Athens might be known for its ancient history, but there’s plenty to see in this city that takes travelers off the beaten (touristy) path.
Home to the great minds of theories and philosophies, the old city of Athens has been a top-rated travel destination in the world. It is known for being the “historical 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 aside from the usual tourist destinations, there are also many things any traveler could do that are off the beaten path.
Experience the lesser-known gems with the following places and activities in Athens:
10 KAPE Beach
Heading to KAPE beach is an attractive option if tourists want a more relaxing place to swim. The rough track that runs off the highway towards Athens and Sounio goes to this hidden gem; it is only a drive away from the city of Athens. There are some cafes near the beach, but a smart option is to bring food along for a picnic as the cafes are not always open.
9 Mount Lycabettus
Take a hike to Athens’ highest point! At 277 meters high, with its extensively cultivated forest, is Mount Lycabettus. The climb to the top is enjoyable and the hike is manageable for most fitness levels. As tourists reach the top, they may get a bird’s eye perspective of the Acropolis Museum and the entire city of Athens. Visitors will get the best view from above at sunrise or sunset. Additionally, a fine-dining restaurant beside the chapel is a perfect treat.
8 Koukaki And Pangrati
Aside from its historical background, Athens is surrounded by café’s and the ones in Koukaki and Pagrati are off the beaten path. Ask for Greek’s traditional coffee, the Ellinikos Kafes, and the famous Greek iced coffee. Aside from the café’s, these beautiful neighborhoods also feature some of the local bars in Athens. Interestingly, the setting of Koukaki has been placed sixth as the most exciting neighborhood in the world.
7 Neo Psychiko
From sipping the traditional coffee of Greece, let’s now head on to sipping the cocktails in Neo Psychiko. Despite being a crowded neighborhood in Athens, the sister region of Psychiko features its elegant bars and restaurants. This neighborhood offers multiple places to spend nightlife without huddling with the crowd. Some of these places include Finca Vigia, Gaspar Food & Mood, and El Jiron. The Finca Vigia gives a Cuban party vibe with affordable cocktail drinks.
6 Overnight Beach Parties
For outgoing tourists, plenty of beachside bars lie on the coast of Athens. If tourists are lucky and choose to visit Athens during summer, beachside bars are a perfect place to experience nightlife in Athens. Popular bars are Bolivar Beach Bar and Nalu Café, which hosts live DJs every summer for all-night events; shower with cocktails and vibe with the music to enjoy the rest of the night.
5 Tatoi Royal Palace
The Tatoi Royal Palace was the former home of the Greek Royal Family. This abandoned former 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. Moreover, this estate is an abandoned mansion and a beautiful place to picnic, especially during the spring and summer seasons because of its gorgeous meadows and gardens.
The oldest existing restaurant in the municipality of Athens is the Vassilenas, an elegant fine-dining restaurant where celebrities would dine in the early days. This luxurious restaurant has served Greek cuisine since its first generation to the modern era—the prices of their food range from €8.5 to € 32. Vassilenas also boasts their freshly picked recipes and wines from the area. Their desserts are also out of this world.
3 Al Hammam Spa
Indulge in the traditional and one of the oldest bathhouses 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 massage dry room, deluxe facial treatments, body treatments, mani and Pedi, wax sessions, and couples’ packages. After the treatments and sessions, reflect with tea at Café Anatolia while enjoying the postcard-perfect view of the Acropolis Museum.
2 Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center
This world-class industrial facility was a product of good heart when the Stavros Niarchos Foundation committed to sponsoring Greece’s National Library’s new features. Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre showcases 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 cultural events and various festivals for free. From the second floor, visitors will get an aerial view of the famous landmarks in Athens.
1 Shop For Souvenirs
Aside from beautiful photos, souvenirs would make every tourist not forget its memories and experiences from vacation. Popular gift shops include Ellinika Kaloudia, Cycladic Art Museum Shop, Apivita, Melissinos Sandal Shop, and Micropolis Hellenic Gift. Several ceramic shops are also like the Mon Coin, Trabala Studio, Paraphernalia, Psit Jewellery, and Myran Scandinavian Design. Several antique stores are being displayed in the streets of Athens; begin a treasure hunt at the main street of Iphestou. Along the way, tourists may bump into several antique shops, including Monastiraki Square.
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