Introduction

Filopappou Hill offers eye-level views of the Acropolis from the top, as well as some welcome green space, along with the Hill of the Pnyx to the north. Just beyond, the sedate Thisio neighbourhood is cut through with two fine pedestrian routes, around which a pleasant cafe precinct flourishes. If you walk south to Petralona, you'll find even more low-key residential streets that makes a nice change from the more heavily touristed centre.

Explore

You'll naturally come to this area in the afternoon or early evening, when you'll probably be strolling the pedestrian promenade by the Acropolis. From there it's a short detour up Filopappou Hill to admire the Acropolis.

But if you make a special trip in the morning, you may find the wonderful Byzantine Church of Agio Dimitrios Loumbardiaris open, and you'll have a little more light and time to appreciate the beautifully paved paths. The adjacent Hill of the Pnyx, very little visited, is also a peaceful place any time of day, with lots of bird life and equally good vantage on the Acropolis.

Thisio and Petralona are both pleasant, distinctly un-scene-y places for lunch or dinner, and especially rewarding for anyone who prefers wandering a bit to get a feel of what's available. Petralona has an upper ('Ano') and a lower ('Kato') portion; Iroon is the main street through the upper part.

Highlights

  • Hill of the Pnyx Making a pilgrimage to the site of the first formal democratic assemblies, which expanded into a formal space for speakers to address an audience.
  • Church of Agios Dimitrios Loumbardiaris Lighting a candle in this exceptionally atmospheric Byzantine church.
  • Cafe life Enjoying a coffee or glass of ouzo and watching the world go by at Koupa Libre or another bar fronting the area's two pedestrian streets.
  • Dora Stratou Dance Theatre Seeing Greek folk heritage on display at this theatre that helps preserve regional dance and music traditions.
  • Shrine of the Muses Leaving an offering at this niche in Filopappou Hill, which has been an inspiration to artists for millennia.

Top Tips

Cafes along Thisio's pedestrian promenade Apostolou Pavlou (the continuation of Dionysiou Areopagitou) have great Acropolis views. The string of cafes and bars along pedestrianised Iraklidon also draws them in. So just wander and see what appeals.