Best Christmas Themed Cafes and Restaurants in Athens 

Many cafes and restaurants in Athens are welcoming the festive season with elaborate decorations, bright lights, and lots of red and gold taking centre stage. 

Seasonal menus have also changed to match this wonderful time of year – so we’ve rounded up the most festive spots that turn into winter wonderlands for you to visit in the Greek capital over Christmas! 

Little Kook

This gorgeous little spot in the heart of Athens stands out for its Christmas cheer! The extravagant decor and sparkly array of ornaments are displayed in every corner of the cafe – both inside and out. Apart from the decor that evokes the spirit of Christmas, what makes Little Kook special is that the friendly staff are dressed accordingly, making the setting even more theatrical! Don’t miss the opportunity to try decadent sweets swimming in chocolate or the colourful and moist cupcakes with marshmallows. 

Α: Karaiskaki 17, Athens

P: +30 21 0321 4144

Cap Cap

The Christmas period may have just started but Cap Cap has already entered a very festive mood! This thematic cafe constantly takes visitors on a fairytale adventure through unique themes that change each season – and right now it’s all about Santa, elves and nutcrackers! Famous for its highly imaginative decorations, here you will also enjoy creative sweets including homemade cakes, playful cupcakes, chocolate delights and amazing drinks that will warm you up in no time. 

A: 26 Panormou, Athens

P: + 30 21 0590 4116

Stylitis

This small coffee shop tucked away in an alley of Kaisariani, is a magical spot that dresses up in festive attire every Christmas. It’s a beautiful wooden chalet, which also houses a picturesque hall on a mezzanine floor – from where you can gaze for hours at the stunning decor. The vintage elements of the shop (found all year round) enhance the whole experience and make you feel as if you are in a fairytale. Here you can enjoy wonderful handmade hot chocolate, as well as a range of delicious sweet treats. 

A: 3 Nikomeidias, Athens

P: +30 210 723 5572

Noel

By far one of the most festive all-day cafe bars in Athens, this is an absolutely atmospheric hangout! The romantic space (inspired by an old Paris) features a range of elegant décor that blends in beautifully with the rest of the restaurant’s unique design. You can visit Noel from early morning for coffee or brunch, until the late evening for dinner and drinks.   

Α: Kolokotroni 59B, Athens

P: +30 21 1215 9534

Athénée

One of Athens’ most elegant all-day restaurants is even more stunning to visit this time of year! We recommend you combine your Christmas shopping at the nearby high-end fashion stores with an exquisite lunch or afternoon tea at Athénée. And if you are around on the weekend, definitely visit for a unique brunch spread that has been designed by talented chef Antonis Selekos, and includes a signature Panettone that has also been exclusively created by Selekos.

A: 9 Voukourestiou, Athens

P: +30 21 0772 8411

Winter Garden 

The Winter Garden of the Grande Bretagne is a unique experience hosted in one of Athens’ most historic hotels. The carefully picked lounge music and wonderful atmosphere accompany the impressive menu curated by executive chef Asterios Koustoudis and his talented team, while pastry chef Evgenios Vardakastanis has created some Christmas options that are perfect with a cup of coffee or afternoon tea. Make sure you try the traditional Italian Panettone or the luscious raspberry chestnut cake!  

A: Vas. Georgiou A’ 1, Athens 

P: +30 210 333 0000

Geco Athens 

Located at the five-star Gatsby Hotel in the centre of Athens, this is one of the most ideal spots for a coffee, drink, or a casual dinner during the festive season, as the elegant décor beautifully compliments the menu’s fresh flavours and traditional recipes that include modern twists. This is the perfect place to head to after a busy day wandering around in the city looking for Christmas gifts. 

A: 14 Lekka, Athens

P: +30 21 0321 6001

Belle Amie

The all-day bar restaurant in Piraeus is undoubtedly one of the most atmospheric bistro restaurants in this part of Athens. Housed in a beautiful old building, decorated with imposing chandeliers, retro paintings, candles and other vintage touches – this time of year it’s even more beautiful with the addition of gorgeous Christmas decorations. Perfect choice for brunch, a nice dinner, or a festive cocktail. 

A: Angelou Metaxas 11, Piraeus

P: + 30 21 0417 5740

Βy the Glass Wine Bistrot 

With a great selection of Greek and international wines, champagnes, as well as spirits and dessert wines – here you can toast to the festive season in style! You can also taste impressive dishes based on the best local raw ingredients, which have been carefully designed to match the wine experience by renowned chef Kostas Tsigkas. The cool jazz and soul music in the background, along with the wonderful Christmas decorations complete the magical atmosphere.  

Α: G. Souri 3 & Filellinon, Stoa Ralli

P: + 30 210 3232560

Main image | Belle Amie 

What’s On in Athens: This Weekend

If you are in Athens and looking for some cool events to attend, you are in the right place, as we’ve rounded up the best of what’s on this weekend in the Greek capital.

 Jimmy Carr | Terribly Funny 2.0
Insights Greece - What’s On in Athens: This Weekend

One of the most successful and distinguished stand-up comedians in the world, Jimmy Carr returns to Athens with his dark humor and outrageous jokes for a unique show. The award-winning comedian will present his latest stand-up comedy tour, “Terribly Funny 2.0,” with jokes about all kinds of “terrible” things that may have happened to you or people you know!

Entry: €35

Date & Time: Saturday 25 November, 7 am

Address: Christmas Theater, Ave Veikou

Tickets: more.com

Le Presbyter | Ballet for Life Bejart Ballet Lausanne
Insights Greece - What’s On in Athens: This Weekend

Created in 1997 by the late great Maurice Béjart, this contemporary ballet is one of his most famous pieces that’s been performed. Paying tribute to three people who died too young – Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, composer Mozart and former Béjart Ballet principal dancer Jorge Donn – it’s set to the music of Queen and Mozart and features talented dancers in a ballet designed to express optimism and the hope that, as Mercury sang, the show must go on.

Entry: €25-€95

Date & Time: Saturday 25 November, 9 am, Sunday 26 November 5 am

Address: ATHENS MUSIC HALL – Vas. Sofias & Kokkali 1, Athens

Tickets: webticketsmegaron.gr

Mall Grab Party 
Insights Greece - What’s On in Athens: This Weekend

Australian producer Mall Grab, one of the modern titans of the electronic music scene and the world’s most sought-after DJs, arrives in Athens and promises to rock the Greek capital, as only he knows how, as part of the EDEN parties at the Athens Conservatory. The party will kick off with high-energy producer I.Jordan, self-proclaimed “rising global nightlife queer icon” Chloe Caillet and Eden favourite Jay Jay.

Entry: €17-25

Date & Time: Sunday 26 November 2023, 4 pm-midnight

Address: The Athens Conservatory, Rigillis & 17-19 Vasileos Georgiou B, Pangrati

Tickets: more.com

Constantinopoliad | Sister Sylvester – Nadah El Shazly
Insights Greece - What’s On in Athens: This Weekend

This unique presentation features a handmade book, read collectively by the audience inside a sound installation. A response to the archive of the poet Constantine Cavafy, the work is inspired by the blank and torn-out pages in “Constantinopoliad, an epic”, a journal that the teenage Cavafy began when he and his family fled Alexandria.

Entry: Free with entrance tickets

Date & Time: 25-26 November | Wednesday-Sunday 8.30pm

Address: Onassis Stegi, 107-109 Syggrou Avenue, Neos Kosmos

Website: onassis.org

Retrospective
Insights Greece - What’s On in Athens: This Weekend

“The usefulness of the painter lies in the composition and formulation of the generally accepted mythology of his time,” was a key phrase in the life of Spyros Koukoulomatis. The famous painter with his strong vision influenced by expressionism and surrealism infused his creations with symbols from Greek mythology to underline contemporary social issues with a deep interest in human nature. “Retrospective” is the first exhibition organised in Athens, since the painter’s death in 1995, and it presents around a hundred works from his oeuvre. It’s a rare opportunity to admire his creations and to dive into his imaginary world.

Entry: Free

Date & Time: 25-26 November 2023, Tuesday-Friday 11 am-7 pm, Weekend 10 am-3 pm

Address: Melina Mercouri Cultural Center, 66 Heraklidon, Athens

Hotel Review: Mona Athens, Raw Luxury and Delicate Details

Hotel Review Mona Athens

Tucked into a gritty alley in the downtown Athens neighbourhood of Psyrri, sits Mona Athens boutique hotel: a sanctuary for the senses just moments away from buzzing Monastiraki Square. 

The lowdown

Housed in a building from the 1950s that has been preserved with great love and creativity, Mona Athens is the ideal spot for those who seek a unique stay and want to be among the bustle of downtown Athens. 

Details

The delicate details throughout Mona Athens are in contrast to the underground feel of its street-level surrounds. The plush yet industrial touches you see in the rooms and common spaces are custom, hand-made, or recycled from found materials and made by the hotel’s design studio House of Shila. Many of the items on display are also available for purchase. 

Rooms

The hotel has 20 rooms of different sizes that each embody a raw sense of luxury in their own way. The openness of the rooms reflects the hotel’s philosophy of surrender and freedom. The bath area in particular, which includes a large bathtub, has an open design with sheer draping (heavy velvet curtains make for room separators when privacy is needed). Boasting comforts like raw cotton sheets and ultra-comfortable low, natural mattresses treated with olive oil, there’s also fresh coffee beans, loose-leaf tea and a minibar filled with gourmet Greek products making guests feel right at home. Room types include the Intimate, Velvet, Floret, Amour, Penthouse and Mona suites, sleeping 2-4 people.

Food + Drinks

The breakfast room on the ground level is a peaceful communal space that resembles an industrial living room surrounded by exquisite design pieces. The Levantine-inspired breakfast includes savoury and sweet options, such as eggs, a selection of mouthwatering spreads served with sourdough bread, yogurt bowl and pancakes. Your morning coffee and choice of food can also be enjoyed in the comfort of the rooms or on the rooftop. Also good to note, room service is available throughout the day.

Extras touches

When Mona’s rooftop isn’t playing host to art and book launches or supper club events, it makes for a stylish spot to unwind while serving yourself from the Honest Bar which runs on an honour system. A selection of hand-picked natural wines is a highlight. 

Mona’s reception and concierge services are accessed via a tablet placed in each room. Here, you can also find information about additional services that can be arranged for guests like personal training sessions, massage treatments and laundry services. 

What’s close-by

Almost everything! Being a few minutes walk from Monastiraki Square means that you’ll be moments from the Monastiraki Flea Market, the historical district of Plaka and walking distance to the Acropolis, along with great bars, cafes and restaurants just a stone’s throw away. Also worth mentioning is the close proximity to the metro line that takes you to both the Airport and Piraeus port. 

Highlight of stay

While there’s no shortage of accommodation options in downtown Athens, it’s the cool, considered details that make Mona Athens stand out from the pack.  

Perfect for

Trendy couples and 30 to 40-something travellers who want to indulge in a feeling of sensuality and comfort while in the heart of downtown Athens.

Accommodation type: Boutique hotel 

Location: Kakourgodikiou 4, Athens

Best Cafes in Plaka 

Plaka, built in the shadow of the Acropolis, is an authentic sample of where old-world Athens meets the new.

It’s a place where you will find ancient ruins on almost every corner; as well as a variety of charming cafes serving coffee, drinks and desserts, with the most historic views.

Here, we’ve rounded up our favourites when visiting this beautiful part of the city! 

Yiasemi is a picturesque spot that’s become the Instagrammable bistro-café in the neighbourhood thanks to all the jam-packed tables lined along the staircase. You can sit and relax, watching people go by, while also sampling the great vegetarian buffet breakfast that features delightful dishes made using fresh, local produce. A: (Mnisikleous 23)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Café Melina is a retro café dedicated to Greek actress and political activist Melina Merkouri, features plenty of images and decor honouring the late actress. With an indoor and outdoor seating area, the all-day menu includes mezedes, as well as crepes and homemade desserts. A: (Lysiou 22) 

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Kimolia Art Café, a colourful and unique cafe that’s hidden in the alleyways of Plaka; Kimolia is set in a historic 1925 building, allowing visitors to step back in time with its traditional decor and ambience. A: (Ypereidou 5)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Anafiotika Café, located on the most famous steps of the neighbourhood; is the ideal place for a coffee during a morning stroll or a Greek meze later on in the day. A: (Mnisikleous 24)         

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Café Plaka is a great place all year round but we love it even more in winter for its fireplace and a wonderful roof terrace where you can sit and enjoy the sunny mornings. Tip: try the pancakes and take photos in front of the pink house. A: (Tripodon 1)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

O Glykys is a traditional kafeneio that serves great Greek coffee, tsipouro, and homemade delicacies. Here you will find locals enjoying a game of tavli (backgammon), of course. A: (Geronta 2)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Dioskouroi, located right in the centre of old Athens, this cafe recently received a new design without losing its traditional atmosphere and appeal. It’s a favourite amongst students, locals and tourists alike, who come here for a coffee in the morning and a cocktail or wine during the evening.  A: (37-39 Adrianou)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Grasshoppers: a hot new entry to Athens bar scene 

Not your average bar, Grasshoppers near the centre of Athens is a place where all the details have been seen to, and the cocktails are no exception. 

By Gina Lionatos 

The low down… Grasshoppers is a striking contrast to the all-day cafe across the road (incidentally under the same ownership) in the neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos. Here you’ll find an intriguing space, a thought-provoking cocktail menu designed by mixologist Nikos Sotiropoulos, and a focus on seriously good bar food. Just a stone’s throw away from the Onassis Stegi Cultural Centre, Grasshoppers opened its doors in May 2022 and is already a favourite among Athenians who take their drinks seriously.   

Décor/ Ambience: There is something decidedly grown-up about Grasshoppers, despite the associations of youth and inexperience that the name conjures. The use of the signature dark blue hue throughout the space, textural touch points (from the walls to the menus) and sleek interiors make Grasshoppers a bar that could easily be found in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  

Something to drink: The cocktails have been named after the types of couples you might find at a bar (see: Flying Lovers, Fervid, Unbearable). The Vulnerable is a delightful concoction of dry gin, chamomile, peach, almond, citrus and fresh herbs. 

Menu: The menu offers classic cold dishes like beef tartare and salmon gravlax as well as sandwiches and cheese plates. All are made to order and prepared next to the bar. 

Order my fave dish: The Vitello Tonnato boasts delicately sliced veal, dressed in lemon sauce with tuna, mayonnaise, mustard leaves, smoked eel and capers. 

Price range: Bar food ranges from 6-9 € and a cocktail will set you back 10 €. 

Perfect for: A night of sipping, chatting and mingling with friends. A great date night option.

Location: Eurudamantos 6, Athens

Opening hours/days: Closed Mondays, Open from 6pm-2am Tuesday-Sunday.

 

Athens’ Blossoming Wine Bar Scene  

A wonderful variety of wine bars have sprung up all over Athens, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed chat with friends over a glass of good wine, complemented by equally good food. 

Notable bottled wine production didn’t start in modern Greece until the 1960s when substantial investments in facilities and technology first took place. Nevertheless, the traditional low demand for bottled wine by Greek consumers kept its quality relatively low. Since the 2000’s remarkable efforts in bottled wine quality improvement by wineries and vine farmers brought about spectacular results. 

As a consequence, low domestic demand has since surged and Greeks have begun to consume more and more bottled Greek wine, either as part of their entertainment or as an accompaniment to their food.

So, while fifteen years ago the term wine bar was mostly unknown to the Greek public, nowadays, every remarkable bar and restaurant cluster in Athens has its own place dedicated to wines. Most wine bars in Athens employ knowledgeable staff, feature a large variety of wines, and offer complimentary or even main dishes; with quality (most of the time) ranging from descent to high-end.

Athens has been an attraction for the past few centuries for both Greeks and foreigners alike. Its ancient history and ruins worked as a time travel in its visitors’ imagination. 

Modern Athens has changed a lot from the time of its liberation from Ottoman rule when it was already a prominent destination for knowledgeable travellers to the various lands of the Mediterranean Sea. 

But up until recently, Athens was still a destination of historical interest only. Tourists used to visit Athens for a few days to see the antiquities before they embarked on their trip to the islands of the Aegean, where they mostly spent their vacation time. 

Thanks to the information technology burst, internet proliferation, and the increase of its users and time spent on it, more and more people have discovered that Athens offers more than history and sunshine. 

Its Mediterranean climate urges its people to go out and enjoy themselves. This outgoing need has created and sustained a vibrant entertainment scene in the city for the past few decades, which is well-synched with global trends.

Dance clubs, generic and various music genre-oriented bars, concert halls, Greek urban and folk live music halls, Greek, ethnic cuisine, and gourmet restaurants comprise the melting pot of Athenian outdoor entertainment.

Within this lively amusement scenery, wine bars have sprung up in the city like mushrooms filling a gap between nightlife entertainment and the need to have a meal outdoors and socialize. Relaxed evening talks around a bottle of good wine, complemented with equally good snacks and food was an experience that may have been lacking in Athens- but that has now changed. 

As luckily, the city’s young wine bar scene has grown; and very well at that. It features many young-gun sommeliers and established restaurateurs whose services offer real added value to the customer. 

The wine bars of Athens are redefining the way we Greeks drink wine and offer those already familiar with them a chance to not miss them while far from home. So here’s a list of great wine bars to choose from, for your next visit to the Greek capital! 

Oinoscent

Perhaps the most famous wine bar in Athens. Located just a stone’s throw away from Syntagma Square, Oinoscent is a wine bar and restaurant. Its wine list is focused on international vineyards but it also features several Greek labels from selected wineries. The food menu is focused on small, dish varieties that are very tasty. Prices are slightly on the higher end of the spectrum but the quality justifies the premium. Don’t miss the chance to inspect the wine cellar in the basement!

Heteroclito

This cozy little wine bar, not far from Syntagma Square, is another great option for getting to know domestic wines. All labels on the list are also available for retail purchase at cellar prices. Their wines combine ideally with carefully selected local varieties of cheese, hams and other delicacies, which are available in its unique space downtown. 

Materia Prima

This sophisticated wine bar, a few steps from the new Museum of Contemporary Art in the Koukaki district, is ideal for quiet wine drinks in the evening. It has a detailed wine list and offers troves of interesting wines at reasonable prices. Nevertheless, choosing Materia Prima as a date destination with your significant other might not be recommended as you may find its wine list pretty distracting!

Vintage

Imagine a chic, rustic, warm, atmospheric penthouse apartment decorated in earthly colours with a laid-back feel; now, add a 1200+ bottle wine list and you’ve got Vintage. What is more, are the many choices for those who love meat and cheese, as well as its central location in Athens, since it is very close to Syntagma Square. 

Manouka

Perhaps the wine bar with the best view in all of Athens. It’s located on the rooftop of Utopia Hotel and once there, you can enjoy the wine while staring at the Athenian horizon ranging across from the hill of Lycabettus, the Parthenon to the city’s old but still operating sky Observatory and along from Mount Hymettus at the background all the way to the Parliament at the forefront. The 100+ labels focus on Greek vineyards; framed by simple and delicious dishes of the Mediterranean cuisine. What else can one ask for?

Paleo 

Heading down to the southern suburbs of the city and specifically to the once industrial zone of Piraeus, lies an exemplary wine bar housed in a stunning converted warehouse. The décor is very original where the shelves filled with empty bottles give the feeling of a wine depository, the chairs are painted with wine landscapes and the tables are made of repurposed wine barrels. The owner is an experienced sommelier and offers his guests a list of 300 labels from the European South accompanied by Mediterranean dishes.

Cava Vegera

Featuring two wine bars across the city (Glyfada and Voula), Cava Vegera is the perfect antidote to the overcrowded city centre scenery. Both bars pay tribute to everyone who truly loves wine, by offering wines and dishes from across the Mediterranean and around the world. Cava Vegera wine bars also feature a wine store, upstairs, where you can find close to 1,000 different wine labels that you can drink in-store for a small corkage fee.

Cheers!

A Day in Athens’ Cool Neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos

Literally translating to “New World”, the neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos was historically known to be a symbol of new beginnings and a new home for refugees from Asia Minor who fled Turkish expulsion.

Still a haven for the modern-day refugee crises (the public housing estate off Syngrou Avenue now inhabits tenants from the Balkans, Asia and the Middle East), in recent years, the area has seen some changes, namely the addition of a cultural centre, theatre, major hotels and a string of celebrated eateries that now make Neos Kosmos an inner-city suburb of intriguing contradictions.

Whether staying at one of the nearby hotels on Syngrou Avenue or in the centre of Athens, a walk through the neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos wouldn’t be complete without these stops.  

Stop 1: Coffee and brunch at Naif

Perched on the busy corner of Leontiou and Evridamantos, Naif is one of those great neighbourhood cafes that is loved by locals (and not only). It has a compact interior with minimal, danish-inspired design, yet its real charm is in the sunny table-lined sidewalk that seems to be filled with patrons day and night. There is a varied menu that includes brunch options like baked eggs, tsoureki French toast and yogurt bowls. The food menu is rounded out with sandwiches, salads, burgers and pizza. The coffee is strong and good, and keeps company with a selection of wines, classic cocktails and local beers. 

Stop 2: Onassis Stegi Cultural Centre

Even if you’re not looking for the Onassis Cultural Centre, it’s hard to miss. Tim Etchall’s immense neon light installation  “All we have” mounted on the outside of the OSCC has become synonymous with the multidisciplinary art space. The Onassis Cultural Centre has a rotating seasonal program of performances, installations and exhibitions that recognise local and international talent. A 10-minute drive from the historic centre of Athens, the OSCC offers a contemporary take on Greek art and culture that rounds out Athens’ cultural offering.

Stop 3: Aperitivo hour at Teras 

After dinner, stop by hip hangout spot Teras for an early evening cocktail in the quaint 1930s building or under the impressive fig tree that fills the courtyard. Teras is a multidisciplinary space, with a rotating schedule of events like yoga lessons and pop-up bazaars. The one constant at Teras is the ability to enjoy the musical offerings of local Athenian DJs as you sip on your evening spritz. 

Stop 3: Take your pick from these noteworthy dinner options

The dining options in Neos Kosmos are not to be overlooked. In fact, you’d be well-advised to book a table in advance of your planned visit.

Since opening in 2019, Fita restaurant has cemented its place in the Athens dining scene as the go-to for fish and seafood close to the city centre. Featuring locally caught fish and seafood, the menu rotates based on the fisherman’s catch and usually includes Fita’s velvet-like taramosalata and a version of their famed spaghetti with bottarga or clams. The thoughtfully created menu, selection of Greek wines and casual neighbourhood sidewalk-dining make Fita a perfect place to dine on a balmy summer’s evening (or any time of the year, for that matter). 

Annie Fine Cooking is a relatively new (and exciting) entry to the Neos Kosmos dining scene. Originally from Mani, chef Stavriani Zervakakou designs a seasonal menu based on her market haul that morning. Here, you can relax at the tables and cushioned armchairs laying on the sidewalk of Menaichmos while you watch the open kitchen in full swing. 

Hytra Restaurant sits on the top floor of the Onassis Cultural Centre and has developed a culinary identity based on its fusion of traditional Greek gastronomy expressed in a contemporary manner. With a Michelin star under its belt, Hytra offers two separate menus that co-exist within the same space. Hytra and Hytra Apla share a common theme of local ingredients, presented in both a modern (see: Hytra) and traditional (see: Hytra Apla) way. 

Stop 4: Drinks at Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers is the new kid on the block in Neos Kosmos, having just opened in May 2022. Located opposite Naif and around the corner from the Onassis Stegi Cultural Centre, Grasshoppers is a bar where all the details have been seen to and the cocktails are no exception. With friendly bar staff, an excellent offering of bar food built for sharing (try the Vitello Tonnato) and a drinks list that will spark exciting discussion, Grasshoppers is the perfect spot to end (or start) your night in Neos Kosmos. 

Main Image Courtesy of One Man 

Train Trip From Athens to Thessaloniki in Less Than 4 Hours, Begins May 15

The highly anticipated new train trip allowing passengers to commute between Athens and Thessaloniki in less than 4 hours, is finally ready to embark on its first journey next Sunday, May 15, 2022.  

According to railway company TrainOSE, the new state-of-the-art trains arriving from Italy will cut the journey time from around six hours to less than four hours; providing passengers with a comfortable and faster trip between Greece’s two largest cities. 

The new ETR470 trains which have a seating capacity of 600 people, feature nine wagons, including a restaurant/bar and three first-class wagons. 

TrainOSE revealed on Friday that the ETR470 trains will run twice a day in each direction:

– Leaving Athens at 07:22, it will stop at Larissa at 09:58, and arrive in Thessaloniki at 11:20. The next one, in the afternoon, will leave Athens at 17:22, stop at Larissa at 20:00, and arrive in Thessaloniki at 21:21.

– Leaving Thessaloniki, ETR470 will leave the station at 07:08, stop at Larissa at 08:09, and arrive in Athens at 11:03. The next one, in the afternoon, will leave Thessaloniki at 17:08, stop at Larissa at 18:08 and arrive in Athens at 21:04.

To promote the event, TrainOSE is currently offering a 20% discount for tickets booked in the next 20 days, with travel time between May 15 and June 3.

5 New Athens Patisseries You Shouldn’t Miss

If you are foodies (like us) who are always on the hunt to eat at the best spots anytime you travel somewhere, then get ready to experience the best flavours around Athens- a city quickly filling up with a great range of patisseries that are glossy and new with boutique beauty! 

Kokakias (48-50 Patriarchou Ioakeim, Kolonaki)

Kokakias is the Greek diminutive for coque, a domed cake made of syrupy sponge that’s filled with a velvety cream and covered in a chocolate glaze, is the star of this small, pink patisserie. Indeed, you’ll find the dessert in several creative renditions here, created by pastry chef Manolis Stithos, known for his work with Funky Gourmet restaurant. Try the bright red Red Velvet coque with Madagascar vanilla, whipped cream and red fruits, the lemon-flavoured Ekmek coque with crispy cantaloupe and light vanilla cream, or the pistachio praline and Aegina candied pistachios as well as the Ferrero coque. Also tasty are the other desserts they prepare, such as the profiterole which instead of chou centres around mini coques with vanilla cream, hazelnut praline and bitter chocolate glaze. 

Candy’s Caravan (3 Giannitsopoulou 3 Glyfada)

How about something different? Like, say, pancakes on a stick for hassle-free indulgence, yummy and syrupy baba in a burger wrapper, or red velvet cake, chocolates, crunchy dumplings and many more indulgent treats. All this and more can be found at Candy’s Caravan, a fast-food-themed confectionery and unique concept store in Glyfada. Also an Instagrammer’s paradise because of the truly mouth-watering and amusing presentation.


Little Darling (119 Ethnarchou Makariou, Argyroupoli)

If you’re looking for a raw dessert that’s still just as delicious as a “regular” one, except that these desserts replace sugar with healthier syrups, are usually not baked and include ingredients like fruit, dried fruit, healthy powders like lucuma and nuts, then Little Darling is where you’ll find exactly what you want. This ‘secret’ spot has been known for some time by vegans and lovers of a healthier diet who visit the patisserie in Argyroupoli for raw vegan desserts made from amazing guilt-free ingredients. Some desserts to try are the white chocolate and hazelnut cream, passion fruit and mango tart and the raw carrot cake with carrots, nuts, raisins and spices. Even if you are not vegan, they are well worth discovering.

In Love Again in Athens (3 Kliitiou Street, Monastiraki)

This is the sweet sibling of the well-known and awarded bar “Baba Au Rum” bar, and opened at the beginning of September. In essence, it’s a concept store that marries quality coffee with sweets inspired by popular cocktails, and a florist. The Mai Tai tart is made with vanilla cookie, lime cream, bitter almond meringue and bergamot flavours; the Zombie profiterole contains fluffy noodles filled with aged rum-flavoured cream, white chocolate, a pomegranate glaze, grapefruit jam and pineapple and the Piña Colada cheesecake has coconut baked cream, a crispy cookie base and is topped with pineapple chunks. The rum baba is not missing from the menu, and you’ll find it in two versions, vanilla or caramel and passion fruit syrup, orange and peach. Also, try the vegan cinnamon cream vegan baguette made with oat milk and Iu honey. The entire menu is curated by chef Michalis Nournoglou.

Ourse (39 Mystra 39, Ano Glyfada)

At Ourse you’ll find sweets inspired by French culinary philosophy – with a lot of butter and cream – and a Greek character, since almost all the raw materials are Greek and mainly from small producers nationwide. Don’t miss out on the Flan Parisién, one of the most famous Parisian pastries, with thick cream and a sweet aroma of real Madagascar vanilla; the Paris-Brest with a chou puff pastry base filled with pistachio praline cream; pistachio ganache montée and pistachio crumble, and the Aegina pistachio tart that plays with four different textures of the nut. You’ll also find fluffy, chewy macarons in a wide variety of flavours, sinful chocolates to eat two by two, ice cream and apple pie – if you get there on time.

 

Athens Street Food Festival 2022 Taking Place Throughout May

Throughout the month of May, Greece’s largest food festival will have its doors open in the cool neighbourhood of Gazi, as talented chefs prepare to serve visitors some of the most popular Greek “street food” and other enticing recipes from around the world. 

On the 6-7-8, 13-14-15, 20-21-22, as well as the 27-28-29th of May, the 5th edition of the Athens Food Festival will take place at one of Athens’ old depot stations, with the entire space being filled with stalls offering a range of casual international cuisine. 

Having hosted over 400,000 visitors so far (prior to the pandemic) the Athens Street Food Festival has become one of the most anticipated cultural events in the Greek capital. This year organisers are expecting thousands more local and international visitors to attend- as they will once again be able to experience a great range of flavours and flair from all corners of the globe- including those of Mexico, Japan, France, Italy, Vietnam, the U.S, and needless to say, Greece! 

There will be plenty of traditional Greek street food to try- such as the country’s much-loved souvlaki, spanakopita and loukoumades- plus international favourites like burgers, mac and cheese, tacos, hotdogs, and gelato. The Festival will also be showcasing new food trends that have become popular over the past year.

If you are a foodie who happens to be in Athens during the month of May, do yourself a favour and head over to the old depot station in Gazi, which will be filled with plenty of food, drinks, music and a great vibe! 

More details on the programme of the Festival will be announced shortly, so keep an eye out. 

Date: Weekends between 6 – 29 May 2022

A: Old Depot, OSY, Pireos & Ermou, Gazi

W: Athens Street Food Festival

5 Bookshop Cafés in Athens You Should Know

Everyone knows a good book requires a warm cup of tea or coffee. Yes, you can get this at home but there’s something special about a good bookstore café where you can pick up a pastry and a warm beverage before diving into the latest chapter of your favourite genre. So we’ve compiled a list of the best bookstore cafes in Athens, for those who can’t get enough of those good, old fashioned books! 

Little Tree Books & Coffee

Located just around the corner from the Acropolis Museum, Little Tree is the ideal place to relax and read your book while enjoying a fragrant cup of coffee or tea, and a light homemade snack. The food here is prepared using a variety of fresh local ingredients and the desserts are simply delicious. Apart from its cozy atmosphere and nice snacks, Little Tree is also stocked with interesting books of all sorts and holds an exceptional selection of children’s books.

A: 2 Kavalotti, Makrygianni

Booktalks

Located in Palaio Faliro, Booktalks is the creation of two bibliophile bloggers who came together in order to combine books and coffee, their simple everyday pleasure. Stop by to relax, read, enjoy a hot cup of coffee and savour its treats. Don’t miss the various book presentations and literary events that are held at Booktalks.

A: 47 Artemidos & 58 Agiou Alexandrou, Palaio Faliro 

Evripidis Kifissia

Located in the northern suburb of Kifissia, Evripidis, one of the oldest bookshops in Athens, is a meeting point for fruitful discussions with a cup of coffee. Evripidis first opened its doors in 1955, and now covering four floors, it attracts bibliophiles from all over town. Its large collection of Greek and foreign language books, as well as a wide variety of children’s books and its inviting coffee shop, are the reason why. It also features a small stationery shop adjacent, where brands such as Mont Blanc, Moleskine, Clairfontaine, and Waterman are found. 

A: 310 Leoforos, Kifissias

Insights Greece - 5 Bookshop Cafés in Athens You Should Know

Lemoni 

At Lemoni you can find an excellent selection of specialised books on art, Japanese poetry, and mythology, postcards, Moleskines and table books, while enjoying your coffee. If the day is warm, head to the backyard garden, take a seat and sink into your book, without being interrupted.

A: 22 Iraklidon, Athens 

Free Thinking Zone

A warm place where you can share ideas, read a book and enjoy a coffee. The bookstore hosts permanent and periodic book collections and is the perfect spot to meet new people and take part in a discussion while having a coffee. Various events, including cultural, political and social, take place on the premises. 

A: 64 Skoufa, Athens  

Strolling Around the Neoclassical Zappeion Hall 

One of Athens’ most striking buildings is the neoclassical Zappeion Hall, the first building in the world constructed in honour of the modern Olympic Games.

Insights Greece - Strolling Around the Neoclassical Zappeion Hall 
Zappeion Hall

Designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen and completed in 1888, its construction was funded by the national benefactor, Evangelos Zappas. Since its opening, Zappeion has been linked with numerous significant moments in Greece’s history. In the past few years, some of the country’s most significant events have taken place here- including European summits, political conferences, as well as art exhibitions, fashion shows and other artistic and musical performances. 

Located in the centre of Athens, the Zappeion Hall is surrounded by the Greek Parliament building and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Right next to it is the National Gardens and, opposite, on the side of the Ardittos Hill, the Panathenaic Stadium; Hadrian’s Arch and the ancient Temple of the Olympian Zeus.

The surrounding area of Zappeion is adorned with a multitude of statues, reflecting upon Greece’s modern history and at the main entrance are the statues of the two Zappas cousins, who funded the construction of the building; as well as a charming park, where locals go for a walk. Across Zappeion Hall there is Aigli, a nice café serving homemade pizza and club sandwiches as well as Aperol Spritz, salads and wines. Right next door is an open-air movie theatre of the same name, which is also loved by Athenians – especially during summer.  

Insights Greece - Strolling Around the Neoclassical Zappeion Hall 
Built in 1888 to honour the Modern Olympic Games

When visiting also make sure to check out the archaeological site of the Roman Baths built at the end of the 3rd century AD- they are located within the Zappeion grounds on Vassilissis Amalias Avenue. The site was discovered during excavations for the construction of the Athens Metro and has been made accessible to the public since 2004.

Zappeion’s gardens are surrounded by the streets Irodou Attikou, Vasileos Konstantinou, Vasilissis Olgas, and Vasilissis Amalias and the National Gardens feature charming lawns, atriums, patios, flower beds and charming orange trees that are also lovely to see. 

A: Vasilissis Olgas Ave, Athens