Athens walk in Christmas

Athens walk in Christmas

Posted on December 28, 2021 by Narratologies Team

Athens is often called an ugly city (we NEVER say so, but, you know, rumor has it). But is that the case for Athens in Christmas, too? Truth to be told, large parts of the city are kind of roughly built and unorganized. Confusing, someone would say. But in Christmas, it’s exactly this confusion that makes the city even more charming than before! Thousands of Christmas lights shine above, and along with the beautiful night sky, they do make a perfect match. Athens turns its confusion into sweet, festive dizziness, following the overwhelming holiday spirit. So, what about an Athens walk in Christmas? Let’s visit together with the most festive places of the city, in an urban tour covered with stardust and silver lights going on and off!

The Christmas Tree of Athens City

The greatest tree of Athens is in Syntagma square

Every year, Athens city decorates its bigger Christmas tree in Syntagma square. And that’s exactly the perfect place to begin an Athens walk in the Christmas period! All the mayors to this day have kept this tradition, so this year we have once again a huge tree to the lower part of Syntagma square, right across Ermou street. The tree has the very same place every year, no matter what else the festive decoration includes. For this year, that is a cute polar bear covered in shiny Christmas lights, very attractive to all the children of the area! The youngest get a big hug from their parents, which lifts them up on the huge bear’s podium, in order to catch a photo with the shiny friend.

Nevertheless, the tree is the star of the square, standing there with its balls and gifts hanging from the branches. The tree is natural and comes in Athens from northern Greece. It is higher than every other decorated in the city. This year, the ornaments are just as many as needed, and they leave plenty of free space to admire the beautiful, robust, green needles of the fresh tree, which brings in mind a little bit of the nature we really miss in our urban walks. Syntagma square is for sure the most enlightened spot in Athens, since the Grande Bretagne and King George hotels, with their luxurious decorations, are also nearby.

The tree is what’s worth it the most though. Its natural beauty has a touch of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, and it transfers us all into a magical tale. For the luckiest of us, the Athenian band will be present at the square some of the holiday evenings, to fill the air with the music of the most favorite Christmas songs and carols.

Panepistimiou street

Athens walk in Christmas should always include some shopping in Panepistimiou

Heading up from Syntagma square, there are some of the most crowded streets to admire in their festive dress-up. Panepistimiou, a.k.a. Eleftheriou Venizelou str., is one of the shiniest boulevards in the city, with all its lights on at the same time. The road has tall arcades of Christmas lights above it, which form silver rain falling over golden stars. Combining the cars passing through with their lights on, and the spotlights from the windows of the shops, the result is a little bit dazzling, but never mind, it’s Christmas time! And what would that mean without exaggerating a little bit when holding in hand the light garlands and the mistletoe plant?

Anyway, Panepistimiou’s decoration matches the imposing buildings of this street and makes it the perfect place to have a nice urban walk, coffee in hand, looking up to the great neoclassic architecture of the Greek capital city. And if get cold enough, we do have the solution for you! It’s hiding in Korai arcade and consists of not one, but two lovely and historic cinemas. We are talking about Asty and Astor. These two cinemas are ideal to get lost inside their fluffy red velvet armchairs and gaze at beautiful motions past in front of your eyes. They both host mostly art cinema and independent movies, plus every worthy attempt produced nowadays. Asty also reintroduced its cinematic objects’ market quite recently, in the basement, next to the screening hall. So maybe your walk is a chance to make inspiring gifts to your loved ones.

Vassilissis Sophias

Night walk in Vassilissis Sofias, close to the Parliament

Another Athens walk in Christmas you should not miss from your to-do list is the one in Vassilissis Sophias Avenue. Also, one of the most beautiful streets of Athens, leading from Syntagma to the north part of the city. It passes through some of the most characteristic Athenian neighborhoods, such as Ampelokipi and Ilissia. These areas are mostly inhabited by permanent residents, away from anything touristic. The road is decorated exactly like Panepistimiou street, when close to Syntagma, although the decoration fades off a little bit while moving away from the city center.

But don’t be disappointed at all! Keep going and you will discover beautiful neighborhoods, small and authentic. Here, many little shops squeezed next to one another, hiding wonderful things inside! Plus, you will have the chance to watch this city’s real-time changes. From the big neoclassic venues and museums to contemporary ten-floored buildings. And from here, to large blocks of flats, with a tiny touch of their residents on the garlands of the balconies. And believe us, this moving picture is absolutely unique. It’s a reason to love Athens.

Childhood Christmas memories

Never miss a chance to have a cup of hot chocolate in Little Kook

Last but not least, we are closing this article with a place you should visit. Especially if you do have a company, and that company is below fifteen years old. It’s the “Little Kook Shop of Curiosities” we are talking about! A wonderful, absolutely magical Christmas world that is waiting to welcome anyone in for the holidays. Little Kook gives a chance to live the fairytale, and it does it all year round. Every celebration or special occasion is a whole vivid book of stories inside this shop. But Christmas, well, of course, they are even more special!

Full of soft, fluffy, warm snow dropping, and with elves and fairies everywhere around! Glitter, stardust, and shiny stars fill the afternoons now that the sun sets early. So, this place is perfect for having a nice coffee -or even better, a hot cup of chocolate with whipped cream on the top. If Syntagma is the perfect spot, to begin with your Athens walk in Christmas, then here is the perfect finish. Furthermore, you can do your research to find that extra something special you may need for your loved ones. Because from this year and on, the Little Kook also sells all this magic that hides inside. So don’t miss the chance to visit and feel the Christmas spirit overwhelming you!

Photos by EUROKINISSI/ ΓΙΩΡΓΟΣ ΚΟΝΤΑΡΙΝΗΣ, INTIME agency, Little Kook official facebook page

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