Athens is a big metropolis with a village soul – and a delicious paradox of both classic glories and modern fizz. In fact, the best way to describe Athens is as a cluster of villages – or urban neighbourhoods – fanning out from the Acropolis; each with their own distinct crackle and vibe; their own attractions and character. There’s edgy Exarchia, night owl Gazi, hip Koukaki and elegant Kolonaki… and that’s just for starters. Best of all, Athens’ friendly size means it’s perfectly possible to experience all of these vibrant downtown districts on foot within a day or two.
See the famous sights by all means, but factor in plenty of time too for free-style exploration on your visit. Athens’ neighbourhoods are full of spontaneous surprises. You might come across some impromptu street theatre, encounter a DJ firing up his decks inside a clothes shop or catch a cool new café opening.
Our insider guides can tell you which areas are hot for street-art spotting, where to find the sharpest shops and which squares have the best late-night eats and after-hours excitement. Let us help inspire your city wanderings and discover your own favourite Athenian neighbourhood.