Athens: Roaming around Exarchia, Psirri and Koukaki

In a recent trip to Athens [you can see the photo essay here] me and A. rented – for the first time – our accomodation through the well-known AirBnb.

Usually we book a room in a normal hostel or guesthouse but this time, because we couldn´t find the right place, we decided to try something new (for us) and ended up by choosing this option.

Our spacious and stylish studio

I believe we were lucky with our host. And I write it because I’m sure not everyone will have the luck to rent the house of such a nice person.

To be honest, we didn´t felt like we were renting a house but more like visiting an old friend. Once we arrived and met our host, she was genuinely pleasant and welcoming.

Six d.o.g.s., a great place to enjoy Athens by night

It made me remember when I used to do couchsurfing: she showed us all the house and gave us the best tips, not the touristic ones (those everyone can find in a book or in the internet), but the most interesting, the most related with us. Really tailor-made.

Thanks to it me and my girlfriend discovered amazing spots in Athens, those kind of places where we would go if we were borned and raised in the greek capital.

Friday night we went to six d.o.g.s., a cultural center with great music, where we enjoyed a warm night outside, in a huge terrace full of locals.

Street art is present all over Athens: in Exarchia and in Psirri

On the next day, we headed to Exarchia, a neighborhood in the downtown where we could find a lot of street art [you can see the photo essay here] and a lot of good bookstores.

Even if I can’t read in Greek, the truth is that I found the books truly beautiful: I opened many books and my eyes roamed happy around the pages written in greek alphabet. At that moment, me and A. decided that we should learn Greek. (Maybe we´ll do it someday!)

Another great tip our host gave us was to dinner and hang out in Psirri neighborhood. Athens is one of the most lively cities I´ve ever been and Psirri is where there the best restaurants and bars, so you can imagine.

Ρακοπωλειον: a traditional greek restaurant in Psirri area

We found Ρακοπωλειον, a small taverna with traditional greek dishes and drinks. We couldn´t choose better! The food and the ambiance were perfect, the staff was very helpful and the price inexpensive. A must-go!

Sunday morning we decided to go for a brunch and we followed our host recommendation: Bel Ray, in Koukaki area, a residencial neighborhood, full of local shops and sidewalks with trees.

Bel Ray, our choice for sunday brunch

From our home, we walked 30 minutes but it was totally compensated with the tasty sandwiches and good coffee at Bel Ray.

We came from Athens with the feeling that we still have a lot to discover. This first time we saw all the touristic spots (as you can see in the video) but we were also surprised by the hidden gems of this huge and energetic city.

Athens is, for sure, one city to return and, if possible, to stay longer. Long enough to, at least, learn the language and know how to read our beloved Greek alphabet.

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