Gentrified during the 1990s and now very popular with tourists, Plaka is a charming historic district at the foot of the Acropolis, with its restored 19th century neoclassical homes, pedestrianized streets, shops and restaurants, and picturesque ruins from the city's Roman era. Thissio, to the west side of the Acropolis, is very similar and now houses many restaurants and cafes. Between the two is Monastiraki, a very bohemian district increasingly popular with tourists, with stores selling a variety of items including antiques, cookware, souvenirs, arts and crafts, movie posters, punk culture, funky clothing, and pretty much anything you can think of. Another part of Plaka is Anafiotika and is located on the northermost place. There you will find the first university of Athens before it was relocated in central Athens. Its an oasis of calm and quietness, and there are many green spaces which are part of the green space of Acropolis.
Tavernas in the side streets of Plaka
Plaka's boundaries are not precisely defined. Clear borders are the Ancient Agora and Plateia Monastiraki on the west, the Acropolis and Dhionysiou Areopayitou street on the south, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Leoforos Amalias on the south-east, and the west part of Mitropoleos street, up to the cathedral on the north (but Mitropoleos street and Leoforos Amalias, though boundaries, shouldn't be considered part of Plaka, since they have a modern and fairly non-descript atmosphere). The north-eastern and eastern boundaries are a bit less well defined, but if you're south of Apollonos street and west of Nikis street you'll probably feel like you're still in Plaka.
The Athenian Acropolis is the ancient high city of Athens, a prominent plateaued rock perched high above the modern city with commanding views and an amazing array of ancient architecture, mostly from the Classical period of Ancient Greece, the most famous of which is the Parthenon. A visit to Athens is not complete without visiting the Acropolis - hundreds of tourists each day accordingly make the pilgrimage.
The entrance to the Acropolis is off Theorias St. From the Akropoli metro stop and New Acropolis Museum, walk west along Dionysiou Areopagitou Street and take the first right on to Theorias; from the Thissio metro stop west of Monastiraki, walk west to Apostolou Pavlou St, turn left on it, and walk south to turn left on Theorias. From Plaka, you can walk south up steep Mnisikleous St as far as you can go and turn right on Theorias.
The main archaeological site is surrounded by a large public area, a plethora of trees with beautiful stone-paved paths (designed by the great Greek architect Pikionis). A canteen with a wide range of food and drink is reached before you get to the ticket kiosk - but beware: refreshments are available only at exorbitant prices. You will definitely need a bottle of water with you in the hot summer, so either bring it with you or buy it from the kiosk on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, just outside the entrance. There are water fountains within the site, but the water isn't always cold. Guides can nearly always be found offering to show you around - at a price - at the point where tickets are checked.
Athens (Greek: Αθήνα), is the capital city of Greece with a metropolitan population of 3.7 million inhabitants. It is in many ways the birthplace of Classical Greece, and therefore of Western civilization. The design of the city is marked by Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman civilizations.
Places of interest to travellers can be found within a relatively small area surrounding the city centre at Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos). This epicentre is surrounded by the districts of the Plaka to the south, Monastiraki and Thissio to the west, Kolonaki to the northeast and Omonia to the northwest.
The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill.
The Agora, the marketplace and civic center, was one of the most important parts of an ancient city of Athens. In addition to being a place where people gathered to buy and sell all kinds of commodities, it was also a place where people assembled to discuss all kinds of topics: business, politics, current events, or the nature of the universe and the divine. The Agora of Athens, where ancient Greek democracy first came to life, provides a wonderful opportunity to examine the commercial, political, religious, and cultural life of one of the great cities of the ancient world.
Palaio Faliro is situated on the east coast of the Phalerum Bay, a bay of the Saronic Gulf, 6 km southwest of Athens city centre. The seaside area was redeveloped for the 2004 Summer Olympics, and now contains a seaside promenade, several sports venues, a marina and the Park of Maritime Tradition, where museum ships are exhibited.
The neighbourhoods of Palaio Faliro are Amfithea, Batis, Edem, Panagitsa, Floisvos, Palmyra, Pikrodafni, Agia Varvara and Kopsachila. Phaleron was an important place in antiquity, then as now one of the demes of Attica, however a precise definition of its Classical topography is lacking, although the location of the deme is well established
Before 5th century B.C. Phaleron was the port of Athens, as it is least distant from the city. Thus the Athenians sailing to Troy would have departed from Phaleron. But Themistocles, when he became pre-eminent in the government of the Athenians, arranged that Piraeeus be the main port, as it was more convenient for seafarers.
Begin your Sounio tour with a wonderful drive along the scenic coastal road which affords a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf, passing through some of Athens most beautiful suburbs (Glyfada,Vouliagmeni, Varkiza).
As you approach Cape Sounion, it rises like a sheer cliff out of the sea. At Cape Sounio where you will visit the 5th century B.C. Temple of Poseidon with one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world (on a clear day you can see at least seven islands).The precipice is a sheer 197 foot drop to the sea.
Land masses to the west stand out in sharp profile: the island of Aegina backed by the mountains of the Peloponnese. The beauty of the surviving Doric columns has inspired many poets, including Lord Byron who carved his name on one of the columns.