1. Acropolis, the sacred hill
The most iconic picture and the number one attraction of Athens. Entering the archaeological site you will see the grand steps of the complex of Propylaea, which make for an excellent photo. Entering the Propylaea, you will see the Parthenon, the grand temple of the goddess Athena made almost entirely of Pentelic marble. An architectural marvel creating the most amazing illusions! Just opposite the Parthenon, on the north side of the Acropolis stands the Erechtheion with the famous Caryatids, the six lady statues.
Best time for a photo tour: If you are visiting during peak season, try to get there early in the morning (8 am) to avoid the crowds that arrive for the Acropolis tour.
Athens best photo locations tip: The Parthenon might be the most iconic structure on the Acropolis Hill (most of it is covered with scaffoldings), but you should definitely try your creativity on the Erechtheion building as well!
2. Areopagus, the rock of justice
Romantic as ever, the rock of Areopagus was actually the ancient criminal court! The Ancient Greeks named the hill the “Rock of Ares” because it was there that the Olympian Gods put Ares, the god of war, on trial for his war crimes. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and have an excellent angle for the Acropolis Rock and the Propylaea.
Best time for a photo tour: During midday, if you wish to capture the Propylaea at its best, or during sunset for the best panoramic views.
Athens best photo locations tip: it is said that the Rock of Ares is the place where Apostle Paul delivered his famous speech to the Athenian people.
3. Plaka, the neighborhood of the gods
Located just under the Acropolis Hill, Plaka is the oldest neighborhood of Athens and the most vivid one! This is supposedly the place where the great Pericles met and fell in love with the courtesan Aspasia. The picturesque little streets and the small colorful houses create an excellent canvas for you to capture your next favorite photo!
Best time for a photo tour: Early morning is the best time to capture the little streets with no people. Midday is probably the best time, in regards to sunlight, but it will be more crowded.
Athens best photo locations tip: Explore the little streets and find beautiful graffiti!
4. Anafiotika, the ‘secret’ neighborhood
From Plaka, you can make your way to Anafiotika. The countless little alleys create something like a maze and it is not that easy to find your way up there, a fact that is responsible for the epithet ‘secret’. But once you find it, the views will reward you! The beautiful white and blue little houses are a replica of the houses of Anafi, an island in the Cyclades.
Best time for a photo tour: Any time is good, but would recommend going before the sun sets, for natural light.
Athens best photo locations tip: After the photo shooting is over, head to ‘Klepsýdra’, an authentic local place for some Greek meze and raki!
5. Yiasemi steps, the famous
Yiasemi steps are actually the steps of Mnisiklis, named after the architect that designed the entrance to the Acropolis. Right on the steps, there are several cafés, famous to the locals for hanging out with friends. The scenery is very picturesque and, although located inside the Plaka neighborhood, it deserved a separate mention. The steps are named after Yiasemi (meaning ‘jasmine’ in Greek), which is the most famous café on the steps.
Best time for a photo tour: Any time is good. The vibes are probably better with people relaxing on the pillows and enjoying their time.
Athens best photo locations tip: Try Yiasemi’s excellent desserts and the homemade lemonade!
6. Herodeion, the Odeon
Walking down the Dionysiou Areopageitou street, you will encounter the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Built in 161 AD during the Roman period, the ancient theater is still in operation today, hosting some of the most important performances of the Athens Festival every summer. Its excellent acoustics and the special energy that radiates with the illuminated Acropolis above are some of the reasons that every artist in the world is looking forward to performing in it.
Best time for a photo tour: Midday is best here so that you don’t have the sun against you.
Athens best photo locations tip: If you’re visiting in summer, buy a ticket for one of the performances, get your tripod, and prepare for some exquisite photos!
7. Agora, the Ancient one
The Ancient Agora was the market for Ancient Athenians; a place where people would gather to do their shopping, meet friends, philosophize and talk politics. One of the best photo spots inside the Agora is its Museum or the Stoa of Attalos as it is called. The columns of the Stoa can create a beautiful composition.
Best time for a photo tour: The sunlight creates shadows with interesting angles from the columns around the afternoon.
Athens best photo locations tip: From outside the Ancient Agora, on the pedestrian street of Adrianou street, you can capture the Stoa of Attalos and its columns with the Acropolis on the background.
8. Temple of Hephaestus, the surprise
The Temple of Hephaestus is the best-preserved ancient temple in Greece and you will find it inside the Ancient Agora! The neighborhood around it was named Thiseio because it was originally thought that the Temple was dedicated to Theseus, the mythological founding father of Athens. On the metopes of the temple, you can still distinguish scenes from the Labors of Hercules and Theseus. Whatever angle you choose for your photo, you cannot go wrong with this one.
Best time for a photo tour: Any time within the opening hours of the site is good.
Athens best photo locations tip: You can combine the photo shooting of the Temple of Hephaestus with that of the Stoa of Attalos within an hour and you only need one ticket for entry.
9. Temple of Zeus, the Olympian
The colossal Temple of the Olympian Zeus was dedicated to the King of the gods of Olympus, housing one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world! The temple took some 638 years to be completed but today only 16 of the 104 gigantic columns remain. Still, those are enough to create an imposing sight. Stand next to the columns, travel with your imagination to Ancient Greece and imagine how it must have felt like being next to Zeus’ house.
Best time for a photo tour: Any time of the day, as long as the site is open.
Athens best photo locations tip: Using a human subject in your photo is always best, to give a context for the colossal size of the Temple.
10. Hadrian’s Arch, the gate
Hadrian’s Arch is located just outside the site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It served as a boundary between the old city of Theseus and the new city of Hadrian, the Roman Emperor who was a philhellene and a benefactor of Athens. It presents a very interesting place for photography, with the Acropolis and the Parthenon visible on the background through the arch.
Best time for a photo tour: Any time of the day and also during the night.
Athens best photo locations tip: Try playing with your shutter speed and the effects of the cars’ lights in front of the Arch.
11. National Library, the wise
The National Library of Greece is located in the center of Athens, in the Panepistimio area, although the books have recently found a new home, at the new library of SNFCC. The building is designed as part of the renowned Athenian Trilogy of neoclassical buildings, which also include the Academy of Athens and the first building of the University of Athens. It is based on the shape of Propylaea of the Acropolis but with a baroque staircase that stands grand and imposing. It makes for an ideal Instagram photo indeed!
Best time for a photo tour: Morning or midday.
Athens best photo locations tip: The Academy of Athens (the building at the other side of the Π shape) is also very instragrammable.
12. Zappeion Mansion, the elegant
The Zappeion Mansion was founded by the national benefactor Mr. Evangelos Zappa in the 19th century, to be used for the revival of ancient Greek ceremonies related to the Olympic Games of antiquity. This is why it was built very close to the Panathenaic Stadium. An area full of plants, with cobbled streets for relaxing walks and courtyards for unlimited hours of reading. Its neoclassical building is very photo-friendly.
Best time for a photo tour: Before the sun sets, when the columns of the front have a sweet orange color.
Athens best photo locations tip: You should definitely enter the building and go inside, at the open yard. The scenery there can be inspiring!
13. Panathenaic Stadium, the Olympic
It stands in the heart of the center of Athens, just a few hundred meters from Syntagma Square. The Panathenaic Stadium, known also as Kallimarmaro, is a true jewel of the sports history of the Greek capital. Hundreds of travelers visit it daily and have a representation of a running race with their friends or loved ones. The Κallimarmaro is the only stadium in the world where three Olympic Games have been held! It is also the only one in the world that is entirely made of white Pentelic marble. Try to capture with your lens the feeling and the energy of the Ancient Olympian athletes competing in this very stadium thousands of years ago!
Best time for a photo tour: Morning of midday.
Athens best photo locations tip: If you wish to capture it without a crowd, you should visit early in the morning.
14. Lycabettus, the rock of Athena
According to Greek mythology, goddess Athena was carrying a rock as she was flying over Athens, to make a small intervention in her temple, the Parthenon, on Acropolis. Hearing some bad news, she dropped the rock which became what the Athenians would later call Lycaberrus Hill. A famous spot for the lovebirds as it offers beautiful panoramic and sunset views!
Best time for a photo tour: Early enough to catch the sunset.
Athens best photo locations tip: Climb the hill all the way up to the white chapel and marvel the sunset from there.
15. Pnyx, the seat of Democracy
Located near the Acropolis and the Areopagus Hill, the Philopappos Hill offers unique views. The hill is not really one, rather three: the hill of Pnyx, where the General Assembly of Ancient Athens would meet, the hill of the Nymphs, named after the nature spirits, and the hill of the Muses, named after the 9 deities of literature, science and arts.
Best time for a photo tour: Morning or midday.
Athens best photo locations tip: Follow the little path through the trees and arrive at a perfect spot, facing the Rock of Acropolis and the Parthenon.
16. Monastiraki, the vintage
Monstaraki is vibrant and alive. From Monastiraki square and the Mosque to the Roman Agora and the vintage markets, it is the place to be for instagrammers. Ancient ruins and landmarks interplay with a strong local life and vibes. There are galleries, antique shops, byzantine churches and terraces that you can explore and capture a beautiful memory with your lens!
Best time for a photo tour: Any time of the day and at night too.
Athens best photo locations tip: Climb on the terrace of one of the bars located around the square (e.g. A for Athens) and get both Monastiraki and the Acropolis in your frame!
17. Syntagma Square, the ground zero
Syntagma, or Constitution Square, is the ground zero of Athens. It was named that way because the Greek people demanded from their King the drafting of a constitution for the newly established state right in that square. Today there is no King and the beautiful neoclassic building in Syntagma square houses the Greek Parliament. In front of the building, there are guards, standing still in a straight pose, wearing a traditional costume. The changing of the guard which happens every hour is one of the most instagrammable happenings in Athens!
Best time for a photo tour: Any time of the day, 10 minutes before the changing of the guard which takes place every hour.
Athens best photo locations tip: Every Sunday at 11 am the complete company of the presidential guard parades in front of the Greek Parliament.
18. National Gardens, the former Royal
The National Gardens are not just a garden rather a forest of transformations! Every indigenous tree has its own story to tell from Greek mythology. They were all spirits once; some humans, some Nymphs, ethereal creatures of the woods and the rivers, and some giants! The tree-lined alleys, the pergolas, the ponds with the beautiful birds and the forgotten ruins create a unique atmosphere, which challenges you to capture the mysterious vibes with your camera.
Best time for a photo tour: Morning or midday. The natural light is not enough after the afternoon.
Athens best photo locations tip: On the northeast part of the National Gardens there is a peaceful, traditional café under a pergola.
19. Exarcheia, the heart of the youth
Wondering around the streets of downtown Athens, you will surely come across a lot of imposing murals. None of them, though, compares to the ones in Exarcheia. Painted on the walls of half-ruined houses, rubbish bins, storefronts, and walls of historic buildings, the artists have painted our hearts as well. For a lot of people, street art is a way of expression for people who feel oppressed, who have something to say but nobody cares to listen to them. Others find it to be vandalism (yes, you read that correctly). Whatever your view on the matter though, Exarcheia is the mecca of street art and you should spend at least half a day with your camera in this multidimensional neighborhood!
Best time for a photo tour: Morning or afternoon.
Athens best photo locations tip: Take a quick rest in Rakoumel, a family-run restaurant in the heart of Exarcheia, for a sip of traditional raki!
20. Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Cultural Center
Another excellent photo location in Athens is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), combining views of modern architecture and nature. Its garden is a lush landscape with a wide variety of trees, plants and herbs that flourish in the Mediterranean soil. The new National Library is housed there, as well as the new National Opera. Climbing on the top of the building, you have a panoramic view of Athens and Piraeus port which is ideal for capturing a nice sunset.
Best time for a photo tour: Before sunset.
Athens best photo locations tip: After twilight, the fountains in front of the building start ‘dancing’ in the rhythm of the music every half an hour or so.
21. Athens Riviera, the so-called
Athens is a capital with a long coastline. Any visitor that has the time should take a walk along the boardwalk of Flisvos and Palaio Faliro and discover the outdoor cafés, the merchants with roasted corn, the sailing boats and the cool salty breeze. The sunlight plays wonderful tricks on the water and you can also play with your camera and the endless possibilities.
Best time for a photo tour: Morning or afternoon.
Athens best photo locations tip: You can combine a walk in Athens Riviera with a visit to the SNFCC.
22. Psyri, the urban touch
Psyri is one of the most traditional and charming neighborhoods of Athens. Located just next to Monastiraki, it gets really busy at night, as it is one of the most famous nightlife destinations. Little shops, cozy bars, alternative clubs, mouthwatering Greek food… this neighborhood has it all! It is also one of the richest places in street art.
Best time for a photo tour: In the morning or midday.
Athens best photo locations tip: Buy a ‘koulouri of Thessaloniki’ (bun) from the homonymous original bakery and try to include it in your photo.
23. Little Kook, the fairytale
It's a place where you can spend time living in your favorite fairytale world! This café in Psyri will fascinate you with its exterior and interior décor. They change their theme depending on the season and the go many extra miles to make it look like a true fairytale world. Even the waiters are dressed up! Taste the delicious Little Kook sweets that swim in chocolate, or the colorful and juicy pancakes… caption!
Best time for a photo tour: Any time in the afternoon.
Athens best photo locations tip: It is better to go during the week as it gets really busy on weekends.
24. Noel, the bar in the arcade
Another café that has very nice decoration is Noel. However, what makes it even more unique is the fact that it is located inside a small arcade. The Bar Restaurant travels you to another era with its wonderful and romantic decoration. At the end of the arcade, you will also find a fairytale-like bookshop.
Best time for a photo tour: After dark.
Athens best photo locations tip: It gets really busy on weekends.
25. Technopolis, the town for Arts
The industrial style and the historic aura emanating from Technopolis in Gazi create a charming contrast to the organic products and the attitude of healthy living, giving the neighborhood a raw beauty. It used to be an industrial neighborhood with the ovens from the old gasworks still present. Nowadays, Technopolis of Gazi is an artistic neighborhood, with many musical, theatrical and cultural events taking place. The Industrial Light Museum is ideal to practice your photography skills at night!
Best time for a photo tour: At night.
Athens best photo locations tip: After you take your photos, explore the area around the Kerameikos metro station and if it is Saturday head to Hoxton bar to enjoy a local band playing music live.
26. Merchant's Arcade, the hidden jem
For the past few years, there is an action plan to revive the center of Athens and it extends to yet another historic part of the city, the Merchants’ Arcade! Empty and closed stores of this emblematic arcade are coming back to life with neo colorful signs and local products. The municipality of Athens secured the reopening of 10 stores in the arcade, which is the canvas for one of the best vintage photos in Athens.
Best time for a photo tour: At night.
27. Acropolis Museum, the Café
On the 2nd floor of the Acropolis Museum, there is a café-restaurant that offers stunning views of the Acropolis Rock. After your discovery tour inside the Acropolis Museum, you can satisfy your hunger at the terrace of the Museum, admiring the temple of Athena and the aura of the ancient marvels.
Best time for a photo tour: All day.
Athens best photo locations tip: Every Friday night, the Acropolis Museum restaurant is open until midnight, offering gourmet choices and beautiful night views of the Acropolis.
28. Tower of the Winds, the Gods'
The Tower of the Winds is located inside the site of the Roman Agora and it is the first meteorological station of the world! It is an octagon building, with beautifully depicted figures on the top of each side, each one representing a Wind God. Have a closer look and try to guess which month each wind is representing based on the appearance and clothes of the figure.
Best time for a photo tour: Early in the morning or toward sunset.
Athens best photo locations tip: If you do not want to pay the entrance fee for the site, you can take a nice photo from outside, from the side of Plaka.
29. Central Market of Athens, the busy
If you are into food photography or like to capture the local everyday life, then this is your spot! Thousands of locals do their shopping every morning in the Central Market, or Varvakios as it is also called. Local producers present their products on their stalls, from meat and fish to vegetables, fruits, nuts, cheeses, olives and herbs!
Best time for a photo tour: In the morning.
Athens best photo locations tip: The stall owners will always allow you to try some of their products for free.
30. Temple of Poseidon, the majestic
The Temple of Poseidon would have been at the top of this list, has it been closer to Athens. Located about an hour away from the city center, in Sounion, the Temple of the God of the Seas deserves an honorable mention. Most travelers to Athens take a half-day trip to Sounion for a sunset tour. Get your camera, hop on the car and prepare for one of the best photos you have ever taken!
Best time for a photo tour: Before sunset.
Athens best photo locations tip: You can make it a full-day trip and enjoy a swim at the beach of Cape Sounion and fresh fish in the local taverns.
If you are a fun of photography it is always nice to discover a destination and its culture through your lens. This way, not only do you capture moments that you can later recollect, but you also capture the everyday little moments of the locals, moments that may seem insignificant at first look, but with a closer look you realize that they hold the essence of life. Have a look at our guide for alternative things to do in Athens and also the list with traditional Greek food and drinks you must try!