Stepping into Athens: Walking along its Historic Route

Stepping into Athens: Walking along its Historic Route

TORONTO — Athens fits an impressive number of cultural marvels in a small outdoor area, making it easy to enjoy a morning walk or jog that showcases the city’s past and breathtaking views.

So much of Athenian life is lived outdoors throughout the year, and as such, This is Athens has created several of these leisurely routes, including accessible ones for those with mobility impairments. While taking in city life, visitors can marvel over historic sites that stand out like jewels of the past.

Whether they’re looking to simply stretch their legs, squeeze in a quality workout, or enjoy a scenic stroll with the entire family, Athens has a safe, sustainable outdoor route that caters to all fitness levels and preferences.

Historic Route: City Centre and Acropolis

This route, located in the heart of downtown Athens, is ideal for everyone and takes anywhere from 1-2 hours to a full day to complete. Visitors will pass through some of Athens’ oldest and most vibrant neighbourhoods, like Plaka and Monastiraki, and past notable sites like the recently upgraded Omonia Square and the National Archaeological Museum. There are also a number of popular sunset spots around the Acropolis where visitors will find young Athenians gathered at Areopagus Hill. They can also opt to catch incredible views atop an eponymous hill at the Philopappou Monument.

For years, Athenians have been talking about the ‘Great Athens Walk,’ a series of major projects launched by the City of Athens that aims to limit traffic, create pedestrian streets and establish more accessible routes across the dense city centre.

Stepping into Athens: Walking along its Historic Route

It’s a new name for what is essentially a very old idea. Since the first prehistoric settlers set up camp in caves around the Hill of the Acropolis, people have continuously inhabited the area that’s known today as the Historic Centre of Athens. The area was known for walking, and was home to many wandering philosophers such as Socrates. Today, visitors will find many of the city’s most famous ancient sites, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Agora and much more.

During Athens’ post-war development, many of these sites became isolated from one another. The landscape was carved up by the busy roads of the modern metropolis. Athens is now focused on its journey towards sustainability and accessibility, reconnecting all 129 of its neighbourhoods as part of a network of green spaces.

Today, visitors will find a wide paved walkway that curves around the Acropolis, while an extension is currently underway from the Arch of Hadrian towards the Panathenaic Stadium. Upon completion, the series of projects will include a route that links all of Athens’ major cultural stops and features restored water fountains, wider sidewalks and hundreds of new trees.

For more information on travel to Athens, go to

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