Whether you’ve never been to the Greek island before, or are returning for another trip, I think that running in Athens is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful city. With sites older than a thousand years old,well-signposted streets in both the Greek and Latin alphabets (here’s a basic translation graph in case you struggle to find any Latin), and a lot of places you can see for free, running in Athens can help you take in some of the city’s most beautiful landmarks for free.
While running in Athens is great, however, there are a few essential tips I want to give you. Some of these I’m giving to you because I did the complete opposite while running in Athens, and I want to help you learn from my mistakes, but which tips these are, I will never reveal. I’ll also be giving you a route that I made from my hostel which is about 10km/6.2 miles, but there are a lot of other brilliant things to see, so check out the city on Google Maps (zoom in further to find some really cool small sites!).
1. Try to head out early if you’re running
So I’m going to renege on what I said earlier and be open about this: I made this mistake when running in Athens. The place gets incredibly hot (I had a day there where it reached 38 degrees!) and warms up from as early as 7/8am, depending on the time of year. On my first day of running in Athens, I headed out later than I planned because I wanted to charge my phone, at about 9:30/10am. At the end of my run, I drank three litres of water in about two minutes and felt very faint, to the point that a couple of locals asked me if I was okay (note: the Greeks are generally very friendly!). I was fine, but I knew that the next time I went running in Athens, I would be heading out earlier.
The city even implemented a “heat alert” system this year, with specific instructions on what to do depending on how warm it is. In these occurrences, I hope it is obvious, but DO NOT GO RUNNING IN ATHENS IF THE SYSTEM IS AT A HIGH LEVEL.
2. Spend at least a couple of nights getting to know the place
I’ve mentioned this in other posts before, but I cannot stress how useful it is to familiarise yourself with the city when running in Athens. It is, of course, a very beautiful city, but one can easily get lost if they start heading out for a run on their first morning there, and you don’t want to be spending too much time running in Athens with the temperature rising throughout the day!
Spend your first couple of days getting to know the city properly, and you will have a much nicer time running in Athens.
3. Have a map saved to your phone
Athens is a great city, but data signals can be spotty, so downloading an offline map is key. When running in Athens, I can’t recommend doing this enough as, even if you follow the second step, you may find yourself getting lost. Even if you don’t become lost, it can be useful to have an offline map like this one just for peace of mind if you’re running in Athens.
4. The internet is your friend
There are a lot of great ways to go running in Athens. If anything, there’s no wrong way to go running in the city, but if you’re unable to find a route for yourself or want to go exploring, then there are numerous useful sites to find inspiration. Greatruns has some awesome suggestions, as does This is Athens just to name a couple of places.
5. Don’t try to cheat traffic
This is an important one for running in Athens. This road safety report shows that 21% of all road traffic fatalities in Greece were pedestrians in 2021. The roads can be pretty mad there and I experienced a lot of drivers ignoring traffic when I went running in Athens, so having your eyes out when going near roads is essential.
6. Find a Park if you can.
There are a lot of great public parks to be found for running in Athens all over the city. I found this amazing park, Antonis Tritsis, which reaches 100 hectares. has some cafes and places to hire bikes if you’re wanting a rest or would like to ride a bike instead of run. It also has a lot of great trails and some very cute animals to keep an eye out for – seriously, this place is a haven for ducks, turtles, and cats. I ran there three times, and didn’t have the same route once.
Here’s a guide to some other parks that are great for running in Athens, and just visiting in general.
A Route in the centre
Click Here for a route I made for one of my runs. It takes you past some really amazing sites and spots, and is around 6 miles. Below is a screenshot to download as well 🙂
On this route, when running in Athens, you’ll see:
- The Philopappos Monument – this is also a hill with a great view of The Acropolis. Click here for more
- Mount Lycabettus – An amazing hill with a beautiful little church at the top of it. My photo of the view from it can be found at the top of this post. It’s a steep one, so DON’T RUSH UP IT IN THE HEAT! – Here’s a little more info
- The Statue of Athena – Beautiful statue in a park. Since Athens is her land, it would feel wrong not to see this.
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – A war memorial to all Greek soldiers killed during conflict, and a breathtaking piece of work. Soldiers also march here throughout the day.
Have you ever been running in Athens? Have you been to Athens? Do you do any sports while travelling? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
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There’s definately a lot to learn about this topic.
I love all of the points you made.
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