The Perfect Sunday Stroll in Athens

By Rozita Papaellinas

There are a few essential landmarks that you must visit when coming to Athens! A long, tiring, but ultimately enjoyable walk will reveal all of them…

First, we start off at Zappeion, a Neoclassical building of Corinthian style, which is located at the end of Irodou tou Attikou. In the evenings, the welcoming square overflows with the sound of children’s laughter and murmurs of adult conversations, as well as coaches’ shouts as it is a favourable location for a late jog chosen by many athletes. If you are lucky, you might get there in time to cheer marathon runners as they finish, shop at book festivals, or even watch beauty pageants like Miss Tourism (although I don’t think we’ll ever be seeing again)!!! We quickly walk down the stairs and are able to admire the impressive water fountains, a little to the left and we’ll find the best-hidden café in Athens, ‘Fokianos’. Drinks, snacks and we’re ready to go.

Moving on, we cross Vasilissis Olgas, on the red path, keep to the left (downhill) until we reach Hadrian’s Arc. We cross the road at the traffic light and arrive near Sense Rooftop, as it specifies on the map. Ahead lies an endless stretch of pavemented road named Dionisou Aeropagitou, my favourite. Here all the street musicians gather for live performances, which are accompanied by street artists, dancers, acrobats, live statues and food stands. Towards the end of the street, to our right, is the infamous Herodeion theatre where performances take place daily.

Now we turn downwards again, to Theoria Street, for the rest of the journey. Usually, the people who pass by here are heading for the Parthenon, but we are only admiring it from afar. However, if you’d really like to visit, take a deep breath and… begin the climb (they recently added a lift)!

We now walk to Anafiotika, and maybe I lied before and turns out this is my favourite part of Athens. This area was built during the Era of Otto. A few workers were sent from the island of Anafi with the job of renovating the King’s palace. This is why Anafiotika remind us so much of our favourite islands, with their white walls and classic sea-blue windows.

As we’ve finally seen all of the basic landmarks I wanted to show you, it’s finally time to sit down and rest, if you haven’t done so already (I wouldn’t blame you!). You could go for a traditional Greek lunch at ‘Cave of Acropolis’ (Thrasillou 24, Athina 105 58) or for snacks at ‘the Sweet’ (Geronta 2, Athina 105 58). I hope you enjoyed the walk and appreciated all of Athens’ beauty!

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