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, Karolina Niamonitaki, Angeliki Nikolari, Natalia Damigou, Maria Korachai, Maria Avgea
ATHENS VOICE, the capitalâ€™s top weekly free press, welcomes you to our citywith this annual publication in English, produced to share with you, our team's inside knowledge and expertise of the city. This complete guide aspires to become your daily companion during your stay, and for the first time it includes guides of a selection of our favourite Greek islands. Whatâ€™s more, our brand new online guides for Athens and Thessaloniki are up and running with daily updates, news and events, as well as comprehensive guides of the two cities and most Greek islands. Log in and find out everything that is worth knowing before or during your holidays:
Enjoy your stay
Copy Editor: Dimitra Grous Creative Art Director: Fotis Pechlivanidis Layout & Design: Morfoula Vogiatzoglou, Sotos Anagnos IT: Michalis Papakonstantinou Advertising Director: Louiza Nathanail Commercial Development Director: Nikos Tsouanatos Digital Advertising Manager: Anastasia Bafouni Direct Market Manager: Vassilis Zarkadoulas Direct Market: Dimitris Kalamaris, Nikos Damdimopoulos, Theodora Themeli, Eleonora Verikokidi 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.bestofathens.gr e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright ATHENS VOICE 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher and
SE RECYC L E
COVER ARTIST Sotos Anagnos was born in Athens, Greece. He is an illustrator, graphic artist and comic artist. His work has been published in various magazines, fanzines and webzines (ATHENS VOICE, Babel, Strukt, Thames & Hudson). He employs various mixed techniques for illustration. He has participated in expositions and festivals in Greece and abroad (China) and has illustrated the entire oeuvre of books and published stories of cult writer Kostakis Anan.
Contents 06 Welcome to Athens 10 FAQ 14 Greece explained 20 History 22 Monuments 26 Historic buildings 28 Athens neighbourhoods 30 Open air cinemas
32 Acropolis Museum 34 Museums 40 Day trips 42 Art & festivals 46 Gardens 48 Green life & parks 50 Family Athens 52 Hotels 56 Restaurants
72 Nightlife 80 Gay Athens 81 Shopping 88 Beaches 93 Aegina 94 Hydra 95 Serifos 102 Sifnos 106 Amorgos
108 Ios 110 Paros 113 Santorini 116 Naxos 120 Syros 122 Skopelos 124 Transportation 126 Maps 130 Metro
CHECK IT OUT! These guides of Athens & Thessaloniki are also available online at bestofathens.gr bestofthessaloniki.gr CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 3
W E L C O M E T O A T H E N S
Olga Kefalogianni Minister of Tourism
Dear friends, I am delighted to preface this edition and welcome citizens of the world to Athens. Around this time every year, the capital and the Athenians are hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors who give a whole new energy to the city’s everyday life. Especially this year we expect the number of visitors to be significantly higher. Our friends from around the world tell us that what’s more fascinating about Athens is that it gives you this home-like feeling and at the same time it challenges you to discover its well-hidden gems. Many of our guests might return to familiar paths and places, which are there to be rediscovered. Athens becomes, once again, a world-class tourist destination. After all, Athens is a contemporary metropolis combining beautiful setting with modern infrastructure 6 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
and high-quality services. It is indeed the city of diverse choices in culture, entertainment and sports. One can visit one of the city’s world-class museums, do some shopping, taste exquisite Mediterranean delicacies and attend an opera show of the Athens-Epidaurus Festival in an ancient open-air theatre; all in one day. It is also the only capital in Europe where you can swim in the crystal clear waters of the Athenian Riviera within only 20 minutes time from its city centre. What’s more, island hopping in the Saronic Gulf can start within 35 minutes, from the port of Piraeus. The Athens Voice City Guide 2014 is a useful tool that will help you with your strolls around the neighbourhoods all year long. My advice is to create your own path through the city with this edition in your bag. I wish you a pleasant stay in our city!
W E L C O M E T O A T H E N S
Yorgos Kaminis Mayor of Athens
the Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum and the longest archaeological promenade in Europe one can witness the imposing Greek antiquity. However, Athens is not just about ancient history. Athens is a safe and friendly city with warm and hospitable people which offers genuine experiences, enchanting tours and action-packed activities, both within and beyond the city limits all year round. Taste the famous excellent-quality products of the traditional Mediterranean cuisine and homemade cooking. Wander around its vibrant neighborhoods. Enjoy the year-round Athenian sun and mild temperatures while discovering the amazing Athenian Riviera. Athens is the only European Capital offering 15 blue flag beaches and marinas in very close proximity to the city center and numerous opportunities for water sports and daily cruises to the nearby islands. This is Athens!
Photo tasos brettos
Dear Friends, It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to our city. I am proud to be Mayor of the City of Athens; a city that has a long-standing history of being the birthplace of democracy, western-civilization, Rhetoric, Citizensâ€™ Rights, Philosophy, Science and Medicine. Athens is a classical yet modern vibrant European capital at the crossroads of three continents, combining thousands of years of history and cultural legacy with remarkable infrastructure, unique natural environment and state-of-the art tourism facilities. Athens is also a city that takes pride in its diverse communities and neighborhoods. It is this commitment to inclusion and diversity that makes this a thriving city and an ideal destination throughout the year, both for leisure and business travel. From the Sacred rock of the Acropolis to the amazing sculptures and monuments that adorn the city center,
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS By MARGARITA MICHELAKOU
Name one thing that’s really unique about How come coffee is so expensive in Greece? Athens. Summer open air cinemas. Try Thission The coffee-shop owners charge also for the chair. It (under Acropolis), Aigli (in Zapion), Boboniera (in can take a Greek two hours to drink a fredocino. Kifissia), Dexameni (in Kolonaki) or any one near you. What’s a fredocino coffee? The love of our life. Are Greeks polite people? Greeks are Took the place of other national greek coffee, the frapé hospitable and friendly, but not very polite. (shaken, not stirred). What’s going on with Greeks and smart Can I call you any time of the day? phones? It’s an addiction. Better SMS me. Isn’t it bad that you have all those stray Why is everybody so loud? Beats me! cats and dogs? Mind your own business. I am really bored of museums. I only want We love them. to visit one. The Acropolis Museum is magWhat time do the clubs close? Actually, nificent. Also the National Archaeological Munever. seum, one of the most important of its kind in Jesus, you the world. smoke too How come you stay up so late? It’s in much. our blood. Where is your Chinatown? Around Koumoundourou Square (on some maps We know. Where’s the skate park? The whole might be listed as Plateia Eleftherias). city is kind of a skate park but there is also a professional one, the Skate Plaza in Marousi. Do you still break plates at bouzoukia? No, we throw flowers or paper napkins at each other. Why do the guards in Syntagma Square Rather expensive habit, though. stand still? It’s a matter of pride. What’s the best way to end a night of How come they are all good-looking? partying? Eat something at the Central Market on Only the tall and good-looking soldiers can serve Athinas Street. as guards in Syntagma. Where do I get breakfast? Good luck! What happens if I tickle a guard? He will Greeks never take breakfast. For brunch we have bang his riffle’s butt on the pavement and the soldier a cheese-pie. nearby will take care of you. Now that you mention it, I feel kind of Can I feed the pigeons? Please don’t. They hungry. Search this guide. We have selected the are bulimic. best restaurants. Whatever happened to the Olympic Venues And how will I know what I am eating? I that Greeks managed to built in time? Most have heard you eat testicles. Sometimes. Look, of them they just stand empty. Some of them are used our moms are great cooks ocassionaly for exhibitions and concerts. and we all have a cousin who is chef and we exHow come all the cabs have plain everything in the Restaurants section. airconditioning? You can’t survive an Where are the hookers? The brothels Do you ever Athenian heatwave otherwise. can be found mostly on Fylis St in Kipseli get drunk? Where do I find drugs? In Amsterdam. and around the Metaxourgeion area. All the time. But Not very attractive girls cruise Skoufa St I am free for the weekend. What do you can’t tell.! in Kolonaki late at night. The coloured girls you suggest I do? Take a boat and visit an from the Black Continent can be found island like all other normal people. Try Hydra around Theater Square in Psirri. Mind you, on and Aegina from Piraeus, Andros from Rafina, Singrou Ave, the girls are actually boys. Tzia from Lavrion. I am gay and proud of it. Where can I do Where is everybody from 3-6pm on a it the Greek way? Go to page 79 .We have the summer day? Somewhere cool, either hugging the information and we are willing to share it. airconditioning or by the sea. Don’t leave. I have some more questions. What’s inside the Greek coffee? It tastes like Don’t panic. Everything is explained in here. sand. Hey, either drink it or stop complaining. 10 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
ATHENS VOICE ONLINE GUIDES The editorial team behind ATHENS VOICE, the first and foremost free press of the Greek capital, now delivers ATHENS VOICE GUIDES, brand-new, online guides of Athens and Thessaloniki in English. These new guides cater to all visitors’ and expats’ needs. Hotels, sightseeing, restaurants, bars, events, do’s and don’ts, the best kept secrets of the city, suggested activities and day trips, a guide to the famous Greek islands, they leave no stone unturned. A useful, indispensable tool for foreign visitors and expatriates. Visit www.bestofathens.gr www.bestofthessaloniki.gr
check them out On your mobile
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CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 13
Photo KOSMAS KOUMIANOS
Greece explained. Sort of.
ATHENS: WHERE’S THE GLORY? ASCENT & DESCENT Most parts of Athens look like San Francisco. Readjusting your balance is what walking is about as much as trying to avoid holes on broken pavements. It’s an adrenaline rush. Enjoy it. SMALL SIDEWALKS Small enough for a Hobbit. Lately, Athenians are grateful for the center’s large new pedestrian circuit uniting archaeological sites. ONE WAY STREETS Everywhere. PARKING SPACE Minimal. FACILITIES FOR THE DISABLED Forget it. 14 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
RICH & POOR In Athens, the “good and rich” areas don’t look very different from the poorer ones. Only inside the houses you can tell. Maybe it’s one of Democracy’s effects... NEOCLASSICAL HOUSES Unfortunately, all too many of the beautiful neoclassical buildings of the 19th century were demolished during Athens’s rapid expansion after WW II, but several have survived. DO GREEKS SPEAK ENGLISH? Many Greeks know English but appreciate a two-way effort. MALAKA Meaning wanker. The most common offensive verbal abuse especially if you add a certain gesture. Otherwise it’s rather mild. It is even used in a tender, softer spoken
You’re visiting Greece for the first time. You’ve heard so much about it. Homer. Sunlight. Food. Gods. You’ve seen that movie with Brad Pitt in that leather kilt. You can’t wait to get to the idyllic islands but first, you have to go through Athens. Relax; it’s not as bad as it looks. There is traffic, ok, but then this makes the place safe and lively. There is concrete everywhere. Ok, that’s bad. But have you seen the Syntagma metro station? It’s good. There are no bearded men walking around in togas, talking about Democracy and Tragedy. Well, actually there are, only they’ve gotten rid of the togas. And beards have come back, you know. At first glance Athens is grey but after a while you will realise how colorful she is, thanks to her vast cast of characters. Ok, the names are very difficult to pronounce but you can always smile and they will understand you. Athens is heaven. It just looks like hell. By YANNIS NENES
way among friends or as “dude” among colleagues. It is not used in a friendly way in football or traffic though. MOUTZA Speaking of traffic, you may notice that some drivers give an open palm gesture to each other, thrusting their hand forward like in high-five motion and uttering grumbling sounds as “Naaa! Malaka!”. It’s a kind of an offensive curse of Byzantine, or French, or Venetian origin when chained prisoners were paraded through the streets and abused by having handfuls of filth from the gutter picked up by onlookers and thrust into their faces. But seriously now, they offer some excitement in a dull hot Athens day. KAFSONAS This is the Greek word for heatwave. If you
see this on the news, be afraid. Be very afraid. LOUD? To the person who doesn’t understand Greek, the loud, intense conversations may sound like arguing – but they’re not. Actually Greeks are friendly and not hesitant to show affection. For example, friendly hugging and kissing (twice) is very common, even among men, or women strolling together arm in arm. EYE CONTACT Greeks openly stare at anything that interests them so don’t be offended if you are the center of attention wherever you go. BODY LANGUAGE The code for indicating “yes” and “no” in other countries, breaks down in Greece (as well as in CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 15
Art by iNO
southern Italy and Bulgaria...). The “no” looks like “yes”: a slight or exaggerated tipping back of the head sometimes with the eyes closed and eyebrows raised. SIESTA As much part of the Greek summer daily life, often between 3 and 5pm, everything is closed down for a mid-day nap even if it’s becoming extinct in big cities during winter. Siesta is necessary in Greece, as it gets too hot during the midday, Greeks eat large lunches, and stay up late at night. TAXI HELL Athens is swarming with yellow taxis. Compared to other international cities, the taxi rates in Athens are still cheap but you should always request a receipt for the amount paid. The receipt should also indicate the taxi registration number and the driver’s name. If you do get overcharged or other passengers are taken on board, don’t start a fight but report the taxi number or the licence plate to the Tourist police or to the Tourist information office. You can always use the TaxiBeat and TaxiPlon free applications. Or simply use the excellent Athens metro system in the first place. BUSES Usually over-packed but with expert drivers. 16 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
DRIVERS RULE And pedestrians don’t. The driver always has the right of way, even when stopping the car in the middle of traffic, going out to buy something like "psomee" (a loaf of bread) and then coming back. It is so outrageous that it’s fun. Sort of. REBETIKA A fusion of Turkish and Greek music with themes similar to the blues, that came to life when the Ottoman Greeks were forced out of Turkey in the 1920s. Greeks enjoy to dance and sing about pain as much as about pleasure. SKYLADIKA Literally meaning “doggish music”. It is the trashy commercial “devolution” of the rebetika, a melodramatic blend of pop-ish Arabic sounds and a gross, vulgar wildness mainly referring to a scandalous erotic life: Being betrayed, being abandoned, being unfaithful to your lover, it’s a matter of morals in the nightclub hell. ZEIBEKIKO A Greek improvisational dramatic solo dance for men. Its name comes from Zeybeks people of Asia Minor. The dancer is surrounded by other people, who kneel and clap to him. It is a renowned dance for "mangas", the macho archetype in the Greek poetry of masculinity.
Photo GIORGOS MALEKAKIS
on Athens’ city walls, buildings, statues, almost everywhere possible, is usually about political slogans, symbols and crew tags. Still, there are many creative graffiti artists who spray the city in their own colourful way.
The rails on the pedestrian pathway at Makriyiannis Street, are the remnants of the old Athenian Tram which stopped operating in the early 60s. The underground river flowing underneath Monastiraki Square, some of its parts now exposed in sight, is Eridanos river. The longest road in Athens is Aharnon street, stretching for about 3 kilometers of length. The narrowest is Kallipou street, about 2 meters in weidth. It is located between Monastiraki square and Kapnikarea, intersecting Ermou Street. The name of the english nobleman who removed the marbels of Parthenon is Thomas Bruce 7th Earl of Elgin. The first Athenian suburb was Kolonos. Back in 1853 the population of Athens was 30.000. Today it exceeds 3 million. The Presidential Guard (Evzones) in front of the Greek Parliament building at Syntagma, “rotates” every hour.
Facing the building of the Academy of Athens, the statue on the left is Plato and that on the right is Socrates. The Columns of Olympian Zeus are the remainings of a “gigantic” Temple dedicated to Zeus. At its time, Olympieion as it was called, it was bigger than the Parthenon, in fact it was the biggest temple in Greece. The Parthenon’s roof was kept well maintained for more than 2.000 years, until late 17th century, in 1687, when it was bombarded by the Venecians under Francesco Morosini. The tallest building in Athens, and in whole Greece, is the “Athens Tower” at Ampelokipi. Its 28 floor-structure go up 103 meters to the sky. There are 29 cities in the world named “Athens”, seven of which are found in the United States.
Purse from the “Τsolia mou” collection (www.molla.gr)
SMOKING GREEKS Greeks love to smoke. And they do know how to make cigarette packaging look good. Cool designs, flat packs that open from the top (buy a box of Sante cigarettes). Not like the big unattractive boxes they have everywhere else. NON-SMOKING GREECE (not) The new, stricter antismoking legislation which was passed in Greece on 1 September 2010, bans smoking and consumption of tobacco products by other means, in all working places, transportation stations, taxis and passenger ships (it was already prohibited in trains, buses and airplanes), as well in all enclosed public spaces, including bars, restaurants and clubs, with no exception. The anti-smoking law is not, in effect, implemented and smoking is still permitted in most public spaces in Greece. Posted signage indicating smoking ban legislation are commonly ignored. MEN IN SKIRTS Greeks have their own traditional pleated kilt that comes of the 19th century: it is called “foustanella”. It is worn by the guards of the former Royal Palace, the Evzones, (meaning the “well-belted” elite soldiers, a term traced in Homer’s times). It is made of 30 meters of
white cotton material consisting 400 pleads symbolizing the years during which Greece was under Ottoman occupation. Nowadays, young men doing their service time are hand-picked for the Presidential guard according to specific categories, such as height (they have to be over 1.87 metres), character, moral outlook and good health, general appearance and stamina. You can take your picture next to them and see if they blink. Every so often they do a little march to break the monotony of standing still all day and at 6pm you can watch the changing of the guards. Just make sure that you do not stand in their way; they are not allowed to stop for no reason and they are allowed to march-kick the obstacles with their pompom shoes. SANDALS Best traditional leather sandals of minimalistic taste by Stavros Melissinos, world famous for his excellent craftsmanship. Even The Beatles and Jacky O have bought his sandals. Stavros is also a poet, mostly known for Rubiyat, a poem in praise of wine and spirit. (See Shopping, shoes). To find Stavros and his sandals just cross Monastiraki square in front of the Metro station and walk towards the intersection of Athinas Street and CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 17
10 places to meet hipsters Cantina Social Leokoriou 6 (Map J5) • Tsin Tsin Kiafas 6 (Map F10) • Blue Bird Ipitou 4.(Map L10) • Bios’ roofgarden Pireos 84 (Map I3) • Booze Kolokotroni 57 (Map J8) • Briki Mavili Square (Map F22) • 6 D.O.G.S. Avramiotou 6-8 (Map J7) • Key Bar Praxitelous 37 (Map I9) • Romantso Anaxagora 3-5 (Map G7) • Baba Au Rum Klitiou 6 (Map J19) Ermou. Take a left on Ermou and walk two streets and go right on Ayias Theklas Street and he is at #2. Tel. (+30)
2103219247 http://www.athensguide.com/poet.html THE OWL Throughout the antiquity, goddess Athena
and her companion owl served as city and primary coin type. What made the Athenian silver so popular and long lasting was its status as the definition of good money. The modern Greek one-euro coin features the owl taken from the ancient Athenian four-drachma piece which was practically the first coin in the history of Europe. Most popular cape eagle owl in Athens today: Ketty. You can meet her in the Attica Zoological Park at Yalou - Spata which is the 3rd largest bird collection in the world with over 2000 birds from 320 different species CROSS Many Greeks cross themselves three times as they pass a church. In older times, there was a superstition that Christian priests are bad luck. “If you see a priest on the road, hang on to your balls”. Or simply pat someone next to you on the back, saying “Take the priest”. The priests wear full beards and are garbed in richly hued robes. BLUE GLASS EYE A charm, in Greek”mati”, which mirrors back “the blue of the evil eye”, a sickness transmitted - usually without intention - by someone who is envious, jealous, or covetous. The fear of the evil eye (some say the fear of the “blue eyed enemies from the North”) is felt throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean countries. There are charms against it in Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Persian, Spanish, Italian and Maltese. It is even mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. GOLD SHOPS Everywhere! Greek men don’t wear so much gold like per say the Italians do. Except maybe, a golden cross their mama gave to them 30 years ago, worn underneath their shirt. Greek women love jewels 18 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
but, most of all, tourists love handcrafted gold since it is inexpensive in Greece (mainly because labor is cheaper) but also for its high quality and excellent craftsmanship. In fact, tourists can be addicted to gold. Take a stroll around Plaka, the old part of the city near Acropolis, and you will see how fascinated they are by the golden jewelry with themes based on ancient Greek pieces. You’ve never seen so many golden dolphins in your life before. THE GREEK DIET It was simple: bread, cheese, vegetables, olive oil, wine, and on Sundays fish or pork. Beef was seldom eaten, and sheep and goats were kept mainly for hides, wool, and milk. HONEY In Greek traditional folk songs, milk and honey is the “food of love”. It is what angels offer to someone who falls in love. In mythology, Melissa, the daughter of the king of Crete, nurtured the god of gods, Zeus, with honey. And Hippocrates was known for applying honey widely while curing various ailments and advised people to eat honey every day in order to live longer. From the early prehistoric times until today the art of apiculture and honey collection still remains a primary agriculture activity for Greeks. Today in Greece, honey is used to sweeten breads, cakes, and sauces. It is the main star of the traditional Greek sweet, baklava. It is also used to sweeten wine and mixed with herbal and floral teas; honey helps create “mortal man’s nectar”. Due to long periods of sunshine, Greek honey is internationally known for its distinct biological and organoleptic characteristics. The abrupt changes of landscape make Greek flora so rich, that 7500 different species of plants are growing in Greece giving many different flavours of honey, especially in the region of Attica and Crete. Best of all is thyme honey which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
TAP WATER in Greece is fine. And bottled spring water is readily available. BREAD AND WATER Many tourists wonder why at a taverna before you order, they automatically bring you a glass of water and bread. This is because in Greece, fresh water is always welcome on a hot summer day and also a way for the owners to welcome you. On the other hand it is their version of a tip. Hospitality in Greece includes a slight element of force, it’s an “innocent” demonstration of power. A good host insists that you eat or drink more and only when you have refused a number of times you will get a reprieve; be charmingly persistent with your “no”. MOUSAKA (moo-sah-kah): National Greek dish. Every single Greek believes his own mama’s mousaka is the best in the world. See? Ingredients: 1 kilo / 2 pounds potatoes, 2 pounds aubergines, 1/2 kilo ground beef, ½ chopped onion, 1 cup tomatoes from a can, a small can of tomato sauce, 1/2 glass white or red wine, 1 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, salt, pepper, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. For the topping: 1-liter milk/2 pints, 1-cup flour 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 eggs, grated cheese (Emmenthal OK). Wash the aubergines and slice them in 1/4” slices. Place them on a plate with some salt on each slice. Peel the potatoes, slice them in 1/4” thick slices and fry them in olive oil. Take them out of the frying pan when they are half way done and set them aside. Use the same olive oil to fry the eggplants half way like the potatoes. Take them out of the frying pan when they are half way done and set them aside on paper towels to absorb some of the olive oil. Fry the onion in the oil till brown, add the ground beef, wait 10 minutes while stirring, and add the wine, tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, salt, pepper and cinnamon, and
then add 1/2 cup of water. When the water is absorbed, remove from heat, and add the grated cheese. In a saucepan bring three cups of milk to boil, mix the flour with the remaining cup and pour stirring constantly, making a thick paste - if too thick, add milk, if too thin, add some more flour. Remove from heat, and add the two eggs (whole eggs beaten) and the nutmeg. Butter a baking pan, and put the sliced halfway fried potatoes in it at bottom, forming a single layer. Cover with the meat mixture. Add a layer of aubergines and then cover with the contents of the saucepan (topping). Bake at 350 Degrees F for about one hour. When the topping turns 80% brown, serve cool. Note: If you don’t like aubergine, you can replace them with a layer of potatoes or omit them all together. "NEVER ON A SUNDAY" The bright side of quality Greek music, signified by the works of Manos Hadjidakis (who won an Oscar for “Never on a Sunday”), Mikis Theodorakis (famous among others for his “Zorba the Greek” theme), Dionysis Savopoulos (a Greek hybrid of Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa with strong traditional influences as well as rock). Greeks are open to many types of modern international music, new trends blend with nostalgia and simply everything else. Greeks don’t care to play stuff from 80’s to 90’s to 2000s. KARTOUTSO (kar-tou-tchow): Metal jars in different colors and fixed sizes used in traditional tavernas to serve barrelled wine or in bulk. Many new bohemians consider these kartoutsos to be excellent kitchenware. COFFEE AND CIGARETTES Many Greeks consider this as breakfast. Maybe they add to it a cheese pie –"tiropitah", or a koulouri (the little round fresh bread covered with sesame that is sold on the street by vendors). GREEK COFFEE Served hot in tiny small cups. You have to wait for the dust to settle and you can only drink it to a certain point. Many foreigners drink the bottom part of the coffee as well, not knowing you are supposed to drink only the liquid part. Greek coffee has to be made the traditional way that most die-hard old men coffee shops (cafeneon) follow: boiled on hot sand. There is a long tradition in Greece of reading coffee cups and foretelling the future - a highly prized skill. THE GREEK DIET That’s the most important part of the Greek coffee ritual. Take your time. Do a little chit chat, read your newspaper or just stay still thinking about great truths of life. Enjoy. In Greece, you can buy a drink or a few at a bar and stay for hours without anybody rushing you. FRAPPE SOCIETY Everywhere you go, folks are sitting outside drinking frothy coffee drinks in tall glasses. Frappe coffee is the lifeblood of Greek society. Made with instant Nescafe mixed with water, ice, milk and lots of sugar, a frappe will provide you with the right amount of coffee for your coffee break and the right buzz to sip while gossiping and people watching. It’s a way of life. THE COMMUNITY OF THE BALCONIES All the greenery that lacks in the streets of Athens can be found on roof gardens and balconies in almost every house and apartment, bulging with geraniums and hanging plants. There’s a sweet sense of an old neighborhood feeling in the community of balconies. People on balconies are friendlier to each other, maybe because they feel sound and safe being few stories above the city’s traffic chaos. THE FARMERS’ MARKET In Greek, lah-ee-khee aghowrah. Held on various days of the week in neighborhoods throughout the city. It’s colorful, noisy, packed and you can find anything; from fresh vegetables to plastic flowers. CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 19
Rise of the Mycenaean Civilisation. Mycenaean trade with Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean. The Minoan Successive Civilisation invasions of flourishes in Crete and the Greek (Hellenic) the Aegean, Tribes: centred on the palaces Achaeans, at Knossos Aeolians, and Phaestus Ionians and Evidence of human in Crete, Dorians. A habitation at with trade royal fortress the foot of the relations with is built on the Athenian Acropolis Hill Egypt and Syria. in Athens. Acropolis.
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.
The collapse of the Mycenaean Civilisation is followed by the Hellenic Dark Ages. Aeolian, Ionian and Dorian Greek colonisation of Asia Minor.
Greeks found colonies around the The city limits Mediterof Athens ranean expand, basin. Rise of construction aristocracies of the first throughout Greece. Agora.
5.000 years in two pages The first Olympic Games in history, held at Olympia, mark the beginning of the Classical Greek period.
8th century 776
Dracon drafts strict “draconian” law code in Athens.
Athens wins Salamis from neighbouring Megara and founds a colony, Sigeum, at the mouth of the Hellespont.
A concise overview of Athenian and Greek history from the ancient times to the present By Vangelis Koronakis
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).
First Panathenaic Games held in Athens to honour Athena, goddess of wisdom and patrongoddess of the city.
Peisistratus seizes power and becomes tyrant in Athens.
c.530 New temple of Athena built on the Acropolis.
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).
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.
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.
Extraction of silver ore from the mines at Laurium, used for minting the Athenian silver “owl” coins that financed the expansion of Athens’ navy.
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.
The end of the Peloponnesian war and Athens’ surrender usher in Sparta’s Philip II is crowned king hegemony in the Hellenic of Macedon and the World. This is Alexander the period of the followed by a short peGreat, son of kingdom’s dominance riod of Theban Philip II, is born in Pella. begins. dominance.
Athenian expedition sails to Sicily under Alcibiades.
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.
20 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Alexander dies in Babylon and the Hellenistic Period begins. Macedonia becomes dominant in the Hellenic World.
Greece becomes a province of the Roman Empire.
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.
The Apostle Paul visits Athens and delivers the Sermon on Aeropagus Hill.
Herodes Atticus becomes governor of Athens, constructs the theatre at the foot of the Acropolis that bears his name.
The peace is broken with the onset of the Peloponnesian War. Athens goes at war with Sparta once again.
The plague decimates a quarter of the population of Athens, including Pericles.
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 city-members 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.
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.
Schism between the Eastern Orthodox and (Western) Roman Catholic Churches.
Capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade by the Franks and Venetians.
1204 1830 Greek sovereignty recognised under the London Protocol. Nafplio becomes the first capital of independent Greece.
Sultan Mohammed II captures Constantinople. End of the Byz- Capture of Athantine Empire. ens by Omar.
1453 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.
1456 1838 The Royal Palace (now the House of Parliament) completed on Syntagma Square.
massive campaign and advance towards Ankara. 1922 The resurgent Turkish ar1910 my drives the Greeks back Cretan politician Eleftheto the coast and Smyrna is rios Venizelos is elected prime minister of Greece. burnt down on August 31. 1912 More than a million Greeks abandon their homes and First Balkan War. Greece, become refugees on the Serbia, Montenegro and Greek mainland. There folBulgaria fight against the Ottomans. Greece obtains lows a massive exchange parts of Macedonia, Epirus of populations between Greece and Turkey, based and the north Aegean on religious faith, under islands. 1913 the Treaty of Lausanne. 1940 Second Balkan War. After occupying Albania, Greece and Serbia fight Italy demands the right of against Bulgaria. Crete passage through Greece. unites with Greece. 1914 Greeks respond to the Italian ultimatum with a single King Constantine insists that Greece remains neu- word, “No”, on October 28. tral during the First World Greek troops repel the Italian forces into the Albanian War. Venizelos wants to mountains, advancing enter the war on the side of the Allies. The King flees towards Albania during the winter. the country and Greece 1941 enters the war. 1919 In April, Germany invades The Allies award Venizelos, Greece and the country is being on the winners’ side, occupied by German, Italian and Bulgarian forces. certain parts of Turkish and Bulgarian Thrace and The great famine of the winter of 1941 leaves more the right to place troops than 40,000 dead, mainly in the area of Smyrna on in Athens and other major the Turkish coast, home to a large and prosperous cities. Greeks take to the mountains, form resisGreek population. 1921 tance groups and declare a “Free Greece” on the The Greek troops begin a
Venetians lay siege to Athens under Morosini. The Acropolis, Turks occupy which was used all of Greece af- as a Turkish ter continuous gunpowder warfare with store, is partialthe Venetians. ly destroyed.
The fleet of the mediating powers (France, Britain, Russia) destroys the The Greek Turkish fleet at Lord Elgin Revolution removes Par- against Ottoman Navarino. End of thenon marbles occupation Ottoman Rule in begins. to London. Greece.
King Otto grants a constitution and representative Assembly, following popular uprisings.
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.
Cretan uprisings against the Ottomans lead to war between Greece and Turkey.
Prime Minister The first modern Charilaos Olympic Games Trikoupis held in Athens. introduces measures that limit the power of the monarchy to interfere in democratic institutions.
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.
DAILY GREEK NEWS
www. bestofathens.gr CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 21
OF A RItCH 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
22 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Photo Stavrakis Thanasis
Acropolis of Athens
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 cityâ€™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 (421406BC) 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).
ne of the worldâ€™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
In 2013, Acropolis was voted the second most beautiful Unesco World Heritage site in the world by CNN. Acropolis rock from above CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 23
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
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: €4 ❱ Concessions: €2 (+30) 210 3210185
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.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
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: €12 ❱ Concessions: €6 (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
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
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 windrelated 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).
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, estabA four day pass at a price of €12 (concessions lished in the 6th century BC €6), can get you into: the Acropolis, the Ancient as a site for the festivities Agora and its museum, Kerameikos and its muknown as Great Dionysia. seum, the Roman Agora, Acropolis' North and Many of the buildings found here were converted into South slopes and the Temple of Olympian Zeus Christian monuments dur(not applicable for the Acropolis Museum). ing the 5th century AD. The
See more for less
24 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
n Tripodon str., stands a structure with an unusual shape: it is a monument in honour of the 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.
Photo VANGELIS KORONAKIS
N 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: €2 ❱ Concessions: €1
(E.U. students/over 65 years old) (+30) 210 3463552
Free admission (under 19 y. o.)
Temple of Olympian Zeus
(Map O10 Akropoli) This 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 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: €2 ❱
Concessions: €1 (non E.U. students/ over 65 y. o.) € Free admission (EU students/ under 19 y. o.) (+30) 210 9226330
OPENING HOURS! 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.
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 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 Games of 2004, it provided the venue for the archery event as well as for the finish of the Marathon Run. Next to the stadium is a beautiful hill, the Arditos Hill, ideal for a walk after a visit to the stadium. € Admission: €3 (+30) 210 7522986 CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 25
A guide to eye-catching buildings you'll stumble upon during your strolls in the city By Vangelis Koronakis
National Library Athens Academy Athens University
er temple. This was common practice during Byzantine ages, in an attempt to wipe out idolatry. And what less costly 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.
Arsakeio 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 26 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Athens open-air meat market 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.
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
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.
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 earli-
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 hav-
ing 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 crossin-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.
This building, although in an unfortunate state of 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
Observatory (Map M3
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 cross-shaped 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
Old House of Parliament (Map J10
Cemeteries First cemetery of Athens (Map Q12
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
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
ost famous Greeks are buried here. Commonwealth war cemetery M ,028 Commonwealth servicemen of It is a museum in its own right with 2 the Second World War are buried or every kind of monument and ornamental commemorated in this cemetery. 596 of patterns, marble sculptures, columns, sarcophagi and neoclassical temples, conveying the memorial art that flourished during the 19th century along the rebirth of
the burials are unidentified and there are also 74 men of the army of undivided India who died during the campaigns in Greece
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
and Crete in the Second World War. In the northeast corner of the cemetery, 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 1943-1945, and who have no known grave. Tram stop: Pikrodafni Poseidonos 8, Alimos
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 27
Neighbourhoods of Athens Kolonaki
Athens is many cities in one. From glitzy Kolonaki to bohemian Exarchia, each neighbourhood retains its distinct flavour and colour. A city of startling, often exciting contradictions. By KONSTANTINOS TZIKAS
Historic centre Bordered by Stadiou, Athinas and Ermou St. The historic centre of Athens is the homebase of art, finance, enteprises and politics in Greece and as such a perpetually buzzing, lively, busy area. To fully experience it you have to walk it and have a glance at its numerous neoclassical buildings and landmarks.
Monastiraki-Thissio Bordered by Ermou St., Philopappou Hill,
Ancient Agora Monastiraki is a colourful mishmash of tourists and natives watching the various impromptu music gigs and jugglers and shopping in its flea market. Neighbouring Thissio is a favourite among local youths, with its many cafes and bars, as well as monuments. The final segment of the pedestrianised Ermou st. will lead to the equally busy area of Keramikos.
Plaka Bordered by the Acropolis, Amalias and Mitropoleos St. 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. Narrow streets and low houses in neoclassical style comprise this picturesque area. It is almost entirely pedestrianised and thus not accessible by car.
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.
Kolonaki Bordered by Vassilissis Sofias, Akadimias St. and Lycabettus Hill The temple of fashionmongers, compulsive shopgoers and trendy types. It has traditionally been a favourite place of residence for upper middle class and expats.
Exarchia Bordered by Asklipiou, Akadimias and Patission (October 28th) st. It has traditionally been a hothouse for intellectu-
als, radicals, artists, youngsters, musicians and bohemian types. Urban, noisy, lively, youth-ridden, it is flooded with vintage and second-hand stores, bookshops, record stores, eateries and inexpensive hotels.
Kifissia One of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of Athens, replete with cycling lanes, a pedestrianised centre, impressive mansions, huge shopping centres and parks. Piraeus Kifissia
Piraeus The foremost port of Greece, it is a busy hubbub of activity that was immortalised in Manos Hadjidakis’s Oscar-winning song “Children of Piraeus”. Foreign visitors and locals alike enjoy their fish and coffee by the sea here in the romantic little port of Mikrolimano.
Glyfada 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. The area also features luxury hotels and four marinas fully equipped for every type of yacht..
Cinema under the stars
Cine Thission has been voted by CNN and BBC as on the world’s best cinee of whereas Cine Paris mas, chosen by the read was ers Guardian as one of of the best open air cinemthe as in Europe.
OPEN AIR CINEMAS OF ATHENS Cine Psiri
(Map I6 Monastiraki) Sari 40-44, Psiri (+30) 210 3212476
(Map I14 Evangelismos) Dexameni sq., Kolonaki (+30) 210 3623942
(Map N12 Syntagma) Zapion Garden (+30) 210 3369370
(Map M8 Akropoli) Kidathineon 22, Plaka (+30) 210 3222071
(Map D12 Omonia) Themistokleous 82, Exarchia (+30) 210 3301020
(Map E12 Omonia) Valtetsiou 46, Exarchia (+30) 210 3837716
(Map I16 Evangelismos) Charitos 50, Kolonaki (+30) 210 7215717
(Map 5 Thissio) Apostolou Pavlou 7, Thissio (+30) 210 3420864 30 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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.
Athens Open Air Film Festival
After a successful 3-year run, the Athens Open Air Film Festival is back for the fourth year in a row in the summer of 2014. The hidden oases of Athens welcome summer blockbusters, all-time classics, local gems and special events in the biggest open-air festival in the city. From June to September, some of the most breathtaking locations around the city will be instantly transformed into open-air movie theaters with free entrance. Venues include the Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrian precinct, the Petralona Park, Plato’s Academy Park, Avdi Square, Mesolongiou Square, the Numismatic and the Byzantine Museums, as well as little-known spots in the wider Athens area, such as the Rematia Chalandriou Theater and the Nea Smyrni Park, combining urban mystique with over 20 masterpieces of classic and contemporary cinema during a summer festival that has become a city staple. This year, the 4th Athens Open Air Festival has expanded to embrace historical open-air movie theaters, such as Cine Psyrri, Cine Thissio, Cine Ellinis, Dexameni and the Greek Film Archive’s Lais Theater (a relatively new entry in the open-air roster), scheduled to host some of the most exciting screenings of the summer! The festival’s screening schedule will be accompanied by a number of sidebar events in rather unexpected locations, introducing visitors to another side of Athens. The film that is scheduled to raise the curtain is “The Two Faces of January”, starring Viggo Mortensen and shot in Athens and Crete. The last screening is scheduled for September 4. A detailed schedule can be found in www.cinemag.gr.
The Acropolis Museum One of the most magnificent museums in the world By LENA CHOURMOUZI Photos VANGELIS KORONAKIS
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. Greek traditional breakfast is served daily until 12:00 at the museum's second floor restaurant (except on Mondays when the museum remains closed). The famous Caryatids 32 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
he Acropolis Museum, a shiny home for 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 visit it 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 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 on a regular basis every week. The presentations are held both in Greek and English. You can take free coupons from the Information Desk and participate in these presentations in groups of visitors of up to 30 people. Be warned, however, participation is limited. Another special treat: the 3D projections that take place every weekend.
Follow the hosts' 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. 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.
"You can have a Van Gogh at the Metropolitan and at the Louvre", saysanother Bernard Tschumi who architect the new Acropolis M co-designed the Parthenon Marbl useum. "But, es ar It's got to be togeth e one story. er same place and therat the e's no better place than here". The gallery of the archaic sculptures
Acropolis of Athens
(Map O8 Akropoli) Dionysiou Areopagitou 15 (+30) 210 9000900/ Public entrance from Dionysiou Areopagitou/ Groups from Mitseon Mon 08:00 - 16:00 Tue-Thu & Sat-Sun 08:00-20:00 Fri 09:00 - 22:00 € Admission Fee: €5 ❱ Concessions: €3 www.theacropolismuseum.gr
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 "Acropolis" station offers the best preview of what you'll see in the museum. Details from the Parthenon gallery CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 33
Statue of a Kouros. Parian Marble. Found in Merenda, Attica. 540-530 BC. National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Portrait of Alexander the Great. Acropolis Museum
This sculpture depicts Aphrodite raising her sandal to ward off Pan, with her child Eros hovering between them. National Archaelogical Museum.
Jockey of Artemision in the National Archaeological Museum
MEMORIES OF A GLORIOUS PAST Our guide to the best Athenian museums By LENA CHOURMOUZI
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. Always bear in mind that in July and August the mercury can soar to 40°C (over 100°F). So, it's always better to pay your visits in the early hours of the day. 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.
34 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
HISTORICAL National Archaeological Museum
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 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
Cycladic ART MUSEUM If you like a touch of antiquity in your living room pay a visit to the museum's shop. You could also combine your visit with a light meal in the cosy atrium. The New Benaki Museum Besides its visu-
ally striking and memorable architectural style, it is also renowned for the many periodic exhibitions it hosts.
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 €5-€10 ●Most museums have websites with updated practical information and upcoming events. However it's 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 city's heritage. a young woman, returned to Greece in 2007 by the Getty Museum in California. Patission (28 October) 44, Victoria
(+30) 213 2144800 Mon-Sun 08:00-20:00 € Admission fee: €7 ❱ Concessions: €3 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
The New Benaki Museum: a paragon of modern architecture
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 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. Until 28.9.2014: The Museum of Cycladic Art presents for the first time in Greece, Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ History Zero. Tsivopoulos with this work represented Greece in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. The piece comprises of a film structured in three parts (each 11 minutes), accompanied by an archive of 32 texts and imagery with alternative non-monetary exchange systems. The theme includes the concept of money, the value of material goods today and the alternative exchange systems.
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 10:00-17:00/ Thu 10:00-20:00/ Sun 11:00-17:00/ Closed Tue/ History Zero: Wed-Fri 17:00-22:00 € Admission fee: €7/ Mon €3.5❱ Concessions: Seniors (over 65 y.o.) €3.5 - students 19-26 y. o. €3.5 - groups of 15 or more €5 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
Cycladic Art Museum
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,
Syntagma / Evangelismos)
museum that houses in two separate buildings approximately 3,000 objects from all phases of Cycladic,
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 35
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. The museum’s gift shop includes large range of items inspired by the old gasworks, such as original jewellery, stationery and decorative items. Open 16.4.2014-14.10.2014.
Pireos 100, Kerameikos (+30) 210 3475518 Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: €1 www.technopolis-athens.com
Industrial Gas Museum
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 post-Byzantine 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 Mon-Sun 08:00-20:00 € Admission fee: €4 ❱ Concessions: €2 ❱ Free admission: Under 18 y. o. www.byzantinemuseum.gr
The War Museum
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: €3 ❱ Concessions: €1.5 for students and senior citizens (+65 y. o.) ❱ Free admission: On Sun and for kids under 18 years old
Museum of Ancient Agora
Monastiraki / Thissio)
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, Evan-
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
National Historical Museum
gelismos (+30) 210 7244464 Tue-Fri 09:00-19:00 € Admission fee: €3 ❱ Free admission: Visitors under 19 years old, students from E.U. countries, senior citizens (over 65 y. o.) (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 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 36 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
08:00-20:00/ Mon 11:00-20:00 € Admission fee: €4 ❱ Concessions: €2 ❱ Free admission: Students with European pass
Numismatic Museum of Athens
hen he wasn’t supervising excavations in the Peloponnese, 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, Macedo-
INTERNATIONAL Anavasi (Map K10
A specialised, major travel bookshop, notable for its rich collection of maps and guides. Voulis 32, Syntagma (+30) 210 3218104
Benaki Museum (Map K13
Best Book Hunters (Map E12
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
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
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
International Press (Map F9
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 3210989
Le Livre Ouvert
Located very close to the French Institute in Kolonaki, it boasts a large French and international section. Solonos 77, Kolonaki (+30) 210
Papasotiriou (Map H10
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
Huge bookstore with thousands of titles, very low prices and knowledgeable staff. Asklipiou 1-3, Panepistimio (+30) 210 3600235
Public (Map K10
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. Kara-
giorgi Servias 1, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3246210
Travel Bookstore (Map G12
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
38 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
(+30) 22940 32670
(+30) 320 3632057, 210 3612834, 210 3612872 Tue-Sun 08:3015:15/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: €3 ❱ Concessions: €2 ❱ Lift access for persons with mobility difficulties
Jewish Museum (Map L10
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 kos) Pireos 138, Rouf (+30) 210 3453111
nian, Roman and Byzantine eras up to the foundation of the Modern Greek state. Panepistimiou 12, Syntagma
museum that preserves, documents and explores the history of the Jewish community in Greece through more than 8000 artefacts, investigating the Greco-Jewish experience in both religious and secular terms. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the gift shop. Nikis
39, Syntagma (+30) 210 3225582 Mon-Fri 09:00-14:30/ Sun 10:00-14:00/ Closed Sat € Admission fee: €5 ❱ Concessions: €3
ARTS-GALLERIES Benaki Museum
must visit after a brief stroll around Kolonaki upmarket district. Its impressive neoclassical building continues to resist the aesthetic deterioration of postwar Athens. A 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. Koumbari 1 & Vasilissis
Sofias, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3671000 Wed-Fri 09:00-17:00/ Thu -Sat 09:00-15:00 € Admission fee: €7 Temporary ❱ Exhibition: €3-5 ❱ Concessions: €5 persons over 65, an adult accompanying a child
The New Benaki Museum
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
National Museum of Contemporary Art
his 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, and thought-provoking aspects of contemporary international art. A case in point is Andreas Aggelidakis's retrospective exhibition "Every End is a Beginning", running until September 2014. In fall 2014 the museum will move to its new and hopefully permanent premises at the former Fix brewery. Its official opening date is TBA. It will be housed in a remarkable industrial building, Vassileos Georgiou B
17-19 & Rigilis (+30) 210 9242111-3 Tue-Sun 11:00-19:00/ Thu 11:00-22:00/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: €3 ❱ Concessions: €1.5 www.emst.gr
Municipal Gallery of Athens
rimarily designed to become Athens’ first indoor commercial centre nowadays the gallery hosts nearly 3,000 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, father of neoclassical design in modern Greece. Leonidou & Mylerou, Metaxourgio (+30) 210 3243023 €
Tue 10:00 21:00/ Wed-Sat 10:00-19:00/ Sun 10:00-15:00/ Closed Mon Free admission (Guided tour every Mon) www.nationalgallery.gr
Islamic Art Museum
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: €7 ❱ Concessions: €5 www.benaki.gr
MISCELLANEOUS Ilias Lalaounis - Jewellery Museum
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. 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 Tue-Sat 09:00-15:00/ Sun 11:00-16:00/ Closed Mon € Admission fee: €5 ❱ Concessions: €4 for students, senior citizens and groups € Free admission Fri-Sun www.lalaounisjewelrymuseum.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: €2 ❱ Concessions: €1 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
The closest escape from the Attica mainland
A R G O L I S 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
Nafplio, the first capital Argive plain and controlling Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the both the land and sea routes old town of Nafplio, which is a feast for the eye. Mycenae was the kingdom of It was the first capital of the Greek State in the early mythical Agamemnon.This 1830s. Here the first president of Greece, Ioannis region is one of the longest Kapodistrias, was assassinated. It was also the first occupied in Greece with residential place for the young Bavarian Prince Otto, evidence of Neolithic settlefirst king of the country. The Old Town is lovely, with ments. The myths related old mansions and paved paths. The town’s twin to its history have inspired fortresses of Palamidi and Akronafplia were key poets and writers over many centuries, from the “Homeric military flashpoints during the War of Indepenepics” and the great tragedies of dence. The Venetian influence the Classical period to contempois felt everywhere. rary literary and artistic creation.
C A P E S O U N I O N Where the sun sets through the Doric columns of Poseidon By LENA CHOURMOUZI
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.
40 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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
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.
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.
Where to swim
D E L F I
Karathonas, the closest proper beach to Nafplio, plus the beaches ofTolo and Kastraki, southeast of Nafplio, which offer several amenities.
One of the most important archaeological sites in Greece By Vangelis koronakis
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
Monday till Friday Saturday Sunday and Holidays
06:15-21:30 07:30-21:00 07:30-22:30
Monday till Friday Saturday
Sunday and Holidays
09:00-11:30 via Nafplio-16:20 09:00-11:30 via Nafplio-16:20 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
n Greek mythology Delphi was the Apollo, a stadium up on the hill, an place where two eagles released by ancient theatre and Delphi’s best Zeus to fly across the universe met known landmark, the “Tholos”, a and determined the Navel circular building with three of its of the World. A major original twenty Doric columns temple dedicated to restored, part of the sanctuary DAILY UPDATES Apollo and his victory of Athena Pronaia. over the terrible serpent Python was built info there in 7th century BC. The local oracle was a religious centre where pilgrims, commoners There is a regular intercity bus service and kings alike, from all over Greece from Athens KTEL station. You can also came to consult Pythia, the priestess opt for an organised tour. of the sanctuary. She mumbled her notoriously ambiguous oracles in a KTEL (Intercity) state of intoxication open to multiple Bus station interpretations. These days Delphi is Liosion 260 (+30) 210 8317096 a small touristy village 180 km from Athens, built on the top of a cliff, From Athens next to the main archaeological site 07:30, 10:30, 13:00, 15:30, 17:30, 20:00 on the slopes of Mount Parnassos. € Tickets cost around €15 one way There is an impressive 2,300 sqm Museum and Arch. site: museum housing findings from the (+30) 22650 82346, 22650 82313 local excavations that started by Both open: daily 08:00-20:00 German archaeologists in 1892. The Museum: Sun-Mon-Tue: 08:30-15:00/ main highlights of the museum are Closed on public holidays offerings by the oracle visitors, the € Tickets for the museum and the famous Charioteer of Delphi and of archaeological site cost €6 each (reduced course “Omfalos”, the sculptured religious stone that represented the €3)/ A combined ticket will get you Navel of the World. The archaeointo both for €9 (reduced €5) logical site consists of the Temple of
How to get there
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 41
No Respect Graffiti and street art at the OCC
City of arts By NATALIA DAMIGOU-PAPOTI
History Zero Stefanos Tsivopoulos tefashioncollection: 1 to 8
42 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
ccasionally in the summer, good art can be more refreshing than a cold glass of beer. Athens is a veritable hotchpotch of artistic creativity. Overflowing with talent, vitality, excitement and inspiration, the Greek capital is one of the leading players in the European and international scene of arts, drama, music and dance, with historical venues such as the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus.
ART History Zero Stefanos Tsivopoulos
he Museum of Cycladic Art presents Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ “History Zero” for the first time in Greece. With this work, Tsivopoulos represented Greece in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. The piece comprises of a film structured in three parts (each 11 minutes), accompanied by an archive of 32 texts and imagery with alternative non-monetary exchange systems. The film depicts the experiences of three people with very different conceptions of the value of money. Info Until 28.09.14.
Museum of Cycladic Art Stathatos Mansion (1st floor). (Map K14 Syntagma/Evangelismos) (+30) 210 7228321-3 Exhibition Opening Hours: Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat 10:00-17:00 Thu 10:00-20:00, Sun 11:00-17:00. € Concessions €3.50. ❱ Exhibition curator: Syrago Tsiara.
No Respect Graffiti and street art at the OCC
he OCC is staging an in-house exhibition, which sets out to document the Greek graffiti and street art scene as this manifests itself on the streets of Athens and other cities in Greece today. Each of the forty works on display was created in situ by a different artist. A making-of video will be screened in the exhibition space. Info Until 13.07.14. Onassis Cultural Centre, Exhibition Hall 107-109
Sygrou Avenue ( Sygrou-Fix) (+30) 210 9005800 Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 12:00-21:00 € Free admission. ❱ Exhibition curator: Marilena V. Karra.
Destefashioncollection: 1 to 8
he “destefashioncollection” is an incremental, evolving project conceived by the DESTE Foundation to consider and trouble the boundary between art and fashion. Each year since 2007 the “destefashioncollection” has commissioned an artist to survey that season’s International fashion offerings and to select five related works. These pieces form the artist’s own capsule collection. The exhibition “Destefashioncollection: 1 to 8'' assembles the first eight years of capsules and projects. Info Until 12.10.14. Closed between 4-14.08.14. Between 1-3.08.14 & 1831.08.14 open by appointment only. Benaki Museum
Pireos 138 & Andronikou St. (+30) 210 3453111 (Map K13 Syntagma) Opening Hours: Thu, Sun 10:00-18:00, Fri, Sat 10.0022.00 € Admission € 6, 4 ❱ Concessions €3, 2 ❱ Exhibition curating and design: Nadja Argyropoulou, Adam M. Bandler, Mark Wasiuta.
A virtual walk in Ancient Agora and Ancient Olympia Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre
his state of the art cultural centre offers elaborate educational experiences by way of technology, science and history. In its dome-shaped theatre Tholos, visitors can take virtual tours at important sites of antiquity. Through the interactive “Walk at the Ancient Agora of Athens”, spectators, under the guidance of a special Museum educator, can choose the course they will follow themselves. The representation of the Agora in three different moments in history provides visitors with the opportunity to perceive the development and the changes in the site’s function through time.
he “Walk Through Ancient Olympia” provides a complete tour to the sacred site of ancient Olympia in the 2nd century BC. Monuments and sacred buildings come to life, enabling visitors to participate in the events and the rituals of the Olympic Games and to learn about the history of the city through landmarks such as the temple of Zeus. Info Tue-Fri & Sun10:00-15:00. Closed Mon & Sat.
Pireos 254, Tavros
(+30) 212 2540000
Macho Juergen Teller
Painting II (1980-2000)
nder the ironic title “Macho”, Teller, a photographer whose practice makes the debate about the boundaries between art and fashion obsolete, will be showing for the first time in Greece a highly introspective body of work. Info Until 29.1014. At the DESTE Foundation Nea Ionia, Emm.
his exhibition examines the evolution of figurative painting in Greece and Europe during the past two decade of the 20th century, through the works of Frissiras museum’s collections. Info Until 28.09.14. 3 & 7
Papa & 11 Filellinon St., (+30) 210 2758490 Opening Hours: Wed 12:0020:00, Sat 10:00-14:00 ❱ Free admission. Curated by: Marina Fokidis.
Monis Asteriou, Plaka (at the junction of Kydathineon str.) (+30) 210 3234678 (Map M10 Akropoli) Opening Hours: Wed-Fri 10:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 11:00-17:00 ❱ Admission €6, 3. CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 43
By NATALIA DAMIGOU-PAPOTI, MARIA AVGEA
ig names, domestic and international alike, will perform for Greeks and foreign visitors in two of the most impressive and historically significant theatres in the world.
ATHENS FESTIVAL 2014 Classical music Otello Greek National Opera-Yannis Kokkos
Dance A Quiet Voice Ermira Goro
he spent invaluable years at the side of DV8-founder Lloyd Newson, as both a dancer and artistic assistant, and now presents a personal work to Athens Festival audiences for the first time. Info 07 & 08.07.14, 21:00.
Peiraios 260, Building D. € Ticket Prices €15, 10 (discount), 5 (Students, Unemployed, People with Movement Difficulties).
Watermotor, Son of Gone Fishin’, Rogues, For M.G.: The Movie Trisha Brown Dance Company
okkos brings to life Verdi’s version of Shakespeare's tragedy and the ways in which it conveys Othello’s heroism, Iago’s jealousy and Desdemona’s gullibility with a rare economy of means. Info 27-29.07.14 & 31.07.14 21:00 ❱ Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Peiraios 260, Building D. € Ticket Prices €25, 20 (discount),15 (students), 5 (Unemployed, People with Movement Difficulties)
A tribute to Beatles Armonia Atenea-Miltos Logiadis
Gigel Grigorovich Ballet - Theatre of Russia
his tribute to the Beatles features their greatest hits expertly arranged by Nikos Platyrrachos in a way that retains the unique style and vigour of their songs while enhancing the sound with orchestral instruments.Info 17.07.2014 21:00 ❱ Odeon of Herodes Atticus
uri Grigorovich, the artistic director of the famous Bolshoi, returns to Greece with a spectacular production. Info: 09.09.2014, 21:00 Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Music Give Us Wings Monika in concert
ising star Monika, one of the hottest music artists in Greece, performs for the first time in Odeon of Herodes Atticus, in the company of foreign artists. Info 16.07.14 21:00 ❱ Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Theater Ionesco suite Emmanuel Demarcy Mota
fter presenting Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinocerus in last year’s festival, the Frenchman director strikes back with Ionesco suite. Info 01-03.07.14
Pireos 260 (Building D)
44 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
tribute to one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century. Info 11 & 12.07.2014, 21:00.
EPIDAURUS FESTIVAL 2014 Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Helen Dimitris Karantzas
fter presenting Euripides’ tragedy at National Theatre, the young director presents the same play at Epidaurus’ stage orchestra with a troupe of promising young Greek actors. Info 05.07.14 21:00
TICKET INFORMATION (+30) 210 3272000 www.ticketservices.gr TICKET CENTRE (Map H10 Panepistimio) Panepistimiou 39 (+30) 210 7234567 ❱ Mon-Fri 08:30-16:00/ Sat 09:00-14:30 ODEON OF HERODES ATTICUS (Map N6 Akropoli) Dionisiou Areopagitou, Makrigianni (+30) 210 3241807 ❱ Mon-Sun 09:00-14:00/18:00-21:00
AthensEpidaurus Festival 2014
Prometheus Bound Ektoras Lygizos
irector Ektoras Lygizos has tackled narration and representation of ancient drama in small scale spaces. Now, with Aeschylus’s tragedy, he tests himself with a large-scale space. Info 12.07.14 21:00
Philoctetes Patras Municipal and Regional Theatre
ostas Filippoglou directs Sophocles's tragedy. Starring cutting-edge, postmodern director Michael Marmarinos. Info 18 & 19.07.14 21:00
Hippolytus National Theatre of Greece
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. 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.
ydia Koniordou, acclaimed for her performances in Greek tragedies, directs and stars in this production. Info 25 & 26.07.14 21:00
protagonists Giannis Fertis, Akis Sakellariou and Lazaros Georgakopoulos. Info 15 & 16.08.14 21:00
The Frogs Yiannis Kakleas
Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus
he question posed by Aristophanes in The Frogs what can save the city? - takes centre stage in this production, which examines the importance of art in times of transition such as ours. Info 01 & 02.08.14 21:00
The Bacchae Theatro Domatiou-Angela Brouskou
rmed with a powerful cast and a willingness to take directorial risks, Angela Brouskou takes on the Bacchae (405 BC) in Giorgos Cheimonas’ acclaimed translation. Info 08 & 09.08.14 21:00
The Persians State Theatre of Nothern Greece Nikaiti Kontouri
n the wake of her Trojan Women, Nikaiti Kontouri returns with another anti-war tragedy, this time with male
War Manifesto (Part I) Roula Pateraki
ased on The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. A project long in the making, avantgarde, celebrated director and actress Roula Pateraki's dream finally comes to fruition. The play is in three parts, and is expected to be performed over three consecutive festivals (2014-2016). Info 25 & 26.07.14 21:30
ANCIENT THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS (Argolida Prefecture) (+30) 2753 022026 & 2753 022096 ❱ Mon-Thu 09:00-14:00/ Fri-Sat 09:30- 21:30 FESTIVAL INFORMATION (+30) 210 9282900 www.greekfestival.gr
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 45
The secret gardens of Athens Green oases By Nenela Georgele
Café of the National Archaeological Museum
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 Mon-Sun: 08:00-19:45
46 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
or all its (partly justified) reputation as a city of concrete, Athens has its fair share of green oases. In fact, its gardens are brimming with joy and life. Many of these gardens are “secret”, 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.
Aethrion at Cycladic Art Museum
4, Kolonaki Free WiFi
(+30) 210 7228321-3
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 Mon-Wed-Fri 10:00-17:00, Thu 10:00-20:00
Benaki Museum Café
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 09:00-16:00. Closed on Mon-Tue
Wed & Fri 21:00-17:00, Thu & Sat 09:00-24:00, Sun
Byzantine and Christian Museum Café
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, Kolonaki Sun 09:00-20:00
(+30) 211 0120441
Mon-Fri 08:00-20:00, Sat-
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 Mon-Sun 10:00-02:00
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 Mon-Sun 18:00-01:00
National Garden Café
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
Numismatic Museum of Athens
Just off Syntagma square in a 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. Panepistimiou 12, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3610067
Mon-Sat: 09:00-24:00 Sun 09:00-21:00
Named after the eponymous park, this romantic café-restaurant is open all weerround from morning until late at night. Vasilissis Sofias, Kolonaki (+30) 210 DEXAMENI
Green Life Parks are cool By LENA CHOURMOUZI
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
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”).
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 E Varvara, it makes for a lovely, invigorating scenic stroll.
National Gardens 48 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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 gleaming-white 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
Antonis Tritsis Park
the Pnika Hill, where the great orators of Greek antiquity used to gather and discuss political issues.
Akademia Platonos (Map E2) 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.
lovely recently renovated park located within easy walking distance (just five minutes) from the National A A 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.
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
ark of Environmental Information and Sensitization: this is how this sprawling expanse of green in the P area of Ilion defines itself. Open 24/7, the park promotes ecological activities, organizes cleanings, and is a delight for little children who come to play with its horses and donkeys (it includes a riding centre).
Photo Haris Akriviadis
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
Garden of the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 49
F AM I L Y A T H E N S Discover Athens with your kids By ANGELIKI NIKOLARI
Attica Zoological Park
he Attica Zoological Park is a unique educational and entertaining destination, for families and people of all ages. Only 20mins from the city centre, you will be able to admire more than 2000 animals, from 5 continents, such as dolphins, lions, giraffes, monkeys, tigers, bears, penguins, parrots and many more. While admiring the animals and walking around the 20 hectares zoo you will also be able to learn fascinating information regarding their lives and habits. Birds of Prey shows and Marine Mammals educational programs are held daily. There is also a cafeteria, a gift shop where visitors can buy souvenirs, 3 shaded picnic areas and a playground. Yalou, Spata
(+30) 210 6634724 Open 365 days a year, from 9:00 am until sunset. € Admission fee: €15 ❱ Concessions: €11 ❱ Access: Bus No 319 from Nomismatokopio or Doukissis Plakentias & Local Bus No 320 Bus stop: Spata City Hall www.atticapark.com/zoo
The Goulandris Museum of Natural History
museum that offers an extensive collection of zoological, botanical, entomological, geological and palaeontological exhibits with many interactive displays and audiovisual performances. Its ultramodern 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. Levidou 13, Kifissia
(+30) 210 8015870 Tue-Fri 09:00-14:30 / Sat 9:00-16:00 Admission Fee: €6 ❱ Concessions: €4 & €10 (combining both museums) €6 €
Planetarium Eugenides Foundation
uilt 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. Sygrou 387 (+30) 210 9469641 50 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Attica Zoological Park
Wed-Fri 17:30-20:30 / Sat-Sun 10:30-20:30 € Admission fee: €6 ❱ Concessions: €4 Access: Bus No 126, A2, B2, from Akadimias & Omirou www.eugenidesfound.edu.gr
Hellenic Children's Museum
earning can be fun! So parents and teachers say. But in this historic three-storey neoclassical building of Athens they actually mean it. It is the country’s only multi-thematic, interactive museum specially designed for children. Kidathinaion 14, Plaka (+30) 210 3312995
Tue-Fri 10:00-14:00 Sat -Sun 10:00 -15:00 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 The Greek (a scream-inducing 40-metre fall word for cotton experience) or at the House of Fear candy is "malli tis where terror resides permagrias". It is transnently. Enjoy! Kifisou &Petroy Ralli,
lated as "granny's hair" and is a staple candy for kids in all amusement parks.
Rentis (+30) 210 8092800 Mon-Fri 17:00-23:00 / Sat-Sun 10:00-24:00 € Admission fee: Allou! Day Pass €17 Access: Bus No B18, & trolley / Bus No2 from Omonia www.allou.gr
Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre
state of the art cultural centre for those looking for a highly educational experience. 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
Tue-Fri & Sun 09:00-15:00 / Closed Mon & Sat € Admission fee: €6 Access: Bus No 049, from Omonia / Bus stop: Ifantiria www.hellenic-cosmos.gr
Best hotels By KAROLINA NIAMONITAKI
Marathon Beach Resort
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.
n architectural landmark hailing from the 70s, it invariably attracts a large number of visitors. Understandably so, as it is situated in one of the most beautiful locations of the historical area of Nea Makri, right by the port, surrounded by gardens with direct 52 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014 access to the pool and hotel, restaurants and only few minutes walking distance to the beach. From shopping to relaxing to cycling in the beach and taking salsa lessons, Marathon Beach Resort delivers an unforgettable, comprehensive experience in a charming environment of art deco, Mediterranean and tropical style. Location Nea Makri | No of Rooms 74 | No of Beds 160 | Posidonos 12
5 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
(Map K19 Evangelismos) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 506 | No of Beds 892 Vasilissis Sofias 46 (+30) 210 7281000 www.hiltonathens.gr
(Map J21 Megaro Moussikis) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 193 | No of Beds 334 Mihalakopoulou 50 (+30) 210 7278000 www.cpathens.com
(Map L10 Syntagma) Location Athens City Center | No of Rooms 155 | No of Beds 291 Navarchou Nikodimou 18 (+30) 210 3370000 www.electrahotels.gr
Grand Resort Lagonissi
Location Lagonissi | No of Rooms 346 | No of Beds 689 40th Km Athinon-Souniou (+30) 22910 76000 www.lagonissiresort.gr
(Map K11 Syntagma) 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
(+30) 210 3222210
Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 314 | No of Beds 331 Sygrou 115 (+30) 210 9300000 www.marriott.com
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
( Neos Kosmos) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 56 | No of Beds145 Okeanidon 21 (+30) 210 9319300-4 www.athensatrium.gr
(Map D5 Metaxourghio) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 31 | No of Beds 62 Chiou 9 (+30) 210 5249050 www.athenslotushotel.gr
(Map E9 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 136 | No of Beds 259 Chalkokondili 14 (+30) 210 3320100 www.melia-athens.com Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 374 | No of Beds 698 Sygrou 385 (+30) 210 9471000 www.chandris.gr
(Map L11 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 79 | No of Beds 165 Filelinon 16 (+30) 210 3273000 newhotel.athenshotels.it
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
(Map A11 Victoria) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 152 | No of Beds 271 Alexandras 10 (+30) 210 8894500 www.athensparkhotel.gr
(Map IP8 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 264 | No of Beds 535 Athanasiou Diakou 28-34 (+30) 210 9288400 www.royalolympic.com
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
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
(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
(Map K10 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 109 | No of Beds 178 Ermou 5 (+30) 210 3378000 www.electrahotels.gr
(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
(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
( Kifissia) Location Kifissia| No of Rooms 51 | No of Beds 96 Charilaou Trikoupi 48 (+30) 210 6284400 semiramis.athenshotels.it
(Map Q8 Sygrou-Fix) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 37 | No of Beds 74 Falirou 9 (+30) 210 9236682 www.herahotel.gr
Sofitel Athens Airport
(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
Location Athens Airport | No of Rooms 345 | No of Beds 681 El. Venizelos Airport (+30) 210 3544000 www.sofitelathens.gr
(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
(Map L11 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 97 | No of Beds 188 Amalias 10 (+30) 210 3237301-9 www.amalia.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
(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
( Sygrou-Fix) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 91 | No of Beds 173 CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 53
(+30) 210 9202000
Arion Athens Hotel
(Map C7 Larissa Station) Location Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 196 | No of Beds 361 Michail Voda 4-6 (+30) 210 8200700 www.novotelathens.gr
(Map O9 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 79 | No of Beds 148 Makri 6, Plaka (+30) 210 9234594 www.airotel.gr
(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
(Map K10 Syntagma) Location Monastiraki | No of Rooms 78 | No of Beds 155 Athinas 29 (+30) 210 3212801 www.attaloshotel.com
(Map I5 Evangelismos) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 21 | No of Beds 46 Haritos 22 (+30) 210 7297200 www.yeshotels.gr
(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
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
(Map L9 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 37 | No of Beds 60 Apollonos 15 (+30) 210 3235486-7 www.omiroshotel.gr
(Map K10 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 33 | No of Beds 63 Mitropoleos 11 (+30) 210 3237.816 www.panhotel.gr
(Map G9 Omonia) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 398 | No of Beds 754 Panepistimiou 52 (+30) 210 3326000 www.titania.gr (Map B17) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 191 | No of Beds 350 Alexandras 87-89 (+30) 210 6449002 www.zafoliahotel.gr
(Map J10 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre| No of Rooms 34 | No of Beds 74 Leka 21, Syntagma (+30) 210 3233197 www.achilleashotel.gr
FOF MO RE
(Map L8 Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre | No of Rooms 22 | No of Beds 44 Adrianou 74 (+30) 210 3221553 www.douros-hotels.com (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 54 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
(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 HO
TELS bestofwaww. thens.g r
(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
HOSTELS Athens Backpackers
(Map P9 Akropoli) Location Athens City Centre Makri 12 (+30) 210 9224044 www.backpackers.gr
(Map J7 Monastiraki) Location Athens City Centre Agias Theklas 10 (+30) 210 3225010 www.athenstyle.com
(Map N10 Akropoli, Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre Pitakou 6 (+30) 210 3248165
The Student and Travellers Inn
(Map M9 Akropoli / Syntagma) Location Athens City Centre Kidathineon 16 (+30) 210 3244808 www.studenttravellersinn.com
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 55
Restaurants The best food in the city
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.
56 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Photo: KONSTANTINOS RIGOS
By NENELA GEORGELE - ZIZI SFYRI
€ below 15
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.
Ama Lachi stis Nefelis
pen from morning till late evening serving coffee and traditional dishes, this legendary taverna has been revamped in the hands of the new generation. Housed in the same building with Ama Lachi Chez Violette, an authentic French bistrot. €
Methonis 66, Exarchia
(+30) 210 3845978
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. €
Dionisou 16, Chalandri
(+30) 210 6854880
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. € €
Persefonis 19, Gazi
(+30) 210 3413440
ne of the most historical kafeneio of Athens, open from 10:00 till very late, for coffee, meze, Cretan raki and delicious home-made halva with ice-cream. €
Dexamenis Square, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7214368
his historic restaurant will serve you “mama’s” food in very good prices. Closed Sat evening and Sun. € €
Xenokratous 19, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7216390
Karamanlidika tou Fani (Ta)
anis Theodoropoulos, the man who opened the popular Arapian, introduces a brand-new eatery with spicy dishes, authentic cold cuts from the city of Drama, saganaki with pastrami and handmade dolmadakia. €
Sokratous 1 & Evripidou 52
(+30) 210 3254184
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. €
Giatrakou 12, Metaxourgio
(+30) 210 5228806
FINE DINING 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. €€€ Plateon 15, Kerameikos (+30) 210 3462983 Blue Hytra Winner of a Michelin star, this restaurant shines with its flamboyant chef’s personality: Nikos Karathanos, who takes a Mediterranean approach to every dish. €€€ Westin Athens Hotel, Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni (+30) 210 8902000 BOTRINI'S The restaurant of the excellent chef Hector Botrini, awarded with a Michelin star. Great and very inventine, creative dishes, high quality. €€€€ Vassileos Georgiou B 24B, Chalandri (+30) 210 6857324 Electra Restaurant (Map L10 Akropoli) Classical Greek cuisine in a new form. Beautiful verandah with a view of the Acropolis. €€€ Electra Palace Hotel, Nikodimou 18-20, Plaka (+30) 210 3370000 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 two Michelin stars. The setting is beautiful. €€€€ Paramithias 13 & Salaminos, Kerameikos (+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. €€€€ Adrianou 9, Thissio (+30) 210 3240133 Matsuhisa Athens Japan in Greece. It meets the highest standards for sushi. Highlights: black cod, nice cocktails, fantastic location on the sea front. €€€€ Astir Palace Hotel, Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni (+30) 210 8960510 Milos Estiatorio (Map K19 Evangelismos) Inside the Hilton Hotel, minimal ambience, fish and seafood experts. Fixed lunch menu at €27. €€€€ Hilton Hotel, Vasilissis Sofias 46 (+30) 210 7244400 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. €€€€ Pyronos 5, Pagrati (+30) 210 7520658, 210 7564021 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. €€€€ Akti Koumoundourou 52, Mikrolimano (+30) 210 5228400 CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 57
Athens Delis Kapari (Map G12
Panepistimio) The 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
Krokos (Map N9 Kerameikos / Akropoli) Under 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 Petralona) A 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 Peri Lesvou (Map I6
Monastiraki) Traditional products from the Northern Aegean (Mytilini, Limnos, Chios): butter, ouzo, olive oil, cheeses, extra-gentle soap and many more. Athinas 27, Monastiraki (+30) 210 3233227
Arapian (Map H7 Omonia) A 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 Omonia) The “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 58 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
ne of the classic eateries of Exarchia. University 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. €
Valtetsiou 58, Exarchia
(+30) 210 3302933
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 view to the Acropolis. € € €
R. Gali 25, Makrigianni
(+30) 210 9214130
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. € €
Meandrou 15, Ilissia
(+30) 210 7256335
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...
evamped, with an expanded menu and flavours from all over Greece, including many Cretan dishes. Part of the cooking occurs in front of your very eyes. Try raw fish the Greek equivalent of sushi. Owner Stavros Theodorakis is leader of the dynamic, brand-new party To Potami. € € €
Vrasida 13 (behind Hilton Hotel)
(+30) 210 7210501, 6977 210501
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. € € €
Megalou Alexandrou 57, Metaxourgio
(+30) 210 5222633
reek taste in its best version. Emphasis on regional cuisines. Ideal for business lunches. Refreshing,
greek tastes Koulouri
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...
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 quintessential 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.
dishes Taramosalata This is a mousse salad made from fish roe blended Tzatziki with onion, lemon and yesterday’s bread soaked 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 Fava 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). 60 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
beautiful garden where you can enjoy your food. Beer house next door. Closed Sun. €
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. Open everyday until 18:00. Closed Sun. € €
Kifissias 70, Maroussi
(+30) 210 6120808
njoy magnificent Mediterranean cuisine in this emblematic restaurant of Athens facing the Acropolis. Beautiful garden and posh customers. € € € €
Rovertou Gali 43, Makrigianni
(+30) 210 9233182
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. € €
Marathon Lake Dam
(+30) 210 8143415
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. Closed Mon. € €
Falirou 10, Makrigianni
(+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. € €
Em. Benaki 69A & Valtetsiou, Exarchia
(+30) 210 3300237
Tzitzikas & Mermigas
welcoming dish of olive oils and a carafe of tsipouro will whet customers’ appetite, before they dive into traditional Greek dishes with a modern twist. Meat, fresh fish, original combinations (try graviera cheese with tomato jam). € €
Mitropoleos 12-14, Athens City Centre (+30) 210 3247607 Drossini 12, Kifissia (+30) 210 6230080 Ag. Georgiou & Aeschylou 26, Chalandri (+30) 210 6810529 Papadiamanti Sq. 4, A. Patissia (+30) 210 2232376
inston Churchill, Sophia Loren and many others have dined here. Renato Mecolli knows how to
Main dishes Dolmadakia Little parcels of vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat, rice and vegetables –or just plain rice flavoured with herbs and spices– in a creamy egg and lemon broth or with a Mousaka 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 aubergine 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. Dolmadakia
salads Choriatiki The most famous Greek salad. The name means “village Dakos 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.
62 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
handle seafood. By far one of Piraeus’ most well known and historic restaurants. € € €
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.
et comfortable in its “verandah”, taste its cuisine, gaze at the passing crowd. Menus at 12-15-18 euros. Sun closed. € €
Valaoritou 15, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3641530
he new joint in the heart of the city, open from morning, for coffee, alcoholic beverages and tasty Mediterranean cuisine. € € €
Stoa Spiromiliou, Athens City Centre
(+30) 210 3211315-16
ocated inside a green garden, this is a multilevel space open from early in the morning for a poolside coffee. Great cocktails, rich wine list. Very often, there is a live orchestra and the bar stays open until late. € € €
Agiou Ioannou 23, Agia Paraskevi
(+30) 210 6000102
he restaurant of the Megaron with modern Mediterranean cuisine will satisfy your appetite. Wonderful garden. € € € €
Vasilissis Sofias & Kokali 1, Megaron Moussikis (+30) 210 7242979
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). Every Tue night, Argentinean tango and every Wed ballroom Latin. € €
Agathimerou 1, Rouf
(+30) 210 3417010
he restaurant of the design hotel “New” –made by Campana– with nice breakfasts and
Mediterranean cuisine. € € € €
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. € €
Konstantinoupoleos 4 & Megalou Vasiliou 52, Rouf (+30) 210 3413433
The traditional Greek aperitif ouzo now comes in the form of a new, ready to drink cocktail, mixed with sparkling water and various fruit juices (orange, strawberry and lime) www.spirituz.gr
ne of the best restaurants of the city, located behind Hilton Hotel. It is always packed with afficionados of nouvelle cuisine. Enjoy the delicacies from Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Closed Sun. € € € €
Vrasida 11, Hilton
(+30) 210 7232002
ATHENS FROM ABOVE
ome restaurants have an ace under their tables and that's 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.
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. € € € €
Sygrou 10, Athens
(+30) 210 9238302-3
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. € €
Kynetou 7, Avyssinias sq., Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3224501
Tzitzikas & Mermigas
Hotel St. George Lycabettus, Kleomenous 2, Dexameni (+30) 210 7416000
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. € € € €
Hilton Hotel, Vasilissis Sofias 46
(+30) 210 7281000
(+30) 210 3330000
La Suite Lounge
uxurious decoration, original Greek tastes. Nice view to the city and pleasant soundscape. € €
(+30) 210 3838511
Dorian Inn Hotel, 12th floor, Pireos 17-19
(+30) 210 5231755
St' Astra Blu
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. Very romantic with delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Closed Sun-Mon. € € €
Alexandras 10, Pedion Areos
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).
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. € € €
Cooked in oil (Ladera) number of Greek summer dishes are made with fresh seasonal vegetables,added Gemista 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.
64 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Titania Hotel, Panepistimiou 52
Grande Bretagne Hotel, Syntagma sq.
ontemporary Mediterranean cuisine in surroundings that offer an impressive, surprising glance into the life of the city’s centre. Closed Sun. € € €
Point of View
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. € € € €
(+30) 210 8894500
Dourabeis n all-time classic and justly famous. Fish cuisine of the highest standards. € € €
Akti Protopsalti 27, Piraeus
(+30) 210 4122092
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. € € € €
Akti Mikrolimano, Piraeus 4915220
(+30) 210 4134084 -184, 694
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. € € € €
Akti Koumoundourou 46, Mikrolimano
(+30) 210 4124417
he owner is an expert of fish like no one else. Closed on Sun nights. € € €
Sygrou Av. 303 & Dimosthenous, P. Faliro
(+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. € € € €
Fokilidou 15, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3608621
odern taverna serving traditionally grilled fish. You must try the creamy taramosalata, the sea urchin salad and of course big grilled fishes. Closed on Sun nights and Mon. € €
Herakleous & Lysikratous 32, Tzitzifies
(+30) 210 9404518
BAR RESTAURANTS 48 Urban Garden
secret garden in the centre of Athens, inside the popular Ileana Tounta gallery, it offers visitors the unique combination of street food with a gourmet twist. €
Armatolon & Klefton 40
(+30) 210 6439466
ar resto with predominantly Mediterranean cuisine – with emphasis to Italian food – and celebrity clientele. Open noon on Fri, Sat and Sat. € € € €
Omirou 6, N. Psychiko
(+30) 210 6740710
ne of the most beautiful buildings in Athens, 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. Mediterranean cuisine and a small garden, where sushi is served. € € € €
NTS RESTAURA FOF MORE
Tsoxa & Vournazou 27, Ambelokipi
(+30) 2210 6441215 www. s.gr n Dirty Ginger bestofathe (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. € € €
Triptolemou & Persefonis 46, Gazi
(+30) 210 3423809
his is the latest hang out for the smart and stylish Athenian crowds, a restaurant, a bar and a club under the same roof. Housed on the first floor of a neoclassical building, it serves delicious international food with a strong Asian influence, and delicious cocktails. Open 19:00- 03:00, closed Mon. € €
Mitropoleos 72, Athens City Centre
(+30) 210 3211381
s the name suggests, it feels like you’re on an island of the Aegean sea. Located on a unique seaside spot,
I am not a wine critic!
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. € € € €
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. €
Agias Irinis sq. 8, Monastiraki
ionysus (Bacchus in Romans) being the bad boy of Mt Olympus was the last god to be accepted. He was the god of wine. Greeks invented symposia (literally drinking parties). Greece is one of the world’s oldest wine-producing region, 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 €10-18 and a bottle of red €12-28.
Assyrtico: The finest white grape from Santorini Island and possibly the cheapest top white wine of the world. Mineral with high acidity, ages well. Try to distinguish an aged assyrtiko to a Chablis Grand Cru. Malagousia: Aromatic, with a scent of ripe peaches, apricots and green pepper. Moschofilero: A sweet, aromatic grape. The Greek Gewurztraminer?
Agiorgitico: Rich, deeply coloured, ages well Xinomavro: Greece’s answer to Barolo, needs time to develop
Some of the top producers
Aivalis, Alpha Estate, Antonopoulos, Arghyros, Biblia Chora, Driopi, Gaia, Gerovassiliou, Hatzidakis, Hatzimichalis, Katogi Strofilia, Katsaros, Kir-Yanni, Manousakis, Mercouri, Papaioannou, Pavlidis, Samos, Sigalas, Skouras, Tselepos.
Alpha Estate: Sauvignon Blanc Antonopoulos: Chardonnay Arghyros: Vareli Assyrtico Biblia Chora: Assyrtico and Ovilos Gaia: Τhalassitis 66 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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. € €
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-Fri, 17:00-20:00. 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.€ €
Gerovassiliou: Chardonnay Hatzidakis: Nihteri Katsaros: Chardonnay Kir-Yanni: Samaropetra Manousakis: Roussanne
Kolokotroni 35, Kifisia (+30) 210 623 3947-8 Neofytou Vamva 2, Kolonaki (Map K15 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
The most important Greek wine grapes White varieties
(+30) 210 3251444
Mercouri: Malvasia Sigalas: Nihteri, Cavialieros Aivalis: Monopati Alpha Estate: Xinomavro Antonopoulos: Nea Dris Biblia Chora : Ovilos Driopi: Agiorgitico Gaia: Agiorgitico Gerovassiliou: Avaton and Syrah Katogi Strofilia: Ktima Averof Kir-Yanni: Diaporos and Blue Fox Manousakis: Syrah Mercouri: Refosco Papaioannou: Palaia Ktimata Skouras: Solera aged labyrinth and Grand Cuvée Tselepos: Top Merlot
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! €
Martiou 25 & Irinis 2, Nea Smyrni
Vinsanto: Sun dried grapes from Santorini. Top wines have the complexity of olorosos and Tokajs. Mavrodaphne: Sweet fortified wines. Best old like Banyls. Muscat: Sweet wines from Samos island. Giannis Dimopoulos Tzitzikas & Mermigas
(+30) 210 9317705
A magical, METAXA rise
in the Lycabettus funicular
ETAXA guides you through one of the new secret spots of Athens, well hidden in one of its most popular meeting points, the beautiful Lycabettus Hill. Under the auspices of METAXA, an inspired team of talented creative artists has transformed the funicular ride towards the top of Lycabettus Hill into a breathtaking journey. While inside the Lycabettus hill, visitors find themselves magically whisked away in Aegean vineyards and subterrenean cellars, where METAXA, the smoothest drink in the world, fills the space. The trip upwards assumes a mystical, atmospheric quality. The experience culminates in visitors exiting the tunnel and gazing at the bright, almost palpable sun of Greece. The team behind this unprecedented experience is an international group of talented creative artists. French designer Jeff van Dyck conceived the idea. Alice Pescho took care of the graphics. Visual artist Katerina Vagia implemented the “anamorphosis”, a perspective which showcases a subject in all its splendour from a specific vantage point. Well-acclaimed director Tasos Boulmetis shot the video. Send an email to email@example.com, with the subject “Metaxa”, and win a ticket for this amazing rise with the Lycabettus funicular or a dinner for two (wine and METAXA included) at the aristocratic restaurant “Orizontes”, on top of Lycabettus.
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 67
SWEET TASTES 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.
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
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. Paul (Map J11
Syntagma) The well-known, internation-
ally acclaimed French boulangerie makes Athenians’ lives considerably sweeter. Authentic French delicacies, including brioche, baguettes, pastries and more , in a regular meeting point of taste lovers. €
Panepistimiou 10, Athens City Centre (+30) 210 3632362 Esperidon Sq. & Kyprou 70, Glyfada (+30) 210 8947169
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
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 Kolokotroni 9, Kifisia (Metro Line 1) (+30) 210 8080480
68 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
thnic cuisine with international influences in original décor. Enjoy authentic Lebanese specialties, sushi, pasta, and burgers, and satisfy your palate with a rich, varied, reasonably priced wine list. Best of all: open 24 hours a day. Grigoriou Lampraki 3 & Posidonos, Glyfada
(+30) 210 8981000
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
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. €
Tsakalof 14, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3630284
here’s one on every corner. 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. €
ealthy, tasty burgers made from organic ingredients. Buffalo Ribeye is highly recommended. 1960s décor. Also delivers at home. €
Vrioulon 3, N. Filadelfia (+30) 213 0246631 Panepistimio (+30) 213 0272440
(Map G12 M Panepistimio)
he new “it” place to have a lunch break. Combines the vibe of traditional restaurant with the casualness of take away. Healthy and fresh fast food, natural juices, salads, soups, an alternative option for fast food. Open all day. €
Skoufa 29, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3631827, 210 3635773
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. €
Sinopis 3, Pyrgos Athinon
(+30) 210 7778475
Nice n Easy
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. €
Omirou 60 & Skoufa, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3617201 Papadiamanti 7, Kifissia (+30) 210 8082014
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. €
Iakhou 9-11, Gazi
(+30) 693 7983556
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. €
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. € €
Posidonos 38, Alimos
(+30) 210 9836550
Kingsize Beer House
ocated in a beautiful pedestrianised street, an all-day beer house with 70 different beer varieties. Daily DJ sets and a terrace for summer evenings. € €
Sardeon 6, Eleftherios Venizelos sq., N. Filadelfia (+30) 210 2510977
n authentic Bavarian corner, with a large selection of beers from all over the world. The food is great and includes German sausages, schnitzel and other Bavarian specialties. 19:00-20:00 is happy hour. € €
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.
lthough they are appetizers, Greek pies are a whole meal of their own. Made from Tiropita fyllo pastry, they are filled 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.
ine restaurants, chain brands, diners and cosy trattorias with the sights and scents of Italy.
Gallo Nero (IL)
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. € € €
Alexandras 10, Radisson Blu Park Hotel, Pedion Areos (+30) 210 8894500
restaurant with tasteful dishes right out of an Italian mama’s casserole. A treat for the senses. € €
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.
Griveon 3, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3641414
welve restaurants all over the city. With a rich wine list and a tempting menu by famous chef Ettore Botrini. € €
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
rench chef-owner, French specialties and wines at reasonable prices. Always crowded, so you may have to share your table. It takes no reservations. € €
Troon 32, Ano Petralona
(+30) 210 3464236
ll time classic French cuisine, elegant and stylish. Enjoy the food in its beautiful garden – alongside politicians, esteemed businessmen and VIPs. € € € €
Xenokratous 51, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7229106
nspired chefs who keep up with international trends and Athenians who love sushi, have made the exotic flavours of Asian cuisine available in many good restaurants.
Syntagma) ne of the best known and crowded places in downtown Athens, with an overloaded. tempting menu, courteous and helpful service, and good prices. € €
Apollonos 2, Syntagma
(+30) 210 3229170
n Grand Resort Lagonissi, with a deck on sea and a stunning view. Try its cocktails; they are superb. Polynesian cuisine and wonderful sushi.
40th km of Athens-Sunion road
70 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Giannitsopoulou 1, Glyfada
(+30) 210 8941310
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. € €
he last couple of years wine restos are all the rage in Athens. Here’s a good chance to try one of the famous Greek wine varieties.
ines from Greek producers, good prices and tasty side-dishes with cheese and cold cuts. Every day from 12:30 till late in the evening. Sundays open 17:0023:00. €
Fokionos 2 & Petraki
(+30) 210 3239406
ine 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
Famous Visitors in Famous Greek
Restaurants The ever-curious Jamie Oliver bought fish, meat and vegetables in the Athens Central Market (Varvakeios), as well as spices and cold cuts in Evripidou and ended up tasting the famous souvlaki of Bairaktaris ( Monastiraki Square (+30) 210 3213036).
Angela Merkel tried Greek mezedes in the traditional taverna Strofi and experienced the ultimate romantic view of the moon from the vantage point of Acropolis ( Rovertou Gali 25
Well-known vegan Boy George satisfied his hunger in Avocado with green dishes ( Nikis 30, Syn-
(+30) 210 3237878).
Following his performance in the Onassis Cultural Centre, Willem Dafoe tried fresh fish in Thalassino, a taverna with a beautiful garden, and loved Greek spirits ( Irakleous & Lysikratous 32,
Gerard Depardieu, who likes his food, lavished himself with ribs in Steki tou Ilia ( Eptahalkou
(+30) 210 3458052).
The always classy Hillary Clinton relished the authentic Peloponnesian cuisine of Arxontiko ( Kifissias 70 & Parnonos,
(+30) 210 6120808).
Ethan Hawke, Meryl Streep, Oliver Stone, Scorpions, Hugh Jackman, Pierce Brosnan and Moby have all been to Island, the popular cosmopolitan seafront club of Athens. Bruce Willis even held his party here
27th km of Athens-Sounion road, Varkiza (+30) 210 9653563/4).
Scorpions CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 71
live & Kicking In a city that (truly)never sleeps Here’s the best live music to be found in Athens this summer By GEORGE DIMITRAKOPOULOS
08.07.14 BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB For those who would like to immerse themselves, just one last time, in the unique Cuban sound: this is your chance! Their farewell tour -called ‘Adios Tour’- along with Omara Portuondo, Guajiro Mirabal, Barbarito Torres, Jesus “Aguaje” Ramos. Petras Theatre 15.07.14 JAMES The indie rockers from Manchester play all their anthems, as well as stuff from their new album ‘La Petite Mort’. Theatro Vraxwn
08.08.14 PLACEBO Brian Molko’s Placebo celebrate their seventh release Loud Like Love with an outstanding tour. Peace and Friendship Stadium 11.07-12.07.14 ROCKWAVE FESTIVAL Held in Malakasa, a few kilometres outside, Athens is one of the most famous music festivals in Greece. Two days full of music with famous groups and performers such as Woodkid, Calexico, Godfathers and mostly the legendary singer Eric
72 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Burdon, frontman for the British-invasion band The Animals and well known for his powerful blues-rock voice. TerraVibe Park 15.07.14 2CELLOS Croatian virtuoso duo, consisting of Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser take the cello to a new level by breaking the boundaries with their take on rock and pop hits from Guns N’ Roses to Coldplay. Technopolis 16.07.14 MONIKA Modern pop muse will present her new album live having on her side legandary musicians from Dap Kings, (Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse) and Menahan Street Band. Odeon Of Herodes Atticus
11.09.14 LUZ CASAL Spanish diva best known for her voice in the film “High Heels” by Pedro Almodovar. Odeon Of Herodes Atticus 12.09.14 VANESSA MAE Virtuoso violin player performing popular as well as classical music. Odeon Of Herodes Atticus 19.09.14 LADY GAGA Here’s your big chance to catch her in Athens as she brings her artRave tour to town. Lucky you being here… OAKA
Bars & clubs By PANAGIOTIS MENEGOS
HIP AREAS Panormou-Mavili Sqyare Panormou: Map A25 Panormou Mavili: Map F22 Ambelokipi
etween Syntagma and Monastiraki, the capital's commercial district and nightlife headquarters.
n “authentic cocktail bar”, 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
(+30) 6948 242455
mpressive 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
amed after the famous dessert but not a sweet shop. Instead it mixes spectacular cocktails based on rare recipes and ingredients often imported from 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
Alexi Pavli 35B & Panormou
(+30) 210 6927447
Braf Pretty garden, well-prepared coffees and a lovely terrace for summer evenings. Cocktails made with exotic, masticha and marmelade and funky, soul, jazz, alternative, rock and swing grooves.
or more than 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
(+30) 210 3229805
(+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.
Baba Au Rum
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 37 E-D & Panormou
anormou 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.
(+30) 210 6452380
Dunkel Cocktails, smiling waiters and live gigs. Verandah for outdoors chit-chat in armchairs. 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
Loras (Map F21
OAKA ( Neratziotissa / Irini) Kifisias 37, Maroussi (+30) 210 6834060-61 Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Peace and Friendship Stadium (+30) 210 489 3000
Olympias Street, Petroupoli
(+30) 210 5062166
Technopolis (Map J1 Kerameikos) Pireos 100, Kerameikos (+30) 210 3475518 TerraVibe Park
37th km of the Athens-Lamia Motorway
(+30) 210 7655748
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.
Dionysiou Areopagitou, Makrigianni (+30) 210 32 41807 Pireus
(+30) 210 7281402
(+30) 210 8820426
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 2014 _ 73
HIP AREAS Karitsi Square (J10
A leading hotspot in Athens's nightlife
t has been the place-to-be for the last few years and is now struggling to hold this position against Agias Irinis Square. Here’s some name-dropping...
Toy Bar A favourite haunt of journalists and the old Karitsi guard, this place was the first in the area and it thrives to this day while competitors open up and close down on a weekly basis.
Gin Joint More than 65 varieties of gin shaken to imagina-
tive cocktails and combined with really interesting music by a different disc jockey every night.
Stin Priza 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 Manchester 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.
t 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
he 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
(+30) 210 3313733
eally 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 “allinclusive” music suggestion.
Kalamiotou 14, Syntagma
n 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
FOF MO RE
RS bestofwaww. thens.g r amazing view The roof garden of the hotel A For Athens
(Map J7 Monastiraki) is one of the best places to have your cocktail, with a stunning view to the Acropolis. Miaouli 2-4, Monastiraki (+30) 210 32 44 244
HIP AREAS Agias Irinis Squaree (J7
he 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.
74 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
(+30) 210 3234095
f 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 Closed Sun
(+30) 210 3227733
ts 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
he exact opposite of its name, a tiny bar located in a central “stoa” (gallery), featuring eclectic electronic and funky tunes.
(+30) 211 0145804
Say "sketo" when you want your drink straight.
un by an 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.
Praxitelous 37, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3230380
he first secret bar in Athens, just a stone’s throw from Syntagma Square. Locate it by asking around Lekka st. and then delve into its Prohibition-era, jazzy, film noir atmosphere for a truly unforgettable experience. Opens daily 10pm-5am.
"Sfinaki" stands for shot
GAZI - VOTANIKOS - KERAMEIKOS
he basic example of Athens gentrification (especially Votanikos and Kerameikos), popular and over-crowded even during working days, owing largely to the metro station that serves as an unofficial meeting point.
utdoor 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, spacelike drinks. Sofroniou 2, Gazi (+30) 210 3426322
hen the summer comes it lightens up with a fullof-music-gigs and theatre performances and celebrates Athens outdoor life with its wonderful terrace.
Pireos 84, Keramikos
(+30) 210 3425335
ounge 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
(+30) 210 3460347
ight 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
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 guitars.
Triptolemou 31, Gazi
(+30) 210 3466055
La Soiree de Votanique
osy little bar in the upcoming Votanikos neighbourhood. They love black music played from vinyl. Every
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.
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
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”. (+30) 210 3219225
Thursday afternoon they host the Athens Vespa Club meeting.
Kastorias 37, Votanikos
Voulis 7, Sintagma
No signs, no labels, but you can check the “connoisseur” status of your Athenian friends or guides by asking them to take you there on a Friday or Saturday evening after midnight. 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) 210 3471401
oused in an old kindergarten building, from the days Gazi wasn’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
(+30) 210 3458534
lassy 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
very 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).
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... 76 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Konstantinoupoleos 44, Gazi
(+30) 210 3607941
PLAKA - PSIRI - MONASTIRAKI THISSIO - PETRALONA
thens in its most traditional, authentic and postcard beauty. In other words, Athens in its very essence.
ere 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
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
n the must-discover neighbourhood of Ano Petralona. Students, artists and leftists talk about politics, dance to afro-jazz-latin sounds and grab Greek “tapas”.
Arkadon 4, Merkouri sq., Ano Petralona
(+30) 211 7108428
ll-day café-bar on the ground floor and an art exhibition space once you go up to the 1st floor.
Efpolidos 4 & Apelou 2, Kotzia sq.
(+30) 210 3247679
ypical 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
(+30) 210 3251668
iny bar located in the middle of antique shops. 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
reek 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 with its "day-after brunch".
Dimofontos 57, Ano Petralona
(+30) 210 3479998
n the heart of Kato Petralona, always a good choice if you want to move from downtown.
(+30) 213 0159902
Falirou 15, Makrigianni
intage atmosphere, tropical decoration and a matching soundtrack mixing old/retro sounds with easy
(+30) 210 9236908
Kiriadon 11, Kato Petralona
listening stuff and indie live gigs.
t launched the concept of the “bistrotheque” and serves it properly, combining yummy food and freestyle music till early next morning.
Protogenous 10, Psiri
(+30) 210 3228658
urope’s second oldest distillery is located in the heart of Plaka and always impresses Athens visitors with
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 77
its display of multi-coloured bottles containing houseproduced liquors.
xcellent cocktails, tasty Mediterranean cuisine and a varied wine list. Usually with a DJ set from early noon and afternoon Saturday parties.
Kidathineon 41, Plaka
(+30) 210 3232110
Skoufa 47-49, Kolonaki
outhful, flirty, with excellent coffee (try mocca), great wine list, salads, cold cuts and jazz, swing and freestyle for soundtrack. Old factory décor.
Agias Irinis sq. 8, Monastiraki
(+30) 210 3236711
Laid back & casual
Charitos 43, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7228910
Minnie the Moocher
uccess 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
ormidably named vibrant all-day bar, with historically informed decorations. Great for people-watching.
Tsakalof 6, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3641686
(+30) 210 3615255
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 tabledance 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
78 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
(+30) 210 3645888
istoric brand name of Athens nightlife, almost a synonym of Charitos pedestrian street playing soulfunk-jazz to its loyal followers since the 80s.
Skoufa 47-49, Kolonaki
Chic & glamorous (Map I16
(+30) 210 3645546
ome for the artsy crowd (writers, young actors etc.), stay for the delicious variety of coffee blends and wine list.
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 €10-15, a table dance of 2--3 minutes €10-15 and the ladies' drinks €20 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.
he “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.
(+30) 210 3800070
he new alternative meeting point for the ever-wandering youth of Eχarchia that quickly embraced it for its cheap drinks.
Valtetsiou 27, Exarchia
(+30) 213 0047353
uiet 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
mbitiously decorated with 12,000 bottles, echoing mainstream nu-disco and house music.
Fun the Greek way
Vassileos Georgiou B' 5, Agios Kosmas Beach (+30) 211 7709600
By GEORGE DIMITRAKOPOULOS
Bolivar Beach Bar
erfect example of 50s architecture designed by famous Greek architect Aristomenis Provelegios. It still maintains a bohemian chic environment.
Akti Iliou, Alimos
(+30) 6970 367684
Mansion pool bar
xtravagant megaclub in its summer reincarnation, conveniently moved from its central Athens location.
Diadochou Pavlou 18-20, Glyfada Beach
(+30) 210 8944048
modern club-restaurant that captures the spirit of the Cyclades. Mediterranean menu. Every Thu “summer live” session with interesting upcoming local acts.
27th km Athens - Sounio Road, Varkiza
(+30) 210 9653563-4
Mansion pool bar
xtravagant megaclub in its summer reincarnation, conveniently moved from its central Athens location.
Diadochou Pavlou 18-20, Glyfada Beach
(+30) 210 8944048
slice of indie in the heart of Glyfada. Old-school pop and rock tunes fused with modern grooves. Special DJ events on 6/9 (Camea) and 12/9 (Rampue). Laodikis 30, Glyfada
(+30) 210 8983208
ouzoukia is an exciting, original and for visitors probably exotic experience of Greek performers singing contemporary popular music. As a uniquely Greek experience and longstanding tradition, it enjoys its own rituals, such as carnations being hurled at the performers by the cheering audience or the exclamation of opa, which signifies excitement. Musically, modern bouzoukia have incorporated influences from diverse genres, including pop, folk and even techno.
Fantasia Live Giorgos Mazonakis, Paola From Friday to Saturday. Until the first fortnight of Aug. Poseidonos Avenue 5, Elliniko
Frangelico Christos Holidis, Christos Menidiatis, Eleni Chatzidou. From Wed to Saturday Poseidonos Avenue 35, Kalamaki 2109843250
bestofwaww. thens.g r
"Bomba" equals a "bad" or spoiled drink
Posidonio Konstantinos Argiros, Eleana Papaioanou, Nikiforos, Fani Avramidou, Josephine, Haris Mos From Friday to Sunday Poseidonos Avenue 18, Elliniko
DAILY U PDATES
Romeo Lefteris Pantazis, Giorgos Giannias, Vasiliki Ntanta From Friday to Sunday Ellinikou 1, Elliniko
Thea Peggy Zina, Nikos Oikonomopoulos From Friday to Saturday Posidonos 3, Kalamaki
(+30) 2109813950 CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 79
Eurovision theme parties.
Konstantinoupoleos 46, Gazi (+30) 6947204020
The most popular club in Athens, two stages, always packed, super fun. Lounge summer yard. Triptolemou
10, Gazi (+30) 210 3468657 23:00-06:00 on Fri-Sat.
Live stage, Greek themed nights, parties, friendly atmosphere, mixed crowd. Zagreos 23 & Konstantinoupo-
(+30) 6947 031300
Illustration by Tom of Finland
Gay in Athens
Athens boasts a vibrant, lively gay&lesbian lifestyle and an increasingly more tolerant vibe. From gay-friendly areas such as Gazi and the Agias Irinis square to a strong activist presence and the Athens Pride which had its tenth anniversary this year, the Greek capital has everything to satisfy its visitors. By MARIZA MANTZIOU
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. Kolonou 76,
Metaxourgio (+30) 210 5346340 Open Fri-Sat 23:00-06:00 www.facebook.com/ theapartmentathens
Athens bears found their favourite hangout spot in this unassuming bar. Very friendly. Cheap prices. Falesias
(+30) 6946 282845
3466800, 6946 222222 Open daily 23:30/ Closed Tue www.fouclub.gr
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
80 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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 http://moeclub-gazi.blogspot.gr/
Bears and leather in one of the most famous gay clubs in Athens. Wet live shows, strip nights with porn stars & dancers. Keleou 8, Gazi (+30) 210
A warm and friendly bar for girls who like girls, brought to you by a pioneer team in the gay/lesbian nightlife scene. Konstantinoupoleos 78, Gazi
(+30) 210 3467850 Open daily 23:30/ Closed Tue www.noizclub.gr
Restaurant/bar/club. Long drinks, drag shows, happy atmosphere, great
220 m² of cruising area. Clean, safe, fun. Dark rooms, projection rooms, private cabins, screens and mirrors.
Iakchou 36, Gazi, Open 24h/7d www.attraxx.gr
Open daily 22.30/ Closed Mon www.barbig.gr
BARS / CLUBS
Old-time classic dark room with hardcore screening of gay movies, private cabins, glory holes and sling.
Keleou 3, Gazi Open 21:00-03:00/ Fri-Sat 21:00-06:00 www.fc-uk.gr
SAUNAS Alexander Sauna
A sauna with a cruising area, a cosy patio, the largest Labyrinth steam & foam playroom in town and an Xaction zone for xxx-parties and events (including international porn stars)
Megalou Alexandrou 134, Gazi (+30) 210 6980282/ (+30) 6936 959134 Open 15:00-03:00/ Fri-Sat 15:00-07:00. Admission €15. Happy hour 15:00-17:00/ €9. www.alexandersauna.gr
Flex Sauna Men’s Spa
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 and free wifi.
Polyklitou 6, Monastiraki, (+30) 210 3210539 & 210 3210876 Open 14:00-02:00, Fri-Sat 14:00-06:00. Admission €10/ www.flexsauna.gr
Shopping Athenian style Visitors come primarily for its stunning beaches and ancient ruins, yet Greece also offers an immensely gratifying shopping experience. Athens, in particular, boasts an impressive variety of shops for every taste and budget. Be on the lookout for frequent special offers and discounts. By natalia damigou-papoti
The official sales periods are mid-January to mid-February and mid-July until the end of August.
Use of credit cards in Greece 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 haggling is tolerated by the playful and friendly shop owners. Between Monastiraki sq. and Omonia sq, one comes across the Athensâ€™ 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.
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
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 81
Bright, minimal boutique with small wonders.
Perfect T-shirts, unique jewellery and accessories. A modern “Colette”. Voukourestiou 50 (+30) 210 3641308
Diane Von Furstenberg
Tsakalof 28, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7290151
(+30) 210 8081999
Enny Di Monaco
(Map J 15
Tsakalof 27, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3602519
Endless window shopping. Arty displays. Hermès.
City Link, Voukourestiou 1, Kolonaki
Mugler, Louboutin, Nina Ricci, Zac Posen... shall we say more? Herodotou 23, Kolonaki (+30) 210 7290805
Favella Dress Code
Indulge yourself. Don’t forget the Jackie ’O purse.
Since 1972, wrap dresses that form a way of life for Diane. Xanthou 5, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3624004
Kolokotroni 14, Kifisia
(+30) 210 3233715
Ultra chic for the old school fans. Polos in every pantone colour. Solonos 5, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3618030
Colourful 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
Greek Rue Cambon. Chanel, Blumarine, Galliano, Tom Ford. All chosen carefully. Sekeri 6, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3606125
carves, foulards, headbands, pochet, made 100% in Greece from Greek material (silk, linen, cotton), with unique graphic and typographic characters. You can customise them, adding or removing characters on a handkerchief or T-shirt. In selected shops of museums, hotels and airport locations. www.m-y.gr
Style does matter and this is the real thing.
Voukourestiou 19, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3613938
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
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
Marc By Marc Jacobs
Retro-chic and vintage, girly details, oversized accessories. Xanthou 3, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3636030
Street style and casual chic clothing, accessories, summer dresses and handmade sandals. One of the breeziest, sunniest shops downtown.
Agias Irinis 10 (+30) 215 5517818
The world’s favourite sports brand right on the most casual square of Athens. Ermou 1, Syntagma sq. (+30) 210 3224407
Polo Ralph Lauren
The world of Ralph Lauren, including men’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Voukourestiou 11, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3611831
The Devil wore them and here you too can purchase a 82 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
esc is a very popular brand among the W youth (and the young-atheart) 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.
small “devilish” piece. Then you might want to change your name to Meryl. Voukourestiou 17, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3388386
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 (+30) 210 3639281 Golden Hall, 1st floor www.sotris.gr
All jeans and all luxurious accessories branded with the famous greyhound. Solonos 1, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3641429
GREEK DESIGNERS Dassios Boutique
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, Kolonaki (+30) 210 9573582
The studio and showroom of Grigoris Triantafyllou and Dimitris Alexakis is the hottest place to find a limited prêt-à-porter and the current collection of the unbeatable duo. Kanari 18, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3614155
greek design Cool Soap Is a small, natural soap factory based on the island of Aegina. They produce a series of all natural, handmade soaps made with Greek extra virgin olive oil. All other materials added are plant oils and natural essential oils. Όλα τα προιόντα έχουν πολύ ωραίες συσκευασίες ιδανικές για δώρο. Natura 21 Irodotou st, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 3615494
Forget Me Not According to the Guardian UK , Forget Me Not is one of the top 10 new places you should visit in Athens. Design Greek souvenirs beautifully made by new designers, like wooden sunglasses, T-shirts of the new era, witty totes and more. Adrianou 100, Plaka (+30) 210 3253740
Greece is for lovers
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 inspired by ancient Greece. Kariatidon 13A ,
(+30) 210 9245064
Molla bags Ellegant accessories in minimal, wonderfully Greek designs, this year’s fine collection of handbags and purses, signed by Dafne Kontaratou and named “Tsolia mou” is simply fantastic. A good idea for a subtly Greek gift for your friends or yourself. Molla, Aggelopoulou 2, Neo Psychiko
(+30) 210 6727 640
Rainy July Summer is here: sandals, bags and earrings! Rainy July is a small brand that specializes in hand made summer accessories that channel the Dolce Vita era in a modern CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 83
Calzedonia (Map K8
tems for women and funny and “serious” socks for kids
Stadiou 21 (+30) 210 6840005 Solonos 17 (+30) 210 3605775
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 www.cartier.com
(+30) 210 3313600
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
(Map K10 way, like quirky clutches made from classic old swimming caps. Booktique Patriarchou Ioakim 21, Kolonaki
(+30) 210 7235425
Zeus + Δione This is the Greek Μaison Hermes. Exeptionally tasteful clothes and accessories based on refined craftsmanship. Leather sandals, handbags and gold jewellery in wonderful designs made with high quality exclusivelly Greek materials. If you’re going to take home one quality souvenir from Athens, then go for this brand.
Attica - Golden Hall Kifisias 37A 211 1814000 Bettina Anagnostopoulou 29, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3392094
(Map I 13
A “B.zero1” ring or an “Assioma” watch are the musthave items, if you want to invest in Bulgari.
Voukourestiou 8, Kolonaki wwww.bulgari.com
Ermou 18, Syntagma www.follifollie.gr
(+30) 210 3711011
You don’t have to be extra loaded to own a Cartier. This
(+30) 210 3230729
Diamonds and blues… Those aren’t icebergs, – they’re diamond 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
(Map I 13
Affordable luxury in fashion jewellery, watches and accessories. A global brand.
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
(+30) 210 3611371
Lito - Cabinet de Curiosités
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
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.
reek sun’s best friend launches a brand-new, innovating line this year, the Magic Tan & Protect with TanBooster, of triple action and natural origins. It will help us tan on a faster pace, safely and with an intoxicating, exotic fragrance of coconut.
84 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Emanouil Benaki 8, Kifisia www.minastudio.com
(+30) 210 6233577
Code: colour. The must-have Swiss watch, you can’t stop at one. Patriarchou Ioakim 12, Kolonaki (+30) 210 7239708
COLLAGEN PRO ACTIVE
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,
Vyronas (+30) 213 0081013 Fb: Collagen for Health & Beauty www.collagenpower.gr
Underwear for all bodies and budgets.
(+30) 210 6840005
Tezenis stores are cosmopolitan, with youthful, constantly evolving collections, enhanced every week by new items, dedicated to women, men and children.
(+30) 210 3225469
(+30) 210 3356437
SHOPPING CENTRES Attica
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
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
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 crowded on a Saturday. Kifisias 37A, Marousi
(+30) 210 6803450
& Heraklitou, Kolonaki (+30) 210 3640052 Ermou 34 (+30) 210 3240050 www.camper.com
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
SHOES (Map I14
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
FOF MO RE
(+30) 210 5282800
Ikea SHOPPI NG
bestofwaww. thens.g r
Εxcept for the tourist hotspots, like Plaka, most shops are closed on Sundays and National Holidays, with the exception of flower shops, patisseries, liquor stores and the like. Official business opening hours are 09:00-21:00 on weekdays (09:00-20:00 on Sat). However, many smaller businesses keep the older working hours (closed after 15:00 on Mon, Wed, Sat and between 14:30 and 17:30 on Tue, Thu, Fri).
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.
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 www.ikea.gr
Kifisou 96, Egaleo
(+30) 801 1122722
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
Shopping Spree at McArthurGlen The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet is the first of its kind
86 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
in Athens. A mega store filled with popular brand names in clothing, shoes, accessories and household goods with 35 to 70% discount. More information on www.mcarthur-
(+30) 210 6630840
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
KEEP IN MIND › Pay a visit to the New Benaki Museum (Pireos 138); its Greek handmade jewellery is a delight. › Buy a small figurine in the gift shop of the Cycladic Art Museum (Vasilissis Sofias & Irodotou 1). › Clothes and accessories by Ioanna Kourbela and Zeus + Dione rate among the most elegant examples of Greek design. › Try to do your shopping in the morning.
› You will come across all the major international brands on Voukourestiou str.
› Shopping centres Attica (Panepistimiou 9, Athens city centre) and Golden Hall (Kifissias Avenue 37A, Maroussi) sport the widest variety of shops
(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
› If you have time to kill, have a look at the interesting markets of Kifissia (northern suburbs) and Glyfada (southern suburbs).
(+30) 210 3640560
NAILS - WAX
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.
Long waiting list and famous customers. French manicure, pedicure, relaxing massage, facial cleansing, make up, healing massage. There’s also a hair salon.
(Map I 13
Panepistimiou 6 & Kriezotou
(+30) 210 3632750
Teta Ethnikis Antistaseos 84, Chalandri
(+30) 210 6722053-072
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
HAIR SALONS D. Frank
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 &
(+30) 210 3603297
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 (+30) 210 3629970
Vangelis Hatzis The most luxurious service. Slightly specialised in natural-looking blonde colours. But don’t even think of turning up without an appointment.
Kifisias 196, Psichiko
(+30) 210 6747011
CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 87
ON the beach If you are in Athens, it goes without saying that the beaches of Attica are well worth a visit. Most of them are one to two hour’s drive away from the city centre. Organised, free or nudist beaches, there’s something here for everyone. By TAKIS SKRIVANOS
Artwork MARIA FILOPOULOU 88 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Free beaches Votsalakia Kastelas
ecommended for brief splashing, sunbathing and eyeing pretty tourists. Located between the Zea and Kastela ports.
Edem (Paleo Faliro)
lose to the Flisvos beach, the easiest way to get there is the Tram (there’s even an Edem stop). Enjoy a swim side by side with pensioners, Eastern European tourists, gym freaks and all year round tanned swimmers.
DATES DAILY U
www.ens.gr th bestofa
xtremely popular among youths, ages 14-22, and, inexplicably, among the 55+ crowd, too. The canteen is almost always crowded. Deckchairs and shades are usually taken by middle-aged visitors who show up here on the basis of “the early bird catches the worm”.
ight after the bus stop in Voula, you take a turn right when you come across the “Kavouri” note. The main beach faces the Divani hotel and is populated by locals, foreigners and immigrants alike. Families lie in the tree shades and have picnics. Three more bays available nearby are less populated. Coffee bars in the area for those in need of a coffee fix.
eavily crowded, with shallow waters. A small island, reachable on foot, amidst its premises is its trademark. Noisy, with many cafeterias. Difficult to find parking space. Ideal for evenings, if you feel like eating in one of the many neighbouring tavernas.
f you get there by 11:00 you’ll find a good spot where to lie down. Its canteen offers shade and beer. Fearless young boys and girls jump off high rocks and into the water. Parking space is available on the road by the beach.
nce fairly little known, by now it has become a popular choice of Athenians. Considerably less crowded in the weekdays. To get there, turn left to the KAPE note, shortly before you get to the eponymous village.
rowded beach, especially in the weekends, where you will have to choose between being cramped among scores of bathers in the shade or being more relaxed under the sun. There’s a kiosk that caters to basic needs.
wo and a half kilometres of beach with a view to the Corinthian gulf and visibly less crowded than the nearby, more organized Alepochori. You can set up your tent for the night. CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 89
Swim safe in Attica
5 tips from Georgia Tsougani and Theologos Terziadis* osmopolitan and close to the city centre, it 01 Attica's beaches are generally safe with no strong currents has a capacity of over 5,000 people. Admisor prospects of tsunamis. Nevertheless, it's wise to ask a lifeguard sion €4 on weekdays and €6 at the weekends or a local for advice before entering the sea. (deckchairs and umbrellas are included in the 02 When the orange flag flies high on the tower, it means that the lifeguard price). Half the price for children between the is on duty (10:30-17:30). A red flag, however, indicates that the lifeguard ages of 4 to 12. The pool is a good alternative is off duty. So take care! (admission €7 every day and with a free beverage). Service of caretake of children provided. 03 Given the ozone hole threat, it's advisable not to sunbathe between the (+30) 210 8941620, www.asterascomplex.com/el/ hours of 12:00 and 16:00. In any case, DO NOT forget your sunscreen. 04 At beaches with watersports, always swim clear of the marked corridors Asteras Vouliagmenis designated for speedboats. It's also important not to swim close avoured by celebrities, emerging stars and to the marine buoys. their fans. Admission €15 on weekdays, 05 July and August are the months when the meltemia (strong winds) €25 at weekends, free admission for children blow, especially in the Aegean Sea. Try to avoid under 5, half the price for those between the ages north-facing beaches when the winds are gusting. of 5 to 12. Free facilities include umbrellas, deck-
chairs, locker rooms, showers with hot water, Internet access. (+30) 210 8901694
*Greek Lifeguard School teachers
hermal waters, recommended for those with musculoskeletal issues. The temperature is between 22 to 29 Celsius degrees, all year round. Group gym programmes available in the neighbouring green areas. Also comes with its own restaurant and romantic café. € Admission €9 on weekdays,
€10 at weekends, €7 and €8 respectively for locals www.limnivouliagmenis.gr
big water park, located in Varkiza. Cafés, restaurats, beach bars, waterslides, games on offer and free parking. € Admission €5 Tue-Wed, €6 at weekends, €3,50
for students, senior citizens and children aged 6-12. Free admission for children under 6. On weekdays regular deckchairs are free of charge, at weekends you have to pay €10. (+30) 210 8972414 www.yabanaki.gr
Grand Resort Lagonissi
otel cluster with a beach open to the public. Luxurious setting. Pool, a floating bar, a beach bar, restaurants, facilities for people with disabilities. Admission €8 on weekdays, €17 at weekends, half the price for children aged 7-12, free admission for children under 6. (+30) 22910 76000
NUDE IN ATTICA Limanakia Vouliagmenis
Photo costas amoiridis
he third cove is mainly favoured by nudists. Bring water and snacks with you.
here 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.
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solated and not organised, 65 km from Athens, Head east to Gramatiko and just before the local village turn right following the sign “Limnonas”. Don't be afraid. Go ahead and when you see “Sesi” sign turn right to the steep downhill. Feel free to park here. Then you'll know what to do.
hroughout the entire route from Vouliagmeni to Sounion you can spot wonderful, quiet little beaches, away from prying eyes. If you find a good spot with a car parked on top, keep in mind you may be intruding.
How to get there By bus
You can get all the bus schedules at www.oasa.gr or call at 1185 (Tue-Wed 06:30-22:30, Sat-Sun 07:30-22:30).
Get to Voula (terminal station “Asklipio Voulas”), starts from Syntagma and Peace & Frendship Stadium (SEF) and connections with metro and train station. (+30 214 4146400, Mon-Wed 08:00-16:00).
buses They take off from Mavromateon str. At Pedion tou Areos and go all the way to Rafina and Sounion (for Athens-Sounion call +30 210 8808081 and for Athens-Rafina call +30 210 8808082).
Pool fun Make a splash
parkling 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. Hilton It 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 The best for the hot summer days in Athens. There is also a contemporary steam bath with outstanding views of Athens as a backdrop. Kleomenous 2 (+30) 210 7416000 www.sglycabettus.gr
Radisson Blue Park Hotel Located 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. Alexandras 10 (+30) 210 8994500 www.rbathenspark.com
Classical Athens Imperial Located 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
Divani Caravel The place to enjoy both the Acropolis and the Lycabettus Hill while in the water.
Sw Vasileos Alexandrou 2 (+30) 210 7207000 toplessimming www.divanis.com/caravel/default-gr.htm in goes a Greece lm Asteras Glyfadas Complex An exotic seaside paradise. unnotic ost The parties at the Balux Café by the open-air pool are always ed the talk of the town.
Posidonos 58 (+30) 210 8941620 www.asterascomplex.com
Astir Palace A 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 A truly blissful hideaway with private outdoor swimming pools overlooking the Aegean. 40th km Athens-Sounio www.grandresort.gr
(+30) 229 1076000
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Greek islands are synonymous with “Heaven on Earth”: blazing sun, mesmerising beaches, crystal clear waters and appetising food. All in all, an escape from prosaic everyday life. In the following pages, we picked a few of our favourites. By KONSTANTINOS TZIKAS
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Photo DIMITRIS VLAIKOS
aegina The closest escape from the Attica mainland
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 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. 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. - LENA CHOURMOUZI CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 93
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HYDRA An island made of stone
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.
ISLANDS info 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.
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Photo VANGELIS KORONAKIS
In a car-free island, donkeys and mules are the basic means of transportation.
Serifos World class beaches & idyllic villages
rom place of exile of the Roman Empire and Mediterrenean dependency of Venice to its 20thcentury economic boom thanks to its iron ore deposits, Sifnos enjoys a long, rich, varied history. Its earliest roots, as in many Greek destinations, are entangled with local mythology
and oral tradition. This is the island where mythical hero Perseus was raised and to which he returned with Medusa’s severed head. An island of mystical connotations, in antiquity it was believed to be home a strange species of mute frogs! It is also called “the island of the Cyclops”
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SERIFOS BOASTS ONE OF THE MOST PICTURESQUE CHORAS (MAIN VILLAGE) OF ALL GREEK ISLANDS
and is often alleged to be the island where the mythical Polyphemus, Odyssceus’ antagonist, dwelled. Primarily known as an island of metals and mining activity from the 19th century onwards – Serifos’ underground, in fact, is so rich in minerals that in the 6th century the island possessed its own currency – it gradually declined in the 20th century, following historical events such as the miners’ notable strike in 1916, until mines permanently shut down in the 1960s. Contemporary sources of income include tourism and low-level agriculture.
eaceful and easy-going, less prosperous than its mining heyday, this barren island of wild nature offers more than 70 beaches often reachable by car or boat.
hora is five kilometers away from Livadi, the island’s port, and is amongst the most scenic villages in Cyclades. It is built around a hill, an authentic medieval settlement with magnificent views. Other destinations include the popular, nightlife-busy Livadi, Koutalas with its old stone houses and old miners settlements, and Mega Livadi with the company’s headquarters, evoking classical style.
he most well-known ancient monument is the White Tower, a Hellenistic marble watchtower (ca. 300 BC), standing on a hilltop just east off the road from Chora to Mega Livadi, near Mega Chorio. Several other tower-like constructions have been spotted or unearthed, including the megalithic Psaros Pyrgos, or, as it is more commonly known, “Couch of the Cyclops”, in tandem with the myths about Cyclops inhabiting the island. 96 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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Where to swim Serifos boasts a variety of beaches: Livadi with umbrellas, sunbeds and sandy beach, Avlomonas and Livadakia with sandy beaches and tamarix trees, Karavi with a sandy beach and flat rocks in the water, shaded by trees and suitable for nudism. At Koutalas bay you will find Ganema and Vagia shaded by trees and protected by Natura 2000. To the east you will find Psili Ammos, once voted the best beach in Europe, sandy with shallow waters, Kentarhos just below the village by the same name, Platys Gyalos with shade and a taverna. To the north there is Sykamia, a long beach, and Karavas where you can only go through a rough country road or a path just as Lia in the southeast.
Where to sTAY Alexandros Vassilia (+30 22810 51119, +30 6946 910840) is a cluster of rooms and apartments right by the goldensand beach of Livadakia, which offers a relaxing experience at reasonable prices. Indigo Studios (+30 22810 52548/+ 30 6945 437966), just 40 km off the sea, at Livadi, is comprised of fully-equipped, beautifully furnished apartments and rooms. If you prefer open air go to Camping Coralli (+30 22810 51500, coralli.gr) one of the best campings in Greece, featuring an internet area, restaurant, mini market, dining hall with different dishes every day, swimming pool, shared kitchen, laundry room. Imagine all this is on the beach where your tent could be just 5 metres from the water (for an early morning dive). There is also a beach bar.
Where to eat & DRINK The Kafeneio stou Stratou (+30 22810 52566) is probably the islandâ€™s best loved place in Ano Chora right at the Town Hall square. It is a traditional coffee house serving royal omelettes and a special marble cake. At Chora, over at Mylon square, you will find Karavomilos (+30 22810 51261) the right place for excellent wine, rakomelo, souma accompanied by tasty cycladic dishes. Yacht Club (+30 22810 51888), also in Livadi, spans 20 years of life and is renowned for its laid-back vibe and its variety of drinks and dishes. At Aerino (+30 22810 52592) you will not believe the view from the terrace â€“ one of the best 98 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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spots to have a drink on the island. The other highlight here is the music –jazz, ethnic, retro and rock pieces. At Calma Beach Bar (+30 22810 52328) on Avlomomas beach, north of Livadi, you start off in the morning with a hearty breakfast followed by Mediterranean cuisine while at night you can relax with romantic, lounge music. Indigo Café (+30 22810 51956) is an all-day, delicious chill-out café-bar at Livadi, right by the sea, ideal for a refreshing juice on a deckchair. Metalleio (+30 22810 51755) serves delectable Mediterranean cuisine; enjoy them in its nice, big patio, together with excellent wines. Pano Piazza (+30 697 9986220) is a traditional kafeneio with a modern twist and cool music. Manolis (+30 22810 52353) is a taverna at Psili Ammos, which serves local, homemade dishes.
DON'T MISS The most hotly anticipated music event of the summer is, no doubt, the Serifos Festival (+30 22810 52566 / 6970 650811) that will take place between 27 July-20 August and will feature various notable Greek artists. Right by the Serifos ferry terminal, Barbara’s (+30 22810 52390/ +30 6974 828715) offers souvenirs, fashion accessories and brand clothes at very accessible prices. In Le Côtéchéri (+30 22810 52056), designed by Dassios, you can find selected items from his personal collection, as well as accessories and objects brought back from his travels. It is open every day (11.00-14.00, 18.00-24.00). For car rental service try Poseidon Rent a Car (Livadi, +30 22810 52030). In love with Cyclades? Feel like buying a home here? Serifos Real Estate (+30 22810 52089), based in Livadi, Serifos, but also catering to other Cyclades islands, is the place you are looking for to get started. 100 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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Sifnos Classy and relaxed
he island of Sifnos, soaked in the aromas of thyme and sage, is a testament to the cultural richness and grandiose beauty of the Cyclades. Inhabited since 4000 BC, it was among the wealthiest islands of ancient times, by way of gold, silver and lead mines, and possibly one of the first places in Greece to mint coin. The exploitation of Sifnos' underground treasures of copper and zinc from the ancient times, brought wealth to its people and development to the island. Sifnos followed a succession of rulers, much like the majority of Cycladic islands, including Italian aristocratic houses and the Ottoman Empire. Today, it enjoys a reputation as “capital of pottery” of Cyclades, owing to its rich clay veins and its sunny climate. Its jugs, pots and other typically “sifnian” in style vessels are considered trademarks of the island. Visit the Small Museum of Modern Pottery in the monastery of Firogia. Like most destinations in Greece, Sifnos is replete with old monasteries. Visit the monastery of Prophitis Apsilos,
built on the ruins of an ancient citadel, high on the top of the eponymous and highest mountain of Sifnos. Another site worth seeing is the historical monastery of Agios Ioannis Chrysostomos in Kato Petali, where, according to the tradition, the first Greek school of the island was established. The monastery of Panayia tou Vounou (Virgin Mary of the Mountain), on the road from Apollonia to Vathi, features amazing architectural beauty and a lovely view to the village, the beach of Platis Gialos and the small island of Kipriani. The traditional fairs hosted in the monasteries offer an unforgettable experience. The sites of the ancient mines extend from the north-east to southwest, at the locations of Agios Sostis, Agios Silvestros, Vorini, Kapsalo and Xeroxilo. Other museums you could visit include the Archeological Museum of Sifnos, at the village of Kastro, built on top of a high cliff on the island’s northwestern shore on the site of the ancient city of Sifnos, which features extensive medieval remains, and also the Folklore Museum of the
BEACHES IN SIFNOS CATER TO ALL TASTES. YOU WILL USUALLY FIND NO UMBRELLAS AND DECKCHAIRS, BUT TAMARIx trees PROVIDE NATURAL SHELTER FROM THE SUN
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SHOPPING Famous fashion designer Dimitris Dassios has opened a new, beautiful accessories store in Apollonia, to go along with Le Côtéchéri in the neighbouring island of Serifos. Also in Apollonia, multiplex Cycladon Choros has become a place for social meetings and cultural activities. It includes restaurant Rambagas, gallery Giomisti Kefali and fashion store Biba with designer brands from all over the world.
Association of the Sifnians, at Apollonia.
Where to swim Platis Yialos is well organized and with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. If you prefer more secluded waters, you should go to Herronisos. Also private is the Fasolou beach, with trees that provide natural shade and a small traditional taverna. Those with more extreme tastes could choose the rocky Epta Martyres beach. Close to port, you’ll find the Kamares beach.
Where to sTAY Windmill Bella Vista (+30 22840 33518 – 33965), in Artemonas, offers accommodation in apartments, studios and even a traditional windmill, with breathtaking views 104 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
and a pool. Also in the centre of Artemonas, Smaragdi (+30 22840 33901) stands out for its beautiful garden and its groovy bar.
Where to eat & DRINK In Kastro, Remezzo (+30 22840 31589) is a new entry in Sifnos’ nightlife, an all-day bistro, which serves coffee, food and cocktails. Kavatza (+30 22840 35154), a cafebar-restaurant in Apollonia, serves food and beverages by the pool. More importantly, from middle July to late August it is open 24h/day. Also in Apollonia, Drimoni (+30 22840 31434) serves Mediterranean food. Enjoy it along with a great view and modern decoration. Sirma (+30 22840 31829) is a café-bar in Kamares, with tables outdoors, right by the beach.
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Amorgos The big blue
he easternmost island of the Cyclades group, in close proximity to Dodecanese, situated opposite the ancient Ionian cities of Militos, Alikarnassos and Ephessos, in the coast of Minor Asia, its monuments testify to its rich history and its strategic location. Inhabited at least since 3300 BC, Amorgos came under the rule of several different masters, in tandem to other Greek islands. The Venetians built the fortress in the capital and ruled it for over three centuries, before it was annexed by the Ottoman Empire and finally liberated and joined the modern Greek state in 1832. Amorgos retains its traditional character, evident in its famous embroideries that today adorn several museums and galleries all over the world, as well as its celebrated feasts in the Tholaria village.
Where to swim
AMORGOS WAS IMMORTALISED IN LUC BESSON'S CULT FILM "THE BIG BLUE" (1988) STARRING JEAN RENEAU
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There are many options. The most obvious one is the legendary Agia Anna where “The Big Blue” was filmed. Also, try the nudist beach Kampi with a view of Viokastro. At Mouros beach you can only arrive after a short walk which is well worth it when you get to the right side of the beach and swim in the underwater grottos. You can reach Maltezi and Plakes by boat from Katapola. At Chalara you will discover rock formations, as well as the aptly named “Stone Pirate”, a rock in the middle of the sea. At Mikri and Megali Vlyhada, try the beach at Aigiali and at Levrosos nearby. Go to Kalotaritissa for water sports and beach bars and take the boat from there to Gramvoussa a little island across the water. You can reach the little island Nikouria and en-
MOVE AROUND Thomas car rental (+30 22850 71777), with offices at Katapola, Aegiali and Chora, is the best and most helpful option when it comes to renting a car and making your way around the island. joy the beautiful waters, with a boat from Agios Pavlos.
Where to sTAY Aegialis Hotel and Spa (+30 22850 73393) at Aegiali, offers luxury rooms and suites/spa facilities, plus ultramodern thalassotherapy center and yoga retreats. Furthermore, they organize wedding ceremonies. Thomas Luxury Apartments (+30 22850 71777), at Katapola, is made up of comfortable, fully equipped apartments, ideal for relaxing holidays.
Where to eat & DRINK Koralli (+30 22850 73217), in Aegiali, serves traditional cuisine of Amorgos, including fresh fish, local meat and wines, with a view to the sea. In Akrogiali (+30 22850 74082) you can taste pasta with lobster, whilst enjoying live music. Try Amorgialos (+30 22850 73017), for traditional mezedes and more live music. Located straight in front of the Aegiali beach, you will find Disco the Que (+30 22850 73212), possibly the hottest beach bar/ cafĂŠ/ disco on the island.
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Youthful & vibrant
mall in size, but famous worldwide for its wild nighlife, youthful crowds, beautiful beaches and ancient findings, Ios competes with other famous destinations, such as Mykonos and Santorini, attracting younger visitors with its carefree, devil-may-care vibe. A strategic island in prehistoric times, the inhabitants of Ios strongly support the theory that Homer is buried on their island.
from the little church of Agios Nikolaos and Panagia Gremiotissa and if you find yourself there on August 15th be sure to go to the panigiri (festival). The Swedish Midsummer Party in late June is very popular among young visitors. You can find out more about the island in the official website of the municipality of Ios: www.ios.gr.
Ios may be synonymous with endless parties, but still offers alternative ways of fun and escaping daily life, such as walking along mountainous paths, observing wild nature or activities of agriturism, including taking care of the locals’ livestock, fishing or harvesting honey.
Ios is replete with top beaches. Gyalos is a fully equipped beach near the port with beautiful sand and tamarix trees. Mylopotas is a very busy beach with beach bars, tavernas and two camping sites. The waters there are a rare shade of blue and the beach is “23 carat gold”. At Koumpara, in a crystal clear beach near the por you can bathe without your bathing suit. Prepare for dreamy dives at Maganari, with its crystal clear waters, velvet like sand and private yachts sailing around. Agia Theodoti at Epano Kampos is the perfect spot for a romantic peaceful swim. Kalamos is where you will also find peace and quiet as well as a perfect diving spot. Less crowded are the beaches at Papa, Kampaki, Plakes, Neraki, Plakoto, Sapounohoma, Petalidi, Diamoudia, Klima, Valma, Kolitsani, Pikri nero and Tzamaria. The beach at the bay of Psathi is wild and suitable for surfers.
The ruins of the Medieval Castle built by Francis Crispo the 14th, a testament to Ios’s time under Venetian rule in the 15rh century, and a hellenistic building at Plakoto are worth a visit. You can also visit Palaiokastro (byzantine and medieval castle) and Skarkos where you will find prehistoric settlements. In 2008, Ios was awarded the European Union Cultural Heritage prize for its conservation efforts at the archaelogical site of Skarkos At Tsaoukalaria you will find an open air theatre named after Nobel prize winner Odysseus Elytis, with a wonderful view overlooking the bay, one of the poet’s favourite spots on the island. Be sure to watch the best sunsets
Where to swim
Where to sTAY On the beach at Mylopotas you will find Ios Palace Hotel
MOVE AROUND Rent a car or bike at Trohokinisi (+ 30 22860 91166), in Chora; a convenient, safe and economic way to explore the island.
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(+30 22860 92000), with two swimming pools, rooms to please every taste overlooking the big Aegean blue plus a spa for ultimate relaxation. For those seeking an extraordinary experience they have suites with private pools available. Another option at Mylopotas is Levantes Luxury Resort (+30 22860 92588) also providing luxury suites with private pools and panoramic views over the bay. Camping at Mylopotas is very popular; there you will also find the famous bar Far Out (+30 22860 91468).
Where to eat & DRINK Located on the southern side of Ios, Venus Restaurant (+30 22860 92374), at Maganari, part of a complex with rooms to rent, offers friendly atmosphere and delicious homemade dishes, made with fresh products. At Koumpara beach, you are highly recommended to try Polydoros (+30 22860 91132), open from June to early October, which serves traditional, authentic and delicious food for the past 28 years. The restaurant Agosto (+30 22860 92020), at Chora, is a combination of Mediterranean colours and Italian flavours. At Octopus Tree (+30 6974767726), at the port of Ios, you will taste delicious traditional Greek mezedes every hour of the day. When it comes to nightlife, you will certainly find something that suits you. All you need to know is that half of Chora is really bars. If at the Yialos beach, have a snack or a beer at the Yialou Beach Bar. At Valsamo (+30 6945 842518,) in one of Choraâ€™s most beautiful alleys, the night sets off with soul, jazz and blues, and great cocktails. Classy atmosphere and cool chit chat till morning. At Click Cocktail bar cafe (+30 6932 438966) you will dance to funky, electronic and techno music all night long.
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The archetypal Aegean island
KOLYMPITHRES IS THE MOST POPULAR AND FAMOUS BEACH IN PAROS
he centre of pre-Cycladic civilization in ancient times, over the centuries Paros has retained its hegemonic position as a cultural and commercial hub, while nowadays it is a popular tourist destination for foreigners and Greeks alike, with an extensive community of expats. Round in shape, it is formed by a single mountain sloping down on all sides. A wealthy island already during antiquity, Paros has a turbulent history, which includes alternately alliances with the Persian Empire and membership to the second Athenian confederacy (4th century BC), before following a trajectory common to many Greek cities, subject successively to the Hellenistic dynasty, and the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman Empires, until it joined the modern Greek state in 1832. One of the most remarkable heroines of the Greek War of Independence, Manto Mavrogenous, lived here.
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SHOPPING For the past 20 years, Bit of Salt (+30 22840 42757) remains the only surf shop on Paros, catering to every surfer’s needs (and budgets). Equipment and accessories for all watersports, beachwear, repair services for boards and sails. For a unique shopping experience, try Pragmata Concept Store (+30 22840 28198 / 6959800819 / 6982320862), with two stores, one in Naoussa and one near the village of Lefkes, a veritable treasure trove of just about everything, from Mexican rope sandals to Japanese bath towels. In Nails Bar (+30 6974710707), in Naoussa, you can get your nails done, from 13:00 to the wee hours. You can have a coffee (or champagne) to while your day away. Since ancient times, Paros has been renowned for its fine white marble. Abandoned marble quarries and mines are scattered all over the island. It was used by Praxiteles and other significant sculptors. Nowadays, the marble is mostly state-owned. The Environmental & Cultural Park of the island offers a wonderful opportunity for walks, whereas an excursion to one of the most important natural habitats, on the road that connects Parikia with Alyki, by the river, the Valley with the butterflies, is a must. At Parikia, visit the 4th century Byzantine monument of Panayia Ekatontapiliani,
and the Castle, the ruins of the ancient temple of Apollonas at Dilio, and the ruins of Asklipiio. At Naoussa, the Palaiopyrgos, the ancient capital of Paros, and the Byzantine Museum are all worth your time. The Folklore Museum and the Dryo, the cave of Kalpaki with the stalactites and stalagmites are among the most impressive sightseeings Alyki has to offer. Paros’s smaller sister-island, the more alternative-minded Antiparos, favoured by youths, is an ideal day trip.
Where to swim Kolympithres is the most famous, popular beach of Paros, with its sculpture-like rocks. Not far from Kolympithres, hidden and almost secluded, lies the beach of Babou, with stubbles running down to the water edge. Surfers will love the Golden Beach (Chrisi Akti), the Pyrgaki and Glyfa Lolantonis, as well as the Tserdakia on the southeast of the island. On the south and protected by the winds, lies the sandy Souvlia beach, with quiet shallow waters, ideal for children.
Where to sTAY At Villa Konitopoulos (+30 22840 91202/ +30 6945 383777), in Alyki, you will discover rooms and apartments with thematic activities. At the entrance of the old town, the Argonauta Hotel ( +30 22840 21440/ +30 22840 22278), has become the favorite destination for all those seeking a quiet, family hotel in the center of the town. It is recommended by several international guides.
Where to eat & DRINK Since 1912, traditional bakery Ragoussis (+30 22840 21573/ 28326), in Naoussa, Parikia and Antiparos, brightens visitors and locals’ days with pastries and their homemade ice-cream. A labour of love from this family business, their delicious mastich and nutbread (karydopsomo) are a must-taste. You can pick your breakfast, brunch or afternoon snack from there. Sigi Ichthyos (+30 22840 52639) is a renowned fish restaurant with tables on both sides of Naoussa port. At Naoussa La Piazza (+30 22840 52657), you can taste excellent Greek-Italian food. Moschonas (+30 22840 51623) offers traditional Greek food, by the sea. Meltemi (+30 51263), open all day, reservation required. Pirate Bar (+30 697 9194074) in Parikia is one of the oldest and most celebrated spots for nightlife. You can have a nice drink there and finish your day on a happy note. 112 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Santorini Top of the lists
n island of its own kind, Santorini invariably tops the world’s must-visit lists. Renowned for its natural beauty, revered for its famous, phenomenal, romantic sunsets which make it one of the most popular destinations worldwide for weddings, this complex of islands (Thira, Thirassia, Aspronissi, Palea and Nea Kameni) remains an active volcano, the trademark of Santorini. The island’s water-filled crater (geological caldera) was formed out of an enormous volcanic eruption which occurred 3600 years ago, at the height of the Minoan civilization and which destroyed earlier settlements. A giant central lagoon is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides. The capital, Fira, clings to the top of one of the cliffs, and offers an unforgettable, breathtaking view of the volcano. According to legend, it is in this area where the mythical kingdom of Atlantis lies. The actual history of Santorini is rich and significant. Excavations in the site Acrotiri dur-
ing the 1960s revealed that Thera was the most important site of Minoan civilization outside Crete. The well preserved ruins of the ancient town are comparable in beauty with those of ancient Pompeii, in Italy. Other famous archaeological sites include Pyrgos, Karterades, Emporio, Ammoudi, Finikia, Perissa, Perivolos, Megalohori, Kamari, Messaria and Monolithos, and Messa Vouno. Exploring Thirassia is like going back in time. A visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, at Fira, is highly advisable. Santorini is also famous for its traditional products, the cherry tomatoes, the white eggplants, the fava and the goat cheese, and of course its internationally famous wine varieties. Visit some of the island’s famous wineries which are open to the public.
Where to swim The best beaches of the island, Perissa, Perivolos and AiYiorgis, are also the most cosmopolitan and usually overcrowded. At Vlihada, behind the thick rocky “embroi-
THE VILLAGE OF FIRA IS THE LIVELY CENTRE OF NIGHTLIFE, WHEREAS oIA IS MORE QUIET, INTIMATE AND ROMANTIC
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SHOPPING Hope (+30 22860 72261), in Oia, Santorini, is a shop of little treasures. Unique handmade jewellery from Greek artists, handmade pottery and souvenirs will make visitors forever cherish their memories from the beautiful Santorini. deryâ€? spreads a scenery most magnificent. Theros, on the way to Vlihada resembles of the exotic Bali, while the Red Beach, one of the most beautiful and famous, with its fine red pebble layers and its umbrellas, is a veritable eye candy. On the northern side of the island, there is the Baxedes beach, and the Koloumbos, a more alternative choice for the free-spirited.
Where to sTAY In Fira, in the heart of the caldera, four-star Loucas Hotel (+30 22860 22480/680/880) offers rooms and suits with a wonderful view to the sea and sunset of Santorini. Vassalos (+30 22860 81068), in Perissa, is made up of two newly constructed Cyclad-style buildings and is just a few minutes distance from the beach. Greek-themed music nights take place in the pool area.
Where to eat & DRINK Crystal (+30 22860 22480), in Fira, with a view at the caldera, is a lounge cafĂŠ-bar that may be the best place where you can begin your day with a coffee and end it with a refreshing cocktail. Aris (+30 22860 22480/ 6949 804805), one of the oldest restaurants in the area, offers Greek traditional cuisine with a modern twist, also with a wonderful view to the caldera. 114 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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Naxos Cyclades at its best
B NAXOS FESTIVAL, HELD ANNUALLY N BAZEOS TOWER, IS AN IMPORTANT CULTURAL EVENT
y far the most fertile island of the Cyclades, Naxos enjoys a large tourist fanbase, boasting a variety of beautiful beaches and ancient ruins. Endless sandy beaches with clear turquoise waters, seaside traditional villages, local festivities with folklore dances and music, almost every season, an imposing landscape created by vast mountainous bulks and fertile valleys, the glorious remnants of a great ancient and Byzantine history make Naxos a very popular destination. A significant destination in classical times, it was immortalised in ancient Greek mythology as the birthplace of god Dionysus and the locale where Zeus, father of gods, was raised, in a cave of Mt. Zas. Already inhabited during the Neolithic area, by the 8th and 7th centuries BC it had grown into a considerable force of commerce. Its growing prosperity and attempts to exit the Delian League (an association of Greek city-states) during the 5th century BC, led to harsh punitive measures by the Athenian city-state. In the Byzantine period, it was conquered by the Venetians and in the 16th century it was annexed by the Ottoman Empire.
rom important archaeological sites to Byzantine churches and monasteries and fortified castles and towers, Naxos offers the visitor a glimpse of its grand past. Chief among these are the ruins of the unfinished Temple of Apollo, the islet of Palatia, the beautirful Portara with offers views of the sunset that are not to be missed, the ancient Naxos aqueduct, with the underground tunnel that enters at Barou and exits at Kaminia. Other landmarks include the ancient sanctuary dedicated to the female goddess of the fer116 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
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DON'T MISS If you wish to taste and buy the world-famous traditional cheeses of Naxos, be sure to pay a visit to the Tirokomia Naxou (+30 22850 24918) at the Agios Isidoros. tility of the earth at Flerio water spring, the necropolis, a cemetery of the Geometrical era at Alonakia settlement, on the hill of Apano Kastro, the ancient quarry of Apollonas, the ancient sanctuary dedicated to the god Dionysus, at Yria.
isit the Church of Panayia Protothronos, at Chalki, one of the island’s oldest and most important monuments. Panayia Myrtidiotissa, greets the island’s visitors as it stands right in the middle of Naxos harbour. The Monastery of Faneromeni, with its Venetian architecture, and its breathtaking view to the northwest coast of Naxos, the Monastery of Timios Stavros, the famous Bazeos Tower as it is known by the name of the family that owns it, situated at the valley of Agiassos, outside the
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village of Sagri, are also a landmark of the island of Naxos. The Church of Panagia Drossiani, on the road to Chalki, not far from Moni, again one of the oldest on the island.
he Bardani Tower, the Plaka Tower, also known as Paleopyrgos or Ariadne’s Tower, the Barozzi Tower at Filoti, the Zevgoli Tower, close to the centre of Apiranthos and the Glezos Tower, the tower of Delarokas at Kournochori and the tower of Fotodotis at Danakos, will take visitors on a time-travelling journey, back to the alluring times of knights and legends.
Where to swim Sandy beaches of Naxos are stretching for miles. Some are relaxed, other busy and organised; what they all have
in common is that they invariably offer crystal-clear waters. On your way from Chora to Plaka you’ll find, AiYiorgi, Agios Prokopis and Agia Anna, all well equipped and organised, with umbrellas, sunbeds, beach bars and tavernas scattered around, and surprisingly prompt and frequent transportation. Leaving Plaka behind, you’ll find the beautiful and more deserted beaches of Orkos, Mikri kai Megali Vigla (Small and Big Vigla), Pyrgaki, Kastraki and Alyko. On the northern side of the island you will find, Ammitis, Abrami and Agioi Theodori. On the east, Psili Ammos, Azalas, Klidos and Panormos with great deep waters, also the Moutsouna, with its amazing stone structures on its shore, the only beach with small traditional tavernas. If you prefer more secluded waters, you’ll find them at Agiasso and Kalando.
Where to sTAY Naxian Collection (+30 22850 24300), in Stellida, just 2km off Chora and 700 m off the Agios Prokopios beach, is a complex of luxurious suites and villas with a stunning view of the Aegean. Naxos Palace (+30 22850 29133), in Stellida, is recommended for those seeking a luxurious environment, comfortable facilities and a tranquil atmosphere.
Where to eat Grab a bite at Irinis (+30 22850 26780), one of the most celebrated tavernas in the Chora, by the harbour, with traditional dishes and friendly, personalised service. Maro (+30 22850 25113), at the Protodikiou square, in Chora, offers warm vibes and good traditional dishes. Stella (+30 22850 62312), at Eggares, serves plumy meat dishes and delicious omelettes, the best on the island. For well-prepared Mediterranean, seafood cuisine, try the delicious Delfinaki (+30 22850 51290) at Lyonas, a very popular choice for fish lovers. For a drink or a coffee, the obvious choice is Ocean & Mojo (+30 22850 27034), the Chora’s most popular dance club/ coffee-bar for the past two decades, with its groovy soundscapes and white tables outdoors.
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Syros The capital of the Cyclades
ecause of its strategic geographical location as a maritime sea-point, Syros has historically been the bone of contention between clashing forces. Routinely invaded by pirates and raiders during ancient times and middle ages, it came under the control of the Venetians and the Ottomans, and did not partake in the 1821 Greek War of Independence, being utilized instead as a shelter for Greek refugees from Asia Minor.
Ermoupoli became a major port and a significant centre of ship building, while it was also rapidly modernized, with hundreds of official buildings, stadiums and mansions being designed by famous architects in the fashionable at the time neoclassical style. Such architectural landmarks include the City Hall (designed by the famous German architect Ernst Ziller), the theatre Apollon by the Italian architect Campo (a miniature version of the La Scala in Milano), Miaoulis square and many more. Commerce of fabrics, silk, leather and iron took up, while it also became the centre of a powerful banking system. By the mid-nineteenth-century, Syros began to decline. In recent years, it has reasserted its hegemonic position as a major tourist destination, while the reopening of Neorion shipyards also bodes well for its future.
ne of the most historically significant islands of Cyclades, Syros has always been at the centre of economic developments. During the 19th century, its capital-port, the celebrated Ermoupolis â€“ today the capital of the Cyclades â€“ surpassed in commercial importance even the port of Piraeus.
ollowing its integration into the modern Greek state, Syros underwent a spectacular economic growth.
esides walking the narrow back streets of the picturesque Ermoupoli and its Miaouli square, you can
MIAOULI SQUARE, IN THE HEART OF ERMOUPOLI, IS ONE OF THE RAREST, MOST EXQUISITELY REFINED SQUARES IN GREECE, WITH ITS IMPRESSIVE ARRAY OF 19TH CENTURY BUILDINGS, INCLUDING THE FAMOUS TOWN HALL, WHOSE CONSTRUCTION TOOK 22 YEARS.
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also visit the medieval-style Ano Syros, the second biggest city on the island, as well as the Catholic Cathedral of Agios Georgios, a testament to the prevalence of Catholic religion and its many followers in Syros since the islandâ€™s time under Venetian rule.
Where to swim The most popular beaches can be found on the southern side of Syros. They cater to different tastes, some pebbled, others sandy, yet they all share one common trait: crystal waters. By far the most organized Syros beaches are Galissas, Megas Gialos, Kini and Poseidonia, which come together with advanced tourist infrastructure, namely beach bars, hotels and seaside tavernas. There is easy bus access to most organized beaches from Ermoupolis.
Where to sTAY Only a few meters from the central square and the harbour and within walking distance of the historic centre of the city, En Ermoupoli (+30 22810 85789) is a beautiful hotel, housed in a recently renovated neoclassical building of the last century. Comfortable stay in luxurious rooms and family environment. Syrou Melathron (+30 22810 86495) is also house in a neoclassical building that has been declared a historical monument. In Anemelia (+30 22810 63000), in Azolimnos, you can relax in wellequipped studios and apartments. Don't forget to taste their homemade jam.
Where to eat & DRINK In Ermoupoli, between Miaouli Sq. and the Aegean Univer-
sity, you will find Elia Bar-Restaurant (+30 22810 76301), housed in one of the first buildings of the city (1823). The chef has created a whimsical game of Greek traditional novelty cuisine flavours offered to you in small portions over at the bar or in the form of a full dinner menu at the tables. Elliniko (+30 22810 89248) is a kafeneio located at the central square of Ermoupoli, which serves traditional dishes in a friendly atmosphere. Another kafeneiomezedopoleio is Tarsanas (+30 22810 77667), also in Ermoupoli. Podilato (+30 22810 89399) is a cafĂŠ-bar with nice cocktails, inspired decoration and stylish clientele. For Greek cuisine with a nice sunset view, try Stou Zaloni (+30 22810 71211), at Kini.
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Skopelos The emerald island
ythological tradition has it that Skopelos was founded by one of the sons of Dionysus, the god of wine. It is perhaps on account of this that, in ancient times, Skopelos was renowned for its wine. One of the gems of the Northern Sporades island group, Skopelos, after centuries of existence and ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman heritage, today stands proud and resplendent, green and mountainous, its natural beauties attracting the likes of Hollywood – scenes of “Mamma Mia” were shot here, over 100 steps above the level of the sea, in the monastery of Agios Ioannis, in Kastri.
ith its mountains which dominate the western and eastern regions of the island, its plains, its steep cliffs, its playful saxophone shape, Skopelos is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. One of the greenest islands of the Aegean, the entire Skopelos is a lush tableau of vegetation, with a wide range of flowers and trees, and fragrant pine forests. Its fauna is equally impressive, as it is house to a number of different species, including over 60 species of wild birds, the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus Monachus) and endemic species of goat and sheep. It is well-known for its feta cheese and its traditional cheese pie, a deep fried spiral of cheese stuffed phyllo dough. Skopelos is also acclaimed for its architectural beauty, with many fascinating little houses and buildings scattered across the amphitheatric built Chora, and also in Glossa.
Where to swim The island offers pebbled beaches full of pines. Milia may very well be the most visually striking beach in the island, with its impressive rock formations emerging from the sea, and its groovy beach bar. Other popular beaches include Panormou, and the organized beach of Stafylou, roughly 4 km away from Chora. Off the beaten track you will find the sandy Velanio, while Sarres, with its beautiful cave, requires access by boat. You can fish in the rocky bays of Amarantos.
Where to sTAY Aegean Wave – Faros (+30 24240 33700), at Loutraki Glossas, only 200 m. from the beach, offers a panoramic view to the Aegean. Prince Stafilos (+30 24240 22775) is located in Skopelos Town, only 90 metres from the sea and 300 metres from the port, in an area of 6 acres, surrounded by lush gardens and bordered by olive trees.
Where to eat & DRINK Mercurius Bar Gallery (+30 24240 24593) plays music that travels you across the globe and serves cocktails that excite you. Enjoy them in its terrace overlooking the old harbour of Skopelos town. At the port , next to the town hall, you will find Klimataria (+30 24240 22273). This is where you will try traditional Greek cuisine. 122 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
A MAP OF
Travelling in Cyclades is tantamount to travelling to their diverse, but invariably tasty cuisines. Surprisingly, you won’t get much fish in this cluster of islands: meat is the absolute king of dishes here. In all Cyclades islands, you will come across the patatato, that is, red or white meat with potatoes roasted in wooden oven or casserole. By NENELA GEORGELE
Lots of goodies to choose from. Sausages with fennel, strapatsada (scrambled eggs with tomato and feta cheese), homemade loukoumi (a pastry also known as Turkish delight) and the famous halvadopita pastry.
osFennel pancakes, revythada (here with the added ingredient of meat and raisins) and tsigarides (pork with beans and potatoes) are the big hits here.
“Gouna” is the word here. It is a special way of preparing fish, usually bonito, sardine or a small tune fish that is dried under the sun for 24 hours and is cooked with tons of salt. Sun-dried octopus, tsipouro and good local wine of Naoussa complete the culinary picture.
Whet your appetite with citrus liquer and then try patouda (lamb stuffed with liver, rice and cones), kalogiros (meat with aubergine, cheese, roasted tomato) and a sweet fried pumpkin known as patsitsio.
The capital of patatato. You will find the best of its kind in the Tholaria square. You can also taste it in xidato version (with vinegar and garlic) and kofto (wheat and mizithra cheese).
Try the famous and ultra-tasty revythada (chickpeas cooked in earthware pot), mastelo (meat marinated in wine in earthware pot), caper salads, revythokeftedes (chickpeas balls), soft and creamy mizithra cheese.
iIts cuisine includes ntomatokeftedes (tomato balls), white fried aubergine, and the world-famous fava. Don’t forget to taste its excellent wines (the athiri variety is Santorinian) and the sweet Vinsanto. CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 123
A T H E N S
O N T H E M O V E
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? 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. info (+30) 210 9220604
The Red Line - The Athens Tour
Starting Point: Syntagma Square Duration: 90 min, 15 stops (every 30 min) Tickets: Adults €18/ Children (7-14 years) €8/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 €22/ Children (6-14 years) €9 Commentary: Pre-recorded English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and Greek 124 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
Happy Urban Trains
Two trains with no tracks. Kids and senior citizens alike love 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, Monastiraki Duration: 60 min Tickets: Adults €6/ Children €4/ special offers for groups Commentary: English and Greek
Sunshine Express (Map L11
Syntagma) (+30) 210 8819252 Starting Point: Vasilissis Amalias (in front of the National Garden) Ticket Validity: 1 and 40 min approximately Tickets: Adults €5 / Children €3
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, self-balancing 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: €59 p.p. National Garden Duration: 90-150 min Tickets: €59 p.p. Filopapou Hill Duration: 60 min Tickets: €30 p.p. Souvlaki Tour Duration: 150 min Tickets: €59 p.p. (including souvlaki lunch) Athens By Night Duration: 180-210 min Tickets: €80 Olympic Games Tour Duration: 90 min Tickets: €44 p.p.
How to make your way around the capital Βy TAKIS SKRIVANOS
For information call +30 210 8230007 (06:00-22:00, information in English available).
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 05:3001:00, 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 transportation 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. Ticket-control 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.
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 half-hour 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.
There are OVER 14,000 taxis running
axis are pretty much everywhere. These days, most taxi drivers understand English. The urban myths about them being frauds are as false 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 (+30) 210 5123333 Asteras (+30) 210 6144000 Express (+30) 210 9943000 Ikaros (+30) 210 5152800
Kosmos 18300 Pireas 1 (+30) 210 4182333 Glyfada (+30) 210 9605600 Enotita (+30) 210 6465309
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 2014 _ 125
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
International 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