Are You In?

Join our mailing list and receive the latest news and travel offers from our team.
Don’t worry, we hate spam as much as you do!
Newsletter Exit Pop up Form

Discover Exarchia Neighborhood in Athens

We Need Your Support!

We want to remind you that Athens by Locals is reader-supported. By booking tours, hotels, tickets, and other travel services through the links on our website, you can help us continue providing valuable content and information. Note that we receive a small commission only if you make a booking using our links at the time of your visit. So, if you're not quite ready to book yet, you can save this post and the links and return to make your booking when the time is right. We genuinely appreciate your support and are thrilled to have you in our travel community. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance. Happy travels!

Often brought to the limelight of both international and local media as a symbol of the Greek urban modernity and a place that sparks controversy, the Exarchia neighborhood in Athens has quickly risen to fame during the past years.

Squabbles aside, everyone can agree on one thing – the Exarchia neighborhood is one of the best places to visit in Athens.

Its multicultural ambiance, picturesque streets, unique food, and bustling nightlife showcase the more alternative side of Athens that is bound to fascinate you.

The National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is located in the Exarchia district in central Athens. Courtesy:

Where Is The Exarchia Neighborhood Located

Exarchia neighborhood in Athens is nestled between the foot of the beautiful Lycabettus Hill and Pedion tou Areos, one of the largest parks in Athens.

It borders with the classy neighborhood of Kolonaki and Omonia square on the south and it’s only a few minutes away from Syntagma and the Academy of Athens.

Within the confines of Exarchia, you’ll also find a small hill called Strefi where locals head for a glimpse of nature amidst the densely built quarters.

Strefi Hill is the hallmark of the most revolutionary district of Athens, Exarchia. Courtesy:

The History of Exarchia in Athens

The neighborhood of Exarchia submerged at some point during the late 19th century with the first buildings surfacing around the area where the main square stands today.

Like the district of Plaka, Exarchia (or Exarcheia) was initially gradually inhabited by migrants from the Cycladic islands. Still, the area only started developing its distinct identity a few years later when the University of Athens decided to relocate a few of its departments to the new district.

Consequently, Exarcheia started attracting a very specific crowd – students, academics, and intellectuals who frequented its small cafes and quaint taverns to engage in lively discussions and delve into long social debates.

In the mid-1970s, the students of Exarchia were on the frontline of the city’s uprising against the regime which resulted in overthrowing the junta and further cemented the area’s character as being restless and rowdy. 

Exarchia neighborhood in Athens has retained this unconventional identity for decades now.

It’s still a place of social, political, and artistic fermentation that bustles with people of all ages and all walks of life who flock to its streets to visit that small corner of the city that never sleeps.

Coffee shop in Exarchia neighborhood, Athens. Courtesy: themisk7

Indeed, today, Exarcheia is an art heaven in the center of Athens, where you’ll find many concerts, theatrical plays, festivals, events, and various performances throughout the year.

Lately, the neighborhood has been rapidly gaining in popularity with international travelers whose visits to Exarchia can arguably indicate that misconceptions and perceptions of the past are being constantly challenged to uncover the district for what it truly is – one of the most fascinating places to visit in Athens.

View of Lycabettus hill form Exarchia district
Exarcheia is an authentic Athens area. Alternative and cozy. Courtesy: Angela Liarikos

What to See And Do in Exarchia Neighborhood

With so much activity and so many events, happenings, and celebrations going on in the area, the possibilities are endless.

Start off your visit to Exarcheia by walking around the square and getting acquainted with its unique vibe. Grab a bite at one of the numerous food spots that serve almost everything – from the traditional souvlaki and spanakopita to ethnic cuisine and high-end fusion culinary treats.

Restaurant in Exarchia

Go treasure hunting at the vintage shops and record stores and then head off to explore the city’s art scene at one of the many contemporary galleries based in Exarchia.

Kourd Gallery, Ileana Tounta’s Contemporary Art Centre, and Gallery Can Christina Androulidaki would all be great places to start.

Of course, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens is a place not to miss.

Also, the biggest number of street art in Athens can be found in Exarchia.

After you’re done marveling at the impressive exhibitions, climb Strefi Hill for a relaxing afternoon under the cool shade of pine trees with a refreshing drink.

A view across the city towards the Acropolis from Strefi Hill in the Exarchia district

Come sundown, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the majestic nightlife of Athens at one of the countless hip watering holes.

How to Get Around Exarchia Neighborhood

Exarcheia neighborhood is located in the center of Athens and it’s easy to reach both by walking and commuting from almost any place in the city.

It’s very close to three different stations – Victoria Station (green line), Panepistimio Station (red line), and Omonia Station (red and green line), with the last one being the closest.

With so many things being said and written about Exarchia, there can be no better way to discover the truth about this intriguing small neighborhood of Athens than to witness its charms with your own eyes.

The alluring ambiance and sprightly attitude will undoubtedly enchant you.

A Quick Reminder:

Remember that Athens By Locals is here to guide you with planning the perfect trip to Athens and help you every step along the way. If you didn’t found what you’re looking for, or need any recommendations about your trip to Athens, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you. Please be as more detailed as possible regarding your subject so as to help you better.

If you like what you read please scroll down at the end of this page and subscribe to Athens By Locals so next time to receive more articles like this straight forward to your email. Join us on Facebook for comments, photos, and other fun stuff. If you enjoy this article please share it with your friends on Facebook.

Athens By Locals
Athens By Locals


Copyright © 2024 Athens By Locals © All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission.
Images owned by Athens By Locals. Image Banks or Companies promoted.