It can be tough to find the quirk in Athens, a city that has a lot of pride and is slow to drop her guard. The good news is that in such an image-conscious city, the offbeat is easy to recognize and 100% authentic. The Northern-Irish asylum seeker/ social commentator and artist known as "Tom" is the very best example of this, and ironically his art garden couldn't be more centrally located than the heart of old-town Plaka. If Tom's junkyard art inspires you, head to Avyssinias Square in Monastiraki to acquire some of your own trash-to-treasure. While you're there go for a tea on the roof of the Abyssinias Cafe to daydream away from the crowd, then get right back into it again in the hurly-burl of the Athinas Street Market where the carcasses of pigs, lamb, chickens and goats are suspended in the stalls of a 19th century architectural landmark.
Two museums made our offbeat Athens list: the Spathario Museum of Shadow Theatre presents visitors to the much-loved tradition of shadow puppetry in Athens, introduced by the Ottomans but perfected by the Greeks. Modern design as introduced by the French, Swedish, and Scandinavians is tucked in the 20th Century Design Museum- well away from where one would expect to find it.
Nothing beats crawling through cemeteries as an offbeat activity and the First Cemetery of Athens makes for a golden opportunity. The marble statues range from the breathtaking to the bizarre, and can anyone explain to us how the author of "The Once and Future King," TH White" ended up among its residents?
Flisvos Park made our list not for the classy promenade constructed for the 2004 Olympic Games, but the one just behind it made up of magnificent moonwalks, one after the other. For a little more bounce, upgrade to a Zulu Bungee Jump off of the Corinth Canal bridge, an hour outside of the city.
Sotiros Street & Iperidou
174 Amfiaraou St
Jump off of the bridge over the Corinth Canal...
Meat, Fish, Fruit, Herbs, Spices... read more
Ifaistou and Ermou
Junk, Treasure, Antiques and Everything Else!...
4-8 Patmou Street
Technal Plaza Exhibition Centre
Save your feet for dancing. Roll through the ancient sites... read more