Athens, June 2018

Athens, June 2018

Lycabettus Hill, Kolonaki...

Lycabettus hill (909 ft high), sits right in the center of the city and offers an unforgettable view of the city from its peak. On top, you will find there the tiny Chapel of St. George (Ai Yorgis) and a restaurant. It is one of the most attractive points of Athens, especially by night, when below the large lighted city extends its beauty. You can climb it throughout the year and enjoy the superb view that it offers. You can reach the hill either on foot following the stairs, or by car taking the road that leads to the theater of Lycabettus. But the most romantic way to reach Lycabettus, is with the funicular railway thats starts from Kolonaki and goes all the way to the top (275 m.). 
During antiquity the hill was called Aychesmos Lycabettus. During the times of Pausanias, Aychesmos Lycabettus had a statue of Zeus Aychesmios at its summit. Lycabettus hill is mentioned in Aristophanes' "Clouds" and in Plato's "Critias". During the Middle ages there was a chapel to the Prophet Elijah at its summit.There is a chapel to St. George which was built after 1835. On its northwest side is a cave with the small church of St. Isidore. During the summer, the Lycabettus theater hosts various theatrical performances and concerts. It is a spacious theater with 5,000 seats and occupies one of the most inspiring and idyllic sites in Athens. The funicular railway that goes to the top of Lycabetus is in the Kolonaki area. 

Kolonaki The Chic Square of Athens is Kolonaki, officially known as Philikis Etaireias Square. Some of the most fashionable stores in Athens are located on Kolonaki square and the surrounding streets, along with many pastry-shops, cafeterias and bistros which are crowded all day long. Most favorite caffes are Jackson Hall, Prytaneio by the square. Also a wonderful shopping market. One of the things you must do when you are in Athens is have a cup of coffee in one of the coffee shops in Kolonaki Square. To have spent a few hours eating, drinking and just chatting in one of this square's coffee shops, is a prerequisite for trendy Athenians and foreign visitors alike. Kolonaki also offers some of the best shopping in town, some of the best organised and biggest kiosks (periptera) in the city and some very interesting walks around its busy streets. Kolonaki is s officially known as Filliki Eterias Square. A filliki eteria is nominally a "friendly society" but in this case refers to the secret society founded in Odessa, Russia, 1814, during the Ottoman domination of Greece. Its founders were 4 wealthy Greeks of the diaspora whose goal was to seek Greek Independence from the Turks "by any means possible". The four main streets leading from the square: Skoufa, Anagnostopoulou, Xanthos and Tsakaloff are named after these men. Kolonaki contains chic international boutiques and coffee shops, where Athens 'Elite' like to see and be seen. Kolonaki Square is the rich section of Athens. 

The shops of Kolonaki have the latest fashions from all over Europe and the rest of the planet. Anything you can find in New York is available in Kolonaki. The Gennadios Library is on Soudias St., and specializes in Greek publications after 1453. The excellent Museum of Cycladic Art is housed on Neophytou Douka St. The most famous shopping street is Ermou, off Syntagma, the main square, and opposite the Parliament building. This pedestrian-only street shouldn't be missed if shopping is among your travel objectives. It's always been Athens' busiest shopping street and is packed with clothing, accessory and quality souvenir shops.
On, past the small Byzantine church of Kapnikarea, one nears Monastiraki and the Flea Market. Best on Sundays, it is still a fascinating area with anything from souvenirs in all their myriad form, marble chess sets, copper pans, ceramic pots, to junk and antiques. Old coins and stamps, furniture which has seen better days in some old neo- classic mansion, baskets and junk, piled haphazardly between office furniture, all go to make this area one of the most fascinating in the city. 
Kolonaki is the first word that a good shopper should know. This fashionable neighborhood at the foot of Lykavittos Hill has always been the more "chic" place to shop in Athens. When you need a break from shopping, there are plenty of trendy coffee shops and restaurants around Kolonaki Square.
Most shops have hours as follows: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 9 am-3 pm; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 am-2:30 pm and 5-8:30 pm. All department stores and supermarkets and many larger shops now stay open through the day and some stay open until 6 pm on Saturdays. Times change during Easter/Christmas and major holiday seasons. Many shops in the Plaka area are open daily 9 am-9 pm.

Discover Athens: [Syntagma, Lycabettus, Plaka, Acropolis, Psirri, The suburbs, Coastal areas, Outskirts of Athens, Pireaus]

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