Walking arounf Athens
The participants of the 13th ESA Conference will have the chance to walk around the city and experiecne the Athenian cityscape and vibes. Some suggestions are provided below:
The National Garden of Athens Walk
Right in the heart of Athens, between Syntagma Square and the Kallimarmaro (Panathenaic) Stadium, stands the famous National Garden of Athens, a beautiful area to escape the noisy city centre and relax in a lush green environment. It is almost unbelievable that such an amazing garden is situated among the busiest avenues of the city and still it is so well-protected from noise. The National Garden covers a vast area of about 16 hectares and they have three entrances: from Amalias Avenue, Vassilissis Sofias Avenue and from the Zappeion Megaron. It is situated on the north of Syntagma square, right next to the Greek Parliament. The National Garden was created between 1838 and 1840 by order of Queen Amalia, the first queen of Greece. Today, it remains open from sunrise to sunset. The National Garden distinguish for the narrow labyrinth paths, the wooden benches and the small lakes in between. It hosts a small zoo with wild goats, peacocks, chickens and other animals, a Botanical Museum, a children’s library, a playground and an open coffee shop.
National Gardens Walk | Route
Visiting address: 1 Amalias Ave., 105 75 Athens
Contact: + 30 210 721 5019
Info: Metro Lines 2 & 3 (Station “Syntagma” / Exit Syntagma Square), walk towards Xenofontos Street and then turn left to Amalias Avenue.
Lycabettous Hill Walk
Standing 277 meters above sea level, Lycabettus Hill is the highest point of Athens. Although a beautiful walk up via a circular path, it will be a test of endurance and a challenge in summer. The view from Lycabettus Hill is best enjoyed at sunset whilst waiting for the lights of the Acropolis, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathenaic Stadium and Ancient Agora to come on. You will also be reminded that Athens is surrounded by sea with spectacular views across the Aegean. At the top of the hill you will find a Greek church, an open-air amphitheatre used predominantly in the warmer months, α restaurant with spectacular views across Athens and a cafe which opens for breakfast and lunch. The path starts at the end of Aristippou Street and winds upwards. The funicular leaves from the corner of Ploutarhiou and Aristippou Streets every 30 minutes.
Lycabetous Hill Walk | Route
Info: Total distance from Syntagma Square (metro lines 2 and 3, Syntagma square exit) to Aristippou Street is approximately 1,4 klm, walking time 21 minutes.
Gazi – Kerameikos – Temple of Hephaestous Walk
The district of Gazi, about a mile west of Athens city center is nowadays one of the main entertainment / nightlife hubs of Athens. It was initially the site of a gasworks factory (hence the name). The area around the factory was a neighborhood of laborers employed in the factory as well as connected businesses, living, even till today, in small, one-floor houses, more reminiscent of a village than a city neighborhood. In the last 30 years, a number of events have transformed the area: the closing of the factory, its designation as an historic landmark and subsequent transformation into an exhibition / concert space operated by the City of Athens, the (initial) fall of property prices and subsequent opening of various bars, pubs, restaurants, etc. with various loft apartments and architectural offices joining the party in the last 10-15 years. A major boost was given in 2007 with the opening of the “Kerameikos” Metro Station in the center of the district. Connection with other major pedestrian streets further enhances the area’s attractiveness.
Gazi – Kerameikos – Temple of Hephaestous walk | Route
Info: total distance 1,7 klm (approximately 22 minutes)
Syntagma – Plaka – Ancient Agora of Athens – Dionysiou Areopagitou Walk
Hundreds of locals and visitors avail themselves of sunny days to walk from Syntagma square, along Mitropoleos Str., where is placed the Metropolis Athens Cathedral and the namesake square, which marks the borders to the Old Town of Athens, known as Plaka. Continue to Monastiraki Square and from there on, to the busy and colorful Flea Market and Avyssinias square with the antique dealers. At the Ancient Agora you can visit the beautiful Agora Museum, housed in the Attalos Stoa and see a rich selection of artifacts used in the daily life of the Athenians. Then continue to walk along the pedestrian street of Dionysiou Areopagitou at the bottom of the Acropolis, passing emblematic archaeological sites and museums, but also keeping an eye on the neoclassical and modern architecture that flanks the left-hand side of the promenade as you head toward Thesseion. The building at number 17 is an exquisite example of art deco style, designed in 1930 by Vassilis Kouremenos, which, since 1988, has been classified as a protected work of art.
Syntagma – Plaka – Ancient Agora of Athens – Dionysiou Areopagitou Walk | Route
Info: Total distance 2,7 klm, walking time approximately 34 minutes.
Philopappou Hill Walk
Philopappou Hill is a green area to the south west of the Acropolis. It is a favourite promenade of the Athenians and there you can have great views of the Acropolis, the whole city of Athens and the Aegean Sea that surrounds Attica. The grave monument of Philopappos was constructed of marble from Mount Pentelikon, near Athens, and Mount Imittos, to the south east of Athens. Close to the monument and obscured from sight, there stands a stone structure with iron gates. According to the tradition, this is the prison where the great Greek philosopher Socrates was imprisoned and died. A paved path starts from Philopappou and leads to the Pnyx Hill, where the great orators of Greek antiquity used to gather and discuss political issues. Close to Philopappou, you will also find the National Observatory, a scientific institute for the study of astronomy and seismology, as well as the church of Agia Marina.
Philopappou Hill Walk | Route
Info: Metro Line 2 / Red Line (Station “Acropolis”) and then walk towards Dionysiou Areopagitou for 1.0 klm, walking time approximately 15 minutes.
Koukaki – Makriyianni – Panteion University Walk
Makriyianni and Koukaki are two beautiful neighborhoods close to Acropolis. In these two neighborhoods you can enjoy the hospitality of taverns with original Greek dishes and beautiful small cafes next to the unique vibes of the Acropolis and its museum. On your way to Panteion University you will pass by the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Koukaki – Makriyianni – Panteion University Walk | Route
Info: Metro Line 2 / Red Line (Station “Acropolis”), total distance 1.9 klm, walkking time approximately 23 minutes.
The avant garde neighborhood of Exarcheia is located between Kolonaki and Alexandras Avenue and is most known as the student area of Athens. Exarcheia neighborhood is covered by overwhelming number of street art (some of these are just random writings, some are real pieces of art). Its main feature is the many bohemian, arty bars and alternative culture hangouts. There are quite a few bookshops, artisan book binders and publishing houses. Comic books, used vinyls or books and customized t-shirts collectors will love it. If you’re interested in counterculture then this is the place to be.
Exarcheia Walk | Route
Info: Total distance 2.8 klm, walking time approximately 36 min.
Panathenaic Stadium Walk
The Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro) is a classical cultural attraction of Greece and one of the most significant monuments not only for Athens, but for the whole Greece. It is one of our city’s most popular touristic attractions and one of Athens’ landmarks. Its rich history is directly connected to the Modern Olympic Games as from their revival in 1896 until the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. It is also the place from where the Olympic flame sets up its journey to the cities of the Olympic Games, both Winter, Summer and Youth.
Panathenaic Stadium Walk | Route
Info: Metro Line 3 / Blue Line (Station “Megaron”), total distance 3.2 klm, walking time approximately 40 minutes.