This blog post was originally intended as a simple guide for my Greek Island Yoga Retreat attendees, but why not share the love. I’ve been to Athens a handful of times and each time I visit I discover a new gem. In this post, I’ll be sharing my favorite restaurants, yoga shops, Athens yoga studios among favorite wine bars, sights to see and places to shop.
Where to Buy Yoga Pants and Yoga Mats in Athens
Yoga students and yoga teachers… if you managed to lose or forget your yoga mat, block, incense or mala beads head over to Simply Green. Simply Green is actually an online shop, BUT they do open their doors Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. They carry great brands… think Manduka and Jade, they have plenty of travel mats in all colors, and tons of other bits and bobs you may have forgotten at home (like a refillable water bottle, yoga towel, mat cleaner, etc.). It’s amazing and it’s located pretty centrally, so it’s a win-win! Location: Simply Green 73 Ermou Str. Monastiraki
If your yoga pants have blown away then check out the Nike store at 1 Ermou, this is probably your best bet for finding a variety of suitable leggings. Simply Green has a few leggings styles as well. Athens Yoga on Louizis Riankour 65, would be a bit of an expedition to get to, but if you’re in a bind or feeling adventurous you could head out to their location. There are also two H&M stores on Ermou. H&M stores in the states typically have fitness wear… just check that your leggings are opaque!
Niyamas Yoga Mat would be another option for picking up a yoga mat. Their mats are known for being nice and sturdy. They’re a local brand and they’re located a little north of the city center on Leof. Konstantinoupoleos 78-80 in Peristari.
The Best Yoga Studios in Athens
If you’re arriving in Athens a few days before your yoga retreat you may be seeking out a yoga studio in Athens to get moving and breathing after sitting on a plane for a dozen hours.
There are a surprisingly large number of yoga studios in Athens. Here are a few to check out:
Abhaya Yoga offers classes in English. At the moment, they have the following types of classes on their schedule: Bhakti, Anusara, Abhaya hatha, Alignment based yoga and Yin-Yang. Check out their website for their current schedule and pricing www.nysystudios.gr or give them a call +30 210 3232004. Location: Aiolou 43
Anahatashuddi Yoga Studio is a little further away from the center, but it’s gorgeous and well worth the effort. They offer floor yoga, aerial yoga and pilates in Peristeri. Reach out to Eva via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at +30 210 5744162 or +30 694 6941126. Location: Emiliou Veaki 36
Swaha Yoga Kallisperi has super friendly staff and a large range of class offerings, including: ballet, pilates, aerial, and floor yoga. Check out their site www.swaha.gr or shoot them an email at email@example.com Their phone number is +30 210 9229251. Location: Kallisperi 11
Other Yoga Class Options:
Where to Eat: Vegan, Vegetarian, Organic and Sustainable Restaurants in Athens
Okay, there are loads of great places to eat in Athens, but when you’ve had enough of the meat, cheese, bread combo give these restaurants a try.
So Amazing!!! Loads of delicious vegetarian meals from falafel, to crispy tofu to veggie burgers. This restaurant has a surprisingly large menu. They even have a few gluten-free and vegan options — which let’s be honest… Greece is not super friendly to vegans… not that the Greeks are mean, because they’re definitely not, but because the options for vegan food are seriously lacking. Definitely check out Avocado for your veggie and smoothie fix. It’s one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Athens. Location: Nikis 30, Syntagma
I might be biased. I love Indian food and it is one of my comfort foods. AND there are usually plenty of vegetarian options on the menu, which I love. Indian Haveli is conveniently located near Syntagma Square (2 minutes from the Acropolis metro) and it’s affordably priced.
This may be the best gyro and souvlaki in Athens. A favorite among locals for its simplicity and full flavor. But you must go early, when they run out they close up shop! Pentelis 5, Syntagma
Nice n Easy
An organic bistro with locally sourced Greek food ie. loads of organic produce, fresh pasta and sustainably sourced meats. Nice n Easy is worth a visit. I would definitely recommend a reservation. This restaurant has a few other locations out on the islands, so if you can’t get in in Athens, check out one of the island locations (if that’s where you’re headed). Location: Omirou 60, Athens
Athens Central Market
If you’re on a budget check out the Athens Central Market. It’s been in operation for over 100 years and offers plenty of veggies, meats, and grocery items.
This may be the best meal I have had in Athens. Seycheles’ menu has lots of small-ish plates and a handful of entree style plates and they’re all delicious. I recommend the octopus, the tomato fritters and the smoked eggplant! Go with a friend so you can try more things! If you want to eat during prime time definitely make a reservation. The restaurant is out of the tourist zone in an up and coming, hipster-ish neighborhood called Metaxourgeio. Address: 49 Kerameikou street
Cocktails, wine, and coffee with a rooftop view of the Acropolis and Plaka. Not a bad way to spend an evening. Location: Normanou 3, Monastiraki
Kiki de Grace
A beautiful wine bar near Syntagma Square. They have about 30 different glasses of wine to choose from. Location: Voulis 38
Favorite places for Coffee
Tailor Made Microroastery
Tailor Made Microroastery is located at Agias Irinis 2. Great coffee, awesome outdoor seating that is perfect for people watching and a fun, social scene. Location: Agias Irinis 2 in Monastiraki. Word on the street is that they have closed. Sad face!
Peek a Bloom
Peek a Bloom is another great spot for caffeine, this little cafe is near Syntagma Square and it’s a perfect spot to tuck out of the sun for a cup of coffee. While I haven’t tried their breakfast, I do enjoy their coffee. It’s down the alley at Lekka 14.
Athinaika Galatompoureko Triantafillou
Okay, there are literally hundreds, probably thousands of places to try baklava in Athens, but trust me, when I say that Athinaika Galatompoureko Triantafillou has the best baklava ever! Hike up the hill to Pagrati and get yourself some baklava. It’s worth it. I promise. Location: Eftichidou 2 in Pagrati
This is the best cafe to stuff yourself with sweets and get hyped up on sugar and caffeine while cranking out a days work. Did I say they have super fast wifi??? Because they do. Thank you. Thank you! Location: Archelaou 32
Shopping: Where to Buy Gemstones and Crystals in Athens
Alright yogis, you might love gemstones and crystals just as much as I do, so here are a few spots to check out while you’re in Athens.
Michael Hatzmihail near Syntagma Square at Perikleous 56
Stonestories by Albandakis at Perikleous 44
One of my girlfriends bought a gorgeous Byzantine inspired ring from one of the Konstantinos or Kostas stores (I can’t remember the name, but there are a few of them in the Monastiraki and Plaka area).
Shopping: Best Clothing, Shoe, Vintage and Secondhand Shops in Athens
Closet to Closet
Closet to Closet is super cute. They have lightly used high end brands like Laboutin and Manolo Blahnik at a fraction on the cost. And it’s next to the National Gardens… picnic + shopping sounds like a lovely afternoon to me. Location: Eratosthenous 4
Preloved is another great secondhand shop between the National Gardens and Monastiraki. Location: Asklipiou 20
If you don’t have time to make it over to Closet to Closet and Preloved you can check out the Kilo Shop located right in the heart of the tourist district. The last time I was in Athens one of my friends found an amazing pair of Levis… so jealous! Location: Ermou 120
Olgianna Melissinos Sandals
Get a pair of custom made leather sandals. Olgianna and her husband make fantastic footwear and leather bags!!! All at affordable prices too. Every time I am in Europe I treat myself to a pair of shoes or an article or two of clothing… the quality is always amazing. This year I will be getting my own custom made sandals. Location: Normanou 7
Free Things To Do in Athens
- Watch the changing of the guards at the Parliament building. The changing of the guards happens every hour on the hour. On Sundays there is an even more elaborate changing of the guards. On our first trip to Athens we stumbled upon the changing of the guards. It’s cool. It’s free. And you can stand in the shade while you watch.
- Have a Picnic in the National Garden. The National Garden is massive and beautifully landscaped. Stop by a market on your way and grab a few snacks and maybe a bottle of wine (I have no idea if you can drink wine in Athens’ parks — might be worth looking into).
- Check out Anafiotika. Anafiotika is a super cute mini neighborhood in the Plaka area. The architecture is reminiscent of the Cyclades… narrow lanes, white buildings, flowering bougainvilla, and sunbathing cats are the norm. To get there from the Acropolos metro station, take Vyronos St. pass Lycicrates monument and turn left to Thespidos St until you arrive at Stratonos. Turn right on Stratonos and walk straight ahead. You have arrived! There is also some nearby street art.
- Wander through Athens’ Central Market. The Central Market is massive, impressively clean, and fairly priced. You’ll find meats, cheeses, veggies, and grocery items. Everything you need for a picnic in the park.
- Wander the historic center. Start at Hadrian’s Arch, wander through Plaka, stop and aww at the archeological sites that seem to pop up out of nowhere.
7 Must See Sites in Athens
If you plan on visiting multiple sites you should buy the multi-site ticket. The ticket to the Acropolis only is 20 euros. The multi-site ticket is 30 euros… and I would take a wild guess that you’ll be visiting at least one or two more sites. Don’t bother booking ahead, just go early in the day before the tour buses show up. The multi-site pass is valid at the following sites: Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Archaeological Site of Lykeion, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of the Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, South Slope of Acropolis.
- The Acropolis
- The Acropolis Museum
- National Archeological Museum
- Varvakeios Central Market
- Ancient Agora
- Hadrian’s Arch
- Temple of Zeus
Travel to and from Athens City Center
Athens by Metro
Transportation to/from the airport via the metro is 10 euros each way and takes about 40 minutes.
Athens by Bus
Transportation to/from the airport via the bus is about 6 euros each way. The X95 drops off and picks up at Syntagma Square. The bus takes 40-60 minutes depending on where you’re headed.
Athens by Taxi
A taxi from the airport to the city is a flat rate of 38 euros during the day and 54 euros between midnight and 5 am. A taxi takes approximately 35 minutes.
Travel to and from Lefkada
There are four buses a day going to Lefkada from Athens. The first departure is at 7 am. The KTEL bus is 36.80 euros one way or 67 euros roundtrip. If you book online you can save 10%. The bus runs from Kifissou in Athens to Lefkada Town on Lefkada.
LEFKADA– filosofon & Tzeveleki, .31 100
President- 26450 26086
Account Office- 26450 22795 Φαξ. 26450 21827
Information/ Ticket Office- 26450 22364
Store/ Parcels- 26450 26085
ATHENS– Leoforos Kifissou 100, 104 42
Information/ Ticket Office – 210 5150108 fax. 210 5151544
Store/ Parcels- 210 5150108
Ticket Office Omonoias – Vilara (near Ag. Konstantinou)Tel. 210 5246803, 210 5233810
Travel to and from Piraeus
The 040 bus will take you to the city center of Athens in 50 minutes, and costs 1.40€. The express buses X80 or X96 take you to the city center in 30 minutes and the tickets cost 4€.
A taxi between Piraeus and Athens city center will take about 25 minutes and will cost approximately 25€ under normal traffic conditions.