Kolonaki is one of the poshest districts in central Athens and it is a great place to explore during your city break in Athens. Here’s why.
City Break in Athens: Kolonaki
If you’re heading to Athens before or after your trip to Mykonos, we highly suggest visiting Kolonaki. The name means little column in Greek, and it was named after a little marble column located in Kolonaki Square.
Kolonaki has a history as one of the well-to-do areas of the capital and it is known in Greece to have a high-end attitude and atmosphere. The residents are well-heeled, and the streets are lined with chic restaurants and fantastic boutique shops. It’s also where Greece’ politicians, artists and socialites love to gather and mingle.
It’s also very easy to get to. Kolonaki is within a 5-minute walk from Syntagma Square and closest to the Syntagma and Evangelismos metro stops.
Here’s our list of things to do in Kolonaki during your city break in Athens.
Visit the Kolonaki Museums
Since you are bound to fall in love with Mykonos (or you already have) we suggest visiting the Museum of Cycladic Art. It has a wonderful collection of the whitewashed sculptures and valuable artefacts from our island chain.
Head to the Benaki Museum to appreciate some of the most splendid collections art collections in Europe.
The Byzantine Museum has an excellent collection of artefacts from the Byzantine era and more. There’s also a wonderful garden café here.
Visit Modern Art Galleries
Kolonaki is a hub for the city’s contemporary-art scene. Check out the charming little galleries around the district including Depot Gallery, Medusa Art Gallery, The Pulse and the Gagosian Gallery.
Head to the Views at Lykavittos Hill
Lykavittos Hill offers the most stunning panorama of the entire city, including the Acropolis and out the Athens Riviera and the islands. You can either hike about 20- to 30-minutes from points in Kolonaki or you can take the teleferik (cable car) from Aristippou Street. At the top, you can visit the little whitewashed St. George Church. There’s a casual café and amphitheater. You can also make a reservation at Horizontes restaurant which is a good option for a gourmet Mediterranean meal with a view of Athens.
Eat at Kolonaki Restaurants
Some of the most exclusive as well as the most charming restaurants are in Kolonaki. Try French cuisine at l’Abreuvoir, have great Italian at Capanna or Malconis or book a table at other Kolonaki dining hotspots like Zubaran, and Stinking Bishop. A local favorite for cheap souvlakia (grilled meat skewers and salads) is Kalamaki Kolonaki. Great seafood awaits at Koursaros and Barbounaki.
A go-to local taverna is Filippos on Xenokratous. Nice and Easy is an Athenian chain (there’s one on Mykonos as well) known for its organic Mediterranean plates and excellent brunch. For coffee, head to Da Capo which is a local Athenian classic cafe where tables wrap around a pedestrian walkway — perfect for people watching.
Kolonaki Farmer’s Market
Every Athens neighborhood has a laïki agora, a weekly street market for fresh fruits, vegetables and more. Head to this open-air market in Kolonaki to experience it. It takes place on Xenokratous Street every Friday morning starting at 7 am until 2:30 pm.
Dexameni is a section of Kolonaki where the remains of a Roman aqueduct were uncovered. Now, it is known for one of the classic, open-air cinemas that open in Athens every summer. There’s also a nice outdoor café here.
Nightlife in Kolonaki
Kolonaki is a place to be dressed to the nines and head to a trendy bar or club. Rock n’ Roll near Kolonaki Square is a favorite. Many bars on Skoufa Street, including Cinco and Passapartout are also very happening. Check out Bogart, Salon de Bricolage and Minnie the Moocher.
Shopping in Kolonaki
Kolonaki’s Voukourestiou Street is where you’ll find the high-end shopping including Prada, Cartier and Lousi Vuitton. Trendy boutiques are also scattered throughout Kolonaki including Natura for perfumes, Libro for books and stationery, Carpo for nuts and dried goods, Apivita Experience Store for excellent, all-natural Greek shampoos and toiletries, Stelios Parliaros and The Dark Side of Chocolate for Greek chocolate, beautiful art by local artists can be bought at Zoumboulakis. Great clothes boutiques run by local designers include Zeus and Dione, Kalogirou, Free Shop, Kallista Crafts and Bettina. Grafitto is a charming modern boutique with wonderful clothing, jewelry and gifts by Greek designers.
That sums up one of our favorite districts in Athens: Kolonaki. Have you been to central Athens?