One of the places in Athens that visitors love to enjoy is Plaka, quite close to the Acropolis, and stretching almost all the way until Syntagma Square, it is an oasis of picturesque houses and colorful alleys.
One of the characteristics of the district is that many of the streets in Plaka cannot be accessed by cars, making many areas completely pedestrian and easier to walk around.
Even if many believe the area has turned into a very commercial place, with a huge quantity of souvenir shops and touristic tavernas, the neighborhood still manages to maintain a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
Not all tourist shops sell only souvenirs; for those with an interest in art and antiques, it is also possible to find hand-painted icons, wood carvings and other pieces of art. Plaka is also famous for the several jewelry stores, a few of which are owned by artisans who produce their own unique pieces.
In Plaka, it is also possible to discover some interesting museums; among the public’s favorites there are the Music Museum, the Children’s Museum, the Museum of Greek Folk Art and the Jewish Museum.
The bars and cafes on Adrianou Street and Kydatheneon Street, the two main pedestrian roads are a nice option, though not the cheapest, to sit and enjoy an afternoon coffee or a round of ouzo.
One of the traditional places that certainly calls the attention of passers-by is Brettos, a liquor store, maybe the oldest in Athens, decorated with ancient barrels of spirits and the most stunning collection of colored bottles that cover the walls up to the ceiling.
Anafiotika is a little village inside Plaka. As many would confirm, walking along its streets is like being on any of the Cyclades. In fact, the name of the district comes from the original inhabitants, who came all the way from the island of Anafi to work on the construction of the Athens in the mid 19th century.
Reaching the nearby area of Monastiraki is simple going down Adrianou street. Here it is possible to see Hadrian’s Library and the Roman Agora, two of the many archaeological places that can be visited the area.
Where you can stay
Τhe NJV Athens Plaza hotel is situated in the heart of Athens, at Syntagma Square, opposite the Greek parliament. It is a 10-minute walk to the Acropolis, very close to Plaka, Monastiraki and Ermou Street for shopping.
Rooms are clean and fresh with marble bathrooms. Their beds are very comfortable, the housekeeping service is excellent. They have 24-hour room service, and a very stylish coffee shop on the ground floor that serves delicious coffee, pastries, salads and snacks all day long until late at night.
A deluxe room, above the fifth floor faces the Acropolis.
Their personnel are very welcoming and efficient, trained to provide the best service. Front desk employees are full of great tips especially to newcomers. Breakfast is delicious and they also offer a variety of Greek breakfast buffet choices.