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Nestled in the heart of Athens’ city center overlooking the Parthenon, Philopappos Hill is definitely one of the must-visit places. Aside from the Philopappos monument, the hill is dotted with archaeological sites that are scattered among pints and quaint alleys composing the unique scenery of the noteworthy Hill of the Muses.
Philopappos Hill is an ideal place for both a relaxing evening stroll and an interesting touchpoint with the city’s rich history.
Whatever your intentions may be, here is all you need to know about your visit to the historic Philopappos Hill.
The History of Philopappos Monument
Philopappos Hill is home to the Philopappos Monument, a square white-marble construction dedicated to Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos commonly called Philopappus.
Unfortunately, the monument was destroyed in the 17th century and evidence has shown that the Turks were inspired by its architectural elements which they later used to adorn the Minaret of the Mosque built in the Parthenon.
Originally the Philopappos Monument was 14 meters (40 feet) tall and 10 meters wide.
Architectural decorations as well as pilasters and statues of Philopappos, his grandfather Antiochos IV and Seleukos I, Nikator, were decorating the monument.
Now, if you consider yourself a history buff and the above has sparked your curiosity about the city’s historical gems, take a look at our extensive guide on the museums of Athens and see how many you can fit in your schedule.
Why You Should Visit Philopappos Hill
Philopappos Hill is also called the Hill of Muses because it is home to a sanctuary dedicated to the poet and prophet Musaeus.
The landscape of Philopappos Hill was designed by the Greek architect Dimitris Pikionis.
The Ministry of Culture declared it a monument of contemporary architecture while the area has been designated a Scheduled and Protected Monument of the Global Cultural Heritage.
This gem in the heart of the city center is not only of great historical significance, but it is also one of the most beautiful outdoor places in Athens.
As you walk through its pedestrianized narrow alleys surrounded by pines and olive trees, you’ll spot several monuments that are worth your while.
A cave-like room in the hill’s rock which is considered to be the Prison of Socrates, the Tombs of Kimon (KImoneia), where it is said that Olympic victor Kimon, father of Miltiades, and his relative the historian Thucydides were buried.
The ancient mercantile boulevard, Koili Odos street, and the Iroon Mousaiou are also part of Philopappos Hill.
Overlooking the Acropolis and the Parthenon, Philopappos Hill offers a mesmerizing view.
Therefore, it isn’t just a popular tourist attraction but also a hangout place for locals.
In the spring months and in the summertime, Athenians head here for a walk, a picnic, or to catch the sunset from the hill’s summit.
Things to Do on the Philopappos Hill
Philopappos Hill is explored best with a leisure walk. You don’t have to plan your route beforehand.
As you start strolling its cobblestone alleys you’ll come across the historic monuments the hill is known for.
Enjoy the scenery, make pitstops at the benches that stand under the shade of the trees, and let the surroundings enchant you.
Make sure though, to reach its summit.
From here the sacred rock of the Acropolis and the city of Athens unravel before your eyes.
It is definitely one of the best views you can get in the Greek capital.
Made of medium-quality limestone at the base and cryptic marble at the top, Philopappos Hill is also an ideal spot for bouldering and single pitch sport climbing.
Οn the south side of Philopappos Hill, you’ll often see locals honing their skills in climbing.
However, it is rarely overpacked so if you’re looking for an outdoor activity while visiting Athens, make sure to add Philopappos Hill to your list.
How to Get to the Philopappos Hill
If you’re getting here by metro, you should take Line 1 (green line) and get off at Thission station or Line 2 (red line) and get off at the Acropolis station.
Either way, you’ll have to take a 20 minutes walk.
If you’re getting here by bus, take line 230 and get off at the bus station “Apheteria.”
However, if you’re in the city center we suggest you walk to Philopappos Hill through the scenic Dionysiou Areopagitou street.
The surroundings will reward you and along the way, you’ll get to explore Athens’ most beautiful neighborhood.
Where to Stay Near the Philopappos Hill
As such, it is surrounded by all kinds of hotels that suit all types and needs.
Nevertheless, the abundance of options does not necessarily mean that all of them are noteworthy.
Having said that, there are also quite a few that are definitely worth checking out.
For example, located a stone’s throw away from the Acropolis, Acropolis View Hotel lives up to its name.
The 3-star hotel offers 32 fully-renovated rooms decorated in a modern and simple way featuring earthy tones. The hotel’s mostly-desired rooms are facing the Acropolis or overlooking Philopappos.
If you favor a boutique style and a modern ambiance overview, you shouldn’t overlook Noble Suites. The contemporary design and the stylish furniture of their luxurious suites will make for an unforgettable stay.
Featuring only two independent apartments, SV Acropolis Residence is another great option for those looking for a calm and homey atmosphere. The 1920’s Residence, is a one-bedroom apartment while the Garden Suite, a two-bedroom apartment. The latter has access to a private courtyard with a hot tub.
Finally, Acropolis Hill Hotel has the perfect location for those eager to experience Athens’s historic center, nestled in the heart of the city center, with a view of Philopappos Hill. Aside from 37 elegant rooms, the 3-star boutique hotel also features a rooftop terrace and an outdoor swimming pool.
Now, you might be wondering: “How do I decide which is the best location for a hotel close to Philopappos Hill?” Why not start by taking a look at our extensive guide on where to stay in Athens?
Where to Eat Near the Philopappos Hill
Dionysos Zonar’s is a high-end, stylish restaurant located at the feet of Philopappos Hill. Its menu consists of dishes based on Greek cuisine but with a modern twist. Excellent cocktails and high-quality drinks are available for accompanying your dinner
- Address: 43, Rovertou Galli St. 11742 Athens, Greece
- Telephone: +30 210 923 1936
GH Attikos Restaurant
Featuring a terrace overlooking the Acropolis and an indoor cozy hall, GH Attikos Restaurant is the ideal dinner place all year round. Traditional Greek cuisine dishes made of fresh and local ingredients and a fine wine menu and cocktail list compose the restaurant’s menu.
- Address: 7, Garibaldi Street, Athens, Greece
- Telephone: +30 21 0921 5256
Boasting a cozy and stylish atmosphere, Salute Bistro is the perfect place for a pitstop. Serving coffee, brunch, and lunch dishes as well as savoring snacks for a light dinner, Salute Bistro is welcoming visitors all day long.
- Address: 19 Erechtheiou Street, Koukaki, Athens, Greece
- Telephone: +30 21 0923 2042
And the good news? If you like more suggestions on where to eat near Philopappos Hill, read our detailed guide on some of the best places to eat in Athens.
Tips, Questions and Answers About Visiting Philopappos Hill
Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions our readers have regarding visiting Philopappos Hill along with a few tips on how to make the most of your visit.
Do you need to book in advance to visit Philopappos Hill?
No, Philopappos Hill is open to visitors 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Is there an entrance fee?
No, Philopappos Hill is accessible to visitors for free.
What are the visiting hours?
There are no specific visiting hours but is recommended to avoid visiting Philopappos Hill late at night.
When is the best time of the day to see Philopappos Hill?
No matter when you’re planning to visit Philopappos Hill, the scenery is bound to captivate you. However, if you’re visiting Athens in the summertime, it is recommended to start your walk early in the morning to avoid the heat or in the evening to catch the sunset.
Can I visit Philopappos Hill with the kids?
Yes, Philopappos Hill is easily accessible and it is a great place for families with kids. In fact, it is a tradition for Athenians to head here with their little ones on Clean Monday’ to fly kites and enjoy an outdoor picnic.
Is it easy to climb Philopappos Hill?
It is quite easy to climb Philopappos Hill but it is suggested to wear comfortable shoes in order to easily walk through the cobblestoned alleys.
Is it dangerous on Philopappos Hill?
Philopappos Hill is a perfectly safe place. However, since there is not much lightning at the night, it is better to have completed your tour before the night falls.
To sum it up, Philopappos Hill in Athens is a great place to visit for a relaxing outdoor walk, a small excursion in nature within the city center of Athens, a family picnic, or even a romantic date.
In addition, due to its central location, the Hill of Philipappos is a great spot to start looking for nearby accommodation if you want to stay close to the top attractions of Athens.
Whether you’re looking for a glimpse into the city’s history or a laid-back evening, Philopappos Hill is a place that should not be missing from your itinerary for your next trip to Athens.
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