Thiseio is one of the most popular and tourist areas in Athens’ historical center. At the same time it is one of the city’s most beautiful neighbourhoods lined with gorgeous neoclassical buildings, picturesque pedestrian streets and well established haunts which will attract you here for a journey back in time. Especially, if you want to immerse in the area’s authentic aura and unique ambience.
Its “borderline” is between the namesake metro station on Asomaton Square in Adrianou street and the National Observatory, at the edge of the central Apostolou Pavlou street. Your reference point will be the pedestrianized Apostolou Pavlou street on which and around which are located the area’s most significant landmarks.
The temple of Hephaestus, which was dedicated both to the god Hephaestus and the goddess Athena Ergani, looms over the junction of Adrianou and Apostolou Pavlou streets, directly opposite the metro station. Known also as Thiseio, it was built between 460 and 420 B.C. and is one of the most well preserved ancient Greek temples, as well as a part of the Ancient Agora archaeological site.
As you go up the cobblestone Apostolou Pavlou street towards the National Observatory you will notice quite a few neoclassical buildings, modern cafes and traditional coffee shops. Another thing that you will surely catch your attention is the open air flea market where you will find a wide variety of handcrafted items, souvenirs and antiques. If you happen to take one of the streets that intersect with the central Apostolou Pavlou you will enjoy a walk in scenic urban neighbourhoods lined with amazing buildings and you will discover well established places to eat and drink, which are among the locals’ favourite hangouts.
If you want to reach the National Observatory located on the top of Nimfon Hill, just across the Acropolis Hill, you should turn right when you spot the church of Agia Marina, approximately in the middle of Apostolou Pavlou street. Once here you will have the opportunity to find out more about astronomy, as well as take a tour of the Geoastrophysics Museum, which exhibits early 20th century scientific instruments, the first Greek telescopes etc. The highlight of the Observatory is the Doridis telescope which allows you to observe the stars over the city.
From Thiseio you will have uninterrupted view to the Acropolis and Lycabettus hill, which will be your best memento of your walk around the area.