Is a trip to Athens in your future? If so, add Lycabettus Hill in your list of things to do. It’s the highest hill in Athens and has amazing 360-degree views. Take the funicular or walk to the top.
Athens is a wonderful place to visit. The people are kind and accommodating, the food is great, the climate is mostly mild, and its history and antiquities are amazing. And that’s not all; you can go to the top of Lycabettus Hill in the center of Athens and enjoy gorgeous views of the city.
Lycabettus Hill is the highest point in Athens and has beautiful views in every direction. It’s nearly twice the height of the Acropolis, so it overlooks the Acropolis and Parthenon and you can even see Athens shoreline on the Saronic Gulf. It’s also the perfect place to experience the setting sun in Athens.
This Article is about visiting Lycabettus Hill. Here’s what’s covered:
- Reasons to visit Lycabettus Hill
- Ways to get to the top of the Hill
- Best time to go
- Mythology: How Athena created Lycabettus Hill
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Reasons to Visit Lycabettus Hill
Of course, the biggest reason to go to the top of Lycabettus Hill is to see great views of Athens. The most popular time to visit is sunset when, weather conditions permitting, you can enjoy a gorgeous sunset and see Athens during the Golden Hour.
The top of the hill is crowned with St. George’s Church (Agios Georgios) and bell tower. Plus, there’s both a café and a restaurant at the top.
Other names: Lycabettus Hill is also called Mount Lycabettus or Lykavittos Hill.
Ways to Get to the Top of Lycabettus Hill
There are three ways to get to the top of 277-meter high Lycabettus Hill. You can walk, take a taxi or ride service, or take the Teleferic (funicular). I took a taxi to Teleferik Station and took the funicular. It gets you almost to the top, but there are still a few flights of stairs to climb to get to the viewing area.
Take the Funicular (Teleferik)
The Teleferik Station is located on the southern side of Lycabettus Hill at the intersection of Plutarch and Aristippou Streets. The funicular climbs up through a 210-meter-long tunnel and takes about 3 minutes. It operates daily from 9am to 1:30am and runs at least every 30-minutes. It runs more frequently during peak hours.
More than you really wanted to know: Teleferik is the Turkish word for cable car, but technically, the system on Lycabettus Hill is a funicular. The distinction is miniscule: cable cars move by gripping a continuously moving cable. A funicular is always attached to the cable and moves when the cable moves. (Source)
Take a Taxi or Uber
Taxis and Uber rides can take you most of the way up the hill, but the drop-off location still leaves you with about a 260-meter walk to the top via a path and stairs.
I used taxis several times in Athens and found them to be easy and reasonable. The drivers were always polite and accommodating. There were no meters in the cabs, and the fare was always a flat €10. I always added a tip, which the drivers seemed to appreciate.
The one downside to cars (and buses) is that the traffic in Athens is congested and slow. I walked or took the Metro when I could.
Zoom in on a Google Map of Athens and you’ll see multiple trails around and up Lycabettus Hill. There are also several entry points to the trails around the hill. The most direct and popular route appears to be the zigzag trail up the hill that begins a bit above Teleferik Station.
I never miss a chance to ride a funicular or cable car, so I did not walk up or down. Next time, I’ll get a one-way funicular ticket and ride up and walk down.
Public Transit to Teleferik Station
Take Metro line 3 (Blue) to the Evangelismos Metro Station, then walk to Teleferik Station (funicular) at the intersection of Plutarch and Aristippou Streets. I didn’t do this, but according to Google maps, it’s a 700-meter, 12-minute walk, and it’s mostly uphill.
Best Time to Go
Sunset is the most popular and busiest time to go. On my recent visit in Mid-May, both the funicular and the top of the hill were quite crowded.
Clouds rolled in in the late afternoon, so the sunset was barely visible. Even so, it was still very much worth it, and I would definitely do it again. I would also like to go earlier in the day, take the Funicular to the top, and then walk down the trail.
Food and Drink
There are two places at the top of the hill to get food and drinks. The café is open during the day and evening and serves drinks and snacks. The Orizontes Lycabettus Restaurant is open in the evening. I did not go to either, but they were busy and have positive reviews.
How Athena Created Mount Lycabettus
The myth is that Athena wanted to make the Acropolis taller, so she picked up a distant mountain and was carrying it to add to the top of the Acropolis. Before reaching the Acropolis, she accidently dropped the rock and it became Lycabettus Hill. (Source) I can’t imagine how big Athena would need to be to carry a rock so large it became a 277-meter-high hill.
There is so much to do and see in Athens it can be hard to fit everything in in just a few days, but in addition to the Acropolis, the museums, the other antiquities, vibrant neighborhoods, and wonderful food, do try to include a trip to the top of Lycabettus Hill. The views from this highest hill in Athens is definitely worth it.
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Author bio: Ginny Vail is a travel writer, who loves sightseeing, photography, and videography. She’s been to 45 countries across six continents and traveled by air, car, bus, train, boat, and ship. Her articles can help you discover places to go, sights to see, and details about when and how to visit them.