Our top ten list of best things to do in Plaka could extend easily to the best things to do in Athens. On top of countless traditional shops and restaurants, museums including the Folk Art Museum
, Jewish Museum
, Frissiras Art Museum
and Museum of Musical Instruments
. Anafiotika lies just on the border of the entrance to the Acropolis and New Acropolis Museum
. Walk along Kydathineon Street to Plaka Square for a traditional Greek coffee. In the evenings you might hear some live music under the massive canopy of centurion trees. Shopping for souvenirs on Adrianou Street is a common way to take care of those left behind.
Our top thing to do in Plaka could technically be put in the neighborhood of the Acropolis, but it's just close enough that we feel the New Acropolis Museum deserves to be mentioned. The hidden hillside village of Anafiotika is very nearby, just up the slope that borders the ancient site of the Theatre of Dionysos. Nothing can quite describe scaling the whitewashed steps and narrow passageways until finally reaching an extraordinary view on Lycabettus. It simply must be experienced for oneself. Heading down from there gets you into central Plaka; you're very close to the strange Lysikrates monument, surrounded by a preserved part of the oldest road in Athens, walked on by the philosopher Diogenes, the poet, Lord Byron, and you if you wish it. Having a coffee in this historic corner is popular with both locals and tourists.
Plaka if fully loaded in the area of museums and most of them made our top ten. The Jewish Museum is touching, personal, and excellent in presentation to educate all of us about the history of the Jewish people in Greece; of particular importance to the museum's exhibit is the devastation of the Nazi occupation from 1941-1945. Not far is the Museum of Greek Folk Art displaying extraordinary handiwork of traditional Greek villages such as quilts, lace, costume, and paintings. Their gift shop is bar-none. Head to the Frissiras to see a fantastic homage to the art of drawing and painting the human figure. The exhibits are constantly changing but the museum's collection of 3,000 works of art will appeal to any appreciator of modern, realist art.
Two museums on our top ten list are only for the younger generation. The Greek Children's Museum is an interactive place to play and learn with a helpful staff. If you have three or more kids in your group they'll even organize a child-oriented tour of Plaka. Unrelated but equal in integrity is the Greek Children's Museum of Art, one of only a few in the world that is dedicated to displaying and furthering children's interest in fine art.
Worth mentioning is that Thyreos is our list's only shop; that's because it's as good as a museum, featuring artistic metalwork and perfect reproductions of artifacts found in the museums throughout Greece, saving you time and travel. We appreciate that while everything in the store is for sale, not everything is priced for the serious collector.
Prytaneiou & Erechtheos
39 Nikis Street
On the left side of Nikis as you walk away from Syntagma Sq
The 2,300 year old story of Jewish People in Greece... read more
14 Kydathineon Street
The best way to keep little hands busy in Plaka...
Costumes, masks, linens and lace...all handmade by Greeks... read more
3-7 Monis Asteriou Street
A museum devoted to the art of the human body...
Kodrou Street 9
Museum of the young, gifted, and expressive...
Dionysiou Areopagitou Street
Modern Plaka meets ancient Greece... read more