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.

Brunch at the Underdog.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

The Underdog

Mikra Asia

Get a taste of Asia Minor at Mikra Asia.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Stop at Cafe Loux for a quick drink to wrap up (or start) your night.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

To Steki tou Ilia

Gevomai kai Magevomai

A crowd enjoys a long lunch at Gevomai kai Magevomai.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Take a break from traditional Greek food at Hoyko.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Hokyo

Skales Kafeneio

Not quite in plain sight, Skales is the perfect place for a drink and a snack.

Photo: Georgios Makkas