Plaka and Anafiotika
Right beneath the Acropolis and reaching almost up to Syntagma Square you will find Plaka, the oldest neighborhood of Athens. In this part of the city you can do everything: walk along the narrow, paved streets, buy your souvenirs from one of the local tourists’ shops, admire the history all around you. To really learn the story of Plaka, you’ll need an experienced guide who will share with you the smallest detail. However, let us give you a heads up.
Once you’ve visited Acropolis, Parthenon and the museum, next destination is Plaka. Moving around through narrow streets, most of them marble-paved, you go past buildings of remarkable and uncanny architectural value. At its heart, you will find the two major streets, Kydatheneon and Adrianou, interconnected by picturesque alleys and pathways. Ideal pedestrian routes for walking around, undisturbed by traffic, guide you through the yet to be explored part of Athens; the part that brings together elements of Greek, Roman and Turkish origins.
Apart from the local souvenir shops, traditional restaurants and quaint cafes scattered all around, you will also come across numerous archaeological sites. Leaving Dionysiou Areopagitou Street and upon entering Vyronos Street moving towards Monastiraki square, the first monument you’ll see is the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates. The monument was built in 335/4 BC and by the sponsor of dramatic performances in honor of their win. Then, you will find the Roman Agora, where you can also admire the Tower of the Winds, the Fethiye Mosque and the Gate of Athena Archegetis. Opposite from the Tower is the Gate of Medrese, originally a theological school and a prison during the Ottoman rule in Greece. Next to it there is the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments, which presents the musical tradition and history of Greece.
Last part of your trip around Plaka should be Anafiotika. Just beneath the eastern side of Acropolis and above Plaka, there lies the small neighborhood built by stone masons and architects coming from Anafi. Wandering around its narrow alleys, you get to the spot with the most spectacular view of Athens and Lycabettus right at your feet. If you want to experience what it feels like to walk the streets of any island of the Aegean Sea, you don’t have to look far. All you have to do is to visit Anafiotika.