My Athens … is Free, Fun and Funky!
Student Maya Iliades, 17, shares her teen-friendly insider secrets about getting the best out of the city she loves…
Is Athens a good place to live for teenagers in your opinion?
Athens is a great city for teenagers – with the right mix of mainstream and under-the-radar cultural events, fun activities, great food at student-friendly rates (read perpetually-broke teen prices), lots of freedom, a young creative scene and a lot of interesting young people.
Do you feel like Athens is a safe city for teenagers to hang out in?
It is extremely safe. You can go out at any time without having to worry or look over your shoulder. Very few thefts, (though pickpocketing of phones has been on the rise), and little or no violence.
If you could change one thing about Athens, what would it be?
The transportation: faster and better-linked lines.
Can you recommend a great place to celebrate a birthday with friends?
TGI Fridays is the perfect place to go out with friends (Glyfada, Agios Dimitrios, Kiffisias, Ambelokopi). Good food, good music, good service, and particularly suited for birthdays, they give you the star treatment!
Your favourite beach or swimming spot?
As far as organized beaches go, my vote is for Astir Beach in Vouliagmeni: the water is invitingly turquoise and clean. Nice setting, places to snack at the beach, summer cinema, a young crowd, but also pleasant to go to as a family. For impromptu dives off the coast, I love Limanakia Vouliagmenis: between Vouliagmeni and Varkiza. This hangout is great for an afternoon with friends. On the rocks, funky music and a breathtaking view. For those willing to go a bit farther but well worth it for the clearest waters you’ll see in Greece: Legrena Beach, just before Poseidon’s Temple in Sounio.
Your favourite go-to shop to pick up a great outfit for the weekend?
Subdued in Glyfada. Simple, Chic, Sophisticated.
Can you recommend a good teen-friendly cinema?
Cinepolis in Glyfada or any of the Village Cinema complexes (Metro Mall Agios Dimitrios, Faliro, The Mall Marousi, Pangrati).
Describe your perfect Saturday night in the capital …
Spend the afternoon around Syntagma and Monastiraki shopping and walking around, then have a drink somewhere with a view of the Acropolis.
Which are the hot suburbs right now?
Glyfada, Kolonaki, Kifissia, Exarchia, Monastiraki and Syntagma.
Where are the current “in” places to eat out for teens? To go for coffee?
For fast-food or a quick bite, I would recommend Big Kahuna, StreetWok or New York Sandwiches, all located in the centre of Athens.
For a drink with a view of the city: AforAthens, Couleur Locale, L’Anglais
For dinner: Fouar or School Pizza Bar for an edgy, underground experience and extremely interesting cuisine.
A great spot to spend a summer evening?
It has to be by the sea: Balux (Glyfada), EnPlo (Vouliagmeni), Island (Varkiza)
Can you recommend a great day out in Athens for families with teens?
Take a walk in the centre of Athens around the Acropolis, then meander through Plaka and onwards to Monastiraki to take in the city vibes – part historic, part modern, all chaotic and colourful! Eat somewhere local with music like Cafe Abyssinia (a good way to break into the Greek spirit), watch a film in one of Athens’ several open-air cinemas like Cine Paris, wind up at a rooftop bar to end the day on a high note.
My favourite view of the city is from …
Braxakia (the rocks of the Acropolis, aka hill of Areios Pagos in Monastiraki), AforAthens, 360 Cocktail bar.
Finally, please describe Athens in 3 adjectives
Free, Fun, Funky