Athens & Plaka
Strolling the Plaka and the charming center of Athens
The best way to discover a city is on foot, per bicycle or public transportation! This is how you feel the pulse of the city you’re visiting. According to your wishes, you’ll enjoy a personalized tour with enough time off for a coffee-break or a lunch at a local tavern. Just send in your request and you’ll get a tailor-made program for a great day exploring Athens. On your one, with a (small) group or just your children, I operate alone so you’ll get the feeling of visiting Athens with a friend! May I make some suggestions?
Half day or full day with the Metro through Athens!
A walk in the historical center of Athens transforms an ordinary morning into a unique travel through time!
Today we’ll use the metro as a means to get to know the city! On the way out of the underground station at Thisseio we’ll start with a visit of the ancient Agora, the heart of the city at the time of Pericles and Socrates. On top of a small summit the visitor faces the best preserved ancient temple in Greece, dedicated to god Hephaestus, the smith. A landmark in the Agora, the market-place, is the Stoa of Attalos, which today hosts the Agora-museum (visit).
We’ll leave the Agora and enjoy a small coffee-break in Monasteraki, one of Athens most bustling and vibrant districts full of antique shops and little places selling traditional objects and trendy collectables. We’ll continue our stroll passing the many monuments in the area such as Hadrian’s Library, the Tzitaraki Mosque and the church of Monasteraki, dedicated to Panaghia Pantanassa.
Our next goal is a visit of the Roman Agora which includes the Fethiye Mosque (‘Victory Mosque’), build after the arrival of Mehmet the conqueror in the 15th century. Later it served as a Catholic church so the minaret is missing, today the mosque belongs to the Archaeological Society. The Roman Agora was completed in 11 BC thanks to funds donated by Julius Caesar and then by Octavian Augustus. The monumental entrance-gate still survives today. It had a peristyle courtyard. The Tower of the Winds, made out of marble, is of special interest, used as a water clock and a sundial.
Leaving the Roman Agora we walk towards the north-west foot of the Acropolis, to the Ano Plaka area, a small lovely part of Plaka, known by the name of Anafiokati. The name derives from the island of Anafi. The inhabitants of this isle came to Athens in the 19th century, during the reign of King Otto, as laborers to build the city and created this small dwelling place as an image of the island they had left behind. The narrow lanes, small churches and low working-class houses are still inhabited today.
The oldest district of modern Athens is the Plaka, free of vehicles, with its complex street layout, it is the place to be! We’ll take some time off to enjoy a lunch in a typical local tavern before we set off again in order to continue our walk. The visitor can either choose to make this outing as a half day walk or a full day program. A full day program contains also a visit to the temple of Zeus, the Changing of the Guards at Syntagma-square, the Athens Cathedral (Metropolis), the City Hall of Athens and the Municipal Marketplace.