Kolonaki is the most elegant and luxurious neighborhood in the city of Athens, commonly referred to by locals as “the posh neighborhood”. In fact, this is where the “elite” of Athens used to live before they (mostly) moved to the suburbs.
Still this peculiar neighborhood of Athens never lost its essence and we could even say that, in the case of Kolonaki, it IS all that glitters is gold hehe. I certainly recommend walking through its beautiful and luxurious streets to get to know a VERY DIFFERENT Athens than the one we are used to.
What do I mean?
Kolonaki is the only neighborhood in Athens where you will find stores of the highest range (I wonder who will consume there) and also the most select cafes and restaurants of the city are located.
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In short, Kolonaki is a residential and VERY central neighborhood ideal to stay and/or just visit (you will soon know why). Below I am going to tell you about some very interesting places, belonging to the neighborhood, that I would recommend ALL tourists to visit, as well as give you a few tips/tricks about this area.
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Kolonaki, the luxurious neighborhood of Athens
It is said that during the Greek civil war, Syntagma and Kolonaki were the only two areas NOT under Communist control. In fact, in today’s neighborhood, you can feel and see the class difference compared to other areas of Athens. Curiously today the neighborhood of Kolonaki shares a “border” with the neighborhood of Exarchia, also known as the leftist or anarchist neighborhood:
What to see in Kolonaki?
There is at least one reason why ALL tourists enter this neighborhood of Kolonaki, and I am referring to Mount Lycabettus:
I personally love it when a city as big as Athens has an elevated point (specifically 277 meters high) from which you can see ALL the important points of the city, in this case it is: the Acropolis of Athens, Syntagma square and the Greek parliament, the Panathinaiko Olympic stadium… also and luckily for us, these are illuminated at night, so I recommend you to climb Mount Lycabettus at night or even to see a beautiful sunset.
You can reach the highest point of Athens by simply crossing the Kolonaki neighborhood, always going uphill (you will inevitably reach the top). It is also accessible by car, and you can leave your car in the parking lot and walk up a few more stairs. The last option is to use the funicular, however I do not recommend it because: One, it is hard to find; two, on it you can’t enjoy nice views during the climb; and three, it is more expensive than a cab to the top, the latter being an easier and faster option.
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Besides Mount Lycabettus, the Kolonaki neighborhood is home to two of the most famous museums in Athens: the Benaki Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art. However I also want to recommend a third one, I am talking about the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology.
While most museums in Athens focus on archaeological items and explain their provenance and historical context, this one goes for something very different. Here you will find the most important inventions made during ancient Greece, obviously NOT the original prototypes, but still I am sure you will be amazed by the Hellenic creativity to take advantage of their scientific discoveries.
Recommended cafes and restaurants
I would recommend you to go for a drink at Kolonaki square (that’s how the square is called), since this is where most of the cafes are condensed and, more importantly, the essence of this luxurious neighborhood is breathed.
In this square you will also find a very old column, which gives its name to this neighborhood; and in fact the word “Kolonaki” means “small column” in Greek.
Where is the neighborhood of Kolonaki?
The neighborhood of Kolonaki is located in the very center of Athens; specifically between the famous Syntagama square (where the Greek parliament is also located) and the Lycabettus mountain, which is the highest point of the city (now I will tell you how to get there).
With nothing more to add from my side, dear reader, now I would love to read you: I invite you to leave a comment asking any question (and I will try to help you) or just to tell you what you thought of it. Feel free also to share this content with your family, friends or on social networks, in fact that would help me ENORMOUSLY for this blog 😉.