Mount Lycabettus in Athens

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Updated: November 10, 2022
By Santorini Dave

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Mount Lycabettus, as seen from the Acropolis, with the rooftops of Athens' Plaka neighborhood in the foreground.

Mount Lycabettus, as seen from the Acropolis, with the rooftops of Athens’ Plaka neighborhood in the foreground.

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Lycabettus Hill in Athens

    Mount Lycabettus, also known as Lycabettus Hill, is located in the Kolonaki district of central Athens, just north and east of Syntagma Square. The most central and highest point in Athens, this limestone landform rises 300 meters (984 feet) above sea level, almost twice as high as the Acropolis. Visitors ascend Lycabettus primarily to enjoy the beautiful 360° views of the city, to watch the sunset, and to enjoy the views of the Acropolis, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Ancient Agora and Panathenaic Olympic Stadium as they light up at night.

    Aside from the incredible views at the top, other points of interest here include the 19th-century Church of St. George (Agios Georgios), which dates back to 1870 and contains some interesting frescoes; and a large open-air theater that hosts Greek and international concerts. Among the artists that have performed at the Lycabettus amphitheater are Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, BB King, Moby, Peter Gabriel, and Black Sabbath to name. The amphitheater has been closed since 2008, but plans to reopen soon, following some structural renovation. Also on the hill is a cafe offering snacks, coffee, breakfast, and lunch, and a popular fine-dining restaurant called Orizontes, which is open for dinner (reservations recommended).

Aerial view of Athens, the Acropolis, and the Saronic Gulf at sunset.

View from Mount Lycabettus over the Acropolis to Piraeus and the Saronic Gulf.

How to Get to the Top of Mount Lycabettus

Visitors can walk, drive, taxi or take a cable car (teleferik) to the top of Mount Lycabettus. Unless you take the cable car, some steep-ish climbing will be involved. Note that the cable car has no views, as it travels through a steep tunnel.

  • Cable Car: Located at the intersection of Aristippou and Plutarchiou Streets in Kolonaki. Fare us 10€ for a round trip ticket, 7€ for one way; there is a discount for children aged 3-10, and children under 3 ride free. The cable car runs every half hour from 8:30am to around 2am. Ask on the way up when the last car will be heading down if you’re planning a late night at the restaurant. The ride takes about a 3 minutes.
  • On Foot: Walking up the hill can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your starting point, pace, and number of stops along the way. The entire perimeter of the hill is dotted with trail access points; the most popular path from Athens’ tourist center is from Plutarchiou St: at the end of street’s vehicle access at Spefsippou Street, climb several blocks of pedestrian-only stairway and turn left at the cable car station at the top; here you will find the entrance of the path up the hill. Also convenient to the tourist center are access points leading through the trees along the south and west sides of the hill on Melina Mercouri and Ilia Rogkakou Streets. The closest metro stations to the southern trailheads are Evangelismos and Megaro Moussikis, each about half a kilometer away.
  • By Car: Traveling north on Ilia Rogkakou Street, just after it turns into Sarantapichou, follow the “Theater” signs to Mount Lycabettus Road. Take this up (continuing to follow the “Theater” signs) to the large parking area near the amphitheater. From here, ascend the staircases and paved pathway to the top. To catch a ride up the hill, use Uber or download an app called Beat; Beat is similar to Uber, but it’s government regulated and most taxis in Greece are registered with this company, making it a better option.

Map showing the location, structures, and car and hiking access to Lycabettus Hill in Athens, Greece

Urban staircase surrounded by vegetation

To get to Mount Lycabettus, the cable car (teleferik) station and hiking trails can be accessed by climbing the series of stairways at the top of Spefsippou Street.

City sidewalk with a path leading through trees

The hiking trail can also be accessed from many points along Ilia Rogkakou Street.

Wooded path, lined with trees on a sunny day

From this point, it’s a pleasant hike through the trees, on a slight uphill slope.

Sunlit wooded path winding through trees

The path offers some shade in summer, and lush greenery in the winter and spring. This photo was taken in February.

Roadway leading up a high hill, with vegetation at the sides

To drive up, take the Mount Lycabettus road up from Ilia Rogkakou Street.

Large, mostly empty parking lot, with views over Athens

Near the top, there is a large parking lot…

Path leading to a colorful outdoor amphitheater

…next to the colorful Mount Lycabettus Amphitheater, which seats 3,000 and dates back to the 1960’s.

Concrete stairway leading up the side of a mountain

If you’ve ascended via car or on foot, the last section of the journey to the top of Lycabettus hill involves some steep stairways.

View looking down steep mountain stairways to a cab on a street below.

Even if you have a taxi or ride-share drop you off, there are still many stairs involved.

Cable car station, with an empty cable car ready to be loaded and sent down

The only way to skip the stairs altogether is to take the cable car up. (The cable car offers no views, however, because it travels through a mountain tunnel.) This is the station at the top of the hill.

Green poster showing the schedule of cable car departures.

The cable car has frequent daily routes from 8:30am until around 2:30am. Schedules are posted at the station.

Visitors look out over a viewpoint over Athens below

Whatever method you use to ascend Mount Lycabettus, you’re guaranteed amazing views from the top.

Aerial view over Athens on a sunny day

From here, it’s possible to look south over Athens all the way to the Piraeus ferry port on the Saronic Gulf. See the Acropolis on the right side of this shot, and the Panathenaic Olympic Stadium on the left.

Aerial view east over Athens from Lycabettus Hill

View looking east.

White domed Greek church against a blue sky

Also at the top of Mount Lycabettus is the pretty 19th-century church of St. George (Agios Giorgios).

Colorful interior of a Greek Orthodox church

Details on a colorful fresco depicting a bible story

Mountaintop stone bell-tower surrounded by people looking out over Athens.

Some of the mountain’s best views are found below the church’s bell tower.

Greek flag flying next to a church bell towerv against a blue sky.

Wooden outdoor bar with green barstools

Also at the top of Mount Lycabettus is an all-day cafe that serves coffee, beer, wine, cocktails, light meals, and snacks.

People sitting at an outdoor table with full beer steins on a sunny day

People sit at outdoor tables with views over Athens

Almost all tables at the cafe enjoy wonderful views over Athens. In the evening, diners can watch the famous landmarks of Athens light up at the fine-dining restaurant Orizontes.

View looking down a concrete outdoor stairway over Athens rooftops

Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the views on the walk back down.

Two people walk down a paved mountain path

Looking north.

View over Athens from the top of Lycabettus Hill

Looking east.

View up a paved mountain path to the summit and a pretty white domed church

Looking back up to the top.

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