1. Monastiraki Flea Market
Handcrafted goods, fresh fruits and stacks of soccer jerseys and jewelry dominate the stalls of Monastiraki’s bustling flea market. Literally meaning “little monastery” Monastiraki is named for the Pantánassa church monastery located in the center of the neighborhood’s square. Here more than bargain goods are to be found; Monastiraki is also home to the ancient ruins of the Roman Agora and Hadrian’s library.
2. Mars Hill At Night
Mars Hill, known as Areopagus by the Greeks, has been the site of many speeches, trials and meetings over history. St. Paul the Apostle preached here, and The Council of Nobles and the Judicial Court met on this hill. After thousands of years of weather damage and earthquakes, it’s now a low, rocky hill located just below the Acropolis and the perfect spot to go on a warm summer night to listen to acoustic guitar, split a bottle of store-bought wine and revel in the splendor of the Parthenon lit up at night.
3. Witness the Changing of the Guards
Dressed in kilts, donned in pom-poms and kicking impressively high are the stoic Evzone Guards at The Greek Parliament building in Syntagma Square. Every Sunday at 11 a.m., the changing of the guard takes place in an elaborate parade starting from the Evzone camp at Irodou Attikou Street, marching down to Vasilissis Sofias to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Syntagma Square.
The Evzones are the cream of the military crop. Every Greek man is required to serve two years in the Greek military, and the Evzones are chosen based on their height, fitness level and are trained to stand motionless for hours on end. They’re also known as the Presidential Guard, after all, that is their duty.
4. Stroll Through Plaka
Nestled in the heart of Athens, in the shadow of the Acropolis, is it’s oldest district, Plaka. Reminiscent of the bygone era of Turkish-rule, Plaka’s antique charm, pedestrian-only streets, and al fresco dining make for a most pleasant stroll.
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