Taking your furry friend for a walk is more than just a daily chore – it is a cherished ritual that benefits both you and your dog. However, navigating dog walking in Athens, even in central locations, can be quite a challenge. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most charming places, both in the heart of Athens and on its outskirts, where you can take your dog for a walk, and even let them off the leash (with caution).
To create this selection, we took into account the environment and the level of engagement these places offer to your four-legged companion. We also considered factors such as socialization opportunities, isolation from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the availability of space for play. We personally tested each location, and judging by the hours of sleep our dogs got afterwards, we can confidently say that these places passed the test with flying colors.
Lycabettus Hill offers an idyllic setting for dog walking. From the foothills to the chapel at the top, both the hill itself and the surrounding ring road offer breathtaking views and quiet paths for you and your dog to explore. In the evenings, you’ll see many dog owners strolling with their furry companions, and on weekends, locals gather in the glades of the hill to let their dogs play off-leash. The friendly atmosphere, coupled with the varied terrain, makes Lycabettus Hill an ideal place for exercise and socialization.
The National Garden of Athens
Located in the heart of the city, the National Garden is a surreal oasis that will transport you to an exotic jungle, and your dog will love it too. However, it’s important to choose the right time to visit. If your dog doesn’t like crowds, it’s best to avoid peak hours. Also, if your furry friend isn’t completely obedient during off-leash walks, it’s best to keep him on a leash due to the many distractions. With a large garden and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, be prepared for your dog to channel his inner bird dog and go on an impromptu chase (based on a true story).
If Lycabettus Hill is an idyllic place for a dog walk, then Philopappou Hill is a dream come true for your furry companion. Smooth trails, meandering paths, and open spaces provide plenty of room for your dog to run to his heart’s content. The lush vegetation and views of the Acropolis add a touch of magic to this already enchanting place. Philopappou Hill is also an ideal place for dog socialization as it attracts many dog owners from the surrounding areas.
For those who live in the northern suburbs, Sygrou Forest, located on the border of Maroussi, Kifissia and Melissia, is an excellent choice that your dog will really appreciate. As the only natural forest in the BP area, it offers plenty of opportunities for play and relaxation in a relatively safe environment. You’ll find other dog walkers, sports enthusiasts and families enjoying their time in this forest. In addition, there are often various activities and events that you can participate in, always accompanied by your faithful four-legged friend.
Antonis Tritsis Environmental Awareness Park
If you live in the western suburbs, be sure to visit the “Antonis Tritsis” Park with your dog. Covering nearly 1,200 acres, it is the largest green space in the city of Athens. With six man-made lakes, an abundance of flora and fauna, and a variety of visitors – both two-legged and four-legged – this park offers countless trails and recreational opportunities. You and your dog will never run out of things to explore and enjoy.
Aesthetic Forest of Ymittos (Kaisariani, Byron and Zografou)
Covering an expansive area of 4,460 acres, Ymittos Forest offers a variety of uphill and gentle trails. If you want to completely escape the city and let your dog roam free, this forest is an excellent choice. While it may not be the most sociable environment, the occasional encounter with other dog owners or runners in training is still possible. At Ymittos Forest, you’ll experience a rural atmosphere with plenty of room for your dog to let off steam.
Municipal dog parks in Cholargos
Even if you don’t live nearby, it’s worth visiting the dog parks in Paleo Faliro and Cholargos. These parks are models of animal welfare and culture that other communities should follow. The municipality of Holargos has dedicated a large area exclusively for dogs, complete with agility equipment for dogs to develop their performance and have a good time.
Municipal dog parks in Palaio Faliro
Following in their footsteps, the already “dog-friendly” Palaio Faliro has created a fully fenced and well maintained area exclusively for dogs, adjacent to Cine Flisvos. In these parks, you can safely let your dog socialize and play off-leash, provided they are friendly to other dogs and people.
National Bank of Greece Grove (Pikioni Park) in Philothei
Escape from the rhythms of the city and visit Pikioni Park, a beautiful natural area of 54 hectares. While your dog should be on a leash, you can enjoy the serenity and greenery that this park has to offer.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)
Pets are welcome in most outdoor areas of the SNFCC, with only a few restricted areas such as the clearing, maze, and playgrounds. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash and, as a responsible owner, maintain the cleanliness of the area. The 52-acre Stavros Niarchos Park dominates the center, with attractions such as the Xephoto, water jets and a canal, providing a picturesque setting for a walk with your furry companion.
Forest area in Ilisia
Starting from Ionos Dragoumi Street and extending to Ulof Palme Street, there’s a densely wooded area of forest vegetation in Ilisia. Discover two clearings with panoramic views of Ymittos and Lycabettus. If your dog gets thirsty, don’t worry – there are water taps.
Located in the heart of Athens, near Exarchia Square, Strefi Hill offers a small green haven for you and your dog to enjoy. For dog owners, Strefi Hill offers an ideal environment for leisurely walks with their furry companions. The open spaces and tranquil ambience provide ample room for dogs to explore, run and play. The pet-friendly atmosphere of the hill fosters a sense of camaraderie among dog owners, creating opportunities for socialization and the joy of seeing our four-legged friends interact.
Aesthetic Forest of Hymettus
The Aesthetic Forest of Hymettus is a meticulously planted and maintained forest recognized as a “Historic Garden of Europe” by the European Union. Specially designed resting areas and a refreshment bar await you, where you can enjoy tasty snacks with your furry companion.
Kaesariani Shooting Range
The Kaesariani Shooting Range offers ample grassy areas and fountains for dogs to enjoy while exploring the foothills of Mount Ymittos.
With its abundant pine trees and inviting trails, Pagrati Grove provides a serene atmosphere for a pleasant walk. Afterwards, relax and enjoy a coffee at one of the pet-friendly cafes in the area.
Located next to the Concert Hall, Eleftherias Park has “silky” grass that your dog will appreciate. A nearby café allows you to take a break and enjoy the surroundings.
Located behind the Panathinaiko Stadium, Archimedes Street leads to the uphill paths of Ardittos Hill. This hill, adorned with pine trees