The home of student radicals, Exarchia has nonetheless been deeply permeated by the languid café culture so popular in Athens. It’s just that here there’s radical left-wing graffiti everywhere, not to mention underground music shops and a few dazed, wandering souls.
The lively Platia Exarchia forms the nucleus of Exarchia, which sits to the northeast of Omonia Square. Other landmarks include the National Archaeological Museum and Athens Polytechnic. Exarchia is closest to the Omonia and Viktoria metro stations, and is also referred to as Moussio.
Quiet Koukaki,to the south of Filopappou Hill, is a residential neighborhood of hillside avenues. Drakou, a leafy pedestrian street Drakou lined with eateries, Internet cafés and gelaterias, forms the neighborhood's core. The closest metro station is Syngrou-Fix.
Makriyianni, the adjacent neighborhood, is situated right at the foot of the Acropolis. It’s a more touristy area than Koukaki—with shops bulging with tschochkes and restaurants groaning with tourists—but the pedestrian street Dionysiou Areopagitou is pretty charming in places. Akropoli is the metro station closest to Makriyianni.
Metaxourgio is a central neighborhood slightly west of Omonia. There aren't many sights in the immediate area, but the Metaxourgio metro station is convenient and Psyrri is close by. While parts near the train station are neither scenic nor interesting, the part of Metaxourgio closest to Omonia does have a budding arts scene, with lots of indie theaters and live music spots cropping up.» See hotels in Metaxourgio.
Surrounding Monastiraki Square, the neighborhood of Monastiraki ranks next to Plaka as a top tourist neighborhood. It spans the gamut from high-end international retail chains on Ermou to the low-tech individual entrepreneurs selling their wares on Monastiraki Square. The neighborhood is home to Athens' last remaining mosque (from Turkish times), Hadrian's Library, the Roman Agora and Tower of the Winds.
Charming alleyways cut across Monastiraki, providing a nice escape from the steady tourist traffic. Some of the best gyro and souvlaki joints in all of Athens can be found here. The neighborhood is served by the eponymous Monastiraki metro station.
A gritty transit and commercial hub, Omonia Square is not Athens at its most quaint and ancient. In architectural terms, it is is other than charming. But there are plenty of quirky, even inspiring, aspects of the area around Omonia Square. For one, oodles of ethnic restaurants and immigrant retail shops give the area a bit of an international vibe.
There's also the mindblowing Central Market, featuring stall upon stall of interesting goods. While Omonia is convenient for cheap sleeps and international fare, keep in mind the area can get a bit sketchy at night.
Plaka is the heart of tourist Athens. Its dense, atmospheric alleys are packed with tavernas, tourist traps and gorgeous ancient structures. Adrianou is the main strip, but the highly touristed nature of Plaka permeates most corners of the neighborhood. Those committed to hunting around, however, will find a comfortable few blocks of stylish cafés, specialty shops and government buildings. Plaka is closest to the Syntagma metro station, which is located beneath Syntagma Square.» See hotels in Plaka.
Like Omonia, Psyrri is a strikingly diverse commercial district, with countless stores and restaurants catering to various groups of immigrants. In the evening, it morphs into nightlife central, with both huge dance clubs and intimate hipster-filled holes-in-the-wall. The Thisio and Monastiraki metro stations are most convenient to Psyrri.» See hotels in Psyrri.