Let us reacquaint you this culture spot that’s ideally placed for a mind-nourishing mini break
In the heart of this Greek city lies the famous Acropolis. These ancient hilltop ruins, widely considered the birthplace of democracy, are home to several historic buildings including the standout Parthenon. Be sure to arrive early to beat the crowds that gather to admire this sculptural feat. To admire a blend of old and new, head to Astir Beach (a favourite holiday spot among the Athenian elite just 20 minutes south of the city centre), where the Temple Apollo Zoster sits just a stone’s throw from the sparkling sea.
Museums and art galleries
Back at the Acropolis, brush-up on your Grecian history at the Acropolis Museum (the Chisel and Memory exhibition is running until 31 October). Next, head downtown to the Benaki Museum in the downtown area. This compelling culture spot has a lively line-up of exhibitions and events, as well as an impressive collection of Islamic art. Check out The Same River Twice: Contemporary Art in Athens exhibition from two locally-based artists, which focuses on the city’s evolving artistic landscape. Trendy creative hangout Trii Art Hub (in Koukaki opposite the National Museum of Modern Art) is the place to go to view works by emerging artists.
Athens is a famous hub for pottery and earthenware, and there are plenty of places to shop for ceramics. At Trabala Studio in Koukaki, you can pick out pieces that have been hand-crafted before your eyes. A destination where olive trees thrive, it’s natural that olive oil is also a popular buy – you’ll find a number of shops selling it in Plaka and Monastiraki.
Dine at the critically acclaimed ManiMani in Plaka, where traditional dishes are served with a modern twist. And don’t miss the home-style cooking and live Greek music at Tavern Klimataria in Theatrou – a rustic restaurant open since 1927.
Where to stay
The family-run The Margi luxury boutique in Vouliagmeni places you steps away from the sandy beaches yet within easy reach of the city’s historical sites. Design hotel AthensWas, in the heart of the city, is a sound choice for art buffs.
THIS MONTH’S HIGHLIGHT
The city’s annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival is running from June to October, with artists including Andrea Bocelli and Florence and the Machine taking to the stage. Performances take place at various venues, including the ancient theatres of the Odeon Herodes Atticus and Epidaurus. Hot tickets this month are the Opera Gala (28) and Prometheus by Aeschylus (29 and 30). ticketmaster.gr
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