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Living in noisy and polluted Athens means that I often have to escape the city for a while. While travel is not always feasible (there is only so much time and money I can spend on travel) there are ways to escape the city without leaving Athens. Exploring the many Athenian neighborhoods opens up a different world and the best area for this is Plaka.
Plaka is the old town of Athens located in the historical center of the city, the only part of the city made up largely of neoclassical and other old buildings. Plaka is located right underneath the Acropolis so, as a tourist, you are bound to end up here at some point of your sightseeing and will enjoy the lovely view while you go for a walk. While the rest of the city is filled with ugly gray buildings from the 1950s Plaka is very special and charming with its colorful, quaint buildings and narrow alleys. Several of the streets in this part of Athens are inaccessible to cars so you can go for a walk with fewer disturbances from cars. There are many cozy cafes and restaurants in the area allowing you to sit outside and take in the wonderful atmosphere. You can also find some small boutiques and souvenir shops in Plaka if you want to shop for things to bring home.
Many of the picturesque buildings in Plaka are in pretty good shape due to restoration efforts.
Anafiotika is a part of Plaka where you can observe the typical architecture of the Cycladic islands. All of a sudden, in the middle of a big city like Athens, you get the feeling of being on a spectactular Greek island.
This charming and scenic neighborhood is probably the highlight of Athens, and I fall in love with it all over again every time I take a walk here.
Have you ever been to Athens? What's your favorite neighborhood in the city?
Half Bulgarian Turk, half German living life as an expat in Greece.