The birthplace of democracy and plenty of other big ideas thought up by the likes of Aristotle and Socrates that provide the bedrock of societies today, Athens was – and always will be – a creative cornucopia with a radical edge. Concrete apartment buildings fringed with sun-bleached awnings surround ancient architecture that have seen the comings and goings of different civilizations, wars and crises. In Athens you’re never far from a taverna packed with locals pouring wine from carafes to accompany plates piled high with Greek Salad drenched in local olive oil and grilled sardines. Streets are lined with outdoor terraces where people sit, smoke and chat well into the night with friends, family and people they have just met.
In recent years, Athens has provided a home for creatives hailing from Greece and beyond to develop their practises – one-room galleries, design studios and artist-in-residence programs are cropping up all over the city. Athens has long been overlooked by the hordes of tourists that head to the islands every summer, deemed a stop-off destination on route to sun, sea and sand, a reality which has enabled the creative scene to flourish without the strain of overtourism.