Athens is a modern, vibrant and eclectic city, with much more to offer visitors besides the Acropolis and it’s historic neighbourhood. Read on to discover the hidden gems and secret spots favoured by locals and repeat visitors alike, with this Athens city guide!
Chalandri is a suburb in northern Athens, home in antiquity to the famous playwright Euripides. Today it is a popular residential choice due to its tree-lined pedestrian streets, boutique shops, trendy bars and countless squares and parks. Visit Anthologia Humana for a fairytale land of treasures, from Portuguese glassware and handmade ceramics to unique wedding gifts and embroidered textiles. For all day food, coffee and cocktails, head to Theory Bar & More, serving everything from breakfast and burgers to desserts and signature drinks.
In the western suburb of Chaidari is a secret hilltop bar with stunning, unparalleled views across Athens and Piraeus. Telescope Bar (which actually provides a telescope for guest use) is far from the usual, touristy roof cafes in the city centre, and serves a welcome menu of refreshing drinks and light snacks – perfect to recover from the rather long walk up the hill! Close by are the beautiful and undervalued Diomideios Botanical Gardens, the largest in the eastern Mediterranean, and packed full of exotic flora and fauna from around the world.
Closer to the centre, in the uninspiring neighbourhood named Rouf, is a theatrical surprise – a beautifully preserved steam train that hosts plays, performances and exhibitions inside its wagons, including an original 1926 Simplon Orient Express carriage. Enjoy a drink in the magical bar, explore the latest art installation or take a seat for an eclectic programme of music and theatre in one of the most unique venues in Athens.
Finally, in the very northern borders of Athens lies the mountain of Parnitha, topped with the Regency Casino. Whilst visitors should not expect a glamorous, James Bond-style evening playing poker, the casino can provide a few hours of (responsible) fun and the free cable-car ride to the top is a nice experience, surrounded by a green landscape packed full of hiking trails and paths.
Don’t hesitate to ask the Life Gallery athens concierge team for more tips on exploring the undiscovered Athens!