Athens is full of hills! They offer spectacular views of the city and the surrounding area and 3 of them are actually archaeological sites of major importance!
So, here’s seven of the most exciting hills of Athens:
A favorite for both locals and tourists. Towering 300 meters (almost 1000 ft) above Athens it offers a unique panoramic view of a large part of the whole region of Attica. Hey… You can even see a couple of islands far away in the distance. If you’re too lazy to walk all the way to the top (it’s give or take 25′ hiking uphill) you can always use the Lycabettus Funicular. Owning a telephoto zoom lens to capture the city from above is ideal.
The big piece of rock rock that stands out on the north-east side of the Acropolis. Areios Pagos in ancient Greek means the Rock of Ares and is well known to Christians all over the world as this is where Apostle Paul stood to address the Athenians back in 60 AD. Climbing up the slippery steps gets you in a position where you are directly above the Agora (Forum) of Athens. During the day it’s full of tourists that were up or just came down from the Acropolis. During the night it’s full of high-school kids enjoying a warm night under the stars with a six-pack and a guitar. Sounds a bit like a movie? The city lights look pretty cool from up there and it’s only 10′ away from Monastiraki square so many friends and couples find their way up there after sunset.
Hill of Pnyx
That was one the most important hill for the ancient Athenians (second to importance only to the Acropolis maybe) because this is where the body of citizens used to meet to discuss, vote and decide about affairs of the State. This is where direct democracy was actually happening. That was the first real (open-air) parliament. You can actually stand where Democracy was born! Some really important decisions -that influenced the history of the West- were taken there. You also have a solemn and imposing view of the Acropolis herself from up there.
Yes. This is my personal favorite. You’re going to thank me for making you go up there… All photographs you’ve seen of the Acropolis on postcards, magazines, documentaries etc. they’ve been shot from the top of this hill. You get to the top and you have in front of you the perfect view of the Acropolis. It really is an unforgettable sight. Strike a pose for some of the most classic shots of your holidays. If you turn your back, the Saronic gulf spreads in front of you and the sun sets in the Aegean sea. What a view!
If you’re looking for a location off the beaten track, you should be heading towards the bohemian, urban neighborhood of Exarchia and a hike up to the hill of Strefi. Frequented mostly by leftist, locals, anarchists and curious or bored students, the whole area is full of bars, small tavernas, rock-joints, a few junkies and too many bookstores. Exarchia lies on the gentle slopes of the hill of Strefi. A hike up there will offer you a much different view of Athens and the other six hills of this list.
This is probably the shortest hill of Athens, quiet and full of pine trees. It’s famous for the highly impressive Panathenaic stadium that is built on the slope of that hill and the tiny hill of Agra. The biggest (and actually the only) marble stadium in the world. Home of the first modern Olympic games back in 1896.
As everyone knows, the most important hill of Athens was and always be her acropolis. This word means citadel, fortress. Almost all cities had one. The acropolis of Athens is famous for one main reason: because of the Parthenon. This huge temple dedicated to Athena that the Athenians decided to construct entirely out of marble and what many scholars have described as the symbol of Western Civilization.