Plaka is the oldest area in Athens; it is the old city of Athens. The area of Plaka wishes to maintain the old spirit of the city and accomplish a cultural, economical and social development; for that reason:
- the streets remain narrow as they were
- cars are generally not allowed
- most of the houses are restored
- also buildings of the late 19th century are restored where people of the political and cultural elite of the city used to live.
During the 20th century the residents abandoned the area and since the ’70s Plaka turned to a tourist center, with many restaurants, cafeterias, museums and agencies that brought life to this part of the city.
As a result of this phenomenon, the area of Plaka, as well as the Constitution square became the financial center of the capital.
Interesting monuments near our hotel, are:
- Acropolis of Athens
- Archeological site of the northern and southern Slope of Acropolis
- The Ancient Market
- The Roman Market
- The cemetary of Keramikos (which is configured for optimal pedestrian promenade)
- The Panathenaic Stadium
- Hadrian’s Library
- The Clock of Kirristos (Aerides)
- The Lysicratous Monument
- Arch of Adrianos
- The Temple of Olympian Zeus
- The Theater of Dionysus
- The Theatre of Herod Atticus
- The Church of Virgin Mary Gorgoepikoos
- Filopappou hill and its monuments
The improvements that took place, highlighted the area as one of the most beautiful and friendly areas of Athens.
Within walking distance from the hotel are the following museums:
- Acropolis Museum
- Archeological Museum of Keramikos
- Museum of Ancient Market (Stoa of Attalos)
- Museum of Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulou
- Centre of Studies of Acropolis in Dionisiou Aeropagitoy (near the underground station of Acropolis)
- Greek Folk Art Museum
- National Historical Museum (Old Parliament)
- Museum of Engravings and Graphic Arts
- Museum of Greek Popular Musical Instruments
- Numismatic Museum
- Jewish Museum
- Frisira Museum
Syntagma Square and the Athenian Parliament building
The Constitution square (Syntagma Sq.) is the square in front of the Parliament and has been marked by a number of historical events.
The Parliament itself is the former palace of first King of Greece, after the institution of the modern Greek State, king Otto. The palace was constructed starting the year 1836 and was completed in 1840.
However, as soon as Otto came of age, Dimitrios Kallergis and Ioannis Makrygiannis led the Greek soldiers under their command, to the square in front of the palace and demanded to expell the king’s guardians and to have a constitution drafted. This historical event gave the square the name Platia Syntagmatos (Sq. of Costitution).
This square was also marked by another event of great historical importance: in 1974, Konstantinos Karamanlis announces his return from exile in Paris, where he was during the military dictatorship, and addresses the free population.
Maintaining the importance to current years, the Syntagma Sq. is a meeting point of citizens on electoral campaigns, celebrations and events of every kind.
After the Olympiad of Athens in 2004, in particular, the Syntagma Square became a focal point for mass transport means, since practically all means go through or even start from/lead to this.
Another proof of the importance of Constitution Sq. in the economic and social life of Athenians is the fact that this is the beginnning of the commercial street of Athens, Ermou St.(of Hermes – God of Trade).
Topside of the Constitution Sq. is the Greek Parliament and the cenotaph “To the unknown soldier” “Agnostos Stratiotis” that is dedicated to those missing in action and is guarded by the Efzonoi, that stand motionless in front of it. An interesting sight is the morning ceremony of change of guard each Sunday.
The hotel is in favourable location, right in the center of the city, while being isolated from the noise and bustle.
The office for the briefing of tourists is in nearby, however the personnel of the hotel will be pleased to help you organise your vacations in the best possible manner.
The area was named Monastiraki (little monastery) because of the church of Pantanassa – now church of Dormition of the Virgin- which is situated on the side of the main square of the area and was the central and most important church of the Great Monastery in 17th century.
In the mid 18th century (1759), during the Turkish occupation a mosque was built from the governor of Athens across the square Monastiraki and it is currently used as museum of Ceramic art.
Monastiraki square is the starting point for Ifaistou and Pandrossou str. which are a small paradise for shopping: small and cozy shops offering all sorts of goods. In these shops someone can find used books, CDs, clothes and shoes, furniture and metal objects, as well as pieces of art and many more.
Also at the area a flea market is held every Sunday since 1910.
Just before the square you can find one of the most famous souvlaki (Hellenic traditional to-go-food) makers in Athens (Bairactari or Savva).
On the square there is also the rail way station, built on the 19th century and the new metro station that communicates with the old one. The building of the station was renovated before the Olympic games in Athens (2004) and the old line (with direction to Pireaus , the central port of Athens) is now connected with the line of the metro (with direction to Syntagma/Airport -we remind that Syntagma square is only 5min away from Acropolis House).
Monastiraki square is only ten minutes walk from our Hotel.
WHERE DO WE ENTERTAIN OURSELVES DURING THE NIGHT HOURS
Since the beginning, Psiri area was the centre for most of the theaters and artists of Athens. However, after the upgrading of the area- that was realized a few years earlier- Psiri became a starting point for the nightlife of the Athenians who wish to listen “rembetiko” music while eating in traditional taverns or enjoying rock melodies in the cafes and walk through the narrow streets, taste new flavors and feel safe till the early morning hours.
LYKAVITOS – THISSIO
For a late walk under the star-lit sky you can go up the hill of Lykavitos with the small train (it stops at midnight) and come back down walking or stroll down Saint Paul Street to Thissio, where you will find cafes and bars.
KOLONAKI – GAZI
Another central region of Athens that gathers a crowd, especially in winter, is Kolonaki. At a distance of less than 10 minutes by foot from our hotel, in Kolonaki you can find an abundance of trendy and chic cafes, bars and restaurants and enjoy a great afternoon or evening.
During the past years the area that is informally known as Gazi has seen great development. It is a previously infamous region that, with the arrival of the metro (underground) (line 3 – station Keramikos), saw an era of rapid development, a lot of businessmen investing in entertainment and the people flocking to the new, trendy night-clubs and restaurants. Thus, every night it bustles with people! This is also a winter’s destination for most, however during summertime people assemble to the roof-gardens that many cafes and bars of the region offer. From our hotel the metro (underground) is only five minutes walking distance!
Of course there are also the big dance halls that change singers and bands at least twice a year. The “Mpouzoukia“, a definitely Greek way of entertainment, is something you can find all over Attica and mainly along the coastal avenue.
For something even more traditionally Greek, you could choose evenings with “rempetika”. The “rempetika” songs are part of the music that was presented late in the 19th century and blossomed in the urban centres during the decade of 1930. Live music of this genre can be heard at the Gallery of Immortals in the Central Market of Athens.
Generally, in Athens at night you can find all kinds of music, from clubs with disco music to trans clubs.
The reception of our hotel can help you, as long as you know your desire…
CINEMAS – THEATERS
For a smoother night out you can try cinema. Once again you have a big range to choose from: modern films, blockbusters but also artistic or simply old ones. During summertime there are open-air cinemas that combine the splendid night sky, a cold beer on the table with some snacks and a good film! In Plaka, a few meters away from the hotel, there is the open-air cinema “Zigos” (Scale) and in Thissio the “Thission” cinema.
If you prefer theatres, the options are many. The most important are:
- the theatre (conservatoire) of Herod of Attica
- the theatre of Epidaurus
- the Hall of Music of Athens and
- the theatre of “Filopappou” that has regular performances of the “Dora Stratou” traditional dances group with dances from all over Greece.
The market of Plaka is addressed to the visitors of the city and offers lot and useful souvenirs for all size of pockets. Jewelry stores, carpet stores, clothes, leather goods and furs ect. In fact you can find stores staying open even later then the custom shopping hours, especially during the summer.
A recommended store is Emblem that sells hand made crafts on Makrigianni str 15 Tel + 30 210 9226520
For clothes, shoes, cosmetics and house hold items Ermou str offers the best deals and as it is a pedestrian street it is perfect for window shopping.
Shops working hours are
Monday- Wednesday- Saturday from 8.00 to 15.00
Tuesday- Thursday – Friday from 8.00 to 14.30 and from 17.30 to 20.30
Near Syntagma square a new shopping center, Attica, is built and stays open daily from 8.00 to 20.30.