The small hill across from the Acropolis is called Filopappos Hill. It’s crowned by a monument and has incredible views of the Acropolis and the rest of Athens. The hill is one of the most beautiful natural areas of Athens and is free and open to the public 24 hours a day.
On the path at the bottom of the hill, there are two points of interest. First is the Byzantine church of Agios Dimitrios. In 1656, the Ottoman commander Yusuf Ağa planned to fire a cannon from the Propylaia on the Acropolis at worshippers celebrating the feast day of Saint Dimitrios. The night before the feast, a bolt of lightning struck the Propylaia, killing the commander and his family.
The second is a cave that tradition says was the prison of Socrates. During World War II, it was used as a hiding place from the Nazis for antiquities from the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum.
At the top of the hill is the Monument of Filopappos. It was built in 114 AD to honor Gaius Julius Epiphanes Filopappos, a prince of Commagene. It stands 12m high. Only ⅔ of the original façade remain.
I carefully walked onto a rocky protrusion near the monument and I got a breathtaking view of the Acropolis. I had to sit for a while to take it all in. I had the entire top of the hill to myself, and nothing but silence, the wind, and the whole city at my feet. There were also amazing views of the rest of the city on the way back down.