Cities on the Beach: The Best of Athens
What not to miss in the vibrant capital of Greece!
25 June 2021
Athens offers a "clash of civilisations": the West meets the East unfiltered, history-steeped past meets uncertain future; economic problems meet uninhibited joie de vivre and hedonism. Athens is a city of extremes, but that is precisely what makes it so interesting at the moment - and also the feeling of new beginnings: exciting hotel projects are being developed, major fashion houses such as Dior are drawn to the city and innovative start-ups are working their way up.
The European place to be
Currently, the mood in Greece's capital can be compared to Berlin in the noughties. Of course, if you travel to Athens for the first time, you have to get to know the classic sights. For this purpose, a city walk is recommended, as the most important highlights are within walking distance. But as soon as this list is checked off, one can let oneself fall and drift: into the hustle and bustle of the city, into the small quarters that are a little off the beaten track and into the crowd of people that love to party. If one could travel to Delphi and ask the oracle what the future of Athens will look like, the answer would surely be cryptic. But it is fact that there's no getting around the city at the moment - it's the European place to be.
Best of Athens
Travellers on their way to Athens should bring one thing above all: A lot of time. Because the historic city has so much to offer: from fabulous restaurants to dream beaches and exclusive hotels, you can find everything here.
The best places to eat
44 Valtetsiou, Exarchia
Tel: +30 21 0330 1369
Feasting with a clear conscience: Yiantes offers a lot of vegetarian and vegan food - an exception in Greece! But the restaurant stands out on all levels: Located off the beaten tourist track in a trendy district, it attracts mainly locals, who enjoy the flair and the music.
Akadimias 18, Athens 10671, Greece
Tel: +30 21 0363 0030
Belle Epoque flair meets exotic cocktails, exalted joie de vivre meets solid food. The Kowalski Bar is a place of contrasts, but above all it is currently one thing: the place to be in Athens. Whoever comes here gets to know the Greeks from their best side - the party-loving side!
Admittedly: Maybe not the best idea in the height of summer, but aside from that, biking is a great way to get to know the city - the "GrCycling Club" helps with this.
Glyfada is also called "the Venice Beach of Athens", the suburb is considered one of the most elegant and luxurious in the area. With its gardens and beaches, a scene of beach clubs and a modern marina, it forms a major resort of the Attic Riviera. Nevertheless, it has not lost its coolness!
Maybe a little morbid, but only at first glance: The Kerameikos Cemetery is a green oasis in the middle of the metropolis - and at the same time the only preserved ancient cemetery of the city!
The best hotels in Athens
From historical to modern: Greece's capital has something to suit every taste.
THE NEW Hotel
Filellinon 16, Athina 105 57, Greece
Tel: +30 210 3273000
You can only list superlatives when talking about THE NEW Hotel: it houses the largest art collection in Greece, redefines sustainability (the Campana brothers designed it together with local students), the penthouse suite has the best view in town and the gourmet concept is revolutionary. And yet, while it's modern, it's cosy. This is thanks to the excellent personal service. Double room from € 164,- per night.
1 Vasileos Georgiou A, Syntagma Square Str, Athina 105 64, Greece
Tel: +30 20 0333 0000
It is as firmly rooted in the city as the Acropolis: The Grande Bretagne has been the city's first house since 1874 and was also the host of the first Olympic Games. Since then, a lot has happened, but it has never lost its splendour and exclusivity - on the contrary. Tip: a meal on the roof terrace! Double room from € 333,- per night.
This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Summer 2021.