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Anafiotika: The Hidden Gem Under the Acropolis

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Nestled at the north slope of the Acropolis, Anafiotika is one of Athens’ most scenic neighborhoods. Lined with white-washed houses resembling the Cycladic architecture design, this district looks nothing like the Greek capital.

Here is the story of Anafiotika and why it should definitely be on your to-do list.

The History of Anafiotika

The history of Anafiotika began in the mid-19th century.

At the time, the Cyclades carpenters and workers were considered the best builders in Greece, and it is said that the King himself invited them to Athens to refurbish his palace.

Around 1840, builders from the Cycladic island of Anafi came to the Greek capital to work on King Otto’s palace.

They started building their homes on the northern slope of the Acropolis and named their new neighborhood after their beloved island, Anafi. They followed the architectural style of their homes in the Cycladic islands.

Anafiotika in Plaka - Athens
Anafiotika is a cluster of 45 houses constructed by workers from Anafi island

White-washed houses with colorful doors and windows featuring flower-covered backyards. At the beginning of the 20th century, Greek refugees from Asia Minor also moved to the area.

However, in the 1950s, the largest part of the neighborhood was destroyed due to archaeological excavations in the area.

Today, Anafiotika is home to less than 50 houses, but the island’s atmosphere remains untouched.

House in Anafiotika
During the construction of Anafiotika, the builders from Anafi island tried to make the area look like the homes they left behind

Why You Should Visit Anafiotika

Adjacent to the touristic Plaka and only a stone’s throw away from the iconic Monastiraki neighborhood, Anafiotika is an area that can’t and shouldn’t be overlooked.

A stroll along the car-free cobblestoned alleys and picturesque passageways will take you away from the city’s noise and will give you a glimpse of the Cyclades’ scenery.

Even if visiting a Greek island wasn’t part of your original travel plans, walking around Anafiotika will persuade you otherwise.

steps and white painted narrow street in Anafiotika
Steps, white-painted narrow streets, and small houses in the traditional Anafiotika neighborhood of Plaka, Athens, Greece.

Aside from the charming little houses, this small village in the heart of the capital is also home to several Byzantine churches.

The Church of St. George of the Rock (Agios Giorgos tou Vrachou) at the southern side of the area, Agios Simeon church houses the icon of Virgin Mary Kalamiotissa which is said to have miraculous powers the most popular.

Last but not least, the area is like heaven for cat lovers. There are numerous stray cats strolling around the area’s streets awaiting passersby to caress them or at least give them a treat.

Houses in Anafiotika
Anafiotika is a highlight of any trip to Athens

Things to Do in Anafiotika

Anafiotika is the perfect place for a leisure walk in the area’s serene surroundings and for taking tons of Instagrammable photos.

You’ll soon forget you’re in the heart of the busy metropolitan area, which you can only see from afar in panoramic views.

small houses traditional anafiotika neighborhood
Small houses in the traditional Anafiotika neighborhood under the Acropolis. Cycladic islands village-style architecture in the city of Athens, Greece.

Make sure to walk all the way up to the top of the village and catch a glimpse of Athens from above. As mentioned, several Byzantine churches are worth your while.

view of athens from anafiotika
Go to Anafiotika, and get a glimpse of Athens from above.
Courtesy: ᴅɪᴍɪᴛʀɪs ᴀɴᴅʀ| ᴘʜᴏᴛᴏɢʀᴀᴘʜᴇʀ

At a nearby distance from Anafiotika, you’ll also find the Kanellopoulos Museum and the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments.

Now, if you are a museum-lover, click this link and read about all the great and small museums in Athens, including the two we mentioned above.

How to Get to Anafiotika

Anafiotika is located on the northern slope of Acropolis and right above the popular neighborhood of Plaka.

Often, GPS won’t function properly, especially when you’re in the middle of the village’s narrow alleys.

how to get to anafiotika
Anafiotika is so close to Athens’ most famous sight, the Acropolis, but it is still a secret

If you’re getting here by metro, take off at Monastiraki station and head south toward Ifestou Street.

After you’ve crossed Pandrosou and Mnisikleous street you’ll reach Prytaneiou street. From here, turn right to Statonos, take on the stairs, and keep walking. You’re in Anafiotika.

If you plan to combine your visit to Acropolis Hill with your tour in Anafiotika, walk along Theorias Street until you reach Prytaneiou and again Stratonos.

It can be quite tricky to spot Anafiotika, but the route is equally impressive, and it will reward you even if you get slightly lost.

How to get to Anafiotika by metro or on foot
Our non-Greek readers tell us that it can be tricky to find Anafiotika. To help you out, check out our detailed directions above on how to get to Anafiotika by metro or on foot

Where to Stay Near Anafiotika

Preserving its authentic atmosphere, Anafiotika isn’t home to 5-star hotels.

The only accommodation you’ll find in the heart of Anafiotika is the Anafiotika Hideaway, a 95-square-meter apartment that was recently renovated.

It features one bedroom, one living room, and a bathroom.

Check availability of the Anafiotika Hideaway on

However, there are plenty of choices for all styles at nearby. Keep in mind though that due to the area’s popularity, the accommodation close to Plaka and Anafiotika areas isn’t quite budget-friendly.

narrow street in Anafiotika
You can find a hotel in Plaka and then get lost in the narrow streets of Anafiotika

101 Adrianou Luxury Urban Stay in Adrianou street is a complex of eight ApartSuites.

Four of them overlook the Acropolis while the rest have a view of the premises’ beautiful garden.

The rooms are also divided into four categories based on their design. All of them, though, are elegantly decorated.

See photos and read some reviews about 101 Adrianou Apartments on

Finally, Auntie’s Home is another excellent choice for those looking to stay in the heart of Athens’ most charming neighborhoods.

The bright and spacious apartment also features a cozy terrace where guests are invited to soak up the sun while rummaging through the streets of Plaka. Anafiotika lies 300 meters from here while the Monastiraki square is less than a kilometer away.

Check Auntie’s Home on to see availability, photos, and reviews.

Now, if you want to check more options about the best area to stay in Athens, click the link below.

Where to Eat Near Anafiotika

Even though in the heart of Anafiotika you’ll only discover houses, in less than a 5-minute walk there are plenty of cafes and restaurants for a pitstop.

Geros Tou Moria Restaurant

Geros tou Moria Restaurant is a traditional Greek restaurant serving dishes of traditional cuisine.

It features an indoor and outdoor space ideal for lunch or dinner throughout the year.

  • Address: 27, Mnisikleous Street, Athens, Greece
  • Telephone: +30 21 0322 1753
where to eat in anafiotika
O Geros Tou Moria restaurant in Plaka, Athens. Courtesy:

Old Tavern Of Stamatopoulos

Originally opened in 1882, the Old Tavern Of Stamatopoulos has been officially part of Athens’ gastronomy scene since 1965.

All dishes are based on Mediterranean cuisine and are made with fresh and local ingredients.

The traditional tavern features an indoor hall and an outdoor garden.

  • Address: 9, Erechtheos Street, Athens, Greece
  • Telephone: +30 21 0322 8722
restaurant in anafiotika
The Old Tavern Of Stamatopoulos in Plaka. Courtesy: Old Tavern Of Stamatopoulos Facebook page

Elea Restaurant

Housed in a three-level mansion at the feet of Acropolis Hill, Elaia offers a sophisticated atmosphere and outstanding views from its rooftop terrace.

The restaurant’s menu spans a wide range, but all dishes are based on Greek cuisine.

  • Address: 16, Erechtheos Street, Athens, Greece
  • Telephone: +30 21 0324 9512
a place to eat in Anafiotika
Elea Restaurant in Plaka. Courtesy: Elea Restaurant Facebook page

If you want to check some more options for a restaurant in Athens, don’t miss reading our detailed article about some of the best restaurants in the capital of Greece.

Tips, Suggestions, Questions and Answers About Visiting Anafiotika

In this section, we’ll try to answer frequently asked questions regarding Anafiotika and give you some useful tips for your visit there.

Do you need to book in advance to visit Anafiotika?

No, Anafiotika is an open-air area accessible throughout the whole year. If you’re planning to book a guided tour, it is recommended to do it several weeks in advance.

What’s the best way to see Anafiotika?

Anafiotika is a car-free area. The best and only way to see Anafiotika is on foot. Biking isn’t recommended since the alleys are cobblestoned and you’ll have to walk up the stairs in some parts.

Is it dangerous in Anafiotika?

No, this is a quiet, safe area, and it is usually crowded, especially in the summer months.

When is the best time of the day to visit Anafiotika?

The best time to visit Anafiotika is in the morning or early in the evening. If you’re visiting Athens in the summertime avoid the hot hours of the day.

A Quick Reminder:

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