Athens Parks and Hills

A walk around the capital of Greece will take you to many beautiful hills and parks in Athens! There you can have a panoramic view of the town and relax amidst the vegetation.

Lycabettus Hill

The hill of Lycabettus is a pine-covered hill visible from every part of the city, as it is the highest point in Athens. It dominates the megalopolis, rising 270 meters above it. At the top of the hill, one can visit the 19th-century picturesque chapel of St. George, built in the same location as the Byzantine church of Prophet Ilias. Legend has it that during ancient times, wolves roamed freely on the hill, then surrounded by the countryside. The hill was named Lycabettus, which means the hill of the wolves. The hill offers an incredible panoramic view of the entire city and the surrounding mountains.

Depending on the level of pollution, some clear days allow the climber to admire views of the port of Piraeus and even of the neighboring islands of Salamina and Aegina. Lycabettus Hill is also famous for its open theatre which welcomes many artists from the national and international scene for jazz and rock concerts, as well as spectacles and many festivals. The top of the hill can be reached on foot, by car, or by a cable car departing from the neighborhood of Kolonaki. The visitors will also find a cafeteria and one of the most luxurious restaurants in Athens at the top of the hill, both offering incredible views of the city.

Areopagus Hill

Areopagus Hill is located just below the entrance of the Acropolis, between the Sacred Rock and the Ancient Agora. The myth states that it was the place where the council of gods held a trial for the god of war, Ares, who was accused of the murder of the son of Poseidon, Halirrhothius. In antiquity, it used to be the place where the murder trials took place.

The Areopagus Hill is also the place where Apostle Paul came to preach Christianity in 51 A.D. It is said that his speech converted Dionysios, who became the Patron Saint of the city. The Areopagus Hill is easily accessible by the steps sculpted into the rock. The hill offers a wonderful panoramic view over the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and the western part of Athens. During the summer nights, many people gather there to enjoy the view and the peaceful atmosphere.

Filopappos Hill

Filopappos Hill (or the Hill of the Muses) lies opposite the Acropolis. The hill took its name from a funeral monument built at its top in 115 A.D. in memory of the Roman consul Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus. The monument used to measure 10 meters and was adorned by statues of the family of Philopappus.

The hill is also known as the Hill of the Muses since the myth claims that it used to be the home of the Nine Muses. The hill is lovely, completely covered by pine trees. Its top, only accessible on foot, offers incredible panoramic views over Athens, the Acropolis and the Saronic Gulf. The hill also houses the small Byzantine chapel of Agios Dimitrios which contains some impressive frescoes.

Pnyx Hill

In the 5th century BC, Pnyx Hill was the meeting place of the Democratic Assembly also called the Assembly of the Demos. Every famous orator of Ancient Athens such as Aristides, Demosthenes, Pericles, and Themistocles has delivered many speeches on that hill. It is located between Filopappos Hill and the Hill of the Nymphs.

National Garden

The National Garden (Ethnikos Kipos) or Royal Garden is situated in the heart of Athens. They were originally the royal gardens, designed by Queen Amalia in the 19th century. They are an oasis of coolness and green in a big noisy city. Strolling around the gardens, one will discover some interesting kinds of trees and plants, duck ponds, a small zoo and a botanical museum that houses paintings and photographs. Many efforts have been made to clean up the gardens and to offer the animals captured in the zoo more comfortable conditions. The gardens also house a playground and some nice cafes. They are located behind the Parliament and the central square of Syntagma.

Zappeion Gardens

In the center of the gardens of Zappeion, one can admire the Zappeion Megaron, a beautiful Neoclassical building erected in 1874-1888. It was originally built in order to host the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, in 1896. The building has been used as a center for international conferences ever since. It has often been the theatre of the most important political moments in Greece. The Zappeion Gardens are located next to the National Gardens and just off the central square of Syntagma.

Pedion Areos

Pedion Areos is a large park with lush vegetation in the heart of Athens, allowing people to relax in a natural environment for a bit. It is located on Alexandras Avenue, not far from the National Archaeological Museum.

Diomidis Botanical Garden

This large garden in the area of Haidari has more than 2,500 plant species and is a wonderful place to walk.
It serves more as an educational space regarding the natural environment than a park.
Keep in mind that this area is private property and a ticket is required for access.