Plaka? how about Psirri district?

A for Psirri

Athens was a small closed village that was expanded from modern streets (named today) Thrasyllou, Aishinou, Pittakou, Lekka, Praxitelous, Euripidou until Agioi Asomatoi church, Thisseio, Areopagus Hill and Sarri Street. Even not that famous as the Plaka streets, there areas include the modern evolution and progress of the new born city of Athens the last century.

So the area is located between Euripidou, Ermou and Piraeus street at Gazi, having in the middle Kerameikos achaeological area. Etymology of its name is not certain. Maybe it comes from a church named Saint Athanassios Psirri (from a family name), or a Psarian (from Psara island at Aegean sea, with a vast tradition in shipping). Nonetheless, the genitive “psirri” implies a family name. The neighborhood is quite central, since there are three railway stations, Monastiraki (Line 1 and 3, and Thisseio).

Psirri kept its initial character, as a free area on Haseki wall that surrounded Athens. At Psirri Monastiraki area was also included, something that changed after Cleanthis initial architectural plan about Athens in 1833.

One of the famous early foreign residents was Lord Byron, who was hosted at a neoclassical building that now does not exist. Some people say that it was just demolished, others that it was burnt because of its residents… no-one can tell for sure!

At Psirri there are many neoclassical buildings, as in Plaka, and today someone can discover traditional shops with handmade items, such as Savapile, but also many tavernas.

After Plaka, Psirri is the next neighborhood you should focus on in order to feel the city vibes. Not that classy as Syntagma and Kolonaki, but real life, hidden spots and gems, for food, entertainment and historic routes.