Pagrati: Your Complete 2021 Guide to Athens’ Most Underrated District

Pagrati Athens is one of the quirkiest districts in the Greek capital. The little streets here boast a range of art galleries, eccentric coffee shops, and vintage clothing stores.

Pagrati’s unsuspecting narrow alleyways open out into vibrant plazas teeming with life. For Athenians, this is a great place to meet for Friday night cocktails or Sunday brunch.

Pagrati, Athens has been beloved by artists and creatives for centuries. When you arrive here, you see that it isn’t difficult to see why.

The best part? Very few tourists will ever venture to Pagrati.

This quintessentially Greek district is tucked away behind the old Panathenaic stadium. Unless you specifically knew it was here, it’s unlikely that visitors to Athens would travel here.

Falling in Love with Quirky Pagrati

Pagrati Athens awaits behind the Panathenaic Stadium
Pagrati Athens awaits behind the Panathenaic Stadium

Pagrati is to Athens what Greenwich Village is to New York. If you are looking for Athenian neighbourhoods where you can escape the tourist crowds and experience authentic Athens as adored by the locals, you are sure to fall in love with Pagrati.

Pagrati Highlights

  • 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 Shops in Pagrati

Pagrati Athens: The Rabbit Punch
Pagrati Athens: The Rabbit Punch

Coffee culture is huge in Greece and this could not be more evident anywhere more than Pagrati. Here you will find quirky coffee places on practically every corner.

Pagrati Athens has become more gentrified, and something of a hipster hangout spot over the last few years. However, the plus side of that is that new bars and coffee shops open up practically every week.

You could easily 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

Where: Empedokleous 28, Pagrati

Pagrati’s Varnava Square is one of the area’s most happening night spots. Every weekend, locals spill out onto the streets to catch up with their friends with beers in hand.

The square is encircled by tavernas and bars. However, 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 1970s.

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.

Rabbit Punch

Pagrati Athens: Rabbit Punch
Pagrati, Athens: Rabbit Punch

Where: Effranoros 40, Athina 116 35, Greece

If you consider yourself a serious coffee connoisseur, Rabbit Punch is the place to venture for the best brew in town. This is a local favourite and it is operated by award-winning baristas.

Among a sea of Pagrati coffee houses, Rabbit Punch stands out above the crowd. You can choose from an array of freshly ground coffee blends here.

Opt for beans from Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala. Warm cappuccinos and Freddo espressos ordered here are that little bit extra special. In the evenings, Rabbit Punch’s cocktail menu offers unique cocktail and coffee blends.

Monsieur Cannibale

Monsieur Cannibale
Monsieur Cannibale

Where: Pl. Profitou Ilia 2, Pagrati, Athens

Monsieur Cannibale Athens takes its name from the song in which Sacha Distel wrote about his love affair with Brigitte Bardot. It sits on the corner of Profitis Ilias.

This coffee shop is relatively new. However it has quickly captured the hearts of the locals and become a new favourite local haunt.

The eccentric decor here takes you on an adventure to a vintage circus. During the day, Monsieur Cannibale attracts many writers and creatives who type away on their Macbooks.

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.

Monsieur Cannibale also serves a lovely brunch menu prepared with fresh local ingredients. You can find everything featured here – from hearty Greek dishes to international classics such as eggs benedict, and french toast.

Flamingo

Pagrati, Athens: Flamingo
Pagrati, Athens: Flamingo

Where: 22-24 Euphranor and Krisila, Pagrati

Flamingo Pagrati is a chic place to enjoy a daytime coffee or an evening tipple. The decor mirrors the sophisticated crowd that Flamingo attracts. This stylish establishment boasts glass-paneled walls, sky-high ceilings, and contemporary furnishings.

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. It also has a dinner menu that changes with the season.

Rizzari 22

Rizzari is an elegant choice for coffee and brunch

Where: Rizzari 22, Athina 116 35

Rizzari 22 is a cute coffee shop that is designed as a library. It sits on the street of the same name, just across from Evangelissmos metro station. Here you can sink down into the comfort of one of the ornate old armchairs as you warm up with a strong Italian espresso.

The beauty of Rizzari 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 candlelight. The coffee menu is then replaced with an exquisite a la carte dining menu and an extensive international wine list.

Medez Cafe & Bar

Medez, Pagrati
Medez Cafe & Bar, Pagrati

Where: Frinis 2, Athina 116 34, Greece

There are no cosier coffee shops in Pagrati than Medez. The atmosphere here 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. Here you can sip your freddo cappuccino al fresco style as you people watch and can enjoy 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

Hotel Chelsea, Pagrati
Hotel Chelsea, Pagrati

Where: Archimedes, and Proklou

Hanging out at Hotel Chelsea is kind of the “in thing” for young, hip Athenian locals. This place was affectionately named after the notorious New York hotel of the same name.

It is rare to stop by Hotel Chelsea and not see colossal crowds pouring out onto the streets. The place is always so crowded that patrons are often standing on the roads surrounding Chelsea 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

Where: Mark. Mousourou 63, Mets

Metz coffee bar is situated on a leafy green promenade in the Mets. This district is essentially an extension of Pagrati. It is hard to decipher where the Mets ends and Pagrati begins.

The Metz sits opposite the First Cemetery of Athens. Here, it is surrounded by greenery and sleepy residential streets.

Not only is this place incredibly tranquil, but the music here is also wonderful. 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.

Oh Boy

Where: 32, Archelaou street

Oh Boy has quickly established itself as an Athens institution since it first opened its doors a couple of years ago. Its curbside tables are perpetually full and there are often people waiting around to get in – whatever time of day it is!

What makes Oh Boy special is its delicious selection of cakes, desserts, and pastries. This is the perfect spot to grab a coffee and share a slice of cheesecake with a friend on your lunchbreak.

The Best Bars in Pagrati

New cocktail bars and speakeasies are constantly opening up in Pagrati. You will find many of these spots tucked away down the most unsuspecting of sidestreets.

Frater & Soror

Where: 6 Amynta, Proskopon Square, Pangrati

Frater & Soror is a new face on the Pagrati nightlife scene. This snug little bar is a popular haunt on Friday and Saturday nights when patrons spill out onto the surrounding streets. 

The bar’s name is short for “fraternity & sorority”. This little spot specialises in gin concoctions.

There is also a “secret” restaurant hidden away in the basement named Phi Beta Kappa which is operated by Chef Dimos Balopoulos. Phi Beta Kappa serves “high end” Bistrot food and hearty brunch dishes. 

Pink Freud 

Where: Archelaou 7, Athina 116 35, Greece

Pagrati’s Pink Freud is a cosy place to study with a coffee or stop for an evening drink with friends. The bar attracts a crowd of students and intellectuals. It boasts moody lighting and industrial-style decor. 

The atmosphere is homely and casual. As such, Pink Freud is a wonderfully non-pretentious place to stop for an evening tipple after the end of a long day’s sightseeing.

Arbaroriza

Where: Eratosthenous 33, Athina 116 35

If there was a “go-to” Friday night spot to enjoy the best cocktails in the neighborhood, Arboriza would be it. This place is especially popular during the summer months when revelers can sit outside on the terrace.

Sit beneath the trees of Arboriza that are illuminated by fairy lights and watch life go by. Then, hop in a cab into the city and enjoy more Athens nightlife

Things to See and Do in Pagrati 

Pagrati’s wonderful, yet unpretentious shopping scene has a little something to offer everyone. There are a few high street shops scattered throughout the area. However little Pagrati Athens is known for its vintage and thrift shops, and its antique stores that sells all sorts of peculiar odds and ends.

Shop for Edible Souvenirs 

Oliver - Pangrati Athens Artisan Food Store
Oliver – Pangrati Athens Artisan Food Store

If you are interested in sampling and buying Greek agro products, you will enjoy sampling the exquisite quality wines, nuts, dates and delicatessen items at Oliver. This is a local artisanal food store, and one of the best in town. 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). The market is hosted every Tuesday in Pagrati Athens from 8 am until 3 pm at Laskou V.

It provides an interesting insight into local life. Here, you can see Greek yiayias shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, farmers’ wives selling their homemade jams, preserves, and spoon sweets, and greek street food vendors bbqing sumptuous marinated meats.

Shop for Vintage Clothing

Vintage stores line the Pagrati streets of Rizari and Spirou Merkouri. It is worth having a browse in these shops if you are into fashion. Occasionally, you can get lucky here and find excellent quality items from the most notable designers in fashion history. (For instance, Chanel, YSL, etc).

Meanwhile, the streets of Hremonidou and Filolau are home to the stores of many independent designers. If you are looking for one-of-a-kind items that no-one else will have, this is a good place to look. The stores here are reasonably priced and the items here will not break the bank.

Unearth the Pagrati Art Scene

Pagrati is one of the main creative hubs of Athens. As such, it may come as no surprise that there is a vibrant local art scene here.

Art lovers and collectors can check out the galleries at Titanium Yiayiannos Gallery and Art Zone 42. Both of these galleries feature ever-changing contemporary art exhibits. 

Meanwhile, Chalk of the Town is a cute little arts and crafts shop that offers a more hands-on approach to art. The store not only sells artsy products. Here, aspiring artists can engage in practical workshops or take lessons to hone their artistic talents.

Visit the Old Olympic Stadium “Kallimarmaro”

Pagrati Athens: The tunnels beneath the Panathenaic Stadium
Pagrati Athens: The tunnels beneath the Panathenaic Stadium

The old marble Olympic Stadium (Kallimarmaro) is a must while in Athens. It sits on the outskirts of Pagrati, just across from the National Gardens.

The stadium dates all the way back to 566BC and is the only stadium in the world that is made entirely out of marble. In 1896, the first modern Olympic games were hosted here.

Kallimarmaro is remarkably well preserved. You can climb up into the stands and take a seat for as long as you like, or dust off your running shoes and run a lap around its circumference.

It is not hard to envisage what it would have been like to watch an ancient sporting event here all those centuries ago. You will also find the Olympic museum inside the stadium. This showcases Olympic torches, promotional posters, and memorabilia 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.

Mavro Provato

Where: Arrianou 31, Athina 116 35, Greece

Mavro Provato is quickly establishing itself as one of the best restaurants in Athens. Diners flock here from across the city to sample the dishes from the restaurant’s innovative menu.

Mavro Provato translates to “black sheep” in English. The dishes here place a modern twist on Greek contemporary classic recipes. You can opt to enjoy the main dishes, or order up a selection of meze plates.

Spondi

Where: Pirronos 5, Athina 116 36, Greece

Elegant Spondi is a two-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of little Pagrati. Spondi offers an interesting fusion between Mediterranean and French cuisine.

The dishes here combine flavours that appear to be obscure pairings. However somehow they just work. Reservations here are highly recommended, especially on weekends.

Byzantino Restaurant at Hilton Athens

Where: Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 46, Athina 115 28, Greece

The Byzantino restaurant sits on the ground floor of the Hilton Athens hotel. This light, spacious eatery has been a popular rendezvous point for sophisticated Athenians for several decades. 

The menu has been compiled with love by resident chef George Kaperdas. Dishes change periodically to make the most of seasonal ingredients.

Expect to see a range of traditional Mediterranean and Greek classics served with a modern twist. Think pasta masata from Folegandros prepared with marinated beef, black truffles, mushrooms, and kefalotiri cheese.

Elvis Souvlakia

Where: Archimidous 1-5, Athina 116 35, Greece

For the best souvlaki in town, head to Elvis Souvlakia. This is 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.

Vassilenas Restaurant

Where: Vrasida 13, Athina 115 28, Greece

If you want to treat yourself to lavish dining during your Athens vacation, head to Vassilenas. This is an exquisite fine dining restaurant that has been passed down through the generations of a local family for centuries.

Vassilenas prides itself on its selection of local wines and freshly sourced ingredients. The two work together to offer a truly decadent menu that is so quintessentially Greek. 

Vasilennas acquired an envious following over the years. Even the likes of Sofia Loren, Winston Churchill, and T.S. Elliot have dined here.

The initial restaurant premises were in Piraeus. However, Vasilennas moved to Pagrati, Athens in 2016. 

The new premises boast a more contemporary, artistic vibe that makes way for a new era of Vassilenas fans and celebrities. The building was designed by honorable Greek architects Andreas Kourkoulas and Maria Kokkinou.

You can opt to enjoy a la carte dining, seasonal lunch menus, or wine pairings organised by the resident Sommelier. Reservations are recommended on Friday and Saturday nights.

Where to Stay in Pagrati

Pagrati is one of the best areas to stay in Athens if you are seeking a local experience. Pagrati is mostly residential, so the hotels detailed here fall on the outskirts of Pagrati in the nearby Hilton district.

A selection of the best hotels around Pagrati are detailed below. There is something here for every budget. 

Hilton Hotel Athens (Luxury Pick)

The Hilton Hotel is the definitive luxury choice in Athens. Rooms here are contemporary, modern, and stylish. 

Guests can enjoy magnificent views from their private balconies and watch as the Acropolis is illuminated by dozens of twinkling lights. The Galaxy Lounge that is perched at the top of Hilton Athens is considered one of the best rooftop bars in the city.

You can check the latest rates and availability here.

Zappion Hotel (Mid-Range Pick)

Zappion Hotel is a great choice for exploring Athens and Pagrati on a budget. The hotel’s location places you just a stone’s throw away from the National Gardens and the Panathenaic Stadium. 

Rooms start from just $45 per night and are spacious, clean, and comfortable. You can browse the latest rates and availability here.

Ilisia Hotel (Mid-Range Pick)

The charming Ilisia hotel offers style and luxury without the luxury price tag. Ilisia Hotel is situated close to Evangelismos metro station. Dozens of coffee shops and restaurants are right on your doorstep here and the city centre can be reached within 10 minutes.

The homely, shabby chic rooms have been decorated with a tasteful neutral palette. Rooms start from $60 per night. Click here for the latest rates and availability.

Alternative Accommodation in Pagrati 

If you are looking for a self-catered or Airbnb accommodation then you will not be short on options in Pagrati. 

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 $40 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.

Is Pagrati Safe?

Athens in general is a safe city. Pagrati is a very safe neighbourhood. Even if you find yourself walking along Filollau at night, you will still see signs of life at every angle. 

Coffee shops in Pagrati are open until around 10-11 pm. In the evenings, locals sit outside tavernas chatting and tsipouro until as late as 2-3am.

It is not unheard of to see older couples going on evening walks at these times either. Pagrati is one of the safest, and most traditional Greek neighbourhoods in Athens.

Getting to Pagrati

Pagrati is fairly central. It takes approximately 25 minutes to get here on foot from Syntagma square and Monastiraki, respectively.

By Tram

Public transport in Greece is very good. The same is true of services in the capital.

The easiest way to get to Pagrati is to take the number 4 tram which departs from Syntagma and runs to the Panathenaic stadium. Services run at regular intervals every day.

By Metro

Evangelismos (Metro Line 4) and Agios Ioannis (Metro Line 2) are both very close to Pagrati. Filolaou is just a five-minute walk away from both stations.

However, Evangelismos is arguably more convenient. It also puts you in a better position to venture to the bars, restaurants, and coffee places enclosed on this list.

Final Thoughts

Did you enjoy this Pagrati Athens guide? Have you visited? Let me know in the comments below.

I live here in Athens and I’m happy to help with any aspects of planning your trip to Greece.


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.

4 thoughts on “Pagrati: Your Complete 2021 Guide to Athens’ Most Underrated District”

  1. I’m Greek and Pagkrati is my hometown (every since 48 years ago). Great source of information about Pagkrati is given here for everyone by the writer / blogger!

    Reply

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