Samuel Krief 04.04.2024 Corporate Retreat In Athens

Offer your teams a unique corporate retreat amidst historical heritage and nightlife, a Mediterranean climate, an abundance of museums, trendy neighborhoods… Despite the ancient stones that have made it famous, Athens is anything but a dead city. To host the 2004 Olympics, the city embarked on a massive project during which it literally transformed itself. New metro and tram lines, the creation of a vast pedestrian area allowing one to move from one site to another… The result astonished even the most skeptical. Today, one can happily wander among the city’s archaeological sites. You must discover Athens, both the cradle of Western and Byzantine civilization, meet its people, frequent its cafes, restaurants, taverns, markets, where the Greek soul reveals itself in all its generosity.

Séminaire à Athènes

Climb the steps of the Acropolis.

Stroll among the ruins of the legendary hill, including the world-famous Parthenon.

The Acropolis hill ranks among the most visited sites in the world. Located in the center of Athens, the famous Sacred Rock majestically overlooks the Agora. Initially, it was merely the fortress of a local lord, before it was decided to dedicate it to the worship of the goddess Athena. Among the marble jewels of the hill, the Parthenon, of course. It took about a decade to build: 20,000 blocks of marble from Mount Pentelicus were needed. Its fame also comes from its great sculptural richness. Yet, only a small part of the magnificent Ionic style frieze, which was 160 meters long, has been preserved (you will have to go on a corporate trip to London, at the British Museum, to see the largest part of what has been conserved).

Stroll through the streets of the picturesque Plaka neighborhood

the liveliest place in Athens.

A nearly mandatory visit, preferably in the evening or in the morning. But do not think that this is the ultra-typical little corner “where you really see the Athenians live”. That said, Plaka still is, in places, this little village planted somewhat haphazardly. Each era has brought its whims of stone and brick, without too much concern for conformity. Each provincial, each émigré has brought his tastes, his architecture. A unique cultural experience to offer your teams.

Admire the most beautiful sunset over Athens

by climbing the Philopappou Monument hill.

At 147 meters above sea level, this hill indeed offers a panoramic view and allows you to discover much of Attica, up to Piraeus, not to mention the view it offers on the Acropolis. To the west, you can admire the Philopappos theater, where folk dance shows take place in summer.

Visit the Acropolis Museum

a highlight of a team retreat in Athens, and a must-visit to understand the site.

Designed by Franco-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi and his Greek colleague Michel Photiadis, it is a 25,000 m² glass trapezoid, including a 3,200 m² room dedicated solely to the Parthenon. Perhaps oversized (at least as long as the famous Parthenon friezes claimed by the British Museum do not leave England to return home), this museum of superlatives cost 130 million euros. Spacious, modern, it features a remarkable concentration of masterpieces.

Discover an artistic wealth of over 2,000 years of Hellenism

at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

It’s impossible, of course, to provide a comprehensive overview of the museum’s wealth (nearly 12,000 items on display). Among other wonders, the Mycenaean treasures including the famous Mask of Agamemnon. The rooms are dedicated to the Neolithic periods (discoveries made in the region of Volos, notably) and to the Cycladic civilization (especially with the discoveries made at Phylakopi, on the island of Milos, or at Chalandriani on the island of Syros), as well as to the (monumental) sculpture from the 8th to the 6th century BC.

6. Grab some delicious mezze on the go

in the Psiri district.

Psiri, a former craftsmen’s district, has become one of the most frequented places in Athens for its restaurants, almost all of which are meze shops and ouzeries. They are numbered in dozens. These restaurants aren’t necessarily more expensive than those in Plaka, and they often offer more original dishes. You will enjoy grilled squid, mashed fava beans, anchovies, potatoes with yogurt, or even a lebaneziki, a creamy salad of tomato and mixed cheese, a little delight! Moreover, their decor competes in creativity: your colleagues will sometimes think they are in an amusement park.

7. Dive into the markets of Athens

with their incredible stalls of meat and fish, they reveal the popular, lively, and commercial side of Greece.

The markets of Athens function as they did in Paris before they moved to Rungis. Under a gigantic structure stretch the fish market and the meat market: a Fellinian display quite picturesque. Hundreds of electric bulbs enhance the fairy-tale aspect. Visit in the morning for the ambiance, when customers shout, and traders bicker. The local craftsmen and traders work, live, and… eat there! There are some truly popular restaurants, where the only foreigners who venture are those who share your readings. A unique experience to offer your colleagues.

8. Watch a traditional dance performance

at the Dora Stratou Theatre.

The performance is of high quality, where Greek dances are faithfully executed by a troupe of 75 dancers and musicians. Since 1953, the association aims to preserve the choreographic heritage of Greece: it has patiently reconstituted the costumes worn by islanders, during wedding ceremonies or festivals, fifty years ago. The attire then had a social and cultural significance. Every detail of embroidery or a bodice could indicate the woman’s place of origin, whether she was married, her husband’s occupation, if she had children… The company owns 2,500 costumes and ornaments that you can admire with your colleagues during a guided tour of the wardrobe. A unique institution in Europe, which also offers dance classes and workshops. An activity not to be missed in Athens for team building to understand Greek culture.

9. Get a pair of sandals custom-made

at Stavros Melissinos.

Stavros made sandals for Onassis’s widow, George Bush (senior), and the Beatles! And, more recently, for the priestesses of Apollo during the 2004 Olympics, at the reenactment of the ancient games in Olympia. Today, Pandelis, the son, has taken up the tradition and will be delighted to craft a unique and bespoke pair of sandals, just for you.

When in Athens, do as the Athenians do.

and spend hours sipping a frappé coffee on the terrace.

You must absolutely try this iced coffee, very refreshing, called “frappé”. It’s outstanding. Like Greek coffee, it can be ordered very sweet (glyko), medium sweet (métrio), unsweetened (skéto) or with milk (mé gala). The freddoccino or frapuccino, in recent years, have been strong competitors to the frappé.

11. Savor an ouzo

without worrying about the passing time.

Ouzo, without which one cannot imagine Greece, is not a very old beverage, having been “invented” only in the late 19th century. The word that designates it is not of Greek origin, but Italian: at the time, on crates of products intended for export, it was labeled “uso…” (for the use of…) followed by the name of the city of shipment. The new beverage was thus named and written in Greek. It is the local pastis, to put it quickly. It is made from pomace flavoured with anise. It is served by the glass or in a small bottle (karafaki), accompanied by mezze. Do not confuse it with tsipouro, which is similar to Cretan raki or Italian grappa, that is, a grape brandy not flavored with anise.

12. Spending a sleepless night in Gazi

the district of the former gasworks, a nightlife hotspot for Athens’ trendy youth.

Among walls covered in graffiti and a faux industrial wasteland vibe, the district of the former gasworks has transformed into a hotbed of trendiness in Athens, on the occasion of the factory’s conversion into a cultural venue (renamed Technopolis). It must be said that the site has a certain look. Tall chimneys and brick warehouses host exhibits and the outdoor shows. Behind them, concentrated around Kéramikos metro station, restaurants and bars almost mimicking each other divide up the area exemplarily. A beautiful row of slick-haired bars-clubs, lulled by electro-lounge-afro-beat-lachin played by DJs sometimes perched on rooftops converted into dancefloors, like at Tramp or Hive. In short, Gazi will animate your nights during your offsite in Athens.

13. Listen to rebetiko, the famous

a must-do when you’re in Athens.

Born in Asia Minor, rebetiko arrived in Greece with the refugees of Smyrna, after 1922, even though it already existed in Piraeus as well. In its original form, very popular, it’s typically music to tell short stories and express feelings. The first songs were often a satirical way to relay the sad stories drawn from the singers’ lives, hence the label “Greek blues”. We will take you to discover this style of music in one of the most famous rebetiko venues, during a dinner show, for your team retreat in Athens.  

Séminaire à Athènes

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