While we love to pride ourselves on how great Athens is and of all the things to do and see here, there is nothing like finding a great spot and enjoying some reading away from the madness of the city. Whether you’re looking for panoramic city views or want a peaceful beach scenery, here are the best outdoor reading spots in Athens.
Climbing Mount Lycabettus in central Athens may be an arduous feat unless you take advantage of the funicular, but once you are at the top, your efforts are rewarded by unparalleled views over the city. But lucky for you, finding a great spot to read doesn’t require reaching the top. Instead, choose one of the benches you will find as you make your way up in the forest area. You can also opt for the parking area, which usually isn’t crowded during the day, and sit on the low stone wall at the edge of the parking zone, where the views are breathtaking.
If busy areas don’t bother you, then sitting on Syntagma Square‘s lawn or on one of its marble benches is another great option. If you need a break from your book, a little people watching every now and then is definitely possible. Plus, should hunger strike, you have endless possibilities nearby.
Created in the 19th century, the National Garden, next to the Syntagma Square, is the ultimate paradise in the centre of the city. With more than 500 different species of plants, trees, birds and animals, it is one of the best spots to enjoy some quiet time away from central Athens’ hustle and bustle. Find the perfect spot, open your book and travel to another world with your favourite heroes.
If you have a car and want to escape the centre, then your best option is the Tatoi forest, located on a forested slope of the Parnitha Mountain, half an hour drive away from Athens. Once the summer residence of the royal family, the forest and estate will certainly help you travel somewhere else as soon as you open your book.
Located opposite the Acropolis Hill, Filopappou is a refreshing green haven in the centre. With small paths where you can spot joggers or locals walking their dogs, it is a pleasant location to enjoy a good read. The small, marbled esplanade located a few metres under the Filopappos monument is ideal as you can enjoy spectacular views of the Sacred Rock and the city by just looking up from your book. Pack a snack and drinks and you’re good to go.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is another treasure of the Greek capital, not only because it is the National Library and National Opera’s home but also because it boasts a vast park where you won’t have any trouble finding a spot to yourself. Be aware, however, that the nook you choose might not be under the shade of a tree, so come prepared.
What is the point of being in a city with a waterfront if you can’t take advantage of it? Love to hear the sound of waves while reading? Then head to Flisvos Marina, right on the water. This waterfront green area includes a playground, a dog park and it is located not even two minutes from the lovely marina where you can take a break from your book and enjoy a relaxing beverage or meal. Need we say more?
You probably know it as the Megaro Moussikis Park, but Parko Eleftherias is a little green area next to the Concert Hall where you can relax on the grass, a good book in hand. Walk up past the massive statue of Eleftherios Venizelos and find a good spot to settle. Do yourself a favour and pack a picnic with you to make for a relaxed day out in the company of a good book. Who knows, you might even be lucky enough to stumble upon a cool musical performance during summer.
Athens boasts an extensive coastline bordered with public and private beaches easily accessible via tram lines. If you enjoy reading a book with your toes in the sand (or pebbles), then you are in luck as there are a plethora of options.