Athens Greece is the capital of Greece. It took its name from the ancient goddess Athena. Athens is thought to have at least a 3000 year old recorded history and this makes it one of the oldest cities in Europe. Athens is known all over the world as the cradle of a great civilization. It is the place where the political system of democracy, sciences and philosophy were born.
Today, Athens is more of the commercial, cultural, financial, political and industrial center of Greece...
Athens Greece is composed by many beautiful and popular neighbourhood. Here is a description of the most famous of Athens and its surroundings: Syntagma Square, Plaka, Kolonaki, Monastiraki, Thissio, Psiri, Omonia, Panepistimiou, Gazi, Peiraeus, Glyfada, Exarchia and more. The best neighbourhood during summer are situated in the southeast coast, in the district of Glyfada, as there are many beaches but most of them are private so you need to pay to enjoy your swim.
Syntagma Athens: The Plateia Syntagmatos (Constitution square) was named like that when the Constitution was proclaimed, in 1975. All the important political changes were actually proclaimed on that same square. It is located in the centre of modern Athens. One of the highlights of the square is the Parliament (Vouli), which used to be the King Ottoâ€™s palace, and is a quite magnificent neoclassical building. In front of it you can see the National Guards, called the Euzones, wearing the traditional Greek uniform.
The Parliament stands just in front of the big National Garden, whose freshness and calm you will appreciates after hours in the noise and heat of the cityâ€™s centre. This square is one of the biggest of Athens. It is surrounded by beautiful luxurious hotels, a lot of travel agencies, banks, the main post office, the Greek National Tourist Office (EOT) and money exchange booths. It is the most popular meeting point of both Athenians and tourists. More importantly, it is the place where you can find the most buses and taxis.
Plaka Athens: Following the Ermou Street, the most famous shopping street which begins in the Syndagma square, and going down south, you will arrive in the neighbourhood of Plaka.
It is undoubtedly Athensâ€™ most beautiful neighbourhood. Its architecture is mostly neoclassical and dating from King Ottoâ€™s time. Plaka and the Parliament were the only composites of the city of Athens when it first became a capital in 1834.
The neighbourhood is an historic centre, full of beautiful buildings, Byzantine churches, little touristy shops, cafÃ©, bars and taverns (Greek restaurants). One will surely enjoy walking around in the small streets of Plaka, even in the summertime when it is, we must admit, quite crowded with tourists. Plaka is the neighbourhood from where you can reach numerous must-sees of the city, like the Ancient Roman Agora, the Tower of the Winds, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Acropolis and the Herode Atticus theatre.
Kolonaki Athens: Kolonaki is located between Lycavittos Hill and Syndagma square, and is a smart residential district of Athens, It is the home of the central Athens chic, offering expensive and luxurious shops, cafes, and bars. It is quite enjoyable to stroll around in Kolonakiâ€™s streets, beautiful buildings and shops, and then have a rest while enjoying a coffee on its nice square.
Monastiraki Athens: Monastiraki is an intriguing neighbourhood situated west of Syndagma square. A big and beautiful metro station has opened on the square of the same name since 2003. You can give an eye to it easily if youâ€™re walking around in Plaka. The place is crowed with cheap shops and a lot of street vendors.
Monastiraki is also the neighbourhood of the Sunday flea market. You will surely be amazed by the quantity and the diversity of stuff that you will find there.
If you walk all around this area you will arrive to the Kentriki Agora, the central fish and meat market, a quite interesting place to visit. Opposite this market you will find the fruit and vegetable market, surrounded by a lot of food and spice shops.
Many are situated in the south-east coast, in the district of Glyfada. Sadly, most of them are private, which means there is an entrance fee to enjoy a swim. The district of Marathon, located north-east of the city, also some great and peaceful beaches to offer, as well as the east coast of Athens, near the little port of Rafina, although often very crowded.
Athens is known for its crazy night life. Greeks enjoy the night and go to bed only when the sun goes up, therefore the city full of bars, cafÃ© and clubs for every mood, every style and every circumstance.
The Greek way to go out would begin with a coffee in one of the many cosy cafÃ©s around Athensâ€™s centre, while choosing among the incredible quantity of bars playing all kinds of music: live music, disco, jazz, international and Greek pop, traditional Greek music, heavy metal, house music or hip hop. The night will go on and end in one of the many big or small clubs, which are always full of people partying until early in the morning.
Athens also offers an exciting gay and lesbian scene, mostly concentrated in Makrigianni, south of the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, or in the district of Exarchia.
Athens bars: Athens is crowded with bars, which usually open from 6 pm until 2 or 3 am. The main neighbourhoods with the biggest amount of bars are Kolonaki, Exarchia, Glyfada, Kifissia, Thision and Psiri. Keep in mind that in Greece, the staff of the bar would never close the bar if there are still people in it.
Athens clubs: During the wintertime, the main night clubs can all be found in the town centre around Syndagma Square, in the district of Psiri, in the neighbourhood of Pangrati and Kolonaki or near Sigrou Avenue, on which most of gays and striptease clubs are situated. Night clubs are opened from 10 pm until 6 or 7 am, depending on the day, the type of bar and the people. The majority of these big clubs move to the seaside, in the Glyfada area, during summertime.