Trade the bustling markets and ancient sites of Athens for a little reprieve in nature. Greece's lively capital is home to its fair share of peaceful and verdant parks and hills, all reachable within the city center. Depending on your personal preference, consider visiting one (or all) of the following green spaces.
- From the hill atop Mt. Lycabettus, you'll enjoy sweeping, panoramic views of the ancient city, including the famed Acropolis Hill and the Saronic Gulf. Avoid the long lines at the funicular and follow one of the innumerable paths to the top. Along the way, you'll pass several viewpoints and pockets of green to enjoy a rest, picnic, or game of frisbee. The park feels like a different world despite being in the middle of buzzy Athens.
- Set just southwest of the Acropolis, Philopappos Hill is one of the best places to get those perfect city views. On top of the hill, you'll find a mausoleum dedicated to its namesake: a famous mogul and benefactor of Athens. Philopappos lived in the city from the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. Along with the nearby slopes of Pnyx and Nymphs, the hill is a favorite amongst Athenians and tourists alike and a great spot for a pleasant walk or picnic.
- The National Gardens Park offers excellent running paths and historic sites. Very close to the park, you'll find the Panathenaic Stadium, the setting of the first Modern Olympic Games held in 1896. You can also visit a small botanical garden within the park, the Arch of Hadrian, the Temple of Zeus, and the Zappeion, a grand hall with Olympic history exhibits.