a neighborhood that takes you everywhere
Do you wish to combine unforgettable visits and unobstructed views to the most significant archeological sites with easy access to the modern side of Athens? If this is the case then you should do no more than stay in Thiseio, the diamond of the city.
Pick a route to explore all the different sides of Thiseio: a) The archeological walk will lead you to the most significant landmarks of Ancient Greece (the Acropolis and its surrounding hills, Ancient Agora and Kerameikos), b) The relaxing walk at the pedestrian paths promises breaks for good food, shopping at the open-air market, and taking in charming landscape, c) The astronomical walk will reveal the beauty of the neoclassical buildings all the way up to the National Observatory.
The visitor of this unique neighborhood of the city centre, will everyday have the opportunity to pick a new route, sometimes towards classical Athens, with views over century-old monuments and others towards modern Athens, with views of the city’s urban landscape.
The archaeological walk
The visitor of Thiseio experiences a fascinating walk through time and speaks openly with ancient Greece that generously offers its temples, gardens, theatres, museums, the hills and the monuments. Those of you who are more laid-back won’t miss out from a beautiful view of the Acropolis as you can see it from wherever you choose to be in Thiseio. If you are a fun of unplanned walks and random discoveries just follow your instinct. It will lead you next to a fallen column at the lit up ancient agora, at the depths of the cave of Pan, or a museum tucked away. If you prefer to organize your stroll just head directly to the gate that takes you to the stunning ruins of ancient times.
The Acropolis and the hills
The Parthenon dominates the rock of the Acropolis that rises 150 m above sea level (this is the maximum allowed height of a building in the city, to retain the urban landscape the sacred rock stands). While standing there you can see opposite Aeropagus hill, the place where trials were heard in ancient Greece, a holy place of religious worship and also the place from which St Paul first preached Christianity to the Athenians. The Pnyx hill, dedicated to Zeus, hosted the Athenian assembly (ekklesia) and was the speaker’s platform (bema) for noted orators of the time, such as Pericles. From this hill important astronomical observations have been made that determined the later course of science. It is said that the stunning view of the Acropolis distracted the audience from listening to an orator’s speech!
Also called the Hill of the Muses, Phillopappou hill is home to the Monument of Philopappos, Roman Consul of Athens from 90 until 100 A.D., the garden theatre of Greek dances ‘Dora Stratou’ (still operating) and renowned for its enjoyable walks and magnificent views of the city. At the foot of the hill of the Muses lies the little church of St Dimitrios Loumbardiaris, restored by the architect Dimitris Pikionis, also known for constructing the remarkable paved paths in the area.
Lastly, atop the Hill of the Nymphs is the beautiful building of the National Observatory of Athens, with lots of interesting tours and displays.
The Ancient Agora and Kerameikos
You are about to discover two of the most amazing archaeological sites in Thiseio. A) The finds you will see in Ancient Agora compose the long history of social change, everyday life, high culture and 5,000 years of looting, from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine era. Visit the best preserved Temple of Hephaistos or else Thiseion (Classical Greece) and admire the Doric columns and the reliefs on the friezes. The museum at the Stoa of Attalos (Hellenistic period) displays great exhibits from the political and public life of the Athenians, while the Stoa itself is also very impressive. B) Your second choice is the archaeological walk in Kerameikos, the main production centre of the ceramic pots of Attica, which was later transformed and functioned as the main cemetery of ancient Athens. Enjoy your walk among the surviving tombstones and your visit to the small Museum of Kerameikos.
The relaxing walk
Continue your walk in the most trendy hangouts, in unspoiled neighborhoods, on hidden walkways, and experience the local vibe, with the open-air market, the neoclassical architecture, the food, the small bookstores – all under the beautiful smells of the fruit trees lined in the streets of this incredible area.
Four pedestrian paths, each one unique in its own way, all four ideal for enjoyable strolling, as well as bringing you closer to numerous viewpoints near and around Thiseio.
On the pedestrian path of Hrakleidon is located the lovely bookshop Lemoni; the owners are very friendly, and will be more than happy to help you choose the book you want from the updated list of foreign books. You can also see some of the petite art exhibitions they host and treat yourselves to a nice cup of coffee. Next to Lemoni, there is the Hrakleidon Museum, with exhibits on the subjects of ancient technology and the popularization of science. Taverns and cafes, brunch spots and cocktail bars lie conveniently along the path, many of them boasting for their unique view to the Acropolis.
At the cobblestone pedestrian path of Apostolou Pavlou you have the chance to walk on one of the prettiest walkways in Europe and find out how close you are to everything (!), starting from Thiseio metro station, and getting at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Acropolis Museum, and Makrygianni area (Koukaki).
Begin from Thiseio square, where street performers often attract a crowd, go on to the open-air market selling mostly jewelry and handicraft, go past among the cafeterias which combine a view to the Acropolis and people-watching, make a stop a bit further up at the cave of Pan and continue your walk at your own pace.
The pedestrian path of Ermou begins from Thiseio and stretches to the vibrant, thriving with nightlife, Gazi. Though an extension of the commercial Ermou street this footpath is way different – unpredictable, urban and anti-commercial. You’ll be having the railway on the one side and the archeological site of Kerameikos on the other. If you hear lively tunes and see people gathered together then you might have just come across the street milonga that often happens here impromptu. Street art is becoming more and more prominent as you’re getting closer to Gazi and the walkway gradually changes character. Across the main street is Technopolis, the city’s old gasworks that is today a major cultural venue of the city.
The pedestrian path of Eptahalkou / Thesalonikis is a secret path unknown to many Athenians as well. It connects the buzzing Apostolou Pavlou with the one end of Thiseio and the building of Pilopeiou Poulopoulou, a preserved industrial heritage site of the 19th century. Halfway you’ll see the gallery of contemporary art Bernier/Eliades housed in a neoclassical building and the famous (to those who know the secret path) tavern To Steki tou Ilia; we recommend the lamb chops and the super fresh boiled greens salad.
The astronomical walk
One of the most beautiful spots of Thiseio is hidden high, literally tucked in a corner, above Hrakleidon street and at the foot of Pnyx hill. The streets that lead to the square of Agia Marina, such as Akamantos street, are full of beautiful neoclassical buildings, some of them standing out as a real architectural gem. At Amfiktyonos street do not hesitate to enter the cooperative café ‘Syntrimi’, housed in a neoclassical building. Going uphill you get to the church of Agia Marina, an interwar period church. Around it, Agia Marina square with its colorful tw0-storey houses carries an island-like essence and offers a different perspective of the city view. Just above, dominates the National Observatory, an impressive 1840s building, designed by the Danish architect T. Hansen. Enjoy the full of trees garden, the exhibits in the museum and the objects in the sky!