The diverse city of Athens has so many things to offer, that choosing your itinerary for holidays here is not an easy task to do.
After visiting the most important places like Acropolis and the historic city center you may be willing to go off the beaten path and to discover something that only locals know about.
Presented below is the list of top hidden gems in Athens.
1. Little Kook
Little Kook Patisserie is a place where the fairytales come alive. Not only this shop has a wide range of delicious sweets but also an unforgettable atmosphere of magic.
Little Kook offers amazing decorations which are changed according to the season: Easter, summertime, Halloween, and Christmas. Each season it is something new and even more exciting! For example, this summer you can drink coffee in the company of Mary Poppins.
The prices are a little bit high, but it’s really worth it. Besides the portions are so big, that one dessert is enough for two people.
The shop is situated just a few minutes by walk from the famous Monastiraki square on the Karaiskaki 17 street. It is opened every day from 10:00-00:00 (better to visit in the morning, as in the evening there is a queue usually).
So get ready for exceptional moments, delightful sweets and marvelous photos.
2. Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is a perfect place for an evening walk. Just be sure to get there before sunset. Why? Well, the main attraction of this complex is its roof. One part has an amazing view over the bay of Faliro and the sea (and the sunset at the sea is something you don’t want to miss). And the other part of the roof is covered with a beautiful garden. On the territory, there are also few coffee shops, one of which is on the roof.
If you have more time you can also visit the Greek National Library and National Opera, which are the essence of this Center. Moreover, the complex is a place for different festivals, celebrations and competitions so don’t miss such an opportunity. It is also great to come here during Christmas time as just in the middle of the canal, which flows along the building, the ice rink is usually installed.
The district of Aigaleo is a must visit if you are a true shopping lover. The wide range of shops offers you to choose from the world popular trends to the “Made in Greece” small stores. Here you can feel the real Greek life, without tourist crowds. The access to Aigaleo is very easy as it has a metro station just in the center. As you walk out of the underground you will see a monumental church. Don’t hesitate to go inside, because the interior of the church is really magnificent.
After shopping, you can stop for a little break in the numerous coffee shops, but I recommend walking until Mparoutadiko Park. It is a mix of a wild and organized park, where you can spend a really nice time. And in the middle, you will find a café bar ALEA IN STYLE. It is a great place to drink your coffee enjoying the nature around in the cozy atmosphere.
4. Marina Flisvos
If you are a yachting fan than you definitely should visit Marina Flisvos port in Palio Faliro district. It is a place where you can find yachts and mega yachts from all over the world. Just wander along the piers and you will be amazed by looking at the size of some yachts, and by their names. Some of them are really funny! By the way, the owners of some yachts organize open doors days, so if you are lucky you can see one of these giants for free. The Marina also offers few nice restaurants, cafes, and bars as well as shops and other recreational facilities.
5. Marina Zeas
Another nice spot for a great walk along the sea is Marina Zeas in Pireas district. This little port is very beautiful with a few picturesque points. I recommend you to start from the Hellenic Maritime Museum (a small museum dedicated to the naval history of Greece featuring some outstanding ship models), which is a little bit further, and continue towards the Marina itself. In the end, stop in the Bouboulina cafe which offers a great range of drinks and food as well as a wonderful sea view.
6. Lake and dam of Marathon
If you are willing to get out of the city rush, you can have a pleasant ride to the lake and dam of Marathon. It is situated in the suburban area of Athens, but you will not understand this. It is so green and vivid all around, that you might forget that just a moment ago you were in the city. The lake itself is stunning with bright blue waters and the road towards it will not let you indifferent. There is a wide coffee shop on top of the dam with a breathtaking view of the lake itself and the mountains that surround it.
7. A Bathhouse of Winds
Athens is full of museums, but this one is usually not mentioned in the travel guides. A Bathhouse of Winds is the only public hammam that is left after the Turkish reign. Now it has been restored and turned into a museum dedicated to the tradition of taking a bath at those times. And it was a whole procedure. Greeks know how to enjoy life!
You can walk through the bathrooms, where you will see how the system of heating the waters and providing steam works. On the second floor, there are restrooms, where you’ll find the bath tools and musical instruments that were used during and after bathing. Also, you might watch a short historic movie. The museum is situated just behind the Tower of Winds on the Kiristou 8 street and the entrance costs only 2 Euros.
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Written by Ielyzaveta Hano