My Top 5: Athens Tips from Creative Insiders

Six creative Athenians share their best secrets and favorite things to do in the city.


EFTIHIA STEFANIDI

Photographer, Creative Director, Co-Creator @mona_athens @shila_athens @eftihia

A culture destination

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Dionysiou Areopagitou) is a must-see, even in winter when its glorious stage remains silent, as is the Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sounion – a marvelous ancient monument.

Only in Athens

 

Diporto (9 Sokratous & Theatrou) is an underground taverna with a brusque owner and no menu, just dishes of the day. If you’re lucky, you may witness an impromptu live set of rebetika songs channeling that mixed bittersweet feeling that Greeks call “harmolypi.”

Night Out

Galaxy (10 Stadiou) is an Athenian institution. I love the dapper style of the owner, the toasted bread with cheese and mustard served with the drinks, and their decision to keep the place authentically old-school.

Guilty edible pleasure

Pistachio and dark chocolate chili sorbet at Django Gelato Athens in Koukaki (15 Veikou). This spot has changed my perception of what good ice cream tastes like.

Shopping tips

I have a soft spot for neighborhood bookstores. Lexikopoleio in Pangrati (13 Stasinou) has a great selection of fiction and non-fiction titles in many languages. Adad Books in Petralona (1 Anteou) is a charming new café-bookstore focusing on art books.

MARINA VRANOPOULOU

Owner & Director, Dio Horia Gallery @vranopoulaki @diohoria

Culture Destination

I love the Museum of Cycladic Art (4 Neofytou Douka); its collection is the largest of its kind in the world and features objects from all phases of the Cycladic civilization, from figurines to vases, tools, weapons and pottery.

Only in Athens

 

One of the best things to do in Athens is to go swimming, even in winter, as the sea never gets too cold. My favorite spots are Okeanida Beach in Vouliagmeni, where the slightly worn out facilities engender a tender feeling of nostalgia, and the small beach below the Temple of Poseidon on Sounion.

Night out

Baba au Rum (6 Klitiou) for its extensive rum collection and rum-based cocktails, and Birdman (35 Voulis) for the neighborhood izakaya atmosphere and the avant-garde menu.

Guilty edible pleasure

Kafteros (5 Agriniou) is a no-frills neighborhood grill house in Halandri, about a 30-minute drive from the city center, famous for its super-hot souvlaki sauce. I’ve brought many artists for dinner there. They’ve all loved it!

Shopping tips

Intellectual Leisure is a clothing brand that conceives its ideas, sources its materials, and manufactures its products all within the Mediterranean basin and all with its surroundings and a respect for nature in mind.

AKIS KOKKINOS

DEO Projects Founder and Curator @akis.kokkinos @deoprojects

Culture Destination

The Athenian art scene is flourishing and well worth exploring. I’d start with the brand-new National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) (Kallirrois Avenue & Amvrosiou Frantzi), before heading to smaller independent spaces such as Tavros (33 Anaxagora) and State of Concept (19 Tousa Botsari) and conclude my art tour at established galleries such as The Breeder (45 Iasonos) and Rodeo (41 Polidefkous, Piraeus).

Only in Athens

 

The summit of Filopappos Hill offers fantastic views of the Acropolis and the city of Athens; on clear days, you can even see the sea. It’s the perfect spot to visit on a first date or by yourself.

Night out

Hollywood (8 Navarchou Nikodimou), Aperitif (57A Dikearchou), and Bequeer (10 Keleou) for later in the night all boast great drinks, a cool young crowd and uplifting music selections.

Guilty edible pleasure

Where to start, really? Off the top of my head, I’d pick Grasshoppers (6 Evridamantos), Fita (1 Dourm), and Linou Soumpasis Kai Sia (2 Melanthiou) for delicious, top-quality dishes that you’ll remember for a long time.

Shopping tips

When I shop, I look for Wdesigners who combine spirituality and originality to achieve an uplifting effect. This describes Lito Fine Jewelry (25 Irodotou), the fashion brand Serapis Maritime (Serapis.cc) and Sanktoleono (sanktoleono. com), a new brand/designer I recently discovered.

ANTONAKIS CHRISTODOULOU

Artist @antonakisc

Culture Destination

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens (44 Patission) is one of the most important museums in the world. No visit to Athens is complete without it.

Only in Athens

 

Grab a sandwich from Guarantee in Koukaki (41 Veikou) and walk towards Thiseio; take Dionysiou Aeropagitou, pass by the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Acropolis, and end up at the Hill of Nymphs – the National Observatory of Athens, dating from 1842, is here.

Night out

At Au Revoir Bar (136 Patission), the first drink was poured 65 years ago, making it the oldest bar in Athens still in business; the decor has been left untouched; CV Distiller (7 Hatzigianni Mexi) is the go-to place for whiskey; if you feel like dancing to music ranging from new wave to rockabilly, try Teddy Boy (18 Taki).

Guilty edible pleasure

I recently discovered Bocas Meze (13 Prousis), a modern-style Greek- Spanish eatery in the off-the-beaten- path Nea Filadelfia district; definitely try the tuna soutzouk.

Shopping tips

I love shopping for books and plants. For the former, I go to Meteoritis (68 Fokionos Negri); for the latter, to Papigion Project (13 Agias Zonis) where they sell second-hand plants salvaged from the streets.

KRISTOF

Singer, Songwriter @kristoflamp

Culture Destination

Communitism (28 Kerameikou) is a self-funded community that revives abandoned or under-utilized cultural heritage buildings to host creative people, art projects and events ranging from concerts and exhibitions to parties.

Only in Athens

 

Not only do the Athenian stoas (i.e., arcades) serve as passageways between central parallel streets, they also house small shops of all kinds and link the city’s past to the present. I recommend exploring as many as you can.

Night out

Santarosa (69 Asklipiou) is a late-night bar that has a great atmosphere and drinks and music to match. On the other end of the bar spectrum is Odeon (19 Markou Mousourou), a more relaxed, all-day neighborhood hangout with a piano you can play on if you feel like it!

Guilty edible pleasure

Amigos (70 Megalou Alexandrou) is a welcoming Mexican-style restaurant and bar in Nea Smyrni – one of my all- time favorites.

Shopping tips

Parallilo is a beautiful little stationery store in Nea Smyrni (1 Konstantinou Paleologou), with the most exceptional art and handicrafts materials. That’s where I find the widest variety of markers for my illustrations.

VERONIKI HARITATOU GONZALEZ

Founder of the creative fashion consultancy agency @thisisplay.gr @veronikiharitatou

Culture Destination

The ceramics seminars at Sealed Earth in Koukaki (22 Erechthiou) are the newest Athenian form of meditation.

Only in Athens

 

A walk in the Ancient Agora of Athens (24 Adrianou) and then a stop at the legendary souvlaki joint O Kostas (5 Pentelis) for the most delicious souvlaki in the city.

Night out

At Eprepe Bar (1 Agias Zonis) you can find exceptional wines, such as Typaldo by Haritatos Vineyard. Don’t forget to try the chips made from butter beans.

Guilty edible pleasure

A bun with anko paste from Sweet Nolan (6B Apollonos) pastry shop. In the big six-pack, naturally.

Shopping tips

Old issues of fashion magazines and rare editions from the bookstore Hyper Hypo (10 Voreou).



Read More

Athens

The Tales Buildings Tell

Visitors to Athens will soon be able to explore the...


Health

Balcony Life: Self-Isolating Greeks Rediscover a Vital Space

Self-isolation during the coronavirus crisis can lead to a touch...


Athens

New and Cool in Athens

A mini-guide to the city's latest openings, from upmarket hotels...


Athens

Ghost-Hunting in Athens

We explore the hair-raising history and paranormal activity within and...


Greece Is Blog Posts

An Ode to Local Products

BY Yiouli Eptakili

No more avocado toast and croque-madames. From Thessaloniki to Crete...

read more >

How Can Greece Become a Gastro-Tourism Destination?

BY Yiouli Eptakili

It’s about more than just taking a trip...

read more >

Leaving Room in Greece for Everyone

BY Greece Is

Labor Day, this year September 5, marks the...

read more >