Blessed with a rich topography, Athens boasts a rugged landscape of hills, of varying heights, where you can get lost by simply admiring the view. Add to that warm weather and several rooftops, and you understand why Athenians are fond of higher places. Here is a guide to the best spots where you can take in the superb panoramas of the city.
Bar, Restaurant, Greek, Tapas, Fast Food, $$$
A relaxed vibe, eclectic crowd, tasty drinks, coffee, and delicious food – Couleur Locale is a favorite when it comes to a rooftop with a view. Locals and tourists alike spend time in this cool joint, enjoying an all-encompassing vista of the Acropolis.
Couleur Locale, Normanou 3, Athens, Greece, +30 21 6700 4917
Courtesy of Couleur Locale
Lycabettus Hill is Athens’ highest peak, standing at 277 meters. Arrive at the top via a cable car or by walking or driving, and you are sure to get the best scenes of Athens. The walk is quite enjoyable and allows for a 360-degree panoramic vista over the whole city. Try to climb the hill late in the afternoon to take in the sight of the sun setting over the city and sea – it’s priceless.
Lycabettus Hill, Athens, Greece
View from Lycabettus © Amphithoe/Flickr
The Onassis Cultural Center, or Stegi, is a major cultural institution in the city, with the mission to promote artistic expression by supporting young artists and fostering unique collaborations. And while you should visit it for a show, take advantage of the opportunity to visit Hytra on the sixth floor. During the summer, the Michelin-starred restaurant, which offers a culinary experience you won’t easily forget, moves up to the seventh floor, allowing you to witness a stunning view over the city. Just make sure to book ahead of time.
Hytra, Andrea Siggrou 107, Athens, Greece, +30 210 3316767
Courtesy of Hytra
The Areopagus Hill, also known as Vrahakia and located opposite the Acropolis, is an easy, quick climb which allows for some stunning vistas of Athens and the mountains surrounding the Attica basin. Before you head out there to relish the scenery, be sure to grab some beers, snacks, and your best friends. The view is so mesmerizing that you may spend hours there.
Areopagus Hill, Athens, Greece
Bar, Contemporary, $$$
Bios hardly needs an introduction. This one-of-a-kind, multifunctional bar, with its unique character and relaxed vibe, boasts a colorful rooftop, from which you can enjoy an amazing sight of Athens while sipping on a mouthwatering cocktail and listening to the sounds of DJ sets. It is one of the best after-work joints for lazy afternoons or a nightcap after a show downstairs.
Bios, Pireos 84, Athens, Greece, +30 21 0342 5335
Courtesy of Bios
Located at the top edge of Exarheia, Streffi Hill is a lovely spot where you can escape the hustle of the city while enjoying panoramic views. While the verdant hill hosts lively summer parties and concerts, it is also one of the quietest places you can find in Athens.
Streffi Hill, Athens, Greece
The Acropolis Museum’s Restaurant
Home to archaeological finds from the site of the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum is an impressive, modern structure located opposite the ancient landmark. Besides the splendid collection on display, the museum boasts a great restaurant where you can savor delectable dishes, often inspired by the temporary exhibitions hosted by the museum. When it’s warm outside, you should make a point of visiting the terrace of the restaurant, where you can appreciate an up-close, incredible vista over the Acropolis.
Acropolis Museum, Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athens, Greece, +30 210 9000915
New Acropolis Museum | © Duncan Hull/Flickr
Bar, Restaurant, Greek, Contemporary, $$$
The stylish rooftop bar and restaurant at the Hilton hotel offers splendid views of Athens, the Acropolis, and the Lycabettus Hill. With a wide selection of Mediterranean dishes, a well-stocked cellar, and creatively made cocktails, the Galaxy Bar is high on the list of the best Athenian bars.
Galaxy Bar, Hilton, Vasillissis Sofia 46, Athens, Greece, +30 210 7281402
Filopappou Hill, located just south of the Acropolis, is also known as the Hill of the Muses, as legend has it that the nine muses were buried there. The central green oasis is ideal for morning or afternoon strolls, where you can follow various paths leading to the top, rising 147 meters high. From there, you can appreciate the majestic view of the Acropolis and the city. If you look towards the south, a stunning vista of the Aegean Sea awaits.
Filopappou Hill, Athens, Greece
Rising 1,026 meters above sea level, Mount Imittos (or Hymettus) borders the eastern side of Athens. A paradise for runners, cyclists, dog walkers, and nature lovers, Imittos offers glorious views of the whole city of Athens and even the sea. The vista is simply spectacular and allows you to see the city from another perspective, where the huge concrete landscape turns into something surreal.
Mount Imittos, Athens, Greece