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Best things to do in Athina

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Neighborhood
“Plaka is without a doubt one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Athens, with its narrow streets, lovely neoclassical buildings, small cafes, traditional tavernas, souvenir shops and ancient ruins in almost every corner. Plaka is in the heart of the center of Athens, just under the Acropolis hill, yet has a totally different air than the rest of the city center, creating a feeling of nostalgia of the old Athens. Even though it is very commercial and popular with tourists, it is the ideal place to enjoy a nice walk, as there are plenty of things to do and see, while strolling around its small pedestrian streets. In this post, you will find suggestions on how to spend a day and what to do and see in Plaka neighborhood in Athens! Plaka is considered the area that developed around the ancient Agora of Athens and is the oldest district in Athens, as it has been continuously inhabited for around three thousand years. Thus, Plaka has a long history and has played an important part in Athenian life, with many famous people having walked along its streets, from Pericles and Alexander the Great to Lord Elgin and Lord Byron, while many well-known Greek writers, actors and artists have lived here, like Giorgos Seferis, Kostis Palamas and Melina Merkouri to name a few. When Athens was under the Ottoman rule, Plaka was the known as the "Turkish quarter of Athens" with many historical buildings dating back to this period like the Fethiye Mosque and the Madrasa Islamic school on Pelopida street. During 1884 a large part of Plaka burned down due to a fire, giving the opportunity for extensive archaeological work in the Roman Agora and Hadrian’s library, while excavations in the area have been conducted ever since. Of course, major part of your visit to Plaka will be archaeology, which will be visible to you as you stroll around. The Roman Agora, built between 19-11 BC as an expansion of the ancient Agora to the East, from donations of Julius Caesar and Augustus, cannot go unnoticeable. There are many interesting structures and buildings in the archaeological site, like the Fethiye Mosque, the Agoranomion and the Tower of the Winds, a 12-meter-tall clocktower designed by the astronomer Andronikos of Cyrrhos, considered the first ever meteorological station, and worked as a sundial, telling the time of the day by the position of the Sun in the sky, a waterclock (with water coming down from the Acropolis) and a wind vane (in antiquity a Triton-shaped weathervane topped the structure). Furthermore, opposite the church of Ayia Aikaterini in Plaka, you can stop by the Choragic Monument of Lysikrates, accessible and free to everyone. Lysikrates was a wealthy patron of theatrical plays performed in the theater of Dionysus. He built this monument to commemorate the first prize he won in 335/334 BC. In 1658 a French Capuchin monastery was built on this site, where Lord Byron also stayed during his second visit to Greece. In 1818 the first tomatoes ever in Greece were planted in the monastery’s garden! As far as shopping is concerned, Plaka is your souvenir shop paradise. Especially on Adrianou street you will find all kinds of souvenir shops, with Greek local products, jewellery stores, t-shirt shops, you name it. Even though there are also the typical tacky touristic items, you can also find some good quality Greek products and souvenirs, mentioned in our list. In Elaias Gi (Adrianou 122) and Evonon (Adrianou 124) you can find a big selection of good quality Greek olive oil. There is no better tasting extra virgin olive oil than the one produced in Greece, and I am not prejudiced because I am Greek. In these shops you will also find olive tree-based products, like soaps, kitchenware and other nice items. If you want to purchase ouzo, then on Adrianou 120 you will find the shop of Mr. Agelos, who has a huge variety of different brands of ouzo, some of them being difficult to find elsewhere. You will also find many jewellery shops, some of them being artist-owned with stunning handmade pieces, like Byzantino, where they make their own gold jewellery. ”
279 locals recommend
Neighborhood
“Plaka and Anafiotika, the oldest section of Athens and the most picturesque. Take a good look at the restaurants’ prices because there are very touristy (!).



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15 locals recommend
Cafe
“A very nice all day cafe in Plaka with tables outside where you can enjoy coffee, tea, snacks and desserts. I suggest going in the morning when it’s more quiet.”
12 locals recommend
Establishment
“I like the food usually fresh fishes is the most beautiful with greek color area PLAKA”
10 locals recommend
Ouzeri
“Scholarhio has excellent Greek food at medium price range in the Plaka area.”
2 locals recommend
Ouzeri
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“Tavern - Ouzeri (ouzo & snaks) Traditional tavern, even though in turistic area, most of the visitors are locals”
4 locals recommend
Spa
“Hammam, massage, waxing, facials, manicure and bedicure! A good place to treat yourself. Give thema call to see prices”
4 locals recommend
Ouzeri
“ Τhey offer 15 euro per person, including drink, bread, dessrt, it has a pleasant homey atmosphere, the waiters are friendly and multilingual, and the 15 euro deal comes with many choices to share with the rest of your party. It is a bit off the more touristic section of Plaka, there is no one at the entrance to encourage to stop and eat, and the food is prepared simply but it is tasty and served in generous portions. For two people, the 5 plates are quite sufficient. The retsina is good - the 15 euros offer comes with 1/4 liter per person. No hassle, just a good decent meal, away from the brighter lights and larger crowds of other parts of Plaka.”
3 locals recommend
Cafe
“Nice cafe in the picturesque area of "Plaka" with a lovely terrace and nice variety of coffe. Open Hou rs: 09:00 - 01:00 Adress: 1 Tripodon str., Plaka, Athens”
2 locals recommend
Point of Interest
“Live Traditional Music in an Open Garden Restaurant! Amazing Experience for the summer!”
2 locals recommend
Kafenio
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“A unique traditional and hospitable spot near Acropolis that has remained untouched by time. ”
2 locals recommend
Point of Interest
“A must! A small boite with live greek original music. If you want to see another non widely known part of the city! It is located in Plaka , the most beautiful part of the centre of Athens.”
2 locals recommend
Establishment
“If you have any interest in traditional folk dancing, this evening is well worth the time and effort. The Dora Strata organization, a non profit committed to collecting Greek folk dances and costumes as well as giving lessons, featured numerous varieties of folk dances which have been garnered from a stunning variety of locations: not only mainland Greece and the islands but also Asia Minor and the Black Sea. The costuming is just stunning and so varied. ”
2 locals recommend
Cafe
“Charming crepe place in the heart of Plaka. Mostly for the sweet-toothed, but also for those seeking a small meal consisting of a great salty crepe.”
3 locals recommend
Greek Restaurant
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