The city where Plato and Aristoteles once sat on stairways talking about philosophy, politics and the meaning of life. Named after Athena, a Greek goddess, this city was created thousands of years ago. Athens breaths history, but it is also so much more. Countless little islands, just out of the coast; so many viewpoints to take great photos of a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Below some well-known and lesser-known highlights of this amazing city……………… and don’t forget to read the bonus tip at the end of the article!
Lycabettus hill is, in our opinion, one of the most underrated photo spots in Athens. It is the highest hill in the city centre and famous for the restaurant at the top and the amazing view. This is reached with a cable car and is also an amazing place to have a drink. A little less high up on the hill is a much quieter place that is really beautiful as well. With the Acropolis on the left-hand side and the city right in front of you, this place can be reached from Syntagma square within a 25 minutes walk. Especially the sunset from this viewpoint is really beautiful (if you bring wine and two glasses this place is perfect for a date as well😉).
Acropolis is by far the most famous place in Athens and therefore maybe a bit unnecessary to mention as a “must visit” place. One tip we can give you though is that it is really important to arrive as early as possible at the entrance. The gates open at 8AM so make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early if you want to be in the front of the line. This gives you the time to take photos at the top without being confronted with the big crowd. If you want to see the Acropolis from a distance, it is recommended to go to Filopappou Hill. From this place you have a clear view of the Acropolis, especially the sunset can be very spectacular from here!
Kentriki Agora is a must-visit place as well. This local meat and fish market is located between the neighbourhood Plaka and Psiri and has remained pretty much the same over the last decades. Starting with little stands on the outside where you can buy cheese, nuts and many different spices, it changes into a market to buy meat and fish. These fresh products are still displayed as it was done originally. When walking through the hallways, it is possible to see parts of cows, pigs or fish that isn’t used. This makes this place incredibly good (or not if you are vegetarian) to make beautiful photos of details and the traditional way of shopping for food in Athens.
Just across the street from the main entrance is a street called Aristogitonos. On the left-hand side, there are many flee shops with a lot of old stuff, with even old cameras from the 1920s-1930s if you’re lucky! Items can cost a lot more than with normal flee shops, but might be fun to visit as well if you like to find an old camera as decoration, or if you just want to photograph more details!
KEA is an island located 2,5 hours away from the city centre of Athens. With its white houses and beautiful shore, it is a beautiful place to visit when you have a little bit more time in Athens. The streets in the city centre (“Chora” in Greek) are not accessible for cars, which makes it even more enjoyable for photography. The island is really good for hiking, especially sunset walks or ancient walks are really special to do and deliver really good photos! It is recommended to stay at least one night at the island. In this way, you can see more of the island and photograph with sunrise and sunset when less people are out on the street.
If you happen to have only one day to visit an island, Agina might be a better option for you. This island is only half an hour away from Piraeus (Athens) which makes it much easier to visit and spend some time in only one day.
Psiri is a neighbourhood next to Plaka, located really close to the known tourist attractions in Athens but nonetheless, it is less visited. Psiri has always been a neighbourhood with artisans and craftsmen making potters, sculptors or tailoring. Throughout history, Psiri has been abandoned but later people came back making it the neighbourhood it is today. Many small shops and boutiques are still selling handmade objects and accessories, as well as art galleries displaying the works of contemporary artists. Street art is also a very common sight in Psiri. Especially the dog painting Loukanikos is very famous. This street dog participated many times in the anti-austerity protest in 2010.
Bonus tip! If you are still a student, you should definitely bring your student card. Many museums (including the National Archaeological Museum, the Acropolis Museum and even the Acropolis itself) are for free when you can hand over a student card! This can easily save you tens of Euros, which you can the use to buy a drink at a rooftop bar!