Entrances - Exits
– Dimotiko Theatro: 05:41
– Doukissis Plakentias: 05:30
– Airport: 05:49
– Dimotiko Theatro: 00:24 / 01:31*
– Doukissis Plakentias: 00:18 / 01:25*
– Airport: 23:14
* Valid only Friday and Saturday nights
Points of Interest
This is a typical old town Athenian district, with narrow, irregularly criss-crossing streets, and small buildings, characteristic of the Ottoman and to some extent the Byzantine urban planning. You can find just about everything on the stands of the street vendors, and on the small shops along the main streets (Adrianou St, Pandrosou St, Ifaistou St, Thiseiou St, Agiou Filippou St, Astigos St, and Ermou St). Shopping or strolling along the Monastiraki alleys is an experience not to be missed. You will be surprised at the variety and quality of the things you can buy in the market.
This historic square faces the Acropolis Rock and Plaka neighbourhood. There are some great monuments on it, as part of the long history this city has known: the Tzistarakis mosque, Hadrian’s library, and the Byzantine church of Pantanassa (Virgin Mary). The renovated neoclassical metro station - one of the oldest of the metro network (1895) is also very interesting. Next to the platforms, in a special 300 sq.m. space, you can see the bed and banks of Iridanos river, covered for the most part since ancient times. It is visible from the square also, through the archaeological excavation pit.
is Monastiraki’s main square. Here you can find practically everything: rare pieces of furniture / antiques and copies of them, and a variety of second-hand items. You will also find old wardrobes, bookcases, frames, mirrors, antique office tables, tables, gramophone records and musical instruments. Come early if you want to shop. Noon is the best time for you if you simply want to take a look around. You can have a glass of Greek wine or ouzo with Greek snacks - called mezedes - in one of the small shops by the square.
This street connects Hadrian’s library with Thiseio metro station. The neoclassical single-floor or two-floor buildings house shops with traditional items, and antique shops. Street-sellers sell their merchandise here on Sundays. You will find cafes and small fashionable restaurants with a unique view of the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora.
Plaka is the oldest Athenian neighbourhood (also known as the “neighbourhood of the gods”) and the most picturesque. As you stroll about its paved narrow alleys you will get the feeling that you travel in the past. The origin of the neighbourhood’s name is unknown, although there are quite a few theories about it. According to popular belief, Plaka was named after a slab of stone that was found near the church of Agios Georgios Alexandrias, near the ancient theatre of Dionysus. The beautiful neoclassical style & colours of the houses, the architecture, the well-tended flowerbeds, the sense of good taste and the allure of the neighbourhood will make a lasting impression on you. When you visit Plaka, make sure you carry a map with you, to help you navigate across the area’s narrow streets and alleys. In Adrianou Street, the main street of the neighbourhood, as well as in other smaller ones, you will find shops selling traditional products, souvenirs, Greek folk art items and handicraft, etc.
Filomousou Etaireias Square is the main square of Plaka, named after the ‘Filomousos Etairia’ (The Society of the Friends of the Muses, i.e. the nine goddesses of the Arts), which was founded in 1813. The purpose of the Society was the promotion of Greek classical studies and the preservation of the archaeological treasures of Athens. The square is located at the intersection of Kydathinaion St, Farmaki St, Olympiou Dios St and Angelou Geronda St; there are many cafes, restaurants, clubs with live music and souvenir shops to choose from.
Located at Kidathinaion St, the children's museum is a wonderful place for children. In its attic you will see a reconstructed room with old furniture, a radio, and a heater, as was the style in old Athenian homes. It is called “the grandparents room” and the children who visit it can dress in the old style. The Museum houses, among other things, an exhibition of paintings by children, old toys, a fairground and a library. If you have children, make sure you visit the Children’s Museum with them. The neighbouring Museum of Greek Children’s Art (9, Kodrou str.) is also worth a visit; there are educational programmes your children can take part in as well as a display of paintings and constructions crafted by children aged 4-14 from all over Greece, which are renewed on a regular basis.
In ancient Athens, theatrical performances held at the theatre of Dionysus were funded by wealthy citizens, called patrons. The city gave a prize to the patron of the winning performance. When the wealthy Lysikrates won the prize in 334 BC, he decided to build a monument to house it. The monument has survived to the present day (ancient Tripodon St - the pavement of which has been preserved in a special space in a renovated building at number 28). The monument has had a long history. In 1658, a Capuchin monastery was founded here and in 1669 the monks bought the monument. Lord Byron stayed at the monastery in his second visit to Greece. This is where tomatoes were cultivated in Greece for the first time, in 1818.
Anafiotika is located at the foot of the Acropolis. The neighbourhood has the look and feel of a traditional island village. It was built in the mid 19th century by the then renowned builders of the Aegean island of Anafi, who were hired to build the palace of Otto, the first king of Greece. Knowing that it would take them many years to return to their home island, and feeling homesick, these craftsmen decided to recreate -so to speak- Anafi Island on the highest area of Plaka. So, they built small, whitewashed houses in the architectural style of their island.
Make sure you visit Anafiotika, this picture-perfect neighbourhood of Athens.
The building located at Tholou St was originally the residence of Kleanthis, a famous 19th c. architect (1832-1833). Later it housed the University of Athens (1837 - 1842). It is today the Museum of the University of Athens.
The Kanellopoulos Museum was founded in 1976, following the donation of the private collection of Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulos to the Greek state. It is housed in the neoclassical building of the Michalea family. The Kanellopoulos collection consists of archaeological finds and works of art from the prehistoric to modern times.
The Roman Forum was a single architectural complex, built between 19 and 11 B.C., consisting of a large rectangular court surrounded by colonnades (stoas), where shops used to be.
This monumental gateway is located at the west side of the forum. There are four Doric columns and a pediment crafted from a top quality local marble (Mt Penteli marble), which remains in very good condition.
On the eastern side of the Roman Forum stands an octagonal monument. The Clock of Andronicus Kyrristus, constructed during the 1st century BC, was a hydraulic clock. On each of the eight faces of the clock there are embossed depictions of the eight winds - hence the name of the monument.
This is a rectangular building with an anteroom and square room with benches with holes in them on all four sides and a sewage canal underneath (1st century A.D.), named after the Roman emperor Vespasianus.
The Tzistarakis Mosque (or Kato Sintrivaniou) is located in Monastiraki Square, and it was built in 1759 by Moustafa Aga (or Tzistarakis), an Ottoman dignitary. He removed the 17th column from the Temple of Olympian Zeus to extract the lime he needed to build the mosque. The monument has a loggia with four columns and two rows of four windows on each side. Since 1981 it has housed the Museum of Traditional Ceramics. This is the only mosque / museum in Athens, which is open to the public. Next to the Roman Agora, you can visit the remarkable Fetihie Mosque, which was built in 1458, on the ruins of a three-aisled Byzantine basilica, in honour of Mohammed the Conqueror, on the occasion of his visit to Athens.
The Baths of the Winds (Hamam Abit Efendi), in Plaka (at 8, Kyrristou St), built in the 17th century, were a popular meeting place in the Ottoman Period. The Old Baths have been renovated and they house the Museum of Cleanliness and Body Embellishment as well as many cultural events
The gate of the Muslim seminary is located at the intersection of Aeolou St and Pelopida St; this is all that has remained of the building, which was destroyed by a fire in 1911. According to an inscription above the entrance, the seminary was built in 1721 and it consisted of a main building, which was a school and mosque, and buildings accommodating the students and the teachers (hodja), a kitchen and sanitation areas, as well as a central court.
This is a picturesque neoclassical Athenian neighbourhood, encompassed by Athinas St, Ermou St, and Evripidou St. It is a busy area, especially after sunset and in the evening and late night hours. Along the narrow alleys, you will find cafes, small bars, clubs, restaurants, ouzo-restaurants, and tavernas with live Greek music, as well as theatres, galleries, and antique shops.
After the independence (1833), veteran freedom fighters and country folk came to Athens and settled in the neighbourhood. They opened cottage industries and workshops, which gave the area its special character. In the early 1990s, a number of reconstructions and renovations turned Psyrri into a popular entertainment and residential area. The churches in the area are also worth visiting, such as Agioi Anargyroi, Agios Demetrios, Agios Gregorios (Armenian), etc. Start your walk around from Iroon square, Psyrri’s main square.
The area encompassed by Mitropoleos St, Athinas St and Stadiou St is the heart of the historic centre of Athens, and the old commercial area. |There are more than 2,500 shops in the area with the winding alleys and the pedestrian zones, on account of which the area is rather a quiet one, with many cafes, small bars and trendy restaurants.
It connects Syntagma Square with Monastiraki Square. The buildings lining the street were built in the neoclassical style. The Metropolis (Athens Cathedral) dominates Mitropoleos Square. On the square you will find several cafes, whereas in nearby Dimopratiriou Square you will find tavernas serving traditional Greek cuisine.
The street was named after the god Hermes – the protector of trade. Ermou St was one of the first streets planned by Kleanthis and Schaubert. This area was the centre of women’s fashion for more than 60 years, from the late 19th century to the 1960s. It is one of the best shopping areas in the capital. You will also find a variety of silverware, candle holders, bowls, vases and jewellery. You’ll find hand-made goods produced in Greece, in the shops along Lekka St, which connects Perikleous St and Kolokotroni St, and in the nearby arcades. There are also many shops selling clothing and shoes at very reasonable prices, at picturesque Evangelistrias and Agiou Markou Streets.
In the section of Ermou St that starts at Syntagma Square and ends at Athinas St, you will find Kapnikareas Byzantine church. In the part of Ermou St after the church (from Thiseio to Piraeus St) you will see the archaeological site of Kerameikos.
This downtown commercial road connects Omonia Square with Monastiraki Square. It was designed in the perspective of the Acropolis Rock, and it was one of the first main roads constructed in modern Athens and it has a multitude of important architectural examples of 19th century and early 20th century styles. This noisy and busy street is mostly connected to the food trade. Local shops sell foodstuffs, fruit, spices and nuts and their fragrances waft in the air, bringing to mind the bazaars of the Middle East.
It was constructed in 1874 in an austere neoclassical style. It was built as a two-floor building, where a third floor was added in 1937 and the building to accommodate the needs and growing requirements of the Municipality. In the interior you will find the paintings of well-known 19th century Greek painters and murals of F. Kontoglou with representations of mythological and historical themes (1937-1940). In the Municipal Council hall you will see a large oil painting depicting the Apostle Paul preaching to the Athenians (1877). In the reception hall (1st floor), you will find a display of small terra cotta figures picturing all the mayors of Athens. Theatrou Square is a small beautiful square near the Town Hall.
The Town Hall is located here. The square’s older names were Laou Square (meaning People’s square) and Loudovikou Square. The eclectic style Melas Building (E. Ziller 1887), with an impressive façade, and two small towers at the sides, dominates the south side of the square. The central hall is covered with a glass roof. In the perimeter there are Doric and Ionian style colonnades. The building was the former residence of V. Melas,and today it houses the Cultural Centre of the National Bank of Greece. At the square’s east side you will see a renaissance style building, the G. Stavrou Estate, which houses the National Bank of Greece. A section of the Acharnian Gate of the Themistoclean walls was unearthed and placed on display at the northeastern section of the square.
Varvakeios Municipal (Main) Market is a rectangular building (1886) with a large roofed court. There are a total of 73 food stalls (meat market, fish market, vegetable market and groceries) in the interior and exterior sections. The market is covered with a glass and metal roof and the daylight enters the building through the symmetrical windows by the ceiling. You will find here small restaurants - eateries serving fresh food, which are preferred by the Athenians especially in the wee hours. There is a small grove on the square (Varvakeios Square) across the street.
It is a charming street with an oriental atmosphere, which connects Koumoundourou Square with Klafthmonos Square. It is lined with little shops selling spices, sweets, nuts, coffee, and traditional oriental products.
The street stretches from Panepistimiou St. to the Roman Forum (Plaka) and the biggest part of it is now a pedestrian zone. At the intersection with Sophocleous St you will see the Administration Building of the National Bank of Greece (2002), one of the most important modern architectural sights of Athens. The building was designed by Greek architects, with the collaboration of the famous architect M. Botta. On the ground floor you will find a restored section of the ancient Acharnian Way. At 10, Sophocleous St you will see the grand building of the old Athens Stock Exchange, with a classical style façade with four Dorian columns. As you head towards Plaka you will see two impressive churches, which are well worth a visit: Panagia Chrysospiliotissa Church (1863 – at the intersection of Aiolou St and Panagia Chrysospiliotissa St) and Agia Eirini Church (1847- Athinaidos St) both built by architect L. Kaftantzoglou. Agia Eirini is located in a picturesque square and served as the first Cathedral of Athens. On the site there is also a flower market and many small cafes.
Stadiou St. is one the first paved roads in the centre of modern Athens. It was built on a river bed. It was formerly called Feidiou St and Akakion St. There was a plan to extend the road all the way to the Panathenaic Stadium – hence its present name - but that plan never materialised.
The National Printing House connects Sarantoza St and Arsaki St. It is one of the first public buildings constructed in the modern city (1834), and it was built in the austere neoclassical style. This was the building of the National Printing House until 1905.
Klafthmonos Square is surrounded by some very interesting buildings (such as The Museum of the City of Athens), the former Ministry of Merchant Marine, the Ministry of Interior, the Byzantine church of Agioi Theodoroi) and many cafes. An impressionist bronze statue representing the “National Reconciliation” (Doropoulos 1988) stands in the centre of the square.
Karytsi Square is a small square, named after the church at its centre. The elegant church (built by L. Kaftantzoglou) was built at the site of an older church where the Athenians gathered in January 1833 in order to select the people’s deputies who would welcome the new king Otto in Nauplion (Peloponnese). Parnassos,a neoclassical style building, can be seen opposite the church.
The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) Building is a fine example of modernism in Athens, with some elements of older architectural styles, and it is the work of the then well-known Greek architect An. Metaxas (1931).
This small square is located by the National Historical Museum and at the centre you will see the impressive bronze statue of Th. Kolokotronis on horseback, the hero of the Greek War of Independence (L. Sohos, 1904).
This impressive neoclassical building was constructed during the period 1858-1871 according to the plans by Fr. Boulanger, which were later modified by the Greek architect P. Kalkos. Up until 1935 the building was used as the seat of the Greek Parliament and, for this reason, it is called the Old Parliament. Since 1961, it has been housing the collections of the National Historical Museum.