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Athens/Omonia

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Attica : Athens : Omonia
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Omonia square at night

Omonia Square (Plateia Omonias) is the center of Athens, and is composed of the actual square together with the surrounding streets, open areas and assemblage of grand buildings that include banks and offices. The neighboring area of Exarcheia (Εξάρχεια) to the north, dominated by the Athens Polytechnic and its famous band of anarchists, is a bohemian district with lots of bars and clubs visited by students, intellectuals and people who are into alternative culture.

Understand

Get in

Omonia Square is an important transport hub, especially for buses.

By metro

Omonia is served by Line 1 going from Kifissia to the port of Pireaus, as well as Line 2.

By taxi

Adjacent to the Omonoia Square is a taxi waiting area. Taxis line up and work on "first comes first goes" basis

Get around

See

The only true great attraction of Omonia is the National Archaeological Museum in its traditional sense but the area near Omonoia is buzzing with life. A mixture of all cultures can be found there.

Near the square are a nunber of small flea markets, and some nice small stteets with restaurants and cafes.


Monuments

  • National Theater [1], Agiou Konstantinou 22. A low but imposing building erected between 1882 and 1890 by architect Ernst Ziller in the eclectic style of that age, commissioned by King George I.

Museums and galleries

  • Athens Art Gallery (Pinakothiki), On Pireos n° 51, near the Koumoundourou public square, tel. +30 210 3231841. Timetable: Monday - Friday 9AM to 1PM and from 5PM to 9PM. Paintings of Greek painters of the half XX century are displayed.
  • National Archaeological Museum of Athens [2] - This is the largest and most popular of Athens' many museums, and is usually very crowded. Its vast collection includes treasures unearthed from Mycenae by Heinrich Schliemann; a staggering array of sculpture including the earliest known Greek figurines dating from around 2,000 BC; frescoes from the volcanic island of Santorini; as well as remains of Antikythera mechanism, the oldest known mechanical computer; and so much more that it is recommended visitors make several visits to absorb it all.

Do

Buy

Eat

  • Barba Yannis, Emmanouíl Benáki 94, 210 33 00 185. Old fashioned simple taverna, popular with students and working people; seems to be always open.
  • Lefka, Mavromiháli 121, 10 36 14 038. Some would put this place technically in Neapoli rather than Exarcheia. It's a traditional taverna with spacious outdoor seating that's been around forever. Closed Sundays.
  • Ideal (also spelled Inteal), Panepistimiou 46, tel. +30 210 3303000. A restaurant where local employees go during lunch break, therefore try to go before the closing of the offices.
  • Rosalia, Valtetsiou 58, - Exarxeia, tel. +30 210 3302933. A tavern that serves simple plates in the purest Greek tradition.
  • Yantes, Valtetsiou 44 - Exarxeia, tel. +30 210 3301369. A tavern with a garden. It serves organic dishes.

Drink

The Plateia Exarcheia square and nearby streets like Solomou have lots of clubs and bars. You don't have to be a left-leaning student to feel welcome.

  • Taximi, Cnr. Harilaou Trikoupi and Isavron, 210-363-9919.
  • Rebetiki Istoria, 181 Ippokratous, 210 2587455. One of best rebetica clubs, often open in summer when most others are closed.


Sleep

Budget

  • Athens House. It has a great kitchen that is surprisingly well equipped with double stove top, heaps of pots and pans, plenty of plates, cutlery and ample fridge/freezer space. The rooms are extremely clean and tidy, some have TVs. Free very fast and reliable WiFi Internet is available in all rooms. One terminal is located in the common area, but it is also used by the receptionist and she may be hesitant to give it up. The toilets and showers are clean, although the showers are rather small and the hot water isn't completely reliable. Travellers should be advised that in the Omonia area street prostitution and drug dealing/use is common place, particularly in front of this hostel. Although this activity poses little danger to tourists (unless you're indebted to them!), it may be confronting to some people. All in all, this is a great hostel for the price and in its own way has a unique charm. If you stay here on your first nights in Greece before heading to the islands, and your last nights before departing, the staff will gladly remember your face when you return. Cheap at €10 per person for 4 bed shared accommodation, €25 for 3 bed private rooms..
  • Hostel Aprodite (Aphrodite), 12 Einardou and Michail Voda corner 65, Athena 10440, Greece, +210-8810589 (), [3]. Low-budget backpackers' hangout not too far from Larissa train station and Victoria Square, a bit north of the Omonia district. €12 for a 6 bed dorm, €14 for a 4 bed dorm, and more. Air conditioning €3 extra per person..
  • Arta, Nikitara St., a few steps north-east from Omonia, [4]. €35 for a double with ensuite; possible to negotiate discounts.
  • Hotel Elite Athens, 23 Pireos str Athens, +30 210 32 25 891. Located 10 minutes away Monastiraki; simple, decorated rooms with air conditioning and television. There is also a bar and coffee shop on the ground floor.

Mid-range

  • Elysium (BestWestern chain) [5] elysium_hotel@yahoo.gr. Cheap-and-chic boutique hotel, 16 rooms. For those needing official booking confirmation for arrangement of visa, the only way is to book via the BestWestern official website.
  • Zinon (BestWestern chain) [6] Decent choice when everything else booked in advance: huge and impersonal hotel; quite old building with recently refurbished interiors and western management results in low rates and a good service. But it's Omonia--don't plan to leave your room in evenings, it's quite dirty and the only Russians-run food outlets are nearby. Travellers mix: majority are elder, retired people (and families) from US / Canada / Australia.Internet connection is declared to work for every room. WiFi is good strength but very unstable. LAN outlet is in every room--but not supported, according to reception (and not tried). Single €60, double €80 (breakfast included). For those needing official booking confirmation for arrangement of visa, the hotel itself can't provide it--you can only print email confirmation of booking from BW chain's global web site.
  • Fresh Design Hotel [7] A superb designer hotel within easy walking distance of the Acropolis in the centre of Athens. The rooftop bar and swimming pool has breathtaking views of the Acropolis - the perfect way to end the day's sightseeing or business. Online booking.

Splurge

  • Park Hotel, 10 Alexandras Ave, Athens 10682, 0030 210 8894500. 5 star hotel offering high speed internet access and express mail, late check out and foreign currency exchange.

Stay safe

Omonia is notorious for pickpockets and prostitutes, so keep an eye on your belongings.

There are many people who use drugs in the open even during the day and can be a harrowing site for those not used to it. It is strongly advised not to bring children here for too long. Particular places to avoid are roads right of the National Archaelogical Museum and the south end of 3 September St.

Get out

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