Summer in Glyfada, Athens – A local’s guide to the vibrant southern suburb of Athens
For most, it’s the largest southern suburb of Athens, for fashion enthusiasts a shopping haven and for socialites a place to see and be seen. For me, however, it’s the place I grew up in and always love to return to. Glyfada spans from the foothills of mount Hymettus all the way to the beachfront and consists of two distinct areas, Ano and Kato Glyfada. Ano Glyfada is a more neighbourly, family-friendly area where I learned how to ride my bike, had my first souvlaki at “Leivadia”, a restaurant that has been there for more than 40 years, and watched my first movies at “Marilena”, the 80’s aesthetics, open-air cinema next to my family’s home.
On the other hand, Kato Glyfada, which is a more up-scale, central neighbourhood, boasts a cosmopolitan, almost Californian-like vibe. Its most prominent feature is, arguably, the beach; 3 and a half kilometres of beachfront lined with hotels, beach bars, restaurants, and busy marinas. During an evening stroll, one can admire the docked luxury sailing yachts and enjoy the magical sunset.
Glyfada’s shopping district is located only a few streets further away, one of the largest retail areas in Athens. The tram line that connects Glyfada to Syntagma Square and Piraeus port courses the main pedestrian shopping street that resembles an open-air mall with a mixture of high-street stores and posh boutiques. Amongst them there are cute little cafes, like my personal favourite “Charlie”; the perfect spot for a break from shopping to grab a bite and a cold-pressed juice.
As expected from such a vibrant suburb, the food and nightlife scene is as strong as the shopping one. The numerous restaurants in Glyfada cater for every taste. However, I must admit that I have a strong preference for the ones serving Italian cuisine, such as “Aperitivo Pizza Bar” and “Enoteca da Salvatore”. When it comes to drinks and going out, it is hard to choose with so many options around. Depending on your mood you can opt for a casual drink by the water at “Ark”, a lively atmosphere with the best tunes at “Mosaiko” or an inspired cocktail at “Holy Spirit”. Going out in Glyfada one thing is certain: You are going to have an amazing time.
This young and lively Athenian suburb is also a great place for sports enthusiasts. It offers a wide variety of facilities, ranging from an indoor pool and sports complex to numerous tennis, padel and basketball courts and, of course, the famous golf course that spans over 500 acres.
Having lived in Glyfada for so long, the most vibrant suburb of the Athenian Riviera, I can only say one thing:
Visit if you enjoy beachy summery vibes. Stay if you want to feel like it’s summer all year round!
Written by Angeliki Kokkosi
12 July 2021