The best place to take a coffe in the morning in Athens, in my opinion, is along the edge of the Agora, in Plaka. Sitting at a small table, sip a cup of coffe, staring across ruins and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world just brings life into focus.
Athens is cool.
Coffee is good.
Life is great.
If you are hungry, and have little money, head to Plaka! No, I'm not sending you to a restaurant, and you won't have a 3 course meal (heck you won't even have a fork or spoon). But, the place I am sending you has the best damn gyros ever! AND, this is a big "AND", they are for 1 Euro!!
Its my most prized Athens meal memory! Two gyros and a Fanta for 3 Euro! I always ended up needing to go change my short afterwards, because they stuff the gyros so full that I always ended up dripping some on myself! I can't tell you the name of the place, only give you exact directions!
Directions: Start as if you were walking out of the Monastiraki Station and were going to walk down Ermou St. When you get to the corner, there is an Everest fast food store. Take a right and walk maybe 5-10 feet and you will see the gyro stand in front of the restaurant!!
If you sit down to enjoy your gyro, it will cost you, literally, 3 times as much. Just grab your gyro-to-go, and go sit on the concrete steps back toward the station, which affords great views of the Acropolis! Oh MAN, I want one of those gyros!!
Favorite thing: One of my most lovely places of the center of AThens, which was called "the neighbourhood of the Olympic Gods" is Plaka. This the old romantic AThens, which stayed same with its narrow streets, small pictuesque squares and nice small coffee shops.
I am torn whether to call the Plaka a tourist trap or recommend it as a place to go. This is because though I did find it interesting with its many shops, restaurants, cafes, charming old buidings and occasional ruin, I simply found it too over touristed to be enjoyable. Furthermore the restaurants and cafes here are really overpriced for this reason. Not only that but the food was really not that good in most of the restaurants
Fondest memory: If you want to eat wellI spent a total of five nights in Athens. I actually eat dinner in the neigborhood of Exarhia. There many very good restaurants and bars in this neighborhood where the food is great. On a whole it is a lot less touristy.
Now, a friend already asked... is Athens beautiful?
Really, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Cliche? Perhaps! But, I've also come to realise that one can find beauty in chaos. On the other hand, even in the most beautiful cities, there are ugly sides to them... if you intend to look for them. See the beautiful sides & register those images & our lives would be better with these. Not forgetting... without darkness, one will never know light! :-)
Favorite thing: Pláka is one nice neighborhood near the Acropolis. On its main streets there are lots of souvenir shops (all of them sell over-priced olympic stuff now), all kinds of bars and restaurants. It's calm and feels like a small town, especially because the streets are narrow, not welcoming traffic. A great place for a night stroll.
I love taking pictures of doorways, windows and old houses. They always attract me somehow and here, in Greece, it was a doorway and window paradise...
This was taken in Plaka. I loved walking through this old area of Athens.
Starting at the foot of the Acropolis, the old area of Plaka is a maze of narrow, cobble-stoned, medieval streets that twist through ancient sites, tourist-packed squares and lovely Byzantine courtyards. The best way to explore it is simply to get lost among its enchanting passages.
Fondest memory: The most beautiful section of Plaka is Anafiotika, a cluster of Cycladic-island-style houses at the very base of the Acropolis.
Favorite thing: You must explore the Plaka! It is quite a large area of Athens filled with all sorts of shops, cafes and restaurants. Well, I like to shop & I like to eat, so I liked the Plaka!! So must many others because it is always very crowded!
Favorite thing: The Plaka(Old Town)was what we will remember as one of the best part about Athens. The charming shops and the outdoor cafe's are not to be missed. And of course the beautiful Acropolis, with the magnificient 360 degree view of the city of Athens. Click picture below to get larger image.
Favorite thing: I was snapping pix everywhere & he was waiting! Haha... this guy knew I was going to take his pix. So, he posed! Friendly people :-)
You start walking around Plaka's stone-paved, narrow streets and you have the feeling that you are travelling back in time.
The Plaka is the oldest section of Athens.
Everywhere mediterranean colours catch your attention.
Pinks, blues, ochres, looking so luscious, faded by sun and time.
A feast for the eyes!
Favorite thing: Take a stroll around the Plaka right at the foot of the Acropolis. This is a very old section of Athens, and there are many small, twisty roads and passageways to explore.
Favorite thing: Wander through the Plaka with its narrow, stone paved streets (closed to traffic.) Bring a map along, because it is a true labyrinth.