The Acropolis in Athens is one of the most photographed and recognised landmarks in the world. The temples on the sacred rock are considered the most important monuments in Western civilisation and have influenced architecture more than anything else since. We’ve put together a selection of our favourite vantage points to photograph from on your next trip to Athens.
The Acropolis from Mt Lycabettus
Standing 277 meters above sea level, Lycabettus Hill is the highest point in central Athens. The view from Lycabettus Hill is best enjoyed at sunset whilst waiting for the lights of the Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Panathenaic Stadium to illuminate at dusk. You will also be reminded that Athens is surrounded by sea with spectacular views across the Aegean.
Photograph taken 15 minutes before sunrise, 0.625 exposure time, focal length 140.
The Acropolis from Ardettos Hill
Ardettos Hill adjoins the Panathenaic Stadium in central Athens to the Southeast of the Acropolis. The hill is paved and has particularly good views over the Panathenaic Stadium and Mt Lycabettus. Heavily treed, there are only a few points from which you can photograph, however the outlook is unique with the Temple of Olympian Zeus in the foreground and a perspective on the Acropolis not often seen.
Photograph taken 2 hours after sunset, 0.7692 exposure time, focal length 80.
The Acropolis from Strefi Hill
Strefi Hill is located in the inner city suburb of Exarchia, Northeast of the Acropolis and has commanding views over Athens. It is one of the best places to capture both Lycabettus Hill and the Parthenon. The land was owned by the Strefis family who operated a quarry on the site from the mid 1800’s through to 1920 and its rock was used in the surrounding areas to construct buildings still standing today. After the closure of the quarry, trees were planted to control the dust from affecting the newly built surrounding suburbs and in 1963 the Strefis family gifted the entire site to the City of Athens. Photograph taken 30 minutes before sunset, 1/640 exposure time, focal length 62.
The Acropolis from Philopappos Hill
Also known as the Hill of the Muses, Philopappos Hill is located just to the Southwest of the Acropolis and is so close it feels like you are in touching distance. In ancient times it is said that this is where Theseus and the Amazons did battle. A short walk from the base of the Acropolis, at the top you will find the famous Monument of Philopappos which is visible from much of Athens, dedicated to Julius Antiochus Philopappos, a prominent Roman consul and administrator in 114AD.
Photograph taken 70 minutes before sunset, 1/500 exposure time, focal length 62.
The Acropolis from Pnyx Hill
Pnyx Hill overlooks the Ancient Agora, directly to the west of the Acropolis and offers spectacular visibility both day and night. The earliest democratic assemblies in Athens occurred here dating back to 507BC after being moved from the Ancient Agora. The hill is easily accessible by foot from the inner suburb of Thissio and is a favoured point to take photos from during a full moon and for stargazing in the clear night skies above Athens.
Photograph taken 120 minutes after sunset, 1/3 exposure time, focal length 66.
There is no better place to explore and capture the detail of the Acropolis and the Parthenon than climbing the archaeological site itself. The ancient city of the Acropolis includes the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea.
For some other great photography ideas, check out our post on photo stories from around Athens.