From a legendary football stadium to a grand concert hall, this densely populated district epitomises the passions and contradictions of modern Athens.

Cinemas, Soccer and Architecture

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Athens Concert Hall

When it opened in 1991, the Athens Concert Hall drew the awe of even well-heeled and well-travelled Athenians with its elegant façade mixing ancient austerity and contemporary minimalism and its wood-panelled concert halls. Performing at a venue that boasted Sir Neville Marriner as the director of its resident orchestra conveyed the highest prestige. Today it has settled comfortably into the city’s cultural fabric, opening its impressive music library to the public and organising concerts on its well-tended grounds. It’s often used as a conference centre and occasionally hosts exhibitions. Cap a stroll with a drink at the café-bistro in the gardens.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Mavili Square

Panathinaikos Stadium

Not so long ago, when Panathinaikos was playing at home, the swathe of Athens around ‘i Leoforos’ (the Avenue) would be awash in more green than a Saint Patrick’s parade. Every goal literally reverberated through the neighbourhood, as fans exploded in window-rattling roars. These days, Panathinaikos plays at the Spyros Louis Olympic Stadium in Maroussi. Built in the early 1920s, the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium (its official name) is such a strong symbol for diehard Panathinaikos fans that attempts to relocate to a more permanent modern home field have repeatedly faltered. Although today the team has fans worldwide, it’s so deeply rooted in downtown Athens that support for Panathinaikos is one criterion of a true city denizen.

“Every goal literally reverberated through the neighbourhood, as fans exploded in window-rattling roars.”

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Prosfygika (Refugee Housing Projects)

Eleftherias Park

Photo: Thomas Gravanis