Athens on Film, Travel, Global Community

Athens Like A Local, By A Local

While Athens sizzles in summer, don't underestimate the power of the shoulder season— we prefer it to peak season. You get to experience the REAL Athens, not just the inflated caricature of the city that’s created once a year for tourists to enjoy. Instead of using Athens as a stopover en route to the islands, relish this period when the heat recedes, and the tourist crowds thin out. It's the ideal time to peel back the layers of the city and do a deep dive into local living. 


Eat

To Kafenio, Kolonaki: As Greek as it Gets, this quintessential eatery from the 1940’s is a staple for locals wanting an insanely well priced, simple Greek meal without the pomp of the endless fusion restaurants taking over the city. You’ll rarely find a non native in here.

Varoulko, Piraeus: A Michelin-starred seafood heaven without the insane price tag. Expect exceptional dishes like daily catches and octopus presented in innovative new ways. With sea views, a refined but not stuffy atmosphere and incredible service, this is an unparalleled dining experience. 

Queen Bee, Kolonaki: When the Greeks aren't sipping their Freddo Espressos at the nearest café, they’re swarming to Queen Bee (no pun intended). This neighborhood Brunch hotspot is packed through the weekend and for good reason. The flakiest croissants you’ve ever seen with every filling imaginable, all the usual brunch foods and epic sandwiches. It’s worth the wait in line for a table, but you can also take food out and enjoy it in The National Gardens nearby. 

Ark, Glyfada: A 30 minute drive from central Athens, Ark is nestled along the coastline of Glyfada  beachfront and has the perfect blend of urban sophistication and seaside charm. Ideal for a late lunch, think stylish beach bar meets cosmopolitan restaurant. Cocktails on the deck next to the sea and some pretty amazing food to go with. 



Play

Geros Tou Moria, Plaka:  Just a few streets over from the classic touristy lunch spots you’d pass on your way up to the Parthenon, you’ll find a tiny taverna spread out over steps in a grape vine covered side street. Live bouzouki is played all day long and families are celebrating here non stop. Order a carafe of house white, enjoy the vibes and sing along to the music until dusk. 

Chez Michel, Kolonaki: A neighborhood café that seems to transform into the only coffee shop in all of Greece on the weekends, it's bursting at the seams with activity. While its coffee and pastries are excellent, what truly makes it great is the diverse crowd it attracts and the way it turns this quiet intersection in Kolonaki into a vibrant social hub. Fabulous for people watching!

Tarzan Bar, Psiri: Athenians have a true love for Vinyl records, every road you turn, you’ll find a store selling them. Tarzan has taken this love and fuzed it with a selection of out of this world drinks to create my favorite bar in Athens . A wall of records spans the space and themed nights invite DJ’s to spin their favorite genres. If it's not a vinyl night, you’ll be sure to find some live music and incredible vibes no matter what. 

Cabezon, Metaxourgeio: You wouldn't believe this spot exists if you were to walk past until you see it. Hiding in plain sight, Cabezon looks like a house about to collapse (which isn’t a rare sight in Athens) until you catch a whisper of music coming from behind the door. Inside, sip awesome cocktails at local prices and dance the night away in the garden. You may even catch an impromptu musical performance if you stay late enough. 



Slay 

Odeon of Herod Atticus, The Acropolis: Directly beneath the Parthenon, not many visitors know you can actually sit and experience music and theater here, the same way they did thousands of years ago. It’s an extraordinary experience with rock concerts to opera festivals going on from the beginning of summer until mid October. 

Treasure House Vintage, Monastiraki: One of the best places i’ve discovered, worldwide, for vintage Levis that ACTUALLY fit. Separated by style, size and color piled from floor to ceiling, there is literally something for everyone. The store owner George will take your measurements and fit you in the best jeans of your life, for half the price and half the hassle that you’ll find anywhere else. 

Laiki Farmers Market, Kolonaki: Tucked away amidst Athens' winding roads, a farmers market springs to life every Friday morning. Local farmers, fishmongers and producers showcase their finest fruits, cheeses and artisanal goods. You name it, they’ve probably got it. It's a sensory journey, a genuine immersion into the city's deep love for REALLY good food and really great fun.

Allouche Benias, Syntagma:The sibling of Allouche Gallery in New York, this is a multi storey art space showcasing cutting-edge, emerging artists alongside old masters and classic Athenian artwork. It consistently features new exhibitions and is a major contributor to Athens' dynamic art scene. There’s always something new to see and one of my favorite spots to wander around alone on a quiet day or bring friends visiting for the first time.