seek quality with designation of origin. Cheese from Crete, olives from Thassos and a great variety of organic products. Troon 50, Ano Petralona (+30) 210 3460331
raditional products from the Northern Aegean (Mytilini, Limnos, Chios): butter, ouzo, olive oil, cheeses, extra-gentle soap and many more. Athinas 27, Monastiraki
Arapian (Map H7
ituated inside the Radisson Blu Park Hotel, it offers a beautiful view of the city’s biggest park. You will taste Italian cuisine in its most contemporary guise. œœœ
he place to find a rare selection of specialties from all around Greece. Owners Nikoleta and Natassa are very friendly and will happily help you choose among a wide range of products, including a refined choice of cheeses, herbs, spices, olives and all sorts of organic products. We saved the best for last: before you leave their deli, they will treat you with traditional Cretan raki and mezedes. Asklipiou 22 (+30) 211 010424
(+30) 210 3233227
Gallo Nero (IL) (Map B11)
Il Postino (Map G12
Kapari (Map G12
Peri Lesvou (Map I6
(+30) 210 3641414
landmark in the downtown Central Market since 1935, Arapian specialises in Greek and Oriental delicacies. Prices are reasonable too. The owners are a delight and will gladly give you gastronomic tips. Evripidou 41, Omonia
(+30) 210 3217238
Pantopolio Stoas Athanaton (Map H7
he “Grocery of the Immortals’ Gallery”, as its name is in Greek, is famous for its variety of quality and traditional products. Some of the finest olives in Greece can be bought here. Pulses, fresh fish and the whole spectrum of traditional Greek food. Armodiou 2, Central Meat Market
(+30) 210 3219855
welve restaurants all over the city. With a rich wine list and a tempting menu by famous chef Ettore Botrini. œœ
The Mall Athens Marousi (+30) 210 6198230 Kolonaki (+30) 210 3632032 Glyfada (+30) 210 8945085 Kifisia (+30) 210 8085607 Nea Smyrni (+30) 210 9319146 Paleo Faliro (+30) 210 9858880 Ambelokipi (+30) 210 6401480 Agia Paraskevi (+30) 210 6019975 Halandri (+30) 210 6854210 Kato Patissia 210 2236295
ere you are magically transported to some Roman trattoria. Authentic thin Italian crust, wonderful pepperoni, rich pasta. Great menu with Italian flavours to chose from. Reasonable prices and most importantly excellent, personal service. œœ
Giannitsopoulou 1, Glyfada
(+30) 210 8941310
reece's most famous and best-selling cheeses
Feta Brined curd cheese, a traditional Greek product perfect in a choriatiki salad. Kefalotiri Hard, salty, yellow cheese. Graviera Mild, yellow, table cheese good for grating. Anthotiros Soft, white, unpasteurised, low fat cheese. Xinomitzithra Soft, white, slightly sour cheese. Kaseri Chewy, yellow cheese made with full fat cow’s milk. CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 63
A city that truly
never sleeps By PANAGIOTIS MENEGOS - Photo: Alexandros Filippidis
ors Most visit ressed imp will leave ant street life r le ib with the vfestyle, where peops ffee ed li and relax e out for endless co t until u take tim g strolls, dine o tlife, and eveninnjoy the city's nigh pe late and e ter the rest of Euro long af gone to bed. has net.com -lonelypla
64 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
etween Syntagma and Monastiraki, the capital's commercial district and nightlife headquarters. (Map J10
The last addition in the “authentic cocktail bar” group. It offers a different drinking menu every month based on home made blends. Its noir atmosphere goes along with its elegant evening surroundings.
Kolokotroni 3, Syntagma
Αbariza (Map J10
(+30) 6948 242455
Impressive monastery tables, spectacular booze list that works perfectly as an appetiser. Strategic location, ideal for the first or the last drink of the night.
Leka 14, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3257644
Baba Au Rum (Map J9
Named after the famous dessert but not a sweet shop. Instead it mixes spectacular cocktails based on rare recipes and ingredients often imported by far away places. Have a look at its little booklet-menu and if you feel confused let the staff guide you.
Klitiou 6, Monastiraki
(+30) 211 7109140
Bartesera (Map J9
For almost ten years, it welcomes in its two halls young actors, new artists who use its alternative exhibition space and down-townies in search of a cold beer.
Kolokotroni 25, Syntagma
Dot (Map K9
(+30) 210 3229805
It stands for “dance over thinking”. Industrial architecture, green garden, a huge variety of cocktails served in spectacular glasses and music ranging from funk/soul to disco/house.
Ktena 1, Syntagma
(+30) 6942 400897
Drunk Sinatra (Map J9
The in-joke has it that this is the place for Athens’s avid Twitter users but you can enjoy a refreshing cocktail at the bar or outside on the pedestrian street even if you don’t have an account. You could call it the most popular bar in Athens over the last couple of years. Posters of Frankie on the wall, of course.
Thisseos 16, Syntagma
Dude (Map J8
(+30) 210 3313733
Kalamiotou 14, Syntagma (Map J8
An impressive décor inspired by the interwar period. It hosts different kind of performances. You can call it a modern cabaret if you please.
Athinaidos 12 & Kalamiotou, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3234095
If there is such a thing as a classic bar, this small place in downtown Athens is one of them. Mr. John behind the bar serves every night –in typical “Mad Men” manner– the city’s arty types, politicians, journalists and bohemian urbanites.
Stadiou 10, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3227733
Panormou - MAVILI SQUARE Panormou: Map A25
Panormou / Mavili: Map F22
Panormou is also known as “the island of Athens” because of its open-air bars, while historic Mavili Square still stands as an essential summer hangout.
Bar the Kasbah Three floors and a green garden, ideal for coffee and board games. Exotic cocktails, funky, jazz and rock music and a delightful terrace. Alexi Pavli 35B & Panormou (+30) 210 6927447 Braf Pretty garden, well-prepared coffees and a lovely terrace for summer evenings. Cocktails made of exotic, masticha and marmelade and funky, soul, jazz, alternative, rock and swing grooves. Alexi Pavli 37 E-D & Panormou (+30) 210 6985120 Briki Legendary and always crowded joint, especially during the summer. Favourite hangout for journalists, actors, musicians and artists. Dorileou 6, Mavili sq. (+30) 210 6452380
Dunkel Cocktails, smiling waitors and live gigs. Verandah for outdoors chit-chat in armchairs and fleece blankets. Breezy nights in one of the darkest little alleys of the Panormou "island". Panormou 117, Ampelokipi (+30) 213 0409418
Flower Old-fashioned and unassuming bar that attracts fans of cheap beer that they can enjoy on the square outdoors. Dorileou 2, Mavili sq. (+30) 210 6432111 Galaxy Bar (Map K19
Located on the Athens Hilton rooftop, this is one of the most luxurious places in the city to enjoy a drink while being swept away by the mind-blowing view. It also offers a comprehensive cocktail list and interesting music. Vasilissis Sofias 46, Hilton Hotel
Really cool place – how could it be any different when the name is inspired by “The Big Lebowski” – with the typical narrow corridor of Athens bars and an “all-inclusive” music suggestion.
(+30) 210 7281402
Authentic old-fashioned bar, and once upon a time a meeting point for intellectuals. Two generations of Loras family keep our glasses full with fine quality alcohol. Soutsou 7, Mavili sq. (+30) 210 6428473
Marabou Cool spot, cooler terrace with mind-blowing view and funk/soul/jazz vibes. In other words, summertime and the living is easy. Don’t forget to taste its delicious cocktails. The view alone could get you into a flirtatious mood or produce a relaxing effect on your body. Panormou 113, Ambelokipi (+30) 210 6910797 Potopolion It might remind you of an Irish pub with its wooden decoration. Playful tone with rock/funk tunes. Panormou 113, Ambelokipi (+30) 210 6911672 Santa Botella Small tables on the street and a terrace perfect for cocktail lovers. Predominantly young crowd. Panormou 115A, Ambelokipi
(+30) 210 6981032 CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 65
Homy (Map J9
Its owner used to live there and he really handmade it himself giving the place an authentic friendly “homy” atmosphere. Soul/jazz/funk/reggae soundtrack and 30someting “easy” crowd.
Thisseos 18, Syntagma
The exact opposite of its name, a tiny bar located in a central “stoa” (gallery), featuring eclectic electronic and funky tunes.
(+30) 211 0145804
Key Bar (Map I9
outhful, flirty, with excellent coffee (try mocca), great wine list, salads, cold cuts and jazz, swing and freestyle for soundtrack. Old factory décor. (Map J8 Monastiraki)
Agias Irinis sq. 8, Monastiraki
Run by a all-female team, it attracts large crowds who listen to quality, diversified music. Take advantage of its afternoon happy hour and taste its small daily menu with gourmet plates.
(+30) 210 3236711
Praxitelous 37, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3230380
GAZI - VOTANIKOS - KERAMIKOS
hip areas Karitsi Square (J10
A leading hotspot in AthensÕs nightlife
It has been the place-to-be for the last few years and is now struggling to hold this position against the upcoming Agias Irinis Square. Here’s some bar name-dropping...
Use Bar Suppose you are a journalist who wants to write something about Athens hipsters, indie band members and faithful gig goers. Here’s your place! Gin Joint
More than 65 varieties of gin shaken to imaginative cocktails and combined with really interesting music by a different disc jockey every night.
Many have tried to count them but after a few drinks, none ever remembers how many sockets feature on its walls. It loves 90s music, especially Britpop or Madchester classics.
Pairi Daeza The oldest bar on the square. Took its name from the Persian word for “heaven”. Vespa friendly and always ready to throw a party.
Agias Irinis Square (J7
The currently most spoken about piazza of Athens. Outdoor tables on the pedestrian street and forward and gay-friendly café-bars in the shadow of the St. Irini church. A new, hot addition this season is the pizza-bar “School”, a hip hangout place with school-like décor. The other “in” place at the moment is the all-day café bar “Zaf”. Buy a souvlaki from the famous “Costa” place (it closes at 16:30). “Throubi”, “Tailor Made”, “Magaze”,
“Rooster”, “Kapaki” and "Osterman" are popular choices for coffee, drinks and homemade sweets.
66 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
he basic example of Athens gentrification (especially Votanikos and Keramikos), popular and over-crowded even during working days, owing largely to the metro station that serves as an unofficial meeting point.
8th Sin (Map H1
In just one year, 8th Sin has managed to become a hotspot of Athens. In an industrial space of concrete, iron and sophisticated furniture, you will mingle with well-known fashion designers, artist and models. On ground floor you will be served refreshing cocktails, while In the basement you will discover an underground dance stage on a par with those abroad. Music ranges from new disco to mainstream. Megalou Alexandrou 141, Gazi (+30) 210 3477048
Aliarman (Map I1
Outdoor café, perfect for enjoying your beverage in the company of chirping birds. At ten o’ clock it is transformed inro an open-air bar with multicoloured, space-like drinks.
Sofroniou 2, Gazi
Bios (Map I3
(+30) 210 3426322
When the summer comes it lightens up with a full-of-music-gigs and theatre performances and celebrates Athens outdoor life with its wonderful terrace.
Pireos 84, Keramikos
Gazarte (Map I1
(+30) 210 3425335
Lounge bar with a magnificent terrace, its own cinema and a very eclectic music approach dedicated to world music, jazz and different breeds of soul.
Voutadon 32-34, Gazi
Hoxton (Map I1
(+30) 210 3460347
Right next to the Metro entrance, industrially decorated and a touch of Chesterfield sofas, it’s a perfect spot to mingle or observe the Gazi night travellers.
Voutadon 42, Gazi
(+30) 210 3413395
A big pool table in the middle, gig posters featuring rock stars on the walls, a couple of cages to rough things up and a wide bar. It’s the place to be, assuming you don’t have a problem when music gets noisy, usually involving loud gui-
tars. If youâ€™re lucky enough you might actually get to attend a punk rock live concert.
Triptolemou 31, Gazi
(+30) 210 3466055
La Soiree de Votanique (Map E1
Cosy little bar in the upcoming Votanikos neighbourhood. They love black music played from vinyl. Every Thursday afternoon they host the Athens Vespa Club meeting.
Kastorias 37, Votanikos
Nipiagogio (Map J1
(+30) 210 3471401 Kerameikos)
Housed in an old kindergarten building, from the days Gazi wasnâ€™t a popular area to go out, it stays relevant as a place where you can listen to the best black music in town.
Elasidon 8 & Kleanthous, Gazi
Nixon (Map H3
(+30) 210 3458534
Classy bar-restaurant, serves a stand-out burger and a delicious Sunday brunch. Also doubles as a specialist back-door cinema where you can enjoy a film while grabbing a bite or even enjoying a cigarette.
Agisilaou 61B, Gazi
(+30) 210 3462077
Plastiko (Map I1
Comfortable tables, vibes of a Greek island, excellent cocktails, cheap and well-prepared drinks. Simply put: value for money.
(+30) 210 3413729
Tora K44 (Map J1
Every night, another party! Local bands and DJs alongside very notable foreign guests perform in an industrial space while Athens party goers hang out for chatting and trainspotting (the bar is located just a couple of steps from the railway tracks).
Konstantinoupoleos 44, Gazi
(+30) 210 3607941
The last megaclub of Athens by the famous DJ/club owner Vasili Tsilichristos, it gathers celebrities and wannabes, athletes and models, mainstream lovers and careless dancers.
Andronikou & Tzaferi 11, Rouf
(+30) 210 3422606 -886
PLAKA - PSIRI - MONASTIRAKI THISSIO - PETRALONA
thens in its most traditional, authentic and postcard beauty. In other words, Athens in its very essence.
6 d.o.g.s. (Map J7
Here you can spot local arts talents in the gallery, catch a glimpse of Athens alternative music scene, listen to cutting edge DJs, relax with a glass of beer outdoors or enjoy a cocktail in its (not so) secret garden.
Avramiotou 6-8, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3210510
A well-known place in the historic centre of Athens, it accommodates various spaces where you can enjoy coffee/ booze/sandwiches, stage your play, show your artwork or throw your theme party. It hires only women.
Kolokotroni 57, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3240944
In the must-discover neighbourhood of Ano Petralona. Students, artists and leftists talk with about politics, dance to afCITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 67
ro-jazz-latin sounds and grab bites from Greek “tapas” plates.
after hours They aren’t pharmacies, but they stay open all night, thus justifying the famous Athenian cliché of a “city that never sleeps”. 04:00 and you need a drink? Here’s where to head for and mingle with the hard workers of the Athenian night. Expect drunk looks and talk all over the place.
MG (Map F22
Possibly the most typical after-hours watering hole. If you happen to be there before 01:00, there’ll be barely 5 people around. But don’t be disappointed: three hours later it’ll be crowded as hell with people listening to traditional rock. Soutsou 11, Mavili sq.
The Seven Jokers (Map J10
If you’ve had one too few or you’re a nightlife worker and have finished your shift, this is open till dawn. Music varies from Liverpool FC’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to 60s Greek pop hits. Every Friday, the rule is... hang the DJ if he doesn’t spin Rolling Stones’ “She’s A Rainbow”. Voulis 7, Sintagma
(+30) 210 3219225
Mo Better (Map E10
Camp! (Map G8
(+30) 210 3812981
No signs, no labels, but you can check the “connoisseur” status of your Athenian friends or guides by asking them to take you there. If they don’t know the capital’s most unique bar, where you can listen to Greek folk music followed by The Beatles and mingle with original night figures, they have a lot to learn about their city... Vristhenis 40 , Neos Kosmos (+30) 210 9241585
(+30) 211 7108428
All-day café-bar on the ground floor and an art exhibition space once you go up to the 1st floor. Newly redecorated by Athens arts veterans Georgakopoulos brothers.
Efpolidos 4 & Apelou 2, Kotzia sq.
(+30) 210 3247679
Typical Athenian bar located in a backyard squeezed between apartment buildings. Interesting decoration resembling a junk shop, projections on the walls and well-chosen music.
Leokoriou 8, Psiri
Inoteka (Map J6
(+30) 210 3251668 Monastiraki)
Tiny bar located in the middle of antique shops on Avissinias sq. A nest for the blossoming Athens electronica during the 90s, every respected Greek DJ has spun a few records here.
Avissinias sq. 3, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3246446
Klouvi Greek for “cage”, located in the timeless bohemian neighborhood of Ano Petralona, with cheap cocktails in large measures (from €6). Ideal for fighting the Sunday morning hangover thanks to its next-day brunch.
Dimofontos 57, Ano Petralona Omonia)
Probably Athens’s last original rock house. Stays open until very late (or too early, if you prefer). Guitar distortion is the password, and once you go up its stairs your night gets elevated... Themistokleous 32, Exarchia
Arkadon 4, Merkouri sq., Ano Petralona
(+30) 210 3479998
In the heart of Kato Petralona, “talk of the town” last winter. Always a good choice if you want to move from downtown.
Kiriadon 11, Kato Petralona
(+30) 213 0159902
TAF / The Art Foundation
Located inside the Monastiraki flea market, TAF is one of the city’s most beautiful art/bar spaces. It is an old residential complex dating back to 1870, with a diverse range of old residential rooms now used as exhibition spaces adding to the main white cube gallery and its unique central yard where you can enjoy a drink listening to jazzy sounds.
Normanou 5, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3238757 Akropoli)
Vintage atmosphere, tropical decoration and a matching soundtrack mixing old/retro sounds with easy listening stuff and indie live gigs.
late night bites
Athens is also “the city that never stops being hungry”. So don’t worry, there are always places to turn to when the night is over and your stomach is crying out for some food to soak up all that booze. We usually head for the small canteens and order “vromiko”(dirty), an enriched version of hot dog (it might include french fries, cheese/ham etc.).
Top-3 choices The legendary one on Mavili sq. • The red wagon outside Panteion University at Syngrou Av. • Schweinchen Dick (Iakhou 9-11, Gazi) brings German habits and “wursts” to Greek fast food politics. If they ask you “apola?”, have a look at the display of extra ingredients before making a decision. It means “everything”. Don’t say we didn’t warn you... 68 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Falirou 15, Makrigianni
(+30) 210 9236908 Monastiraki)
It launched the concept of the “bistrotheque” and serves it properly, combining yummy food and freestyle music till early next morning.
Protogenous 10, Psiri
Vrettos (Map N9
(+30) 210 3228658
Europe’s second oldest distillery is located in the heart of Plaka and always impresses Athens visitors with its display of multicoloured bottles containing house-produced liquors.
Kidathineon 41, Plaka
(+30) 210 3232110
Say ÒsketoÓ when you want your drink straight.
EXARCHIA - KOLONAKI Sneakers vs. high heels.
Circus (Map F11
Success story located on the border between Exarchia and Kolonaki, based on its loose atmosphere, funny cocktails and an “anything goes” music blend which aims to make you sing. A favourite among youngsters.
Navarinou 11, Exarchia
(+30) 210 3615255
Historic brand name of Athens nightlife, almost a synonym of Charitos pedestrian street playing soul-funk-jazz to its loyal followers since the 80s.
Charitos 43, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7228910
The “Blue Building” is the crest of the Exarchia sq. –one of the most typical examples of pre-World War II architecture–, and Floral on its ground floor is an all-day coffeehouse/bookstore with daily cultural events.
Themistokleous 80, Exarchia sq.
Luxus (Map F12
(+30) 210 3800070
The new alternative meeting point for the ever-wandering youth of Eχarchia that quickly embraced it for its cheap drinks.
Valtetsiou 27, Exarchia
Minnie the Moocher
(+30) 213 0047353 (Map I13
Formidably named vibrant all-day bar, with historically
thens is by no means a sex destination. However, as a big city, it certainly offers a range of sinful pleasures to its locals and visitors. You can head for one of the numerous strip clubs, where girls will table-dance for you or just keep you company if you buy them an (expensive) drink (do not expect much more than this). Most of these clubs have an ongoing dance show, some quite explicit. Fortunately, you only pay for what you get and there aren't frequent cases of ripping off like it happens in many other European capitals. That is not to say that what you get is cheap. Your entrance with one drink costs œ10-15, a table dance of 2-3 minutes œ10-15 and the ladies' drinks œ20 or more. Most gentlemen's clubs, as is their self-professed title, are to be found on both sides of Syngrou Av. and are easily recognisable by their bright neon signs, but you can find them elsewhere in town too.
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 69
A greek way of fun By GEORGE DIMITRAKOPOULOS
Caramela Live From Tuesday to Sunday, Yiorgos Sygrou Avenue 165, Nea Smirni
Fantasia From Friday to Sunday, Nikos Vertis. Poseidonos Avenue 5, Elliniko
(+30) 210 8940203
Frangelico Upper Class From Wednesday to Saturday, Yiorgos Yannias, Amaryllida and Christina Salti. Poseidonos Avenue 35, Kalamaki 9843250
(+30) 210 9843630, 210
Poseidonos Avenue 18, Elliniko
Romeo Plus From Friday to Sunday, Nikos Makropoulos, Konstantinos Galanos and Eleana Papaioannou. Ellinikou 1, Elliniko
(+30) 210 8945345
Thalassa People's Stage From Friday to Saturday, Melina Aslanidou and Vegas.
Vasileos Constantinou B58,
(+30) 210 8983179
9813950, 210 9248211
Asteria Every Saturday, Notis Sfakianakis and Aggeliki Grigorious Lampraki 2, Glyfada
70 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Passepartout (Map I13
Excellent cocktails, tasty Mediterranean cuisine and a varied wine list. Usually with a DJ set from early noon and afternoon Saturday parties.
Skoufa 47-49, Kolonaki (Map H12
(+30) 210 3645546 Panepistimio)
Come for the artsy crowd (writers, young actors etc.), stay for the delicious variety of coffee blends and wine list.
Skoufa 47-49, Kolonaki
Tziz (Map F11
(+30) 210 3645888
Quiet in the morning and early afternoon, with tasty dishes. Music events and parties after dusk, with alternative, funky, jazz, soul and rock grooves.
Navarinou 12, Exarchia
(+30) 210 3633120
he closest thing to a bonafide Mediterranean Riviera in the capital. To get there, ask for "Paraliaki".
Akrotiri Mikro Club Ambitiously decorated with 12,000 bottles, echoing mainstream nu-disco and house music.
Vassileos Georgiou B΄ 5, Agios Kosmas Beach
(+30) 210 8944558
(+30) 211 7709600
Ammos Beach The go-to beachside destination for avid dance music fans. Frequent DJ sets from international guests and some of the most respectable names of the dance scene.
Palaia Loutra Alimou, before Agios Kosmas
(+30) 210 9855848
Bolivar Beach Bar Perfect example of 50s architecture designed by famous Greek architect Aristomenis Provelegios. It still maintains a bohemian chic environment.
Akti Iliou, Alimos
(+30) 6970 367684
Dream City at Mansion Extravagant megaclub in its summer reincarnation, conveniently moved from its central Athens location.
(+30) 210 8944048
Island A modern club-restaurant that captures the spirit of the Cyclades. Mediterranean menu. Every Thursday “summer live” session with the most interesting upcoming local acts.
27th km Athens - Sounio Road, Varkiza
(+30) 210 9653563-4
W Poolside Dreams One of the heavy-hitters of mainstream clubbing, famous for its Thursday “Show Me Love” parties, where everybody dances to mainstream club music.
Vassileos Konstantinou 58B, Glyfada
Thea From Friday to Saturday, Yannis Ploutarchos and Peggy Zina. Poseidonos Avenue 3, Kalamaki (+30) 210
(+30) 210 3641686
Diadochou Pavlou 18-20, Glyfada Beach
Posidonio From Thursday to Saturday, Konstantinos Argyros.
Tsakalof 6, Kolonaki
ouzoukia is an exciting, original (and for visitors, undoubtedly exotic) experience of Greek performers singing live popular Greek music. You have to live through it to fully comprehend it: it is a uniquely Greek experience. As a longstanding tradition, it enjoys its own customs and rituals. There are three key components in bouzoukia: the carnations, hurled, as a celebratory gesture, by the cheering audience at the performers on stage; the piata (plates), occasionally smashed on the spur of the moment; and the exclamation of opa, which signifies the mounting excitement of the crowd. Notably, in the old days, the plates were made of plaster and led to some singers being injured. A new deal that helps boost the current popularity of bouzoukia are websites, such as pamebouzoukia.gr and kleisetrapezi.gr, where you can book your table online at a much better price. Booking a table for four persons is another economic way to enjoy this experience. Bear in mind that modern bouzoukia have incorporated aspects from many different genres, including folk, tsifteteli, euro pop, hip-hop and techno.
informed decorations. Great for people-watching.
(+30) 6972 70 0712
ÒSfinakiÓ stands for shot ÒKokaloÓ means Òdead drunkÓ ÒBombaÓ equals a ÒbadÓ or spoiled drink
NORTH OF CENTRE
ightlife in Athens is not located exclusively downtown. Northern Athens sports its own impressive array of colourful, lively bars.
B-Kouti An artsy hangout spot. Carefully chosen wine labels, cold cuts and cheeses and a rich variety of cocktails. Floral entrance and a beautiful yard. Open from morning until late at night.
N. Tripia 33 & Vrioulon, Chalandri
(+30) 210 2527337
El Rey Alobar Cosy, unpretentious bar, with a diverse soundscape from Brazilian jazz to alternative pop. Surprises, improvisations and unique cocktails at the price of a simple drink.
Thoukididou 7, Chalandri
(+30) 210 6814459
Doc's With a touch of Scandinavian minimal and industrial style, it offers coffee, tea, beverages, snacks, ice-creams and cocktails. House music every evening.
Smirnis 23 & Proussis, Nea Filadelfia
(+30) 210 2513463
P.A.G.E. A cafe-bar that combines industrial and retro style. Cosy, friendly environment. Smiles and even free drinks are plentiful. Perfect for relaxing. 25 Martiou 88 (Petroupoleos), Petroupoli
(+30) 210 5020599
Speakeasy A classic bar with “black music” (jazz, swing, soul). Small, cosy, opens daily from 11:00 and keeps on until at least 02:00-
slice of indie in the heart of Glyfada. Old-school pop and rock tunes are fused with modern grooves by the best DJs. Experienced bartenders offer spectacular cocktails.
Laodikis 30, Glyfada
(+30) 210 8983208
Agias Paraskevis 31, Chalandri
(+30) 210 6890645
Spiti Industrial design, great cocktails, amazing DJ sets, bazaars featuring independent designers, live gigs and stand up comedy evenings. Andrea Papandreou 9, Chalandri (+30) 210 6833677
Trithesio A stylish bar-café, ideal for coffee (from 09:00), cocktails and tasty snacks. Funky, ethnic, jazz and indie rock. Andrea
Smirnis 23 & Proussis, Nea Filadelfia
(+30) 210 4045780
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 71
Photo: Gay Super Hero
By MARIZA MANTZIOU
ay or straight, let’s just say that Athenians are a little bit “shy” on public display of affection. Athens may not be New York or Amsterdam but overall it is a fairly tolerant place, with numerous gay-friendly beaches, gay bars and clubs. Mykonos may be the ultimate gay destination in Greece. Ηowever, Athens has its own share on gay life, with the trendy area of Gazi, where most of the Athenian gay and lesbian nightlife scene is located.
ACCOMMODATION Apartment Dora (Map Q19 Aghios Ioannis) A stylish Β&Β apartment located right in the heart of Athens, very near to Syntagma sq., with 2 bedrooms, it can host up to 4 persons. Offering many amenities which can make any guest feel like home. Ifikratous 6, (Fountain square) Pangrati www. apartmentdora.com
Alexander Apartments (Map H1 Kerameikos) Modern and fully air-conditioned non-smoking apartments on the 4th floor with elevator access, located in the heart of the gay "village", Gazi and just above Alexander Sauna, just 5 min walk from Metro station Kerameikos. Free and unlimited access to Alexander Sauna and all of its facilities. Megalou Alexandrou 134, Gazi www.alexander-apartments.gr
BAR / CLUBS 8th Sin
Kerameikos) “Decadent and trendy gay
bar”. Its cocktail menu, like the club, is themed on the seven deadly sins, the bar positing itself as the eighth. Mixed crowd, elegantly dressed DJs, electro beats. Megalou Alex-
androu 141, Gazi
(+30) 210 3477048
Open 22:00 until late
Apartment (the) (Map E4 Metaxourghio) New multi-space concept sowing the seeds of good house music in Athens. Trendy spot, mixed crowd, divas, superheroes, sexy glam and fun with the hottest parties & theme nights with international DJs. Kolonou 76, Metaxourgio (+30) 210 5346340 Open: Fri-Sat 23:00-06:00 www.facebook.com/theapartmentathens 72 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Big Bar (Map J1 Kerameikos) Athens bears found their favourite hangout spot in this unassuming bar. Very friendly. Cheap prices. Free admission. Falesias 12, Votanikos (+30) 6946 282845
Open daily 22.30/ Closed Mon www.barbig.gr
Eagle Bar Athens (Map J6 Monastiraki) Brand new cruising bar for bears & friends, only men. Cocktail bar, dark rooms, cabins, leather shop, lockers, sexy music, happenings. Fri: Leather day & Sat: WOOF Saturday. Agias Theklas 12, Monastiraki (+30) 211 4055954 www.flexsauna.gr/eagle-bar-athens
Open Fri-Sat 22:00- 06:00
Fou (Map H1 Kerameikos) Bears and leather in one of the most famous gay clubs in Athens. Wet live shows every Fri & Sat. Strip nights with porn stars & dancers. Keleou 8, Gazi (+30) 210 3466800, 6946 222222 www.fouclub.gr
Open daily 23:30/ Closed Tue
Moe (Map H1 Kerameikos) Dance club, open from late night till late morning. Greek mainstream club hits and drag shows. Keleou 1-5, Gazi (+30) 6955 263015 Open 24:00 Noiz Map H1 Kerameikos) A warm and friendly bar for girls who like girls, brought to you by a pioneer team in the gay / lesbian nightlife scene. Sun live music from renowned artists. Konstantinoupoleos 78, Gazi (+30) 210 3467850 Open daily 23:30/ Closed Tue www.noizclub.gr
(Map P8 Akropoli) Drinks with Daddies and Lembesi 12, Plaka (+30) 210 9241574
(+30) 210 3468657
Open daily 23:00-06:00 on Fri-Sat
Taxidi (Map J1 Kerameikos) Live stage, Greek themed nights, parties, friendly atmosphere, mixed crowd. Zagreos 23 & Konstantinoupoleos, Gazi
(+30) 6947 031300
Trap ( Kerameikos) Well-known, friendly café-bar moved to a new spot in Votanikos area. Greek music and excellent service. Every Sun “Happy Hour” with food, snacks and fun. Koritsas 15, Votanikos
(+30) 210 9222248
Valentino Boys Club (I1
Sodade 2 (Map I1 Kerameikos) The most popular club in Athens, two stages, always packed, super fun. Greek nights on Mondays. Lounge summer yard. Triptolemou 10, Gazi
Colourful Planet (
The only gay bookstore in Athens. You will find a wide variety of publications, both Greek and international. Antoniadou 6 & Patission
(+30) 210 8826600 www.colourfulplanet.com
cabins, screens and mirrors.
Iakchou 36, Gazi, Open 24h/7d
Eroxx DVD shop (Map F8
Kerameikos) Drinks, dance, Greek
nights, drag shows, international dance acts, naughty sailors, pirates, fashion shows. Evmolpidon 33, Gazi Open 21:00
Omonia) Great variety of dvds, acStadiou 61(1th floor), Omonia Open Mon-Fri 10:00-22:00, Sat 10:00-20:00, Sun 12:00-20:00
cessories & also private cabins.
Fcuk (Map H1 Kerameikos) Old-time classic dark room with hardcore screening of gay movies, private cabins, glory holes and sling. Keleou 3 Gazi, Sun-Thu 21:00-03:00 www.fc-uk.gr
Almaz (Map I1 Kerameikos) Located in the Gazi area, a nice place with a beautiful courtyard. Food, drinks, quality music, live gigs and special parties with guests Djs. Triptolemou 12,
Zipper (Map J6 Monastiraki) New leather shop in town, for shopping and cruising. DVD cabins, sex shop, sling room, dark rooms, glory holes, bar, fetish décor and lockers. Ag-
ias Theklas 12, Monastiraki (+30) 211 4055954 Fri-Sat 14:00-06:00 www.flexsauna.gr/zipper
-05:00/ Closed Mon-Tue www.valentinoclub.gr
(+30) 210 3474763
Del Sol (Map I1 Kerameikos) Modern café with bright colours, on the square of Kerameikos metro station, in the heart of the gay area of Gazi. Food, coffee, drinks. Voutadon 44, Gazi
(+30) 210 3418169
Open daily 08:00-03:00
Metaxoskolikas (Map E4
Food, drinks, friendly atmosphere, art events, live shows.
Kolonou 76, Metaxourgio
(+30) 211 1847450
Myrovolos (Map F4 Metaxourghio) Located on a beautiful square. Quality Greek food & music. Live happenings, events, some nice riot grrlz, too. Giatrakou 12, Metaxourgio, (+30) 210 5228806
Open daily 15:00
Rooster (Map J8 Monastiraki) All-day café/bar restaurant with versatile fun space & tables on the hip square of the city. Ideal for breakfast, dinner, café, drinks. Often hosts art exhibitions and fund raising LGBT parties. Agias Irinis sq 4, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3224410
Open daily 09:00-03:00
M Omonia) New space in the centre of the city
next to Omonia sq. Friendly environment & good service.
Stadiou 61, Omonia www.vipcafe.gr
(+30) 211 2129969
Open daily 08:00-01:00
DRAG SHOWS Koukles
Sygrou-Fix) The premier drag-showgirl shack
in Athens, “a tranny bar seemingly plucked straight out of an Almodovar film.” Due to its small capacity, reservations 1-2 days in advance are advisable. Famous drag queens, fun crowd, celebrity clientele. Show (approx.: 2 hours) begins at 01:30 every Wed, Fri & Sat. Zan Moreas 3, Sygrou
(+30) 6947 557443
SEX CLUBS Attraxx (Map I1 Kerameikos) 220 m2 of cruising area. Clean, safe, fun. Dark rooms, projection rooms, private
SAUNAS Alexander Sauna (Map H1 Kerameikos) A sauna with a cruising area, a cosy patio, the largest Labyrinth steam & foam playroom in town and an X-action zone for xxxparties and events (including international porn stars) Megalou Alexandrou 134, Gazi (+30) 210 6980282, (+30) 6936 959134 Open 17:00-03:00 /Fri-Sun 19:00-17:00 € Admission: œ15 Happy hour: 17:00-19:00/ œ10 Three visits tourist pass: œ35 www.alexandersauna.gr
Flex Sauna Men's Spa (Map I7 Monastiraki) Gym and sauna under the same roof in the centre of the city. 3 saunas, 2 jacuzzis, a steam room, cruising area, glory holes, roof garden, rest and dark rooms, free wifi and a “military/leather” room to keep you busy for hours. Polyklitou 6, Monastiraki (+30) 210 3210539 Open 14:00-03:00, weekends 14:00-07:00 Admission: œ10/ Bear day every Wed www.facebook.com/flexsauna
Ira Baths (Map F6 Omonia) The oldest sauna in Athens. Personal rooms with their own hamam available. Zinonos 4 (inside the archway), Omonia 20:00, except Mon
(+30) 210 5234964
Open daily 11:00-
CINEMAS [at] adult theaters (Map E6 Metaxourghio) Very spacious erotic place with cinema, private cabins, dungeon, glory holes, thematic nights. Karolou 8, Metaxourgio (+30) 210 5225038 Sun-Thu: 09:00-03:00, Fri-Sat: 09:00-04:00 www.adulttheaters.gr
HIV PREVENTION CENTER Ath Checkpoint (Map J6 Monastiraki) A prevention and information centre for sexual health sponsored by LGBT organisations. Call or stop by to book an appointment. Monday to Saturday 12:00-20:00, closed Sun. Pittaki 4, Monastiraki (+30) 210 3310400 www.athcheckpoint.gr CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 73
Athenian style Athens is a city of shopping, as much as it is a city of beautiful antiquities and intense nightlife. Plenty of shops, especially downtown, will cater to all tastes and budgets. It is a city ideal both for window and real shopping. Discounts and special offers across shops of every type are quite common. From fashion stores to hair salons, there's something here for everyone. By natalia damigou-papoti
pots, like urist hots on Sun and to e th r fo Î•xcept shops are closed eption of xc st Plaka, moHolidays, with the euor stores and l q a li n , o s ti e a ri N rs are se ening hou ops, patis flower sh fficial business op 9:00-20:00 on the like. O :00 on weekdays (0er businesses 09:00-21 ever, many small urs (closed Sat). How older working ho , Sat and keep the :00 on Mon, Wed :30 after 15 en 14:30 and 17 betwe e, Thu, Fri). on Tu
74 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Lacoste (Map J13
Ultra chic for the old school fans. Polos in every pantone colour.
Sales The official sales periods are mid-January to mid-February and mid-July until the end of August.
Linea Piu (Map K13
Credit cards Use of credit cards in Greece
Greek Rue Cambon.Chanel, Blumarine, Galliano, Tom Ford. All chosen carefully. Sekeri 6, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3606125
is common and they will be accepted in most shops downtown. However, smaller shops, such as periptera (kiosks) or souvlatzidika (small establishments which serve the local delicacy of souvlaki) will only accept cash.
Where to shop
Downtown is the place to be, whether you are looking for brand names or small vintage shops and second-hand stores. Plaka, the foremost tourist area, is the standard place to buy memorabilia. Nearby, Monastiraki is home to a famous Athenian flea market. Visitors will lose themselves in a huge variety of shops that appeal to aficionados of records, jewellery, clothes, shoes and all things vintage. This is an area in which bargaining is tolerated by the playful and friendly shop owners. Between Monastiraki sq. and Omonia sq, one comes across the Athens’ Central Market, a good place to buy some local herbs. Ermou str. is by far the most celebrated shopping street: a pedestrian street with large windows, and a great variety of goodies, from clothes and jewellery to shoes and gifts. But when it comes to expensive brand shopping, Kolonaki is the perfect place to be. Luxury clothing, very high prices and impeccably dressed customers are the norm here.
(+30) 210 3618030 Panepistimio)
Louis Vuitton (Map I13
Style does matter and this is the real thing.
Balenciaga (Map I13
Luisa (Map I13
Designer names from Lanvin and Chloé to Cavalli and Stella McCartney. And not forgetting Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik, Pucci and Jean Paul Gaultier. Skoufa 15, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3635600 www.luisa.gr
Mah Jong (Map J13
The atmosphere tranports you straight to Tanino Crisi’s store in Florence. Mah Jong addresses customers who pay attention to the details. Kanari 14, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3622860
Μarc By Marc Jacobs (Map I14
Retro-chic and vintage, girly details, oversized accessories.
Xanthou 3, Kolonaki
Nike (Map J13
(+30) 210 3636030
The world’s favourite sports brand right on the most casual square of Athens. Ermou 1, Syntagma sq. (+30) 210 3224407
The world of Ralph Lauren, including men’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Voukourestiou 11, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3611831
Bright, minimal boutique with small wonders.
(+30) 210 7290151
Diane Von Furstenberg (Map I14
(+30) 210 3624004
Enny Di Monaco (Map J 15
Kolokotroni 14, Kifisia
Sotris (Map I14
The most glamorous clothes from famous exclusive brands like Topshop, Dries Van Noten, Marni. Vintage pieces can be found at the first address. Anagnostopoulou 30, Kolonaki
Mugler, Louboutin, Nina Ricci, Zac Posen... shall we say more? Herodotou 23, Kolonaki (+30)210 7290805
Favella Dress Code (Map H13
Prada (Map I13
The Devil wore them and here you too can purchase a small “devilish” piece. Then you might want to change your name to Meryl. Voukourestiou 17, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3388386
Since 1972, wrap dresses that form a way of life for Diane.
Xanthou 5, Kolonaki (+30) 210 8081999
(+30) 210 3613938
Polo Ralph Lauren (Map J11
Solonos 5, Kolonaki
Colorfoul funky clothes and accessories from all around the world. British Sugarhill Boutique and Ruby Rocks, but also Greek Mary’s Fairies and A2L. Dresses and accessories by many more brands. Skoufa 71A, Kolonaki (+30) 211 7250213
(+30) 210 3639281
Golden Ηall, 1st floor www.sotris.gr
Trussardi Jeans (Map J13
All jeans and all luxurious accessories branded with the famous greyhound. Solonos 1, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3641429
Perfect T-shirts, unique jewellery and accessories. A modern “Colette”. Voukourestiou 50 (+30) 210 3641308
Wesc Wesc is a very popular brand among the youth (and the young-at-heart) of Greece. Casual lifestyle clothing, urban/street designs, describes perfectly the way Athenians dress in their everyday lives. From men’s jeans to ladies’ outwear, any casual fashion lover loves them. www.wesc.com
Gucci (Map I13
Free Shop (Map I13
Indulge yourself. Don’t forget the Jackie ’O purse.
(+30) 210 3602519
Herms (Map I13
Endless window shopping. Arty displays. Hermès.
Voukourestiou 1, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3233715
Boho (Map J15
Modern boutique with a huge variety of clothes, from Tshirts and evening dresses to jewellery (you will also find Alcozer), bags and elegant vests. Bohemian vibe and 70s chic style. Don’t hesitate to ask Chistiana Verouka for CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 75
H&M H&M is synonymous with affordable as well as up-to-date and high quality fashion. The company’s clothing collections are created by its own designers, pattern makers and buyers. Stadiou 49, Omonia (Map G9 Omonia)
(+30) 210 3212920 Ermou 22, Syntagma (Map K10 Syntagma) (+30) 210 3223420 www.hm.com
style tips. For all ages and all budgets.
Karneadou 15 & Louki-
(+30) 210 7231136
Dassios Boutique (Map I14
(+30) 210 9573582 www.dassios.com
Deux Hommes (Map J13
The studio and showroom of Grigoris Triantafyllou and Dimitris Alexakis is the hottest place to find a limited prêtà-porter and the current collection of the unbeatable duo.
Kanari 18, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3614155 www.deuxhommes.gr
Ioanna Kourbela (Map M9
Inspired by nature, Ioanna uses only natural materials combined with elaborate textures. Her creations have a touch of youthful craziness, as if they are constantly in motion.
Distributor: (+30) 210 9942731 Adrianou 109 & Hatzimichali 12, Plaka (+30) 210 3224591 www.ioannakourbela.gr
Old Athens - Vassilis Zoulias (Map I 12
Greek-chic clothes and accessories with an old-Athens touch and exceptional materials. Akadimias 30 & Likavitou,
(+30) 210 3389924
(+30) 210 3711011 wwww.bulgari.com
Cartier (Map I13
You don’t have to be extra loaded to own a Cartier. This is where you can find the young collection “Entrelaces”, whose ringsdon’t cost much, as well as the ultimate “Love” bracelets and rock “Marcello” bags. City Link, Voukourestiou 7, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3313600 www.cartier.com
Fanourakis (Map J15
Greek designer Lina Fanouraki’s jewellery is ultimately Greek spirited but does not resemble at all the traditional ancient- like necklaces and wreaths. Using the prime materials of high-end goldsmithery, her work is modern and humorous but always classy. Patriarchou Ioakim 23, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7211762
Folli Follie (Map K10
Affordable luxury in fashion jewellery, watches and accessories. A global brand. Ermou 18, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3230729 www.follifollie.gr Panepistimio)
Jewellery to combine chic looks and rock attitude, with an extra attention to detail.
A team of young designers who have used humour and irony to take the awkwardness out of traditional Greek souvenirs. Original and (mostly) elegant yet functional objects 76 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Bulgari (Map I 13
A “B.zero1” ring or an “Assioma” watch are the must-have items, if you want to invest in Bulgari. Voukourestiou 8,
Gavello (Map J14
SPECIAL BUYS Greece is for lovers (Map O7
Kariatidon 13A , Makrigianni,
(+30) 210 9245064
The only Greek designer with such a popular appeal in cities like St.Tropez, Modena, Mallorca, Imola, Porto Montenegro, Tokyo, Capri, Milan, New York, Paris, Istanbul, Qatar, Florence. In his collection, you will find bags, denim jackets, silk holiday kaftans, waistocoats, jewellery that allude to his Greek roots. Unique creations of authentic handmade materials from Middle East, leather, fabric and silk. Xanthou 7,
inspired by ancient Greece.
Skoufa 10, Kolonaki
Kessaris (Map I13
(+30) 210 7244600 Panepistimio)
Diamonds and blues… Those aren’t icebergs, – they’re dia-
mond rings! Salesmen can be quite snobbish, but the quality is great. You’ll know the owner by his red glasses.
Panepistimiou 5 & 7
(+30) 210 3711000 www.kessaris.gr
Lalaounis (Map I 13)
The heart of the internationally recognised jewellery house is located in Kolonaki. As Ilias Lalaounis says, “every jewel has its own history”, whether it begins in Mycenae or in Byzantium. We’ve seen Charlize Theron wearing them.
Panepistimiou 6 & Voukourestiou www.lalaounis.com
(+30) 210 3611371
Lito-Cabinet de Curiosits (Map J15
Jewels that tell the stories of journeys. Thailand, Arizona, India and Egypt. A small private museum full of treasures with the Lito Karakostanoglou signature who transforms anything old into a modern rock suggestion. Irodotou 25, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7295177
Marianna Petridi (Map I15
Beloved artistic jewellery gallery with a permanent showroom for Greek and foreign designers. Charitos 34, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7217789
Minas The ultimate rock designer. Vintage all-time classic jewels, the first choice among the trendy youth. Emanouil Benaki 8, Kifisia
(+30) 210 6233577 www.minastudio.com
Oxette (Map I13
This summer, Oxette presents the collection “Create your myth” which features ethnic handmade jewellery, made of silver and 18K plated silver, ivory and enamels. Casual-chic watches, in pop colours, and a Premium line with luxurious design.
Skoufa 37, Kolonaki
Swatch (Map J15
(+30)210 3390547 www.oxette.gr Panepistimio)
Code: colour. The must-have Swiss watch, you can’t stop at one. Patriarchou Ioakim 12, Kolonaki (+30) 210 7239708 www.swatch.com/gr_el/home.html
UNDERWEAR Calzedonia (Map K8
Items for women and funny and “serious” socks for kids and men. Stadiou 21 (+30) 210 6840005 Solonos 17
(+30) 210 3605775
Intimissimi (Map K10
Underwear for all bodies and budgets.
(+30) 210 6840005
Tezenis (Map i8
Tezenis stores are cosmopolitan, with youthful, constantly evolving collections, enhanced every week by new items, dedicated to women, men and children.
(+30) 210 3225469
SHOES Baton Premiere (Map I14
Be sure to take a look at the work of designer Dukas. His shoes and bags are limited editions, special, and will change your perception of fashion. If you’re in the market for a purCITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 77
chase something with a designer signature, why not make it a Greek one? Anagnostopoulou 10, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3601611
The most comfortable footwear with a healthy dose of humour. You don’t have to say jokes anymore in order to be funny.
Anagnostopoulou 23 & Heraklitou, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3640052 Ermou 34 (+30) 210 3240050 www.camper.com
Salvatore Ferragamo (Map J11
Ultimate must-have flat or slightly heeled “Varina” ballerinas in every colour of the rainbow (the only label where you can still find some shoes in six different sizes for every style).
City Link, Stadiou 4, Kolonaki
Sandal Mania (Map O9
Tod's (Map I13
factory outlet with a great variety of sandals, shoes, bags, all handmade. Great prices. All types and designs, for men, women and children. Comfortable and easily worn sandals, ideal for summer.
Vironos 7A, Plaka
(+30) 210 3245551
living green (Map F11
unique concept store in the centre of Athens. It offers a wide range of green products such as gifts, gadgets for home, office and garden, paper crafts, toys. Ch. Trikoupi 33, Ex-
archia (+30) 210 3827278 www.livingreen.gr
(+30) 210 3356437
Those loafers are haunting us: they’re everywhere – from the feet of grannies to their 12-year-old grandchildren.
Voukourestiou 13, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3356425
SHOPPING CENTRES Athens Heart Large shopping centre (2 floors, 4 levels): 80 stores offering famous clothes brands. Beautiful view of the Acropolis and Lycabettus (especially when the glass roof opens). Pireos 180, Tavros (+30) 210 3414105 www.athensheart.gr
Athens Metro Mall (
A shopping centre with 85 stores that offer leading brands at very competitive prices. Besides the shopping experience a visitor can enjoy lunch or dinner in one of its 18 eateries of all kinds. Athens Metro Mall, Vouliagmenis
276, Aghios Dimitrios
(+30) 210 9769444 www.athensmetromall.gr Panepistimio)
360 shops in a shop. Up-market department store, the biggest in the city. A comprehensive selection of designer wear (Armani, Burberry, Just Cavalli, Juicy Couture, Missoni, Joop! etc.), casual brands, accessories, exclusive Joe Malone and Molton Brown distributor. A great view from the 6th floor café, and full beauty treatment on the 4th floor.
Panepistimiou 9, Sintagma
211 1802600 www.atticadps.gr
Avenue Massive “family” shopping within 6,500 sqm. Features Greece’s biggest Carrefour supermarket, right next to mega Jumbo (toys and small household decorative objects), the first Greek H&M and 35 more stores (MarkAalen, Era Bijoux, Mat Fashion, Sephora, Swatch etc.). Kifisias 41-47, Marousi
APRIATI (Map J11
ehind the Apriati jewellery brand, are two young Greek designers, Athina Axioti and Themis Bobolas. Their unique, innovative designs are inspired from the arts and crafts of ancient Greek history and mythology. Their trademark is a new, more casual approach to luxury. Gold, diamonds and other precious stones are complemented with “hip trend” material. Apriati designs are being sold worldwide and showcased in its boutiques in Athens, Myconos, Paris and Zurich. Stadiou 3, Syntagma (+30) 210 322918329
Pindarou 29, Kolonaki
78 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
(+30) 210 3607878 www.apriati.com
(+30) 210 6100901 www.avenuemall.gr
Factory Outlet Stores Discount prices on brands like Dior and Paco Rabanne. There are two stores, one located near the El. Venizelos airport ( (+30) 210 3414105 ), approachable from all means leading to the airport, and one located at Faliro ( (+30) 210 4833926 ) . To get there, take the Electric Railway (ISAP) to the Peace and Friendship stadium. It’s a 10-15 min walk.
Golden Hall Luxurious shopping centre with expensive brands, clothes, accessories, jewelry, sportswear, cosmetics, art objects, Doudesis hair salon, Mastic Spa for special beauty treatment and more. Be warned: it gets extremely
COLLAGEN PRO ACTIVE
he ultimate style thoughout the day. In this “clozet” you’ll find women’s collections of clothes from Greek and foreign brands. Modern design and high quality fabrics at always reasonable prices. Discover also their own “clozet” clothing collection as well as handmade leather bracelets and accessories. Char. Trikoupi
natural product that guarantees well-being and vitality for our organism. Collagen Pro-Αctive by Collagen Power combines magnesium, silicon and vitamins Β1, Β2, Β5 and Β6. This amazing combination effectively combats loss of hair in two to three weeks. It also makes skin shiny and firm. Sore joints, cramps and unstable metabolism are also confronted. Two spoonfuls before night sleep will ensure better health. Neochoriou 3,
22, Exarchia (+30) 210 3390606 Fb: www.facebook.com/clozetfashion
Vyronas (+30) 213 0081013 Fb: Collagen for Health & Beauty www.collagenpower.gr
Kifisias 37A, Marousi (+30) 210 6803450 www.goldenhall.gr
crowded on a Saturday.
shoes, accessories and household goods with 35 to 70% discount. More information on www.mcarthurglenathens.gr/en/whats-new
(+30) 210 6630840
Hondos Center (Map F8
With 85 stores around Greece, Hondos Center can provide you with everything you need, for your season shopping or just for a tiny elegant gift. Or go straight to the roof garden, for some tasty traditional Greek cuisine, and the most beautiful view. Omonia Sq. (+30) 210 5282800
The Mall Athens 200 shops within a shop, the Village cinema complex, restaurants and cafés and a super market, all wrapped up in a futuristic design with a roof garden offering an amazing view. Andrea Papandreou 35, Marousi (+30) 210 6300000-003 www.themallathens.gr
Ikea Famously low prices, combined with a quality, modern, minimal design. Special services: online catalogue with personal design tools, and a playground to leave the children while you browse the shop and plan a Scandinavian facelift for your home. International Athens Airport Eleftherios
Venizelos (+30) 801 1122722 1122722 www.ikea.gr
Notos Galleries (Map G8
Kifisou 96, Egaleo,
A standard department store primarily selling clothes and satisfying most of the consumption needs of the modern Athenian. Clothes, shoes, underwear, accessories, sportswear, toys. Eolou 99 & Lykourgou (+30) 210 3245811
Notos Home (Map G8
A one-stop shop for young couples setting up house together. Everything you need for the home, in beautiful, colourful, rich collections. Kratinou 5, Kotzia Square (+30) 210 3743000
Public (Map K11
The most beautiful building on Syntagma Square is home to a store offering every new sound, picture, Internet and computer gadget, as well as music, movies and books.
Karageorgi Servias 1, Syntagma sq. www.public.gr
(+30) 210 3246210
Shopping Spree at McArthurGlen The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet is the first of its kind in Athens. A mega store filled with popular brand names in clothing, CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 79
HAIR SALONS 62 Skoufa Hair Salon (Map I13
This friendly experienced team will not only refresh your look but your mood, as well. Plus manicure and pedicure treatment. Skoufa 62A, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3392346
D. Frank (Map I14
LEMON POPPY SEED (Map J7
hair salon with a customised approach to hairdressing. Each customer's style, facial features and colours, as well as their needs and lifestyle are taken into account. The aim is to match the inner feelings and image of the customers. The philosophy of this salon is to produce beautiful hair by enhancing each person's beauty and working with their individual style. Protogenous 7 & Ag. Eleousis 9, Psyri (+30) 210
3238270, (+30) 210 3238207 www.lemonpoppyseed.gr
BEAUTY-CARE COSMETICS Apivita (Map H 12
Greek natural cosmetics brand that has gone global. You can find natural products on the ground floor, place your personal cosmetic orders on the first floor, or head to the basement for facial and body treatment. Ask for the head massage – it’ll make you forget all your problems. Solonos 26, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3640560
Korres This Greek brand has conquered the world. It makes products from pure herbs, combined with traditional pharmaceutical plants to provide a safe and pleasantly medicinal feeling. Available in pharmacies Mastiha Shop (Map I 13
Mastic is a unique natural product that can be found only on the Greek island of Chios. The brand’s collaboration with Korres has developed exceptional products such as the mastic conditioner with mastic oil and provitamins.
Panepistimiou 6 & Kriezotou
Sephora (Map K10
Hair cuts, coiffures, flashes, colours, everything a classical hair salon offers, as well as lots of surprises. Fragiskos is still the top Scissorhands. Sina 50 & Anagnostopoulou, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3632750
All the latest fragrances, plus all the alternative collections that set global trends: Murad, make up for ever, Sephora Products, Priorities, Strivectin, ΟΡΙ. Ermou 24, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3313167 Milioni 2, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3612666 The Mall Athens, Marousi (+30) 210 6300125
(+30) 210 3603297
Georgios Doudessis (Map I13
Georgios Doudesis’ s professionalism and modern aesthetics changed the world view of Athenian hair salons forever. Every now and then he collaborates with eponymous magazines and works for movies, theatres and TV series.
Voukourestiou 39, Kolonaki www. doudesis.com
(+30) 210 3629970
Vangelis Hatzis The most luxurious service. Slightly specialised in naturallooking blonde colours. But don’t even think of turning up without an appointment. Kifisias 196, Psichiko
(+30) 210 6747011
NAILS - WAX Dollhouse (Map J15
Ideal stop to get a manicure, pedicure, artificial nails, waxing, spa or even a massage. The best French manicure in a sparklingly clean environment. Patriarchou Ioakim 24, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7296150
Teta Long waiting list and famous customers. French manicure, pedicure, relaxing massage, facial cleansing, make up, healing massage. There’s also a hair salon. Ethnikis
Antistaseos 84, Chalandri
(+30) 210 6722053-072
DECORATION Yi.a.li. (Map P8
Yi.a.li. imposes a singular designing line of household and decorative objects, inspired by traditional and contemporary elements. These creations, made of natural materials (glass, wood, metal), with numerous colour combinations and attractive shapes will satisfy your senses. Makrigianni 5-7,
(+30) 210 9216344
iscover a huge variety of bathing suits, for all tastes in excellent prices. In Hondos Center you will find your dream swimsuit. Look out for the “pretty me” swimsuits, top and bottom for €4,90 each.
80 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Attica Zoological Park
FAMILYATHENS Keep the little ones happy and busy By ANGELIKI NIKOLARI
iscover Athens with your kids. There are plenty of activities to keep the little ones happy and busy. Adrenaline adventure and amusement parks, educational visits in museums and green parks for all ages. Make sure to dedicate a day trip for the top family experience: the Attica Zoological Park.
The Goulandris Museum of Natural History
look at Earth’s most spectacular and revealing secrets of survival. A museum that offers an extensive collection of zoological, botanical, entomological, geological and palaeontological exhibits with many interactive displays and audiovisual performances. Its ultra-modern facility, the Gaea Centre, showcases the natural sciences and the evolution of the planets. Its highlight is the Geosphere, a unique hemispherical dome-monitor of 5m of diametre and approximately 40 sqm of surface. It shows the rotating planet in 225,000 high resolution images. The exhibition is conceived and implemented in cooperation with the London Museum of Natural History.
Levidou 13, Kifissia (+30) 210 8015870 Tue-Fri 09:00-14:30 / Sat 9:00-16:00 € Admission Fee: œ6 / Concessions: œ4 & œ10 (combining both museums) œ6
he coolest spot in Athens during the summer. Chill out at an amusement park just 15 minutes off the hectic city centre. A unique water theme park that features waterslide
The Greek word for cotton candy is Òmalli tis griasÓ. It is translated as ÒgrannyÕs hairÓ and is a staple candy for kids in all amusement parks. 82 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
rides of every kind, swimming pools for all ages, impressive waterfalls and the Magic Town, Greece’s biggest children’s playground, complete with a pirate ship. Parents can cool off from the heat with refreshing cocktails while sunbathing. The deckchairs by the pool are free of charge and DJs play live later in the evening.
Athens-Korinthos Motorway, 12th km, Chaidari (+30) 210 5576006 Mon-Sun 10:00-19:30 (pools) / 10:00-18:00 (waterslides) € Admission fee: œ18 / Concessions: œ14, œ12 / Children 3 to 6 years old: œ7 / Free admission: Children under 3 years old Access: Bus No A16, B16, Γ16, 845, 865, 866, 836, 801, X63 www.copacopanapark.com
Planetarium Eugenides Foundation
state of the art planetarium. Astronomy lessons for kids and parents. Built in 2003, Athens’s Planetarium is one of the largest and most advanced worldwide. Large format films and planetarium shows are projected on the 25-metre diametres dome. Its latest digital production on show “The mystery of Life” is the gripping story of the one of the most valid scientific theories of all time: the Theory of Evolution.
Sygrou 387 (+30) 210 9469641 Wed-Fri 17:30-20:30 / Sat-Sun 10:30-20:30 € Admission fee: œ6 Concessions: œ4 Access Bus No 126, A2, B2, from Akadimias & Omirou www.eugenidesfound.edu.gr
Attica Zoological Park
ake a walk on the wild side. More than two hundred bird species; a reptiles’ section and representatives of the best
the Greek fauna has to offer: wolves, bears and foxes. Attica Zoological Park opened initially as a Bird Park but now it hosts species from all continents: giraffes, zebras, antelopes and rarities such as snow leopards and white lions. TIP: Visit the meerkats. They are sociable and love to be photographed. Don’t forget to check the Zoo’s website for the summer weekly educational programmes and choose from subjects like the African Savannah, Greek Wild Life and other.
RIDE a bike
They are daring, vocal and determined to show that Athens is a bike-friendly capital By LENA CHOURMOUZI
Yalou, Spata (+30) 210 6634724 Μon-Sun 09:00-until sunset € Admission fee: œ15 Concessions: œ11 Access: Bus No 319 from Nomismatokopio or Doukissis Plakentias & Local Bus No 320 Bus stop: Spata City Hall www.atticapark.com/zoo
Hellenic ChildrenÕs Museum
earning can be fun! So parents and teachers say. But in this historic three-storey neoclassical building of Athens they actually mean it. A vast number of multi-thematic exhibits combining fun with learning aim to feed your children’s imagination. It is the country’s only multi-thematic, interactive museum specially designed for children. You will come across the Hellenic Children’s Museum while wandering through the picturesque streets and alleys of Plaka.
Kidathinaion 14, Plaka (+30) 210 3312995 Tue-Fri 10:00-14:00 Sat -Sun 10:00 -15:00 € Free admission www.hcm.gr
Allou! Fun Park
he largest amusement park in Greece covering 40,000 sqm. The youngest ones love the fairytale land of Kidom with its most enchanting carousels and surprises. Things get tough for 12 to 99 year old kids at the Adrenaline Zone, the Shock Tower (a scream-inducing 40-metre fall experience) or at the House of Fear where terror resides permanently. Enjoy!
Kifisou &Petroy Ralli, Rentis (+30) 210 8092800 Mon-Fri 17:0024:00 / Sat-Sun 10:00-01:00 € Admission fee: Allou! Day Pass œ15 Family Pass: two children family œ25, three children family œ35, four children family œ45 Αccess: Bus No B18, & trolley / Bus No2 from Omonia www.allou.gr
Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre
he words of history, technology and science under one roof that used to be an industrial complex. Hellenic Cosmos is a state of the art cultural centre for those looking for a highly educational experience. It hosts interactive exhibitions, educational programmes, conferences, theatrical performances, art events and a wide range of activities for all ages and interests. It is also home to Tholos, a dome-shaped theatre where you can currently take virtual tours of the Ancient Athenian Agora. Educational Fun for everyone.
Pireos 254 (+30) 212 2540000 Mon-Thu 09:00-13:30 / Fri 9:0020:00 / Sat 11:00-16:00 / Sun 10:00-18:00 € Admission fee: œ6 Αccess: Bus No 049, from Omonia / Bus stop: Ifantiria www.hellenic-cosmos.gr
ne of the oldest and most respected luna parks in Athens. Since 1981, it has become a cornerstone of children’s entertainment. In a multiplex of 5000 sqm which can host up to 3,000 people, children and grown-ups alike can have the ride of their life. There are many different Aidonakia branches, including two in The Mall Athens and one in Escape Centre Ilion.
Kifisia 89& Dionissou 155, Marousi (+30) 210 6198724, 210 6196141 Mon-Fri 16:00 -22:00 / Sat-Sun 10:00-22:00 € Admission fee: œ15 (bracelet), œ2,5 (chips) Access: Busses No 550, A7, A8, X14, X93 www. aidonakia.gr
n recent years the number of cyclists on the streets of Athens has increased. Commuting by bike is gaining in popularity, especially now that the price of petrol rockets higher and higher everyday. The City Council has pledged to create an extensive cycling lane network and up to four bikes are allowed on the last coach of the Athens’s Metro. At the same time, touring Athens on bike is one of the latest trends. The motto is: “You see more on a bike, you enjoy a lot more…”. We have tested some of the city centre’s bike rental shops, most of which are –not surprisingly– located close to pedestrian walkways.
Acropolis Bikes (Map H9
Offering mainly quality German bikes for €3 per hour, €10 for four hours, €15 per day and €25 for two days. If you’d like to keep the bike more days the charge is €7 per day. It’s worth trying one of their guided tours.
(+30) 210 3245793 www.acropolisbikes.gr
Athens by Bike (Map P9
A three-hour cycling in Athens will cost you €5. If you can manage to cycle for 6 hours you ’ll pay €8. The charge for a day’s rental is €12. Look out for discounts when you rent a bike for two or more days. The price includes a helmet, a safety lock and a city map. Option to book online and organised tours.
Tzireon 16 & Athanasiou Diakou 117 www.athensbybike.gr
Funky Ride (Map P8
(+30) 213 0423922
Bikes ideal for trekking, complete with all the necessary accessories: white light in front, red light at the back, three gears, for €9 for up to eight hours and €12 per day.
211 7109366 www.funkyride.gr
Every Friday afternoon outside Thissio Metro station: Hundreds of cyclists meet there to cruise the city all together. CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 83
Waving the Blue Flag on the sandy beaches of Attica By PANAGIOTIS MENEGOS
hen it comes to beach quality and safety, 387 Greek beaches and 9 marinas are deemed worthy of the coveted Blue Flag (2nd in European ranking). That’s why Greece ranks top in Europe, beach-wise. It is convenient that you don’t have to go to an island to find them. While the wider Athens area may not offer an equal amount of swimming pleasure in comparison to the Aegean Sea, it is true that it has dozens of nice beaches of every kind. Organised, isolated, lively and party-friendly, secret and quiet if you please. Thirteen of them, located in Attica, have met the criteria to fly the Flag. Athenians tend to downplay them, but don’t take their word too seriously. It is the result of their urge to take the first boat to the islands.
Swim safe in Attica
5 tips from Georgia Tsougani and Theologos Terziadis *Greek Lifeguard School teachers
1 2 3 4 5
AtticaÕs beaches are generally safe with no strong currents or prospects of tsunamis. Nevertheless, itÕs wise to ask a lifeguard or a local for advice before entering the sea. When the orange flag flies high on the tower, it means that the lifeguard is on duty (10:30-17:30). A red flag, however, indicates that the lifeguard is off duty. So take care! Given the ozone hole threat, itÕs advisable not to sunbathe between the hours of 12:00 and 16:00. In any case, DO NOT forget your sunscreen. At beaches with watersports, always swim clear of the marked corridors designated for speedboats. It's also important not to swim close to the marine buoys. July and August are the months when the meltemia (strong winds) blow, especially in the Aegean Sea. Try to avoid northfacing beaches when the winds are gusting. 84 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
You can visit Attica beaches by way of the excellent public transport. We suggest tram. It might be slow, but it offers you a great chance to have a general view of the much talked about Athens coastline. Bear in mind two negatives: it won’t be easy to find a parking slot if you go by car and that's why we suggest the tram. Secondly, many of the beaches within easy reach of Athens charge an admission fee (with or without extra charge for the use of deckchairs, showers and watersports facilities). The most basic ones charge €3-6, while at the most cosmopolitan resorts, they can charge more than €10/person during weekends. However, there are plenty of free places. We have picked some of the best seaside retreats in Attica within easy reach from the city centre.
HEAD SOUTH Alimos
Glyfada Free Beaches
ust 8 km from Syntagma sq. It attracts everybody: senior citizens, families and young crowds who can't afford higher admission fees. There is a playground and a waterslide for children while the nearby marina features amenities such as restaurants and bars, banks, pharmacy – even a hair salon. Check out also “Eden beach” where you can spot Athens’ beach racket players at their best, wearing speedos and performing spectacular moves.
he first shopping malls of Athens were developed here and a large American community used to live and work at the nearby military basis before it closed down.The marinas on the coast are a centre for sailing holidays and yacht charters. Posh café-bars cater to affluent citizens, from ship owners to footballers’ wives and there are four free beaches where you can lay your beach towel. To help you make it through the day, the nearby periptera (kiosks) sell a wide range of goods at reasonable prices.
he locals have campaigned hard to secure the public status of the beach. So get prepared to “fight” over the few free-of-charge umbrellas and deckchairs. A canteen is always stationed outside the resort selling food and beverages.
Asteria Beach, Glyfada
his is a summer hotspot almost 20 km from the city centre. There is a beach bar, restaurants, a beach volley court and a sea park, ideal scenery for summer socialising and meeting new people. That’s the reason it is very popular among youngsters and every summer weekend it resembles a 24h mega club.
ight after Glyfada there are long stretches of sandy beach. They are equipped with various facilities; bars, restaurants, changing rooms, lifeguards, beach volley and football courts as well as “extreme” fun waterslides. Voula suburb is a quieter version of Glyfada.
long sandy beach and an islet within swimming distance. Really shallow water, mixed crowds and popular for night swimming because it’s not too far and can fulfill spontaneous decisions. There is also the nearby Mikro Kavouri, two picturesque sandy gulfs ideal for more private
CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 85
Swimming topless in Greece goes almost unnoticed Asteras Vouliagmenis
moments. Coffee bars and restaurants supply beach bums with iced frappé and crunchy kalamarakia (squid).
NUDE IN ATTICA LIMANAKIA VOULIAGMENIS The third cove is mainly favoured by nudists. Bring water and snacks with you. LEGRENA There are two beaches. Nudists prefer the first one. Along the Athens-Sounio coastal road, there are dozens of small coves ideal for all swimming preferences. But be warned: if you want to go nude in Greece, don't expect to find the amenities of an organised beach. RAMNOUNTA 65 km from Athens, isolated and not organised. Head east to Gramatiko and just before the local village turn right following the sign ÒLimnonasÓ. Don't be afraid. Go ahead and when you see ÒSesiÓ sign turn right to the steep downhill. Feel free to park here. Then you'll know what to do. 86 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
ell organised “full” house beach offering watersports facilities, individual cabins and a restaurant. A regular “catwalk” for revealing bikini wearers, a playground for athletic spirits and, last but not least, one of the few Attica beaches with disabled access facilities.
ive into the therapeutic waters of the so-called “Sunken Lake” a once large cavern that collapsed after an earthquake. All year round, the temperature of the lake is a steady 24°C. A spa that attracts large crowds of elderly locals whose colourful floral swim caps can be seen bobbing about in the water. (limnivouliagmenis.gr)
wim for free but forget the comforts of a velvet beach. Small coves and flat rocks form the so-called Limanakia, giving the opportunity to show off diving skills and swim in truly crystal clear waters. Keep in mind that these beaches have no shallow waters and therefore are unsuitable for small children. Furthermore, they are gay and nudist friendly. And be careful in the narrow turns of road: Greek drivers can get really reckless while showing off their questionable skills.
he ultimate taste of cosmopolitan life in Athens by the sea. A magnet for rich and famous with fat wallets that can afford its luxurious facilities (famous restaurants, fashion boutiques etc.). Here what you pay is what you see.
his is a beach park located at Varkiza (Greek version of Miami). A beach fun park is the right expression due to the range of water sports facilities –water skiing, windsurf, tubes and banana rides, wake board etc. Of course there are bars, restaurants and equipment shops. “Yabanaki” may sound Japanese, but it’s Greek for “let’s go for a swim”. In case you were wondering…
Grand Resort Lagonissi
rand indeed. A unique beachfront accompanied by one of the most luxurious resorts in Greece. Sandy beach coves nestle in the verdant Lagonissi peninsula. You don’t have to be a resident to enjoy the beach or the pool in the sea (yes, there is one). So go for it and spoil yourself, combining it with a meal or a coffee/cocktail.
How to get there
Take the tram ItÕs the best choice if you head south as far as the Voula beaches. Take the bus It might be crowded, hot, sweaty but itÕs all part of a summer experience in Athens. To the South Coast buses #A2, #A3, #B3 and #E22 (express) from Akadimias Terminal, #155 Omonoia Terminal, #114 (Glyfada-KavouriVouliagmeni) or #115/6 (Glyfada-Vouliagmeni-Varkiza) To the West Coast Use Attica intercity buses (KTEL). Departure from Thissio, Ag. Asomaton sq. (Athens-Porto Germeno (œ6,30, 120΄, it also serves Psatha, Alepochori, Pachi) Mon-Sun: 07:30 & 14:30 To the East Coast Use Attica intercity buses (KTEL). Departure from Mavromateon str., Pedion Areos. Athens - Anavissos œ4,70, 90΄ (Mon-Sun: 06:30 & 07:30 and then every hour until 21:00) Athens - Thymari œ5,10, 105΄(Mon-Sun: 06:30 & 08:30 and then every two hours until 16:30) Athens - Legrena œ5,70, 110΄ (Mon-Sun: 06:30 & 08:30 and then every two hours until 16:30) Athens - Marathonas to Karavi beach œ3,70, 90΄ (Mon-Fri: first 05:30, 22:30 last/Sat-Sun: first 07:30, last 22:30) Athens - Avlaki œ3,70, 80΄ (Mon-Fri: 05:45 & every hour until 21:00 / Sat-Sun: -05:45 & every hour until 19:45)
0 km away from the city centre, it’s a spacious and picturesque beach located between the mountains Pateras and Kitheron by the Gulf of Corinth. You can enjoy a beautiful ride getting there and complement your swim with a typical Greek taverna meal. We suggest fish.
ne and a half hour drive from Athens you will enjoy 2,5km beach under the dense shade of pine trees. Families and young couples are the most frequent visitors of this friendly beach. There are fish tavernas literally on the seashore.
lmost adjacent to Psatha beach but with more amenities and bigger crowds. There’s a beach volley court, cafés and tavernas. If you can’t stand the heat, visit in the evening to see its magnificent sunset as the sun disappears behind the Alkyonides – a group of islets.
ell protected from northern winds, this bay is situated right in front of the Pachi village. Lots of tavernas serving delicious sea mezedes for ouzo and coffee bars make the place rather popular.
HEAD EAST Mavro Lithari, Anavyssos
lmost 40 km from the centre of Athens this is a popular beach, suitable for sunbathing and socialising. It provides opportunities for jet ski and crowd watching but if you want a proper swim you should head to the neighbouring little bay of Agios Nikolaos.
ook for the sign “Thymari” just after the fish tavernas of Palea Phokea. Turn right, park the car, lay the towel and
enjoy one of the finest pebble beaches of east Attica. Refreshments and snacks can be bought from a nearby kiosk.
n the way to Sounio, just between Keratea and Lavrio, be careful because if you miss the sign “Traditional settlement of Harakas” and don’t turn left, you might get lost. But do insist, as you’ll get rewarded with one of the least known and quiet beaches of Attica. Bring water, snacks and stuff like that, you won’t have the chance to buy them in a shop. That’s the price you pay for private sunbathing.
n weekdays it almost feels like a private beach. It’s situated in front of its namesake village, 60 km from Athens and some three km west of Sounio. It’s not easy to find, but it’s worth the effort because it’s very clean and usually offers charming crystal waters.
ne of the most equipped beaches in the Marathonas area with a parking space for at least 1,500 cars. Sometimes though, during busy summer weekends, it might be difficult to find a slot. It attracts large crowds due to its amenities: restaurants, beach bars, three beach volley courts. It has become a synonym to watersports. It also provides first aid, coastguards, wireless Internet access and even a meteorological station. Don’t expect quietness and much space for your towel.
Avlaki & Erotospilia (Porto Rafti)
hese two are located south of the picturesque Porto Rafti peninsula and are well protected from northern and southern winds. The first one offers sun beds and umbrellas, basketball courts, and a wide choice of restaurants, tavernas and snack bars. The second one is the Greek word for “love cave” and used to be a secret mini bay for swimming loners. Now it’s popular. CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 87
DAY S TRIP
Photo: aggeliki birbili
Gems of the Saronic Gulf
The closest escape from the Attica mainland By Lena Chourmouzi
ess than an hour away from the port of Pireaus, Aegina is an attractive destination that retains a laid-back atmosphere, grand old buildings, beautiful sandy beaches and its world famous pistachio orchards. It’s an island steeped in history and home of the Doric Temple of Aphaea – one of Greece’s best preserved and temples.
Aegina Town Neoclassical architecture, dozens of pistachio nuts stalls and countless little tavernas are some of the the characteristics of the busy port of Aegina. 88 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
If you’re in the market for some fresh fish, there are plenty of Kaikia (fishing boats) selling their catch on the spot.
Ancient Aegina lies north of the town on a promontory known as Kolona (column), taking its name from the single ancient column that stands there. The remains surround the Temple of Apollo and the site also features a small archaeological museum that houses finds from the excavation. Continuing north out of town, you will come across the house where the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis lived during the 1940s and 50s, when he wrote his world acclaimed novel “Zorba the Greek”.
Temple of Aphaia (Tue-Sun 08:00-19:15) Dating back
to between 500 and 480 BC, the Doric temple stands on the pine-covered Mesagros hill 12km east of the capital. The view from the temple is simply stunning!
Where to swim The island’s beaches can all be reached by bus. The bus station is at Ethnegersias sq., close to the dock. Aeginitissa beach is currently Aegina’s “hottest” beach. Perdika is ideal for swimmers who like to dive from rocks rather than laying on sandy beaches. The bay is packed with yachts. Marathonas is the biggest and possibly the best. In Moni islet, there are no facilities, but the crystal clear waters are more than inviting. Close by are fine sandy beaches like Vagia and Aggi.
Photo: Marina Fokidis
Urs Fischer: Yes. DESTE Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra. Until 30.09.2013
An island made of stone By LENA CHOURMOUZI
ocky Hydra is one of the most picturesque of the Saronic islands. It is separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strip of water. When you sail into the crescent shaped harbour the town of Hydra unfolds before your eyes with its neo-classical greystone mansions, its narrow cobbled lanes and the surprising spectacle of the aligned donkeys waiting for someone to hire them. Hydra is by far one of the most tranquil islands in Greece since it is completely car-free. The donkey is the basic means of transportation. All the
mansions of Hydra are stone made and usually three or four stories tall. They were designed by Venetian and Genoese architects and are still very well preserved. The waterfront is a playground of cafés, pricey restaurants and quaint tavernas. At night, pay a visit to the legendary “Pirate Bar” for rock and 80s nostalgia. For breathtaking sea views follow the pebbly path leading to the fishing village of Kamini. There you can still feel the aura of Leonard Cohen – one of the most famous former residents of Hydra. If you dream of sandy beaches, Hydra isn’t your island. It has many beaches with rocks or pebbles.
How to get there Departure harbour is Piraeus, which is divided into various gates according to your destination. The ferries and hydrofoils to the Saronic islands (Aegina, Agistri, Methana, Poros, Hydra & Spetses) depart from Gate E8 which is located at the east side of the harbour. There are large signs throughout the harbour area, so you can't miss it. Ferries line up at one end of the quay. You should purchase your ticket at the ticket offices, but if you're running late they will let you buy your ticket onboard. There are two Hydrofoil companies at the other end of the quay. Timetables can be found at the quay-side ticket offices as well as on the Internet. Tickets must be purchased at the ticket offices: you cannot buy one onboard. CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 89
ORACLES & TEMPLES
Ancient monuments at a stone's throw from Athens
Photo: aNgeliki birbili
DAY S TRIP
Palamidi in Nafplio
The greatest concentration of ancient sites in Greece By LENA CHOURMOUZI
ithin less than a two-hour drive from Athens the Argolis peninsula runs south of the Corinth Canal in a scenic sweep of mountains, valleys and coastal resorts. Attractions such as Agamemnon’s fortress at Mycenae, the great theatre of Epidaurus and the elegant city of Nafplio draw big crowds of tourists all year round.
Neolithic Mycenae Founded between two high hills, on a plateau dominating the Argive plain and controlling both the land and sea routes Mycenae was the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon.This region is one of the longest occupied in Greece with evidence of Neolithic settlements. The myths related to its history have inspired poets and writers over many centuries, from the “Homeric epics” and the great tragedies of the Classical period to contemporary literary and artistic creation. The site was uncovered in 1874 by the German archaeologist Heinirich Schliemann who also excavated the site of Troy. You can enter the citadel of Mycenae through the famous Lion Gate, which takes you to the interior of the Acropolis. 90 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
Centre Stage at Epidaurus Thousands of theatre lovers flock the stunning ancient theatre of Epidaurus every summer during the annual Festival. Built around 330-320 BC the 14,000 seat theatre still amazes with its extraordinary acoustics. The shrine to Asklepius, god of medicine and healing, often overshadows the theater’s magnificence. It was built during the 6th century BC. Palea Epidaurus is the closest beach resort.
Nafplio, the first capital Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplio, which is a feast for the eye. It was the first capital of the Greek State in the early 1830s. Here the first president of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was assassinated. It was also the first residential place for the young Bavarian Prince Otto, first king of the country. The Old Town is lovely, with old mansions and paved paths. The town’s twin fortresses of Palamidi and Akronafplia were key military flashpoints during the War of Independence. The Venetian influence is felt everywhere.
Where to swim Karathonas, the closest proper beach to Nafplio, plus the beaches ofTolo and Kastraki, southeast of Nafplio, which offer several amenities.
INFO How to get there By car The trip from Athens takes about 2 hours (147 km) By Coach The coaches of KTEL depart Athens from Terminal A in Kifissos central bus station ATHINA-FICHTI (MIKINES)ARGOS-NAFPLIO Monday till Friday 06:15-21:30 Saturday 07:30-21:00 Sunday and Holidays 07:30-22:30 ATHINA- EPIDAVROS- KRANIDI Monday till Friday 09:00-11:30 via Nafplio-16:20 Saturday 09:00-11:30 via Nafplio-16:20 Sunday and Holidays 09:00-11:30 via Nafplio-17:20 KTEL ARGOLIDAS (+30) 27520 27323-27423 www.ktel-argolidas.gr Nafplio Bus Station (+30) 27520 27323 Nafplio Tourist Office (+30) 27520 24444 Nafplio Port (+30) 27520 22974 Nafplio Hospital (+30) 27520 2730
INFO How to get there There is a regular intercity bus service from Athens KTEL station. You can also opt for an organised tour.
One of the most important archaeological sites in Greece By Vangelis koronakis
n Greek mythology Delphi was the place where two eagles released by Zeus to fly across the universe met and determined the Navel of the World. A major temple dedicated to Apollo and his victory over the terrible serpent Python was built there in 7th century BC. The local oracle was a religious centre where pilgrims, commoners and kings alike, from all over Greece came to consult Pythia, the priestess
of the sanctuary. She mumbled her notoriously ambiguous oracles in a state of intoxication open to multiple interpretations. These days Delphi is a small touristy village 180 km from Athens, built on the top of a cliff, next to the main archaeological site on the slopes of Mount Parnassos. There is an impressive 2,300 sqm museum housing findings from the local excavations that started by German archaeologists in 1892. The main highlights of the museum are offerings by the oracle visitors, the famous Charioteer of Delphi and of course “Omfalos”,
KTEL (Intercity) Bus station Liosion 260 (+30) 210 8317096 From Athens 07:30, 10:30, 13:00, 15:30, 17:30, 20:00 € Tickets cost around œ15 one way Museum and Arch. site: (+30) 22650 82346, 22650 82313 Both open: daily 08:00-20:00 Museum: Sun-Mon-Tue: 08:3015:00/ Closed on public holidays € Tickets for the museum and the archaeological site cost œ6 each (reduced œ3)/ A combined ticket will get you into both for œ9 (reduced œ5)
the sculptured religious stone that represented the Navel of the World. The archaeological site consists of the Temple of Apollo, a stadium up on the hill, an ancient theatre and Delphi’s best known landmark, the “Tholos”, a circular building with three of its original twenty Doric columns restored, part of the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia.
Where the sun sets through the Doric columns of Poseidon By Lena Chourmouzi
INFO How to get there By Coach, from Mavromateon KTEL Terminal, near Pedion Areos Park. Buses leave approximately every hour and the trip takes around an hour and a half. (+30) 210 8230179
ight on the southern tip of Attica, Cape Sounion is an ideal half-day trip that combines a magical view of the Aegean with the imposing Temple of Poseidon standing approximately 70 km from the sacred hill of the Acropolis. It was built in the time of Pericles as a major sanctuary to the god of the sea. Its Doric columns stand out from miles away and scores of tourists gather daily to admire the sunset over the Aegean. According to legend, Cape Sounion is the spot where king of Athens Aegeus leapt to his death off the cliff, thus giving his name to the Aegean Sea. The place owes part of its fame to Lord Byron. The poet visited the site in 1810 and carved his name on one of the marble columns. He later praised the place in verse.There is a café by the archaeological site, pleasantly shaded with excellent views. Anywhere along the coastal road to Sounion you can find yourself a spot for swimming.
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ATHENS ON THE MOVE THE HOP-ON EXPERIENCE
Three relaxed ways to tour all the must-see attractions around the city By LENA CHOURMOUZI
ith nearly 3000 years of continuous history, a tour around Athens can be daunting: where does one begin? Well, instead of touring aimlessly around the ancient Greek and Roman ruins, look for a guide. They are the ones who know stories, legends and myths to really bring to life the dozens of temples and sanctuaries you’ll see around the city. There are plenty of guided tours, but some stand out. We toured around by bus, train, and with the funky environmentally friendly Segway. All in the name of research, of course.
open-top buses (Map K10
The open-top, double-decker sightseeing bus of Athens. Hop on at Syntagma Square. The bus traces the history and culture of Athens from ancient times to the present day, passing by a plethora of shopping opportunities along the route. Don’t feel intimidated by the choking traffic. It is by far an advantage with this sightseeing bus experience. The more you get stuck in traffic, the more time you spend enjoying the sites. Take all the snapshots you want. However, be sure to come armed with a hat and sun protection. (+30) 210 9220604 Info
The Red Line - The Athens Tour
Starting Point: Syntagma Square Duration: 90 min, 15 stops (every 30 min) Tickets: Adults œ18/ Children (7-14 years) œ8/Free admission for children under 6 years Ticket Validity: 24 hours and one day for free Commentary: Pre-recorded English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and Greek
The Blue Line - The Piraeus and Athens Tour
Starting Point: Cruise Ship Terminal (from Piraeus), Acropolis (from Athens) Duration: 70 min, 12 stops (every 35 min) Tickets: Adults œ22/ Children (614 years) œ9 Commentary: Pre-recorded English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and Greek
Happy Urban Trains Two trains with no tracks. Kids and senior citizens alike love 92 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2013
them. Embark either on the Happy Train or the Sunshine Express. They are toy-like street trains that squeeze their way through the narrow streets of Athens historic centre. They pass by Plaka, the Temple of Zeus, Thissio, Zapion and the Acropolis Museum.
Happy Train (Map K7 Monastiraki)
(+30) 210 7255400 Starting Point: Ermou and Areos, MonasInfo tiraki Duration: 60 min Tickets: Adults œ6/ Children œ4/ special offers for groups Commentary: English and Greek Sunshine Express (Map L11 Syntagma) (+30) 210 8819252 Starting Point: Vasilissis Amalias (in front Info of the National Garden) Ticket Validity: 1 and 40 min approximately Tickets: Adults œ5 / Children œ3
Cool Segway (Map O9
Ride, slide and get the best of Athens – without breaking a sweat. The only city tour in Athens that doesn’t get caught up in the hectic traffic. Hop on the most innovative personal means of transport to discover the capital’s few but scenic pedestrian walkways. The Segway is a two-wheeled, selfbalancing electric vehicle with a top speed of 20,1 km/h, and it’s by far the most relaxed and effortless way to get around. There are five tours available, including one at night. No worries, drinking beer and riding a Segway is permitted.
Eschinou & Frinichou 9, Plaka
(+30) 210 3222500
Acropolis Tour Duration: 90-150 min Tickets: œ59 p.p.
National Garden Duration: 90-150 min Tickets: œ59 p.p.
Duration: 60 min Tickets: œ30 p.p.
Souvlaki Tour Duration: 150 min Tickets: œ59 p.p. (including souvlaki lunch)
Athens By Night Duration: 180-210 min Tickets: œ85 (minimum booking 4 persons)
Olympic Games Tour Duration: 90 min Tickets: œ44 p.p.
Amalia Sotiropoulou, “Caryatides”, Skoufa Gallery. Until 06.07. Skoufa 4, Kolonaki, (+30) 210 3643025
Public Transportation How to make your way around the capital Βy TAKIS SKRIVANOS
he best and fastest means of transport is the Metro. Running since 2000, it has 36 stations covering most of the city’s areas, serving 700,000 passengers every day. The Tram and Suburban Railway are relatively recent additions to the city’s transportation network. Athenian passengers also use the older overground line of the metro system (you will too, if you’re heading for the port of Piraeus), Βuses and Τrolleys for their daily journeys. Overall, running hours start from 05:30 until a little before midnight, except for the Tram (Sun-Thu 05:30-01:00, Fri-Sat 05:30-02:30) and the Metro that extends its hours until 02:20 on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets cost €1.40, and are valid for all means of transport and for as many journeys as you wish for up to 90 minutes after validation. If you are planning to move around a lot buy the daily ticket (€4). The weekly ticket costs €14. Ticketcontrol checks are frequent and if you’re caught without a ticket the fine is 20 times the value of the ticket you should have bought. To get to the ports of Rafina and Lavrio, you will need to use the intercity bus network (KTEL) departing from Pedion Areos park. For information call (+30) 210 8230007 (06:00-22:00, infor-
mation in English available).
There are OVER 14,000 taxis running
axis are pretty much everywhere. Don’t be surprised if you end up sharing your cab with another traveller heading in the same direction as you – it’s common practice here. These days, most taxi drivers understand English. The urban myths about them being frauds are as true as saying that it’s certain that you will lose your wallet down the central market. However, be articularly careful when looking for a taxi in the Port of Piraeus. The minimum taxi fare is €3,20, the price per km is €0,68 and it doubles between midnight and 05:00 am. The Ministry of Transport has fixed the fare to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport at €35 (or €50 from 24:00 to 05:00), including luggage, VAT and tolls. Below are telephone numbers to order a taxi. All of them, with the exception of Planet and Pireas 1, charge €2-3 on top of the fare:
Planet Asteras Express Ikaros
(+30) 210 5123333 (+30) 210 6144000 (+30) 210 9943000 (+30) 210 5152800
Kosmos 18300 Pireas 1 (+30) 210 4182333 Glyfada (+30) 210 9605600 Enotita (+30) 210 6465309
Getting to the Airport 4 bus lines are available to get you to the airport, every 15-30 minutes, around the clock for € 5: the X93 departing from Kifisos Bus Station; the X95 from Syntagma Square; the X96 from Piraeus Port; and the X97 from Dafni Metro station. Tickets can be bought once aboard the bus. You can also reach the airport by the metro or Suburban Railway (ticket price: € 8). Airport journeys by Metro start at 05:30 and run every halfhour until 22:45. The Suburban Railway airport service starts at 06:00 and runs every 20 minutes until 23:00. You can also take a taxi – but be sure to read our advice below first.
The easiest, most effortless way to get a taxi, quickly and reliably. Instead of flagging down a passing cab, you can visit https://taxibeat.com/ and, based on the ratings of other Taxibeat users, call a cab wherever and wherever you want, at no extra cost. You can rate the driver afterwards. You can even visit the profiles of registered taxi drivers and check the languages they speak. Even better you can download Taxibeat on your smartphone. CITY GUIDE summer 2013 _ 93
Emergency Numbers Aiport Police (+30) 210 3536919 Coast Guard 108 ELPA (roadside assistance) 10400 Fire Service 199 Hospitals, Doctors, Pharmacies Info 14944 Police 100 SOS Doctors 1016 Tourist Police 171 Traffic Police (+30) 210 5230111 Ambulance service 166 Emergency Police 100 Fire Service 199 Greek Railways OSE 14944
Authority (+30) 210 4593000 Rafina Port Authority 22940 22300 Lavrio Port Authority 22920 25249 Eleftherios Venizelos 14944
Airport (+30) 210 3530000
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Hospitals Accident Hospitals Asklipieio Voulas Vasileos Pavlou 1,Voula, (+30) 213 2163000 • KAT Nikis 2, Kifisia, (+30) 210 6280000 Public General Hospitals Evangelismos Ipsilantou 45-47, Evangelismos, (+30) 213 2041000 • Geniko Kratiko Gennimatas Mesogion 154, Ethniki Amyna, (+30) 213 2032000 • Ippokratio Vas. Sofias 114, Ambelokipi, (+30) 213 2088000 • Laiko Agiou Thoma 17, Ambelokipi, (+30) 213 2060800 • Tzanio Afentouli & Tzani 1, Piraeus, (+30) 213 2081000 Public Children's Hospitals Agia Sofia Thivon & Papadiamandopoulou, Goudi, (+30) 213 2013000 • Aglaia Kyriakou Thivon & Levadias, Goudi , (+30) 213 2009000 Maternity Hospitals Alexandra Vas. Sofias 80, Megaro Mousikis, (+30) 213 2162000 • Elena Venizelou Elena Venizelou sq. 2, Ambelokipi , (+30) 210 6432220 • Iaso Kifisias 37-39, (+30) 210 6184000 • Leto Mouson 7-13, (+30) 210 6902000 • Mitera Kifisias & Erithrou Stavrou 6, (+30) 210 6869000
Embassies Albania Vekiareli 7, Filothei, (+30) 210 6876200 Australia Kifisias 1-3, (+30) 210 8704000 Austria Vas. Sofias 4, (+30) 210 7257270 Belgium Sekeri 3, Kolonaki, (+30) 210 3617886 Bulgaria Stratigou Kallari 33A, Psyhiko, (+30) 210 6748106 Canada Ioannou Gennadiou 4, (+30) 210 7273400 Cyprus Herodotou 16, (+30) 210 3734800 Czech Republic Seferi 6, Psyhiko, (+30) 210 6719701 Denmark Mourouzi 10 (+30) 210 7256440 France Vas.Sofias 7, (+30) 210 3391000 Germany Karaoli & Dimitriou 3, Kolonaki, (+30) 210 7285111
Hungary Karneadou 25, Kolonaki, (+30) 210 7256800 China Krinon 2A, Psyhiko, (+30) 210 6723282 Ireland Vas. Konstantinou 5-7, (+30) 210 7232771 Israel Marathonodromon 1, Psyhiko, (+30) 210 6705500 Italy Sekeri 2, Kolonaki, (+30) 210 3617260 Japan Ethnikis Antistaseos, (+30) 210 6709900 Netherlands Vas. Konstantinou 5-7, (+30) 210 7254900 Norway Vas. Sofias 23, (+30) 210 7246173 Poland Chrysanthemon 22, Psyhiko, (+30) 210 6797700 Romania Em. Benaki 7, Psyhiko,
(+30) 210 6728875 Russia Nikiforou Lytra 28, Psyhiko, (+30) 210 6725235 Serbia Vas. Sofias 106, (+30) 210 7774344 Slovakia Georgiou Seferi 4, Psyhiko, (+30) 210 6771980 South Africa Kifisias 60, Marousi, (+30) 210 6106645 Spain Dionysiou Areopagitou 21, (+30) 210 9213123 Sweden Vas. Konstantinou 7, (+30) 210 7266100 Switzerland Iasiou 2, (+30) 210 7230364 Turkey Vasileos Georgiou 8, (+30) 210 7263000 UK Ploutarhou 1, (+30) 210 7272600 USA Vas. Sofias 91, (+30) 210 7212951