Posted by on 23 Aug 2023
Embark on a journey through the enchanting city of Athens, a treasure trove of rich history and iconic landmarks such as the Parthenon and Acropolis.
Beyond the well-known attractions, Athens reveals its hidden gems to those with a discerning eye. Delight in the discovery of charming side streets, bustling markets and easy access to one the most breathtaking islands in Greece.
Want to experience Athens in the most authentic way possible? Check out these seven hidden gems you can’t miss on your next trip to the capital of Greece.
The 7 Best Hidden Gems Athens Has to Offer
Anafiotika in Plaka
If there’s one neighbourhood in Athens you shouldn’t miss, it’s Anafiotika located in Plaka, the hillside of Athens.
This quaint, charming village is lined with beautiful, rustic, white-washed houses (similar to those in Santorini), cobblestone streets and flowers that give the quiet area some pops of colour.
It’s a place to check out and have a cup of coffee if you want to see a more tranquil part of Athens without going too far from the centre of the city.
Those looking for beautiful, panoramic views of Athens might book a tour going up to the popular Mount Lycabettus. But another place to see a breathtaking view of the city is Areopagus Hill, which is very near the Acropolis.
“Areopagus” translates to “the hill of Ares,” alluding to the Greek god of war. The rocky hill used to be the meeting place of the judicial council of ancient Athens. It’s also said to be a hill where St. Paul once stood to spread the Gospel.
This quiet hill is perfect for history aficionados and trekkers alike. It’s also a must for anyone who wants to see the prettiest views of Athens from high above.
While Santorini and Mykonos are touted as the best Greek islands out there, there are plenty of hidden gems near Athens for idyllic Greek island getaways, too. One of these spots is Hydra—a stunning island just an hour and a half away from Athens by boat.
Hydra has beautiful beaches by the coast dotted with charming stone and wooden buildings with rustic, red-tiled roofs. Its stunning appearance along the harbour rivals the coasts of Italian towns on the Mediterranean, like Positano.
This is a terrific island to visit if you want a break from the busy, bustling city. You won’t even hear the engines of cars and motorbikes revving, as the island depends on donkeys for transportation. Not as glamorous as other cities in Greece, but a fantastic experience for those who want to experience authentic Greek island life.
Exarchia is an area that is considered one of the most intriguing hidden gems of Athens. This neighbourhood is a cultural hub for students and is usually associated with a bohemian lifestyle.
It’s a little out of the way, but If you set out to see this village, you’ll be rewarded by the plethora of alternative shops, spunky restaurants and cafes, an abundance of art galleries and mind-blowing graffiti on the walls. It’s a must-see for young, urban travellers.
Monastiraki Flea Market
If you want to shop like a local, check out the Monastiraki Flea Market, where you can buy local jewellery, souvenirs, vintage clothes, indie artworks, stunning postcards and more.
The flea market is just a stone’s throw away from Monastiraki Square, a busy area where locals love to hang out. You’ll find the market along the side streets of this area.
Not only will you find quaint shops selling local treasures here, but also vendors cooking and selling popular Greek street food, from gyros to souvlaki.
The market is technically open all week, but the scene is always more vibrant and alive on Sundays when the stalls and shops extend over to the square.
National Observatory of Athens
The National Observatory was founded in the 1800s and is regarded as the oldest research institute in all of Greece. And while it’s primarily a research foundation, they also have a few things to do for travellers who stop by.
There are guided tours in the observatory that allow you to explore the building as well as visit and learn more about the research facilities there.
If you’re lucky, you might even catch a stargazing event while you’re there. At these events, you can watch meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses or just gaze at the twinkling stars overlooking Athens in the nighttime.
Fans of Greek philosophy should stop by Akadimia Platonos while they’re in Athens. This quiet neighbourhood is near the area where Plato founded the Academy centuries ago. Today, it’s a park and museum that honours the life and ideas of this esteemed philosopher.
The area has tons of gorgeous gardens and outdoor scenery. It’s fantastic for those who want to stroll in a park while soaking in the rich history of Athens.
Check Out These Must-see Hidden Gems in Athens
While the Acropolis undoubtedly deserves its place on your Athens itinerary, allow us to introduce you to the lesser-known treasures of this captivating city.
With a few extra days to spare, venture beyond the iconic landmarks and immerse yourself in the hidden gems we've curated above
Discover enchanting towns, idyllic islands, and remarkable structures that will add an authentic touch to your Greek experience.
By exploring these off-the-beaten-path gems, you'll gain insights into the everyday life of locals and uncover the fascinating tapestry of Greece's rich history.
Interested in exploring more of Greece? We can bring you to loads of other Greek destinations on your next holiday to the Mediterranean!