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To accomplish this feat, all you have to do is go into a well-stocked bookstore with well-informed staff – and surrender yourself to the magic of books. At the end of every year, most publishers circulate books which they believe will constitute a publishing “event” or re-issue select best sellers in special editions – and at special holiday prices. You have (literally) thousands of choices of every possible kind: In both classic and modern literature you can find originals, translations and all the Greek authors. Science, philosophy, history, historical fiction, cooking, spiritual and self-help, do-it-yourself guides, coffee-table books and albums, collectors’ editions, series, children’s books, etc.

Choose the right book for everyone

Make a list of your loved ones and closest friends, and next to their names note their main interests. Even if they don’t seem to have any special interests or “passions”, note any “needs” you feel they might have at this time, for instance:  to relax, laugh, or forget their problems, etc. Whatever you can think of will help you decide on the right book for each person. Your next step is to ask for help or suggestions from the bookstore staff. Go up to an employee and ask them to suggest a book for each of the people on your list, an enjoyable process for both of you.

Find the most appropriate bookstore

The best bet when shopping for books is to head to a bookstore which carries a range of titles from all the main publishers – unless you want to buy from only one specific publishing house, in which case you should go directly to their own bookstore, where you will most likely find all of their titles. We have listed below the bookstores in Athens which we feel carry an exceptional rich variety of titles from all the main publishers and which also have on their staff well-informed people who can help you with your selections.

Par’ Imin, Harilaou Trikoupi 11; Christakis, Hippokratous 10-12; Politeia, Asklipiou 1-2 & Academias; Libro, Patriarchou Ioakeim 8; The Booktique, Loukianou 23 and Patriarchou Ioakeim; Protoporia, Gravias 3-5, Kaningos Square
… bookstores with cafés and other amenities and services:
Ianos, Stadiou 24, Athens; Public, Karagiorgi Servias 1, Syntagma Square
… foreign-language bookstores:
Tsigaridas, Hippokratous 10-12; Bookpath, Solonos 69


Now that the crowds have left following the first opening days. Now that there is an organized parking facility. Now that the scents of Fall are growing more intense and the sea is changing colors. Now, while its spaces are still mostly free and only some of them are hosting select exhibitions – now the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is the best place in Athens for a stroll along the southern shore with a view of the sea.

Enjoy a unique cultural complex within a Mediterranean park

Just as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation continues its outstanding support of social and philanthropic programs, its new Cultural Center – already world-renowned for its architectural and environmental innovations – provides a brilliant new oasis for Athens and its surroundings. Numerous activities, events and exhibitions, notably the new exhibition of sculptures by Kapralos and paintings by Moralis at the Faros (Lighthouse) building, captivate both young and old alike. But even just a stroll along the paths of the park is reminder enough that Greece, for all its problems, is moving forward in some areas with boldness and creativity.

Special concern for our younger visitors

A short outing on the Canal with sea kayaks or sailboat, free creative play, guided tours, athletics, yoga, Pilates and continuous activities in the performing arts are just some of the experiences on offer every week at the Foundation – culminating on Sunday. And perhaps the best idea, either before or after, would be a Sunday meal at the Athenaeum InterContinental. And last but not least, all the spaces and venues at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center are wheelchair-friendly – so come for a spin.

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The 34th Athens Marathon – The Authentic

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The most difficult marathon course anywhere: steep and sudden uphills with painful, jarring downhills, lots of turns and only a few short straight stretches. Altogether, this course tests your endurance, legs and lungs, but most of all… it plays with your mind. The winner in the classic marathon, the one which starts in Marathon and finishes in Athens at the marble Panathenaic Stadium, is not simply the runner with the most miles or kilometers on their legs or the one who is best prepared – it’s the one who runs with heart and soul and mind.  The classic marathon, the Authentic, is much more than simply a long, hard race with a finish. It’s a journey to a destination and a goal. It’s the ability of a person to overcome obstacles when their very nature tells them to do the opposite and give up. And it’s a race back into history, when people died for their ideals and held fast to those ideals in order to pass them on intact to future generations.

120 years since the first Athens Marathon at the first modern Olympics

This year marks the 120th anniversary since the first marathon race was held – based on the original course run by the Athenian hoplite to announce the Greeks’ victory over the Persian invaders in the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., one of the most significant events in the history of mankind. In the Olympic Marathon of 1896, Spyros Louis was crowned the winner in a victory where he pushed himself far beyond his physical limits and abilities and sprinted home to the finish powered only by sheer will and mental stamina. In second place came the equally impressive Harilaos Vasilakos, and the two together became the first Olympic winners in the history of the Marathon event in the modern Olympic Games.

70 years after victory by the matchless Greek runner Stelios Kyriakides

The 34th Athens Marathon coincides with another key moment in Greek athletic history: the victory of Stelios Kyriakides in the 1946 Boston Marathon - another Greek who knew how to run with his heart long after the body was exhausted. So if you want to catch a glimpse of this classic, authentic, original Marathon, and help celebrate the glory of the human mind and willpower, come stand at any part of the course you like and cheer on the runners as they race to the finish.

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The Stoa of Attalos was built between 159 and 138 B.C. by King Attalos II of Pergamon in Asia Minor as a gift to the Athenians in appreciation for the time he spent in Athens studying under the philosopher Karneades. The Stoa is the most fully restored building in the wider Ancient Agora, with fascinating collections of ancient artworks inside.

An impressive ancient “mall”

The Stoa of Attalos, a two-storey structure with a second row of columns along its interior, hosted 21 shops on each floor and was the principal commercial building in the Agora for many centuries until its destruction in 267 A.D. by the invading Herulians.  In 1956, after three years of work, it was rebuilt by the American School of Classical Studies – and since that time has been open to the public as a museum displaying artifacts found during the excavation of the Ancient Agora.

Τhe Museum of the Ancient Agora

Housed in the restored Stoa of Attalos, the museum contains artifacts dating from the Neolithic period through the time of the Turkish Occupation (15th – 19th centuries), eloquently illustrating both the public and private lives of the Athenians. Among these artifacts, perhaps the most impressive are the red-figure and black-figure vessels produced by famous Athenian vase painters of the Classical Period – works which served decorative, ceremonial and even common, everyday uses.

Exhibition on the upper floor of the Stoa of Attalos

The new exhibition on the upper floor of the Stoa of Attalos, which opened to the public in 2012, presents a rather representative sample of Athenian sculpture, featuring a collection of iconic works and sculptural portraits from the Athenian Agora. This exhibition of sculpture is organized according to the periods in which they were produced – as well as by their use and the figures represented.

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