"Athens is a rich city, both historically and culturally. There are dozens of diverse opportunities to experience if you take the initiative to go and discover them. I have no doubt that you will stumble across surprising side streets with great food vendors, restaurants, coffee shops and more. Likewise, do not be afraid to get lost. A friendly “Sygnomi” can go a long way."
Athens may be steeped in history, but is by no means stuck in time. Athens is a rapidly modernizing metropolis where the immediacy of the past stands in stark juxtaposition to the evolving demands of the present.
Renowned worldwide for its history, monuments, and museums, the cultural life of Athens is an energizing blend of old and new.
Hip bars spring up alongside small, live music venues offering the ever-popular Rebetika. There is a thriving theater tradition—from the ancient to the experimental.
Athens boasts an impressive number of art galleries and classic cinemas. You can easily catch a ferry and make day trips to nearby islands. There are beaches, sports venues and concert halls, myriad restaurants and cafes, and the open air fresh food market is a weekly mainstay in every neighborhood
Athens is a densely packed city of ancient sites, museums, and a seemingly endless span of modern urban landscapes, ever-changing, and vividly alive all beneath the gaze of the Parthenon one of most important ancient monuments in the Western world.
Athens suitably impresses its visitors by the timeless evidence of its brilliance in the arts, architecture, philosophy, and politics.
Living in Athens as a non-Greek—making a home in a neighborhood, establishing a routine that allows for getting to know the local pace and rhythm—requires more than adjusting to a different mindset and culture, it's about identifying and embracing your own unique differences.
Despite its rapid and ongoing transformation, Athens remains a city of small, intimate neighborhoods clustered around a central plateia, or square. Each enclave—from the bohemian outpost of Exarhia to the posh Kolonaki to Nea Smyrni, named by the refugees from Smyrna who settled it—has its own distinct personality and charm.
Believe it or not, traditional village life is still very much alive in Athens, where apartment balconies stand in for gardens and living rooms in the warm weather and the neighborhood cafes brim with people, night and day, sitting over coffee or ouzo, joking, endlessly debating, and sharing news.
Dedicating time to exploring a variety of the city’s neighborhoods will reveal a city with a distinctly Mediterranean pace and intimacy coupled by an indomitable zest for life.