Julie Greece 8 Comments

Rising up from the center of Athens is the Acropolis, a giant chunk of rock topped with the Parthenon and several other historical monuments. This is ancient, iconic Greece, the place where philosophers questioned the universe, democracy and freedom of speech were born, and temples were built to honor the gods.

The Acropolis can be seen from almost anywhere in the city center of Athens, but if you want truly spectacular views of this ancient wonder, there are several great spots to try.

During our stay in Athens, we were on a mission to find the “best view” of the Acropolis. We hopped from hillside to agora to rooftop bar to find the perfect view over Athens, and had a blast doing it.

Our visit to Athens was in mid-April and the weather sure did keep things interesting. We had a bit of everything…clouds, sunny skies, wind, rain, and storms. This stormy weather pattern added a lot of drama to the skies (and our days) and it shows in our photos.

Here are our 9 best views of Athens and the Acropolis, with our favorites listed at the end of this article.


Best Views of Athens

1. Areopagus Hill

Areopagus Hill, also known as Mars Hill, is a spot to get one of the most iconic views of the Acropolis.

This rocky outcropping offers not only a stunning view of the Acropolis but also across the Ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus.

Areopagus Hill View | Best Views of Athens

Areopagus Hill | Best Views of Athens

But this is more than a nice spot to snap a photo. There is a lot of history and legend here. According to Greek mythology, this hill got its name from Ares, the god of war, who was tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidon’s son Alirrothios. In ancient times, this was a meeting place where philosophy and law were discussed. It is also the location where the Apostle Paul gave one of his most important speeches.

Areopagus Hill is located very close to the main entrance into the Acropolis, so go here before or after you tour the Acropolis.

Cost: free

2. Philopappos Hill

Located just southwest of the Acropolis, Philopappos Hill (also spelled Filopappou Hill) is a hilly park laced with walking trails. The most popular viewpoint is located at the Monument of Philopappos, but you can also follow the other trails for a slightly different perspective of the Acropolis.

In Athens | Best Views of Athens

Tyler Kara Julie in Athens

Best Views of Athens

View of the Acropolis from Philopappus Hill | Best Views of Athens


Philopappos Monument

Philopappos Monument


Best View of Athens

A slightly different perspective of the Acropolis from a trail near the Philopappos Monument | Best Views of Athens

Cost: Free
Getting Here: You can walk here from the main entrance of the Acropolis or Areopagus Hill (about 15 minutes).

3. The National Observatory of Athens

This next view technically isn’t located right at the Observatory, but it is very close to here.

From the Philopappos Monument, walk north across the park towards the National Observatory. Before getting to the Observatory, take the path to the right that takes you past the Doridis Refractor to another great viewpoint of the Acropolis. This viewpoint is located near the Doridis Refractor and the Pnyx. Here are the GPS coordinates if you want to find the exact spot: 37° 58′ 20.01″ N 23° 43′ 6.882″ E

Views of the Acropolis

Observatory View | Best Views of Athens

View from the National Observatory | Best Views of Athens

Not only do you get to see the Acropolis with Mount Lycabettus in the background, but you can also see Areopagus Hill in the foreground.

Cost: Free

4. A for Athens Rooftop Bar

This is one of our favorite viewpoints in Athens, not only because the view is spectacular, but also because you can have lunch or dinner as you enjoy the view.

A for Athens is a hotel and restaurant. On the roof of the hotel is a two-story restaurant and bar. From here, you can look out over Monastiraki Square to the Acropolis. It is much different from the other viewpoints mentioned so far, since you get to see the Acropolis with the city of Athens in the foreground.

Best Athens Views

View from A for Athens Rooftop Bar | Best Views of Athens

There are two levels to the restaurant. We ate dinner at the lower level, at a table right up against the glass windows. The glass panels can be lowered so you can take photos without a glare (depending on the weather conditions).

The second level is a rooftop bar and it is a lot more open. In my opinion, the view wasn’t as good from up here, since the terrace does not come out to the edge of the building. The edge of the terrace sits several meters back from edge of the building, so it can be difficult to get a photo of the Acropolis and Monastiraki Square without part of the building in the bottom of your photo.

If you like the idea of having dinner here, make a reservation in advance and request a table up against the window on the first level.

By the way, the food is good and the drinks are even better. And you can choose this as your hotel in Athens. We almost did, but chose The Athenian Modern Apartments simply because we wanted a little more space since we were traveling as a family.

5. Hotel Grande Bretagne Rooftop Restaurant

The Hotel Grande Bretagne is a 5-star hotel that is famous for its restaurant that offers views over the Acropolis. However, for all of the hype this view gets, it didn’t live up to our expectations. Yes, it’s a nice view, but we preferred A for Athens and the hills south of the Acropolis as better viewpoints.

Hotel Grande Bretagne

View from Hotel Grande Bretagne | Best Views of Athens

In full disclosure we did not eat here. We arrived at the very end of brunch and right before a 2-hour break when the restaurant closes for the day. They permitted me to take a photo, only because we planned to eat here. But I wouldn’t count on just showing up and taking a photo from the terrace. In order to get this photo, you will have to at least order a drink at the bar.

This is one of Athens’ most upscale hotels, so dinner and drinks will not be cheap. So, this view comes with a price tag. Whether or not it is worth it is for you to decide.

Again, it you want a table with a view, make your reservation in advance. Here is the link to the hotel website.

6. Athens Gate Hotel and Restaurant

I have one more rooftop restaurant recommendation. Athens Gate is a 4-star hotel that is located near the Acropolis Museum. According to Trip Advisor, this restaurant has the 4th best rooftop view in the world (as stated on the Athens Gate website). The photos and the accolades had us very excited for our visit.

We ate dinner here on our last night in Athens. In all honesty, the view is spectacular, but the food, not so much.

With its close proximity to the Acropolis and a great view down the side of the Parthenon, this truly is a remarkable view, as long as you stay seated. When you stand up, you will be looking across a series of unsightly, white buildings, which detract from the overall view. Even so, this is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset.

Athens Gate View

Athens Gate Hotel | Best Views of Athens


Acropolis at Night | Best Views of Athens


This restaurant offers 360° views. Not only can you see the Acropolis, but you can also look out over Mount Lycabettus and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Athens at Night

We weren’t impressed with the food and the food is not cheap. If you are on a budget and would like to have this view, come at sunset, have a drink, maybe an appetizer, but don’t skip dessert. Those were amazing!

Make your reservations in advance. I emailed the hotel right from their website and they were quick to respond with our reservation information. Here’s the link.

7. Mount Lycabettus

For a sprawling view of Athens and the Acropolis, walk or take the Lycabettus Cable Car to the peak of Mount Lycabettus. From here, you get to see just how big this city is, with the Acropolis proudly rising up in the center from the low, white buildings. In the sunlight, this city literally sparkles.

Lycabettus Hill Walking Path

Athens View | Best Views of Athens

View from Mount Lycabettus | Best Views of Athens


Lycabettus Hill View

Getting Here: Unless you take a taxi right to the Lycabettus Cable Car station, expect to do some walking, and a lot of that will be uphill. The closest metro stops are Panepistimio and Evangelismos. From here, it will be an uphill walk to the cable car station. Or, you can choose to walk all of the way to the top on a paved trail that switchbacks its way up the hill. It’s about a 15-minute walk up this paved trail to the summit.

Cost: Free

Greece Travel Guide

8. The Acropolis

A visit to Athens would not be complete with a visit to the Acropolis. And since it is located smack in the city center, you get one of the best views of Athens right from this point. Enjoy the view of the Parthenon, over the Ancient Agora, the slopes of the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, and the hills mentioned earlier in this article.

Parthenon | Best Views of Athens

The Parthenon | Best Views of Athens

Here are views of Athens from the Acropolis.

View from Acropolis

Philopappos Hill

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus and off in the distance Philippapos Hill and Monument.


Mars Hill

Areopagus Hill (Mars Hill)


Acropolis Slopes | Best Views of Athens

In this photo from the Acropolis you can see the Theater of Dionysis, the Acropolis Museum, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

9. From Your Hotel

There are numerous hotels that offer views of the Acropolis. Imagine beginning and ending every day with a view of the Parthenon.

On this list, A for Athens, Hotel Grande Bretagne, and Athens Gate Hotel offer rooms with views of the Acropolis.

We stayed at The Athenians Modern Apartments and from our balcony we could see the Acropolis. It wasn’t an “amazing” view, but it was pretty sweet being able to see it right from our apartment. In our free time, Kara took advantage of our balcony, plus we liked having a kitchen and living area, since it gave us some more space. From here, we were within walking distance of Syntagma Square, Plaka, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The Syntagma metro station was a five-minute walk from the apartment. We stayed in the orange apartment (the deluxe family suite with terrace on Booking.com).

The Athenians View

Our view from The Athenians Modern Apartments | Best Views of Athens

Best Views of Athens: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Best Views of the Acropolis

If you are short on time or don’t feel like hopping from viewpoint to viewpoint, here are our recommendations to narrow this list down a little bit.

Our Favorite: A for Athens Rooftop Restaurant. Nothing like having a great dinner with an amazing view of the Acropolis.

Best Free View of the Acropolis: Mars Hill (Areopagus Hill) is favorite of many visitors to Athens. We also really liked the view from the Philopappos Monument.

Best Rooftop Bar: A for Athens with Athens Gate as our second choice.

Must-Have Experience: It goes without saying that the Acropolis is not to be missed. Enjoy the views, ooh and ahh at the Parthenon, and enjoy your visit to one of the world’s ancient sites. For the best experience, go first thing in the morning, right before closing, or during a storm (like we did) and keep your fingers crossed that the rain will wash everyone away and the skies will clear.

Is there something we missed? What do you think is the best view of Athens and the Acropolis? Comment below!

More Information for Your Trip to Greece

ATHENS: Plan your visit to Athens with our 2 Days in Athens Itinerary and our guide to the Best Hotels in Athens. We also have a detailed list of Things to do in Athens.

THE ACROPOLIS: Learn how to plan your visit and skip the lines in our Guide to the Acropolis.

GREECE ITINERARY: Learn how to visit Athens, Santorini, Naxos and Mykonos in our 10 Day Greece Itinerary.

THINGS TO DO IN SANTORINI: For a full list of things to do, read our article Best Things to Do in Santorini. We also have detailed guides on How to Walk from Fira to Oia and the Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Oia.

MYKONOS: Learn about things to do and how to get around Mykonos in our Guide to Mykonos.

Planning a trip to Greece? Read all of our articles in our Greece Travel Guide.


Best Views Athens and Acropolis


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Comments 8

  1. Avatar for Bijal

    Hello Julie. I have been following your Itinerary for different destination. My last one was Paris and it was wonderful to have all your tips and recomendation. We are going to Greece in September . We will be reaching Athens in mid morning. My question was can we do Acropolis museum in afternoon and then visit Acropolis in evening. For next day spend time on the ancient sites and Plaka and other sites.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, that would work very well. Just note the closing time of the Acropolis so you give yourself enough time when you are there. At a bare minimum, you will need one hour, but two would be better, so you are not too rushed. Have a great trip to Athens! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Moira

    Thank you for writing such interesting and informative posts. Your tips are helpful and I’m enjoying your travel blog soo much!! Beautiful pictures, as well!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  3. Avatar for Danielle

    You are one of very few bloggers that knows how to write incredibly informative posts! I’m glad I’m seeing these as we are going to Greece at the end of the month! With 5 days in Athens. I would love to go to A for Athens restaurant, but I feel like it might be overpriced. Is it? Or is the quality of the food excellent as well? If the food is good, then I don’t mind dropping extra for it.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Danielle. I’m glad you like our website! 🙂 The food at A for Athens is good but I wouldn’t call it excellent. I think it’s priced well for what you get but part of what you are paying for is the view. If you are worried about the cost, you could still go and just get a snack or drink and have dinner someplace else. Have fun in Athens! Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for JOSE LUIS Proenza
    JOSE LUIS Proenza

    I have been in Athens and I wish to know your post before, but I will give you two places in Athens that are worth a visit National Archeological Museum and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation , and amazing building ecological. By the way the Hill that you have a picture with your son is one of the best spot to take picture to the Acropolis. I am now a fan of your blog. God bless you with a great family with whom you and them enjoy.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello and thank you for the suggestions! Yes, I agree with the National Archaeological Museum. We did visit that as well, it’s just not listed in this post. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation sounds interesting, I’m sad we missed it. Thanks for writing in to us and happy travels! Cheers, Julie

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