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Anafiotika: The Hidden Gem Under the Acropolis

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anafiotika in athens

Nestled at the north slope of the Acropolis, Anafiotika is one of Athens’ most scenic neighborhoods. Lined with white-washed houses that resemble the design of the Cycladic architecture, this district looks nothing like the Greek capital.

Here is the story of Anafiotika and why it should definitely be on your to-do list.

The history of Anafiotika

The history of Anafiotika begins in the mid 19th century.

At the time the carpenters and workers of the Cyclades were considered to be the best builders in Greece and it is said that the King himself invited them to Athens to refurbish his palace.

Around 1840, builders from the Cycladic island of Anafi came to the Greek capital working on the palace of King Otto.

They started building their homes on the northern slope of the Acropolis and named their new neighborhood after their beloved island, Anafi.

They followed the architectural style of their homes in the Cycladic islands.

Anafiotika in Plaka - AthensPin
Anafiotika is a cluster of 45 houses constructed by workers from Anafi island

White-washed houses with colorful doors and windows featuring flower-covered backyards. At the beginning of the 20th century, Greek refugees from Asia Minor also moved to the area.

However, in the 1950s, the largest part of the neighborhood was destroyed due to archaeological excavations in the area.

Today, Anafiotika is home to less than 50 houses but the island atmosphere still remains untouched.

House in AnafiotikaPin
During the construction of Anafiotika, the builders from Anafi island tried to make the area look like the homes they left behind

Why you should visit Anafiotika

Adjacent to the touristic Plaka and only a stone’s throw away from the Monastiraki neighborhood, Anafiotika is an area that can’t and shouldn’t be overlooked.

A stroll along the car-free cobblestoned alleys and picturesque passageways will take you away from the city’s noise and will give you a glimpse of the Cyclades’ scenery.

Even if visiting a Greek island wasn’t part of your original travel plans, a walk around Anafiotika will persuade you otherwise.

steps and white painted narrow street in AnafiotikaPin
Steps, white painted narrow street and small houses in the traditional Anafiotika neighborhood of Plaka, Athens Greece.

Aside from the charming little houses, this small village in the heart of the capital is also home to several Byzantine churches.

The Church of St. George of the Rock (Agios Giorgos tou Vrachou) at the southern side of the area, Agios Simeon church that houses the icon of Virgin Mary Kalamiotissa which is said to have miraculous powers are the most popular.

Last but not least, the area is like heaven for cat-lovers. There are numerous stray cats strolling around the area’s streets awaiting passersby to caress them or at least give them a treat.

Houses in AnafiotikaPin
Anafiotika is a highlight of any trip to Athens

Things to do in Anafiotika

Anafiotika is the perfect place for a leisure walk in the area’s serene surroundings and for taking tons of instagrammable photos.

You’ll soon forget you’re in the heart of the busy metropolitan which you can only see from afar in panoramic views.

small houses traditional anafiotika neighborhoodPin
Small houses in the traditional Anafiotika neighborhood under the Acropolis. Cycladic islands village-style architecture in the city of Athens, Greece.

Make sure to walk all the way up to the top of the village and catch a glimpse of Athens from above.

As mentioned there are also several Byzantine churches that are worth your while.

In a nearby distance from Anafiotika, you’ll also find the Kanellopoulos Museum and the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments. Now, in case you are a museum-lover, click this link and read about all the great and small museums in Athens, including the two we mentioned above.

view of athens from anafiotikaPin
Go to Anafiotika, and get a glimpse of Athens from above. Photo courtesy: dimitris_adrikop

How to get to Anafiotika

Anafiotika is located on the northern slope of Acropolis and right above the popular neighborhood of Plaka.

Often GPS won’t function properly especially when you’re in the middle of the village’s narrow alleys.

how to get to anafiotika Pin
Anafiotika is so close to Athens’ most famous sight, the Acropolis, but it is still a secret

If you’re getting here by metro take off at Monastiraki station and head south toward Ifestou street.

After you’ve crossed Pandrosou and Mnisikleous street you’ll reach Prytaneiou street. From here turn right to Statonos take on the stairs and keep walking. You’re in Anafiotika.

If you’re planning to combine your visit to Acropolis Hill with your tour in Anafiotika, walk along Theorias street until you reach Prytaneiou and then again Stratonos.

It can be quite tricky to spot Anafiotika but the route is equally impressive and it will reward you even you get slightly lost.

How to get to Anafiotika by metro or on footPin
Our non-Greek readers tell us that it can be tricky to find Anafiotika. To help you out, check out our detailed directions above on how to get to Anafiotika by metro or on foot

Anafiotika Restaurants: Where to eat near Anafiotika

Even though in the heart of Anafiotika you’ll only discover houses, in less than a 5-minute walk there are plenty of cafes and restaurants for a pitstop.

Geros Tou Moria Restaurant

Geros tou Moria Restaurant is a traditional Greek restaurant serving dishes of the traditional cuisine.

It features both an indoor and outdoor space ideal for lunch or dinner throughout the whole year.

Address: 27, Mnisikleous Street, Athens, Greece

Telephone: +30 21 0322 1753

where to eat in anafiotikaPin
O Geros Tou Moria restaurant in Plaka, Athens. Photo courtesy: www.gerostoumoria-restaurant.com

Old Tavern Of Stamatopoulos

Originally opened in 1882, the Old Tavern Of Stamatopoulos has been officially part of Athens’ gastronomy scene since 1965.

All dishes are based on Mediterranean cuisine and are made with fresh and local ingredients.

The traditional tavern features an indoor hall and an outdoor garden.

Address: 9, Erechtheos Street, Athens, Greece

Telephone: +30 21 0322 8722

restaurant in anafiotikaPin
The Old Tavern Of Stamatopoulos in Plaka. Photo courtesy: Old Tavern Of Stamatopoulos Facebook page

Elea Restaurant

Housed in a three-level mansion at the feet of Acropolis Hill, Elaia offers a sophisticated atmosphere and outstanding views from its rooftop terrace.

The restaurant’s menu spans a wide range but all dishes are based on Greek cuisine.

Address: 16, Erechtheos Street, Athens, Greece

Telephone: +30 21 0324 9512

a place to eat in AnafiotikaPin
Elea Restaurant in Plaka. Photo courtesy: Elea Restaurant Facebook page

Anafiotika Hotels: Where to stay near Anafiotika

Preserving its authentic atmosphere, Anafiotika isn’t home to 5-star hotels.

Heads Up: Our preferred website to compare and book hotels is Booking.com. Best prices and many hotels you can book and then cancel with no cancelation penalty. For the individuals who need to book without using a travel agency, this is the most ideal approach to do it.

The only accommodation you’ll find in the heart of Anafiotika is the Anafiotika Hideaway, a 95-square-meter apartment that was recently renovated. Check availability of the Anafiotika Hideaway on Booking.com.

It features one bedroom, one living room, and a bathroom.

However, there are plenty of choices for all styles at a nearby distance. Check some accommodation options near Anafiotika on Booking.com.

Keep in mind though that due to the area’s popularity, the accommodation close to Plaka and Anafiotika areas isn’t quite budget-friendly.

101 Adrianou Luxury Urban Stay in Adrianou street is a complex of eight ApartSuites. See photos and read some reviews about 101 Adrianou Apartments on Booking.com.

Four of them overlook the Acropolis while the rest have a view of the premises’ beautiful garden.

The rooms are also divided into four categories based on their design. All of them though are elegantly decorated.

Finally, Auntie’s Home is another excellent choice for those looking to stay in the heart of Athens’ most charming neighborhoods. Check Auntie’s Home on Booking.com to see availability, photos, and reviews.

The bright and spacious apartment also features a cozy terrace where guests are invited to soak up the sun while rummaging the streets of Plaka.

Anafiotika lies 300 meters from here while the Monastiraki square is less than a kilometer away.

narrow street in AnafiotikaPin
You can find a hotel in Plaka and then get lost in the narrow streets of Anafiotika

Tips, suggestions, questions and answers about visiting Anafiotika

Do you need to book in advance to visit Anafiotika?

No, Anafiotika is an open-air area accessible throughout the whole year. If however, you’re planning to book a guided tour, it is recommended to do it several weeks in advance.

What’s the best way to see Anafiotika?

Anafiotika is a car-free area. The best and only way to see Anafiotika is on foot. Biking isn’t recommended since the alleys are cobblestoned and in some parts, you’ll have to walk up the stairs.

Is it dangerous in Anafiotika?

No, this is a quiet safe area and it is usually crowded especially in the summer months.

When is the best time of the day to visit Anafiotika?

The best time to visit Anafiotika is in the morning or early in the evening. If you’re visiting Athens in the summertime make sure to avoid the hot hours of the day.

Remember that BTI Athens Travel Guide is here to guide you with planning the perfect trip to Athens and help you every step along the way. If you didn’t found what you’re looking for, or need any recommendations about your trip to Athens, feel free to leave us a comment or just contact us and we will do our best to help you. Please be as more detailed as possible regarding your subject so as to help you better.

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