Plaka, an island in the centre of Athens

Plaka, an island in the centre of Athens

2 minutes to read

Athens, Athens, Athens!

With equal measures of grunge and grace, Athens is a heady mix of history and edginess. Cultural and social life plays out amid around the city's streets vibes and in ancient landmarks. The magnificent Acropolis, visible from almost every part of the city, reminds Greeks daily of their heritage and the city's many transformations…I am pretty sure that whether you’ve ever visited the city of Athens or not, you have definitely heard of Parthenon and the Greek Akropolis. Anyway, to cut the story short, this time I’m not here to talk about history; this time I’m here to guide you through Athens’ majestic "island-like neighborhood" of Plaka. 

Pláka and its labyrinthine streets
Pláka and its labyrinthine streets
Plaka, Athens 105 58, Grèce

Athens' oldest district, Plaka 

Plaka is, in fact, the oldest district in Athens mostly developed around the ruins of Ancient Agora. It’s particularly popular due to its unique architecture and style, that travels the visitor instantly back in time. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/scaliger
Picture © Credits to iStock/scaliger

While walking on its paved narrow lanes you get the feeling that you’re strolling in some typical Greek island. You instantly get mesmerized by the beauty of the houses with their neoclassic colors and Cycladic ambiance and characteristics.  Houses are small and mostly cubic, located in small streets that often end up to ladders or even dead-ends at terraces, where one can sit and enjoy the night view of the city. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/Poike
Picture © Credits to iStock/Poike

If you wander around the Plaka you will find lots of different types of shops and even the regular tourist shops, where you shouldn't miss out on buying amazing postcards! What I particularly love are the local artist-owned jewelry shops, which have hand-made original pieces, that definitely steal your heart! At least mine! 

Anafiotika, the "island village"

A place not to be missed while in Plaka is, of course, Anafiotika, which is a beautiful “island village”, located on the foot of Acropolis. The first houses were built in the era of King Othon of Greece, when workers from the small island of Anafi came to Athens in order to work in the construction of the king's palace, in the middle of the 19th century. The builders of these houses, knowing that they’d be working for years far from their island and that nostalgia would definitely hit them, decided to create an island-like environment, which would help them adapt even easier and give them the "essence" of a real home! 

Anafiotika
Anafiotika
Αναφιώτικα, Αθήνα, Ελλάδα
Picture © Credits to iStock/Pablo_1960
Picture © Credits to iStock/Pablo_1960

Nowadays, Plaka is full of street musicians, flower sellers, photographers and people who sell their handmade artistic creations! The area is buzzing with cafes and restaurants, which are even often portrayed in international movies. Whatever you think of, a relaxing freddo espresso in Plaka is simply a must while in Athens!  Walking through the small tangled cobblestone alleys will no doubt urge you to explore the area even further! Keep walking, Athens is enchanting! 

The author

Chrisa Lepida

Chrisa Lepida

My name is Chrisa and I come from Greece. As nature lover, winter sports addict and Erasmus obsessed, I’m always writing about these topics.

Stories you might also like