Think of it as a wheel with five spokes, radiating out from Omonia Square for several blocks around Athinas, Stadiou, Panepistimiou, 3is Septemvriou, and Agiou Konstantinou Streets. Omonia also shares bragging rights with Monastiraki over the Athens Central Food Market and taste hub Evripidou Street.
All the moving populations from across Greece and abroad have traditionally gravitated to Omonia, lending it fresh flavours and urban texture. Ungentrified and lively, this is the oldest limb of the modern metropolis—a place where no-frills Greek classics sit next to ethnic eats, 60s office blocks and old printing presses. Omonia is not Athens’ prettiest face. Certain parts are distinctly run down and gritty. However, big change is in the air: starting with the latest revamp of Omonia Square by the City of Athens and smart new hotels like Brown Acropol at 1 Pireos Street (a rebranding of the iconic Acropol hotel), and Selena Athens Theatrou, a sleek marble crashpad in an old Greek insurance building. These worldly arrivals are bringing rooftop bars and cool cafes and are sure to alter the beat of this working class district that typically packs up its wares at the end of the day and turns out the lights. Omonia—as the planned origin for the new 6.8km Great Athens Walk—will also play a key role in the birth of a more pedestrian-friendly Athens.
“In a few years’ time, Omonia will be a very different place,” predicts local blogger and long-time Omonia resident Tasos Chalkiopoulos. “I see a lot of great potential here.”
With a little help from Tasos, we share some of our favourite Omonia finds so that you can get under the skin of this charismatic pocket of Athens.