Districts of Athens: Exarchia

It is one of those wonderful eccentricities of Athens: side by side with Kolonaki, arguably the most expensive and glamorous neighbourhood of Athens, lies the alternative-minded district of Exarchia (Map D11). In fact, the borders between the two zones are not always easily defined. 

Exarchia has traditionally been a hotchpotch and hothousefor intellectuals, radicals, artists, youngsters, musicians and bohemian types. Urban, noisy, lively, youth-ridden, always on the vanguard of musical and artistic innovations, unpretentious and generally cheap, it is flooded with vintage and second-hand stores, clothes and accessories shops, bars and cafés (many of them scattered in and around Exarchia sq.), bookshops, record stores, eateries and inexpensive hotels.

Exarchia is to Athens what Dalston is to London: a mainstay for graffitti artists, hippies, rockers and Goths and many foreigners. Walls are adorned with posters advertising numerous cultural events, concerts, demonstrations and political events. True to its history of poets and artists, here one can come across the most unconventional assortment of personalities. 

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©Thanassis Karatzas

©Thanassis Karatzas