Exarchia is one of the coolest neighbourhoods on the planet

“Alternative culture is alive, especially around the square”

Cool, hip, hipster...Anyway you put it, two travel bloggers (Adam Goffman and Emily Ray) accepted the challenge set by the Travel Super Market to make a list of all those neighbourhoods in Europe where culture meets urban aesthetics and alternative shops meet vinyl bazaars and graffiti.

Which is the next hipster destination?

The criteria include the accumulation of creative offices and galleries, independent cafés and bicycle/vinyl/organic food and vegan shops. It all has to do even with how expensive the area is compared to the city center.

In the first place there is, as anticipated, Kreuzberg in Berlin. This is the artsiest neighbourhood in Europe according to the bloggers where the streets alone are works of art… In this particular area young artists, immigrants and bohemians have always found a space to coexist and create.

Back to our neck of the woods there is Exarchia sharing 8th place with Spedets, Bulgaria.

“Exarchia has been historically famous for being an anarchists den”, Adam Groffman mentions, “and alternative culture is alive, especially around the square”. Intellectuals and artists have contributed in forming the area and there is an abundance of political graffiti around the block. There you can find some of Athens' greatest hot spots for food. There you can also find socialist bookshops organizing several events and the streets around the square are filled with independent bookshops, record shops and live music clubs. The fact that many Greek universities are close by makes the area a very popular night spot filled with cocktail bars populated by crowds discussing several social issues.

This particular piece focuses on the bohemian and multicultural aspect of the area while there is no mention of police incidents, burnt cars, ghetto formations and drug dealings. 

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©Thanassis Karatzas

©Thanassis Karatzas