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5 Must-See Athens Neighborhoods and How to Visit


5 Must-See Athens Neighborhoods & How to Visit
Hi, I'm Zoë!

Zoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

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There’s much more to Athens than ancient ruins—venture away from the Acropolis and you’ll find a warren of vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive character. Book a walking tour or hop on the metro to experience Athens like a local in the city’s coolest districts.  See below for some ideas. 


Plaka

A maze of narrow streets stretching east of Acropolis Hill, Plaka is Athens’ oldest district. Largely pedestrianized and undeniably touristy, Plaka feels like a village within a city; its cobblestone lanes are crammed with shops selling souvenirs and handicrafts while leafy plazas are encircled with café terraces. Stroll down the central Adrianou Street, admire the picturesque old buildings of Anafiotika, or visit museums such as the Children’s Museum, the Music Museum, and the Jewish Museum.


Monastiraki

North of Plaka and the Acropolis, Monastiraki boasts a number of ancient monuments; among them are Hadrian’s Library, Tzistarakis Mosque, and the Stoa of Attalos. Best explored on foot, it’s most atmospheric on a Sunday when the Monastiraki Flea Market is in full swing, but shoppers can find a myriad of shops, galleries, and artisan workshops to browse any day of the week. 

Monastiraki, Athens, Greece.
Monastiraki is one of Athens' must-visit neighborhoods. Photo: Dimitris Panas / Shutterstock

Psirri

Once a rundown residential area, Psirri (or Psyrri) has been given a new lease of life in recent years, reinventing itself as one of Athens’ most youthful and dynamic districts. If you’re looking to party, Psirri is the place to be; a diverse selection of bars, live music venues, and nightclubs offer events every night of the week. 


Kolonaki

East of downtown Athens, Kolonaki is the neighborhood where well-heeled Athenians meet to shop, drink, and dine. In the shadows of Lycabettus hill—which affords panoramic views over Athens—Kolonaki’s wide avenues are lined with designer shopping boutiques, elegant bistros, and chic sidewalk cafés. Visit in the evening hours to enjoy some of the city’s most sophisticated nightlife.   

Kolonaki Athens
A leafy residential street in Athens' Kolonaki neighborhood. Photo: ColorMaker / Shutterstock

Exarcheia

Once the center of Athens’ political riots, Exarcheia was off-limits to travelers, but these days the neighborhood is a hub of alternative culture and a favorite hangout for students. You can browse vintage stores, admire street art, or watch a band play at a  bar. While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to visit the National Museum of Archaeology, home to some of Greece’s most important artifacts.

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Hi, I'm Zoë!

Zoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

Keep exploring
See all Athens tours
3,020 tours & tickets
Things to do in Athens
See all things to do in Athens
Where to Find the Best Views in Athens
Where to Find the Best Views in Athens