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Plaka in the eveningPlaka
Athens at its best

Covering an area of about 3,5 square kilometers, Plaka offers a glance at past glory days. Modern-day Athens was developed around the ancient district of Plaka. Located on the north-eastern foot of the Acropolis, Plaka, like all ancient districts throughout the world, emits beauty, serenity as well as nostalgia. Visitors can stay in one of the area's many hotels, stroll down the famous streets and neighborhoods of Plaka, visit historical monuments and thus get a taste of Athenian life, making their stay in Greece's capital city a memorable one.

Athens at its bestPlaka is the area between Psirri, Syntagma square and Monastiraki. A labyrinth of small streets full of souvenir shops, little squares with cool terraces hidden between a lot of green, music, restaurants, pubs..... In short, Athens at its best. Plaka is almost completely pedestrianized and contains ancient sites and small museums of traditional and popular culture. Remember that most shops in Plaka will be closed for a few hours early in the afternoon. Plaka: never boring!

Location map North-east slope of the Acropolis
Nearest metro stationMonastiraki or Syntagma
Photo gallery Plaka photos

An island without a sea

The most surprising section in Plaka is Anafiotika. It is located directly under the north section of the Acropolis. It is said that the Delphic oracle forbade the entire area from being built, perhaps to protect the sanctity of the worship site. There were, however, those who sought shelter in this neighborhood of Plaka, such as refugees from the Peloponnesian war in antiquity, or even Ethiopian slaves who hid in caves during the Ottoman period; followed by workers and craftsmen who arrived from the Cycladic island of Anafi after Greece gained its independence. This, in fact, is how the name Anafiotika came about.

This section of Plaka actually creates the impression of an island with its small white-washed houses built amidst the rocks, narrow meandering steep streets and steps, stone walls and gardens filled with flowers. According to tradition, the first builders of the area, during the modern era, were two homeless workers from Anafi who smuggled the necessary building materials and built two rooms for their families in a matter of days. An island without a seaWhen police arrived on the scene, they didn't have the heart to send them away. The same method was followed by the rest of the Anafi islanders as well as other newcomers, the majority of which were skilled craftsmen, builders and marble cutters who worked at the numerous construction sites throughout Athens.

These workers managed to build their simple and functional homes during the night, without copying the neo-classical structures they built during the day. The craftsmanship of the skilled workers, who paid special attention to the district's terrain and the endless horizon as seen from the northern side of the Acropolis, was responsible for the beauty of this small neighborhood in Plaka. Despite their poor means and haste, the skilled craftsmen from Anafi succeeded in adjoining their community with the Acropolis without taking away from the magnificence of the ancient monuments.

Location map North slope of the Acropolis
Nearest metro stationMonastiraki or Acropoli
Photo gallery See photos of Anafiotika Top



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