Athens Insiders: 6 Locals Offer Their Own Top Tips

Six creative Athenians tell us about their favorite haunts in the city, from great places to explore, eat out and shop, to hidden cultural gems.


Yiannis Pappas

Sommelier / Owner Gamay Wine Bar @yiannis.pappas

CULTURAL DESTINATION

Walking around Exarchia, you’ll see fascinating graffiti, including large murals created by notable street artists such as Sonke and Blu. The works at Navarinou Park and Exarchia Square are particularly striking.

ONLY IN ATHENS

 

The most charming farmer’s market in Athens takes place every Saturday on Kallidromiou Street in Exarchia. Check it out and try some of the seasonal produce while listening to the strolling musicians play rebetika music.

NIGHT OUT

Cocktail and electronic music enthusiasts will have a great time at Beauty Killed the Beast (14 Paramithias), located on a beautiful pedestrianized street in Kerameikos. Well-known DJs help create an incredible vibe for an unforgettable night in Athens.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Gallina (49 Markou Botsari) in Koukaki is a brand-new restaurant boasting one of the best wine lists in the city. You might see me there enjoying my favorite dish, chicken with miso and black truffle.

SHOPPING THERAPY

I enjoy shopping for pots and plants at Polyamorous (72-74 Mavromichali), a concept store that also sells wines and sex toys! Alexandros and Eleni, the owners, are very helpful and knowledgeable about their products.

Katerina Duska

Singer / Songwriter @katerineduska

CULTURAL DESTINATION

The Athens Concert Hall, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and the Onassis Stegi cater to a wide range of musical tastes. There’s so much to explore all year, from classical to experimental, and from local legends to global sensations.

ONLY IN ATHENS

 

Pangrati has quite a few gems when it comes to contemporary Greek cuisine. For fine dining, there’s Vezené (11 Vrasida); their twist on the traditional pastitsio is to die for. Akra (12 Amynta) is another favorite – their menu changes daily but never disappoints.

NIGHT OUT

Vrettos (41 Kidathineon) is over a century old and located in the heart of Plaka. You’ll be drawn immediately by the hundreds of colorfully lit bottles on its shelves. They serve homemade Greek spirits and a wide variety of Greek wines in a unique space.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Krepēlateíon in Marousi, a northern suburb, is basically a food truck that makes the best savory and sweet crepes in all of Athens. It’s open from 6pm until very late at night and is ideal for when you get the after-hours munchies.

SHOPPING THERAPY

Athens has quite a few local designers worth checking out. My personal favorites include Yiorgos Eleftheriades, Milkwhite, Ancient Greek Sandals and Sun of a Beach, all conveniently located in the center of Athens (Syntagma and Kolonaki).

Kalomira Papageorgiou

Jewelry Designer / Co-Founder of PRIGIPO Jewelry @prigipo

CULTURAL DESTINATION

The National Archaeological Museum (44 Patission) is an unmissable destination for those fascinated by ancient craftsmanship. The collection of golden jewelry is particularly breathtaking and, for me, serves as a source of inspiration.

ONLY IN ATHENS

 

Avissinias Square comes alive on Sundays, becoming a haven for vintage enthusiasts. Here, you can find a myriad treasures from Greece’s past, ranging from furniture to cameras, making for an exhilarating treasure hunt.

NIGHT OUT

Stepa (61 Asklipiou), known for its exceptional cocktails, delicious food, and vibrant atmosphere, is a frequent haunt of mine. Located in the Exarchia neighborhood, it’s a versatile spot where you can work during the day and enjoy great music and drinks by night.

GUILTY PLEASURE

For a taste of the best Basque cheesecake, head to Amandine’s Bagels (13 Nikis). Their menu also features delectable madeleines and homemade cookies that are sure to linger in your memory for days.

SHOPPING THERAPY

At Prigipo, you’ll find handmade jewelry; our new flagship store (34 Kolokotroni) is a gem in its own right. Afterwards, make your way to Aumorfia (17 Praxitelous), a store where unique designer pieces await discovery.

Yiorgos Trichas

Ceramist @yiorgostrichas

CULTURE DESTINATION

This year’s program for the Central Stage at the National Theater (22 Aghiou Konstantinou) includes performances with English surtitles. It’s worth a visit for the Ernst Ziller Building alone, a monumental architectural complex of unique splendor that’s home to Athens’ most beautiful theater hall.

ONLY IN ATHENS

 

Who doesn’t love souvlaki? In Athens, you’ll find plenty of this street delicacy. Perhaps the tastiest (and most upmarket) version is made at Hoocut (9 Aghias Eirinis Square). Be sure to try their pita wrap with finely chopped pieces of beef or lamb.

NIGHT OUT

Tucked away in a small but busy pedestrianized street flanked by neoclassical houses, old apartment buildings, and bitter orange trees, the bistro-bar Blue Bird (4 Ipitou) serves great drinks, plays uplifting music, and attracts a flirty crowd.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Taverna Oikonomou (32 Kydantidon) in the popular neighborhood of Ano Petralona is a classic spot for those who love traditional Greek cuisine.

SHOPPING THERAPY

Nestled in the basement of a renovated ’70s apartment building is 10AM Apotheke (82 Konstantinoupoleos), a truly original concept store. You’ll find everything from monastic candles to ceramic artworks by Greek artists.

Gautier Velissaris

Singer / Songwriter @gautier_vel

CULTURE DESTINATION

The Acropolis Museum, a marvel of architecture situated right beneath the Acropolis, is a must-visit. Its educational approach allows visitors to immerse themselves in history and fully appreciate the exquisite artifacts on display.

ONLY IN ATHENS

 

Exploring Plaka, especially Anafiotika, is a delight. This quaint neighborhood, nestled beneath the Acropolis and reminiscent of an Aegean village, was built by migrant workers from the island of Anafi. It offers stunning views from its vantage points and is particularly charming in the evening.

NIGHT OUT

For live music enthusiasts, Gazarte (34 Voutadon) is a prime destination. This venue hosts established and emerging local and international artists. Visitors can expect high-quality performances in a vibrant atmosphere.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Ekiben (15 Skoufou) prepares treats inspired by the Japanese bento railway culture in a compact, elegant space. Here, you can enjoy delicious meals and buy exclusive spirits and other products imported from Japan. Be sure to book in advance as seating is limited.

SHOPPING THERAPY

Nestled within the impressive Athens Concert Hall is M-SHOP, a charming café and music-themed concept store. It’s just the place to find gifts for music aficionados. Make the most of your visit by taking in one of the outstanding performances held here as well.

Ianthi Michalaki

Co-Owner Kora Bakery @ianthi.m

CULTURE DESTINATION

Visit the Cavafy Archive at its charming new location in Plaka (16B Frinichou).

ONLY IN ATHENS

 

Explore the fascinating apartment buildings in Kypseli. Athens boasts stunning architecture throughout its neighborhoods. Taking a tour with openhouseathens.gr can make for a truly unique exploration.

NIGHT OUT

Enjoy a drink at Santarosa (69 Asklipiou) if you appreciate dimly lit, cozy spots like I do; or savor an excellent cocktail at Line Athens (37 Agathodaimonos), renowned as one of Athens’ most elegant bars.

GUILTY PLEASURE

For an exquisite tiramisu, head to the Italian restaurant Alio (34 Vassileos Georgiou, Halandri). If you’re up for venturing further north, the suburb of Drosia is celebrated for its freshly baked, butter-rich peinirli!

SHOPPING THERAPY

Discover the exquisite jewelry creations of Katerina Psoma (35 Apollonos) and stylish clothing featuring geometric motifs at the 2plus1equals2 atelier (26 Akadimias).



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