Either your main priority is to exercise and running is too much for the summer heat or you want to explore the historical city and Greek culture up close and personal, Athens walks definitely due during your stay in the Greek capital. Follow our lead and explore the most beautiful and fascinating corners of the city as we present to you the top walking routes in Athens; the perfect walking tour is waiting for you.
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City tours can be overwhelming, but that's what we're here for! From the food tour of your dreams to a simple cultural walk around Athens, we can guide you around everything your heart desires.
Aeropagitou - Apostolou Pavlou Street Str.
Aeroapgitou Str., walking tours besides Acropolis and Acropolis Museum - credits: Andronos Haris/Shutterstock.com
Starting off strong our Athens walks with one of the most loved walking routes of the Athenians, the walk along Aeropagitou Str. offers an idyllic experience with a landscape that combines Athens’ past and present.
Often referred to as the most beautiful street of Athens, Dionysiou Aeropagitou Str. -which is the street’s full name- starts from Vasilisis Amalias Av. opposite the Temple of Zeus, where the statue of General Makrygiannis lies, and concludes on the foot of Philopappos Hill only to be renamed to Apostolou Pavlou Str. and continues to Thiseio neighborhood.
Thankfully, the famous street is one of the most easily accessible spots in Athens, which will be exceptionally helpful during your Athens walks. Just stop at the Acropolis Metro Station and take the exit to Areopagitou's paved road. Begin your walking tour under the shadow of the Acropolis with a view of the Parthenon on your right and the Acropolis Museum on your left.
It goes without saying that both the archaeological site of the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum is more than worth a visit. The Acropolis Museum stands right across from the ancient rock and its exhibits include valuable findings that were revealed after excavations that took place under the ancient ruins. As a result, a walking tour with a knowledgeable guide will reveal the significant moments of Greek history related to the historic capital, which will be a treat to history buffs around the world. The museum also boasts an excellent restaurant serving incredible dishes that take real Greek food and update it with contemporary cooking techniques.
If you decide to indulge in an Acropolis and Acropolis Museum tour with us, please note that you will have the opportunity to enjoy skip-the-line tickets that will take you away from the tourist crowds and will save you the trouble of waiting for hours in the heat. Trust us when we say that skip-the-line tickets can make or break the enjoyment of landmark monuments; our tour guide knows that and will make sure that your day-to-day life will be as easy and smooth as possible under our watch.
Along the street, you will find beautiful neoclassical buildings and old mansions that compose a postcard-like image. The small chapel you will see next to the buildings is the church of Saint Sophia and it was built in 1919. The street is named after Dionysios Aeropagitis, the first Athenian who turned Christian following the religious speech of the apostle Paul, and it was pedestrianized in 2003.
When the street reaches the entrance of Philopappos Hill, continue on Apostolou Pavlou Str. and make your main priority to pass by some of Athens’ most important ancient monuments, such as the Ancient Agora, Areopagus, Pnyx, and the Sanctuary of Pan on your way to Thiseio, where your walking tours and Athens walks will come to an end among a wide selection of coffee shops and local taverns, where you can stop for an energy boost.
You can book one of our Athens walking tours in order to explore these locations, including the UNESCO listed Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, with the help of our excellent licensed guides; our walking tours in Athens -whether it's a private or a small group tour- are an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the historic city and no Athens tour is complete without a healthy dose of that! Actually, no Athens walks or Athens tours can be complete without the help of Greeking.me!
Philopappos Hill, Athens tours - credits: dimitris k/Shutterstock.com
As mentioned before, at the end of Dionysios Areopagitou, this magical Athens street, on the left-hand side, you can enter Philopappos Hill during your Athens tour to witness a magical and unique landscape that offers an unmatched view of the whole of Athens. You see, ancient Greek history is evident all through the city and during each and every single of your walking tour or our Athens tours.
Due to its rich vegetation, it is the perfect escape from the summer heat, while its picturesque paths create a fairytale-like environment for your Athens walks. Near the entrance, you will find the famous chapel of Agios Dimitrios of Lombardiari. From there, you can follow one of the many paved paths during one of your Athens walking tours that will lead you to the famous hill of Pnyx, where you can marvel at the breathtaking view that stretches before you.
On the top of the hill, lies the monument of Philopappos, responsible for the name of the whole hill and built during the reign of Emperor Trajan. Philopappos was a grandson of Antiochus the last King of Commagene in Syria, but he was financially benefiting the city of Athens and died here as an Athenian citizen.
Wear your most comfortable shoes and explore the green paradise in the heart of the city on one of the beautiful Athens walks or Athens tours, where you can find the glorious history of Athens under every rock you turn. Despite being popular among both locals and visitors during the day, we would highly suggest avoiding visiting Philopappos Hill after sunset, as it is a secluded area and can get a bit dangerous during your Athens tours. Of course, a tour guide for Philoppapos Hill is not necessary but always beneficial.
Plaka neighborhood on a small-group tour - credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com
No matter how long your trip to Athens is going to be or what Athens tours you will follow, you must include the Plaka neighborhood in your waking itinerary or your walking tours. One of the oldest and most scenic neighborhoods of Athens located near the ancient Agora, Plaka looks like it has jumped straight out of a movie. Athens walks around Plaka will transport you back in time, allowing you to experience the atmosphere and charm of old Athens, as it maintains the vibe it used to have almost a century ago.
It is the perfect combination of old and new with its paved alleys and neoclassical buildings being interrupted by modern-day cafes and taverns. Agios Nikolaos Rangavas and the stone church of Agii Anargyri are two of the famous churches of Plaka that you will meet on Prytaneion Str on your idyllic walking tour.
You can’t visit Plaka without visiting the legendary district of Anafiotika, one of the most local-favorite regions of Athens, which has gained popularity in recent years and exudes Greek culture. Anafiotika is often referred to as the ‘hidden island’ within the city center due to the prominent Cycladic architecture that differentiates it from the rest of Athens.
The reason for the Cycladic architecture is quite a funny story and you don't need to wait for city tours to hear it: in the second half of the 19th century, king Otto hired builders from the island of Anafi to reconstruct the city. The builders decided to build a neighborhood for them and their families to reside in, and feeling nostalgic about home, they built Anafiotika to resemble their island. The bougainvillea plants enhance the Cycladic aesthetic even more, resulting in a gorgeous setting.
Please keep in mind, that there are food tours, including our Athens for Foodies food tour that will let you have a peek of the neighborhood of Plaka. We highly suggest you grab the opportunity to experience one of those food tours, as in our opinion, a food tour is an excellent way of getting to know a foreign country while also tasting mouthwatering creations. We promise Greek culture tastes incredible and your Athens walks will testify to that!
Syntagma Square - Ermou Street - Monastiraki
Ermou street, Athens walks - credits: Nataliia Sokolovska/Shutterstock.com
The most obvious -but just as appealing- walking route you should take while visiting Athens and taking on Athens tours is the one that begins at Syntagma Square, the emblematic meeting point of the Athenians, continues down Ermou street and concludes in the neighborhood of Monastiraki.
Commence your Athens walks in front of the Old Royal Palace in Syntagma Square that now houses the Greek Parliament. There, you can watch the changing of the presidential guards, called ‘evzones’ in front of the monument of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that takes place every hour, and even take a picture with one. Be careful though! They are not allowed to interact with you in any way, so don’t try to engage in conversation with them.
Continuing your Athens walks, cross the street, pass by the fountain found in the middle of the square and continue to Ermou Street, the most commercial street of Athens and the main destination for the shopping expeditions of the locals. Descending the pedestrianized street, you will meet famous, international retail chains as well as small local boutiques.
Then, almost at the end of the road, you will come across the church of Kapnikarea, one of the oldest Greek Orthodox churches in Athens, built sometime in the 11th century, perhaps around 1050. A little further down from Kapnikarea, Ermou street comes to an end, leaving you in the middle of the famous Monastiraki Square, the place that gathers the history of Athens through the times.
There, you will find important archaeological monuments such as the Tzistarakis Mosque, the Library of Hadrian, and the Monastery of Pantanassa. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to stroll through Monastiraki’s Flea Market, to buy unique Greek souvenirs to bring back home; a little token from your Athens walks. This whole route makes for Athens walking tours that reveal the excellence of the city, while nearby you can find Athens Central Market, where you will have the opportunity to learn the basics of Greek cuisine and explore Athens through the city's culinary heritage.
Please note that this route is also perfect for an Athens food tour. These districts are favored by food tour guides, as they boast traditional taverns, Greek restaurants, and sophisticated delis that allow visitors to get immersed into the Greek food culture. Our food tours are led by local and experienced food tour guides that will show you around the most delicious corners of the capital city!
Lycabettus Hill on a walking tour - credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com
If hiking doesn't intimidate you, a walking route that is worth your time is the walk up Lycabettus Hill, one of the most romantic walks you can take in Athens and the perfect place to catch the Athenian sunset.
According to Greek Mythology, Mount Lycabettus was a rock carried by Goddess Athena, who had won over Poseidon in their battle for the sovereignty of Athens and was trying to fortify the city. The rock fell from her hands after she received some bad news from a raven. Legend has it, that because of it, ravens became black.
On the hill, there is the Lycabettus Theater, an open modern amphitheater where concerts and theatrical performances took place before, while it used to be a hub of Greek culture. The theater was closed in 2008 due to safety reasons, however, the hill remains a popular destination for people that want to enjoy a magical view during their Athens tours alongside a knowledgable guide.
At the very top of the Lycabettus, lies the chapel of Agios Georgios. Apart from walking all the way to the top, the hill is accessible by a cable car, but if you can, we suggest going on foot instead, so you get the full walking experience; we are talking about your Athens walks after all.
Thankfully, a lovely cafe that also serves as a luxury restaurant will welcome you with edible delights highlighting the excellence of Greek food when you reach the top at the end of your Athens walking tours, so if you’d like to indulge in an expensive, delectable meal while overlooking the magnificent capital, this is your chance! Keep in mind that Lycabettus is the second-highest point of the Athens basin after Tourkovounia and rises 277 meters above sea level and 227 meters above the city, so if you visit it after sunset, you might need a light jacket - yes, even during the summer!
The National Garden
The National Garden - credits: Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com
When locals want to escape the bustling city, and take a deep breath of fresh air, the first thing that comes to mind is a relaxing walk around the National Graden, located right next to the parliament, a few meters away from the Syntagma Metro station.
The impressive selection of long lines of trees and plants from all around the world, as well as the little zoo in the middle of the garden, make it the ultimate family destination for Athens walks, or a walking tour for those who want to escape the concrete jungle.
You can feed the ducks (consider it a duck food tour) and sit by one of the six water fountains to read your book under the shade of the luscious trees on a break from your Athens walks; there is even a children's garden library to accommodate the literature needs of your little ones, where they can enter for free, listen to classical music and engage in creative activities during their Athens tour that will make for many memorable experiences!
The highlight of the National Garden is the sundial located at the main entrance from Amalias Av. and the Roman Mosaic floor facing Vassilissis Sofias Blvrd. The 155 acres garden was a project conceptualized by queen Amalia as a scientific and botanical garden as well as private.
Her interest in the garden was so great that it is rumored she used to spend three hours a day personally taking care of it, therefore making it her main priority. The National Garden stretches to the south where the Zappeion mansion is located opposite the Panathenaic stadium where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896 and gave the stadium a new light. Apart from its thousand of plant species, the garden has a great archaeological interest, as it still houses ancient ruins, columns, and mosaics, making it the perfect stop during Athens tours with a knowledgable guide, whether it is a private or a small group tour.
Athens' Riviera - credits: Aerial motion/Shutterstock.com
How will you know you’re in Greece if you don’t take a walk by the beach, enjoying Athens’ beautiful seaside? Lucky for you, approximately 20 minutes from the center of Athens, you can find one of the most dazzling spots of the Attica region, the Athenian Riviera, perfect for your Athens walks.
Athens’ Riviera stretches along the Saronic Gulf, from Paleo Faliro to Cape Sounio, providing visitors with unmatched sea views and gorgeous beaches sprinkled with Greek culture and the best of what western civilization has to offer. Of course, there is no way for you to cover all of 60 km of the coastline during your Athens walks, however, you can walk some of it and enjoy the salty breeze on your skin. We highly suggest you visit Cape Sounion on a late afternoon tour, as then you will enjoy a magnificent sunset that will be engraved in your brain for years to come. Don't worry though; there is no need for skip-the-line tickets during this late afternoon tour: the Temple of Poseidon is easily accessible and can fit a great number of people.
From smooth sandy beaches to rocky coves and from local traditional taverns to luxury restaurants and coffee shops, you will come across a diverse collection of places during your south Athens tours where you can rest and get refueled by mouthwatering delicacies. You can begin your Athens walks at Palaio Faliro and the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Foundation, take a detour around the Marina Flisvos, one of the prettiest Athenian marinas and the ultimate place to take photos, and continue toward Alimos and Glyfada, where you can end your walk with a refreshing dive into the public beach; small group activity or not, you will never forget it!
Of course, there are plenty of additional spots ideal for Athens tours along the riviera, such as Lake Vouliagmeni, but unless you are a Marathon runner, you’re better off making your main priority to explore them through a Sounio and the Temple of Poseidon tour, or another private or small group tour of your liking! There are no food tours in Athens Riviera, however, there are other cultural stimuli that will satisfy your curious eye.
Athens is not popular only for its archaeological sites, landmark monuments, day-to-day life, delicious Greek food, and stunning urban aesthetic. It is also known for the endless opportunity for long walks and Athens walking tours that reveal the beauty of the city, and now you know everything there is to know in order to enjoy it to the fullest! Join the various city tours and food tours exploring the Greek cuisine offered, and you won't regret it!