Perfect Spots for Walking in Downtown Athens



Athens, one of the most attractive European cities.

The interesting views of the Greek capital are better appreciated and enjoyed if walking down its streets at a relaxed pace.

Now, with the weather getting milder, a stroll or two in the center of Athens offers excellent opportunities to experience one of the most thrilling cities in Europe. These are some of the areas worth exploring on foot in Athens.

Exarchia

Exarchia and its street art (Courtesy of Greek Guide).

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 choose the neighborhood to live, adding to the 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 host interesting shops and curious buildings with walls covered in colorful 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

Hidden shops in Plaka (Courtesy of The Tiny Book).

Plaka is one of the oldest parts of Athens adorned with unique beauty and charm. It nestles in the shadow of the Acropolis and develops in a maze of winding streets with traditional houses, some dating to the 19th century.

There are plenty of cafés where to sit and relax 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 historic landmarks of the neighborhood, the Tower of the Winds is worth a visit.

Psiri

One of the amazing streets of Psiri (Courtesy of The Tiny Book).

The area, famous for its restaurants and traditional ouzeries, bustles with locals and tourists mostly during weekend nights. Most venues offer traditional Greek food, but also more cutting-edge gastronomic proposals.

The area of Psiri begins where Ermou Street and Athinas Streets meet in Monastiraki. Graffiti can be found anywhere perfectly mingling with the natural atmosphere of the neighborhood.

The National Garden

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, tambourines and Corinthian capitals of columns.

In the southern area, there are busts of Capodistrias, the first governor of Greece, and of the great Philhellene, Eynard as well as of celebrated Greek poets, such as Dionysios Solomos, author of the Greek National Hymn.

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

Thissio (Courtesy of Golden Sun).

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.