Exploring Kifissia: The Beverly Hills of Athens

With elegant tree-lined promenades that are filled with upscale eateries and designer boutique stores, Kifissia is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the Greek capital. For all of its charm and style though, Kifissia escapes the eyes of the majority of those that visit Athens – perhaps owing to its 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. Whether as a place to stay or a place to spend a laid back afternoon sipping Freddo cappuccinos and strolling the city streets, Kifissia is a nice alternative area for escaping the chaos during any Athens itinerary.

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, but 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 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 which focus on a contemporary Greek style.

Admire the Chic Ambiance of Zambri

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 or to meet with friends for a homemade sangria in the evenings.

Enjoy the Grand Environment of Dalliance House

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

Where: Varsos, Kassaveti 5, Kifisia 145 62

Varsos is Kifissia’s oldest cafe and a neighbourhood institution. Dating back to 1890, it’s well worth stopping by Varsos in order to grab a morning pastry. Upon entering the monochrome premises, you are overwhelmed with the scent of fresh pastries, melted chocolates, 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 visiting Varsos later in the afternoon, I highly recommend sampling their rizogalo (rice pudding), or a galaktoboureko ( a sweet filo pastry with custard, and syrup).

Things to do in Kifissia

Whether for an afternoon, a day, or a couple of days, a visit 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 – even dating as far back as the Roman era.

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 neighbourhoods in Athens that boast high-end shopping opportunities – the others being Kolonaki, Glyfada, Paleo Faliro, and Nea Psychiko. That said, I strongly believe that Kifissia is the best of the bunch, owing to the wide variety of stores it offers, and the beautiful environment of shopping among tall leafy trees and beautiful gardens.

In Kifissia, stylish white-washed facades house the products of both globally renowned designer brands (Valentino, Louis Vuitton, etc), and independent local designer boutiques which are great places for picking up unique “one of a kind” pieces. Further retail therapy can also be enjoyed at the nearby Mall of Athens.

Relax at Kefalari Square

Lots of excellent tavernas and cute coffee places are centered around Kifissia’s main square which is a delightful hubbub of activity. Besides that, the lush greenery of Kefalari square is essentially Kifissia’s answer to Athens’ national gardens.

At Kefalari square, you can wander along graveled pathways that lead past palm trees, flowers and ponds, or sit on the grassy banks of the park with a good book or a selection of lovely Greek pastries from Varsos 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 Hellenic artists, in addition to 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 – a lovely way to explore the area and to feel as though you are in a fairy tale during the process!

The carriage tour takes approximately 20 minutes and costs 20 euros to do. 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.

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.

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 neighbourhood guide may contain affiliate links. This means that should you choose to 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. This aids me with the costs of running this website so that I can continue to provide free Athens travel advice. 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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