Destination Greece. Nadiia Shapoval’s guide to the free-spirited side of Athens

Extraordinarily talented fashion stylist ahead of the trends and creator of craft label Nadiia World, Nadiia Shapoval has found her place of power in Greece many years ago. Living in Athens with her husband, she’s exploring the genius loci of the city and of the near islands. We asked her about her favourite spots and received some unconventional and inspiring answers about Athens’s soul. 


In which neighbourhood do you live in Athens and what you like most about it?

I live in Glyfada area, it’s Southern suburb of Athens. I don’t like much the centre of this neighbourhood, as it’s too fancy, with people driving Porches and boasting of their plastic surgery. It’s not part of my life, so I live a bit outside. This area is close to the mountain, and I can jog by the sea. It’s a quiet residential area, I feel very secure and enjoy watching the sunsets from my terrace.

What attracts you in Athens’ atmosphere, people and rhythm of life?

What I really like is that there’s a mix of cultures from east and west here. Once I was walking around midnight and saw the refugees selling chicken and other daily life stuff in one of the squares in the very centre. It was really crazy seeing this scene so close to Acropolis, this night version of the town with this animals’ market. It was one of my biggest impressions, you cannot imagine it happening in Europe. Athens for me are about free spirit. People here are similar to Ukrainians, they don’t care about law that much, but they are respectful to you. There are lots of anarchists and I really do like it.

You favourite places in Athens to get inspired by art or history?

I love the Benaki museum, Acropolis museum, the museum of Cycladic Art. Around Acropolis there lots of historical places like Socrates’s prison and the antient Agora.

A must visit contemporary restaurant?

Vezene is my choice for meat, and Sushi Mou is amazing as the chef uses Greek fish for his sushi.

Your favourite islands and your tips for an island-hopping route?

My favourites are Hydra and Spetses, but I don’t want to share the addresses because they are already too overcrowded now!

Where do you shop for the best local craft, design and gastronomy in Athens?

I shop at local markets for grocery and other stuff: every neighbourhood has its own day for it.

At Eleonas metro there’s a great flee market. It’s run by Gypsies and you can find really crazy things. I source a lot of ceramics there.

How do you like to style loungewear outside of the bedroom?

I just wear it, especially in Athens. The place where I live is very close to the sea, so I’m just too lazy to change from my loungewear to go out. So, you just exit the house as you are.