Hills dotted with ancient ruins, sun-soaked brunches - and a front row seat to the Parthenon. Local resident Alex King explains why Thissio is the Athens neighbourhood that’s hard to beat.

Every neighbourhood in Athens lucky enough to have a view of the Acropolis thinks that theirs is the best in the city. But you really can’t beat Thissio to appreciate the majesty of the Parthenon. My favourite thing about living here is walking up the footpath behind the Church of St. Marina and past the National Observatory of Athens up to Pnyx Hill (just the birthplace of democracy, you know…), where you’re greeted with a spectacular perspective on the entire ancient city.

While most views of Athens reveal a sun-bleached concrete jungle, from this tree-lined summit you see how the historical centre is really a green island. After a long day exploring the city, venturing up at sunset is a great way to unwind. If you ever grow tired of staring down on the Propylaea, the main entrance to the Acropolis, and the temple of Athena Nike, you can always turn around and look out towards the sea, Piraeus harbour, the ships coming to and fro, and the islands that dot the horizon.

Thissio today is one of the most sought-after and well-situated neighbourhoods in Athens. As it includes the pedestrianised Apostolou Pavlou street that rings the Acropolis, you'd expect Thissio to be far more touristy—much like nearby Koukaki or Monastiraki. But all you have to do is walk a few doors down from the main drag and you’ll find yourself in the midst of a calm and authentic Athenian middle-class neighbourhood with many cultural and edible treasures.

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