& Be Merry

Athens Guide

As a traveller, I seek out flea markets & shopping streets with local designers, picturesque walking areas, neighborhoods where locals hang out and generally anything unique to the place I’m visiting. Below is my selection of the top things to see and do in downtown Athens, which I call Be Merry Downtown: must-visit neighborhoods like Plaka or interesting neighborhoods like Exarchia, the Varvakios Market, the Monastiraki flea market, Protogenous vintage shopping street, the best downtown open-air movie theaters and much more. I do not include information about museums (but in brief, you should definitely see the Acropolis & National History museums and, if you have time, any or all of the three Benaki museums).

Metaxourgio – Kerameikos (could see)

Metaxourgio is one of Athens’ alternative and hipster ‘hoods. Metaxourgio or Kerameikos, a name that is more used after the area became so popular, is filled with cafés, bars, restaurants and mezedopolia (places that offer small dishes along with some ouzo or other alcohol).

Exarchia (could see)

Exarchia is one of Athens’ cool hoods with a long history of being a center for political dialogue. It’s a favorite place for students and it is filled with cafés and small restaurants.

National Gardens & Zappeion (could see)

The National Garden is located in the heart of Athens, next to the Greek Parliament in Syntagma. It used to serve as the royal gardens of King Otto and Queen Amalia, who used to reside in the building that today hosts the Greek Parliament.


Panathenaic Stadium (should see)

The Panathenaic Stadium or, as Greeks call it, Kallimarmaro is a historic stadium entirely constructed of marble and the place where the opening ceremony of the Modern Olympic Games took place in 1896.

MONASTIRAKI & the Flea Market (must see)

Monastiraki is a must visit downtown Athens neighborhood. It is famous for its flea market and it’s filled with Cafés with terraces offering an amazing view of Acropolis and Plaka.

Plaka and Anafiotika (must see)

MUST SEE — Plaka is a beautiful neighborhood located in the heart of historic Athens, next to the Acropolis Hill and the stunning temple of Parthenon.



Open air cinemas in Athens: Cine Paris

Cine Paris is an open air movie theater located in the middle of picturesque Plaka neighborhood. Its amazing views of Acropolis and Parthenon temple will take your breath away!

Open air cinemas in Athens: Cine Aegli

Cine Aegli (or “Aegli Zappeiou”) is an open-air cinema located just a 10-minute walk away from Syntagma. The cinema is next to the National Gardens and the aroma of the flowers makes you feel you’re far, far away from Athens, even though you’re actually in the heart of it!

Varvakeios Central Market

Varvakeios, Athens’ municipal market, located downtown close to Monastiraki neighborhood is a place you must visit in order to experience the local, Athens vibe.

Embros Theater Events

Embros Theater is a theater hall located in the Psiri neighbourhood that became occupied by a group of young people in 2011 and has operated as a cultural hub ever since.

Athens Free Walking Tours: Dionysiou Areopagitou – Apostolou Pavlou

Dionysiou Areopagitou and Apostolou Pavlou are two pedestrian streets that you must see if you visit Athens. They are really picturesque and lie next to some of the most beautiful Athens sights and landmarks like Acropolis, Pnyx, and Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

Open air cinemas in Athens: Cine Thission

Watching a movie at Cine Thission, under the illuminated temple of Parthenon, is an unforgettable experience you shouldn’t miss!

Athens Guide