Spreading under the northeastern hill of Acropolis, among Monastiraki, Psyrri and Syntagma Square, Plaka is undoubtedly the most beautiful part of the Greek capital. No surprise why this place, a meeting point of the past and the present, is called “Neighborhood of the Gods”. The most popular tourist area in Athens —along with Monastiraki— was mostly pedestrianized during the 80s, offering the opportunity for a walk through history, nostalgia and fun.
After the Second World War, the buildings of Plaka were listed and the neighborhood was designated traditional, resulting into a miniature of the city at the beginnings of the 20th century, which remains up to this day. Paved alleys, neoclassical manors, byzantine churches, ancient monuments, museums and galleries, they all blend into a wonderful mixture of history, tradition and Hellenism.
Your stroll begins at Hadrian Street, a paradise for tourists, as most stores on both of its sides cater to foreigners. Thousands of visitors flock here to see and buy souvenirs, leather sandals, Grecian dresses and traditional products.
The scenery changes in the heart of Plaka, where you meet the Filomousou Etairias Square with the café-bars, picturesque taverns and the typical barkers. This also applies for the adjacent Kidathinaion, Farmaki, Olympian Zeus and Aggelou Geronta streets. Mnisikleous street with its famous “stairs” (called skalàkia by the locals) and the cramped tables of the traditional coffee shops and Thrasyvoulou, Tripodon, Lysiou and Lysikratous streets with the typical tavernas, folk music, wine and Greek meze being the stars. As you head up towards Ragava Street, the pretty little shops give way to whitewashed houses adorned with basils and bougainvillea, narrow alleys and the shiny Athenian sun… You find yourself in Anafiotika, a neighborhood straight out of a movie, with magical panoramic view, reminiscent of a glorious, shiny summer.
It looks like the craftsmen of Anafi had this summer and pure white color in mind when they built their houses on the foothill of Acropolis, in the mid-19th century, just like they would have done in their homeland. The whitewashed residences next to eternal rocks and labyrinthine cobbled streets still keep their charm and Aegean aesthetics, like a vivid postcard under the insuperable Acropolis. After a stroll at this part of Athens, discovering all of these things and so much more, you will agree with us that Plaka feels like true love.