Hidden gems in Athens, Greece

What are some of the most unique places in Athens?

Athens, Europe’s oldest capital,  is a tourist-friendly city, famous for its archaeological landmarks, fine weather (even in winter), and delicious Greek tavern food.

I’ve been to Athens a couple of times and saw the many different sides of the city: from its most iconic attractions like The Acropolis to tiny bars and alternative galleries that you need some insider knowledge to discover.

Getting to know the city

When you visit Athens for the first time, I recommend you take some guided tours to get to know the city.

You can join a free walking tour that runs a few times a week.

To explore at your own pace, take a self-guided audio tour that covers all the highlights.

Athens hidden gems tours

To see Athen’s hidden gems with a local guide, go on a private off the beaten track tour of Athens.

You can also take a self-guided tour with an offline map of the places recommended in this guide.

Top Athens hidden gems

I asked travel bloggers to recommend some hidden gems in Athens – lesser-known places and attractions or alternative culture spots that they discovered in the city.

Read on to find a nice mix of recommendations for off the beaten path things to do in Athens.

For some of the spots listed here, you’ll also find a local tours that will take you there, alongside other Athens attractions.

Kaisariani monastery & forest

Kaisariani Monastery Athens hidden gems

Kaisariani Monastery lies in a beautiful wooded area on the western slopes of Mount Hymettus.

It is the perfect place for an afternoon escape from the city filled with nature, history, and amazing views of Athens.

The Byzantine monastery dates back to the 11 century and is one of the oldest monasteries in Athens.

During your visit, you’ll get to admire its main church, the Catholicon, with 16th-century frescoes, a refectory, a bathhouse, and a couple of monks’ cells.

The forest surrounding Kaisariani Monastery is an excellent hiking destination. It is crisscrossed by many marked hiking trails leading to picturesque chapels hidden in the woods, amazing lookouts, and all the way to the mountain top.

The easiest way to reach Kaisariani Monastery is by car or taxi, the ride from Syntagma square shouldn’t take you more than twenty minutes. Bus number 224 going to Kaisariani Cemetery is another great option as long as you don’t mind the short hike to the monastery.

There is a small wooden kiosk further up above the Kaisariani Monastery called Kalopoula. It offers drinks and a few simple meals. It has a few wooden tables outside under the trees and is the perfect place to end the day!

By Helena from Just for one summer

Lycabettus hill

Lycabettus Hill - Athens hidden gems

One of the best hidden gems in Athens, Greece is the Lycabettus Hill. This is the tallest point in the city and it is a great place to visit.

Usually, tourists go to the Acropolis, which is the most famous sight of the city and also a lovely viewpoint.

However, you should not miss out on Lycabettus Hill when going to Athens. You can get to the top of this place either by walking or by using the funicular.

From the top of the hill, you have an incredible view of the whole city. From there, you can see the Acropolis and many other sights, such as the Panathenaic Stadium and the Temple of the Olympian Zeus. At the top, you can also find a restaurant and an open-air amphitheater where concerts often take place.

According to mythology, the goddess Athena created the hill when she dropped a stone she carried while creating the Acropolis. This story makes visiting the hill even better!

By Dymphe from dymabroad

Taf – the art foundation

TAF - The Art Foundation unique bar in Athens

Blink and you’ll miss this unique bar, hidden behind a single doorway in a side street off Monastiraki Flea Market.

TAF is housed in a neoclassical building from the 1870’s.  Open the door onto an initially unremarkable inside area – but this opens out into a tree clad courtyard with a bar and young locals sitting and relaxing, knocking back a coffee during the daytime.

Around the courtyard are two floors of buildings, the second floor divided into rooms where locals used to live and further back, cells, now housing art exhibits in an atmospheric environment. 

It’s one of my favourite places to come and escape the sometimes-hectic rush of the outside tourist area.  It’s not well known to tourists so if kicking back with the locals is your thing, TAF is definitely the place to be.

Great cocktails and open from 10am to 3am daily.  DJ sets occasionally in the evening.

Where: Normanou 5 (near the Ancient Agora)

By Rebecca Hall from Life Beyond Borders

The athenian riviera

The Athenian Riviera

Athens is world-famous for its centuries old history and is a treasure chest of some of the most magnificent archaeological sites in the world.

Apart from its bustling city centre, Athens is also a fantastic coastal destination.

The Athenian Riviera is a long stretch of coastline that extends all the way from the main port of Piraeus to the southernmost tip of the Attica region, which is the location of one of the most important archaeological sites, the Temple of Poseidon – famed for being one of the most inspiring sunset spots.

In the suburban areas like Vouliagmeni and Glyfada visitors will be spoiled for choice of seafront dining, dazzling beach resorts and vibrant nightlife.

Along the coast there are plenty of beautiful beaches, some organized and others not.

This part of Athens is especially great during the summer, however those who wish to enjoy some sunshine, shopping and a more relaxed vibe, will find this place a wonderful destination for all times of year. 

By Elen from The Athenian Riviera

Strefi hill 

Strefi Hill view

For one of the most amazing hidden gems in Athens, Greece, head to Strefi Hill in the central Exarcheia neighborhood.

Finding a quiet spot in nature in the center of Athens can be quite a challenge so make sure to take advantage of this little park.

Strefi Hill may not be as famous and large as Lycabettus, but the views from there are still amazing, and you will run into very few other people on your visit. And when you take photos you can actually get Lycabettus in your shot as well!

Lofos Strefi, as it is called in Greek, is a nice little oasis in the otherwise noisy city of Athens and great for a short hike that doesn’t require leaving the city.

Agave and cacti along with different species of trees make the hill a little green oasis in between all the concrete buildings Athens is famous for. But if you prefer to be even more active why not join in a game of basketball on the basketball court?

By Nina from Lemons and Luggage



Anafiotika is a small part of the Plaka neighborhood, located at the bottom of the Acropolis. This cute district is just a few hundred years old, and the best part is that you won’t find it crowded by the tourists like other popular attractions in Athens.

This is an incredibly beautiful place that features Cycladic architecture, narrow cobbled passageways, white houses with flat roofs, and colorful doors and windows. On top of these, Anafiotika offers amazing views over Athens and Mount Lycabettus.

It is a great place to take beautiful pictures of these picturesque houses and narrow streets.

At night the area is very busy with small tavernas spread all over. There are some amazing viewpoints from where you can enjoy the views of the red roof tiles of downtown Athens.

You will find here two cute churches – the Church of Saint Simeon and the Church of Saint George of the Rocks. Both were made of rocks from the hill of the Acropolis and feature vibrant frescoes in the interiors.

Browse the informative exhibits of the Kanellopoulou Museum located at the top of Anafiotika. It features a great collection of objects dating from Prehistoric to the Modern era.

By Trijit Mallick from Budget Travel Buff

The pnyx

If you are one for history, photography, or simply stunning views then head over to the Pnyx.

The Pnyx, (pronounced pu-nix), was the ancient parliament of Athens from as early as 507 BC.

It was previously used by Athenians to host their assemblies. The most well-known part is the flat stone called the “Bema”, which was where speakers such as politicians would stand.

Surrounding the Pnyx is the defence wall that was built in the 4th century with the goal to provide protection to the Pnyx. A century later, this wall was reconstructed and made to be two metres thick and made from solid masonry and ashlar blocks. 

So, if you’re spending some time in Athens and history and amazing views are what you’re after, this would be perfect.

It’s located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Acropolis and is surrounded by parkland, making it a wonderful place to walk around. Plus, it’s free to enter!

By Alice from Adventures of Alice

Noel bar

Noel Bar in Athens Greece

I found out about this bar on a food tour in Athens. It’s a popular bar with locals, but tourists just might miss it.

It was the last stop on the tour and served as a true grand finale, because the decor in this bar is just extraordinary.

Noel is inside an arcade, and once you enter from the street you find yourself in a gorgeous, stylish space with two floors full of surprises: Vintage furniture, baroque style rooms, beautiful flower decorations and a Christmas atmosphere all year round.

They serve great cocktails alongside non alcoholic drinks and a food menu.

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