In ancient times, Psiri Athens was the area of the capital where artisans worked, so its streets were lined with craftsmen’s laboratories. From pottery to clothes to sculptures, ancient Athenians came here for their shopping.

Today, the Psiri neighborhood has retained it’s feel, and it’s the city’s point of reference for shopping for handmade objects and accessories. Besides shops, you will find art galleries, some of the best street art in Europe, a buzzing food and bar scene, and more.

During the day, the neighborhood streets are lively with people strolling and shopping, but with the night falling, Psiri gets crowded with local people looking to have a good time. With live music all over, great eateries, and trendy bars in basements, down alleys, or with views of the Acropolis, the Psiri neighborhood is the city’s ultimate nightlife district and the place to savour a more authentic experience than it’s nearby more touristic neighbours. 

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Where is Psiri?

Psiri is one of the best neighbohoods in Athens to visit and even stay. Located right in the city’s historical center, you will find Psiri starts just a five-minute walk northeast of Monastiraki neighborhood and a fifteen minute walk from Plaka.

Given its centrality, Psiri is close to many of Athens’s cultural hotspots, like the Agorà (five minutes away on foot) and the Acropolis ( a 15-minute walk). Given it’s proximity to so much it is a crime to miss spending some time here and enjoying a more local and authentic part of Athens.

Where to stay in Psyri

There are several excellent hotels, guesthouses, and even hostels in Psyri. They are usually small given they are often restored mansions and former factories and workshop conversions. Many have rooftops and often great views of the city and the Acropolis. Being a little further away the views can be a lot more expansive than say Plaka which is so close to the Acropolis.

It is important to ensure your accommodation doesn’t get a lot of noise from the neighboring bars. These are the places that we have loved over the years, not just for the location but because they are quiet, have beautiful decor, and great service.

Foundry Suites

A very funky, former Foundry, and a fantastic conversion with various loft rooms and suites and a lovely rooftop garden.

Asomaton

Also a former factory/workshop this small hotel is right next to Thissio train station for quick access down to Piraeus Port. It has a small indoor pool and a lovely rooftop terrace where they serve breakfast.

Mona

Shila’s edgier sister property is housed in a former 1950s factory. Mona has retained a more industrial vibe with terrazzo floors, the original metal windows, a magnificent marble staircase, and a jungle of plants.

Ivis 4

A for Athens – a very popular choice right on the border of Psryi and Monastaraki, overlooking Monaastaraki Square. The rooftop bar has one of the best views in Athens.

City Circus

A bright and spotless hostel that is great for budget travellers but also families and friends travelling together as they have family rooms.

Foundry suites stairs
things to do in Psyri

Things to do in Psiri

Stroll down Pittaki Street

The most photographed street in Athens, Pittaki Street is incredibly charming thanks to its look and history. This unconventional street has the “ceiling” covered in countless lamps of all shapes, colors, and sizes, creating beautiful lighting effects. 

Once an unsafe area of Athens that locals also tended to avoid, it was requalified by a no-profit association partnering with a lighting design company, which asked Athenians to donate their old lamps to decorate Pittaki Street. The result is a beautifully artistic street beloved by locals and tourists alike. These days it is largely taken over by Little Kook ( see below).

Relax at Heroes Square

Called in Greek’ Plateia Iroon’, Heroes Square is located right at the center of the neighbourhood. Surrounded by lovely cafes and traditional tavernas, this square has a significant history. A symbol of anti-establishment as the Psiri neighborhood used to be a safe area for the revolutionaries during the War of Independence, Heroes Square was also the location of a historic sport called ‘stone wars’. The square takes its name from this sport whose champion fighters were referred to as ‘heroes’.

Today, Heroes Square is among locals’ favorite meeting points and gets particularly lively at night with many live music events. 

things to do in Psyri

Visit An Art Gallery

Psiri has beautiful art everywhere, and the neighborhood is indeed an open-air gallery. But if you like to get to know local art and artists, Psiri has many art galleries you can visit for catching up-and-coming talented artists. Some art galleries you should consider checking out are AD Gallery, which specializes in avant-garde art from both local and international artists, and a.antonoupoulou.art, displaying the pieces of contemporary Greek and international artists.

Attend a show at the Theater

On Sarri Street at the back of Psiri is the IBI Theater, where regular plays, book presentations and childrens performance are held.

Visit the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art

This is a very impressive art museum with a vast collection of paintings, mosaics, tapestries and other artefacts. It is generally quiet and there is no need to prebook tickets but it is closed Monday through Wednesday.

It is worth it just for coffee in the rooftop Cafe if nothing else, which is very pretty and has incredible decor.

Check Out Some Street Art

Another art expression you will find in Psiri is street art. Get lost in the neighborhood’s narrow streets and look at the walls of the buildings to spot interesting examples of local graffiti made with different techniques and conveying powerful messages as the majority of them are politically themed.

A great idea is taking an organized street art walking tour to explore the many beautiful graffiti of the neighborhood. If you prefer to venture around on your own, make sure not to miss the famous Loukanikos mural, the famous stray dog who ran alongside protesters in Athens and made it to the cover of Time’s magazine. This mural is on the corner of Sarri and Riga Palamidou streets, and it was made in memory of Loukanikos, who died in 2014.

things to do in Psyri
psiri athens

Do Some Shopping

Psiri is one of the best areas in Athens for a shopping spree. This classically working-class neighborhood is packed with artisan shops selling everything your heart desires. From handmade clothes to leather bags and sandals, the streets of Protogenous and Pallados are particularly popular spots for their offer of independent fashion shops.

If you prefer shopping for food, Psiri’s Evripidou Street is where to be. Known as the ‘spice street of Athens’, you will find numerous shops selling spices, herbs, and dried foods, making the street incredibly fragrant with scents and colors. Located near Evripidou Street, at the very edge of the neighborhood, is Athens’ Varvakios Central Market, a covered area with airy halls selling fresh fish, meats, and other local products like cheeses.

Have Fun At The Museum Of Illusions

The Athenian branch of the Croatian Museum of Illusions is the perfect spot to spend a fun afternoon with the whole family.

Housed in a 19th-century mansion, the Museum of Illusions features more than 60 optical illusions in 15 rooms. Each room exhibit is meant to be experiential and fun but also informative as visitors learn about how human brains work when faced with puzzling sensory pranks.

One of the best rooms is the Playroom, filled with age-old dilemma games, including puzzles, brainteasers, building blocks, and mathematical games.

Indulge at a Turkish Hammam

Hammams are Turkish baths or steamhouses that are a legacy left behind from the Ottoman era in Greece. They are great places to visit for a super cleansing treatment and perhaps an extra massage service or more.

In Psiri you will find Polis Hammam on Avliton Street, which is one of the best in the country. Book the ‘special traditional bath’ which includes a full body mask and exfoliation, an indulgent foam massage ( this is unique to Hammams) a deep, relaxing massage.

psiri athens

Stop by Little Kook Café

An originally-looking café that contributed to making Psiri the most Instagrammable district in Athens, Little Kook Café is a wonderland. With beautiful themed decorations, this venue is perfect for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon break with delicious desserts, cakes, and hot drinks.

Already displaying extraordinary decors on the outside, step inside the cafè to discover an even more enchanting ambiance: the various tea rooms have different themes, and the staff is always dressed in fantastic uniforms.  

Every corner of Little Kook Cafè is a feast for the eyes, so don’t miss it!

If you loved bright, colourful themed cafes you should also check out Fairyland, also in Psyri and Elleyz, just near the Ancient Agora.

Dine at authentic tavernas, restaurants and bakeries

In our opinion some of the best food in the ancient centre is in Psiri. There are a lot of small, family run tavernas that have been operating for decades that still make daily specials according to whats fresh on the day and charge very reasaonable prices.

Our favourites are Nikitas, ΕΝ ΙΟΡΔΑΝΗ (In Jordan) and Strophili, all on Anargiron Street. Just north of Psyri ( like 20 metres) is another of our firm favourites, Taverna Klimataria, who have the best cabbage rolls with lemon sauce in the country, and live music usually on the weekends.

If you are looking for some non-Greek options (and there are a lot in Psiri!) then Po Boys BBQ has been a hit as has Flint, Dao Vietnamese and Ya Zhou for some seriously good Asian food.

Don’t miss the bakeries in Psiri either, some of them are legendary! A visit to Nancy’s Sweet Home is an annual event in our family and then we sit on Iroon Square and devour their goods, especially the Bougatsa. On the other side of the square you will find Zoubourlou and Artos Venetis is on the corner of Anargiron and Sarri streets.

Things to do in Psyri
things to do in Psyri

Taverna Klimataria

Things to do in Psyri

Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (lemon) sauce at Klimataria

things to do in Psyri

Nakitas

Bar Hopping

Psiri is Athens’ top hangout area especially  at night when it boasts a bevy of spots to choose from.

If you like a cozy atmosphere with indie music and great beers head to Cantina Social Bar or check out Tranzistor for excellent drinks served in a colorfully decorated venue. Barret is also hugely popular as are Juan Rodriguez, Boo, Backdoor and Tapfield.

Psiri is also famous for fancy cocktail rooftop bars with unforgettable views of the Acropolis at night! Among the best bars for your evening drinks are the Foundry Hotel Rooftop Bar, the Buena Vista Social Bar and the rooftop bar at the A for Athens Hotel. Be sure to book a table at these places though as they are not large and often booked out!

There are some great wine bars too like Cinque Wine & Deli Bar, Athens Wine Tasting and 

things to do in Psyri
things to do in Psyri
things to do in Psyri

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