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Exploring Athens through Walking Tours

Planning your next vacation to the Greek capital Athens? It’s a perfect destination for millions of tourists from around the world. The magnificent, historic city of Athens can be explored in various ways. But, walking tours are obviously among the finest way to get amazing glimpse into diverse facets of this “Cradle of Civilization”.

Let us embark on virtual walking tours to get a close look of this beautiful city, and know first-hand about the people, their culture and lifestyle. Here are some of the popular walking routes that the tourists can undertake for their Athens sojourn.

The first choice for tourists going on walking tours is Syntagma Square-Plaka-New Acropolis Museum circle walking route. Start your tour from Syntagma Square to get easy access to Plaka, one of the most celebrated and oldest neighborhoods of Athens. The Plaka area, which is connected to the Holy Rock of Acropolis, is a not to be missed place for all tourists exploring Athens on foot. Visiting this unique, scenic place with numerous labyrinthine alleys seems as though one is walking down the memory lane reliving the glorious past of Athens. Strolling around “Anafiotika” in Plaka is a fascinating experience indeed. It looks as if a small island has popped from Acropolis’ northern slope. Your visit to Plaka will take you to its main pedestrian-only streets Adrianou and Kidathinaion where you will discover many shops trading conventional Greek food products, folk artifacts and souvenirs. While strolling down the many alleys in Plaka, you can visit the conventional Athenian eateries or taverns, as well as some of the famous museums here.

To see the “New Acropolis Museum”, you need to continue with your walking tour and head uphill traversing the alleys of Plaka and staircases. This will lead you to the entrance of Acropolis. This is the place from where you can gain entry to the historic archaeological ruins of Ancient Theatre of Dionysus. This is the place that also offers access to the shady grove and the remarkable marble routes exquisitely created by renowned Greek architect Pikionis. Both these routes will bring you to Europe’s most charming pedestrian-only area Dionisiou Areopagitou, from where you can visit the impressive “New Acropolis Museum”, home to the Holy Rock’s treasures. Dionisiou Areopagitou is the place from where you can also visit the popular archaeological sites in Athens such as Psirri. Monastiraki, Ano Petralona, Thiseion, Fillopapou Hill or Panathinaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro), Zappeion, Temple Of Olympian Zeus, and Adrianou Gate. The Makriyianni area, a new commercial neighborhood around New Acropolis Museum, offers plenty of choices to the tourists for eating, staying or buying. Here you will find a number of hotels, bistros, restaurants and trendy art shops.
 
The Ermou Street-Monastiraki Square is yet another popular walking route that provides tourists a great opportunity to discover Athens. Take Ermou Street to reach Monastiraki Square. Tourists will find it mesmerizing as it’s a whole new world. The walking tour here offers fascinating glimpse into Athens’ ancient past as well as its modern future. This walking route is great favorites with the local Athenians and foreign tourists. Monastiraki with its beautiful location at the foot of Acropolis Hill has much to offer to the visitors. This area is a big draw for shopaholics. Visit the Pandrossou Street to buy woven rugs, ceramics, sculptures, leather goods, Greek furs, antiquity-inspired jewelry and folk-art items.

Tired of walking and feeling hungry! Then why not head to some of the famous tavern and grills to enjoy the popular Greek souvlaki. After relaxing and spending some time here, begin your stroll once again and head to the Adrianou Street where you will simultaneously visit the Archaia Agora or Athens Ancient Market. You can also get amazing views of the Ancient Temple of Hephaestus, Stoa Atalius and Acropolis while enjoying a glass of wine, beer or coffee. Your visit here isn’t complete unless you see the flea market at Avissinnias Square “Yousouroum”. Here you can buy vinyl records, old books, furniture and antique mirrors. Make it a point to visit the colorful open bazaar which is open every Sunday. This is the best place to see and meet the local Athenians and know about their culture, traditions and lifestyle.

Another popular pedestrian-only walking route which you must consider is the Monastiraki-Thisseion-Petralona route. This walking route starts from the Thisseion Metro Station. The start of your walking tour will first take you to the Apostolou Pavlou Street leading to Thisseion and then moving around the Ancient Agora. This area is most frequented by the youngsters. Here you can find many street artists, restaurants and cafes. You can also buy handmade accessories at small shops. As you stroll on the main road of Thisseion, you will find a classic neighborhood, just a few steps away from here where you will discover two-storey houses and hidden courtyards. This neighborhood is known as Petralona. Here everything will look quiet until noon. But, this place becomes lively as evening sets in and continues to be so until past midnight with people enjoying at the trendy bars, taverns and cafes.

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