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Plaka: the heart of Athens

exploration

It is the oldest district, the most beautiful, and the most ‘touristy' part of Athens, but Athens would not be Athens without Plaka.

It is often accused of having become too touristic, it's true, but it was also in Plaka that the city was regenerated after losing its ancient splendour. So Plaka is well worth a visit, especially because, as soon as you exit the conventional circuit of souvenir shops, you discover its quaint, authentic charm.

Take the side streets that rise up the hillside towards the Acropolis. The neighbourhood suddenly takes a different, more intimate tone. With their hidden gardens, vines, and bougainvillea, houses have remained as they were 100 years ago.

After World War II, all were classified as heritage sites and, to preserve their colours, signage was prohibited. If you look closely you will notice that some houses have the Cycladic style. Masons from Anafi built them, who gave the name of their home island to the area, which is called ‘Anafiotika'. In Plaka, you will also find the oldest outdoor theatre in Athens, a hammam, and lovely churches, including that of St. Catherine and its marble icons.

 See the Travel Guide to Athens