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Athens's main grid consists of three parallel streets—Stadiou, Eleftheriou Venizelou (widely called Panepistimiou by natives), and Akadimias—that link two main squares, Syntagma and Omonia. But be sure to detour to the Central Market, the shops in Monastiraki and Psirri, and Gazi, the emerging arts district. For if ancient glory still defines Athens internationally, the city also has a modern cachet as a chaotic, exhilarating, spontaneous metropolis. In the midst of a mass of concrete apartment blocks, you'll happily find Athens's Greek, Roman, and Byzantine landmarks are mercifully concentrated around the city center, whose hub stretches from the Acropolis in the southwest to Mt. Lycabettus in the northeast. You'll find you can walk from the Parthenon to many other sites and still find time to sip an icy frappé in a belle epoque café.
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