Thanks to its multitude of ancient monuments, vestiges of a rich history, endless summers and numerous islands, Greece is a top destination for many travelers. But few know that its capital can also be the perfect base for a design-focused city trip. We’ve created a guide for any design lover to the ancient city of Athens.
Where to stay
Inn Athens is a charming boutique hotel located a stone’s throw away from Syntagma Square, and the shopping street of Ermou. Housed in a beautifully restored neoclassical mansion, Inn Athens surely stands out. With a magnificent atrium, elegant décor, clean lines, dark marble and natural wood accents, and scrumptious breakfast, Inn Athens is one of our favorite accommodation options in town. You are sure to feel right at home here.
Inn Athens, Georgiou Sourri 3 & Filelinnnon, Athens, Greece. +30 210 325 8555
Where to eat
Since opening in 2016, Nolan has been the talk of the town. The design is minimalist, with Scandinavian touches. The downtown bistro is known for its innovative Greek-Asian fusion cuisine, and has helped up the quality of the international cuisine available in Athens. The menu created by young chef Sotiris Kontizas features eccentric names and an eclectic cuisine, and though it changes regularly, it includes a few star dishes worth trying.
Nolan, Voulis 33, Athens, Greece. +30 210 324 3545
In the lively port district of Piraeus, Pirée is a stunning multifunction art center housed in an industrial building. Opened in March 2016 and designed by Lab 71 Kosmas Karavas, the place features a café/wine and cocktail bar where premium coffee, delicious drinks, wine and cocktails are served, as well as finger food, salads, tapas and more, as well as several design showrooms for exhibitions and live performances.
Pirée, Kastoros 78, Piraeus, Greece. +30 210 408 2700
What to see
Located on Syggrou Avenue, the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) is a fantastic architectural feat. With two floors accommodating its permanent collection that includes works by Greek and foreign artists (such as Stephen Antonakos, Vlassis Caniaris, Chryssa, Gary Hill, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov and Nikos Kessanlis), the museum includes several spaces for events, temporary exhibitions and educational programs, as well as a library. Check out the museum’s website to see the current exhibitions on show.
EMST, Kallirrois Avenue & Amvr. Frantzi, Athens, Greece. +30 211 101 9000-99
Design Plaza may seem like a regular interior design store, with a vast collection and roomy display rooms, but it is much more than this. Home to the Design Museum of the 20th Century, Design Plaza can be seen as the center of design in Athens. The ‘museum’ is locaed in a 1200 m2 space, and the furniture, lights and everyday objects were designed and created by leading designers and architects of the 20th century. Chronologically organized, the exhibits explore the works of prominent names such as Dali, Le Corbusier, Mackintosh, Eileen Gray and Mart Stam.
Where to shop
Opened in 2015 by George Karras and Angela Koutroulaki, Paraphernalia is a unique interior design shop featuring a collection of carefully curated items ranging from home and office wares, furniture, lighting, jewelry, and accessories. Fair warning, you can spend hours here and not want to leave the sleek store, but if you spot something you love, Paraphernalia also has an e-shop and ships worldwide.
Paraphernalia, loannou Paparrigopoulou 15, Athens, Greece. +30 213 034 3663
Do some double-duty shopping by buying unique and useful souvenirs created by young designers from Greece at Forget Me Not Athens. This unique souvenir shop in the central district of Plaka is the ultimate Ali Baba’s cave of cool souvenirs and gadgets to bring home with you.
Forget Me Not, Adrianou 100, Athens, Greece, +30 210 325 3740
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.