Anyone who knows anything about Athens will have experienced - either first or second-hand - the pressure-free calm of sitting at a cafe for hours on end without being shooed out of your seat so that the business can make more money via turnover.
Add a selection of good books to pore over in between upward glances of the world going by and rain or shine (well, perhaps more rain), and you’ve got a winning combination.
Despite being by now highly addicted to their smartphones and gadgets, Athenians still are book lovers.
Apart from good coffee and tasty bites, all the places we list here also serve as intellectual and artistic hubs for periodical talks, book presentations, music performances, readings, and discussions.
Little Tree Books & Coffee, Kavalotti 2, Makryianni https://www.facebook.com/LittleTreeBooksandCoffee/
Ideal for chilling with your own guidebook before exploring the area (this is just around the corner from the Acropolis Museum), novel, or anything you’ve picked off the store’s shelf while sipping tea or a glass of wine and enjoying a wholesome homemade breakfast, brunch. snack or dinner. Foods are freshly made using various PDO ingredients from around Greece, like Naoussa cheese and Corfiot prosciutto, and the desserts (try the lemon tart) are grandma-style-comforting. This is also a great place to bring your laptop and get some work done before inviting a friend to join you for some banter.
Free Thinking Zone, Skoufa 64, Kolonaki https://www.facebook.com/FreeThinkingZone/
This place is a key meeting spot for free thinkers - from writers and poets to filmmakers and politicians - constantly inventing new ways to get people talking, debating and learning about what matters to them. Indeed, an ongoing flow of events (readings, discussions, presentations) is organised here, usually during the evening hours, almost daily. If you’d rather just sit in silence, cradling your book and sipping a steaming cup of java, that works perfectly well too.
Books Plus Art & Coffee, Panepistimiou 37, Omonia http://www.booksplus.gr/
Located across from the National Library, this quiet and smoke-free zone is a book lover's haven. A book and menu are set on every table, and most of the walls are decorated with bold and beautiful artworks, as the space hosts ongoing exhibitions too. This is a lovely escape spot in the city's heart, with an excellent choice of books and tasty salads, sandwiches, and drinks.
Ianos Cafe Bookstore, Stadiou 25, Athens https://www.ianos.gr/p/post/ianos-cafe
With α spacious and very well-stocked bookstore on the ground floor and a cosy and elegant cafe/bar/upstairs, at Ianos, you can combine book shopping, study, relaxed reading and introvert and extrovert-style pleasures like a work chat or a pleasant meal. The cafe regularly hosts musical performances, talks and arts-related events in the evening.