As a city with an abundance of both ancient sights and quirky modern places to see, Athens makes for some great photography spots. These best Instagram spots in Athens are composed by a local of almost seven years and include some of the places you may not have heard of before.
The capital of Greece is busy with tourists in the warm season. One of my main tips for making the most of these Instagram spots in Athens would be to come during the off-season, so you have fewer people in your shots. But since you may want to experience Greece in the warmer months, an alternative suggestion is to wake up early and catch a more quiet side of Athens.
Either way, there is no shortage of unique Instagrammable places in Athens. Let’s dive right into the best Instagram spots in Athens. And if you don’t have time to check out all of those yourself, here’s an organized tour of the most scenic spots.
This is a guest post by Nina Ahmedow, a travel content creator who has traveled to more than 20 countries on three continents. Born and raised in Germany but currently living in Greece, she loves exploring the world through vegan food. She is the voice behind Lemons and Luggage, a travel blog dedicated to vegan and responsible travel.
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to products, which earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps to fund my blog and bring more authentic articles to you :) Learn more
The most Instagrammable places in Ancient Athens
The Greek capital is undoubtedly most famous for its ancient history, and luckily, a lot of the ancient architecture has survived to this day. That’s why you have to head to these fantastic Instagram spots in Athens when you’re looking for the best photo opportunities. Take your time to explore these breathtaking sites, as you might always find an unexpected angle that will make your photo even better.
The most famous of all Instagram spots in Athens is undoubtedly the Acropolis. Consisting of several different structures that are all stunning in their own right, you can take tons of photos up here, especially if you go early in the morning. The most well-known of all the buildings, the Parthenon, is usually covered in scaffolding, so you will have to experiment with various angles to get a shot you like.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
This ancient site in Athens is also one of the best Instagram spots in Athens and perhaps a bit underrated. But the temple is gorgeous, and if you get the angle right, you can also get the Acropolis in the background.
The Ancient Agora was the marketplace in Ancient Athens and is still very well preserved today. The most impressive buildings in the Ancient Agora are the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos, which also houses the Ancient Agora Museum. Head to the Ancient Agora in the afternoon to get your golden hour photo ops.
Initially built in the 4th century BC, the Panathenaic Stadium was renovated in 1896 and is still in fantastic condition. It is the only stadium in the world that is made entirely of white marble. Both photos from the entrance as well as from the top create an incredible view of the stadium. The earlier you go, the fewer visitors will be in your shots.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
While you get to see the Odeon from the Acropolis, it deserves a separate mention on this list because it is still used as a concert venue. If at all possible, time your stay in Athens to include an open-air performance in this ancient theater. It’s forbidden to take photos of the actual performances, but perhaps you can manage to get a good shot before it starts. The lighting makes the experience exquisite.
Hadrian’s Arch may be overlooked a bit because it simply stands on its own with no admission to pay. But you can take great photos of it with the Acropolis in the background. Because it’s located on a busy street, you will need a bit of patience to get a good shot. Don’t underestimate this piece of ancient architecture!
Tower of the Winds
The first meteorological station in the world was reopened to the public in 2016 after restoration works and makes for an excellent subject at golden hour.
Temple of Poseidon
It’s not actually in Athens but located in Sounio, an hour from Athens, and can’t easily be reached on public transport. However, the sunsets here are spectacular, so set aside a few hours for this beautiful temple if you have the time.
Modern places with great photo opportunities
Most modern buildings in Athens are not very appealing, but there are a few interesting Instagram spots in Athens with a modern approach. You have to travel a bit outside of the touristy center for some of these, but it’s worth it.
This sculpture made entirely of glass may not be the most beautiful piece of art you’ve ever seen, but it does capture everyone’s attention. It is located on Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, near the Hilton Hotel, which you can reach by taking the metro until Evaggelismos.
Anafiotika is without a doubt the most charming neighborhood in Athens. Tucked away between the Acropolis and the more well-known streets of Plaka, Anafiotika gives off serious Cycladic vibes. So if you don’t have time to head to a Greek island, simply go for a photo walk through this quaint neighborhood. And it’s much less busy than the Greek islands!
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in the Athenian suburb Kallithea may not be on most tourists’ radar, but it’s a favorite hangout for locals. Whether you’re more into the building itself or the surrounding gardens, there are tons of photo opportunities here, especially during golden hour. It’s also one of the places to see Christmas lights in Athens.
Even though Plaka is usually busier than Anafiotika, there is no way you can skip this neighborhood on your hunt for the best Instagram spots in Athens. While most of Plaka is best captured early in the day with fewer tourists in your shots, Mnisikleous street is a popular spot with its many cafés, and you want to convey that liveliness in your photos.
But make sure to also venture into the side streets and discover the street art in Plaka. This small neighborhood has a lot to offer.
This neoclassical building is adjacent to the National Garden and is surrounded by picturesque gardens and statues. You can take the best photos here during golden hour.
Want to photograph even more street art? Psyrri is another great neighborhood to capture the spirit of young Athens. At night the streets are packed with people so come early in the morning!
The remains of the old gas factory give this neighborhood a completely different vibe than the rest of Athens. In the summer, there are a lot of outdoor events like markets and concerts. The surrounding area is one of the centers of Athenian nightlife, and you can also find astonishing murals on your way there.
The Athens Olympic Park is located in the well-off northern suburb Maroussi and a little bit out of the way for the regular tourist. However, if you’re a bit tired of Ancient Athens, you may enjoy photographing this sports complex. If you go early in the morning, you can take amazing photos of the white arches without too many other people in them.
Dionysiou Areopagitou Street
This pedestrian street at the foot of the Acropolis is home to several gorgeous neoclassical buildings. You can also take shots of the Acropolis and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus from here. It’s a good idea to spend some extra time here before or after your visit to the Acropolis.
Ermou Street is the main shopping street in Athens and not particularly beautiful except for the small church about halfway down the road and the gorgeous neoclassical H&M right beside it. But the most Instagrammable thing about Ermou street is the sunset. As you walk down towards Thisseio, you will see a fiery sky creating excellent photo opportunities.
Instagrammable food spots in Athens
Most cafés and restaurants in Athens seriously lack aesthetics, but there are a few spots that might take your breath away, and if you’re vegan, check this guide to being vegan in Greece before ordering anything.
This place is so unique with its over-the-top decorations that it quickly became a people magnet. And due to the success, they managed to expand from one to a total of three buildings. The theme changes according to the season, and the interior decor is just as fabulous as the exterior. Avoid the weekends when the lines are extra long and the place is super packed.
Many think the place itself is quite overrated, but you can take some pretty pictures here.
This cozy spot located in a neoclassical building in Plaka is very tastefully decorated and opens at 10 am when you can take photos with few people disturbing your shots.
A for Athens
This tourist hot spot has perhaps the best view of Monastiraki, Plaka, and the Acropolis. It usually gets pretty busy, but if you go during the week, you should be able to find a nice spot, order a drink, and take a few lovely photos from here.
This South-American-themed restaurant is not in Athens but Piraeus, but since the two cities are connected by public transport, you might want to explore the port city as well. The decor is stunning, and there’s a giant mural of Frida Kahlo outside. Take line 1 to Piraeus and then walk about 15 minutes until you reach Karaiskou 151.
Other Instagram spots in Athens
Those weren’t the only great Instagram spots in Athens. There are still a few places that don’t fit any of the previous categories but are no less Instagrammable. Most of these are closer to Athens’ center, so you don’t have to travel too far. Enjoy!
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is not what you’re going to take a photo of here, but instead, you’re here for the evzones, the Presidential Guard in their impeccable outfits.
Without a doubt, the best spot for a view of Athens, Lykavittos Hill, is one of the best Instagram spots in Athens if you want to take photos of the sunset. You can either hike up there or take a cable car. There’s a tiny church which you can include in your photos as well.
This is one of the best spots to take a photo of the Acropolis from a distance. I suggest you go here early before it gets too hot.
Monastiraki is the ultimate Instagrammable place in Athens because it offers all the various photo opportunities mentioned. You get ancient ruins next to more modern buildings, street art, the liveliness of a big city, and spectacular views of Plaka and the Acropolis if you go to one of the rooftop bars. No matter what time you come here, the square will look completely different and invite you to take several unique photos. It’s best to come back here several times to create the best shot.
The entrance of the National Gardens will be an Instagrammer’s paradise with its tall palm trees. To be honest, some parts of the National Gardens are not as well taken care of, and rats have been spotted here. Go early for the best light and the least amount of people!
Located in the southern suburb of Palaio Faliro, this is a lovely spot for taking photos with the Mediterranean Sea in the background.
Prepare for the trip
To ease your travel planning, check out all the posts about Greece travel. Additionally, here are some of the websites and services I use when preparing for my next adventure anywhere in the world.
– Book affordable flights on Skyscanner, a platform that shows the best routes and flight deals to your destination. There’s a money-back guarantee if you miss the flight!
– Check iVisa to see if you need a tourist visa to visit Greece, how to apply online if applicable, or where’s the nearest embassy or consulate
– Pre-book a private transfer from Athens Airport to your hotel
– Buy the most flexible and budget-friendly travel insurance, SafetyWing, to cover all sorts of health problems on the road
– Book in advance some of the best city walks, cultural experiences, and day tours to maximize your stay and experience here
Get more inspiration