It’s been since I last wrote an update here. At the moment we’re actually on Cyprus. Fortunately, we’re still have plenty of time to keep discovering Athens on foot- in the few past days we have been walking a lot.
Our usual way of doing things is that we decide what we want to see on that day. Usually, we only pick one or two things or places, as we need to keep in mind that Little A has her needs as well. It’s also nice to have enough time to actually enjoy what you see. Another important factor for us is walking – we like to walk,
Anyways, here are a few of our highlights while discovering Athens on foot. Just a word of caution before you start your wanders, make sure you have enough water and sunscreen. Also, bring your hat! Athens is a hot city and the sun really burns.
Discovering Athens on Foot- History, Parks, and Some Real Gems
This city has one of the most beautiful – and majestic – names I can think of for a place. When walking in the centre, I often feel a bit overwhelmed. It’s here that it started – democracy, philosophy, our western civilization. Of course, it also makes me wonder and doubt. How is it possible that we haven’t come any further than this?
During this trip, while discovering Athens on foot, we have been talking a lot. A place that inspires you to think, that’s a place worth a visit, in my opinion.
Amazing Views from the Acropolis
We have already told you about the Acropolis. It is indeed a fantastic feeling to stand there – looking at the Greek flag flapping in the wind and all those ruins that have been standing there for millennia. Of course, it’s a crazy place and there are lots of tourists. Was it worth a visit? I think so. But there are some places that you only need to visit once, and I think Acropolis is one of these places. As a matter of fact, I’d say that that the Acropolis gives a far more splendid impression from a distance. And it is always there to remind you of old times – no matter where you are in central Athens, you will see the Acropolis.
Climbing the Filopappou Hill
A dear child has many names – the Filopappou Hill also goes by the names Hill of the Muses, and Hills of the Pnyx and the Nymphs. It is possibly the most relaxing place I have found in Athens. Pine trees, twittering birds, and amazing sights define this historic place where the battle between Theseus and the Amazons once took place. There are many interesting sights (such as Socrates’ prison), but it is not always easy to reach them with a stroller. However, even if you miss the sights, the views over the Acropolis, the Saronic Gulf, as well as Attica, are fantastic.
This is a place where I want to return, with a picnic basket. Perhaps this is the place to go if you want to discover Athens by foot. I don’t know if you could call this hidden, but it is a gem for sure,
Feeling Small at the Olympeion
The Acropolis has its advantages, but I personally felt really impressed with the Olympeion. Firstly, there are a lot fewer people. Secondly, there is one temple that dominates the site. It makes you feel small, but it is also a lot easier to take in. I loved sitting on a bench under a tree and musing over past times. What was it like when people used that temple? Whom did they worship? (Probably Zeus). How did they live? Suddenly I felt like I had been taken back in time, it was so powerful an emotion.
Little A probably didn’t experience any grand emotions – she slept throughout our visit. But we were together, under that tree, while Jesper inspected all the ruins.
The National Garden and the Olympic Stadium
I love parks and botanical gardens. Athens actually has a botanical garden, but it seems a bit difficult to reach. Fortunately, we’re happy with the National Garden. Even though the café was slightly suspicious, we have visited it a couple of times. I believe we will go there a few more times during our visit. This is where Little A met a goat for the very first time. She has a tendency to squeak when she gets excited, so she scared away the poor goats.
The park is near the Syntagma Station and it really is an oasis in the middle of the city. After a few hours of exploring Athens by foot, this is a good place to rest tired feet.
There are several Olympic Stadiums in Athens. The one I’m talking about is the Panathenaic Stadium. To be honest. I cannot say much about this ancient stadium, as Little A and I waited outside while Jesper explored it. Sometimes the better option is to hide from the sun. However, I can share a fun fact with you: it’s the only stadium in the world that is entirely made of marble. While waiting for Jesper, I actually travelled back a bit in time. The result: why on earth would anyone want to do sports in this heat? It must have been painful. But apparently, the athletes were naked in the good old ancient days. And well, the stadium is impressive indeed, even from the outside.
The Ancient Agora
It was here that everything happened back in the day and the ruins and temples remind you of it. For me, this place felt much more genuine than the Acropolis. Again, even though it is in the middle of central Athens, it is calm and pleasant. The perfect place for a stroll (if you want to pay for your stroll). I was struck by the fact that it was so quiet. At this time of the year. all the flowers are in bloom, which I love. There is a museum as well, in the Stoa of Attalos. There is a possibility to take great pictures as well.
We visited the Agora on a very hot day and I think it was the best place to go to. We had a rest in the Stoa and then we also relaxed under the trees. Little A really loved inspecting the leaves! I think she was happy to leave the stroller for a while. Considering how much she enjoys playing with stones, Athens is the perfect destination for her. On a more serious note, it was easy to walk around with a stroller in the Agora. As there were a lot of benches, it gave me the impression of a place to relax and enjoy instead of just rushing through.
Athens on Foot: Still on Our List
One of the advantages of this trip is that we really have time to explore Athens on foot. We don’t need to rush through all the sights and promptly forget everything that we have seen. I think we have seen the majority of the sights. However, there are still some left on our list,
This is what we would still like to see:
- The Roman Agora
- Hadrian’s Library
- Aristotle’s Lyceum
- People-watching in Psyri
We are also planning a couple of day trips, so stay tuned for more. Do you want to read more about our Greek adventure? Click here for all the posts about our visit to Athens! We have also written about a few of the main sights that you can find here.