Nestled in the shadow of the Acropolis, on the south side of Philopappos Hill, and bordered by the beautiful pedestrian street of Dionysiou Areopagitou and busy Syngrou Avenue lies the vibrant neighborhood of Koukaki. In 2015, according to tourists who choose apartment rentals, Koukaki was ranked as the 6th most interesting neighborhood in the world to stay. Yet this didn’t come as a surprise to the locals of the area because Koukaki has always been a hospitable, beautiful and convenient Athenian neighborhood.
Why Greeks and Foreigners Like Koukaki
Koukaki was named after Koukakis, a local bed manufacturer who owned a factory near the historic Syngrou Fix building – which is today home to the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Second to the famous and historic area of Plaka, Koukaki is the closest and most organized district neighboring the Acropolis; it continues to preserve the glory of its past thanks to the well-preserved and renovated homes, architecturally distinct neoclassical buildings, and characteristic apartment blocks that tell a story from Athens’ interwar period. Despite numerous abandoned buildings, the charm of this neighborhood’s past remains very evident behind some of the half-broken walls. In addition to the famous pedestrian way of Dionysiou Areopagitou, Koukaki also has the pedestrian streets of Diakou and Olympiou which give residents and visitors the opportunity to slow-down and relax at one of the authentic cafes and bars or traditional Greek tavernas. Koukaki also is one of Athens’ easiest neighborhoods to get to and navigate; there are several public transportation options including a number of bus routes along Syngou Avenue (550, A2, A3), two Athens Metro stations (Acropoli and Syngrou Fix), as well as Trolley line 10 that runs in the area. Another advantage of the Koukaki neighborhood is that it’s only a short distance from the sea, which for residents and visitors means a leisurely stroll to Athens’ beautiful waterfront.
A Neighborhood of Cultural Interest
Being located just below the Acropolis, next to the impressive Acropolis Museum, coupled with the fact that it's home to the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Koukaki has a particularly intense cultural character. It is precisely for this reason that artists and writers have always been drawn to this vibrant Athenian neighborhood. In Koukaki, one can find galleries, the well-known movie theater “Mikrokosmos” – famous for its cinematic films and particular tribute selections – as well as the Museum of Emotions for children and teenagers.