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When in Athens | Culture, people, things to do and memorable brands
When in Athens
Cultural Currents

In Athens, going to the theatre is more than just an evening’s entertainment for the locals. In Ancient Greece, theatre was considered the ultimate form of art and this has shaped the modern city with 148 different stages to choose from. In summer, dramatic tragedies are truly celebrated and open-air theatres host some large theatrical festivals, such as the ‘Festival of Dionysus’, to celebrate the roots of ancient theatre.

This love for performance is evident on the streets of Athens where you’ll always see lots of animated gesticulating. Greeks are very expressive when it comes to body language – a wide variety of hand movements and facial expressions are very common in face-to-face communications, along with maintaining direct eye contact. However, it’s the custom that you should never gesture or wave towards someone’s face with an open palm, as this is considered impolite and offensive.

Athenians love to escape for weekend or bank holiday getaways to the Argo-Saronic islands, just a short ferry ride from Piraeus, the main port of Athens. The two-hour ferry to Spetses stops off at islands such as Hydra, Hermione, Poros and Porto Heli – the picturesque harbours, beaches, museums, narrow streets and neo-classical buildings provide an ideal escape from the frenetic pace of the capital.

 
 
 
 

In Athens, going to the theatre is more than just an evening’s entertainment for the locals. In Ancient Greece, theatre was considered the ultimate form of art and this has shaped the modern city with 148 different stages to choose from. In summer, dramatic tragedies are truly celebrated and open-air theatres host some large theatrical festivals, such as the ‘Festival of Dionysus’, to celebrate the roots of ancient theatre.

On the streets of Athens, you’ll always see lots of animated gesticulating. Greeks are very expressive when it comes to body language – a wide variety of hand movements and facial expressions are very common in face-to-face communications, along with maintaining direct eye contact. However, it’s the custom that you should never gesture or wave towards someone’s face with an open palm, as this is considered impolite and offensive.

Athenians love to escape for weekend or bank holiday getaways to the Argo-Saronic islands, just a short ferry ride from Piraeus, the main port of Athens. The two-hour ferry to Spetses stops off at islands such as Hydra, Hermione, Poros and Porto Heli – the picturesque harbours, beaches, museums, narrow streets and neo-classical buildings provide an ideal escape from the frenetic pace of the capital.

an interesting thing to do

Every Sunday, locals and visitors flock to Athens’ outdoor Monastiraki flea market. Wonderfully located in the centre of the city, only a few minutes away from the ancient Agora, the streets are full of small vintage stores bursting with hidden treasures from books and paintings to clothes and old vinyl. The area is also full of sidewalk cafés and traditional tavernas which stay open until late, and you can finish off your day with a visit to one of the city’s oldest open-air cinemas, on a rooftop overlooking the Parthenon.

Athenians love to escape for weekend or bank holiday getaways to the Argo-Saronic islands, just a short ferry ride from Piraeus, the main port of Athens. The two-hour ferry to Spetses stops off at islands such as Hydra, Hermione, Poros and Porto Heli – the picturesque harbours, beaches, museums, narrow streets and neo-classical buildings provide an ideal escape from the frenetic pace of the city.

One local brand

Lacta, originally founded in Athens, is one of the leading chocolate brands in Greece. For many years, people wrote messages on Lacta bars before giving them to their loved ones, but the change from paper to plastic wrappers made writing impossible. The brand therefore introduced Lacta Messages – a unique QR code is printed on every Lacta bar which people scan with their mobile phones and create a message on every chocolate they give. To inspire users whilst showcasing the app's functionality, Lacta created an original web-series, with short episodes released on Facebook and Youtube in the month leading to Valentine's day.

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With thanks to Naya Pataka for her unique, cultural insights.