How to Get to Anafiotika: An Island Oasis in the Middle of Athens, Greece

How to Get to Anafiotika: An Island Oasis in the Middle of Athens, Greece

Anafiotika is a hidden wonder inside the bustling metropolis that is Athens. It’s hard to believe a place like this even exists–a slice of the Greek Islands that is a veritable oasis amidst city noise, concrete and graffiti.

Yet somehow, despite a financial crisis, increasing urbanization and lack of government funding, Anafiotika is still going strong, retaining its distinct identify and thriving as the best little-known spot in Greece’s capital.

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History of Anafiotika

The architecture is not by accident. Houses in Anafiotika were built in the 1800s by workers who came to Athens from Anafi, an island in the Cyclades, hence the name. They were brought by King Otto to perform renovations on his palace. They captured the essence of this island on their own properties with white walls and Bougainvillea trees.

Since then, the neighborhood has retained a strong sense of pride and aesthetic, especially since many of the residents descend from the original families to arrive in the area. Today, there are 45 of the original houses left.

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Address for Anafiotika

Anafiotika is located at the base of the North end of the acropolis, but it can be tricky to find. You’re technically heading for Stratonos Street but if you need a place to plug into your GPS and want to have lunch along the way, look for “Anafiotika Cafe” or “Yiasemi.” These two restaurants are adjacent to each other at the base of stairs leading straight up into Anafiotika. The workers are asked for directions more times than they’re asked “where’s the restroom?” so they’re very familiar and able to direct you further.

From the base of the stairs, you go up about a block, turn left and then walk down an alleyway leading you to Anafiotika. It all feels very strange, and you might get nervous that you’ve made a wrong turn. If so, you’re in the right place.

Half the fun of Anafiotika is going on the mission to find it, but once you get there it’s worth the effort. Note that this is Athens, so don’t expect a setting as pristine as the islands. There is a distinct charm and mystery to the area, however, that is worth exploring.

The Rick Steves walking tour (free if you download the app) also takes you right by Anafiotika–in between the Lycabettus Monument and Tower of the Winds stops. If you’re walking on Vyronos Street (towards the Tower of the Winds), make a left onto Thespidos street and walk until you get to Stratonos Street. Turn right on Stratonos Street and walk until you see the Agios Georgios church on your left (pictured above). If you want an address for the church, it’s Stratonos ke Thespidos, Athina 105 58, Greece.

What to see in Anafiotika

The street art on the way into Anafiotika is an attraction in itself, but once you get there you’ll be greeted by some of Athens’ most inquisitive residents–the cats. You’ll find them lounging in the oddest of places, sunbathing without a care in the world. I saw one in a bush and another in a windowsill garden box.

You can also get great views of the city and Mount Lycabettus here. Walk all the way to the top and you’ll find a clearing with tourists and residents alike smoking a cigarette (still a thing in Europe) and taking in the city.

How to get to Anafiotika

I hope you find Anafiotika on your next visit to Athens. Till next time, safe travels!

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Anafiotika is a hidden slice of the Greek Island in the middle of Athens Greece. Here's everything you need to know to find Anafiotika, including an address and walking directions.Anafiotika is a hidden slice of the Greek Island in the middle of Athens Greece. Here's everything you need to know to find Anafiotika, including an address and walking directions.

26 Comments

  1. July 19, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Its a marvel in its own sense & looks quiet little secret spot in the city

  2. July 19, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    I see you did your homework! Anafiotika is my favorite place downtown Athens! #ProudGreek

  3. Chikumo
    July 19, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    It looks absolutely amazing. You find the best places!

  4. July 19, 2017 / 6:15 pm

    What an absolute little gem of a find!! Looks like such a place for adventure and your pics are gorgeous. thanks for sharing

  5. July 19, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    Sounds like a little hidden gem! The art is definitely pretty cool and the character!

  6. July 19, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    This place looks beautiful. I’d love to visit Greece one day. Gorgeous pics.

  7. July 19, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    It really looks like a charming place.

  8. July 20, 2017 / 2:30 am

    don’t know when i get the chance to be there! 🙁

  9. July 20, 2017 / 3:23 am

    I love places tucked away from the traffic. Anafiotika looks wonderful — lots of personality. And, you can really tell when it’s such a part of the neighborhood that everyone is used to directing traffic there.

  10. July 20, 2017 / 3:38 am

    This is so gorgeous and cool! I love hidden neighbourhoods within cities. My favourite spot in Medellin was a little community of houses covered in street art, hidden within a much larger neighbourhood.

  11. July 20, 2017 / 4:22 am

    Looks beautiful! It appears you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing!

  12. July 20, 2017 / 7:12 am

    Love the graffiti! I will def make my way to Anafiotika when I plan Athens 🙂 Thanks for bringing out this splendid destination.

  13. July 20, 2017 / 7:21 am

    You are an explorer! Found this beautiful, secretive island in Athens in Greece. I love the graffiti on the walls 🙂

  14. July 20, 2017 / 7:53 am

    love those street arts ! this is such a cute place ! thx for sharing

  15. July 21, 2017 / 1:02 am

    I’m dying to visit the Greek islands, my hubby went many times prior to us getting together and he absolutely loved it.

  16. July 21, 2017 / 4:09 am

    I loved this little area of Athens! I felt like I actually was on an island even though I wasn’t! 🙂

  17. July 21, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    I love the less touristy places like this 😀

  18. July 21, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    What a charming neighborhood! Love all the colors, street, art, and adorable cats! Would be so fun to wander these streets, and climb up to the viewpoint. Such a great view of the city!

  19. July 21, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    I love a treasure hunt and that’s what this neighborhood tucked inside Athens reminds me of. I will definitely look for this when I go to Greece. I don’t want to miss a thing!

  20. July 22, 2017 / 5:33 am

    I love exploring strong ethnic neighborhoods and this one looks like a beauty. You lay out enough clues to solve the mystery but it still retains a sense of challenge, and intrinsic reward upon completion. Oh, and cute cats too. All and all a fun little post and challenge.

  21. Julianne
    July 23, 2017 / 12:31 am

    I love finding hidden gems and discovering new places. Thanks for introducing me to this place! Love your photos – the blue door and street art are really striking, and that cat looks especially happy 🙂

  22. July 23, 2017 / 7:04 am

    Looks like you’ve found a cute little neighborhood to explore in Athens! I love places like this – so much charm and character. Great tip on downloading the app for a free Rick Steves walking tour!

  23. July 23, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Such a hidden gem! Thanks for sharing this beautiful spot in Athens. Will definitely take note!

  24. July 25, 2017 / 10:48 am

    Always nice to see my hometown in foreign blogs! Glad you had such a great time. Nice pics!

  25. Ivy
    July 25, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    Anafiotika looks like an amazing find! Love that there’s more to Athens than just the acropolis and ruins. The only thing we’ve gone to in Athens is the McDonalds in the airport while waiting for a connecting flight lol will definitely head into the city next time!

  26. August 1, 2017 / 2:40 am

    When I was planning my trip to Greece I looked into air BNB and they has some really nice stuff. The place looks really nice.

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