Photo banner for Lost In Athens photo series featuring Ryan of Lost Boy Memoirs looking out over Athens at the Acropolis.

Lost in Athens | A Photo Series

In All Topics, Greece, Travel Photography by Ryan3 Comments


Athens Greece is one of the oldest and most influential cities in the world, and it bugs the hell out of me to hear so many people brush it off as a dirty and ugly city. Sure, it might be a bit scruffy with some graffiti walls and trash in certain areas, but that doesn’t mean this historic city is lacking for exploration opportunity.

After all, it was settled in 3,000 BC, and like Rome it can be a bit in your face with hawkers and crowds — but it still has so much to offer.

Ever week while living in Greece on the sailboats we’d arrive back in Athens on a Friday and I’d be eager to get into the city. The skippers would wonder why, usually referring to it as “kinda shit“. But life on a boat for 5 months made me look forward to as much time on land as possible, and I refused to sit around in port.

Sometimes I would chat with travelers and they’d say they didn’t see much because the city wasn’t very “pretty“. They’d rave about the nightlife and bars but would stick close to the hotels or hostels because it didn’t look safe. Sure, there are warnings on public transport and on tourist info to watch out for pick-pockets, but that’s the same thing I’ve heard about Barcelona.

When I’d convince people to come explore Athens with me, by the end of the night they’d always end up saying “Athens is actually pretty cool“.

I think the problem is that most stick to the walking tours, and the beaten path to tourist hotspots, but never wander off and don’t see what makes Athens really interesting. They don’t get lost.

People miss out on the mime in a back street offering a smile and laugh. Otis the Congolese blue musician on the street corner. The incredible sunsets with a beer on a hilltop over the city. The winding vine-covered alleys. The street parties with locals dancing and a musician singing hiphop after midnight beside ruins.

Each week I went into the city with no set plans, and always found something interesting, something captivating, and some sort of musicians or artists livening up the streets. And for traveling vegos, wow was the food scene awesome! People, if you don’t explore Athens besides the main staples like Acropolis and popular temples, I feel sorry for you.

Come ge lost with me around Athens and I’ll show you below some of the things I discovered.

Photo of the changing of guards at Parliament building on Syntagma Square in Athens Greece.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD //

A photo of The Acropolis of Athens with Greek Flag blowing in the wind.

A photo of Mount Lycabettus and downtown Athens GreecePhoto of Athens Greece at dusk.

A photo of Mount Lycabettus and downtown Athens Greece

MOUNT LYCABETTUS //

Photo of a Green flag and he half moon atop Acropolis.

Photo of Temple of Hephaestus in Athens Greece.

TEMPLE OF HEPHAESTUS //

athens-16-of-69

 Monument Philopappos

MONUMENT OF PHILOPAPPOS //

  • Photo graffiti payphone in Athens Greece
  • Photo of colorful yellow and blue apartment in Athens Greece.
  • athens-44-of-69
  • Photo of an old olive tree in ancient ruins in Athens, Greece

Photo of street musician while lost in Athens Greece.

Photo of ancient pillars in Athens Greece.

Photo of ruins in a park in Athens Greece.

ruins-athens-greece

Photo of interesting rooftop architecture in Athens Greece.

Photo of stacked chairs while lost in Athens Greece.

  • Photo of ancient ruins and pillars in Roman forum while lost in Athens Greece.
  • Photo of ancient ruins in Roman Forum while lost in Athens Greece.

Photo of sunset over ancient ruins while lost in Athens Greece.

OLD ROMAN FORUM //

Photo of bent trees and pathway near Acropolis in Athens Greece.

Photo of sunset over Athens Greece.

Photo of the Acropolis while lost in Athens Greece.

Photo of Odeon of Herodes Atticus ruins in Athens Greece.

ODEON OF HERODES ATTICUS //

Photo of the Acropolis from Areopagus rock while lost in Athens Greece.

THE ACROPOLIS //

A photo of a pathway to Monument Philopappos while lost in Athens Greece.

Photo of an ancient fountain on Filopappos Hill near Acropolis in Athens Greece.

  • Photo of the sun setting through trees on Filopappos Hill while lost in Athens, Greece.
  • Photo of wide-brim hat hung on tree on Filopappos Hill while lost in Athens Greece.
  • Photo of a silhouetted hand and the sunset over Athens Greece.
  • Monument Philopappos on Filopappos Hill while lost in Athens Greece.

Photo of silhouetted tree in Athens Greece.

Photo of burning sunset over Athens Greece

Photo of large park national gardens in Athens Greece.

Photo of the Acropolis at sunset while lost in Athens, Greece.

Long Exposure photo of Acropolis from Filopappos Hill while lost in Athens Greece.

Long Exposure photo of Acropolis from Filopappos Hill while lost in Athens Greece.

ATOP FILOPAPPOS HILL //

Photo of full moon over Athens Greece.

Photo of the full moon rising over the Acropolis at night.

The Reality //

athens-13-of-69 athens-27-of-69The reality of Athens, like most major tourist destinations, is that it can be super crowded.

I mean, freakin’ selfie sticks EVERYWHERE!

Also, with the financial crisis that hit Greece so bad, the hard times for it’s people is apparent. Yes, there is a lot of trash in downtown areas and abandoned buildings. Yes, there is tons of (bad) graffiti everywhere. Yes, you risk getting pick-pocketed on trams and they warn you of it. But at no time have I felt in danger when exploring Athens, even after midnight. And most of the time, when I would break away from tourist heavy areas, I’d find myself wandering completely alone. Just because it comes off as a bit gruff, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore. And I know from experience that it is well worth it.

I’m just bummed I didn’t have more time to explore Athens.

LIKE IT? PIN IT!

  • Photo Lost in Athens poster featuring the Acropolis at night.
  • Banner for Athens Greece
  • Athens Circa 3000BC Poster

Have you ever been to Athens? What was your experience like?

Comments

  1. I’ve not yet been to Athens although my brother went to Rhodes this year and loved it!
    Sadly these comments are made about every major city such as London, Paris, New York, etc and taken as gospel, by the very people who have never even been there lol!
    Fantastic photographs by the way!
    Victoria @The British Berliner recently posted..Shocking news! I’m actually in the Philippines and guess what? The secret Chinese-speaking location I told you about is….Taiwan!

  2. Amazing photos! I LOVED Athens – I thought it was such a beautiful, captivating city, and wish I would have had more time there. The views from Philopappos Hill were incredible – I lingered there for hours.

    1. Author

      Glad you like the photos Ashley! Athens was really cool, and I could have done with a little more time there as well. Gritty but cool. And Philopappos hill was one of my favorite places for sure!

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