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Vacay ideas: Athens under the radar


Discover parts of the Greek capital that only locals know.

Once the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilisation and empire, Athens has more to offer than 5th-century BCE landmarks but you will have to search that little bit harder… Team Yalla gives you a head start!


Lycabettus Hill 

You are going to have to use all your might to ascend this incline, after all it is Athens’ highest point. For the weary, there is a cable car heading up the steep slopes, but walking this stunning route will surrender better views of Greece’s capital and there is a reward for those who try – a café on the summit! But that is not all – those who brave the climb will experience en route the rather decadent neighbourhood of Kolonaki where eclectic restaurants, designer ateliers and luxurious bars await the brave! 



Far from the madding crowd of downtown Athens, this charming neighbourhood is largely missed by the majority of tourists who visit this ancient capital each year.  Here, you will meet locals who are more than happy to show you around the interesting streets. This hub of numerous exciting dining and nightlife choices attracts a rather creative crowd who are steadily but surely transforming this neighbourhood into one of the hippest districts in the city.  Its proximity to the city centre makes this place easy to get to by foot, although many people still miss it, but now you have no excuse. 



Visiting Athens is never complete without a trip the Parthenon, for both new tourist recruits to the city or hardened travellers. That said, within its shadow is the rather quaint and island-esque Anafiotika neighbourhood. Located on the upper side of the Plaka neighbourhood, the winding, narrow pathways are filled with white-washed houses more commonly associated with the Greek islands rather than a metropole like Athens. It will come as no surprise then, that this rather quaint neighbourhood was built by builders from the island of Anafi who relocated to Athens for work purposes back in the 19th century. Wander around at your leisure as life in these tiny dwellings goes on as it has for hundreds of years. 


Varvakios Market

Be prepared to be jolted by the crowds in search of locally sourced seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables, not to mention the perfect street eats. 

Located in the very heart of the city, you will probably hear it before you see it but once you do, you will think you have stepped out of the modern metropolis of Athens and entered an oriental bazaar found in many Middle East countries – and in some ways that is exactly what you have done. The streets surrounding the market surrender a myriad of hotels and ethnic shops, not to mention some rather cool hipster watering holes. It is definitely worth taking your time to explore further. 

Check here for more EID vaycay ideas and get to explore Istanbul!


Quarantine status*
If you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will not be required to quarantine when you travel to Greece from the UAE. You will also be exempt from quarantine if you are a permanent resident of the UAE.

* Correct at the time of going to press. It is your responsibility to check with your airline before travelling.

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