TG Tips – Athens

I love Athens, yes I mean that. Not just Greece, but even the capital Athens. I have heard countless times people share my sentiments about the surrounding country and of course the incredible, just incredible Greek islands. But equally I have heard so often that Athens is big, dirty, grey, polluted and generally only a jumping off point for everything else Greek.

Athens Acropolis - The Most Beautiful City Skyline in The World?

Athens Acropolis – The Most Beautiful City Skyline in The World?

I have to disagree. I have been coming here since I was 20 and have fallen a little more in love with the city on each visit. Since starting work as a Tour Guide, I have pretty much been here at least once per season for 12 seasons. 2012 was the first season none of the agencies I worked for sent me here, so time on my hands, I decided to come under my own steam.

I have rented an apartment for 5 weeks (from 10th Dec 2012 to 16th Jan 2013) and will be trying to discover the city beyond what I know from guiding (which does tend to be a little similar on each visit). This page is therefore currently a work in progress. In five weeks, hopefully there will be some good Athens tips for future visitors.

Bars

Drunk Sinatra, Thisos – There are so many very good bars in Athens, it is one of the highlights. Drunk Sinatra is just another one really. I visited on a Tuesday in deepest darkest recession time and the place was packed. Quite a young, good looking crowd.

Drunk Sinatra, cool place for cool people

Drunk Sinatra, cool place for cool people

Drinks are reasonably priced, good atmosphere, both inside and out. Very close to the centre, but I doubt many tourists find it. DJ and cocktails. Certainly worth a stop on an Athens bar crawl. No website, but they are on facebook and twitter.

Restaurants

Who doesn’t love Greek food? It’s almost right up there with Italian and perhaps only comes second due to slightly less variety? Something I aim to discover the truth of. Like bars, there are so many great places to eat in Athens and the prices have stayed reasonable compared to say, Italy. I will start with my oldest discovery – a place I have been coming to for more than 15 years and I am relieved to see, is still going strong…

Scholarhio, Tripodon 14, Plaka – A guide once told me it translates as something like ‘The scholar’. Makes sense as it is near the old university. It’s a great concept; the menu is €14 per person. They always have 18 meze dishes – which includes all the classics.

Spoilt For Choice - The Meze Selection at Scholarhio

Spoilt For Choice – The Meze Selection at Scholarhio

Starting from a chocie of 2 per person, the quantity of dishes you can select increases in line with the number of diners. The more you are, the better you eat (also includes a drink, bread, water and a dessert). Have been so many times and will keep coming back Scholarhio Ouzeri Kouklis

Random

Pain Thing Tattoo, Antinoros 7 – I am in no way advocating tattoos, I have a few and love them, but each to their own. However it has – perhaps rather stupidly – become a part of travel for many young people to get a tattoo. Not sure it is a wise idea on the road, but IF you are at least go to a good one, a clean one and why not also a friendly one? Lefteris and Leah are extremely friendly, professional and very talented. Check out their facebook page. Pain Thing Tattoo


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