Exploring Kifissia: Athens’ Most Exclusive District

Kifissia is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the Greek capital. The ambiance here is significantly different to the majority of Athens.

Kifissia is characterised by elegant tree-lined promenades that are filled with upscale eateries and designer boutique stores. However, for all of its charm and style, Kifissia escapes the eyes of the majority of those that visit Athens.

This is perhaps owing to the area’s location north of the main city centre. Kifissia is situated 14 km away from central Athens. However, it is easily reachable via metro from Omonia.

Falling in Love with Kifissia Athens

Kifissia/Kifisia (Κηφισιά) is a nice alternative area for escaping the chaos during any Athens itinerary. You could opt to stay here, or just dedicate a day to exploring the neighbourhood.

Various walking tours pass through the area. These give you the opportunity to learn a little about the history and culture of Kifissia with a local.

Grand, ornate, pastel-coloured buildings and neoclassical mansions run along the streets of Elaion, Char. Trikoupi, and beyond. Here, you feel a million miles away from the chaos and ramshackle streets of Exarchia, Koukaki, and Syntagma.

Where to Stop for Coffee and Drinks in Kifissia

There is not a pastime more quintessentially Greek than people watching while indulging in a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Picturesque coffee places can be found tucked away down most Athenian alleyways. However, some of the most exquisite are to be found in Kifissia.  

Whether heading to a coffee spot to cozy up in an armchair with a good book during a lazy afternoon, or to enjoy a caffeinated rendezvous with friends and travel buddies, some of the best coffee shops in Kifissia are outlined below. As the sun sets, these glam places transform into cocktail bars.

Indulge in Coffee and Brunch at Artisanal

Where: Artisanal, Zirini 2, Kifisia 145 62

Artisanal is the definitive place to see and be seen in Kifissia. The premises are encapsulated by beautiful gardens that are filled with fragrant flowers and centuries-old trees.

The highlight of visiting Artisanal is simply found in sitting in the gardens, beneath the Mediterranean sun with a good book and an iced Greek coffee. Patrons can also sit inside the adorable conservatory which is designed to look like a bird aviary.

Coffee aside, Artisanal is also a lovely spot to stop and have brunch, lunch or dinner in Northern Athens. The establishment’s award-winning chef uses the very freshest locally-sourced ingredients in his dishes.

Artisanal’s menu boasts a selection of traditional Greek dishes prepared with a modern twist. Reservations are recommended if stopping by during the evenings or weekends.

Admire the Chic Ambiance of Zambri

Zambri Athens, Kifisia
Zambri Athens, Kifisia

Where: Agiou Dimitriou 9, Kifisia 145 62

From the moment that you step inside beautiful Zambri, you are met with elegance and class. From the decadent chandeliers to the high ceilings and the exposed brick walls, Zambri is understated chic at every turn. For all of its glamour, Zambri does not feel pretentious.

Zambri is a lovely place to stop and enjoy a morning coffee while typing away on your laptop. Alternatively, stop by in the evenings for a homemade sangria with friends.

Enjoy the Grand Environment of Dalliance House

Dalliance House, Kifissia
Dalliance House, Kifissia

Where: Dalliance House, Kiriazi 19, Kifisia 145 62

Built into the grandeur of an elegant 18th-century neoclassical building, the Dalliance House is a former bourgeois house that has since been transformed into an elegant hangout spot. The establishment perfectly blends decadence and glamour with the cozy feeling of being in someone’s living room.

Despite the building’s elaborate exterior, the rooms at the Dalliance House are small, intimate, and have a quaint “shabby chic” vibe about them. Guests can expect to see large scale wall canvases of bohemian artwork, colourful mismatching furnishings, and one-of-a-kind pieces from local designers and craftsmen.

Sample Traditional Pastries at a Centuries-Old Patisserie

Varsos Kifissia

Where: Varsos, Kassaveti 5, Kifisia 145 62

Varsos is the oldest patisserie in all of Athens. The establishment first opened its doors in 1890. Be sure to stop here to grab a morning pastry.

The premises have been renovated with a chic monochrome design. Upon entering, you are overwhelmed with the scent of fresh pastries, melted chocolate, and strong coffee.

From crispy croissants filled with chocolate and bananas to traditional local delicacies such as melt-in-the-mouth spanakopitas and tiropitas, Varsos has something for every palette. If you are visiting Varsos later in the afternoon consider sampling their beloved rizogalo (rice pudding). Alternatively, order yourself a galaktoboureko (a sweet filo pastry with custard, and syrup).

Things to do in Kifissia

Avisit to Kifissia is a nice thing to do in Athens if you have a little more time to explore the Greek capital. Although there may not be a lot to do in Kifissia by way of actual sightseeing, for sure you will not struggle for ways to pass your time here.

Take a Scenic Stroll Past Kifissia’s Grand Mansions and Villas

The promenades of beautiful Kifissia are decorated with grand neoclassical mansions and villas that date back to the 1800s. Simply wandering the suburban streets among the architectural grandeur is a nice way to pass the time here.

Kifissia has attracted Philosophers and wealthy Athenians for several centuries. It has held the status of being one of the most exclusive places in Southern Greece for a very long time. Even wealthy Romans would come here!

Indulge in Retail Therapy at Kifissia’s Elegant Boutique Stores

The reason d’etre for most Athenians to venture northwards to Kifissia is to give their bank cards a workout and indulge in a little retail therapy.

There are actually a few upscale areas in Athens that boast high-end shopping opportunities. Kolonaki, Glyfada, Paleo Faliro, and Nea Psychiko also boast a plethora of wonderful stores.

However, Kifissia is arguably the best of the bunch. There are a wide variety of stores here – far more than Glyfada, Kolonaki, etc.

Not to mention, the environment here is unparalleled. In Kifissia, you can shop among tall leafy trees and beautiful gardens.

Stylish white-washed facades house the products of both globally renowned designer brands (Valentino, Louis Vuitton, etc), and independent local designer boutiques. The latter great places for picking up unique “one of a kind” pieces.

Further retail therapy can also be enjoyed at the nearby Mall of Athens. Marousi and My Golden Hall Mall provide additional opportunities for shopping in Athens.

Relax at Kefalari Square

Lots of excellent tavernas and cute coffee places are centered around Kifissia’s main square. This bustling piazza is a delightful hubbub of activity. Not to mention, the lush greenery of Kefalari square is essentially Kifissia’s answer to Athens’ national gardens.

Wander along graveled pathways that lead past palm trees, flowers, and ponds. Alternatively, sit on the grassy banks of the park with a good book or a selection of lovely Greek pastries from Varsos. You can even purchase a few Greek street food treats and come here for a picnic.

Admire Contemporary Art Exhibits at the Mamush Gallery

The Mamush gallery makes a nice stopping point during a day out in Kifissia. This contemporary art gallery displays the works of up and coming Greek artists. Additionally, you will find piees here from renowned industry favourites like Warhol and Picasso.

Mamush aside, Kifissia has a growing art scene. Art aficionados can also add the Kouvoutsakis Art Institute, and Mihalarias Art Gallery to their radar.

Get Escorted Around Kifissia by a Horse-Drawn Carriage

During weekends, and the warm summer months, the streets around Kifissia train station are filled with elegant horse-drawn carriages. It is possible to take a tour of Kifissia by horse cart.

This is a lovely way to explore the area. Not to mention, you will feel as though you are in a fairy tale while doing so!

The carriage tour takes approximately 20 minutes and costs 20 euros. Carriages depart from the intersection of Panagitsas and Levidou streets.

Shop for Thoughtful Souvenirs

Kifissia Athens - Chocolate souveniers are a welcome treat! Aristokratikon
Aristokratikon, Kifissia

Instead of treating your friends and loved ones to a fridge magnet from your trip to Greece, opt to buy them something more thoughtful, edible, and oh so Greek. Greek agro-products make wonderful Hellenic souvenirs.

Martha’s Chocolatier in Athens Kifissia district sells delicious handcrafted chocolates that you can select and place inside gorgeous gift-wrapped boxes. If you’re worried about transporting them during the hot summer months, you can also browse for nuts, traditional Greek candies, and sweet condiments.

Equally worthwhile to check out while in Kifissia is Aristokratikon – a top-rated Greek chocolatier that has been established since 1920.

Where to Eat in Kifissia

Kifissia boasts a diverse selection of eateries – from cheerful tavernas that are so typically Greek to some of the most high-end dining spots in Athens. Assuming that you want to treat yourself and have the “true Kifissia experience”, most of the recommendations below fall into the latter category.

Eleas Gi

Where: Kifisia 145 63

Eleas Gi may well just be one of the best restaurants in all of Athens, especially for those who wish to sample the finest Greek ingredients and recipes while visiting Greece.

The restaurant offers a number of tasting menus which enable patrons to sample a selection of small classic dishes. It is possible to choose from a menu of either 24 or 14 dishes.

Eleas Gi’s tasting platters feature exquisite marinated meat dishes such as indulgent beef tagliata, and succulent smoked gyros served with melted metsovone cheese.

Considering Eleas Gi’s excellent reputation, it is very reasonably priced. A 24 dish tasting platter is priced at 45 euros per person, while a 14 dish platter is 35 euros each.

The Twenty One

Where: Kolokotroni 21, Kifisia 145 62

The glitzy Twenty One Restaurant and Bar is situated on the ground floor of the Kifissia hotel of the same name. In recent years, the Twenty One has become a popular hangout among the young, hip socialites of Northern Athens. That is not to distract from the food though – The Twenty One absolutely is a gourmand’s dream come true.

The glitzy Twenty One Restaurant and Bar is situated on the ground floor of the Kifissia hotel of the same name. In recent years, the Twenty One has become a popular hangout among the young, hip socialites of Northern Athens. That is not to distract from the food though – The Twenty One absolutely is a gourmand’s dream come true.

The menu at The Twenty One could be best described as Mediterranean fusion. The chefs here serve up dishes which are an excellent blend of Italian and Greek classic recipes and ingredients. Think soft, melt-in-the-mouth gnocchi paired with a goat-cheese cream and figs, alongside a Greek salad.

Dinners here can be paired with the Twenty One’s inventive cocktail menu that features all of the classics, as well as a number of eclectic house specialties.

Il Salumaio

Where: Il Salumaio Panagitsas 3, Kifisia 145 62

Il Salumaio has been delighting foodies in Athens for the last two and a half decades. Here, restaurant-goers sit beneath grand chandeliers and intricate mosaics as they dig into some of the best Italian food in the city.

At Il Salumaio, it is possible to order beloved Italian main dishes (pasta, gnocchi, et al), or to tuck into a bespoke charcuterie board filled with Italian cold cuts, and fresh truffles from Italy’s Alba region.

Where to Stay in Kifissia

If you are overwhelmed at the options available when trying to decide where to stay in Athens, I strongly recommend Kifissia. Kifissia may not be located right in the centre of Athens, but the ambiance here is altogether more peaceful and charming than many parts of the city. Besides, within a short 20-minute journey you will still find yourself at the Acropolis, Anafiotika, and other notable attractions.  

Kifissia feels like a quaint Greek village that is independent of Athens and is a great place if you want to feel like a local. Most of the hotels in Kifissia area range from affordable luxury to ultra-luxurious. Some of the best Kifissia accommodation choices are outlined below for your reference. Expect to budget between 100-200 euros per night for your stay.   

Kefalari Suites

The beautiful Kefalari Suites is a boutique hotel set in a renovated 19th-century mansion. The rooms are elegant, yet minimal.

One of the highlights of opting to stay here is the rooftop terrace – a perfect place to relax while enjoying breathtaking views of Kifissia and Athens, or while soaking in the jacuzzi. Click here for the latest prices and availability.

Theoxenia Palace Hotel

For absolute luxury in Kifisia, you can consider spending your time in Athens at the Theoxenia Palace Hotel. The hotel is every bit as grand and glamorous as the name suggests.

Situated in Kefalari square, guests of the Theoxenia Palace Hotel can expect luxurious, spacious rooms with marble flooring, decadent furnishings, and excellent views over the square. The latest room prices and availability details can be found here.

The Semiramis Hotel

For something a little different in Kifissia, there is the Semiramis hotel. A stay at the Athens hotel Semiramis is almost like stepping into an Austin Powers movie or being transported back in time to the swinging sixties.

The decor is bold and eccentric – featuring rooms with quirky retro-style furnishings and walls splashed with vibrant neon paint. The hotel also features a large outdoor swimming pool decorated in neon hues of pink and green. You can find the latest prices and availability here.

Parting Words

Have any questions about Kifissia Athens or Athens travel in general? I have lived here for the past two years and will be happy to answer any questions or queries that you may have about Greece. Safe travels! Melissa xo

Disclaimer: This Kifissia guide may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through some of the links on this page, I may obtain a small amount of commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your understanding.

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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