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Design and Art Tour of Athens

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I was unsure what to expect when I recently traveled to Greece, my native homeland. My family moved to the US when I was seven and I haven't been back to Greece in 20 years. What I found surprised and enchanted me: Even as austerity measures were being put into place, I discovered a vibrant design scene and scrappy creative spirit on the streets of Athens. There are so small ventures filling the cultural and social gaps in the city that it is truly inspirational—and definitely worth a visit!
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Iasonos 45, Athina 104 36, Greece
The Breeder Gallery's top-floor "Breeder Feeder" is mostly defunct these days. The upper story of the gallery now hosts shorter art residencies and features fun shows or interactive "happenings" by the gallery's younger artists, like Zoë...
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Avramiotou 6-8, Athina 105 51, Greece
In the Plaka, there's an unassuming doorway leading to this underground event space. Six d.o.g.s. Cultural Space hosts events and has a bar, gallery, and outdoor garden area. Since opening a few years ago, it has become a focal point for Athens...
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Keramikou 28, Athina 104 36, Greece
This venue has closed.

In the Metaxourgio, possibly the least touristy area of Athens, is the Kunsthalle Athena, where temporary exhibitions are mounted. Everyone here works for free. Since the Kunsthalle Athena opened last year, it has already had...
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Athens, Greece
Ergon’s aim is to redefine and promote classic Greek cuisine. They have restaurants and delis in Athens and throughout Greece. These are inspired by a traditional deli, but cast in a contemporary style, where products are sourced from small,...
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Tsocha 37, Athina 115 21, Greece
In North Athens, Sweet Alchemy, designed by Kois Associated Architects for celebrity chef Stelios Parliaros, offers magical delicacies in a beautiful presentation. The sugary treats are arranged like ingredients for potions inside this...
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Sarri 16, Athina 105 53, Greece
A fun place to stay for the restless traveler is the City Circus Hostel. The hostel is housed in a cozy, four-story newly restored early 20th-century mansion, complete with fresco ceilings, wrought-iron balconies and baroque tiles. It has been...
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Athens 106 81, Greece
The Exarcheia District in Athens is home to artists and cool, small businesses such as music and book stores, art galleries and even a pop-up basement Comme des Garçon shop. The district was once a hotbed of Greek anarchist activity and is also an...
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Filellinon 16, Athina 105 57, Greece
Owned by the world-renowned art collector Dakis Joannou and smartly decorated by quirky Brazilian designers the Campana brothers, the New Hotel is the city’s coolest upscale design-centric property, with 79 rooms (including seven suites) and...