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Athens is famous about its ancient history, Acropolis, theater and democracy.

But its byzantine and latin period are not well known. Inside the modern city of Athens, remains of its medieval past are the churches, like Monastiraki, Ragavas, Little Metropolis, who were built between 10-11th century and we renovated.

What is really worth discovering though, is the medieval remains of the Latin past of Athens. Two spots are of magnificent beauty, historic importance and architecture: The tower at Vravrona and the two Monasteries at Penteli.

 

Athens after Latin period had a period of Ottoman occupation, as the rest of Balkans. This is why Athens and Greece as well are a mixture of cultures, tastes and aromas.

 

Like everywhere, Athens has its dangers. Not many, but they exist. Here are some, thankfully not so important!

  1. Be careful of the so-called “pilots”. These are persons who get into conversation with you asking something neutral, like time or lighter and become your friend, offering to guide you around the city. Avoid them gently.
  2. Taxi drivers. Many drivers wait at certain points and charge for huge amount of money, especially routes to the sea, or airport. When you enter a taxi just ask them to turn on the counter. Be careful the tariff to be simple -during the day or inside city limits- or double- at night. Also please check your stuff before leaving the taxi.
  3. Food and coffee. They are obliged to offer you water for free. If they offer you a bottle, they have to ask you before that, because you have to pay for it. Offering free water is obligatory in Greece. Also if you don’t like anything, you can change it ONCE. You can ask the waiter and complain gently that this is not what you asked for, and they have to replace it, without further charges.
  4. Metro and buses. Some people steal wallets and mobiles. Please be careful when you enter public means generally, especially if you are a tourist. Be more cautious while walking in crowded streets such as Ermou and near Monastiraki area. Plaka is far more safe (generally).
  5. Tourist traps. Generally ask for the menu and the pricelist before ordering anything. Also consider trip advisor, or google review before your visit at a place. Also when you shop anything, the shop owner is obliged to give you a receipt! Athens today is a really mature destination, loves to serve travellers, but just in case just let’s all be more careful!

Are you wondering why Plaka’s streets are considered so important?

They are still connecting Thisseio area (the metro station behind Theseus temple) to Olympian Zeus temple.

They are still there, all ancient walkways that existed thousand of years before.

Around them you can find churches, stones, hills, gates, columns, ruins, neoclassical buildings, galleries, shops, taverns!

You can live history everywhere. You can find anything you may ask in the most fascinating prices. You can bargain (not everywhere). You can find amazing handmade items, street food, drinks, tastes.

Only at the streets of Plaka!

 

One of the greatest Athens brands

Plaka and gifts 

No matter where you are at Athens and Plaka, you can easily find a shop offering products  and souvenirs, that could be magnificent gifts. Things to wear, to eat, drink, to use. Greeks generally do not invest a lot in their brands internationally- due to the fact that Greek businesses are quite smaller if they are compared to global competition- but there are some brands that you need to find!

 

Some Plaka Brandnames 

Melissions Sandals at Psirri is one of the top selections someone can make while in Athens, is you want something related to leather. Melissinos name can be found in another shop in Athens, that of Olgianna, at Monastiraki.

Ceramic art, the business that created Athenian Hegemony, an art of thousand of centuries lives still in Athens. Tsolias gallery, Doathart and more can guarantee an extraordinary proposal for a gift.

Jewellery? Geoart and Alexis are some of the numerous proposals about that. Who knows? after visiting them you may get any custom idea or design! And of course Pigi and his shop near that of George’s!

There are also clothes, even not handmade, but of Greek design, these offered in Plaka, like Ancient Greek Clothing Store at Kydathineon.

While walking around the magnificent historical Plaka paths, a desire to get something unique as a souvenir from the destination is being born.

So, in case you are looking for special gifts around Plaka, Kydathineon is the safest place to find the most authentic gifts for you and your friends! Unique designs, materials, and shops around Plaka streets, run by business owners themselves offer a gift experience in the old town of Athens.

Unique items from Greece and the world at Articrafts, the best gallery of Plaka at Kydathineon and real handmade silver design by George are only some of the three top options in Kydathineon!

Plaka offers a huge variety in terms of galleries, decoration ideas, materials, concepts. After the greek revival concept was introduced in the city of Athens two centuries ago, now the after-crisis-Athens, new concepts are being born again. So either you are looking for special gifts, either for ideas and concepts, Athens is the classical pattern you would always visit in order to refresh your mind (and soul).

More ideas will follow soon!!!!

Most of Athens- and not only- visitors believe that there are no activities for children

Kids seize the day at Parnitha- not Plaka 🙂

during their vacations. Plaka fortunately hosts two quite focused on children museums.

The first is located at Kodrou 9, Museum of Greek Children’s art. There is plenty of space for them to play, create, paint with responsible tutors for them.

 

Museum of Children’s Art, located near Amorgos art, in Kodrou street, near Kydathineon, is a place to be as a child. 

A different kind of museum for kids is the  Museum of School Life and Education at Tripodon 23 street.

This museum offers a different agenda for kinds. It is hosted at an amazing neoclassical building at the most ancient street of Europe!

At Kydathineon street there was also Hellenic Children’s Museum, that now moved at Rigillis street, not very far from Plaka, but not that close, it is behind the Greek Parliament.

Of course in Plaka there are many more museums you can visit, but in these three children can spend really constructive time.

biker collective items

Plaka has numerous artisans and professionals that offer their products and services in Plaka. Handmade items from ceramic, silver, wood, leather and more, found everywhere in Athens streets.

Geoart Silversmith at Plaka 

George is an active silversmith, one of the few nowadays in Plaka. His shop, Geo Art, today is located in Kydathineon 25 in Plaka, next to a neoclassical historical abandoned building at 27.

George’s collections are mostly related to biker’s culture, since George is a Harley-Davidson Hellas Club member for more than a decade. He designes special silver mechanical parts and generally what his’ friends ask him to make!

His portfolio includes more than that, having also a specialy in ancient Greece’s metal masterpieces, not only in classic Greka style (the meander) but his innovative Spartan collection is one of the most detailed you can find globally!

Nowadays he uses etsy platfrom to ship items worldwide. You can find him by his facebook page and instagram.

Greek ship – vintage

Plaka is full of galleries that offer everything: paintings, furniture, metal items and more. But if you are tired from modern art and design and looking for something more traditional but also not cheap? Plaka’s Amorgos Gallery offers not only a variety of choices, but an inspiring artstorming in its unique space in

Kodrou 3 street!

Furniture, ceramics, paintings, jewellery, lamps, toys, embroideries, symbols, curved materials, and everything else UNIQUE design and decorative style related to Greek Folk art can be found here!

 

Visit the Amorgos Gallery page for more details 

 

 

 

 

The Kydathineon 25 cat, sitting outside geoarth shop

In Plaka there are many pets around, which are being fed by locals or visitors. Normally they are friendly to people- unless if you try to harm them.

You can find them at Kydathineon, or near Kanellopoulos museum, where people feed them, but they walk everywhere around the area.

 

Athens is related to art, but especially to ancient greek art or classic.But the last five years, the city had a new contemporary art museum, EMST, located at Koukaki area, near FIX metro station. The city of goddess Athens offers some private galleries related modern art, but as for Plaka, there is only one option. A Greek museum with global standards, presenting contemporary artists: Frissia museum, next to Kydathineon.