Athens is not a city of skyscrapers. Looking upon it from a rooftop, you can see how it evolved over the centuries: most of the buildings around the Acropolis have red-tiled roofs, a statement of their pedigree as the oldest homes in the city. From this up high, you can also feel the pulse of the city, enjoying the sense of privilege that a lofty vantage point affords.
It’s a chance to observe the movement of traffic and people, and the contrast between the capital’s majestic temples and its modern architecture. Here are a few classic rooftop bars, restaurants and venues, some of which are atop revamped former industrial spaces that introduce a note of modernity to a city renowned for its antiquities.
A for Athens: Treat yourself to special cocktails with Monastiraki Square, the Acropolis and Plaka forming the backdrop.
• A for Athens • 2–4 Miaouli, Monastiraki • Τel (+30) 210.324.4244
Bar 8: Relaxing on the rooftop of one of the city’s most historic hotels, you can enjoy original Martini recipes and exotic cocktails, while enjoying a view of Lycabettus Hill.
• Hotel Grande Bretagne, Syntagma Square • Tel (+30) 210.333.0000
Bios: Come here for the urban romance with a young, hip crowd, comfortable chaises longues, crushed-ice cocktails and the Acropolis in the near distance
• Bios • 84 Pireos • Τel (+30) 210.342.5335
Gazarte: Overlooking the former gasworks of the Technopolis cultural venue and with a view of the Acropolis, this is a lovely roof garden with olive and lemon trees that also hosts live music nights. • Gazarte • 34 Voutadon, Gazi • Τel (+30) 210.346.0347
La Suite Lounge: Why not try a menu of modern Greek cuisine created by three-time Michelin-starred chef Jerome Serres, with the entire city spread out below?
• St George Lycabettus Boutique Hotel, 2 Kleomenous, Kolonaki • Τel (+30) 210.741.6000