Athens is a multifaceted city with a rich history and honorable statuses, such as the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, theater, the Olympic Games of our time and with an ancient heart - the Acropolis. The Greek capital is contrasting and temperamental, like its locals. Athens is a city outside of time and space, full of wonderful places and pleasant discoveries.
Zhanna Kutepova has been permanently residing in Athens since 2013. In this article, she talks about the secret and cozy places in the city that only the locals know about.
The historic city center is compact. All the main attractions are close to each other and can be reached on foot if you live in one of the areas such as Plaka, Thissio, Koukaki, Makriyanni, Syntagma, Monastiraki, Kolonaki. With clear planning and leisurely rest, it is possible to see and visit all significant historical monuments in 2-3 days.
During long trips in the warm season, and especially in the hot months (from mid-June to mid-September), it is better to relax in Athens according to the scheme: a center with attractions for a couple of days and a sea holiday in the southern regions of Athens in the remaining days. Few people know that Athens is the only European capital with access to the open sea, with city beaches and a huge promenade, called the Attic Riviera, with a length of almost 70 kilometers. In this case, the areas of Palio Faliro, Alimos, Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza are suitable for relaxing by the sea. For a quiet and secluded holiday - Anavyssos and Saronida.
hotel 2 * Bedbox Hostel - accommodation from 1 126 rubles/day; hotel 3 * Hotel Pythagorion - accommodation from 2 842 rubles/day; hotel 3 * Centrotel Hotel - accommodation from 2 895 rubles/day; hotel 4 * on Syntagma Square Amalia Hotel - accommodation from 7,730 rubles/day; hotel 4 * Coco-Mat Hotel Nafsika - accommodation from 8,060 rubles/day; 5 * hotel overlooking the Acropolis Electra Metropolis - accommodation from 12,019 rubles/day ; cozy boutique hotel Sweet Home Hotel - accommodation from 5,743 rubles/day.
Along with the list of the best areas, there is an unofficial list of the worst areas in which it is advisable NOT to stop because of the casual side of life: Omonia, Exarchia, Napoli, Victoria, Kato Patissia and near the Larissis train station.
Most Greeks have a cup of coffee instead of breakfast, and cold coffee. Frappe is served in a tall glass with a straw. A tonic coffee drink originally from the Greek city of Thessaloniki, it is ideal in the summer heat. At other times of the year, Greeks prefer cold fredo cappuccino. Traditional Greek coffee is prepared in a Turk and on hot sand.
If you don't like standard excursions, but instead of a tourist crowd you want to plunge into the measured life of Athens and be with the city face-to-face - catch a ready-made plan of 13 places! In these pretty corners, the townspeople themselves like to walk, but you will not find visitors here. You have never seen such Athens!
From 1862 to 1984, a plant was located on an area of about 30,000 m². Then it was planned to open an industrial museum here, and in the end it turned out to be a large cultural center where various events are held.
The buildings that make up the Technopolis (eight in total) are named after prominent Greek poets. The symbol of the complex is the sculpture The Millennium Globe - a globe framed by olive branches, which embodies the desire for world peace.
Technopolis is located near the Acropolis. If you are traveling by public transport, you need to get to the Kerameikos metro station or the Thissio train stop.
You won't surprise anyone with the ruins of ancient buildings in Athens - they are found here with enviable regularity. But during the construction of the Monastiraki metro station, an ancient river was discovered, once one of the largest in the country. A long time ago it was "closed" in a canal, trying to contain the pressure of water, and then safely forgotten. You can admire the river right from the metro station, in the corridor between lines 1 and 3. There are also ruins of buildings from the Roman period. The riverbed has also been preserved in the Kerameikos cemetery area, home to a population of Greek (Mediterranean) turtles (testudo graeca).
A viewpoint from where you can see the Acropolis, Lekavitos, city quarters and the sea. And here you can also find hulking, but very photogenic turtles.
Getting here is easy. Exit the metro at Sigrou-Fix station and walk up Drakou Street until you are near a hill. You can climb to the top along one of the many paths.
30 € (2,669. ₽) - minimum budget for a day in Athens ??. This is enough for a decent budget hostel, two rides on public transport and food (the sum is equal to two lunches in inexpensive cafes). In summer, due to the difference in prices for hostels, this amount will be 32 €.
The budget does not include flight and insurance costs. A round-trip ticket from Moscow can be found for 9-11 thousand rubles. Insurance can be found on Cherehapa or Compare services. y, prices start from 1 € per day.
Current euro rate: 1 EUR = 89. RUB. Most exchange offices have a commission, so it is better to withdraw money from the card at an ATM or change money before the trip.
Open Borders Map:
There are several ways to get from the airport to the center of Athens:
Athens' public transport system includes metro, bus, trolleybus and tram, as well as the inner-city section of the commuter train. At the moment, the prices are as follows (the indicated prices do not apply to express buses, airport metro stations and electric trains outside the city limits):
For the convenience of payment, you can issue an ATH transport card. NA, you can use it to buy tickets for several trips with discounts. You can use the Athens Transportation app or Google Maps to plan your routes.
Shopping in Athens is fantastic. On the one hand, this is an unlikely heap of shops selling this or that product, and almost every residential quarter once a week arranges a street market in its area. On the other hand, there are cool American-style malls and trendy emboria. Between these poles there are endless “stands” in the city center and covered arcades filled with small shops. Some of them have cafes with expensive furniture and chic furnishings and shops with products from famous designers.
For the sake of an interesting sight, it is worth going to the central bazaar and flower market, and the neighboring streets, especially Euripidou, are lined with fragrant shops selling herbs, spices and nuts. A nearby store sells corks, bottles, jugs ... The flea market in Monastiraki is a series of shops designed for tourists. And yet, between the metro stations Monastiraki and Thissio come across curious breakdowns, especially on Sunday morning, from about 6:00 to 14:00 on Adrianou Street, which is closer to Thissio. The flea market in Piraeus is open on Sunday mornings. There are curious shops offering antiques in the surrounding streets.
The best street markets near the center: Monday - Hansen on Patission (Agios Eleftherios metro). Tuesday - "Blade" in Kipseeli (metro Viktorias) and "Lasku" in Pangrati (trolleybuses no. 2 or 11). Friday Xenocratus in Kolonaki, Dragumi in Iliye (metro Evangelismos/Megaro-Musikis), Tsami Karatassu in Koukaki (metro Acropoli) and Arimidus in Metz, behind the Panathenaei stadium. Saturday Plakendias in Ambelokipi (Metro Ambelokipi) and Kallidromiou in Exarhea. Trading usually runs from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm, prices are low, they sell household utensils, fabrics, ready-made clothes, fresh fruits and vegetables, dried herbs and nuts.
Greek crafts are not cheap, but the skill of Greek artisans is usually beyond praise. In addition to the outlets listed below, remember the shops at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the Benaki Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art, which sell excellent original products as well as magnificent reproductions. Monastiraki, Plaka and Kolonaki also have shops selling antiques and handicrafts.
Tourists should probably go to Monastiraki or Plaka, where, especially on Pandrossa and Adriana, there is something to see: there are many charming establishments in the alleys between Monastiraki and Thissio metro stations. Platia Avissinias, in particular, is filled with antique and furniture stores.
1). Amorgos Store - A store that sells excellent carved wood, sewing, lamps, lace, shadow puppet puppets and other handicrafts. Location: Codru 3, Plaka (opposite the Acropolis House Hotel);
2). Elliniko Spiti Store - Amazing artwork including furniture made from natural materials such as fin, melalli marble. The things are too cumbersome to carry home, and not cheap, but worth a look. Location: Kekropos 14, just outside Adriana, Plaka;
3). Kendro Ellinikis Paradosis Department Store - The name itself suggests that this huge department store has a wide selection of traditional folk art and handicrafts, a lot of ceramics and wood carvings, and the service is very nice - unlike the sometimes annoying bargaining at a nearby flea market. Location: entrances from Mitropoleos 59 and Pandrossou 36, Monastiraki;
4). Kori Store - Very high standards of jewelry and items in silver, gold and ceramics at high prices. Location: Mitropoleos 13 and Voulis, Syntagma;
5). Studio Kostas Sokaras - The room facing Attala is cluttered with antiques mixed with curious things: old shadow puppets, brass doorknobs, musical instruments, pistols and pistols, and much more. Location: Adrianou 25, Plaka;
Greece is a state whose history dates back to 8000-10,000 years ago, and during this time its capital was unchanged - Athens. This legendary city has survived many wars and natural disasters, each time reviving again with a new look, but keeping the traces of past misfortunes for the edification of descendants. Not surprisingly, Athens is full of historical sites flanked by modern hotels and shopping malls. Such an unusual neighborhood attracts millions of tourists every year who want to relax under the warm Greek sun and get involved in the history of the country.
The date of the formation of the capital of Greece is not known, but the first mentions of it appeared in documents dated 7,000 BC. During this period, the reigning king was Cecroptus, he is considered the founder of the city of Athens.
There is a legend that the gods themselves competed among themselves, wanting the settlement to be named after them. And then the king gave them a task - to make a beautiful and useful gift. The gifts were varied, but many were not particularly beautiful, and some were useless for the people, for example, like the Poseidon fountain with water not suitable for drinking. Then Athena gave the city a small tree. It grew and began to bear fruit with olives - a craft that still remains one of the main in Greece. For the most useful gift, the goddess was honored, and the city was named after her.
Rapidly developing, Athens reached the pinnacle of its glory by 5,000 BC. ... and retained this reputation until 300 BC. . when science and culture spread throughout Greece. The capital was rightfully considered the cradle of all knowledge, and it was so ahead of the nearby provinces that at times it was mistaken for a separate state. This political and life style persisted until the onset of our era, when Greece was mired in wars, and foreign invaders in succession replaced each other. Each new ruler took more and more, leaving only a small cultural heritage, so Greece quickly fell into decay. But everything changed at the beginning of the 19th century - the legendary country was freed from the oppression of the Ottomans and revived again.
In 1833, it was officially announced that Athens was the capital of modern Greece. Its new formation was taken up by King Otto of Bavaria, who dreamed that the country would regain its former glory, once again become the cradle of science and culture. For this purpose, the best world architects were summoned to the city, their works laid the foundation for its new look. Otto brilliantly managed to make his dream come true, because already in 1896 Greece was able to host the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, the wise ruler failed to see this.
In the 20th century, large-scale construction continued, but besides it, archaeological excavations began, allowing to restore the heritage of the once great country. Beneficially signed peace treaties support this direction, expanding the territory of modern Greece almost twice.
The Second World War could destroy all the undertakings of the Greek rulers, but this did not happen - after the German occupation, the construction boom began with renewed vigor, and hotels, theaters, museums, and stadiums known to many travelers appeared. At the same time, the modern city harmoniously combines the ancient heritage and technical progress, which has covered all the developed countries of the world in a wave.
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