1st Athens Cocktail Festival & Cocktail Week Ready to Kick Off

The Greek capital is ready to toast the summer season with the 1st Athens Cocktail Festival & Athens Cocktail Week.

By Gina Lionatos 

With what is fast becoming the hottest bar scene in Europe, it was only a matter of time before Athens stepped up with its own cocktail festival to open the summer tourist season. With the support of the Municipality of Athens, and as a part of the ‘This is Athens Festival’, the city will move to the rhythm of the largest cocktail festival in Greece.

Insights Greece - 1st Athens Cocktail Festival & Cocktail Week Ready to Kick Off
Athens 1st Cocktail Festival

The first Athens Cocktail Festival kicks off over a cocktail-filled two days at the “Lighthouse” of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre on 20 & 21 May 2022. 

After that, the action extends to the city’s bars for all to enjoy. Athens Cocktail Week will run from 22 to 28 May 2022 and will see the best bars in Athens hosting a series of guest nights and special events. All the excitement will culminate on the closing night on May 28, 2022, with a large closing party in the city center.

Information on events is still unfolding, so to stay updated, tune into @athenscocktailfestivalofficial’s social media on Instagram for details.  

Pre-sale tickets to Athens Cocktail Festival include two cocktails and are available through viva.gr at  https://www.viva.gr/tickets/festival/athens-cocktail-festival/

 * All the activities of Athens Cocktail Festival & Athens Cocktail Week, are supported by the Municipality of Athens as well as by AMKE Metron Ariston – Making Responsibility a Trend and operating in light of the Responsible Consumption and green practices.

Insights Greece - 1st Athens Cocktail Festival & Cocktail Week Ready to Kick Off

Main image by This Is Athens | Amalia Kovaiou ©

Celebrate A Range of Special Events at the Acropolis Museum 

Athens’ Acropolis Museum is inviting visitors to celebrate the European Night of Museums tonight May 14, and International Museum Day on Wednesday, May 18, with extended hours, free entrance and a variety of special events.

The Museum participates in the European Night of Museums with extended opening hours from 8 a.m. until 12 midnight, and free entry from 8 pm onwards. 

The Museum restaurant will remain open during the same hours, while visitors have the chance to admire by night the masterpieces of its collections, while on the same day, within the context of the initiative “What does the Acropolis Museum mean to you?”, the most representative answers of visitors received recently by the Museum will be projected on a big screen.

On International Museum Day, the Museum will be open from 8 am to 8 pm with free entry for its visitors.

This year’s topic is the “Power of museums” focusing on achieving sustainability, innovating on digitalization and accessibility and community building through education. On this occasion, the Museum will offer its adult visitors the two new gallery talks “Hidden Stories of the Diaspora” and “Digital Acropolis Museum. New interactive applications”. This includes a series of applications with touch screens, which have remained inactive due to covid-19 healthcare protocols. However, on May 18th, these touch screens will be turned on for three hours and the Museums’ archaeologists will be there presenting and highlighting various aspects of the exhibits; offering a unique experience by creating a new exciting world for kids and grownups alike.

In addition, the new family trail titled “The Parthenon Sculptures. 6 short stories of separation” will be available for children and their parents. 

More details can be found here

Images Courtesy of Acropolis Museum | Paris Tavitian | Giorgos Vitsaropoulos ©

Temperatures Set to Rise Across Greece this Weekend 

Spring has sprung and the beautiful summer weather is on its way, with temperatures set to exceed 30 degrees Celsius in some parts of Greece this weekend. 

For those currently travelling around the country and hoping to get a swim, the warmer weather is expected in the coming days with the temperature predicted to gradually exceed 30 degrees Celsius in some areas of the country on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

The weather service of the National Observatory of Athens meteo.gr forecasts up to 28-29 degrees Celsius in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras and up to 31°-32° C in Larissa, central Greece. 

The temperature will rise slightly in the north and will range from 10 to 28 degrees, in the west from 11 to 26 to 27 degrees, in the eastern mainland from 12 to 28 degrees and on the Aegean islands from 14 to 25 degrees Celsius; Rethymno and Chania in Crete are also expected to have warmer days, reaching the mid-20’s over the next few days.

Athens City Festival ’22: Food & Wine Pairing Museum Sessions 

The first Food & Wine pairing session in Athens’ museums, as part of the Athens City Festival, will commence tonight; allowing guests to sip on a fine glass of Pinot Noir while admiring a marvellous 5,000-year-old Cycladic exhibit.

The restaurants of the Acropolis Museum (12/05), The B&E Goulandris Foundation (26/05) and MOMus – Museum Alex Mylona (27/05) are all taking part in the exciting sessions and will be adjusting their menus for the special occasion, highlighting a number of wonderful varieties and labels from a wide range of wineries from all over the country.

For every session, five Greek wine etiquettes will be combined with five dishes made from the finest Greek ingredients by internationally accomplished chefs. 

The first session at the Acropolis Museum tonight, titled “Ancient Diet and Wine Tasting” will see the museum’s archaeologists answering questions such as, “What was the relationship of the ancient Athenians with wine?” “How did they drink it and what did they accompany it with?” “But more generally, what did their diet include?” “Which products were local and which were imported?” “And what role did they play in the religious life of the city?” This unique experience will be completed in the restaurant on the second floor with views of the Acropolis, and a meal prepared especially for the occasion accompanied by wine tasting with the support of the “Biblia Chora” Winery.

This is a sell-out event, so make sure you get in quick for the next two sessions, which offer a unique experience not to be missed! 

Info

Tickets: €50

Date: 12 May 2022 – 27 May 2022

Check the festival’s full program for more info.

Image Courtesy of Acropolis Museum 

Exploring Athens’ Art Scene With an Amazing Gallery Walk

Art lovers in Athens are invited to view hundreds of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and photography with two amazing evenings of art walks through the city- as the Athens Gallery Walk gives visitors the chance to explore a variety of Athenian galleries that feature a wide range of Greek and international art.

Exhibiting a number of art mediums, styles, and local artists, as well as artists from around the world; the 36 Athenian art galleries participating in this year’s event will be open to the public until 8 pm tonight, Thursday, May 12, and tomorrow Friday, May 13; giving visitors the chance to check out their new exhibitions and to meet many of the artists who will be there for an open dialogue. 

The Gallery Walk has been organised by the Athens Culture Net of the Municipality of Athens in collaboration with the Panhellenic Association of Art Galleries (PSAT) and Art Athina, and is part of This is Athens City Festival, which is taking place throughout the entire month of May. 

The event is free to the public and aims to promote the cultural potential of Athens and highlight the artistic creation that has contributed decisively in recent years to the evolution of the capital into a centre and modern culture. 

Athens’ Culture, Sports, and Youth Organization (OPANDA) will also participate, with exhibitions at five public buildings: the city’s Municipality Gallery, the Municipality Arts Center, the ‘Melina’ Cultural Center, and the foyer of the Olympia Theater.

Date: 12-13 May 2022

Admission: Free entry 

The following galleries are participating in the Gallery Walk:

1. A.antonopoulou.art – Aristofanous 20

2. Agathi Kartalos Art Gallery – Mithimnis 12 & Eptanisou

3. Alibi Gallery – Sarri 12

4. AlloucheBenias Gallery – Kanari 1

5. ALMA Contemporary Art Gallery – Ipsiladou 24

6. Argo Gallery – Neofitou Douka 5

7. Art Appel Gallery – Neofitou Vamva 5

8. ArtZone42 – Vasileos Konstadinou 42

9. ASTROLAVOS Art Galleries – Xanthipou 11

10. Athens Art Gallery – Glikonos 4

11. CHEAPART – Andrea Metaxa 25

12. CITRONNE Gallery – Patriarhou Ioakim 19, 4th floor

13. Crux Galerie – Sekeri 4

14. Ekfrasi-Yianna Grammatopoulou Gallery – Valaoritou 9Α

15. Eleftheria Tseliou Gallery – Iraklitou 3

16. Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Dimofondos 30

17. Ersi Gallery – Kleomenous 4

18. Evripides Art Gallery – Iraklitou 10

19. Gallery 7 – Solonos 20

20. Gallery Genesis – Haritos 35

21. Ikastikos Κiklos – Akadimias 6

22. Ileana Tounta – Armatolon & Klefton 48

23. Kalfayan Gallery – Haritos 11

24. Peritechnon Karteris Art Gallery – Irodotou 5

25. Rebecca Camhi Gallery – Leonidou 9

26. Roma Gallery – Roma 5

27. Sianti Gallery – Vasileos Alexandrou 2

28. Gallery Skoufa – Skoufa 4

29. Technohoros Art Gallery – Lebesi 12

30. The Breeder – Iasonos 45

31. Zoumboulakis Galleries – Platia Kolonakiou 20

32. Athens Municipal Arts Center – Eleftherias Park

33. Athens Municipal Gallery (Building A)

34. Cultural Center ”Melina” Municipality of Athens – Iraklidon 66

35. Athens Municipal Gallery, Metaxourgio (Building B) Leonidou & Millerou

36. Olympia Municipal Music Theater ”Maria Kalas” – Akadimias 59

More details can be found here 

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.

Athens’ Bio Festival Starts Today  

The Athens Bio Festival, showcasing hundreds of local organic products- and designed to increase awareness of healthy and earth-friendly living- returns for its 2nd edition today, Friday, May 6, at the Technopolis in Gazi.

For three consecutive days (Friday, May 6 through to Sunday, May 8) visitors are invited to discover a very large variety of organic and natural products, as well as the chance to meet a range of organic producers and local eco-friendly businesses who are happy to chat about the benefits of their products.  

Food & Drink (with a special vegan area), Natural Beauty, Environment and Health & Nutrition are the festival’s four main categories; and attendees of the event can spend the day participating in crash courses, and watching live cooking demonstrations and presentations.

It’s also a great chance to get your hands on fresh organic fruit and vegetables, as well as vegan products, organic coffee, legumes, pasta, olive oil, dairy products, meat, tea, honey, and herbs; plus beauty, cosmetics, medicinal and household products that are all eco-friendly. 

The event is part of the first ‘This is Athens Festival’ taking place throughout the entire month of May, with more than 100 events scheduled all over the Greek capital. 

Info

Price: €3 for the public (€5 for two tickets), free admission for professionals

Date: 06 May 2022 – 08 May 2022

Time: Friday 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm,

Weekend: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

A: Technopolis, 100 Pireos, Gazi, Athens

Event Website

New Cyprus-Greece Ferry Link to Set Sail in June 

After 21 years, the first Cyprus-Greece passenger ferry link will set sail on June 19 from Limassol Port arriving at the Port of Piraeus in Athens, 30 hours later. 

The announcement was made on Friday by Cyprus’ Deputy Shipping Minister Vassilios Dimitriades, along with Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades stating, “Our citizens will once again be able to travel to Greece and Europe by sea, transporting their private vehicles as well.”

The service will last until September 16, with four trips scheduled for June, eight in July, seven in August, and three in September.

The Cypriot-flagged passenger ferry which carries up to 400 people, includes  38 first-class cabins, 68 second-class cabins, 110 seats, 100 vehicle spots, as well as a restaurant, café, and a clinic. 

The cheapest return tickets for adults, with a simple seating arrangement, are set at 76 euros while a second-class cabin return ticket is 80 euros and one-way tickets cost 38 and 40 euros. 

Children aged 4-12 will be charged 56 euros while those aged up to four will be charged 31 euros and cars up to 5-meters long will have a fee of 203 euros. 

For more details on the new ferry link from Cyprus to Greece, head to Maritime Cyprus. 

6 Coolest Concept Stores in Athens for Brunch and Shopping

Start your mid-morning with a spot of shopping and a delightful brunch menu at one of the coolest concept stores in Athens. 

Do you think it’s difficult to find a place that combines gardening advice and small Greek independent clothing labels with a shot of espresso and fluffy pancakes? Not anymore.

Imaginative concept stores are popping up all over Athens, offering a great range of unique items and services. Below we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite Athens concept stores for your next trip to the Greek capital.

MINŪ ATHENS

A vivid space in Psyrri, Minu combines the sale of indoor plants, furniture and designer objects, with works of art. At the same time, you can enjoy a cup of organic coffee, homemade lemonade or tea with a homemade cake or taste one of the Asian-inspired dishes on the menu created by Athinagoras Kostakos.

A: Sarri 50, Psyrri

EAST COAST

A concept store with a surfing vibe and an environmental conscience. KVD2137 is the store’s clothing brand made using 100% organic cotton and water-based dyes. Here you’ll only find reusable cups, cork coasters, soy candles and a vegan menu. Taste the protein bread with fig and mushroom, the carob bread with scrambled eggs or the vegan cinnamon rolls. 

A: Palaiologou 9, Piraeus

WILD SOULS

A concept store that feels more like a gallery of nature’s wild treasures, it highlights both the nutritional benefits of nuts, as well as the incredible value of simplicity. Apart from the protagonists (nuts), at Wild Souls, you will find smooth and crunchy almond butter, hazelnut butter, and super-rich cashew nut butter; all free from preservatives, sugar and palm oil, elements that Areti, the owner, dislikes. Don’t miss the halva and the American style sweets. 

A: Voulis 36, Syntagma

ANAMESA CONCEPT STORE

The brightly coloured basement on Nikis street is full of creations by Greek and international designers (that focus on sustainable and ethical fashion), Instagrammable accessories, design objects and tasty smoothies. Don’t miss the personalised handwritten packaging with your personal style tips by ANAMESA and the daily updated stickers collection.

A: Nikis 24, Syntagma

PLEGMA

This concept store combines interior design with tasty food and coffee. Handmade ceramic mugs, pots, small furniture items and decorations, stationery, utensils, bags, accessories, serving items, personal care and household items that are perfect for gifts. Enjoy energy bowls and light lunch choices such as a soba noodle salad, while browsing design books and magazines or city guides. 

A: Efranoros 10, Pangrati

PHILOS

Set in a stunning 1930’s neo-classical building, Philos Athens, (part cafe/ part event space/ part boutique) located down Solonos Street in chic Kolonaki, is the Greek capital’s ultimate destination store and favourite weekend hangout alike!

A: Solonos 32, Kolonaki

 

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

Piraeus Tower to Become Greece’s First “Green” High-Rise Building 

The iconic Piraeus Tower is undergoing a major redevelopment that will see it become a contemporary, bioclimatic landmark of Athens and Greece’s first certified “green” high-rise building. 

Located along the starting point of Athens Riviera, Piraeus Tower is a 34,600 sqm, 22-storey building that rises 88 metres above sea level. Once completed, the sustainable building that boasts panoramic views will host the first “green” retail, food and beverage space in Greece, along with luxury office spaces and a terrace overlooking Piraeus Port. 

The original tower was completed in 1975 but except for the first three floors, the interior has never been occupied. In 2020, Dimand SA and Prodea Investments came to an agreement with the Municipality of Piraeus to transform the tower into modern offices, retail, and restaurants, with architecture studio PILA redesigning the façade of the building. 

According to officials, the Piraeus Tower “will consist of a structure that is visually intriguing and incorporates strategies in order to drastically reduce the energy consumption of the building. The façade is conceived in order to integrate the structure into the daily life of the city and to enhance the lives of citizens and the users of the building.

“The design mediates the scale of the city and that of the tower, engaging the prospect of offering amazing exterior spaces and sharing breathtaking views. A shading structure consisting of vertical and horizontal overhangs clads the volume of the tower. Each vertical fin is horizontally displaced from one floor to the next and creates a spring pattern that wraps around the building.” 

The rejuvenation of Piraeus Tower is expected to be completed by September 2023.