The many fascinating views of the Greek capital, Athens, are better appreciated and enjoyed if walking down its streets at a relaxed pace rather than trying to navigate it by car or other vehicle.
A stroll or two in the center of Athens offers excellent opportunities to experience one of the most important cities in the world. These are some of the areas worth exploring on foot in Athens.
This hip haven of bohemian atmosphere boasts a controversial past. Exarchia is a district populated by students, artists and intellectuals which made it to the headlines in 2008 for the riots taking place after a policeman shot and killed a 15-year-old boy. Exarcheia is also home to the University of Athens.
Students often choose the neighborhood to live, adding to its already famous laid-back vibe. The main spot in the area is located in Exarchia Square, a small plaza with cafés and restaurants.
The streets that surround the square are home to interesting shops and curious buildings with walls covered in graffiti.
For music lovers, Exarchia is also known for its clubs which feature live jazz and blues as well as traditional music played on a bouzouki.
Plaka and Anafiotika
Plaka is one of the oldest parts of the city, adorned with unique beauty and charm, making it a great place to go walking in Athens. It’s nestled in the shadow of the Acropolis and develops in a maze of winding streets with traditional houses, some dating back to the 19th century.
There are plenty of cafés for sitting and relaxing as well as art shops displaying paintings, carvings and hand-painted icons. Scenes of everyday life unfold through the presence of flower sellers, street musicians and residents.
Among the many historic landmarks of the neighborhood, the Tower of the Winds is worth a visit.
The area, famous for its restaurants and traditional ouzeries, bustles with locals and tourists mostly during weekend nights. Most venues offer not only traditional Greek foods, but also more cutting-edge gastronomic adventures.
The area of Psiri begins where Ermou Street and Athinas Streets meet in Monastiraki. Graffiti can be found anywhere, mingling with the atmosphere of the neighborhood.
Walking in the National Garden of Athens
The National Garden is a peaceful, green space covering 15.5 hectares in the center of the capital. In the garden, it is also possible to visit some ancient ruins, and see Corinthian columns with their beautiful capitals.
In the southern area, there are busts of Kapodistrias, the first head of state of modern Greece, and of the great Philhellene Eynard as well as of celebrated Greek poets, such as Dionysios Solomos, author of the Greek national anthem.
In the Garden, there is also a duck pond, a small zoo, a botanical museum, a small cafe, and a children’s library and playground.
From Monastiraki to Thissio
A hidden market behind the electric station in Monastiraki inspires walkers to venture along the pedestrian street overlooking the Acropolis, right next to the train lines.
Considered to be one of the most picturesque streets in Athens, the walk leads to Thissio -the final destination of this route – with plenty of green spaces and beautiful views of the city.