You know when you have been to a town many times and you think you have seen it all? It is not the case in Athens. I spent all of last week there and in the very little free time I had i made some new great discoveries.
The Acropolis Museum is one. Completed in 2007 and conceived to reunite the Parthenon marbles, it now presents the parts of them that are still in Greece plus a recontruction of the part that are in London at the british Museum.
The parts on display are stunning, from the Cariatyds to the frontal decorations. And what makes the museum unique is the fact that in spite of being total white, the white marbles come out highlighted in an exceptional way. In the museum there is also a nice bar and restaurant where you can eat on a terrace in front of the Acropolis. One of the best museums I have visited ever.
After the visit, to get new energy some comfort food. Walk to the old meat and fish market, Varvakeios which is really worth a visit, and just 2 minutes from it you find Karamandlika Da Fani, an old taverna specialised in meat and sausages but also in the most tradictional Greek food. The ambience is old but with modern touch and absolutely non touristic. The food is fantastic, even if a bit rich. The origin is Byzantine and Cappadocian.
Aged cheeses, cured, seasoned and aged ham, sausages and pastrami are on the menu and you can also buy and take away. Not to be missed.
Karamandlika – Socratous 1 &Evripidou 52 – Athens
And now to digest lunch some walking and shopping. Direction: Syntagma Square and Kolonaki Square. Near Syntagma you can find the new Apivita shop. Founded by two pharmacists, Apivita offers high quality products for face, body, hair formulated with beekeeping products and natural herbs from Greece. I have tried several different products and I grant they are extremely good. The Athens shop is also a flagship store where you will find a juice bar, a Spa and an hair studio. They also sell online.
The Apivita Experience Store – Solonos Str.6 – Athens www.apivita.com
Now head to Kolonaky where starting from Kolonaky Square you can find some of the best shops in Athens and in Europe. Including very nice jewellery. And when evening comes, it is time to find a very good restaurant. I have the place for you. Papadakis. Originally from Paros, where they have a very nice hotel I plan to try next summer, the restaurant specialized in fresh fish, lobster, seafood and Greek recipes modernly revisited. Mediterranean greek in a modern and fresh environment. And the staff is super kind and efficient. I had dinner there last winter and it was so good that this time I went with my colleagues twice! One of the best octopus I ever had and a grilled fish so good to cry. Happy end of a great day in Athens!
Papadakis – Fokilidou 15 – Athens Tel. +30 2103608621