Filopappou Hill & Pnyx

Filopappou, Athina 117 41, Greece

Marble footpaths meander up pine-clad Filopappou Hill, a peaceful hideout for picnickers and joggers. Hidden in a rocky clearing is the Pnyx, the world’s first democratic assembly, where the great orators Pericles and Themistocles held court in the 5th century B.C.E. The Pnyx could hold 18,000 citizens on wooden benches, with standing room for thousands more. Imagine the scene when the founding fathers of democracy took to the podium—and enjoy the phenomenal cityscape from this historic vantage point, with the Acropolis in the foreground. Climb all the way to the summit of Filopappou (also known as the Hill of the Muses) and you can see all the way to the port of Piraeus, with the promise of nearby islands shimmering on the horizon. Crowning the adjacent Hill of the Nymphs, the National Observatory is Greece’s oldest research institute. Set in lovely landscaped gardens, the charming 19th century building contains rare books and antique astronomical equipment. Occasional evening tours offer the chance to stargaze through a refracting telescope and learn about the Greek myths written into the constellations.

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Philopappos Monument with one of the best Acropolis views

Climb up here to see the Philopappos Monument, an ancient Greek mausoleum dedicated to Philopappos, and you’ll be treated to one of the best views of the Acropolis. This whole area is surrounded by rare green space in Athens, so take some time to soak it all up. You can also climb up to Mars Hill, where you’ll be treated to views of Europe’s oldest city sprawling in all her glory.

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