For the first time visitor, Athens can be a little overwhelming. While we can identify about 15 areas in Athens, each having its own special charm, here’s a list of the most popular neighborhoods of Athens and what you can expect in each of them.
Plaka & Syntagma Square
It is the old part of the city, located at the foot of Acropolis. It’s loaded with tourists looking for the typical souvenir and Greek food. You’ll find crowded tavernas and shops selling pretty much anything. Almost the entire neighborhood is pedestrian friendly. Right next to it, there’s Ermou street, the shopping street which leads to Syntagma Square.
Syntaga Square is the city’s major meeting point. Once here you can catch a metro or bus to pretty much anywhere. Plus, the majority of landmarks are located within walking distance.
If you are visiting Athens for the first time, it’s a good idea to look for accommodation in this area. Here are some ideas:
Right near Plaka you’ll find Monastiraki, famous for its small streets teaming with vendors. Prices are lower here and you can haggle over price.
Right near Monastiraki, you’ll find Psirri, with a special local charm thanks to the small shops and tavernas. This it the place to be if you want to meet the locals and eat like them, too. You can either fall in love or hate this neighborhood and this depends on the type of traveler you are.
This area of Athens is famous for its restaurants and parks. It literally comes to life as the sun goes down. It was named after the old gas factory. Currently the neighborhood is getting a major face lift and its popularity keeps increasing by the day.
Is the opposite of Monastiraki, with posh shops, expensive cafes and hotels right at the foot of Likavittos hill. The city’s best museums are located close by. For a spectacular view of the city, take the funicular up to the top of the hill.
The city of Piraeus does not belong to Athens but it’s located so close to the capital that many consider it part of Athens. This is where ferries to most of the islands depart from. The town feels like an island and offers visitors quite an interesting experience. There are two museums here which are worth visiting: the Archaeological Museum and the Hellenic Maritime Museum.