Anafiotika in Athens, Greece is a place I was determined to find on our September/October 2019 trip. This little gem is a town within a town. It is located in the Plaka area, which is the oldest part of Athens. The Plaka neighborhood is right beneath the Acropolis and is charming with narrow streets and old world buildings filled with shops and restaurants. Anafiotika is just above Plaka and below the Acropolis
History of Anafiotika
Anafiotika came to be in the 1840’s when King Otto decided to refurbish his palace. He sent for skilled carpenters and construction workers from the Greek Island of Anafi. Once here, the people from Anafi built there homes into the Northeast side of Acropolis Hill. They built their homes reminiscent of the homes in Anafi, both in style, and whitewash charm of the cyclades.
Anafiotika was easier to find than we planned, or we got lucky. I had read you can find Anafiotika by first heading up the Plaka Steps. The Plaka Steps is the area with many restaurants that have tables sitting along the steps. Once you arrive at the first landing, turn right and follow the alley and at the end of the alley you turn left. After that you follow another alley or two and then go up some stairs and there it is! What you first notice about Anafiotika is the street art, or graffiti. We were pleasantly surprised when we found Anafiotika. It was just as I had read, tucked back into an almost hidden area of the Plaka in Athens.
Wandering Around Anafiotika
Steve and I had a great time wandering the narrow streets of Anafiotika. Loosing your way here is easy, but that is part of the fun and uniqueness of Anafiotika. There were many times we couldn’t decide if we wanted to go right or left, up steps or down steps. Sometimes we ended up at dead ends! It was very important to us to be respectful. Although some homes are abandoned, people still have their homes here. We would look down a walkway before following it to make sure it wasn’t someone’s private home area.
There are spots within the area that have great city views and also acropolis views.
The Streets of Plaka
We spent about an hour here and found it to be a lot of fun. After wandering around the Anafiotika area, we spent some time browsing the streets of the Plaka and Monastiraki neighborhoods. It was a bit crowed in some places but not so much in others. Steve was on a mission to buy a belt, as he had bought one last year and loved it, glad to say he found exactly what he wanted.
I really enjoy the Plaka area and believe it is the best place for a home base in Athens if you enjoy the historic sites. There are are so many things to see and do within walking distance.
Next we visited the Ancient Agora and Temple of Hephaestus which I wrote about in my last blog post. We spent the remainder of the afternoon at the rooftop pool at our hotel, The Electra Palace, enjoying views of the Acropolis and just relaxing.
Where We Stayed in Athens
In Athens we stayed at the Electra Palace Hotel which is in the Plaka area of Athens and within walking distance of everywhere we went. The hotel has beautiful views of the Acropolis. The breakfast buffet was delicious with lots of variety. You can book here if you would like to stay here while in Athens.
Last year when we were in Athens we used the Rick Steves Pocket Athens guidebook and found a lot of useful information in it. There is also a pocket map.
This year we added Top 10 Athens (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide) to help us plan and found it extremely helpful and organized. It includes top 10 places for restaurants, things to see, shopping, etc. It also divides into top 10 of each area. This is my favorite guide book. It does come with a pocket map.
We also bought an Athens Street Map which was more in-depth and very useful as we explored more areas on this trip.
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