We are going to talk about a very interesting neighborhood that, curiously, usually goes unnoticed by tourists (despite being in the center of Athens). I’m talking about Pangrati, a neighborhood with a great atmosphere to go out for a drink and where there are also a couple of things that (I think) everyone should visit.
The former bourgeois neighborhood of Pangrati is nowadays becoming the new trendy area among young people, so much so that the price of rents has gone up quite a bit recently (although they are still very affordable compared to the average in Athens). Pangrati is also the preferred home of artists, musicians, writers, journalists…
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IN SHORT! Pagrati is a neighborhood you must visit, and below I tell you why 😉.
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What to see in Pangrati?
Something NOT to be missed in Pangrati is the Panathinaiko stadium, as it was here that the first Olympic Games in modern history were held (in 1896 to be precise). This impressive stadium, built entirely of Pentelic marble and with a capacity of 45,000 spectators, is a must-see for EVERY tourist visiting Athens:
This place is also the origin of the Marathon race. – What do I mean? – When the Greeks won the victory against the Persians in the first medical war (490 B.C.), they sent a messenger running from where the last battle would have been fought (the city of Marathon) to Athens to deliver the great news (the defeat over the Persians).
This runner, after running the 40 kilometers that separate both cities, arrived at the outskirts of Athens (now Pangrati) and shouted: VICTORY! (“NIKÉ” in Greek) and after announcing his victory, Philipides fell dead due to the accumulated fatigue and the war wounds he was carrying…
But what does this have to do with the stadium?
It turns out that the Olympic stadium we can see today was built in the same place where, supposedly, Philipides would announce the victory before dying. Also remember to visit the inside of the stands, as there is a conference room that houses ALL the ORIGINAL Olympic torches (how could it be otherwise hehe).
Wait there is still another very interesting place in Pangrati that you should visit:
I mean the first cemetery of Athens, – That’s right – there are many tourists who come to the neighborhood just to visit this “curious” place. This cemetery built in 1837 is located at the end of Anapafseos Street, also known as “the street of eternal rest” (SO IRONY!). But what is so special about the Pangrati cemetery?
The answer is that this place would soon become a luxury cemetery, in which today we can find the graves of many Greek and foreign celebrities. I am not going to name all of them but the MOST IMPORTANT ones:
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First of all I want to mention the most beloved by all, Melina Mercouri; here lies the tomb of the singer, actress and political activist, in fact she is also known for her fight for the British to return the famous Elgin marbles to the Greeks. Melina Mercouri became the FIRST MINISTER of culture of the Hellenic country.
In the cemetery we can also find the tombs of the businessman Georgios Averoff (who financed the restoration of the Olympic stadium mentioned above) and the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann (whose tomb resembles the temples of ancient Greece).
Recommended areas for restaurants and cafés
As I mentioned before, dear reader, Pangrati is a neighborhood where locals go to spend the afternoon and/or have a beer in the evening. Perhaps this is what I like most about this area of Athens, that is, it is VERY difficult to find a bar area that is NOT “conquered” by tourists visiting the city.
Conclusion: If you want to escape from the more touristy places and have a drink where the locals do too, I recommend coming to Pangrati. – BEWARE – Although this would normally be the case, in this case, just because it’s a less touristy neighborhood does NOT mean it’s cheap… 🙁 Although it’s still cheaper than other neighborhoods like Plaka or Monastiraki.
But let’s get to the point!
The areas where people move around and you will find many bars and cafes are as follows:
- Platia Proskopon
- Platia Varnava
Location of Pangrati neighborhood
Congratulations dear reader for reading me so far! Now I invite you to ask me any questions in the comment box, you can also use it to share your experience with me and with the next travelers who stop by, I would really love to read you. I also sincerely hope I have provided you with valuable content, please feel free to share this page with your friends/family or on your social networks. In fact that would help me a lot with this project 😉.
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