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Legend has it that ancient Athens was built on seven hills, but in reality, there are many more than that. The plentiful hills of Athens mean the city has a variety of gorgeous viewpoints. Needless to say, the Acropolis is front & center in many of the best views in Athens. My favorite city views include many of the most popular spots, along with a few that are a bit less crowded. Most are centrally located.

Many Athens tours include these viewpoints as part of the itinerary. Book an Athens tour or hop-on, hop-off bus ticket here.

Some Athens viewpoints are best visited at different times of the day depending on the lighting conditions. Keep that in mind as you decide where & when to visit. For example, Athens has spectacular sunsets, but if you’re looking to get photos of the Acropolis, you’ll probably want the sun lighting up the ruins in gold & orange rather than trying to shoot straight into it.

Also, bring water with you, especially during the summer (not just beer or wine like many young people do when they hang out in the evenings). These hills often offer little shade, so it’s easy to be hot & dehydrated after having climbed to the top.

The Acropolis

No visit to Athens is complete without a visit to the Acropolis. It really is magnificent. When I went there, I was hit by the realization that I was at the Acropolis, the place I had read about in school. I was overcome by emotion.

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In addition to being a beautiful set of structures, the Acropolis has 360-degree views around central Athens.

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Toward the north and northeast, you can see the crowded Plaka below. Looking further west, you can spot such notable Athens landmarks as the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora, and the Kerameikos Archaeological Site.

Yes, when you’re at the Acropolis, you don’t get full Acropolis views since you’re in the middle of it, but what you get to see more than makes up for it. The setting sun casts a warm glow on all the light-colored rock, and it’s possible to take great photos of the city below through the ruins.

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There’s a reason why it’s at the top of the list of things to do in Athens. Book an Acropolis tour or tickets here

Philopappos Hill

There are a couple of nearby hills for the best Acropolis views, both of which are free to visit. Philopappos Hill (also written as Filopappou Hill) is part of a large park southwest of the Acropolis.

The park is scattered with archeological ruins and several smaller hills, including Nymphs Hill and Pnyx Hill, two of the other seven hills of Ancient Athens.

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It’s a nice place for a walk. Aside from the viewpoints, it is reasonably quiet compared to other areas of central Athens. Several easy-to-follow paths wind up the hill from pretty much any direction.

There are also plenty of places to stop along the way, including the beautiful Holy Church of Saint Demetrios Loumbardiaris. It reminds me of Japanese temples and how they’re embedded into nature.

Given the variety of clearings scattered throughout the park, you don’t necessarily have to go all the way to the top of Philopappos Hill to have great views of the Acropolis. Down below, you can hear street musicians playing on the path between the park and the Acropolis.

If you head to the summit, the Philopappos Monument is your best landmark for Google Maps or following signs. This grave monument of Gaius Julius Antiochus Philopappus dates back to the 2nd century AD & gave the hill its name.

Although the monument is at the highest point in the area, some lower rock formations have views less obstructed by trees. My favorite was marked as “Filopappou Hill Acropolis Overlook” on Google Maps. The views from “Filopappou Viewing Podium” are also lovely.

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From these vantage points, you can easily see the Acropolis & the Parthenon with Lycabettus Hill in the distance behind. Aside from closer spots in the Plaka, It’s the best place to see the Acropolis at night.

In the other direction, you can see Piraeus and the coast. Given the 360-degree vantage point, there are fantastic sunset & sunrise views.

There are several great craft beer bars and breweries in the neighborhoods of Athens surrounding the park. I’m not saying that you should get some beers and bring them to Philopappos Hill to watch the sunset, but I’m not not saying it.

Areopagus Hill (Mars Hill)

Aeropagus Hill, AKA Mars Hill is a smaller hill located just west of the Acropolis. It has especially good views of the Ancient Agora of Athens.

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Given its prominent location close to the city center & Acropolis views (though not of the Parthenon), it’s an especially popular place for young people to hang out in the evenings.

If you’ve visited the Acropolis & had to leave before the sun is fully set, Areopagus Hill is the best option for continuing to see great views of Athens at night.


Anafiotika is a quaint neighborhood occupying the northern slopes of the Acropolis hill. It’s a pretty place to walk around and take photos. Just take care and respect the fact that it’s a neighborhood in which people live.

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Climb to the top path of Anafiotka, and you will be rewarded with great views across the Athens rooftops.

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While these views are not from as high up as the Acropolis looming above, they are unobstructed. They are a great option for anyone unable to get an Acropolis ticket, who doesn’t want to take the whole trip to get there, or who wants a different vantage point.

Lycabettus Hill

Lycabettus Hill is another Athens viewpoint with spectacular views of the city. At 908 feet (277 meters), it’s the highest hill in Athens. Located northeast of the city center, it’s a bit more of a trek, but you can ride a funicular on the way to the top. I took this photo of Lycabettus Hill from the Acropolis.

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Although it’s possible to climb to the top for free, the Lycabettus Hill Funicular is the easiest way up to the summit. There is some hill climbing to get to the bottom station, though the 060 bus does go most of the way to it.

Tickets for the Lycabettus Hill Funicular are 10 Euros round trip. It’s 8 Euros one way, so you don’t save a ton by taking the funicular to the top & then walking back down, though, of course you still can. The funicular runs approximately every 30 minutes between 9 am and 3 am, but this changes seasonally. Even then, when I visited, it seemed like they send the cable car up more frequently if it’s full. Check their website for the latest schedule.

The top of Lycabettus Hill has spectacular 360-degree Athens views, plus a bar & restaurant. For the less fancy, someone might be selling cold drinks (including beer) out of a cooler. There’s also a small church. Signs warn visitors to look after their belongings, which should be the case at most tourist sites anywhere in the world.

The main viewing platform at Lycabettus Hill has the best views. It’s fairly small, so it can get crowded during peak times. Due to being the highest point in the city, some unfortunately placed communications towers interrupt some of the views. Yet somehow, I still only had sporadic phone service.

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Lycabettus Hill is a bit far from the Acropolis. If you want the best photos, you’ll need a long lens. However, even if you don’t have a good zoom, it’s still a great view with the sea behind the Acropolis in the distance. I could also spot many other Athens landmarks, including Panathenaic Stadium. Binoculars are available to help you spot places of interest.

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If you visit Lycabettus Hill at sunset, remember that the sun will set somewhere behind the Acropolis or in that general direction, so getting the photos you want may be difficult.

Tip: If you’ve taken the funicular to the top of the hill & it’s too crowded to get a good view, try heading down the staircase a bit, as fewer people are there. Not only are the views still almost identical, but it’s much quieter. I could hear roosters below on the hill.

Rooftop Bars & Restaurants in Athens

If you’re not looking for a hike, there are also many rooftop bars & restaurants in Athens that offer incredible views along with food & drink. Be sure to make a reservation if you want to visit around sunset or at night. Most of the bars & restaurants with Acropolis views are busy during this time.

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Some popular Athens rooftop bars & restaurants include 360 Cocktail Bar, A For Athens, Ciel Athens, The Zillers Roof Garden, MS, Thea Terrace, Attic Urban Rooftop, Couleur Locale, and City Zen All Day Bar Restaurant. All are great places for views of the Acropolis at night.

Here are some great Athens tours & activities & other things to see & do in Athens.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Athens, check out these hotels. I recommend the Moxy Athens City, InnAthens, and Pan Hotel Athens.

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