Athens Off The Beaten Path Tips by mindcrime Top 5 Page for this destination
Athens Off The Beaten Path: 263 reviews and 346 photos
I know, those who come to Greece will end up sooner or later on some island and will enjoy the sea. But for those who just returned from an island and already miss it or for those who dont have time to visit an island there are many beaches at Attika region. Some of them are very close the center of the city, only 30' away by tram from Syntagma square!!!
At the south check Alimos (free entrance), Elliniko(free entrance), Asteria Glyfadas, Boula, Voulagmeni plaz, Limanaki Vouliagmenis, Kavouri, Yabanaki(activities for kids), Freatida
On the east coast you can visit some other beaches, Artemida(Loutsa) can be reached with bus 305 from Nomismatokopio metro station, while for Porto Rafti and Nea Makri you need a long distance bus from Pedion Areos.
If you have a car you may drive a bit further to the west where the beaches of Porto Germeno, Psatha and Alepohori will please you (and they are almost empty during the week)
Kipseli district is crowded! The word "Kipseli" means beehive because of the style of the buildings one next to other when other districts that times had more space (in ourdays it's the same everywhere). I still remember my first school teacher telling us that is one of the most crowded districts in the world. I’m not sure about that but in Greece is the most densely populated area with more than 200.000 residents.
Kipseli is between Galatsi district(at the north) and Patision Av.(at the south). Pedion Areos park used to be one nice park in the past but for some strange reason it’s abandoned the last years although there are not a lot of parks in Athens. Try to avoid the park after the afternoon.
Some architectures say that the buildings of Kypseli were very modern when they made but that was back in the 1930's, with Bauhaus and art-deco elements. Amazing to believe that it was just an area where the Athenians were going for recreation! Later in the 60s it was an upscale area with modern clubs, cinemas and theatres so a lot of artists start to gather in the area. In the 80s the rich people moved to the north suburbs and the city centre (where Kypseli belongs) start to fail in just a residential area…
Unfortunatelly, in our days you can see dozens of apartments one next to the other making you looking for free space without hope of course. The rents are cheaper here so many foreign immigrants choose to stay here and that gives a multicolor feeling in the area. You can see many shops that belongs to Africans or Asians and their customers are from their countries also.
What you can do here is:
1.go down Fokionos Negri Street, a partly pedestrian long street with cafes and pubs so it’s great to visit the area during the afternoon in spring/summer when the young people give life till late in the area.
2.The municipal market of Kipseli built in the 1930s. It was closed the last 10 years and recently occupied by locals after the municipality announced plans to demolish it and build a parking lot! Some locals make announcements from time to time about art expressions and other cultural events in the old building. You can see the market on your left hand as you go down Fokionos Negri St.
3.Walk in the pedestrial street of Agias Zonias for some nice local cafes
4.Visit Pedion Tou Areos park. A nice but ind of isolated park that brings me back a lot of games we used to play as children.
5.Eat at the ethiopian restaurant Axum
6.Make your hair rasta in one of nigerian places
7.visit one of the numerous small theatres of the district, the perfomance is in greek of course
Metro hasn’t made till here yet (2 stations will be build in the future) but you can visit the area by buses N.022, N.035 or trolley buses N.2, N.4, N.9. All of them stop at Kispeli square and Fokionos Negri starts from there.
Sanctuary of Amphiarion at Kalamos
This will be one nice day trip for you! I have to admit that I prefer other areas of Attica for the landscape or for swimming but here is also one ancient healing center, the only one of Attica! The ruins of Amphiarion are hidden on a mountain close to Kalamos among a pine forest. It used to be a healing centre but also an oracle.
You can see the ruins of many buildings and monuments like the Bath-House, the Stoa, the Statue Bases, the Temple of Amphiaraos, the Klepsydra, the Sacred Spring etc The most amazing is the Theatre of course. You can spend about 30 minutes among the ruins but I suggest you to buy the small guide at the entrance so to know what you look. There is a small map inside the place with some written notes in case you don’t know anything about the place.
Then you can go and swim at one of the pebble beaches of the area like Oropos, Ayioi Apostoloi or any other along the east coast of Attica. You can also stop and eat fresh fish at one of the many seaside taverns of Skala Oropos or drive further west to Dilesi, where the taverns are offer even better quality food and prices! If you can still drive take the ferry from Skala Oropos and cross to the other side and visit Eretria (20’ ferry ride) for some more sightseeing like the ancient theatre of Eretria, some interesting museums etc
You can visit the Amphiarion daily (except Mondays) 8:30-15:00 and the entrance fee is only 2euro.
The Amphiarion is about an hour drive away from Athens by car. You can take the highway towards Lamia and turn right at Malakasa towards Markopulo. Before Markopulo you have to turn right to Kalamos. On your way you will see the Sanctuary of Amphiarion on your left before the village Kalamos.
monastery of Kesariani
Some years before I went up there for a concert of Savina Yanatu, one of my favorite greek female singers. Lately, I go just to relax at the near by café. You need a car to reach the monastery but it’s really amazing that you can go there in 15’ from the center of Athens at the greeny slopes of Imitos mountain and get away from the noise of the busy city! After your visit to the monastery you can continue by car for a few minutes and you will see a small terrace on your left. They serve some cold beers, small dishes and the cold coffee of course and the prices are ridiculus cheap. One of the best hidden places of Athens for me during summer. Nothing special for the eyes but so pleasant for the soul.
the monastery stands at the slopes of Imitos mountain, at Kesariani, 9 km from the center of the city. The taxi ride will cost you about 15euro but it will be difficult to return. If you don’t mind to walk 2,5km you can go down to Kesariani district and catch bus 224 that goes back to the center of Athens.
According to some books St.Valentine was a priest in a greek church at Rome. When he died his body buried at catacombs but after many adventures his relic finally transferred to a catholic church at Mitileni island in Greece! Around 1990 that church transferred it to the italic church of Athens, which is St.Fraqisque & Clara.
Every year on 14 of February some Italians come here in honor of him at religious celebration, giving roses to each other as a sign of love and… I’m sorry but my Italians are not so nice lately so I didn’t understand much of it :) I think it was boring for me after a while but funny also!
So, if you need an alternative that day and you always thinking only about the commercial use of the day this is your place. My friends got surprised when I told them I went to the church that day but when they’ve heard the story behind it they changed their minds. The church is an old neoclassical building and there’s no entrance fee.….
The church is at Gouilfordou Street near Viktoria square, there’s a subway station(Viktoria station) on the square so it’s easy to find it
the square as seen from Vas.Sophias Av.
Maybe just another square. Next to American empassy, a small square, with a fountain and a statue of Aliki Vugiuklaki (a famous pop actor in the 60s & 70s). So what? No, my friends. Especially, in the summer many people like to stroll around here during the night till the morning! Cold beer from the kiosk, sandwiches from the famous canteen and of course many bars/pubs around. Flower bar & Briki bar have tables on the square but there are also Lora’s bar, Athina, Soutsou bar, MG bar, Ginger restaurant, Fox bar at Soutsou street The strangest thing about this square is that many people buy the drinks in the bars and stand outside for people watching! Of course the youngest/smartest ones prefer the beers from the kiosk! :)
During the day the locals must be feel very lucky having everything around them, market, cafes, bakery, bookstore, farmacy etc No, don’t come here to see something! That’s why there are no tourists around only the locals living here and of course all those students that pass by during the night to lough, flert etc
Ok, just another square as I said but the metro station is just a few meters away (Megaro Mousikis) so it’s easy to come for a drink…
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