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DESTINATIONS greece athens Cafes Exarcheia


Exarcheia, Athens' anarchist neighbourhood, has seen the youth of the city rise up against the power and injustice many times, and it has also unfortunately been the theatre of political drama. Even though Exarcheia has kept intact its rebellious soul and keeps on its walls traces and street art as testimony of its agitated past — the area has softened a bit and has become somewhat hipster. It is a cool place to hang out, go for a walk, meet locals, and have a coffee or a drink around the main square.


Drinking coffee in Greece is an institution, and Athens is no exception. You will find the cafes and their terraces full of people, laughter, cigarette smoke and animation everyday and all year long. Cafes here are the place to meet up with friends, relax, have long conversations about life and politics, or to play backgammon (when in Greece, call it "Tavli"). The most Greek coffee drink is without a doubt the frappé. It was invented at the 1957 Thessaloniki International Fair by Giannis Dritsas — a representative of the Nestlé company. It's basically instant coffee whipped with cold water until frothy, served on ice. If you're not an instant coffee lover, ask for the server to add some sugar and milk to your drink. It's quite a marvelous invention for hot summer days. Or course, third wave coffee has made is to Athens as well. You can choose to sit at a trendy or alternative cafe, at a traditional kafeneio, or even at one of Greece's own coffee chains.