In the shadow of the Acropolis hill, you will find Plaka — the most picturesque neighborhood in Athens. Strolling around this old historical neighborhood will take you back in time. The antiquities, museums, architectural gems, small taverns, and pleasant smells hidden amongst the charming labyrinthine streets will surely leave you breathless. Here we bring you 5 reasons why you must visit Plaka in Athens, so keep reading.
Since there is so much to see in Plaka, be sure to use the help of our media guided tour, that you can find on the following link: “Plaka: The Most Picturesque Area in Athens“
The Picturesque Streets of Plaka
If you’re really into street photography, you must wander through Plaka — the most picturesque neighborhood of Athens. We recommend taking that walk early in the morning when it’s not too crowded with tourists. Pay special attention to Anafiotika street — this narrow street is full of bougainvillea trees, surprising urban art, and cats.
Streets of Plaka
Streets of Plaka
The Ancient Ruins
Plaka is the oldest neighborhood in Athens, and what adds to that feel, even more, are all of the amazing ruins that you can stumble upon while wandering around. The most important archaeological site is surely the Ancient and Roman Agora. The Ancient Agora used to be the central marketplace but also a place where Socrates and Plato were gathering to debate ideas and civic actions, so it served as a public speaking spot, too. The Roman Agora, built at the foot of the Acropolis hill, was basically the same, but it was built under Roman rule — with the help of Julius Caesar and Augustus. There are some quite amazing ruins to be seen here — don’t miss it.
Ruins of Ancient Agora
There are more archaeological sites worth seeing for sure, one of those is the Tower of the Winds, known as the first meteorological station that was built to tell the time of the day by the position of the Sun, a waterclock and a wind vane.
There’s a lot more to see, but we don’t want to spoil — get our guided tour through this amazing place and learn more: “Ancient and Roman Agora Tour”
This historic neighborhood is full of some pretty amazing museums, you could definitely take a day for museum hopping. Visit the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments and explore its cool collection of instruments divided into four thematic units: percussion, chordophone, aerophone, and idiophone. Another museum that we loved is the Frissiras Museum — a museum of contemporary European art where you’ll see the impressive collection of more than 3.000 paintings, drawings, sculptures and engravings of Greek and European artists. If you’re traveling with kids take them to the Hellenic Children’s Museum where they will learn about the world in a fun way.
Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments — Details
Delicious Local Cuisine
If you wander around the streets of Plaka, you will stumble upon numerous cute little tavernas that offer the best Greek food. Find the perfect tavern for you, and order souvlaki grill — the most famous dish in Greece. Souvlaki is small chunks of pork or chicken on a stick, and it’s delicious. You can try souvlaki on a stick or wrapped in pita bread. The souvlaki-pita also contains sliced tomatoes and onions, tzatziki, and fries. You can replace the souvlaki meat by gyros (pork or chicken roasted on a rotating mechanical skewer) or by kebab.
Besides souvlaki and gyros, be sure to try their famous moussaka and spanakopita — pastry filled with spinach, feta cheese, herbs, and eggs. Not to forget Greek salad – it’s one of our favorites dishes with fresh veggies and delicious feta cheese.
Cozy Cafés in Anafiotika
Anafiotika is a gem hidden among the streets of the Plaka neighborhood, and just under the holy rock of Acropolis. While sipping coffee in this part of Plaka, you may feel like you are on a Greek island without ever having left the city center of Athens. The authentic white-washed look came from the builders who moved to this part of the city in the 19th century, from the island of Anafi (hence, the name) and wanted to make it feel like home.
The cute houses, narrow streets, unique street art, and small cafés combine to create a truly unique atmosphere. Enjoy a coffee or homemade lemonade sitting on the stairs and taking in the smell of the bougainvillea trees. Watch out for the cats — they’re the cutest residents of this small neighborhood.
Don’t you think Plaka is lovely? We surely enjoyed it! If you need any help with exploring this picturesque neighborhood, get our guided tour around this wonderful place on the following link: “Plaka: The Most Picturesque Area in Athens“
Looking for more information about Athens? Check out one of our previous blog posts about the Greek capital: “Explore the 6 Most Picturesque Places in Athens (With Photos)“