Antiquities galore, contemporary culture, scintillating nightlife and fantastic food: there’s something for everyone in Greece’s cosmopolitan capital that’s continuously reinventing itself.
Travel bucket list idea:
Climb Philopappou Hill
Athens, Central Greece, Greece
If you have a few hours to spare, follow the marble footpaths through pine-clad forest to the summit of Philopappou Hill.
As well as having panoramic city views and the best view of the Acropolis and Parthenon – without the crowds – it’s a peaceful oasis from the frenetic city streets below.
Before you go, stop by the excellent Takis bakery (Misaraliotou 14), maker of dozens of different Greek breads and pastries. Pick up some of their phenomenal feta and spinach pies for a picnic at the summit while taking it all in.
Hidden among the pine trees is the Pnyx, the world’s first democratic assembly, where Pericles and Themistocles addressed the crowds.
At the summit, you’ll also find the striking marble mausoleum devoted to Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus, who died in 116 AD and gave the hill its name.
Getting there & doing it
The entrance to the hill, and the start of the walk, is via Apostolou Pavlou Street or Rovertou Galli Street. Follow the marble footpaths to the summit – allow an hour to get to the top.
When to do it
Spring and autumn are best, when Athens weather is a delight. However, winters are moderate in Athens, so this makes it another good time for a walk.
High summer (July and August) are sweltering and smoggy – far from ideal for exercising outdoors.
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