Athens, one of the world’s oldest cities has many stories to be told; well acclaimed or yet untold, ancient or contemporary, dazzling or out of everyday life, seasonal or all year around, contrasting and yet matching.
Let’s take a historic walk and explore charming old-style neighborhoods, oases away from the hustle and bustle of the city center such as Makrygianni, Plaka, Thiseio, Kerameikos, Monastiraki and Psyrri. In every step around this area you will come across different archaeological monuments, museums and art galleries. Besides that, enjoy the excellent weather, yummy food, vivid nightlife and the open Greek leisured lifestyle! Stroll around Plaka, one of the most alluring and cosy districts in Athens. Renowned among the Athenians as the Neighborhood of the Gods, Plaka will cast a spell on you with its winding streets and nicely restored old houses of a neoclassical flair and coffee shops, tavernas and tiny mezedopolia (small tavernas serving traditional tid-bits (meze). Our tour starts at the Temple of Olympian Zeus (6th c. BC) – one of the largest in antiquity- and Hadrian’s Arch or Hadrian’s Gate (131 AD), the entrance to the old city.
Admire this beautiful triumphal arch that was built over the line of an ancient road leading from the Acropolis and the Athenian Agora area to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. From this point walk along Dionysiou Areopagitou street, the pedestrian walkway created to connect the most significant archaeological sites surrounding the sacred rock of the Acropolis. Make a stop at the ruins of the Asklepieion (5th c. B.C.), take a look at the Stoa of Eumenes (2th c. BC) and finally enter the Odeion of Herodes Atticus (161 AD), which is nowadays the main venue for the summer Athens Festival’s performances, under the shadow of the Acropolis and the Athenian stars! Put on your most comfortable shoes and climb up to the sacred hill of the Acropolis, the greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena. The Acropolis is definitely Greece’s most famous attraction, a landmark in the history of humanity and on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
While you ‘re at it, head towards the north slope and admire cavities of varying size in the limestone rock of the Acropolis. The Sacred Caves offered refuge to the cults of the twelve gods and heroes of Ancient Athens. On your way out of the Acropolis, you will come across a high, slippery limestone rock, known as the Mars Hill (Areios Pagos), the most ancient law court of the world.
Opposite it lies Philopappou Hill, renowned in antiquity as the Hill of the Muses, with its strikingly beautiful cobbled little roads and the Roman monument of Philopappos (2nd c. AD) on the top of the hill. While walking through the historical area of Plaka, in the northeast side of the Acropolis Hill, you will come upon a tiny, scenic little neighborhood in the foothills of the Acropolis that will give you the impression of being on a Greek island, particularly one in the Cyclades.
Welcome to Anafiotika, a little hidden gem built in the early 19th century, when master builders from Anafi Island (hence the name) came to Athens to refurbish the King’s Palace.