Athens may be known for its ancient history, but there is a lot to see in this city that takes travelers off the beaten (tourist) path.
Home to great minds in theories and philosophies, the Old Town of Athens has been a premier travel destination in the world. It is known to be the “historic capital of Europe”. Several attractions reside in this city, including the Temple of Athena Nike, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, numerous museums and superb architectural structures. However, people don’t know that apart from the usual tourist destinations there is also a lot that any traveler can do that is off the beaten track.
Discover lesser-known gems with the following places and activities in Athens:
ten KAPE Beach
Going to KAPE beach is an attractive option if tourists want a more relaxing place to swim. The rugged track that runs from the motorway towards Athens and Sounion leads to this hidden gem; it is only a few minutes drive from the city of Athens. There are a few cafes near the beach, but a smart option is to bring food for a picnic as cafes aren’t always open.
9 Mount Lycabettus
Hike to the highest point in Athens! At 277 meters above sea level, with its widely cultivated forest, is Mount Lycabettus. The climb to the top is nice and the hike is manageable for most fitness levels. When tourists reach the top, they can get a bird’s eye view of the Acropolis Museum and the whole city of Athens. Visitors will have the best view from above at sunrise or sunset. Plus, a gourmet restaurant next to the chapel is a perfect treat.
8 Koukaki And Pangrati
Aside from its historical background, Athens is surrounded by cafes and those in Koukaki and Pagrati are off the beaten track. Ask for the traditional Greek coffee, the Ellinikos Kafes, and the famous Greek iced coffee. Besides cafes, these beautiful neighborhoods are also home to some of the local bars in Athens. Interestingly, the Koukaki setting was ranked sixth as the most exciting neighborhood in the world.
seven Neo Psychiko
From sipping the traditional coffee of Greece, let’s move on to Neo Psychiko cocktails. Despite being a crowded area of Athens, Psychiko’s sister region offers its stylish bars and restaurants. This district offers multiple places to spend the nightlife without huddling with the crowds. Some of these places include Finca Vigia, Gaspar Food & Mood, and El Jiron. La Finca Vigia gives a Cuban party vibe with affordable cocktails.
6 Beach evenings
For outgoing tourists, there are plenty of beach bars on the Athens coast. If tourists are lucky and choose to visit Athens during the summer, the beachside bars are a perfect place to experience Athens nightlife. Popular bars are the Bolivar Beach Bar and the Nalu Café, which host live DJs every summer for all-night events; shower with cocktails and musical atmosphere to enjoy the rest of the night.
5 Tatoi Royal Palace
Tatoi Royal Palace was the former home of the Greek royal family. This former abandoned palace is now an estate with over 1000 hectares of land. This place is perfect for tourists who are interested in history. For about 25 minutes by car, visitors can already reach this place. Additionally, this estate is an abandoned mansion and a lovely picnic spot, especially in spring and summer due to its beautiful meadows and gardens.
The oldest existing restaurant in the Municipality of Athens is the Vassilenas, an elegant gourmet restaurant where celebrities used to dine at first. This luxurious restaurant has served Greek cuisine from its first generation to the modern era – the prices of its dishes range from € 8.5 to € 32. Vassilenas also lays claim to his freshly picked recipes and his wines from the region. Their desserts are out of this world as well.
3 Spa Al Hammam
Treat yourself to the traditional bath and one of the oldest in Greece, the Hammam Spa, known for its standard and high quality services. There are two Al Hammam spas in Greece, one in Athens and one in Chania-Crete. Services include traditional treatments, essential dry room massages, luxury facials, body treatments, manicures and pedicures, waxing sessions and couples’ packages. After treatments and sessions, reflect over tea at Café Anatolia while taking in the perfect view on a postcard from the Acropolis Museum.
2 Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center
This world-class industrial facility was a good-hearted product when the Stavros Niarchos Foundation pledged to sponsor the new features of the National Library of Greece. The Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center features an impressive library, an artificial stream with cafes, an art exhibition hall, and the healing views from the second floor of the building. It also hosts free cultural events and various festivals. From the second floor, visitors will have an aerial view of famous Athens landmarks.
1 Buy souvenirs
Aside from the beautiful photos, the keepsakes would make sure that every tourist will not forget their vacation memories and experiences. Popular souvenir shops include Ellinika Kaloudia, Cycladic Art Museum Shop, Apivita, Melissinos Sandal Shop, and Micropolis Hellenic Gift. Several ceramic stores are also like Mon Coin, Trabala Studio, Paraphernalia, Psit Jewelery and Myran Scandinavian Design. Several antique shops are displayed in the streets of Athens; start a treasure hunt in the main street of Iphestou. Along the way, tourists may come across several antique shops, including Monastiraki Square.
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