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The Best Outdoor Places in Athens

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Outdoor Places in Athens

While most European cities’ spectacular green-grass parks usually occupy the top of tourists’ lists with the must-visit attractions, Athens’ outdoor places are often overlooked. That doesn’t mean though, that the Greek capital doesn’t have numerous green oases ideal for a break from the city’s noise. All you need is an insider’s guide to help you discover them. So, here is our list, with the Best Outdoor Places in Athens!

Filopappou Hill

Filopappou Hill is the most popular hill in Athens due to its historic significance, and it is first on our list with the best outdoor places in Athens.

When the weather in Athens city is good, most tourists head here in order to visit the Sacred Rock and to enjoy the view of the Acropolis and Mt Lycabettus.

However, for locals is a beloved hangout and if you go there on sunset you’ll see groups of friends relaxing on top of the hill, couples sitting at the benches or families taking a lazy walk around the narrow cobblestone paths.

Filopappou Hill - The Best Outdoor Places in Athens
Image from: Wikimedia Commons

The Athens National Garden

In the heart of the Athens city center, just a stone’s throw away from Syntagma square lies the Athens National Garden. The second place on our list with the best outdoor places in Athens.

Created by Queen Amalia the spectacular garden was once called “The Garden of Amalia” and it is said that Her Majesty planted many of the trees and plants that until nowadays adorn the garden.

The 59-acre garden is home to 7,000 trees, 40,000 bushes and other plants featuring a total of 519 different species and varieties.

The mosaic floors of ancient Roman villas close to the entrance on Vasilissis Sophias Avenue, a sundial at the main entrance, a conservatory, a Spanish fountain, and a library are some of the things you’ll find in the marvelous garden.

The Athens national Garden
The Athens National Garden. Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Akadimia Platonos

A bit further out of the city center, but still within easy reach, lies Akadimia Platonos.

A very scenic outdoor place in Athens city.

A flourished archeological park and an interactive museum stand nowadays in the same place Plato founded The Academy in 387 BC.

The park isn’t just of great historical significance but also an excellent place for a picnic away from the tourist crowds and the city’s hustle and bustle.

akadimia platonos
Pic: Luke McKernan

Ermou Street

Ermou street spans from Syntagma square all the way down to Gazi, the hip area known for its bustling nightlife.

This street is widely known as Athens’ main shopping street as numerous clothing boutiques and shops stand on both sides especially in the part stretching from Syntagma until Monastiraki.

Head further down though, and you’ll discover one of the quietest and scenic outdoor places in Athens city.

The part of the Ermou street spanning from Thiseio station to Pireos street is a pedestrianized pathway with the archaeological site of the Kerameikos on one side and small grass-covered hills on the other.

So, whatever season you are in Athens, choose one of the benches and observe the city’s noise from afar.

the archaeological site of the Kerameikos in the Ermou street
The archaeological site of the Kerameikos in the Ermou street. Image courtesy by Tilemahos Efthimiadis from flickr.com

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is the latest addition in Athens’ outdoor spaces.

The impressive urban complex is situated in Kallithea, which is an area next to Koukaki neighborhood, and it is around a 15-minutes drive from Syntagma square and approximately 30 minutes by bus.

Featuring a modern-architecture building surrounded by water fountains, green parks, and promenades ideal for biking or walking, SNFCC is attracting locals and tourists of all ages and styles.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. Image courtesy by John Karakatsanis from flickr.com

Flisvos Marina

Located in the Athenian Riviera, the Flisvos Marina one of the best outdoor places in Athens city lives up to the area’s reputation boasting high-end restaurants, cocktail bars, and stylish boutiques.

Providing high-class facilities and services, the luxurious Flisvos Marina attracts both yacht owners from all over the world and locals from all around Attica who come for a stroll or a dinner by the sea.

Flisvos Marina
Flisvos Marina. Image by Wikimedia Commons

Strefi hill

Strefi hill is one of Athens’ secret attractions which makes it an ideal place to see Athens city from above away from the tourist crowds.

Situated in Exarchia, the tree-covered hill isn’t just a popular hangout for the area’s residents but locals from different parts around the city head here for a walk.

On Strefi hill, you’ll find a public basketball court, a playground and a local tavern where you can taste traditional mouthwatering dishes.

Open-air parties take place during the summer months.

Strefi Hill in Athens
Athens from Strefi hill. Pic: Arachne Epigraphic

The Diomidous Botanical Garden

Another well kept-secret location is The Diomidous Botanical Garden in Haidari, an area in the city’s western suburbs.

Even though it’s one of the largest botanical gardens in southeastern Europe housing both native and exotic plant species, The Diomidous Botanical Garden is one of the lesser-known attractions in the Greek capital, but for sure deserves to be on our list the best outdoor places in Athens.

The 460-acre garden features 2,500 species of plants including some varieties found in the Greek mythology, scenic paths, and water-lily ponds.

The entrance is free and visitors can book a guided tour in advance.

Diomidous Botanical Garden
Diomidous Botanical Garden. Pic: Wikimedia.org

The Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) Gardens

 In the heart of Athens’ city center, close to Evangelismos station lies The Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), a major cultural center which since 1991 has been hosting educational activities and art events.

Right next to the classy building spans an alluring garden filled with flourished trees and colorful gardens ideal for some moments of relaxation.

The Athens Concert Hall Gardens is open to the public from 10 in the morning until sunset while in the summer months live concerts and other cultural events take place under Athens’ night sky.

The Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) Gardens
The Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) Gardens. Bobos Arts Festival ©Aliki Seferou

Lycabettus Hill

 Being the highest point in the center of Athens, Lycabettus hill is a favorite spot for locals and tourists and one of the best outdoor places in Athens city!

From the 908-feet mount, visitors can take a unique glimpse of the city and see the remarkable historic sites of Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Panathenaic Stadium from above.

Lycabettus Hill
Athens, sunset, from Lycabettus Hill. Image by Peter Rintels from flickr.com

On the top of the Lycabettus Hill, this scenic outdoor place in Athens city, you’ll find the Greek church of Agios Georgios (St. George) as well as a café/restaurant.

The historic theater of Lycabettus which recently was under refurbishment is located on the hill built at the site of an old quarry and it has hosted legendary concerts and theatrical plays.

Even though the Athenian neighborhoods with their scenic alleys and graffiti painted walls will most likely hold your interest, don’t miss out on the chance of delving into the city’s green spaces.

The Greek capital will never cease to surprise you.

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In Brief
  • Get there by: Metro & Bus
  • What to See: Some of The Best Outdoor Places in Athens
  • What to Do: Take a Break From the City’s Noise
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