Locals in Athens tend to avoid the city’s attractions that are popular with tourists, preferring establishments that are off the beaten track and off the standard city guide lists. Wyndham Grand Athens offers you the opportunity to discover these hidden treasures in the city! Contact our reception desk for a list of walking tours by experienced city guides. However, if you would like to explore on your own, here are some spots you could check out:
With a height of 277m above sea level, Lycabettus Hill is the highest point in Athens. Legend has it that Athena accidentally created the hill when she dropped a giant rock she was going to use for the Acropolis. Whatever its origin, Lycabettus offers the most amazing views of the city and is a popular spot for couples, especially at night when the scorching sun has settled.
A most popular hiking ground for locals, Mount Hymettus is also home to an important archaeological site. Kaisariani Monastery, built in the 12th century was the most active center of the city during the Middle Ages. Hundreds of monks lived here and ran the place like a business, with olive groves, beehives and grape vines. There was also a huge library with famous documents from antiquity that have unfortunately been lost.
Hidden underneath the Acropolis, next to the more famous Plaka neighborhood, is Anafiotika. The name derives from the island Anafi, since the neighborhood was built by immigrants from the island. The neighborhood is very much like any village you would see in a Cycladic island. A walk through Anafiotika’s narrow streets will make you forget that you’re in a major urban metropolis.
Located in the avant-garde, alternative neighborhood called Exarcheia, you can hike up to the top of the hill for a panoramic view of all of Athens and a clear view of the Acropolis and beyond to the Athenian Riviera. You’ll find locals jogging, kids playing at the basketball court at the foot of the hill, dog walkers and young Greek lovers who stop to adore a view of their city that they know most tourists don’t know anything about.
Romantso Hub Space
A printing plant in the 1960s for the popular romance story magazine Romantso, this historic building is now an innovative and cultural hub in the city center. By day, Romantso is the home to innovative start-ups who rent out creative work spaces known as “incubators”. By night, it’s a hub for rock concerts, indie film screenings, theatre performances and art exhibitions. You can also go for a drink in its post-industrial minimalist bar. Romantso Hub Space is located near Omonoia square.