A Local Artist’s Guide to Athens, Greece

Locals drinking freddo in the late afternoon in Athens, Greece.
Photo: Izzet Keribar/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Image

It’s commonly understood that the best way to explore a new place is to go straight to the locals. Each week in the Urbanist, we take that wisdom one step further by seeking out not just locals but local experts — those who are especially well versed in their cities’ newest and most noteworthy scenes to give us insider tips. This week, we asked Greek artist Eugenia Vereli, whose sculptures are currently on view in a solo exhibition at Allouche Benias gallery, for her recommendations in Greece’s capital city.

“Athens is the definition of Mediterranean. You can see this in the kitchen, in the seaside, in the nature. It’s a really youthful city. People stay out until late into the night every single day of the week. It’s not like the north region of Europe or even France or Italy. We are out all day long. We have many bars, many cafés, many shops. When you wake up, you’ll go out and drink coffee. The nice thing about Athens is that because it has so much history, all the ancient buildings and art, you can walk through these ancient things every day. You can see these things and live your modern life today. People from other countries can’t do that. The best time to see the Acropolis is in the late afternoon because it’s not too hot and it’s really nice when the sun sets. Everything looks gold. The art scene is really popular these days in Athens. There’s a contemporary gallery called Allouche Benias (Kanari 1) that features a lot of emerging artists. I have an exhibition there right now. It’s in Kolonaki, which is one of the nicest places downtown with all the good shops and expensive brands. Most of the galleries are in this neighborhood. Every Thursday night there’s an opening. There’s also a great art museum called National Museum of Contemporary Art, or EMSD in Greek. This is one of the biggest for contemporary art.”

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