Join the eagle-eyed strollers and enhance your wanderings by knowing the best places for bird-watching in Athens.

By Diane Shugart

Feeding the pigeons on the plaza outside Parliament was once a favourite activity of young tourists (and Athenian kids too). But the city’s bird population is far more diverse. Today, it’s as likely you’ll spot—or at least, hear—parrots in Athens, as wild colonies are taking over the city’s small parks. Several sites near Athens—Mount Ymittos, Antonis Tritsis Park, Schinias Reserve, Mount Parnitha, the Vravrona Estuary—are excellent for birdwatching. But even in the centre of Athens, you don’t need to go far to spot the city’s feathered population. 

The National Garden

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Lycabettus Hill

The owl, symbol of the city, features on Greek coins. But if you want to spot one in real life, you’ll need to head to Lycabettus. Its pine-covered slopes and quarry are also habitat for the kestrel (Falco tinnuculus), golden oriole (or fig eater, sykofagos, in colloquial Greek), great tit, hoopoe and finches who are among the 64 species recorded there by the city’s birdwatchers. 

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Philopappou Hill

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

"One of Attica’s richest wetlands, a popular stopover for birds migrating between Europe and Africa."

Kifissos Delta