Kifissia, Athens’s Beverly Hills

Just a 30-minute train ride from the city center, this leafy northern suburb is known for great shopping, dining and timeless charm


Just 14km from downtown Athens – or a short, 35-minute ride from Monastiraki on the electric railway (HSAP), Kifissia is a great choice for an action-packed day. Enjoy glamorous shopping, admire wonderful art, dine at a restaurant and study a fascinating mix of centuries-old mansions. Here you can relish cool air, abundant greenery and a sense of nonchalant affluence that is light years away from the sometimes overwhelming chaos of the city center. While Kifissia’s boutiques may be the exclusive domain of the elite, there is an abundance of things to discover and explore beyond shopping.

INFO

Varsos  2 Kassaveti  • Tel. (+30) 210.801.2472

Common Secret  324 Kifissias Ave. • Tel. (+30) 210.623.3810

Amaryllis Cafe  15 D. Kyriakou • Tel. (+30) 210.623.3769

Menta Cafe  • 10 Aghion Theodoron  • Tel. (+30) 210.808.0193

Different Beast  • 19 Kassaveti  • Tel. (+30) 216.700.4556

Café society

Start your day in Kifissia with a coffee at Varsos, Kifissia’s oldest café, which opened in 1892. Upon entering, you’ll be overwhelmed by the mouthwatering smells of croissants stuffed with chocolate and nuts and the buttery, crispy cheese pies. For breakfast, Amaryllis, a classy, all-day hangout, serves quality selections of coffee, tea and tasty tarts, while Menta Café, housed in the garden villa where nationally acclaimed poet and playwright Angelos Sikelianos spent the last summers of his life, serves up warming drinks and flavorsome nibbles. Popular as much for its clever eco-conscious décor as for its excellent selection of nutritious snacks, Different Beast is another great start-the-day spot.

A bit of culture

After getting a caffeine kick, explore Kifissia’s cultural scene. Begin by visiting Kouvoutsakis Art Institute, an attractive space housing 1,500 fine art paintings and various sculptures dating back to 1800. Children and adults alike will enjoy the scientific and environmental exhibits at the somewhat vintage Goulandris Natural History Museum and its more modern Gaia Center, which offers video projections, interactive screens and guided tours. There are several other art spaces in Kifissia, including Mihalarias Art, which features a wide selection of works by Greek and foreign artists.

INFO

Kouvoutsakis Art Institute • 11 Levidou • Tel. (+30) 210.623.3682 • (closed on Mondays)

Goulandris Natural History Museum & Gaia Center  • 13 Levidou  • Tel. (+30) 210.801.5870 • (Closed July and August)

Mihalarias Art  • 260 Kifissias Ave. & Diligianni • Tel. (+30) 210.623.4320

INFO

Il Salumaio di Atene • 3 Panagitsas • Tel. (+30) 210.623.3934

Yellow • Harilaou Trikoupi & 27 Kritis • Tel. (+30) 211.411.0962

Nice N Easy • 7 Papadiamanti  • Tel. (+30) 210.808.2014

Artisanal  • 2 Zirini  • Tel. (+30) 210.808.6111  • (closed on Mondays)

Domotel Kastri Bistro  •  154 El. Venizelou Ave & Romylias  • Tel. (+30) 210.350.7100

Let’s do lunch!

Stop for lunch at one of the area’s most reputable restaurants. Il Salumaio d’Atene, an all-day deli-cum-restaurant serving authentic Italian dishes. The fresh, artistic interior of Yellow has a revitalizing effect and its tasty hors d’oeuvres, sandwiches and burgers will hit the spot. For a farm-to-table option, lunch at Nice N Easy, with a menu that mixes world and Mediterranean tastes with plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Or lounge around in the lovely renovated mansion of Artisanal, enjoying a refreshing, gourmet-style meal.

Shop ’til you drop

Next, it’s time to check out one of Kifissia’s best attributes – it’s elegant shopping scene. For trendy-chic daywear, visit Paramour and Soho-Soho; for outdoorsy athleisure and casual chic, head to Season. If you are hunting for high-end international designer labels, look no further than Simple Caracteres, Luisa World, Access Boutique or Detroit. You’ll also find boutiques such as Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Juicy Couture and Ralph Lauren for clothing, and D-Fashion Store, Braccialini, Folli Follie and Bottega Veneta for bags and accessories. If it’s swimming season, you might want to head to Monoi, which sells fantastically colorful and glitzy Brazilian bikinis.

The most notable jewelry stores in Kifissia are the classic Greek luxury brands Ilias Lalaounis, known for its gold designs inspired by the civilizations of ancient Greece, Minas, which sells stylishly modernist creations, and Fanourakis, known for its incredibly detailed, nature-inspired pieces in gold and silver.

INFO

Paramour • 19 Kassaveti  • Tel. (+30) 210.808.4424 | Soho-Soho  6a Papadiamanti  • Tel. (+30) 210.801.6601 | Season • 66 El. Venizelou Ave. • Tel. (+30) 210. 801.4633 | Simple Character • 23 Kyriazi • Tel. (+30) 210.808.3201 | Luisa World •  11 Kolokotroni  • Tel. (+30) 210.801.6641 | Access Boutique  • 2 Argyropoulou  • Tel. (+30) 210.808.3730 | Detroit • 21 Kyriazi • Tel. (+30) 210.808.9835 | Oscar de la Renta   16 Levidou • Tel. (+30) 210.808.9668 | Diane Von Furstenberg • 14 Kolokotroni • Tel. (+30) 210.808.1999 | Juicy Couture •  11 Levidou • Tel. (+30) 210.808.6942 | Ralph Lauren  19 Kassaveti • Tel(+30) 210.808.5550 | D-Fashion Store • 6 Panagitsas • Tel.(+30) 210.808.0020 | Braccialini, Folli Follie  8 Kolokotroni • Tel. (+30) 210.801.3152 | Botega Veneta • 14 Kolokotroni • Tel. (+30) 210.808.5182 | Monoi  10 Kolokotroni • Tel. (+30) 210.808.0114 | Ilias Lalaounis  7 Papadiamanti • Tel. (+30) 210.623.1900 | Minas • 8 Emmanouil Benaki • Tel. (+30) 210.623.3577 | Fanourakis • 6 Panagitsas • Tel. (+30) 210.623.2334

INFO

Aristokratikon • 8 Argyropoulou  • Tel. (+30) 210.322.0546

Martha’s  • 324 Kifissias Ave. • Tel. (+30) 210.808.1193

Zillion’s • 69 Dionisou • Tel.(+30) 210.620.1211

Ninnolo • 8 Aghiou Dimitriou • Tel.(+30) 210.801.2765


Le Hammam  • 8 Aghiou Tryfonos  • Tel. (+30) 210.623.3143

Time for a sugar fix

Your new purchases are a good cause for celebration, so why not treat yourself to a fabulous dessert? A great place for that kind of indulgence is Aristokratikon, one of Greece’s most esteemed chocolate makers since 1928. Try its unique white-and-dark chocolate ganache or croquant truffles. Another popular choice for handmade chocolates and other delicacies is Martha’s, while for excellent gelato, head to Zillion’s, or to Ninnolo, which also serves a popular brunch.

Pampering treats

For some top-notch pampering, stop at the Le Hammam spa, where you can enjoy the wonderfully atmospheric steam room, followed by a massage or a beauty treatment from an exotic and seemingly endless range of therapies.

For night owls only

After sunset, Kifissia transforms into a hot nightlife spot. Head to The Dalliance House for light epicurean dishes like carpaccio, salmon tartare and slow-cooked octopus, or just stick to the tantalizing cocktails. Try The J Bar for a dimly-lit, New York gastro-bar vibe, or Buba Bistrot Exotique for a Thai menu full of playful bites. For a yummy Asian gastronomic experience and cocktails by awarded mixologists, check out Oozora. Suba or Rakkan are great for modern Japanese food. The charming Eleas Gi is an ideal spot for an elegant and romantic dinner – try its “24 Flavors” set menu. At Almyra, enjoy a delightful Greek seafood feast.

For just drinks, head to Bronco, known for its cool-cat rock style. Café Escoba, which hosts Latin and rock music live shows and dance parties, is the place for margaritas, burgers and Tex-Mex nibbles.

Last but not least, there are the good, old-fashioned classic Greek taverna options. Popular with the locals are Vathys and Katsarina, the latter in business since 1893.

Stars and popcorn

In summer, dinner can be followed by a movie at either Bomboniera or Chloe, Kifissia’s two outdoor movie theaters, each offering two screenings per night. Sit back in a garden setting where the sweet scent of jasmine mingles with the odor of buttery fresh popcorn, and try to enjoy the story on the screen as much as you’ve enjoyed your day.

INFO

The J Bar • 6 Argyropoulou • Tel. (+30) 210.801.3896

Buba Bistrot Exotique • 4 Papadiamanti • Tel. (+30) 210.623.1151

The Dalliance House • 19 Kiriazi • Tel. (+30) 210.623.0775

Oozora (closed on Mondays) • 54 Theo. Diligianni • Tel.(+30) 210.801.8515

Suba • 11 Levidou • Tel. (+30) 210.808.5586

Rakkan • 238 Kifissias Ave. • Tel. (+30) 210.808.7941

Elaias Gi  • Dexamenis & 4 Olympionikon • Tel. (+30) 210.620.0005

Almyra • 54 Elaion • Tel. (+30) 210.620.5925

Bronco • 17 D. Kyriakou • Tel. (+30) 210.623.6691

Cafe Escoba  • 1 Patr. Maximou • Tel.  (+30) 210.623.3550

O Vathys  7 Kyrou • Tel. (+30) 210.620.4834

Katsarina • 311 Kifissias • Tel. (+30) 210.625.4072


Stars and popcorn (summertime only, from May to September)

Bomboniera • 12 Papadiamanti  • Tel. (+30) 210.801.9687

Chloe • 17 Kassaveti  • Tel. (+30) 210.801.1500

 

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Kifissia has been a popular getaway since ancient times, favored by the Romans in Athens for its cool climate in the summer months.
  • Built on the western foothills of Mt Penteli, with plenty of fresh water, dense vegetation and a clean atmosphere, Kifissia started assuming its present form in the 19th century, as leading Athenian families built their summer villas an hour’s carriage ride away from the city center.
  • Many of the majestic residences – ranging in style from neoclassical, art nouveau and Victorian to rustic romantic – have survived. The area is home to 114 listed buildings, constructed between 1870 and 1936.
  • The Beast (Thirio) was the nickname given to a steam-powered locomotive that once ran from Stofyli, through Kifissia and on to Attiki station in downtown Athens. On its maiden trip on 4 February 1885, it was inundated by Athenians who wanted to spend the Clean Monday holiday, which marks the beginning of Lent, in “the countryside.”


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