Athens is a veritable smorgasbord of different flavors, colors and sounds. Even inside the urban fabric of the city, green spaces exist in the most unexpected places, places that even some locals are unaware of. The last year has proved how walkable Athens really is, so strolling and neighborhood hopping has sort of become a thing. You’ll probably be sharing the real estate with an assortment of dog walkers, joggers and families with kids but once the dust settles and everything goes back to normal (hope I didn’t jinx it) and the usual rhythms return, these areas will be nice to keep a check on.
The neighborhood of Mets, tucked inside the larger area of Pangrati has attracted a lot o attention. Varnava square and all the adjacent bars that have sprang up like mushrooms in the past few years has acted as the catalyst. Within a short time this area has become a favorite hangout spot and not for nothing. The green canopy and dense apartment building fabric have created a close knit community that has retained its character despite the short term rental onslaught. This ol timey feel of the neighborhood with old ladies carrying groceries and young kids playing next to the newly arrived is neat.
Goudi is a similar case as Mets as it is absorbed by the larger municipality of Papagou. This leafy suburb just inside the city sits almost isolated. The fact that army barracks are stationed there probably has something to do with it. It seems the top brass would have you believe this place didn’t exist so they could keep it to themselves. Well, the secret’s out and the immediate draw here are its delectable taverns and clean air. Its elevated plateau offers that and more. After a lovely meal, take a walk around to explore what’s around the corner.
In upscale Kolonaki, where designer boutiques and posh cafes gather the upwardly mobile, Dexamenis square sits atop this venerable old neighborhood. Lycabettus hill to the back of it offers ample walking opportunities as well the aforementioned amenities that Kolonaki offers
On the west side of the Acropolis, the once industrial sector of the city now turned into what is called Gazi, has transformed the area in and around. Gazi is top notch for a crazy night out, don’t get me worong. The eateries aren’t too bad either, but it would be heresy to omit up and coming places like Votanikos, which is just net to Gazi. This working class neighborhood oozes charm and its tavernas are old school grub. The area is a street art hotspot so a good walk around will keep you occupied for some time.
For those who don’t like leaving somewhere without grabbing a little something, we suggest you hit Avisinias square in Monastiraki. This place is an antique paradise. On Sundays catch it in full as it overspills onto the adjacent streets. Needless to say, the stuff on display oscillates between curious, interesting and downright weird. Don’t forget to grab a coffee of lunch at one of the many charming tavernas that dot its periphery.
From old to young, from modern to traditional and everything in between, Athens has it all. Oh and did we mention the beach is 20 minutes away?