A Local's Guide to Athens, Greece - This Way

A Local's Guide to Athens, Greece

Describe who you are in 3 sentences:
My name is Theodora Koumoundourou and I’m the founder of ARTHENS, a luxury art tour service that provides bespoke art tours in Athens.

What is your relation to this city?
I relocated in Athens after 6 years living abroad and I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made. The vitality of the city is unique, as the combination of old and new surrounds you in every step and the quality of life can’t be bitten. Furthermore, you can reach the seaside or the mountains in 1 hour tops, which makes weekend getaways a treat.

Best experience?
Walking at night around the city center is always a favorite of mine. During summer, Acropolis is illuminated with this amazing goldeny-orange light, and it feels like a dream when walking in close view from it.

Weirdest experience?
Probably the unannounced protests that are happening every now and then.

Your top 3 hangout spots?
- During the day, a great place to have a coffee and a croissant is "Queen Bee".
- For a bite with friends in the evening, "Flower" at Mavilli Sq. is a great location for a pizza and an Aperol Spritz. (Get the pizza Pancetta!)
- Another awesome spot is the rooftop at "BIOS". It has a very chilled vibe and it’s a great location to sip your drink, while watching the city from afar.

Favourite restaurants?
- "Birdman" is a small restaurant influenced by a Japanese Pub. The small meat dishes and the rice bowls are a must have.
- During winter, the best place to be for meat lovers is "Base Grill". You need a car to reach the restaurant as it is a few minutes outside the city center, but its totally worth it!

Best date place?
"Nikkei restaurant" is one of the best places to go with your other half. Located on Lycabettus Hill, the space is carefully decorated in elegant ethnic style with dim lighting and wooden tables and the food is divine. Pro tip: Don’t forget to try the cocktail menu, 'Sakura Maru' is a must-try!

Best Sunday spot?
Sundays are definitely made for brunch. "Il Barretto" at Saint Irinis Sq. is the best place for poached eggs and burgers. The staff is super friendly and it’s a great spot for people watching.

If you were to live in another place, where would that be and why?
If I could live in another place it would be Amsterdam. I used to live there 5 years ago, as I was having a year-round internship. It’s a small city but the natural beauty and the architecture, combined with the small cafes and the antique shops make it irresistible.

Where is your escape place from this city?
My city escape is definitely Kefalonia island. It’s one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, with crystal clear waters and home to the most beautiful virgin beaches I have ever seen! Whenever I’m there, I don’t miss the chance to visit "Haritatos Vineyard", a well-known wine producer of Kefalonia. There, Haritatos family always welcome us with a cheese plater from local producers and a big bottle of their finest white wine.

Best 5 local advices?
1. Rent a car for the day and head to Sounio, where you can swim at the beach below the ancient temple of Poseidon.
2. Go to the open air cinema, called "Cine Paris" is an amazing experience as the ancient monument stands right above you.
3. Eat at "Ama Laxei tavern", located at Exarcheia. It has a lovely outdoor space where you can eat and watch the stars.
4. Book to watch opera or a theatre at "Herodes Atticus ancient theatre". Located below Acropolis, it’s a magical experience.
5. Book a bespoke art tour with "ARTHENS" and explore the amazing contemporary art scene of Athens.

What’s your favorite This Way travel product?
My favorite This Way product is the ‘Face Sunscreen SPF 35 with matte tint’. As I am always walking in the streets of Athens for our art tours, sunscreen is a must! This special formula, which adapts with my skin tone, is very much appreciated, as during summer heavy make-ups can clog the pores and create unwanted acne. This Way Face Sunscreen is 2 in 1.
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