Athens has one of the coolest streets in the world!
Kolokotroni street in Athens is one of the coolest streets in the world, according to a recent article by Time Out magazine. After asking 20,000 city-dwellers around the world, it came up with a verdict that it is a an “unexpected” street with history, vibrancy and ethnic smells. And just like that, the street is a place to be in a street life that ‘makes the places we live feel alive’ and which makes streets kind of a big deal!
Since 2018, London’s historic guide has launched the Time Out Index – a system for gauging travel destinations. Through this, it receives responses from thousands of residents around the world, and as can be seen from this year’s findings, the network’s respondents really like Greece’s capital, which is considered as a tourist-dominant city.
Specifically, in the July 2022 list of the best cities around the world – for the first year – Athens appeared, mainly because of the rich package it offers to the visitor. But these days, Time Out’s new article mentions the capital again: it’s the list that was formed in a similar way, but for the coolest streets in the world.
The criteria is based on the things that make cities great places to visit as well as to live, with thriving nightlife, amazing food and drink, art, culture and museums, but without being boring or overly expensive.
The question about which is the coolest city in the world was completed online by the more than 20,000 people participating in the Time Out Index. Then, Time Out’s network of travel editors received and evaluated the results, reached the final verdict: Kolokotroni is an “unexpected” street with history, liveliness and ethnic scents.
The list with the first 10 coolest streets for 2002 is:
- Rue Wellington, Montreal
- Gertrude Street, Melbourne
- Great Western Road, Glasgow
- Yongkang Street, Taipei
- Værnedamsvej, Copenhagen
- Karangahape Road, Auckland
- Tai Ping Shan Street, Hong Kong
- Yaowarat Road, Bangkok
- Oranienstrasse, Berlin
- Hayes Street, San Francisco
What stood out in Kolokotroni?
Coolness is relative. “A cool street can be a vibrant community space, a thriving business district or just a place that’s bursting with great vibes,” writes the editor in Time Out, before listing the winning streets. In the end, it is the energy that remains as an aftertaste, beyond the alcohol, coffee and food from the shops of a street-piazza.
But what specifically fascinated the microcosm of Kolokotroni Street, described as “unexpected” by Time Out? The independent small shops and the fresh resto-bars, on the one hand, the aura of history in the National Historical Museum (the first Parliament of the country) and the neoclassical buildings up to Aiolou, on the other. Food variety with ethnic options too, vintage glasses, jewelry, textiles, books and sandals, in between.
The identity that characterizes the Commercial Triangle, that is, in miniature. Writing editor Katie Silcox’s recommendations for Athens include Booze for booze and chess, the antique shops and bookstores in the area, as well as the hip Gatsby Athens hotel.
As you can read in Time Out, ‘on central Athens’s extraordinary Kolokotroni Street, independent stores jostle for attention and fun, and fresh resto-bars have laid down roots. Here’s how you do Kolokotroni: start at the square and peek inside the National History Museum (which was once the Parliament building), then wander slowly down to Aiolou Street, admiring the neoclassical architecture as you go. Stop for a Greek salad, burger or Indian-influenced souvlaki, wash it all down with an ouzo or Freddo cappuccino, then head to some of the vendors selling sandals, books, clothes, art supplies, jewellery and vintage watches’.
The recommendation is to STAY at Gatsby Athens, ‘a fun, playful estab decked out with terrazzo tiles, faux flora, a guest-only rooftop and bar. Press the lion-shaped button in your room for a (good!) surprise’.
The article invites the visitor to DRINK something strong at KOTES Booze Cooperativa. ‘It’s all vibes in this gorgeously eclectic cocktail spot, with a smattering of political chat (the owner set up an independent political party in 2009) and regulars playing stern games of chess’.
Finally, the recommendation for where to shop is the antique books and prints, ‘from centuries-old original paintings and book clippings to maps and works of Greek history, at the street’s several bookshops’.