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.
*Updated September 2017
My Top 5 Spots | Walk to the Best View of Athens
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.
Check out Mars Hill/Aeropagus. Great views on this rock next to the Acropolis where St. Paul once preached. Talk about standing on history!
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. To make the most of your visit, you can also explore the Acropolis Museum on a private tour and enjoy the insightful commentary provided by a guide specializing in ancient Greece.
I highly recommend the skip-the-line Acropolis tour, you will get direct access to these incredible treasures and ruins, including the hall of the Parthenon at the ruins of Ancient Athens.
Other great tours that will give you the view and great insight:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a unique urban experience that takes you to this amazing hill by night, book the 4-Hours Athens by Night tour.
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…
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.
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.
Also consider these excellent tours that I highly recommend for the best view of Athens:
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?
Plan Your Trip to Athens
How to Get to Athens
To get to the Athens, many international travelers arrive by air. You can find the best flight deals here on Vayama.
What to Do in Athens
Athens is my adopted hometown and much of this blog is about that very topic. Check out more posts from nightlife to gastronomy on this blog here. It’s a wonderful city break you should plan at least two to three days for — even up to a week — depending on how much time you have and what you’d love to do.
I highly recommend the Athens City Pass, a discount city card that gains you access to many of the capital’s most loved sights. I reviewed it earlier and featured it on this blog.
If you want to hop to the islands or spend time at one of the many Greek island destinations – you should! Also, check out my Greek islands category for the best places to stay, eat and best things to do.
You can check out all the activities in Athens and book tickets at this link.
Where to Eat in Athens
Check out my post, 17 Awesome Greek Food Experiences which also lists where to find these delicious experiences in Athens.
Where to Stay in Athens
A full rundown of places I recommend coming soon. Bes sure to sign up for mymonthly newsletter here for more tips and insights from my travels around beautiful Greece and amazing Europe.