Metaxourgeio, an area in Athens that doesn’t look inviting at first glance, is a district of extremes. Step too close to Omonoia, and you will feel like you’ve just landed in a 1980s New York street. If you venture farther down, you will stumble upon beautiful restored neoclassical mansions and modern loft apartment complexes where a higher-income crowd lives.
However, in the middle, longtime residents and newcomers collide, successfully creating an inviting neighborhood known for its many social initiatives, events, and activities, including the Carnival of Metaxourgeio. Underneath its rough exterior, this district has a lot to offer to visitors and locals alike. Here are the best things to do in Metaxourgeio.
Have some raki
Frequently visited by Athenian youth, Metaxourgeio is not home to mega nightclubs or posh bars. Rather, you will stumble upon countless raki restaurants, where people gather around and order meze and drink liters of the strong drink until they head home. There is no need to dress up; all you have to do is find a table, sit down and drink as much as you can handle. However, don’t be surprised if your bill doesn’t reflect the number of drinks you have had. Metaxourgeio is one of the cheapest areas in Athens, especially when it comes to food and drinks. It’s a win-win!
Immerse yourself in the culture
Home to a few small theaters and music venues, Metaxourgeio is the place to discover the local indie scene or catch a play (most likely in Greek). The area boasts a few live music stages and bars (check out Kerameio where you can score an impromptu performance or visit Passport Kerameikos to see a concert, for example). The Rabbit Hole on Germanikou is an art and performance space where you can catch a theatrical or music performance as well as art exhibitions.
Dine like royals
Emerging as a cool, alternative hub, Metaxourgeio is also home to many eateries and restaurants where you can enjoy local and exotic flavors and dine like a king or queen. For a fine-dining experience, Funky Gourmet will impress you with its elegant and well-thought-out menu. For Greek flavors with a twist, the ever-crowded Seychelles, where bookings are recommended, puts a creative spin on Greek fare with the freshest ingredients. Elvis is the place to go for juicy souvlaki, and Fill The Bracket is a great spot to have a tasty brunch.
Explore the local street art scene
Just like Exarcheia and Psyrri, Metaxourgeio is home to a vibrant street art scene and is a perfect stop to admire some fantastic designs. While not all of them are painted on derelict buildings, a walk across the streets will not only give you a glimpse into the talent of several street artists but also allow you to admire the beauty of this district, which still features a few beautiful neoclassical mansions and buildings.
Party the night away
On the border of Iera Odos stands Lohan nightclub, Lindsay Lohan’s nightlife venue in the Greek capital. Considered one of the top clubs in Athens, Lohan is definitely an excellent place to dance the night away to the sounds of DJ sets. If clubs are not your thing, Metaxourgeio is home to many bars where you can still enjoy an entertaining night, drink delicious cocktails and listen to great music (sometimes even live).
Show off your skating skills at Latraac Cafe & Skate Bowl
On Leonidou Street, you will find LATRAAC Cafe and Skate Bowl, which features a skating bowl where anyone can come and practice their eights or even show off their skills. The venue also organizes skating lessons for immigrant children as part of an integration program. So, if you are a sk8terboi (or sk8tergurl), you know where to go.
Metaxourgeio is also home to the Athens Municipal Gallery, one of the main art museums in the country; it holds a collection of over 3,500 works by contemporary Greek and foreign artists. The artworks on display consist mainly of paintings and prints, and the gallery showcases group and solo exhibitions regularly. Entrance to the gallery is completely free of charge, so you really have no excuse not to check it out.
Discover urban culture at BIOS
Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub, Contemporary, Greek, $$$
For any self-respecting Athenian, BIOS hardly needs an introduction. This hybrid space, housed in a Bauhaus building on Pireos Street, serves as a café/pop-up restaurant, theater and concert venue and boasts a cool rooftop from where to enjoy fantastic views over the Acropolis and the city. Whether there is a show, a musical performance or a play, BIOS is an excellent place to spend some time; you may even find yourself returning here again and again.