Recommendations


Archaeological Sites

Want to skip the ticket lines? Buy your tickets via the new online ticket site for the major Athens sites:

www.etickets.tap.gr

Cinema

Thiseio is home to Cine Thiseio, an open-air cinema that screens an eclectic mix of Hollywood and international movies, that changes every few days. This is a great way to spend a warm summer evening – and close to home. (summer only)

www.cine-thisio.gr

Segways

A fun, easy and different way to see the city. Not to mention just a few blocks from the flat.

www.athenscitysegwaytours.com

Social Life

A basic aspect of Greek culture and daily life is ‘socializing’. This can range from a chit-chat with the barrista who makes your morning brew, to the late afternoon gatherings of friends all over the city. Greeks like to talk; going out, being together, conversing are all fundamental aspects of being in Greece. We challenge you to find a local having a coffee alone.

With that in mind, some suggestions:

Caffeine:

If coffee is more important than air (we understand…), you will love Thiseio. You have an endless choice of options, from grab-and-go to tiny old kafeneiato sprawling sidewalk cafes with Acropolis views.

· Underdog (Irakleidon 8, Thiseio – 2 mins by foot): this is a cool, gourmet coffee spot, with a nice breakfast/brunch menu, and an outdoor ‘backyard’ patio.

· Koupa Libre (Irakleidon 19, Thiseio – 3 mins by foot): totally local, cool & cozy neighbourhood cafe, serving breakfast, lunch & dinner, not to mention cocktails and the famous Greek tsipouro. Indoor/outdoor seating. Truly authentic and a great ‘value for money’.

· Gregorys (Agion Asomaton 1, Thiseio – 4 mins by foot): just opposite the Thiseio metro station, this is where I go, religiously, every morning for my grab-and-go double cappuccino. They also have yummy cheese pies for a typical Greek breakfast. 

· Fresko (Apostolou Pavlou 11, Thiseio – 4 mins by foot): Greek yogurt bar, perfect for breakfast ‘to go’ en route to the Acropolis.

· Athinaion Politeia (Akamantos 1, Thiseio – 3 mins by foot): this is an old classic Athens cafe, with Acropolis views.

· MoMa (Adrianou 29, Monastiraki – 7 mins by foot): modern vibe on the Adrianou pedestrian path – great for a coffee or a meal. People watching.

· Rooster (Platia Agias Irinis 4 – 13 mins by foot): gay-friendly café-bar & terrace.

· Little Tree (Kavalloti 2, Akropolis –15 mins by foot): cool little cafe and book shop – quiet, chill and totally local vibe.

Eat:

Below is a list of our favourite food spots around town – all accessible within 2-20mins on foot. Want more options? Just ask!

· Gevomai & Magevomai (Nileos 11, Thiseio – 4 mins by foot): another neighbourhood tavern, preparing yummy home-cooked Greek food. Cheap & cheerful.

· Abibayo (Iraklidon 3, Thiseio – 4 mins by foot): neighbourhood taverna, serving classic Greek dishes, perfect for sharing. Friendly service, fair prices.

· MoMa (Adrianou 29, Monastiraki – 7 mins by foot): Modern vibe on the Adrianou pedestrian path – great for a meal or a coffee. The only place I go on the most popular food strip in the city.

· Zampano (Sarri 18, Psirri – 10 mins by foot):modern Greek restaurant and wine bar–day or night. Great brunch spot! Busy on weekends – book ahead.

· iFeel (Karaiskaki 33, Psirri – 12 mins by foot): streetside resto-bar in the colourful Psirri neighbourhood, serving upscale Greek ‘tapas with a twist’, great wine list, cool vibe. 

· Liosporos (Miaouli 24, Psirri – 12 mins by foot): classic quirky Psirri café/resto/bar, serving affordable and tasty Greek food with ‘cheap & cheerful’ drinks. 

· Taqueria Maya (Petraki 10, Syntagma – 18 mins by foot): tired of souvlaki and tavernas? Yummy burritos and tacos – casual, street-food style. 

· Ergon (Mitropoleos 23, Syntagma – 18 mins by foot): ‘concept’ market/bakery/café/restaurant offering the best of Greek products. Yummy versions of classic Greek taverna mezze – open all day. Great brunch spot! Busy on weekends – book ahead.

· Nolan (Voulis 31, Syntagma – 20 mins by foot):  sophisticated Greek/Asian fusion menu, great drinks, worth the higher price point. A favourite. Reservation recommended.

· Sushimou (Skoufou 6, Syntagma – 20 mins by foot): only 12 seats in this very special sushi bar – with a Japan-trained Greek sushi master recently named among the top 100 chefs in the world. 

Eat – Vegetarian:

Most Greek taverna menus are full of vegetarian options, but in case you want something specifically vegetarian, check out some of these places around the city:

· Rakor (Plateon 10, Kerameikos – 12 mins by foot): Not a purely vegetarian menu, but in fact lots of vegetarian options, and always good reviews. Also in a less-touristy, bohemian part of the city.

· Fontana Living Well (32 Aiolou, Monastiraki – 14 mins by foot):Jars filled with spices, herbs, superfruits, oats and seeds line the walls in this street-side health store, which doubles as a juice bar.

· Avocado (Nikis 30, Syntagma – 20 mins by foot): One of the ‘original’all-vegetarian spots in the city, still popular, great selection, casual dining – open for lunch & dinner.

· Froots (Athanasiou Diakou 6, Acropolis – 20 mins by foot):  Juices you could live on as well as raw soups and smoothies made with homemade ingredients, casual little place near the Acropolis museum.

Drink:

Athens comes alive at night, and nightlife tends to start later (and end later) than in more northern cities. Fun nightspots can be found literally everywhere, but check out the areas around Psirri,Agia Irini SquareKolokotroni Streetor Gazifor lots of nightlife options. All walkable from the flat…

· Caravin (Akamantos 11, Thiseio – 4 mins by foot): want to stay local and have a nice glass of wine and a yummy bite? Try this casual wine bar, literally up the street.

· TAF (Normanou 5, Monastiraki  – 9 mins by foot): grungy-cool art space/bar, go through the door into a surprising outdoor space – café/bar.

· Cinque Wine Bar (Agatharchou 17, Psirri – 9 mins by foot): tiny, eclectic wine bar in Psirri with nice collection from around Greece. 

· SIX D.O.G.S. (Avramiotou 6, Monastiraki – 14 mins by foot): don’t be put off by the alley, venture down the stairs and emerge in the totally cool outdoor bar space (great for daytime coffee too). 

· Bartesera (Kolokotroni 25 – 17 mins by foot): great bar, great music, great vibe –casual & cool. A personal favourite.

Rooftops:

· Couleur Local(Normanou 3, Monastiraki  – 9 mins by foot):fun, casual rooftop café/bar. Entrance is just beside ‘TAF’, listed above.

· Anglais (Kirikiou 6, Monastiraki – 13 mins by foot):hip and popular cafe/bar with brunch and a killer view. Cosy & casual, day or night. 

· The Zillers (Mitropoleos 54, Syntagma – 17 mins by foot): sophisticated rooftop resto-bar, in a landmark architectural building designed in 1898 by Ernst Ziller. A personal favourite.  

· Gazarte (Voutadon 34, Gazi – 12 mins by foot):a summertime favourite in the Gazi district – beautiful ‘garden’in a multi-purpose venue, serving a range of drinks and cocktails with a cool grown-up vibe.

Beaches

A visit to Athens is not complete without a visit to the beach! Along the endless coastline of the Athenian Rivera you will find numerous beach options – from convenient urban beaches (reachable by public transport) to more picturesque beaches further down the coast (driving/taxi). Most beaches are ‘organized’ – with beach chairs/umbrellas and food & drink service. Most charge an entrance fee, or at least charge for the chair/umbrella rental. Bring your own towel! Our suggestions:

By taxi (15 mins)/public transport (45 mins – metro to Faliro, then tram to Kalamaki or Zephyros):

· Bolivar (www.bolivar.gr) popular, urban beach playground, with beachside bar and food service. Weekly nighttime parties with local and international DJs.  Area: Alimos.  

· Akanthus (www.akanthus.gr) just down the coast from Bolivar, Akanthus is a stylish beach with full-service on-site restaurant. Weekly nighttime events. Cool tunes and pretty people.  Area: Alimos.  

By taxi/car (40 – 45 mins):

· Astir Beach (www.astir-beach.com) undoubtedly ‘the best’ Athens beach experience, Astir is a fully organized ‘5 star’ Greek beach experience. High end! Area: Vouliagmeni.   

· Mojito Bay (www.mojitobayclub.gr) even further down the coast, this stylish, laid-back beach is situated on a quiet bay with shallow waters, offering full beach service and on-site restaurant. Good for families. Area: Agia Marina.

…and many more in between!

IMPORTANT: Summer weekends are especially busy along the coast! Many beaches allow you to reserve your umbrella in advance – download the Summerizeor Plazzapps for mobile booking. If not, we recommend to go earlyto avoid disappointment… Most beaches will be hopping with people after midday on the weekends…

Security

People often ask about security walking alone, after dark, speaking to strangers, etc. As expats, and having lived in a number of cities, our personal view is that Athens is among the safest cities certainly in Europe. The historic centre of the city, and Thiseio in particular, are well-travelled and very safe. 

Neighborhood Watch – the authentic Greek security system.Greek neighbors are keenly aware of the comings and goings in the neighborhood from little old ladies peering around corners, to local shop owners who know your routines daily life is under the constant scrutiny of watchful neighbors. This is viewed as a positive thing, and part of the ‘constantly interactive’ social fabric of the Greek culture. Enjoy it! 

It also means that a ‘kalimera‘ (good morning) or ‘yasas‘ (hello) to your neighbors is certainly a welcome habit!