Athens is a photographers dream due to the huge amounts of ancient architecture, the beautiful parks and huge variety of street-life on display. Here is a brief guide to those who want their holiday snaps to be a cut above the average.
For a panoramic vista across the city there is nowhere better than the top of Mount Lycabettus. Unlike many other photogenic sites, this is free and the walk up the wooded slopes is a relaxing and enjoyable way to get out of the hectic bustle of the city for a while. The view is simply incredible, although it is obviously better on clear days. There is a funicular railway for those unwilling or unable to walk and a café at the top for the all important refreshment break.
I can hardly write about taking pictures in Athens without mentioning the Acropolis, which is chock full of scenes that ache to be photographed. However, because of the fame and huge appeal of the site, amateur photographers may find it difficult to find views which are not full of tourists taking the exact same pictures. To avoid the crowds get to the Acropolis early or stay late and this will give you more photogenic lighting as well. However, if your aim is to take unique pictures that people won’t have seen hundreds of times before then the Acropolis is not for you.
Syntagma square and its surrounding offer the best views of modern-Greek architecture, including the Parliament building and its uniformed guards and the National Historical Museum. The light on these buildings can lend itself to some beautiful pictures, although the buildings themselves have been photographed many times. Syntagma square itself is also the focus point for many demonstrations, especially at the time of writing when Greece is undergoing financial and political turmoil.
If you are after unique pictures then there are few better places than the Central Market. This is a loose network of covered alleyways containing stalls selling almost every food item imaginable and full of bustling crowds. The vendors and their wares make for unusual, and in some cases grisly, photo opportunities and there is a wealth more in the customers that stream past them.
Lastly, many of the best photos of Athens show its everyday life, and visitors can best sample this by simply walking the streets. The best places for this are Plaka and Kolonaki, although the latter’s narrow streets are very congested making photography more challenging although still rewarding. Anywhere there is a street market will be rich pickings for vibrant pictures although visitors should beware that many itinerant stall holders will expect to be paid to have their pictures taken.
Hotel deals in Athens, Greece
- Hotel Neos Olympos – Room rates starting from € 27/£ 23.5/$ 36. Guest Rating: 7.0
- Hotel Faros 2 – Room rates starting from € 45/£ 39.2/$ 59.9. Guest Rating: 8.1
- Anita Hotel Athens – Room rates starting from € 40/£ 34.8/$ 53.3. Guest Rating: 8.1
- Piraeus Dream City Hotel – Room rates starting from € 40/£ 34.8/$ 53.3. Guest Rating: 8.8
Photo of a photographer taking a shot of the Acropolis in Athnes, Greece, by Jeff_Werner.