Day plans: suggested routes (… working on it)

Acropolis, Agora, Plaka

Walk down to the Marble Stadium (Panathenaic Stadium), cross the avenue and go to the Zappeion. From there continue east bound. Pass from the Temple of Olympian Zeus and head to the Acropolis Museum. Check the museum’s site for opening hours and tickets. Then head to the Acropolis hill. On your exit towards your right and across you will see the Areopagus rock. Climb the steps for a view of the Monastiraki area down below. Then head towards the archeological site of the ancient Agora. In the Agora particular interest is the Stoa of Attalos and the the Temple of Hephaestus (a smaller size Parthenon). Exit into Monastiraki area and after exploring a bit head west into Plaka. From there cross into the National Gardens. Wonder around. There was an augmented reality free exhibition in the National Gardens until September 30, 2023. You might still be able to see it (its virtual anyway). To give it a try you must download a free app .  Check the Seeing the Invisible site for details. Exit the park on the east side. Pass by the Presidential Palace and head towards home.

Although I am an iphone user, I use Google Maps for navigation. Too many times iphone maps had wrong directions on non-efficient routes. Not that Google Maps is perfect; simply better. Google maps will not allow more than 10 stops. To make matters more complicated, it seems that the app counts route alterations as extra stops (although not visible to anyone but the creator of the map). So, the 1st map below gives you the total route from home to home. The two following give you the same route in two sections. Use the top one as an overview and the two below for reference if you want to follow the route I suggest. IT SEEMS THAT GOOGLE WILL ALWAYS RECALCULATE THE ROUTE. Looking for a solution.

A. From Home up to X

B. From X to Home

Archeological Museum, Philopappou Hill, EMST museum

Take a taxi or buss to the Archeological Museum. Visit it if you are into archeology. Otherwise, come back after it is restored. When done, walk toward Omonia square (=harmony in Greek). This used to be the center of Athens in the 1950s. Now it is rather run down. Walk along Athinas Street. Visit the market and continue into Monastiraki and then to Thesio. Walk up Apostolou Pavlou, the pedestrian street leading to the Acropolis from the west. Enter the hill to your right and head to the Pnyx. Wonder around this hill. Loose yourself to the south of the hill where you will have a good -distant- view of the coastal area. If you are interested in Modern art head through Koukaki district to the EMST museum. The building, an ex-beer brewery, is interesting. From there take the tram, a taxi, or walk back home.

Modern Athens: Kolonaki area (museums) and Lycabettus hill.

Walk Towards the Kolonaki area and the downtown museums. On your way you will pass by the Athens Conservatoire. Notice that this building (easier seen from google/Apple maps) is positioned in parallel to the Parthenon (same goes for the Acropolis Museum). After passing the building on your right lay the ruins of the Lyceum of Aristotele. At the end of the block (traffic lights), go right for the Byzantine museum. This museum has a nice garden coffee shop. Across the Avenue on the  left side is the Museum of Cycladic Art (I particularly like the minimal white marble sculptures here). The entrance is on the side street Neofitou Douka at the end of the block.  Further down V. Sofias Avenue, just across the next set of traffic lights, is the Benaki Museum (the downtown building).  Two blocks further, towards the center is the B & M Theocharakis museum. If you are only doing one museum from this list, I would choose the Cycladic museum. But, do check their sites (highlighted links) for temporary exhibitions.

Next, ascend to the highest hill of Athens. There are several ways to reach Lycabettus hill. I suggest you walk into Kolonaki area, maybe grab a bite to eat, and walk up to the Funicular. Its a few minutes funicular ride to the top of the hill. Once out of the building walk up to the top where St George church (beware: this links to a site that promotes tours -its the best info on the hill I found) is located. Enjoy a 360 view of Athens. Then walk down the hill from the pathway on the southeast east side, (i.e. to the right of the church as you face its entrance). Midway walking down you will come across an all-day food place called Prasini Tenta (Green Tent). This will be on your right side as you descend and. It is a great place to be at around sunset, it has a great view to the west!

If you are visiting the hill during the summer months, note that there is an open air theater on the north side of the hill (at a plateau below the top). Check for music performances during the summer months.


As you come down from Lycabettus hill on the south side, you will enter the Kolonaki area. Make a small detour to see the facade of the Kleomenous One building. Its a private residence with an interesting facade located on Kleomenous 1 str (to be sure you are not confused by the name, its just the address). If you like architecture, I strongly recommend you pass by it.

Across the street is St George Lycabettus hotel. To its right you can walk down the steps and cross the road to enter (slightly left and then right) the Dexameni Square. On the side of the square, below it actually on its left side as you walk downhill, lies the Aqueduct of Hadrian in Athens (you can see some of it from above). You won’t see much, but you might find interesting that this is a  water supply network that brought water from the mountain of Parnitha to the center of Athens covering some 25km distance back in the roman times.

Continue walking down hill. If you are into main stream shopping, try the Attica mall. Look for Voukourestiou str. The bottom part is pedestrian and home to the most expensive high end jewelry shops in Athens. At its lower end to its right is the Attica Mall (a huge by Greek Standards building that belongs to the Army and is leased for 50+ years to the department store). On the back side of the Attica Mall you will find city-link, an arcade full of cafes and restaurants.

If you walk back home, and its daylight, go through the National Park. After sunset the park is closed and you will have to walk around it.

Modern Athens: National Gallery and Lycabettus hill.

An alternative way to plan your day, is to visit the National Gallery and from there walk up to Lycabettus hill and back to the center (as above).

Athens and the Sea

If you are staying in Athens for more than 3 nights I stronly recomend that you visit the seaside. It will give you a chance to feel the connection that Athenians have to the sea. There are several areas to (or choose from to) visit:

  1. Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
  2. Faliron
  3. Glyfada
  4. Vouliagmeni

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Make your way to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). Take the shuttle buss form Syntagma Square. Or, the bus, or hop on a taxi.
The SNFCC hosts the National Library (their site is in Greek), the Greek National Opera and a vast olive tree garden. The center was designed by the renowned architect Renzo Piano to resemble a lighthouse. Make sure to take the lift to the top for views of the sea. Here, at the lighthouse, you will get a better sense of how close the sea is to the center of town.


If you are into walking you can commence your coastal hike from the SNFCC. Position yourself in the Agora, the area between the Library (left) and the Opera (right). In front of you you will see the canal and across it wide steps. Make your way to the steps by going round the canal. Go up and turn right. You will enter the esplanade. That is a wide bridge that will take you to the coast. Follow the map below. You will walk along an open space called Water Square. It is used in the summer for music festivals, then pass by a naval museum, then the Flisvos marina and then along a pathway just above the beach (think Nice, France … in smaller scale). Walk up to the end of the beach where you will find the restaurant (and coffee place) Edem restaurant. We go there for an urban by-the-sea vibe. The food is quite good. You can take the tram to get back to town. Its a long ride (I think 45-50 min) with not much to see. 


Glyfada is a southern district that was frequented by American military personnel stationed in a nearby base camp until the late 1970s. It is an affluent southern suburb with a sizable foreign community (Lebanese, Arabs, and Russians). Here you will come mostly for the vibe and the shopping. Some call it the Monaco of Greece because you frequently see extravagant cars in the area.

There are small beach formations, and several restaurants (& coffee shops) along the coast. Look for Ark for an upscale on the beach experience.

Voula & Vouliagmeni

Vouliagmeni (sunk in Greek) is one of the most luxurious southern suburbs of Athens. Its name derives from an area that collapsed (sunk) to form a lagoon. The formed Vouliagmeni lake is supplied by fresh “filtered” water from the nearby sea and from a constant flow of hot spring water coming from system of caves that extend deep into mount Hymettus, a mountain that runs along the east side of Athens. The water supplied from within the mountain is enriched with several minerals that give it a dark color and a smell. Its temperature never falls below 18 decrees Celsius and the lake is frequented even during the winter. The location is beautiful and worth a visit. To complement there is a spa operation running throughout the year. Particularly during the summer months you may want to book to be sure you enter (even just to swim). 

During the summer months there are two organized beaches. Both are privately operated and a ticket is required to enter. Although expensive, booking is frequently mandatory in order to secure a spot (usually an umbrella and two sunbeds). The least expensive option is Akti Vouliagmeni and the luxurious one is Astir beach. (Paralia Asteras). The other alternative is Voula beach.

For free beach access, head to Kavouri beach or anywhere in the area between Voula and Kavouri.

The map below shows the locations suggested above. Note that each beach is in a different bay. You could walk from one end to the other. The most interesting stretch to walk is the Voula to Kavouri. Most is along the coast along small beach formations that are free to enter. Beware that for about 1/4 of the distance you are walking on a wide pavement on the side of the avenue with cars passing by at high speed. The Kavouri to Vouliagmeni stretch is basically going over the other side of the hill. Not much to see. The Vouliagmeni to the lake stretch is not too bad. It’s a beautiful area close to the sea but for the most part with no access to it. Again you will be walking on the side of the avenue. The lake itself is worth a visit.