Balcony life – Athens (or a new version of “Ugly Naked Guy”)

Save or share this post for later

For days now, my friend has been telling me about the fat Greek man in the string vest opposite her apartment.  She wakes up to him being yelled at by his wife and today I received the following from her:

What a wake up call, seeing the old fat guy in his y fronts on the balcony across from me first thing in the morning!

Which got us both thinking about Balcony Life in Athens.  You see, being a city, balconies become the ‘gardens of the home.’  Even in the country, people don’t often live in houses and live in flats – thus the balcony becomes a great extension of the home.
Me?  I have the odd Aloe Vera plant on mine, the air conditioning pipe leaking into a dead plant, a storage cupboard for my hoover and my washing can quite frequently be found drying on it.

Not mine - but someone also uses theirs for their washing
Small balconies – from a garden with flowers to clothes line

On the subject of washing, some people extend their washing machines onto it – others drag their living room furniture out there in the summer, turning it inwards to watch TV from the balcony… often Cd’s can be found dangling off the (almost always) green awning that serves as both a cover from the sun and a cover from prying eyes (no “Friends” spying on you from their balcony across the way!), in order to reflect the sun and scare away the ever present pigeons.

Breakfast and dinner is often served out there – in fact, as mentioned: it is a real extension of the home.  It helps if you’ve a big area and are not facing the main road, but even then it’s great to utilise your balcony.  Unless you live on the ground floor or in the basement, rarely does an Athenian home not have a balcony.

And if your even ‘luckier,’  like my friend, you can witness and hear everyday life going on around you – but maybe I draw the line at semi naked fat old Greek men in y-fronts, the Greek version of Ugly Naked Guy!


  1. If you want to get some ‘life experience’ and maybe even practice your psychological skills, just observe a Greek balcony for about half an hour – all the life lessons you’ll ever need!

  2. Hi Teresa,

    That’s just one example of the many balconies that can be found here in Athens. For sure, when our balcony has been perfected, I will take photos.


  3. I had a similar experience one summer when I rented an apartment in Rome and the neighbors across the way would recreate scenes from Italian opera of the more florid sort. They seemed particularly to like the scenes where the baritone is angry about something and the soprano goes mad. Despite the high drama, no daggers were flourished and everyone kept their clothes on.

  4. Not a balcony, but a patio…is where my neighbors express their Latin emotions. I have no idea what they’re saying except a few swear words, but it’s life in the raw.

  5. How tame our balcony is compared to those of Rome and Athens. Ours is peaceful and looks out onto a delightful park. Of course, being an air conditioned country, balconies are not ‘lived on’ the way they are in Europe. We do have herbs growing on ours plus a few geraniums for colour.

    I was born in Cheshire Bex, where do you come from? thanks for becoming a follower on my blog.

  6. We have air conditioning too Jo (we’re not that ‘backward’ in Europe!) – but people like to utilise all parts of their home. Often neighbours are invited over for frappes (cold coffee) and the men can be seen putting the world to rights (if they’re not in the kafenio!)
    I love balcony life.
    Born and grew up in the West Country of the UK. Love Greece though, I consider her my home now.

  7. I just don’t think of Greece and air conditioning, bit silly of me after all these years since I was there. The diversity of life is interesting. Not many people use their balconies much in our apartment building.

  8. love this article…This is one of the most important things in Greece for me,that even if you live on the 2nd,3rd. or 4th floor of a building you can still be ‘outside ‘ all day with all your lovely plants around you,your dog/cat sunbathing next to you,radio on & buzzing life all around you…love it Bex…well said 🙂

    • Glad you liked and could relate to the post Trish. Yes, I love the outside life in Greece, the balcony is an extension of the home.


The following GDPR rules must be read and accepted:
This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.