Sociological Walks in Athens

The participants of the 13th ESA Conference will have the chance, by participating in sociological walks of their choice, to explore the city of Athens and the surrounding areas. Additional information is provided below:


Athens City Centre-“Triangle”

The sociological walk will move through the City Centre of Athens, focusing more on the old commercial and business centre, and the so called “Triangle” as defined by Stadiou Str., Pireos Str. and Ermou Str. Once being the “heart of Athens”, this part of the City Centre has undergone through significant transformations over the last years. The walk will explore the dynamics of land uses and the shift from small retail / wholesale activities and processing workshops towards recreation and tourism activities, along with new parameters such as ethnic entrepreneurship and new patterns of accommodation. Through connections between the built environment, urban development and socio-economic dynamics, the walk will bring up a variety of issues: from cultural heritage and post-war urbanization, to aspects of the current economic crisis, as well as recent projects of urban regeneration. 

Scheduled to take place: 31 /8 & 1/9/2017

Starting time: 09:00

Meeting point: Omonia Metro Station (Panepistimiou str. exit)

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: 10 € per person

Group size: 20-25 persons

Language: English


Athens as a migrant city- Walking tour

A two hours walk through the city-center and more particularly through the areas of Omonoia, Metaxourgeio and the so-called “historic triangle” of downtown Athens. This walking tour takes place at the very heart of the city of Athens and attempts to narrate ‘bits and pieces’ of the stories of migration that have been continuously unfolding in this town through the last three decades. As it is widely known by now, Athens has been a significant short-term destination for significant migrant and refugee flows attempting to reach the North (and North-West) of Europe. However, this has been the case much before the summer 2015 and the break out of the ‘refugee crisis’. As a matter of fact, the Athens’ city center has been for more than a decade a significant ‘stopover’ for in-transit migrations trying to reach other EU member-states with higher levels of prosperity, better conditions of living etc. real or imagined.  By all accounts, these continuous migrations changed the ethnic character of the city and its urban morphology and created significant levels of multicultural co-existence, but also, racial strife and bigotry (it should be noted that the Golden Down, the notorious fascist organization that used extreme violence, came out from specific neighborhoods near the city-center). In short, this walking tour attempts to shed some light on such migratory phenomena and their urban consequences by narrating a story of Athens as a migrant city.

Scheduled to take place on: 30/8/ 2017

Starting time:  10.00

Meeting point: Monastiraki Metro Station (Monastiraki Square exit)

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: free admission

Group size:  20 persons

Language: English


The social services of the Municipality of Athens

Information regarding the social services of the Municipality of Athens by the Vice – Mayor for Social Solidarity, Welfare and Equality. Informative speech   and  visit of 1-2  shelters for socially disadvantaged groups  of  the City  Centre.*

Scheduled to take place on: August 30 & 31/8/2017

Starting time:  14:00

Meeting point: Main Entrance of Athens City Hall (63A Athinas Str., Kotzia Square)

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: free admission

Group size: 25 persons

Language: English


On Vacancy: The city center of Athens

 During our walk we will navigate in a mixed landscape of  occupied, unoccupied and underused buildings and spaces in the city center of Athens moving in circle in close distance around the Omonoia Square  – the very ‘heart’ of the city both on a topological and a historical perspective. As an attempt to investigate the current status of the urban environment on that level, we will focus by building case on the remnants of a city planning that preceded and affected the present condition of neighboring areas in different ways.

Suggested route: Moving towards north almost until Vathis square and rotate counterclockwise: Vathis- Sokratous – Zinonos – Gerani – Psiri – Klafthmonos – Korai – Panepistimio – Exarchia

 Scheduled to take place: 1/9/2017

Starting time: 17:00

Meeting point: Omonia Metro Station (Panepistimiou str. exit)

Duration:  2 hours

Cost: 10 € per person

Group size: 20 preferable persons [max 25]

Language:  English


Contemporary Athens Walking Tour  

Walking through the commercial center of Athens we are acquainted with the daily life of the modern city, its contrasts, the variety that characterizes Athens, the changes that occur today. The tour starts from Korai str. (we see the Academy of Sciences, the University, the National library, Starbucks etc), we continue to Klathmonos square (we see the Museum of the history of the city and talk about the history of the area) and through one of the stoas of Dragatsaniou st we come to Sophocleous st where the stock market is and continue to Kotzia square to see the Town Hall and the buildings of the National Bank of Greece. Taking Eolou st we reach H&M store and through a stoa we find ourselves in Varvakios meat and fish  market. From Athinas str we walk down Evripidou str to see shops selling ‘koufeta’, spices, herbs, olive oil soap, incense, pastourma and further down the Chinese shops that creep in the heart of commercial Athens. Taking Aristophanous str we find ourselves in Psiri square to  can see how a working class neighborhood is changing from a production area to a consumption area. We cross Ermou st to reach the Monastiraki flea market area, to see the antique shops, the tourist shops, and walking down Ifestou str, we see Avissinias square and we finish at Adrianou str street where the ancient Agora is located.

Scheduled to take place on: 30/8/2017

Starting time: 11:00

Meeting point: Panepistimio Metro Station (Korai str. exit)

Duration: 3-3 ½ hours

Cost: 10 € per person

Group size: 15-20 persons

Language: English


The Ancient Agora  & Agora Museum  Tour

Visit the archaeological site of the ancient agora, one of the most important sites of antiquity, and the local archaeological museum. The Agora was the heart of the ancient city, the administrative, commercial, philosophical center of Athens. We will talk about the political, social, economic institutions of ancient Athens; the development of political systems which led to democracy; the philosophical schools which flourished there. We also talk about Socrates and his life and death in relation to the site.

Scheduled to take place on: 31/8/2017

Starting time: 17:45

Meeting point: Monastiraki Metro Station (Monastiraki Square exit)

Duration: 1 ½ -2 hours

Cost: 10 € per person

Group size: 20 persons (30 max) 

Language: English


 The “Shedia” Invisible Tours of Athens

Invisible Tours is a social initiative of the Greek street paper “Shedia”. It is an alternative social tour in the center of Athens, led by people who are experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. Participants are introduced to some of the most important social and solidarity organizations of the city that provide services to the Greek capital’s destitute population, such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters, social clinics, day centers, drug rehabilitation centers, grassroots initiatives etc. The guides share with visitors / participants useful information about the services provided by each institution, but most importantly they share their own personal experiences and feelings about dealing with homelessness. It is a unique insight into life in the streets, the social and solidarity services available, and the human map of a city that tries to cope with the challenges of the struggle against poverty and social exclusion. The core aim of the “Shedia” social tours is to energize the person who acts as a guide, to create new opportunities for people who are experiencing homelessness and social exclusion to support themselves, to provide education, training as well as employment opportunities, to act as a stepping stone towards social reintegration. In addition, “Invisible Tours” aim to inform, to raise social awareness, mobilizing -in this way- the general public in our common quest to end poverty and social exclusion.

For further information visit Shedia online. 

Scheduled to take place on: August 30 & 31/8/2017

Starting time: 10:30, both dates

Meeting point: Offices of Shedia street paper (24-26 Favierou Street, Athens)

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: 10 € per person

Group size: 15-17 persons

Language: English


Kypseli: Urban and social transformations in a central neighborhood of Athens

Kypseli is one of the most densely populated and multicultural neighborhoods of Athens. In the dominant public discourse, migrant residents in Kypseli have been accused of being collectively responsible for problems of urban and social decay and the neighborhood has been stigmatized as one of the most dangerous “ghettos” of the city center. The sociological walk concerns the historic processes of urban development and social transformations of the neighborhood, and discusses the difficulties of social cohesion and the “challenge” of multi-ethnic coexistence.

Scheduled to take place:  30 & 31/8/2017

Starting time: 09:00

Meeting point: Omonia Metro Station (Panepistimiou str. exit)

Duration:  2 hours     

Cost: 10 € per person

Group size: 20-25 persons

Language: English


Medea Electronique – Soundscapes Landscapes / City Above-Life Below: Kerameikos & Metaxourgeio

A self- guided audio-visual and highly interactive walking tour  offered by the Onassis Cultural Center at the neighborhoods of Keramikos/Metaxourgio to discover parts of the city you were unaware of.

The Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens and Soundscapes Landscapes create a nexus of stories in the city. Inaugurated in 2014 with Soundscapes Landscapes Interactive Map – Rhizome 1 / Neos Kosmos, this initiative now takes place in a new area and in a different way, namely, at Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio. The new walk Soundscapes Landscapes / City Above-Life Below in the area of Kerameikos – Metaxourgeio is an immersive and elaborate experience in an environment of virtual reality. Stories of the city take place on its surface, in hidden places, but also in its underworld and in its past. The city emerges as a palimpsest of experiences, times, and moments. This is a project about the cross-over of art/technology/research of sound and field recording, which, at the same time, allows for anthropological and sociological perspectives of the city to surface.  Kerameikos, along with Metaxourgeio, has a special intensity. It is a living and meaningful space since antiquity that seems to weave and encapsulate the entire course of Athens through time: the cemetery, the train lines, the factory at Gazi, Kerameikos, Iera Odos and its night clubs, the edges of Metaxourgeio, multiculturalism, the development and refinement of the area, immigrants, artists, night venues and clubs, alternative cultural spaces, tourists, and the Acropolis’ rock overlooking the area.

Cosmopolitanism and localism, national and European identity, pockets of resistance, modern Greeks and immigrants, tradition and modernity, an industrial area, and a working-class neighbourhood. In realizing this project, Medea Electronique has worked with artists of sound, image, and speech in Greece and abroad, organizing an artistic workshop in October 2016.

Download the Available free application for iOS and Android at iTunes and Google play.

Scheduled to take place on:  upon participant’s own availability

Starting time: upon participant’s own availability

Meeting point: upon participant’s own availability

Cost: free admission

Language: English and Greek 


Neos Kosmos & Drougouti Area Walking Tour

This walk examines the fallout from Greece’s disastrous Asia Minor campaign of 1919- 1922 and the subsequent huge influx of Anatolian refugees. During the walk visitors, can witness the hardships of immigrant life in Athens’s shanty suburban reaches. Neos Kosmos was one of the shantytowns that had sprung up on the outskirts of Athens during the 1920s, housing thousands of Greek and Armenian refugees. Even today when empty Armenian churches and a decaying Bauhaus social housing complex bear the only witness to the refugee settlement that once was, new immigrant groups from Southern Asia and the Middle East continue to find in the neighborhood a focus for acculturation to urban life. This walking tour will introduce you to the history of the neighborhood and describe buildings, places of worship and businesses with special historical and architectural interest.

Scheduled to take place on: 30 & 31/8/2017

Starting time: 18:30

Meeting point: Panteion University, main entrance (136, Andrea Syngrou Blvd)

Duration: 2 hours 

Group size: 25 persons

Price: 10 € per person

Language: English


The former international airport of Hellinikon: the process of privatization and the struggle for a Metropolitan Park

 The property of Hellinikon, a 6.260.000 sq. site, that includes the former international airport of Hellinikon that is inactive since 2001 and the Agios Kosmas beachfront area – one of the last available, state-owned, large-scale and prime urban coastal sites of Europe. At the same time, Hellinikon constitutes the peak of the privatization program adopted by the Greek governments as a part of the agreement with the creditors and is implemented by HRADF (Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund). The privatization of the site (including, among others, several Olympic facilities and the beach of Agios Kosmas that was re-appropriated by local urban movements in 2007) has been in process since December 2011, though yet not been completed. According to the plans of the selected investor (Lamda Development SA and partners), the project will consist of massive real estate development with shopping malls, hotels, office buildings and thousands of new housing units. Local urban movements resist to the privatization and the real-estate development of the site and struggle for years for the creation of a metropolitan park, as it was declared before the crisis by the central government.

In the sociological walk we will discuss the conflicts and challenges regarding the management and development of the waterfront of Athens, focusing on the privatization process of Hellinikon area and its possible alternatives.

We will also discuss with members of the ‘Metropolitan Community Clinic of Hellinikon’, which is located within the site of Hellinikon. It was established in December 2011 by volunteer doctors in order to support patients with limited or no access to the health care system. It provides free primary medical care and medication to all uninsured, unemployed and needy patients.

Finally we will visit the ‘Self-managed urban garden of Hellinikon’, which is also located within the site of Hellinikon. It is a grassroots initiative of urban farming that emerged in January 2011 as a response to the social, economic, environmental and educational crisis.

Scheduled to take place: 1/9/2017

Starting time: 10:00

Meeting point: Syntagma Metro Station

Duration: 3 hours

Group size: 15-20 persons

Cost:  10 € per person

Language: English


Note: The symbolic 10 € fee, when applicable, will be used for the reimbursement of the young scientists that will offer their services during the sociological walks and for partly supporting the involved NGOs. 


Tour selection and reservation:

  • Please read carefully the information regarding each sociological walk.
  • If you wish to reserve a sociological walk, please register and fill out the online PCO CONVIN Booking Form.
  • For related enquiries or services, please send your email to info@esa13thconference.eu 
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