4 Scenic Routes To Discover Athens On Foot This May

  • by XpatAthens
  • Wednesday, 08 May 2024
4 Scenic Routes To Discover Athens On Foot This May
As the warmth of May blankets the ancient city of Athens, its streets come alive with a vibrant energy, beckoning adventurers to explore its timeless wonders. From the storied ruins of its classical past to the vibrant neighborhoods pulsating with contemporary life, Athens is a walker's paradise.

Embarking on a journey through its labyrinthine alleys and historic landmarks in May is an experience that transcends mere sightseeing – it's a sensory immersion into the heart and soul of a city teeming with beauty and culture. Whether you're tracing the footsteps of ancient philosophers or getting lost in the rhythm of modern Athenian life, exploring Athens on foot is an essential rite of passage for any traveler seeking to unravel the mysteries of this timeless metropolis.

Route 1: An Urban Odyssey through Exarchia and Kolonaki
  • Starting Point: Exarchia Square: Begin your journey in the eclectic neighborhood of Exarchia, known for its vibrant street art, bohemian atmosphere, and countercultural spirit. Take in the colorful murals adorning the walls as you navigate the bustling streets.
  • Stroll through Strefi Hill: Make your way towards Strefi Hill, a verdant oasis amidst the urban landscape. Ascend the hill for panoramic views of Athens and enjoy a moment of tranquility away from the city's hustle and bustle.
  • Explore Kolonaki: Descend from Strefi Hill and head towards Kolonaki, Athens' upscale district renowned for its designer boutiques, chic cafes, and elegant architecture. Wander through the tree-lined streets and indulge in some people-watching at one of the stylish cafes.
  • End Point: Lycabettus Hill: Conclude your journey at Lycabettus Hill, the highest point in Athens offering breathtaking views of the city below. Take the funicular or opt for a scenic hike to the summit, where you can marvel at the sunset painting the Athenian skyline in hues of gold and pink.

Lofos Strefi📍 Strefi Hill. 📷 danis_p_gr

Route 2: From Ancient Agora to the National Garden

  • Starting Point: Ancient Agora: Embark on your exploration at the Ancient Agora, the heart of ancient Athens and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander among the ruins of ancient temples, stoas, and monuments, imagining life in classical Greece.
  • Wander through Plaka: Exit the Ancient Agora and meander through the charming streets of Plaka, one of Athens' oldest neighborhoods. Admire the neoclassical architecture, browse the quaint shops selling souvenirs and handicrafts, and savor a traditional Greek coffee at a local taverna.
  • Discover the National Garden: Continue your journey towards the National Garden, a verdant oasis nestled in the heart of Athens. Explore its winding paths, lush greenery, and tranquil ponds, escaping the urban hustle for a moment of serenity.
  • End Point: Zappeion Hall: Conclude your walk at Zappeion Hall, an architectural masterpiece set amidst the verdant surroundings of the National Garden. Admire its neoclassical facade and grandeur before heading off to explore more of Athens' delights.
Zappeion📍 Zappeion Hall. 📷 theislanderstories

Route 3: From Kerameikos Cemetery to Gazi and Psiri Districts
  • Starting Point: Kerameikos Cemetery Begin your expedition at the Kerameikos Cemetery, an ancient burial ground and archaeological site that offers insight into Athens' funerary practices and religious beliefs. Explore the well-preserved tombs, monuments, and artifacts dating back to ancient times.
  • Explore Gazi District Enter the lively Gazi District, once an industrial area now transformed into a cultural hub brimming with art galleries, trendy bars, and restaurants. Marvel at the industrial-chic architecture and street art adorning the walls as you soak in the energetic atmosphere.
  • Wander through Psiri Continue your journey into the neighboring Psiri District, known for its narrow alleys, colorful street art, and vibrant nightlife. Lose yourself in the maze of streets lined with tavernas, ouzeries, and live music venues, and experience the lively ambiance of this bohemian quarter.
  • End Point: Monastiraki Square Conclude your exploration at Monastiraki Square, where the past meets the present in a dynamic fusion of history and culture. Take a moment to admire the iconic Monastiraki Flea Market and the imposing presence of the Acropolis looming in the distance, before indulging in some souvenir shopping or sampling delicious Greek street food.
Kerameikos Cemetery📍Kerameikos Cemetery. 📷triptolemos_ii

Route 4: From Philopappos Hill to Thissio and Petralona
  • Starting Point: Philopappos Hill: Commence your journey at Philopappos Hill, a tranquil green space offering panoramic views of the Acropolis, the Athenian skyline, and the Saronic Gulf. Take a leisurely stroll along the hill's winding paths, surrounded by cypress trees and wildflowers.
  • Descend to Thissio: Descend from Philopappos Hill towards the charming neighborhood of Thissio, characterized by its neoclassical architecture, picturesque streets, and archaeological sites. Explore the ancient Agora of Athens and the Temple of Hephaestus, marveling at the timeless beauty of these historical landmarks.
  • Meander through Petralona: Venture into the bohemian district of Petralona, known for its artistic flair, eclectic cafes, and alternative vibe. Wander through its labyrinthine streets adorned with colorful murals and street art, and discover hidden gems such as cozy bookstores, vintage shops, and local artisan workshops.
  • End Point: Technopolis: Conclude your expedition at Technopolis, a cultural complex housed in a former gasworks facility in Gazi. Explore the industrial-chic surroundings, visit art exhibitions, attend live performances, or simply relax at one of the outdoor cafes, reflecting on your adventure through the eclectic neighborhoods of Athens.

Philopappos Hill📍Philopappos Hill. 📷marina_loukianova