Since the establishment of the modern Greek state, Psiri has been a haven to the nonconformists and the working-class. In the 18th century, Mangas – petty criminals who smoked hash and wreaked general havoc ruled the neighborhood. The most famous Mangas group, Koutsavakides, were recognizable by their long mustaches, pointy-toed boots, tights pants, and a broad sash which hid their weapons. Using Psiri as their base, they terrorized Athens for 50 years before an initiative by the Prime Minister in 1893 drove them out.

Psiri was also home to the famous poet, Lord Byron, during his stay in Athens and is where he wrote the poem, "Maid of Athens".

During the 20th century Psiri was a working-class area full of leather workshops and small factories. A change of law several years ago brought gentrification to the neighborhood transforming it into a burgeoning hub of creativity. Young creatives have been flocking to the neighborhood ever since opening arts and crafts workshops, startup companies, boutiques, cafes and restaurants, galleries, and theaters. The result is a refreshing mix of old and new; where long-standing tradition meets modern interpretation.

Psiri is the ideal destination for those seeking an understanding to the complicated soul of Athens; a city with a glorious history caught in a struggle to establish its modern identity. A stay in Psiri offers you walkable access to all the city’s ancient treasures and a window into the everyday life of a local Athenian. Old, young, traditional or modern – Psiri has something authentic to offer everyone.
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