Only around 50 of Anafiotika’s original 19th-century dwellings remain, tucked between the minuscule churches of Agios Georgios tou Vrachou and Agios Simeon. This clutch of homes, with their colorful bougainvillea and potted geraniums, are a highlight of many walking tours that cover Athens’ most picturesque quarters and hills—including Plaka and Monastiraki. The postcard-perfect warren of narrow lanes overlooking the city also makes for a popular destination for photography tours or scenic sunrise, sunset, or night tours of the capital city.
Things to know before you go
- The Anafiotika neighborhood is pedestrian-only, so be prepared to take on steep lanes and flights of steps.
- The district offers some of the best views in Athens and is a photographer’s paradise. Bring your camera and time your visit for dawn or dusk for spectacular shots over the city.
- There are no restaurants, tavernas, or cafés in the neighborhood, but Plaka directly below is crowded with eateries.
- The steep lanes and steps are not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.
How to get there
Anafiotika is part of the pedestrian-only area of Plaka, and can only be reached on foot. Take the metro to Monastiraki or Acropoli and follow the signs up the hillside from Dionyssiou Areopagitou Street—next to the Theatre of Dionysus—to the Ayio Georgios church, where the narrow lanes begin.
When to get there
The neighborhood is perfectly positioned for views over the Greek capital, best enjoyed in the early morning or at sunset. You can also visit after nightfall to take in the twinkling lights of the city below.
The Birth of Anafiotika
Anafiotika was developed by skilled craftsmen from the Cyclades island of Anafi, who emigrated to Athens in 1843 to work in the building boom that followed independence from the Hellenic Republic. Taking advantage of an ancient decree that allowed people to keep their property if they could build it between sunset and sunrise, the islanders worked on grand neo-classical palaces by day and their own cramped quarters by night.
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