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Plaka Neighbourhood

Like a village in the city, Athens' charming old town is known as the Neighbourhood of the Gods.

TravelCurious Tip

The streets may be pedestrianized, but don’t presume that everyone plays by the rules – keep an eye out for the occasional speeding motorbike!

Located immediately to the north of the Acropolis, Plaka is the historic heart of Athens. Its proximity to the famous Athenian citadel, and its abundance of religious shrines, have earned it the nickname “Neighbourhood of the Gods”, and you often feel a sense of wonder at this beautiful place as you wander through it.


Lost and Found

Lying on top of and around the ruins of the ancient Athenian agora, Plaka was actually abandoned by its inhabitants during the 1820s because of the fierce battles of the Greek War of Independence being fought against the Ottoman Empire. They soon drifted back, though, and the neigbourhood began to rebuild. These days, Plaka is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, and after spending some time there, the reasons become obvious.


An Easy Pace of Life

Most of the streets in Plaka are pedestrianised, making a stroll through the neighborhood a pleasantly relaxing change from the often hectic avenues in rest of Athens. You can wander beneath hanging flowers, past beautiful old red-roofed houses and towards one of the many street vendors selling delicious plates of traditional Greek food. It’s a great place to unwind with a cold drink and watch the everyday happenings of traditional Athenian life. If you’re after designated attractions, the lovely Byzantine Saint Nicholas Ragavas church is almost a thousand years old, the ruins of the ancient agora are great for a sense of historical perspective, and the exquisite Lysicrates monument is the dramatic ancient centrepiece of Tripodon Street.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Athens
Acropolis
An ancient citadel high above the city, this group of stunning ruins are among the most important cultural icons of Western civilisation.
Parthenon
Crowning the Acropolis hill, the sublime marble columns of the Parthenon form the most recognisable monument in Athens.
Erechtheion
This temple across from the Parthenon is famous for its Caryatids, the six larger-than-life female columns which support its roof.
Theatre of Dionysus
One of the earliest preserved theatres in Athens, this space was used during festivals to honour the wine god Dionysus.
Acropolis Museum
Completed in 2009, this archaeological museum has one of the best displays of Greek antiquities in the world.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
The colossal remains of this temple lie in the centre of the city, telling a long and fascinating history.

Related Tours

The Greek Essentials - Full Day Highlights of Athens
If you only have a short amount of time in Athens and want to see as much as possible in one day, then this highlight tour is the one for you. On your private full day tour, you will: 

  • Discover Athen's cultural sites, including the remains of the Temple of Zeus and the iconic Acropolis
  • Learn about myths and legends of Ancient Greece 
  • Wander through the New Acropolis Museum, discovering the beautiful art and architecture 
  • Walk along the Agora, the heart of classical Athens, and learn about the origins of democracy 
  • Enjoy a classical Greek lunch, at a place recommended by your guide (price not included in tour)
  • Explore the oldest district in the city, Plaka 
  • Immerse yourself in local life at the Monastiraki flea market
  • Visit the marbled Panathenaic Stadium, constructed for the first modern Olympic Games 
Classical Ruins

With your expert guide you will discover the city’s most important cultural sites, including the colossal remains of the Temple of Zeus and the Acropolis, a UNESCO world heritage site. On the plateau of the Acropolis you will find the awe-inspiring heights of the Parthenon pillars, gaze on the beautiful female forms of the Cartyid columns, discover on some of the earliest theatres known to man and enjoy panoramic views over the city. Your guide will explain the central role these monuments, and more, played in classical society and immerse you in the myths and legends of Ancient Greece.

Archaeological Wonders

After wandering the Parthenon you will visit in the spectacular New Acropolis Museum. Here you will learn firsthand the artistic wonders that once adorned the monuments of the Acropolis. You will also wander through the Agora, the heart of classical Athens. Once a bustling marketplace, in these now peaceful ruins you’ll walk in Socrates’ footsteps amongst classic temples and Byzantine churches, learning how Athens became the birthplace of democracy.

Thriving Capital 

Following a lunch of local cuisine, you will explore bustling Plaka, the oldest district in the city. Sometimes called “the neighbourhood of the gods”, Plaka is known for its winding alleyways and scenic shopping. Immerse yourself in local life at the Monastiraki flea market, before venturing to the grand Syntagma square, home to the Greek Parliament. Watch the presidential guards, in their famous skirted costumes, and be led by your guide through the natural beauty of the National Gardens. 

Finally, you will also visit the stunningly marbled Panathenaic Stadium. Constructed for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, this immense structure is a strong reminder of the continual legacy of ancient Athens in the modern day. 
Private Food Tour of Athens
Dine on Greek food today, and you are feasting on a culmination of thousands of years of  history: a fascinating and revealing taste journey of rich, deeply-satisfying flavours. Greeks, it is said, approach food with a mix of passion and nostalgia, inevitably reminiscing about the dishes on which they were raised. On your drool-worthy Greek Food Tour, you will:

  • Embark on a gastronomic exploration of one of the most delectable food quarters of Athens
  • Discover the cafes and delicatessens on Monastiraki Square
  • Enjoy authentic local cuisine well away from the tourist drag. 
  • Explore authentic Greek foods gain an insight into rich, local flavours
  • Yield to the sizzle and smells of street food in Plaka’s backstreets
  • Sample delicious Greek produce such as cheese, yoghurt, Galaktoboureko and koulóuria
  • Discover the bustle and barter at the market, Varvakios Agora of Athens,
  • Enjoy the punchy flavour of homegrown Grecian coffee 
With a foodie guide, your Greek Food Tour will explore some of Greece’s finest traditional dishes as well as mouth-watering local specialities. You will taste things like crumbly greek cheeses, buttery olive oils and succulent pastries and gain an insight into Greece’s unique culinary customs. Perhaps you’ll choose to indulge in fresh koulóuria, a sesame bagel baked crunchy with a delectably soft inside or maybe you will sample yoghurt, spices, local wine and aged aromatised vinegars and treat your taste buds to fresh honey, syrupy Loukoumade, and Galaktoboureko - custard-filled filo pastry. 

On your Greek Food Tour, meet Greek chefs, visit Greek kitchens and spend time in speciality food stores that tourists rarely discover. Gain cooking tips, learn closely guarded food secrets and enjoy a homegrown Grecian coffee during a visit to the city’s finest seafood, meat and poultry market, the Varvakios Agora of Athens.
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