Beyond “The Jewel at the Top”, the many tourist shops selling dodgy souvenirs, tours – by Segway, bike and on foot – all kinds of street musicians and somewhat creepy mimes, the Makrygianni is flourishes in a trendy, upscale and warmly welcoming neighborhood. .
When I lived there for two years, I felt privileged and enchanted by its elegant and classic splendor.
The views of ancient monuments at different turns and from different angles, always captivating; the quiet streets that took me away from the harsh urban reality; the mixture of greenery and ruins beneath the Odeon Theater of Herodes Atticus; the sprawling nature on the picturesque hills of Pnyx and Filopapou; the architectural mixture of majestic neoclassical style, renovated 18and Century-old and vintage buildings from the 1960s and 1970s; the cobbled and pedestrian street of Dyionissiou Aeropagitou for walks all year round.
Likewise, the shops, cafes, restaurants and cultural spaces of the family district are proving increasingly attractive to visitors from all over the city and the world. Here I have selected the best less touristy places to visit on a day trip to Makrygianni, an ever-changing region; I strongly recommend that you visit the neighborhood with comfortable shoes and with enough time and money to discover as many of these places as possible, as well as getting lost in small side streets, discovering your new favorite places.
Impossible to miss it!
When in Athens, the Acropolis Museum is the A must visit place in the region and has a restaurant/café with a magnificent view of the Acropolis. In addition to its superb permanent collections, 3D projections, guided tours and exhibitions, there are also programs for children including treasure hunts and creative projects.
Since the museum opened, visitors often choose between the glass-floored, statue-filled galleries of the 25,000m² space and a visit to the Parthenon itself. Try not to, because they’re equally meaningful experiences, and the saying “there’s no such thing as the real thing goes for both”.
Culture + Jewelry
There just so happens to be two museum spaces dedicated to jewelry in Makrygianni (well, three if you were to include the ancient jewelry on display in the Acropolis Museum’s galleries and gift shop). One is the Eleni Marneri Gallery (7 Lebessi, near Acropolis metro station), which is unique in Greece in that it features contemporary jewelry by around 40 Greek and foreign designers, as well as a fantastic collection of modern accessories, home decor items and of course jewelry.
The other is the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, where more than 4,000 objects on the subject of the evolution of Greek jewelry design are made by the founder of the museum and through more than 50 collections are exhibited. The museum shop offers a large selection of decorative objects, clothing, books and of course jewelry to buy for a loved one (certainly that could be you). A 10-minute walk from the Acropolis Museum, down Parthenonos Street (28), visit Ariadni Kypri’s studio and gallery – in this flagship store you can admire the artist’s sculptural jewelry collections such as the Circus line, which features acrobats, some of whom are mobile, or Ydor, inspired by the sea.
At the corner of Kallisperi and Parthenonos streets (30), you will find Athena Design Workshop, one of the most artistic and down-to-earth decoration and accessories shops in the area. Australian-born Krina Vronti is a charismatic set designer and illustrator who works in technical, scenic and graphic design, as well as the manufacture of handmade, hand-painted or printed Greek or Athenian-themed items. , such as scarves, bags, t-shirts, notebooks, 3D. shadow box frames made with a collage and a story inside.
Hit the spot with coffee and snacks
It’s great to find a cafe with a nice decor, where you can relax halfway, and there are plenty of them lining Makrygianni Street, outside Acropolis metro station – with attractive decor , good coffee, cakes and several quality food options. But if you’re a die-hard coffee addict who takes your cup of java seriously, head to Coffee Dive on Misaraliotou St.
For a snack to accompany your coffee to go, just opposite is the Takis bakery, the most legendary in the area, appreciated for its different kinds of pitesAmerican-style moist cakes with creamy toppings and toppings, rich chocolate brownies, lavender salt shortbread cookies, and a variety of herb or spice flavored bread pieces.
On Zitrou, the little side street outside Takis is Drupes & Drips, which sells freshly squeezed juices with fruits, vegetables and superpowers, charcuterie, regional cheeses, raki and coffee. For a coffee with a view, The Athens Was boutique hotel has a rooftop restaurant/cafe offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Acropolis with fresh Mediterranean dishes, drinks and coffee (from 12:00 p.m. at 11:00 p.m.) every day.
Last but not least, an all-time favorite among gourmet sandwich lovers is down a bit, technically in the Koukaki neighborhood, at 41 Veikou St. With barely enough room to stand but still with a queue of people. Determined expectation, Guarantee has been making custom-made sandwiches since the late 80s, and although many have already discovered it, it has never lost its authenticity because of advertising.
A great grocery store selling a wide variety of traditional, pure and organic Greek foods is Ellinika Kaloudia (Greek Delights) at 8 Chatzichristou Street, just behind the Acropolis Museum.