This is the place to go for an early morning stroll, the ancient temples of the Acropolis rising above you as you navigate a warren of narrow, plant-draped streets and alleys. Stick around for a coffee at one of the outdoor cafés, then browse the shops selling everything from plaster-cast busts to local herbs and spices. Stop for some souvlaki at the famed O Kostas then burn that off by climbing the Plaka Stairs. From here, it’s a short stroll to Anafiotika, a residential hillside neighborhood dotted with whitewashed, Greek Island-style homes
Address: Plaka, Athens, Greece
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Psyrri is known for its extravagant street art, along with hipster-friendly bars like The Handlebar, upcycled accessory shops (3QUARTERS) and, um, fairytale-inspired cafés (Little Kook). At night, locals come to hear rembetiko (the Greek Blues) or to shake their stuff at places like Death Disco. The area also has a glut of great restaurants, ranging from updated traditional at Zampano to tapas at Dos Gardenias. Nearby Monastiráki abuts the Ancient Agora marketplace, but for relics you can take home with you, head for the muddle of the Monastiraki Sunday Flea Market, where you’ll find everything from tourist trinkets to oddball antiques.
Address: Psyri, Athens, Greece
Voula and Sounio
A short drive down the Saronic Gulf coast leads to the Athenian Riviera—from the glitzy coastal town of Glyfada to the sandy beaches of Voula to the craggy cliffs of Sounio, home to the magnificent Temple of Poseidon. Traditionally, these have been places for Athenians to escape the bustle of city life, but the area is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, as evidenced by an array of seaside hotels, shops, wine bars and restaurants. Sturdy locals cycle the 40-mile trip to Sounio, but you can rent bikes along the way for shorter excursions.