Glyfada is a city with a lot to offer residents as well as visitors. Upscale shopping and dining, with everyday life mixed in with a splash of beach. It is the last urban(ish) city before you hit the La La Land of Voula and beyond.
Glyfada is a city of action. Days start with the early morning fishermen doing their thing in the marina. In the afternoon you will find the fashionistas enjoying an afternoon coffee in one of the ‘be seen at’ cafes. Evenings bring friends and families out to dine together and some may carry on with some of the local nightlife.
When I first lived in Athens, I lived in Voula (back when it was much more of a sleepy suburb than it is today). Glyfada is where we went for nights out with friends and shopping. It was almost like we were living in a suburb of Glyfada, not Athens!
Now I’ve lived in Glyfada for almost 4 years and I can not imagine living anywhere else. My friends joke that I never leave, Glyfada- but I really have no reason to (sorry friends that live elsewhere!) Everything I need is located within walking distance of my home… shopping, cafes, restaurants, entertainment, bars and the beach. All of that under sunny skies, filled with lush vegetation and dotted with palm trees.
Glyfada Public beach is the largest in the Athens metropolitan area. A 5 km stretch of open, sandy beach with the tram running parallel to the shore with numerous stops.
If an organized beach is what you desire, the Astreas complex (or simply referred to as Balux) will be perfect for you. I’m not really sure what the deal is with having two names- my best guess is that Asteras is the official name, but locals call it Balux due to the names of the cafes on site.
Glyfada is one of Athens’ most popular shopping areas. Metaxas Ave is the main drag with perpendicular and parallel streets lined with all kinds of shops. From the typical H&M, Zara types to high end, couture boutiques.
Oh the choices you will see! Choosing where to eat in Glyfada can be an intimidating task as there are perhaps too many options. You will find all types of cuisine for any budget. Glyfada does have a reputation as being a bit posh, so you will find fine dining, but also very reasonable dining options that are delicious and won’t break the bank.
Glyfada is a desirable location to post a selfie of yourself chilling in a cafe. Athenians come from all around to socialize and sip coffees or cocktails in the cafes of Glyfada. Start on Zisimopoulou St and continue up to Plateia Esperidon and then take a right on Kyprou to Plateia Nymphon and you will see where all of the cool kids hang out. (map link)
On any given weekend you are sure to find live music in Glyfada ranging from Greek traditional music to modern pop. If you are in for a low-key night out, there are two movie theaters located in separate areas.
We even have a bowling alley!
There are a handful of hotels in the area and some people choose to spend an entire week in Glyfada while others make it one of many stops while in Greece. More and more great AirBnBs are popping up in Glyfada, so that may be worth a look if you are planning to stay in the area.
If you are going to stay in the center of Athens and in Glyfada, you may want to wrap up your trip in Glyfada as it is more relaxing and a nice place to unwind after the hectic pace of Athens Center.
I have heard from people that have split their time between hotels in the center and the Coast say that if they did it all over again, that they would only stay in Glyfada and do day trips into the city.
Day Trips to Glyfada
Many visitors who are staying in Athens for a few days will take the tram down to Glyfada as a day trip. In the summer for the beaches, but during the rest of the year just to see a different side of Athens. Walking along the sea, shopping and great dining options draw people year round.