I have to be honest: I’m surprised and a little bit disappointed with myself that I hadn’t written about this spot sooner. It’s the kind of place that is the choice to go to whenever my friends and I are in the centre and don’t have any other concrete plans. But at the same time we can take it so much for granted that we often forget about it – until, that is, we remember about it and invariably decide to pay our respects…
Areios Pagos, what used to be the High Court of Ancient Athens and even today is the namesake of the Greek Supreme Court, is a hill right below the Acropolis with a fantastic view on more or less the entire centre of the city and a great part of its western suburbs. Every traveller I’ve ever taken there has been equally amazed by this view over the tapestry of lights and buildings, ancient as well as contemporary, that form the world below.
Unlike Pnyx, another high spot behind Areios Pagos and closer to Filopappou Hill, there are always people there, no matter the time you choose to visit, playing music, smoking, drinking, laughing and shouting in Greek as well as many other languages.
When visiting, remember to watch your step! The hill is mostly solid rock and can be quite slippery. In the past you had to climb up stairs carved into the rock but thankfully now there’s also a metal staircase to make things easier.