With only 24 hours in Athens, I had to be selective with where I spent my time. I looked up interesting neighborhoods in the Greek capital and landed on the Monastiraki neighborhood (as well as Plaka), which was a short walk from my hotel.

I knew I’d arrived when I found myself on a narrow street flanked by store after store, selling everything from evil eye charms to cell phone chargers.  I wandered through the labyrinth, then found myself on a shorter street selling antiques. Stacks of china, religious icons, and silver wobbled precariously while shop owners gossiped over cigarettes.

Finally, I found myself here, on a green, shady lane of restaurants. Mist blowers blessed the sweaty tourists, and restaurant owners smiled beguilingly, beckoning me to sit down.

I loved the Monastiraki neighborhood so much, I returned the next day!