Pagrati: Falling in Love with Athens Quirkiest Neighbourhood

The ancient panathenaic stadium is about as far out of the centre as most tourists will venture to during their Athens itinerary. Little do they know that Pagrati, one of the city’s most artistic, quirky, and personable neighborhoods is tucked away just behind it.

Beloved by artists and creatives for centuries, Pagrati is home to a range of art galleries, eccentric coffee shops, vintage clothing stores and narrow alleyways that open out into vibrant plazas teeming with life.

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Pagrati is to Athens what Greenwich village is to New York. Those looking to escape the tourist crowds and experience authentic Athens as adored by the locals are sure to fall in love with Pagrati.

I discovered this neighborhood by mistake. When I first moved to Athens in September 2017, an airbnb just behind the old stadium was all I could find at the last moment. I couldn’t get enough of exploring the streets of quaint Pagrati and have lived here ever since. Pagrati is home now and holds a special place in my heart. 

Pagrati Highlights

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  • Exploring the old Olympic stadium.
  • Sipping freddo cappuccino and playing backgammon at the quirky coffee shops
  • Hanging out with locals  at the bars in Varnava square until the early hours.
  • Dining at some of the best restaurants on the Greek food scene.
  • Buying local produce to cook in your airbnb at the local farmer’s markets.

Coffee Breaks & Nightcaps in Pagrati

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As a Travel Writer, I work from coffee shops almost every single day. Coffee culture is huge in Greece and that could not be more evident anywhere more than Pagrati.

With quirky places on practically every corner, and new bars and coffee shops opening up every week, you could spend a month in Pagrati and sip your morning coffee at a different place every single day.  

As the evening approaches and the sun sets, most coffee bars in the area double as chic cocktail bars come nightfall. 

The below places are definitely worth adding to your Pagrati travel checklist.

Superfly Cafe

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Where: Empedokleous 28, Pagrati

Pagrati’s Varnava Square is one of the neighbourhood’s most happening night spots. The square is encircled by tavernas and bars, though none are more unique and playful than Superfly Cafe.

You don’t need a DeLorean to travel back in time. Stepping through the doors of Superfly offers just that. With retro posters, memorabilia and jukeboxes, Superfly transports visitors back to the 1970’s.

Vinyl records are hung on the walls, old video games consoles are stacked on the shelves and patrons are seated on colourful, mismatching retro vintage chairs.

This is a fresh and fun place to enjoy a coffee. Come night time, the speakers at Superfly blare out classic rock and attract an alternative crowd.

Monsieur Cannibale

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Where: Pl. Profitou Ilia 2, Pagrati

Named after the song which Sacha Distel wrote about his love affair with Brigitte Bardot, Monsieur Cannibale provides its patrons with an adventure to a vintage circus.

Paintings of elephants, freak shows and  strong men dance along the pastel coloured walls. The decor and furnishings are a colourful mishmash and contribute to a wholly unique experience.

Perched on the corner of Profitis Ilias, Monsieur Cannibale is a new establishment that is quickly capturing the hearts of the locals. By day, the spot attracts many writers and creatives who type away on their Macbooks.

By evening, Monsieur Cannibale is a popular spot for locals to unwind after work and enjoy the unusual and innovative cocktail menu. MC also serves a lovely brunch menu that is centered around egg based concoctions.

Flamingo

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Where: 22-24 Euphranor and Krisila, Pagrati

With glass paneled walls, sky high ceilings and contemporary furnishings, Flamingo Pagrati is a chic place to enjoy a daytime coffee or an evening tipple.

By day, the glass walls that encapsulate Flamingo make the place incredibly bright and cheery. By night, the place is illuminated by candlelight making it all the more elegant. 

Flamingo Pagrati serves American style breakfasts and brunches, and has a dinner menu that changes with the season.

Rizzari

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Where: Rizzari 22

Close to Evangelissmos metro station, Rizzari is a cute coffee shop that is designed like a library. Sink down into the comfort of one of the ornate old armchairs that sit beneath the bookshelves.

The beauty of Rizari is that it is a place where you can spend many hours unwinding on a relaxing afternoon. You will find older locals whiling away the afternoon reading a good book, and students and entrepreneurs working on their laptops. 

Rizari attracts an elegant crowd. Come nightfall, the place is illuminated by candle light and the coffee menu is replaced with wine lists serving exquisite Italian vino, and a selection of classic and contemporary cocktails.

Medez

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Where: Frinis 2, Pagrati

The atmosphere at Medez is reminiscent of visiting the home of an eclectic, kooky relative that collects obscure things from around the globe. The coffee shop has a cosy atmosphere that makes you feel as though you are sipping your cappuccino in a friend’s living room.

Comfy, oversized armchairs and an array of weird and wonderful knick knacks make for a charming atmosphere. 

Medez also hosts outdoor covered seating from where coffee aficionados can enjoy watching the sights and sounds of Athenian street life. Live bands and local Greek singers often perform within the tiny main room here in the evenings. 

Hotel Chelsea

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Where: Archimedes, and Proklou

Hanging out at Hotel Chelsea is kind of the “in thing” for young, hip Athenian locals. Affectionately named after the notorious New York hotel of the same name, it’s rare to stop by Hotel Chelsea and not see colossal crowds. The place is always so crowded that youngsters are often spilled out into the streets surrounding Chelsea, standing in the roads and holding their glasses of wine. 

The bohemian decor reflects Chelsea’s crowd. Sit on cushions on the floor beneath the fluttering Nepalese prayer flags. Sure it’s busy, but it’s worth stopping by for the atmosphere and the chance to mingle with the locals if you are able to find a table.

Metz

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Where: Mark. Mousourou 63, Mets

Metz coffee bar is situated on a leafy green promenade in the Mets – an extension of Pagrati. Its unsuspecting location means that only those that know of this place are likely to come here. Surrounding Metz coffee there are just residential buildings and green open parks. This is as far from the tourist trail as it gets.

The tranquility of the area is one major plus point for opting to indulge in your cake and latte at the Metz. The most wonderful thing about stopping by here though is the musical atmosphere.

Jazz, bossa nova and blues rhythms echo through the building adding a pleasant background soundtrack . On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, live jazz performances often take place here. Oftentimes, spectators are handed an instrument and encouraged to join in the jam session.

Arbaroriza

Where: Eratosthenous 33

If there was a “go to” Friday night spot to enjoy the best cocktails in the neighborhood, Arboriza would be it. On account of Arboriza’s rooftop garden, this is a pleasant spot in the summer.

Patrons can sit beneath the trees of Arboriza that are illuminated by fairy lights and watch life go by before venturing into the city and enjoying more Athens nightlife

Things to See and Do in Pagrati 

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Far from the main Athenian shopping streets at Syntagma and Monastiraki, Pagrati’s wonderful, yet unpretentious shopping scene has a little something to offer everyone.

Shop for Edible Souvenirs 

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Those interested in sampling and buying Greek agro products will enjoy sampling the exquisite quality wines, nuts, dates and delicatessen items at Oliver – a local artisanal food store. This is the perfect place to pick up thoughtful, edible souvenirs from your trip to Greece.

If your trip coincides, it’s also worth stopping by the weekly laiki (farmer’s market) that is hosted every Tuesday from 8am until 3pm at Laskou V and provides an interesting insight into local life.

Discover Vintage and One of a Kind Pieces

Vintage products from the most notable designers in fashion history (Chanel, YSL, et al) can be found at the vintage stores on Rizari and Spirou Merkouri. For unique “one-of-a-kind” items and accessories that have been lovingly designed by local independent designers, head to Hremonidou and Filolau.

Unearth the Pagrati Art Scene

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As a popular stomping ground for artists and creatives, it makes sense that Pagrati would have a vibrant art scene. Art lovers and collectors can check out the galleries at Titanium Yiayiannos Gallery and Art Zone 42 – both of which feature ever-changing contemporary art exhibits. 

At Chalk of the Town, a more hands-on approach to art is offered. This cute little arts and crafts shop not only sells artsy products, but here, aspiring artists can engage in practical workshops or take lessons to hone their artistic talents.

Walk the Perimeter of the Old Olympic Stadium

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The old marble olympic stadium (Kallimarmaro) is a must while in Athens. The stadium dates all the way back to 144AD and is the only structure of its kind in the world. Admission is just 4 euros and contains entrance to the Olympic museum inside which showcases the olympic torches from around the world.

Where to Eat in Pagrati

Pagrati is developing a growing presence on the Athenian food scene. From fine dining to traditional tavernas and fast food, Pagrati has something for everyone.

Fine Dining in Pagrati

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The culinary scene in Pagrati is developing at a phenomenal pace. For special occasions or evenings when you simply want to treat yourself, reserving a table at two Michelin starred Spondi is the obvious choice.

Founded by award winning Greek Chef Apostolos Trasteli, Spondi serves up an infusion of traditional Greek meets contemporary Mediterranean flavors.

An alternative to Spondi is the elegant Cookoovaya. This upscale eatery offers modern twists on old Greek classic dishes. Reservations are highly recommended for both spots.

Traditional Greek Food in Pagrati

For mouthwatering moussaka, pastitsio, and other Greek culinary classics, head to the quaint trattorias of Mystic or Cupola.  The former features charming rooftop seating, where the latter has an extensive wine list perfect for pairing with the menu.

Both eateries are beloved favourites among locals that enjoy a lively atmosphere every night of the week. 

Fast Food in Pagrati

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Let me preface by saying that Greek fast food is not exactly the same as eating fast food in the west. The delicious marinated meats and kebabs are far healthier than scoffing down a load of McDonalds.

For the best souvlaki in town, head to Elvis Souvlakia –  a takeout joint dedicated to the King which borders the bustling Hotel Chelsea. For kebabs, gyros and pittas that the locals are happy to queue around the block for, head to Babadan – my personal favourite.

Where to Stay in Pagrati



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There are two main streets that run through Pagrati – Filolaou and Ymittou. Filolaou is essentially Pagrati’s high street. The perfect place to stay in Pagrati is one of the streets that just veer off Filolaou.

This places you right on the doorstep of all of the bars, coffee shops and stores. There are plenty of short term rentals and airbnb apartments in Pagrati. (Click here to get $25 off your first airbnb booking).

Nearby, you can also opt to stay in the quiet, leafy residential neighborhood of the Mets, or in Vyronas. Both are essentially extensions of Pagrati and offer plenty of pleasant places to hang out.

Pagrati is still considered as central Athens and the area is easily walk-able from Syntagma square. The number 4 tram also runs through this neighborhood making the centre and the main tourist attractions of Athens easily accessible.

By the way, it is worth noting that Pagrati (Παγκράτι in Greek) is sometimes also called Pagkrati, or Pangrati. These are all referring to the same neighborhood.

Related Article: The Best Places to Stay in Athens 

Did you enjoy this Pagrati neighborhood guide? Have you visited? Let me know in the comments below. I live here in Athens and I’m happy to help with any Greece travel queries you may have.

Disclaimer: This Pagrati neighborhood guide may contain the occasional affiliate link. In other words, if you book a tour or a hotel through some of the links here I will obtain a small amount of commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me to continue producing free Travel Guides and resources here. Thanks for understanding. 

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