Top 5 Spots: The Best View of Athens

Top 5 Spots: The Best View of Athens

When I travel to any city, I love to seek out the best views.  Getting to the best view of Athens is also an opportunity to grab some fresh air and take a walk or a hike.  Here’s my list of where you can enjoy panoramic views as well as a few tips I can offer as a local.

My Top 5 Spots | Walk to the Best View of Athens

1. Acropolis

The Acropolis, the eternal landmark of this ancient city, owns some of the most spectacular views around.  Built on a hill, with nothing built higher around it, you get an amazing panorama of the Greek capitol.

You can say that you’d get a bird’s eye view of the city, but there’s the debate out there that birds don’t fly directly over the Acropolis.  That’s the reason why the Acropolis was once referred to as aornos petra which means the stone over which birds do not fly. A blogger called the Greek Skeptic debates the notion in Greek and English here. In any case, during our modern age, a short hike is the only way to get you up to the top of this unique, majestic wonder of the world.

Walking Tip:

Check out Mars Hill/Aeropagus. Great views on this rock next to the Acropolis where St. Paul once preached. Talk about standing on history!

areopagus mars hill

Areopagus or Mars Hill.

Walk around the broad stone pedestrian walkway called Dionysiou Areopagito. Great views looking up to the Acropolis.  I also highly recommend the Acropolis Museum which is located on the way.

For more information about visiting the Acropolis, visit the website of the Ministry of Culture of Greece.

2. Filopappos Hill

In ancient times Filopappos Hill, located just southwest of the Acropolis, was once known as the Mouseion or Hill of the Muses. It was believed the nine muses were buried there.  Take a leisurely walk through the paths of the hill to reach its full height of 147 meters (482 ft). From that vantage point, a full view of the Acropolis awaits. Look to the south, and for a view of the Aegean Sea. The park around the hill is lovely.

Filopappou hill views.

Filopappou hill views.

During Easter, children love to fly kites from the hill.  Filopappos Hill touches on the neighborhoods of Thisseo, Petralona and Acropolis.

Walking Tip: It is a public park, so there isn’t an admission fee to walk around. There are various entrances to the hill.  You can walk right into the hill at the end of Dionysioiu Areopagito pedestrian way.

3. Lycabettus Hill

The highest peak in Athens stands at 277 metres (910 ft) tall. So, you will definitely get the best view of Athens from here! Walking up or riding the teleferik or cable car shuttles you to the top of the Lycabettus Hill for a 360-degree vista.

lycabettus hill view

Lycabettus Hill is one of my favorites, a great view of Athens!

Lots of locals, including myself, enjoy strolling around the hill even after getting a workout its steps leading to the top! The hill is perfect for a panoramic run.

You’ll definitely experience the best view of Athens on clear days and that’s when you can spot the ships off in the distance from Piraeus harbor and point out the islands in the Saronic Gulf.

More daytime views of the city from Lycabettus Hill.

More daytime views of the city from Lycabettus Hill.

At the very top is a small whitewashed Greek Orthodox Church called St. George.  There’s also a café where you can enjoy the view with a drink or a snack.  The restaurant Orizontes is also located at the top of the hill with amazing outdoor seating options.

Continue your walk back down several walking trails. There’s also an outdoor theater that’s popular during the summer months.

lycabettus hill sunset

Lycabettus Hill views at sunset.

Walking Tips:

From the central district of Kolonaki, the Athenian neighborhood that sits at the foot of the hill, there are several ways to walk up the hill including via Ploutarchou, Marasli and Loukianou.  Note: you need to walk UP!

On hot days, you may want to avoid that steep walk. Trust me, it is a workout. I live in the neighborhood and I know the way to the teleferik cable car isn’t clearly marked because tourists stop me all the time to ask where it is after they’ve walked up the stairs and around and about in search of it.  It is located on Aristippou Street.  It runs every half hour between 9 in the morning and 3 at night. A two-way ticket is 7 Euro. One way tickets are available too.


4. Strefi Hill/Lofos Strefi

This little hill holds a place in my heart. I used to live close to it.  Sometimes, I’d run up and get my outdoor work out there. Yes, I had to jog past some discarded dodgy drug paraphernalia at times – it is right in the “alternative” neighborhood of Exarcheia – but, I assure you that Strefi Hill is very safe during the day.  That stuff you may want to avoid happens at night, I hear…

strefi hill view of the acropolis

Strefi Hill view of the Acropolis.

In any case, the view at the top is of both the aforementioned Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill. I think another plus to this best view of Athens choice is that it is not a real touristy spot. Here, you can take in a pretty view and be among where locals trek.

Tip: Closest metro is Omonia. One way to get there is to walk up Emannuel Benaki street all the way until you see the hill and follow a path up.

5. Mt. Immitos

I wrote about hiking around the city’s mountain range called Mt. Immitos in the past. The mountain borders the city to the east.  Check out my post on what you can discover from ancient Greek and Byzantine times among the lush trails.

The best view of Athens.

The best of Athens? It is certainly one of them.

Love the view of Athens from Mt. Immitos.

Love the view of Athens from Mt. Immitos.

Other walking tips:

The walk to any of the sites I mention can be pretty difficult in the hot weather.  Be sure you have water with you. Avoid walking in the middle of the day when temps are at their highest.

Would you like to walk to the best view of Athens? If so, you’ve got a five solid choices.  Have you been to any of the places I listed? If not, which one would you like to walk to?

City sightseeing tip:

If you plan to see some of Athens’ best sights, you can do it at a discount. I tested the Athens City Pass, and it is a bargain. You can check out my earlier post: Athens City Pass: Explore at a Discount or learn more by clicking below!

Athen City Pass

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I'm a writer and journalist, originally from New York, now loving expat life in Athens. Join me on my travels as I explore Greece and Europe.

Comments

  1. Nice post Marissa all the spots mentioned have great views! I didn’t know that birds don’t fly over the Acropolis, very weird!

    • Geia Chrysoula, Thank you! Ha ha. Interesting regarding the bird theory right? Amazing theories by the ancient Greeks. Would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall during that era!

  2. Thanks for the bog Marissa. I am going to Athens next month for the first time, although I have been visiting various places in Greece for the last 10. the closest I got was getting lost on the ring road while trying to drive from the airport to Hlakidiki, Yes, I know, a long drive but it was well worth it but not one I care to repeat in the near future. Will use the info you have provided to hopefully get some stunning shots of this amazing capital. Regards. Rik.

    • hi Rik! Thanks for stopping by. Oh, that’s great you will be in Athens soon. It’s a great city and I hope you get great pics. Let me know how it goes! Have a good trip and hope you make it without any issues 😀

    • marissatejada : February 2, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      hi Rik! Thanks for stopping by. Oh, that’s great you will be in Athens soon. It’s a great city and I hope you get great pics. Let me know how it goes! Have a good trip and hope you make it without any issues 😀

  3. Filopappos Hill is now my absolute must! 🙂

  4. I had a fantastic time in Athens. As a photographer can tell definitely best panorama view is from Lycabetus hill. I worked on a video project about Athens last October.
    This is Athens through the eye of my camera:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fTIm-7DIx4

    • lycabetttus has an amazing view. What a sunset you filmed… What a beautiful video! I especially love the night motion scenes. Bravo!!! Thanks for sharing 😀

  5. I think the last one offers the best view! 🙂

  6. Suze - Luxury Columnist : February 11, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I’ve been to Greece but never to Athens – I’ve always wanted to visit. Looks like all these walks are a great work out!

  7. Love this post…I was recently in Athens and luckily for me I was there during the first Sunday of the month therefore the entrance to the Acropolis was free…hence I agree with your first choice. However, I was unable to visit the other 4….so four me the best views of Athens were from The Public Bar (fantastic view of The Parliament Building) A for Athens Hotel (fantastic views of the Acropolis at night and of Monasteriaki Square), Anafiotika has splendid views of the city…

  8. Love this post…I was recently in Athens and luckily for me I was there during the first Sunday of the month therefore the entrance to the Acropolis was free…hence I agree with your first choice. However, I was unable to visit the other 4….so for me the best views of Athens were from The Public Bar (fantastic view of The Parliament Building) A for Athens Hotel (fantastic views of the Acropolis at night and of Monasteriaki Square), Anafiotika has splendid views of the city…

    RESENT AS I NOTICED A SPELLING ERROR IN THE FIRST COMMENT….

    • Hi Angela, Thanks for stopping by. Oh, that’s great you got to go up to the Acropolis on the free day. Such a great thing. Yes, I agree the Public Cafe has a nice view and so does A for Athens for views and a coffee. Anafiotika is a unique area of the city, too. Thanks for the tips 😀

  9. Great post! Truly all the spots you chose have wonderful view over Athens!

  10. Perfect advice for enjoying such a beautiful city! I think my favorite is Filopappos

  11. […] For a full rundown of the best spots, check out my earlier post: Top 5 Spots: The Best View in Athens. […]

  12. […] For other scenic points in Athens, check out my post Top 5 Spots: Walk to the Best Views of Athens. […]

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