Plaka Athens

Plaka Athens | A Pictorial Postcard of Greek Delights

Nestled at the foot of the Acropolis, Plaka Athens is a neighbourhood that harmoniously brings together the uniqueness of ancient and modern Greece, making it a must-visit destination. You can begin your explorations here by ascending the Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the iconic Parthenon, Erechtheion, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and immerse yourself in the architectural and historical marvels of ancient Greece. 

The cobblestone labyrinthine streets of Plaka, adorned with neoclassical buildings, and the quaint whitewashed neighbourhood of Anafiotika are an absolute delight to explore. Explore the wondrous Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments, the Frissiras Museum for Contemporary Art, and the Jewish Museum offer diverse insights into Greek culture and heritage.

Enjoy a delicious meal at the traditional tavernas, where you can savour iconic dishes like moussaka and souvlaki while soaking up the cosy atmosphere. Next explore the charming boutiques and souvenir shops that line the streets, offering a range of unique Greek handicrafts.

Plaka is also home to several historical treasures such as the Fethiye Mosque, an Ottoman-era gem, and the ancient Tower of the Winds. The Roman Agora, with its well-preserved ruins and the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, is a fine representation of Greece's rich history.

History of Plaka Athens

  • Plaka Athens was one of the Acropolis's original neighbourhoods, inhabited for thousands of years.
  • During the reign of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Plaka saw the construction of Turkish-style buildings and was called the Turkish Quarters. 
  • These architectural changes have left a remarkable imprint on the city that remains visible even today.
  • The early 19th century marked the Greek War of Independence, and Plaka played a major role in the struggle for freedom, witnessing various events and battles.
  • In 1834, King Otto brought about a period of change and modernization to Plaka, with the construction of neoclassical buildings and the establishment of a more structured urban layout.
  • A devastating fire in the late 19th century destroyed a significant Plaka neighbourhood in Athens, leading to several subsequent rebuilding efforts with Ottoman and neoclassical architecture.

What to See in Plaka Athens

The Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments

The Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments in Plaka Athens, is a captivating showcase of the rich musical heritage of Greece. Housed in a charming neoclassical building, the Museum features a diverse collection of traditional musical instruments from various regions of Greece. Learn through informative and fascinating displays, photographs, and audiovisual presentations.

Must Visit - Archaeological Site of Kerameikos

Frissiras Museum

Frissiras Museum is a unique art institution dedicated to contemporary European painting. The Museum's collection showcases a remarkable array of works, primarily focusing on figurative art, various artistic styles and expressions. This cultural gem in Plaka offers an enriching experience for art Aficionados, providing a window into the ever-evolving world of European contemporary art.

Also Read - Erechtheion

Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum in Plaka offers a heartfelt journey into Greece's Jewish heritage. Housed in a neoclassical building, it presents a comprehensive narrative of the Jewish community's history in Greece. Exhibits include religious artefacts, personal stories, and historical documents. You can gain insights into the vibrant Jewish culture, their struggles during World War II, and their contributions to Greek society, making your visit compelling and educational.

Also Visit - Athens National Garden

Athens University Museum

The Athens University Museum in Plaka is a treasure trove of academia and history. Located within the historic Kapodistrian University building, it offers a fascinating exploration of the institution's legacy. You can see a vast collection of academic and scientific artefacts, manuscripts, and rare books. Lastly, you get a better understanding of the heritage of Greece and appreciate the deep influence of the university on the educational environment of Greece.

Also Visit - Lindos Acropolis

Museum of Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulou

The Museum of Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulou in Plaka, Athens, is a hidden cultural gem. Located in a grand neoclassical mansion, the Museum showcases a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects. It offers a glimpse into the world of Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulou, two prominent figures in Greek culture and politics. It stands as a symbol of appreciation for their contributions and an enriching experience for art enthusiasts.

Also Checkout - Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Fethiye Mosque

The Fethiye Mosque, also known as the Fethiye Camii or Mosque of the Conquest, is a historical and architectural landmark in Plaka Athens Greece district. Built in the 17th century during the Ottoman period, it was originally a church before being converted into a mosque. The elegant design and distinctive minaret of the Mosque make it a magnificent piece of architecture that offers a glimpse into the city's multicultural history.

Also Read - Theatre of Dionysus

Tower of the Winds

The Tower of the Winds, located in Plaka, Athens Greece, is an ancient marvel from the 1st century BC and it is believed to be the first meteorological station. This octagonal clock tower and weather vane that served as a sundial and water clock was erected back in 100 to 50 BC by Andronicus of Cyrrhus. Each of its eight sides represents a wind direction and features a corresponding god or deity.

Must Visit - Temple of Athena Nike

Roman Agora

The Roman Agora is a historical site that dates back to the 1st century BC. It used to be a bustling marketplace during Roman times and there are many well-preserved ruins of various structures. The Gate of Athena Archegetis and the Tower of the Winds are also located here. Your visit will take you back in time as you explore the architectural and historical significance of this ancient structure.

Must Checkout - Benaki Museum

Choragic Monument of Lysikrates

The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, also known as the Lysicrates Monument, is a small but intricately designed structure located in Plaka Acropolis, Athens. Built between 335 and 334 BC, it commemorates a winning choregos or the wealthy financier of a dramatic performance in the Theater of Dionysus. The monument features elegant Corinthian columns and a frieze depicting the story of Dionysus.

Must Read - Panathenaic Stadium

Where and What to Shop in Plaka?

Adrianou Street

  • This intriguing street is Plaka's shopping hub and it is a wonderful place to indulge in street shopping.
  • It offers many shops selling souvenirs, traditional Greek crafts like pottery and textiles and contemporary artwork.
  • Adrianou is also a great place to shop for some unique Greek jewellery made with precious metal and gemstones.
  • This is also one of the best places to shop for olive oil and olive tree products such as soaps, kitchen wares and other decorative items.
  • Explore speciality stores to buy authentic Greek olive oil, spices, honey, herbs and other edibles.
  • Andrianou is also home to several antique shops where you can hunt for vintage treasures, such as furniture, paintings, and collectables.

Monastiraki Flea Market

  • This market is located adjacent to Plaka and it is a treasure trove of vintage items, antiques, and eclectic items. 
  • You can find unique souvenirs, second-hand books, and a variety of curios here.

Lysikratous Square

  • This charming square has fascinating markets focusing on artisanal and handmade products. 
  • It's an excellent place to find one-of-a-kind items, including clothing, accessories, and handcrafted jewellery.

Know Before You Go to Plaka Athens

Essential Information
How to Reach
Where to Eat?
Anafiotika, the Greek Island Village of Athens


Plaka is one of the northeast slopes of the Acropolis between Syntagma Square and Monastiraki Square.

Best to Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Plaka is in the spring between April to June and early autumn from September to October. During this time the weather is ideal with mild temperatures and comparatively fewer tourists. This is also a great time to explore the historic streets, enjoy outdoor dining, and visit nearby attractions like the Acropolis without the discomfort of extreme heat or large crowds.

Plaka at Night:

Plaka at Night is simply stunning; the historic streets come alive with a warm and inviting ambience and the Plaka Acropolis is beautifully lit creating a breathtaking backdrop. The traditional tavernas and cafes offer live music at night making Plaka a perfect setting for evening strolls, romantic dinners, vibrant nightlife, and a taste of Greek culture.

Visit & Checkout - Acropolis Museum

  • By Metro: The most convenient way to reach Plaka Athens Greece is by taking the Athens Metro. The closest metro station is the Acropoli Station, which is part of Line 2. From here, it's just a short walk to the heart of Plaka.

  • By Car: You can drive to Plaka but it is important to keep in mind that the streets in the Plaka neighbourhood of Athens are narrow and often crowded, so finding parking can be challenging. There are parking lots nearby, and street parking is available, though it may be limited. 

  • By Foot: Plaka is a pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood, and exploring it on foot is a fantastic option. If you're staying in the central areas of Athens, it's easy to walk to Plaka, especially from the Syntagma Square and Monastiraki areas. 
  • Yiasemi - Quaint setting, vintage furniture, country-style kitchen and fresh homemade Greek delicacies are what make Yiasemi famous amongst locals and tourists alike. Their claim to fame is freshly baked pies and tarts.

  • Glykis Kafenio - This is a typical old-fashioned Kafenion where you can best enjoy traditional Greek coffee and staple Greek spirits like raki and ouzo. The setting is vintage-style Greek with woven chairs and round blue metal tables. 

  • Da Vinci Gelato - Enjoy the wonderful flavours of gelato ice cream that are freshly made every day and without any preservatives. Pick your flavours and enjoy your ice cream at the Lysicrates monument nearby. 

Also Checkout - Plan Your Visit To Acropolis Of Athens

  • Anafiotika is a picturesque neighbourhood and an architectural gem which is tucked beneath the Acropolis. 

  • It is famous for its unique island-style architecture that resembles the Greek Cyclades.

  • The village is characterised by its charming whitewashed houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and colourful bougainvillaea, evoking the essence of a Greek island.

  • Anafiotika was settled by stonemasons from the island of Anafi in the 19th century, and it maintains a distinct island character, preserving a slice of Greek heritage in the heart of Athens.

  • Climbing through Anafiotika offers breathtaking views of the Acropolis and the city below.

  • The place has several quaint tavernas serving authentic Greek delicacies surrounded by a perfect Greek island ambience.

FAQs for Plaka Athens

What is Plaka Athens?

Plaka Athens is the oldest and most picturesque neighborhood in Athens, located in the shadow of the Acropolis.

What is the history of Plaka Athens?

Plaka has a rich history dating back to ancient times and has been inhabited continuously for over 3,000 years.

What are some popular things to do in Plaka Athens?

Some popular things to do in Plaka Athens include visiting the many museums and historical sites, shopping for souvenirs and handicrafts, and dining at traditional Greek restaurants.

What are the most popular museums in Plaka Athens?

The most popular museums in Plaka Athens include the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments, the Frissiras Museum, and the Jewish Museum.

What is the Fethiye Mosque?

The Fethiye Mosque is a historic mosque located in Plaka Athens, built in the 17th century by the Ottomans.

You May Also Book: Temple of Zeus Tickets

What is the best time to visit Plaka Athens?

The best time to visit Plaka is during the spring between April to June and early autumn from September to October. The weather during this time is pleasant with milder temperatures and fewer crowds. 

Which are the best places to stay near Plaka?

  • Electra Palace Athens: Located in the heart of Plaka, this luxury hotel offers stunning views of the Acropolis and comfortable rooms. Its rooftop restaurant is a must-visit for a romantic dinner.
  • AthensWas Design Hotel: This is a boutique hotel with a contemporary design and it is within walking distance of Plaka's many attractions. Enjoy modern amenities and a rooftop bar with views of the Acropolis.
  • Adrian Hotel: Nestled in the historic Plaka district, Adrian Hotel offers cosy rooms and a welcoming atmosphere. It is a great option for travellers seeking a budget-friendly stay with easy access to top attractions.
  • Ava Hotel and Suites: This charming hotel is steps away from Plaka's winding streets and landmarks. With spacious suites and a tranquil garden, it's an excellent choice for all kinds of travellers and those looking for a homey atmosphere.
  • Amalia Hotel Athens: This hotel is located near Syntagma Square and provides comfortable accommodations. Its central location makes it convenient for exploring both Plaka and other parts of Athens.

What famous street is in Plaka Athens?

One of the most famous streets in Plaka is Adrianou Street. This charming cobblestone street is renowned for its picturesque ambience and is lined with traditional Greek tavernas, cafes, and souvenir shops. Visitors can stroll along Adrianou Street, enjoying the historic architecture and a taste of authentic Greek culture.

Why is Plaka famous?

Plaka is famous for its historical significance and charming ambience. This ancient neighbourhood in the heart of Athens boasts well-preserved neoclassical buildings, picturesque streets, and proximity to iconic landmarks like the Plaka Acropolis and Anafiotika. It's renowned for its traditional Greek architecture, vibrant culture, and a plethora of quaint shops, cafes, and tavernas.

Is Plaka Athens worth visiting?

Yes, Plaka Athens, is worth visiting. Its rich history, beautiful architecture, and proximity to iconic attractions like the Acropolis make it a must-see destination. You can explore its charming streets, savour Greek cuisine, and immerse yourself in the unique ambience of this historic neighbourhood.


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