Athens is one of the most interesting cities in Europe, with numerous significant sites, museums, nightlife and beautiful neighbourhoods. If you are planning to come to Athens, you may already know the most important points of interest in the Greek capital. Acropolis, Keramikos, Ancient Agora and Roman Agora are the most significant historical sites to visit, Acropolis Museum, National and Archaeological Museum, Museum of Cycladic Art and Numismatic Museum are definitely worth seeing, Thisio, Plaka and Monastiraki are the top neighbourhoods to visit in the historical centre, while Cape Sounio and Athens Riviera are excursions in a close distance to Athens you should not miss.
But what about other, well kept secrets of Athens? If you have more than 5-6 days in the Greek capital, then you can explore many off-the-beaten-path places, where locals go. Then, you will have a full experience to understand why this city is so unique. We gathered for you the top-10 insider’s tips for Athens:
- Mets is a beautiful neighbourhood behind the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Olympics in 1896 took place. There, you can walk and admire neoclassical houses with breathtaking view of Acropolis.
- As you go or return from Athens airport, make a stop to Vravrona. It is located a few km from the airport, and there, is located the well-preserved ancient temple of Artemis. You can also swim in Chamolia, a beautiful beach away from mass tourism.
- Dexameni is a square in Kolonaki, one of the most aristocratic areas in Athens centre. You can eat in one of the luxury restaurants there or relax in the café/ tavern that looks like coming from the past. From there, you can take the cable car to Lycabettus Hill.
- For shopping, go to Glyfada on the southern side of Athens, in Athens Riviera, if you are looking for boutiques and luxury shops. On the northern side of Attica, you can make your walk for shopping in Kifisia, or in Chalandri, which has a great variety of shops and boutiques.
- Visit OAKA, the stadium where the Olympic Games of 2004 took place. You can admire there the buildings of the famous architect Calatrava. You can also watch an amazing sunset from inside the stadium.
- Open-air cinemas is something you should not miss in Athens during summer. There are many cinemas in Thisio, Plaka and other neighbourhoods in Athens to enjoy the movie under the stars.
- If you have a car, go to Mt. Imittos above the neighbourhood of Papagos. It is located only5 km from Athens centre, and from above you will have a breathtaking view of whole Attica, Acropolis and Piraeus Port.
- Just 7 km from Athens centre, is located the neighbourhood of Filothei, where you can walk in a peaceful scenery of beautiful houses. The area has many parks, and you can do cycling safely.
- Pagrati and Petralona are the hype spots of Athens, where Athenians live and go out these days with numerous bars, restaurants and places for young people.
- If you visit Gazi, walk for about 5 minutes to the west to find the neighbourhood of Metaxourgio, which is considered the next best thing in Athens nightlife and gastronomy landscape.