Athens is crowded. Where else should you go?

In our inaugural episode of Life and Art from FT Weekend, we go to Athens. The FT’s Greece and Cyprus correspondent Eleni Varvitsioti is a lifelong Athenian, and for the past 16 years she has lived in the centre of town, in the shadow of the Acropolis. But as Athens has become more popular with tourists, the centre has become less and less livable. This week, Eleni tells us what exactly is causing the congestion, and what should be done about it. She and Lilah also suggest alternate Greek itineraries, from coastal day trips within an easy drive from Athens, to their favourite islands.-------We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram and X @lilahrap. You can email her at [email protected]. -------Links: – Eleni’s essay on living in Athens’ city centre: recommendations:– From Athens, Eleni suggests you drive 15km-20km along the coast to around Cape Sounio, where there are beautiful beaches. Visit the Temple of Poseidon and visit a taverna underneath it.– Lilah recommends Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, about 500km north of Athens. There are two perfect restaurants for sit-down gyros and soutzoukakia (Greek meatballs): Diagonios and Diavasi.– Eleni suggests, if you’re visiting Thessaloniki, to also visit Vergina, which is the tomb of Philip II of Macedon (Philip the Great).– For islands, Eleni recommends Sifnos. Lilah recommends Skopelos, and the much less discovered southern coast of Crete.– Other recommendations that we didn’t have space for in the episode: Eleni suggests taking a drive from Athens down along the coastlines of the Peloponnese, or to visit the northwest of the country, Ioannina, if you like nature and hiking. Lilah recommends climbing Mount Olympus, which is an actual thing you can do (you can take day hikes or stay overnight at the peak), and visiting Meteora, a complex of 14th century monasteries built precipitously on the tops of immense towering rocks.-------Special FT subscription offers for Weekend listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial, are here: music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco. Clip courtesy of Sony Pictures.Read a transcript of this episode on Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Om Podcasten

Life and Art, from FT Weekend is the twice-weekly culture podcast of the Financial Times. On Monday, we talk about life, and how to live a good one in one-on-one conversations. On Friday, we talk about ‘art’ – in a chat show. Three FT journalists come together to discuss a new cultural release across film, TV, music and books. Hosted by Lilah Raptopoulos, together with the FT’s award-winning writers and editors, and special guests. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.