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Syntagma, Plaka and Monastiraki    Acropolis   Acropolis Museum    Archaeological Museum   Athens Views

Syntagma, Plaka and Monastiraki    Acropolis   Acropolis Museum    Archaeological Museum   Athens Views

Athens - The Plaka, Monastiraki and Syntagma

Escaping  Ithaki and following the tourist trail

For Tourist Heaven head straight to Syntagma, the Plaka and Monastiraki. Lose yourself in the fantasy of Greece.

Site see the picturesque Athens

The Plaka brings back days of old through its' cobbled streets.


Monastiraki takes its' name from the many small Monasteries scattered around this area.  It's the hub of shopping for the Tourist and also a pleasurable place that locals go to on Sundays. The Metro drops you right at Monastirakis' feet to peruse, bargain and buy your way to an excess baggage charge on your return flight home. This is one of the most colourful areas of Athens with local characters, shop keepers and Stall owners, all vying for your dollars' attention. If you're going to go broke, this is the way to do it, with a smile on your face and a Yia sou.

Greece gives the licence to young soldier men to wear skirts and pom pom slippers in public. When they change
Guard, they do a little march that is quite delicate in its' movement and requires balance and good posture to boot.  Let's see the Americans, Aussies and Brits balance like ballerinas while still having the temperament of a trained fighter  of foes.  These select soldiers are handsome giants, trained in the art of tourist evasion. No matter what the inducement or stimuli offered to them to blink, move or reply, these soldiers are never distracted from their silent vidual, guarding Parliament House, formerly the Kings Palace.


Not too many years ago, before the city Square at Syntagma was completed, this area was lined with great cafes at which  travellers could  meet other travellers, link up and travel on to places beyond Athens. Now it's become the Fast Food Centre of the city where the culture shocked gather to eat good old home cooking like MacDonalds and  make themselves comfie in the plastic chairs provided under scrappy umbrellas on the wide city pavement.   All the Fast food Greats have set up franchises there, continuing the  tradition of spreading polystyrene around the world.  Homeless dogs use Syntagma Square to lay down their heads and tourists find great photo opportunities to remember their holidays by, by  taking pics of Parliament House, once the Kings Palace, standing proudly across from the Square.  Syntagma  is also  the end of the line for the Athens Tram which comes from Glifada and SEF, introduced for the Olympic Games and touted a great success by the Athens community and tourists alike who have the opportunity to use it. Syntagma is also the city entrance to Monastiraki, via Ermou street, a street renowned for its' fantastic shopping, buskers and cafes, which line the long and wide cobbled strip where cars and bikes are banned and all the beautiful people are seen.  Whether you love Athens or hate it, the fact is that there is no other city in the world that has such passion for and against it, and as the EU homogenises Europe, this city too, will eventually fit the equal square  that most feel comfortable to be placed in, leaving few places in the world with the character that was once chiselled into the cracks of their sidewalks and the psyche of their nation.

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