Professional Guide For Conferences in Greece

Attica - Athens Neighbourhoods and Surroundings


The Municipality of Athens is divided into several districts such as Omonoia, Kerameikos, Syntagma, Exarchia, Lykavittos, Metaxourgeio, Psirri, Monastiraki, Gazi, Thission, Plaka, etc.

Plaka, is the picturesque old historical neighbourhood of Athens, just under the Acropolis, with labyrinthine streets and neo-classical architecture.
It is one of Athens’ most beautiful neighborhoods, with architecture dating from the time of King Otto, Byzantine churches, little tourist shops, cafes, bars and taverns (Greek restaurants). The small streets of Plaka are a delightful walk even in summertime when it is crowded with tourists.
Plaka is the neighborhood of the Ancient Roman Agora, the Tower of the Wind, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Acropolis and the Herode Atticus theatre.
The new museum of Acropolis, situated at the border of Plaka, opened its doors in June 2009 and is among the 10 most visited sites in Greece. Museums in Plaka include the new Jewish museum, the Greek Folk Art Museum and the Frissiras Museum.
Plaka, in the heart of the historical center of the city, one of the most vivid suburbs of Athens, is visited by a great number of tourists every year.

Monastiraki is an area situated west of Syntagma square. It is a flea market in the old town of Athens where bargaining was the norm. Nowadays, it is the best place to buy souvenirs from Greece at low prices.

Kolonaki & Lycavittos,br> Kolonaki is a small residential district of Athens between Lycavittos Hill and Syntagma Square. Kolonaki Square, one of the most famous and enjoyable places to sip coffee, watch people and eat in the cafes that line the street and remind many people of Paris. It is the home of Athens elite, offering expensive and luxurious shops, cafes, and bars.

Thisio square is located off the pedestrian street Apostolou Paulou and is lined on one side by neoclassical buildings. On the other side is Thision garden, the first of the city’s public gardens, dating from 1862. The square is full of outdoor cafes that offer wonderful views of the Acropolis. Thisio is where many Athenians go for their night walk and amusements and tends to be crowded, especially during weekends from 10pm until 3am.

Located north-west of Monastiraki, the Psiri neighbourhood, known as Athens’s “meat packing district” - is dotted with renovated mansions, artists’ spaces, and small gallery areas. A number of its renovated buildings now host a wide variety of fashionable bars.

The Gazi area is one of the latest in full redevelopment. It is located around a historic gas factory, now converted into the “Technopolis” cultural multiplex, and also includes artists’ areas, a number of small clubs, bars and restaurants. The metro’s system recent expansion to the western suburbs of the city has brought easier access to the area since spring 2007, as the blue line now stops in Gazi at Kerameikos Station.

Kerameikos was on the northwest fringe of the ancient city and and is now the outer edge of the area, visited by most travelers. Following Ermou street down from the Monastiraki train station you will easily find it on your right. Kerameikos is named after Keramos (pottery), from which the English word ceramic derived. The area was used continuously for burials from the 12th century BC for a thousand years.

Plateia Syntagmatos (Constitution Square) is named after the first Greek Constitution that was proclaimed by King Otto in 1844. It is located in the centre of modern Athens. Here you can see the Parliament (Vouli), which used to be King Otto's palace and stands as a magnificent neoclassical building. At its entrance one can see the National Guards - called the Euzones - wearing the traditional Greek uniform.
The Parliament stands in front of the National Garden, which is a fresh and peaceful refuge from the noise and the heat of the city. Syntagma Square is a meeting point for the Athenians. It is one of the biggest squares in Athens and is surrounded by beautiful luxurious hotels, several large travel agencies, banks, the main post office, etc.
Southeast of Syntagma Square stands the Panathinaiko (Kallimarmaro) Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. It's a replica of the ancient Athenian stadium, and the only major stadium (in its capacity of 60,000) to be made entirely of white marble from Mount Penteli, the same material used for the construction of the Parthenon.

Piraeus is a city in the periphery of Attica, and within the Athens urban area, located 12 km southwest of its center and upon the Saronic Gulf.
According to the 2001 census, Piraeus has a population of 175.697 people within its administrative limits, making it the third largest municipality in Greece and the second within the Greek capital following the municipality of Athens. The Piraeus urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits to the suburban municipalities, with a total population of 466.065.
Piraeus has a long history, which dates back to ancient Greece. The effects of its natural space and geographical place have been critical factors for the configuration of the historical fate of Piraeus. The development of the harbour has been always combined with periods of proportional acme and progress of the city, while in the periods of the harbour’s decay the city languished.
The city was largely developed in the early 5th century BC, when it was selected to serve as the port city of classical Athens and was transformed into a prototype harbour, concentrating all the import and transit trade of Athens. Consequently, it became the first harbour of ancient Greece but declined gradually after the 4th century AD, and began to grow again in the 19th century, especially after the declaration of Athens as the capital of Greece.
In modern era, Piraeus is a big city bustling with life and an integral part of Athens, having the biggest harbour in the country and all the typical characteristics of a huge marine and commercial-industrial center.
The port of Piraeus is the No 1 port in Greece, servicing about 20 million passengers annually. Piraeus is also considered to be among the first ten ports in container traffic in Europe and the top container port in Eastern Mediterranean.
Piraeus is the largest port in Europe and the third largest in the world in terms of passenger transportation, servicing some 19.000.000 passengers annually. The central port serves ferry routes to almost every island in the Aegean sea (eastern part of Greece), the island of Crete, the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, while the western part of the port is used for cargo services.

From Piraeus to Sounion
From Piraeus to the west and all the way to Cape Sounion to the east, a marvellous 60 kilometres-long coastline is been extended. It is punctuated with a string of popular restaurants, cafes, vibrant music venues and modern sports facilities, together with numerous beautiful public, communal and hotel beaches. The area is particularly packed with fashionable bars and nightclubs that are literally crowded by the city's youth on a daily basis. Most of all during the summer months, the elegant coastal suburbs of Paleo Phaliro, Alimos (Kalamaki), Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni host countless such meeting-points.

Cape Sounio
Situated 65km south-southeast from the center, it's a must-see amazing site. Majestic, rising out of the Aegean, this splendid rocky cape carries the Temple of Poseidon on its highest peak. Constructed around 600 BC it was destroyed in 480 BC by the Persians and rebuilt in 440 BC by Pericles. If you look closely at the Doric columns rising above the coast, you can find Lord Byron's signature, on one of them, who was so captured by the beauty and the grace of the temple that he included it in his homage to Greek independence in his poem "Isles of Greece". Minutes away from the temple you can find some nice seaside stretches and beaches, always almost empty.