Athens   Travel Guide

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is january a good time to visit athens

Best Times To Visit Athens

The best times to visit Athens are between March and May and from September to November. Weather during the spring and fall months is agreeable and sunshine is pretty much a guarantee. Not to mention, crowds are thinner and hotel and airfare deals are easier to come by than in summer. But if you choose to visit between December and February (Athens's winter season), don't fret. The winters in Athens are relatively mild (with temperatures that range from the low 40s to the mid-50s), thanks in part to the country's location along the Mediterranean. June through August, meanwhile, bring stifling heat and hordes of tourists, so sightseeing can be a bit uncomfortable and quite a headache at this time.

Weather in Athens

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

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Popular Times to Visit Athens

Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on travel.usnews.com in 2015-2016. Hotel prices are sourced from a sample of U.S. News Best Hotels rates through 2015-2016.

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Time it right and you could have some of Athens to yourself © Fernando Vazquez Miras / Getty Images

The beauty of a city like  Athens is that there is  always something going on . The  grand ancient ruins and superb museums are open year-round. But depending on your budget and your goals, you might find that tailoring your trip to a certain season suits you best.

Summer is hot, hot, hot – and packed with tourists and high prices, but the incredible arts and cultural festivals explode during that season. Winter’s got rock-bottom prices and a vibrant nightlife as Athenians keep themselves entertained through the chillier months.

Spring and fall are a perfect compromise, with reasonable temps, prices and crowds. And always wonderful is Greek Orthodox Easter, where the entire country stops what they’re doing and joins the celebration.

A Chinese woman at the top of the Lycabettus Hill in Athens, Greece with the city in the background at dusk

The quiet shoulder seasons (April & May, September & October) are the best time to visit

Spring and Autumn in Athens are a gift. The mild temperatures make exploring easy, and the summer crowds have yet to arrive or have waned so that if you time your visits right, you’ll have elbow room at the famous sights. Accommodation prices can drop by 20%, and service can be better overall. 

The exception is Greece’s biggest blowout holiday,  Orthodox Easter , which is preceded by a week of celebration – the date changes every year (and is sometimes in May). The whole country gets a holiday, and hotels get booked up. Reserve well in advance. One of the most impressive Good Friday candlelit processions climbs Lykavittos Hill.

Athens is beautiful in September, perfect for strolling the streets or hitting the clubs with locals returning from the islands. Though festivals have wound down, October is a great month to stay in Athens, too, as city life remains strong and the theater and opera begin. Ohi Day on October 28 commemorates the day in 1940 when Greek Prime Minister Metaxas rejected Mussolini’s ultimatum.

A man and a woman drinking wine and having food across the valley from the Acropolis at sunset in Athens, Greece.

Budget travelers can bag a bargain from November to March

In winter, the temperatures drop, and you might even see occasional snow, but the Athens nightlife booms. Accommodation is at its lowest price for the year, so it’s a super time to travel on a budget – though keep in mind that if you plan to visit islands as well, the ferry schedules are at their most limited.

One of the least busy months of the year, November means space at the top sights and no major holiday schedule disruptions. Come December, though, and the cool sunshine gives way to bright lights during the Christmas season. Nightclubs and bouzoukia in Athens are lively, running into the wee hours.

In the new year, the highlight of February is usually Carnival, keyed to the three weeks prior to the fasting of Lent. Minor events lead up to a weekend of costume parades, feasting and dancing.

Participants lift a giant rainbow flag above the street during the annual Gay Pride parade event in central Athens.

June to August is the high season – get ready for a festival overload

While high summer can be blazing hot and accommodation costs the most, it’s also the best time to join Athens’ bountiful festival season and booming  beach club scene . In August, Athenians leave for the islands, and some restaurants, galleries and bars close — but the upside is that the city traffic is calmer.

For festival-goers, June sizzles in Athens. Top national and international performers fill stages with dance, music and drama, and many of the festivals continue all summer, like the Athens Epidaurus Festival. Temperatures continue to soar, and outdoor cinemas and sprawling beach clubs thrive in July. 

Come August, when Athenians leave for the islands, expect to do less but relax more. If you’re traveling mid-month, reserve well ahead as Greeks take to the roads and boats for the Feast of Assumption on August 15.

This article was first published September 2021 and updated January 2023

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The World Was Here First

The Essential Guide to Visiting Athens in Winter

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is january a good time to visit athens

It’s likely a rarity that you’ll think about Greece in the winter and Athens in winter in particular, but there are enormous upsides to visiting the capital Greek city in the winter months. The Greeks love to spend time with loved ones, eat warm comforting food, and take advantage of visiting ancient sites in the cooler months and less visited months. Read this article to get to know how to spend winter in Athens like a local and enjoy a prime getaway.

Table of Contents

Athens Weather in Winter

The weather in Athens tends to be quite mild throughout the winter, but definitely not the Mediterranean summer temperatures that a lot of people expect. 

When many travelers first experience Athens and Greece in general in the wintertime, they’re quite surprised by how cold it can be. The winter is short in Athens, but it is typically quite windy, wet, and sometimes even has a few days of snowfall.

The weather begins to cool down in November, with temperatures dropping in December, January, and February before beginning to warm back up in March. 

Temperatures in December usually average around 12°C (53°F) but feel a lot cooler in comparison to 12°C in more of a northern/central European country. Wind and rain begin to become more frequent but you’ll rarely see snow in December in Athens.

Athens in January is likely the coldest month of the year with an average temperature of 10°C (50°F). You’ll still experience a good amount of sunshine in January, but this is the month that you’ll see snow if it’s to happen in the given year. In the past few years, there has been a lot more snow than in previous years and the Acropolis under a blanket of snow is a special sight to see.

In February, the city of Athens has an average temperature of 12°C (53°F) but is also typically the part of the winter where the sun starts to shine stronger and there are fewer rainy/windy days. 

No matter the month you travel to Athens, you’ll want to bring layers on your trip and make sure to have a warmer jacket. Although the day can see a good amount of sun where maybe a sweater and hat will suffice when in Greece in winter, the night can be cold. So if you plan on exploring the city at night or going by the sea, warmer outerwear is almost a certain necessity. 

Athens in winter

Which Month to Visit Athens in Winter?

When beginning to plan an Athens winter itinerary you’ll probably wonder which month to visit Athens in winter. I suppose the best place to begin is that there are various benefits and drawbacks to visiting in each winter month.

Athens in December

Just like most capital cities in Europe, Athens is an exciting time to visit in December and especially in the lead-up to Christmas. Contrary to other Orthodox nations (such as Serbia or Georgia ), the Greek Orthodox church uses the Gregorian calendar so Christmas lands on the 25th of December, in line with the majority of Europe and elsewhere.

Of course, there are also lively New Year’s Eve celebrations that you can enjoy on the 31st of December, as well, if you prefer to ring in the new year the Greek way!

This is likely one of the major benefits of visiting Athens in December, in addition to the slightly cooler winter weather in Comparison to January or February.

The Greeks love anything “themed” and you’ll find lovely and festive decorations throughout the city as well as special Christmas and winter-themed cafes, which are a lot of fun (and tasty) to visit. It’s also always a joy to stroll through Plaka and the tiny Anafiotika neighborhood in central Athens to enjoy the holiday atmosphere.

On the other hand, I’d say the only downside to visiting Athens in December is how busy it can get. While there aren’t as many tourists, the locals love to get out, shop for the holidays, and socialize with friends and family. 

Christmas in Athens

Athens in January 

After the hustle and bustle leading up to and during the holiday period, Athens in January really slows down. This is definitely one of the biggest benefits of visiting Athens in January. If you’d like to visit any of the major sites like the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Syntagma Square or even Lycabettus Hill with small crowds, this is without a doubt the month to do it.

Locals have gone back to work and their daily routine, and tourists are still very minimal. If you’re looking to spend the New Year in the Greek capital, there are many bars and clubs hosting various events which can be a lot of fun, as well as a good way to experience life as a local.

On the downside, January is the coldest month of the year in Athens and it can be quite rainy and sometimes even snowy. If this isn’t a bother to you, January is a wonderful time to visit. 

Athens in February

Athens in February is another month of the year that has low tourists but also unpredictable weather. When considering the positives and drawbacks of visiting in February, not much is different from the month of January.

The only thing is that there will be more hours of sunshine towards the end of the month and possibly a few more tourists starting to trickle in as early spring approaches.

Exploring Athens in the colder months

Things to do in Athens in Winter

Athens in the summer may be the perfect time of year to visit if you’re focused on sunshine and time spent by the sea. But on the contrary, if you’re especially interested in visiting to explore Greek and Athenian culture, winter is the prime time. 

Explore the Ancient Sites & Museums

Athens is a city rich in deep history which leads to a wide array of sites for visitors to see when in Europe’s oldest capital. While this makes for a busy itinerary, it also makes for an extremely congested city when traveling in the warmer months.

If wandering around Athens and the Acropolis while feeling like you’ve fallen into Ancient Greece without crowds surrounding you while taking photos, then visiting in winter is a must. 

Another benefit to visiting Athens in the winter is the ticket costs for major sites. Monuments, museums and ancient archaeological sites in the city are split between seasons; summer and winter.

In the summer season, hours are longer and ticket costs are high. In the winter season, hours are reduced due to the fewer crowds visiting, and the best part, tickets for most sites are reduced in half.

This is a great way to explore everywhere in the city that you’ve longed to visit with fewer people around, and saving a good amount of money on attraction and sightseeing costs.

Some of the sites and museums in Athens that I recommend are:

  • The Acropolis Museum
  • Byzantine Museum
  • National Archaeological Museum
  • The Acropolis
  • The National Art Gallery and National Glyptotheque Museum 
  • Benaki Museum
  • The Museum of Cycladic Art
  • Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library

Acropolis museum

Savor Hearty Greek Tavern Cuisine & Drink 

One of the top things that Greece is known for worldwide is its inviting and flavorful food.  During the cooler months in Athens, one of the locals’ favorite pastimes is to go out to eat and enjoy long, tasty meals while passing time with those close to them.

Planning a trip to Athens in the summer is a great joy in its own right, but sometimes the heat is so intense that your only motivation will be to get into the air conditioning. In the winter months, you’ll find that hot, classic Greek dishes are even more enjoyable when you’re in good company and looking to escape the cool Athenian air.

Greeks also relish in a good drink and another way to enjoy the winter months in Athens is to check out one of the many bars and cafes. From wine bars, classic Greek liquor bars, cocktail bars, and more; there’s something for everyone. 

My personal favorite is “Rakomelo”. It’s a digestive spirit originating in Crete , consisting of “Raki”, a spirit, mixed with honey and spices such as cinnamon. It’s mainly consumed in the cooler months at a warm temperature, and is the perfect way to warm up on a winter day. 

For some of the best souvlaki and rakomelo in the city, head to the Kerameikos neighborhood to the Kerameio bar.

Sip some tasty rakomelo and order some souvlaki next door from Kalamakia O Elvis , and enjoy the cosy, neighborhood environment. I’m pretty sure that the combination of these three is a match made in heaven.

If you want to sample local cuisine with the help of a knowledgeable guide, check out this gourmet food tour or this street food tour to whet your appetite!

Rakomelo

Walk in Thissio 

Another benefit to the more mild winters is the ability to walk around the city center of Athens without feeling the urge to rush inside before you become uncomfortably cold. There are many walks in the city that offer interesting surroundings and beautiful views of the Greek national capital. 

If you’re looking for an atmospheric walk, I suggest heading to the Thissio neighborhood. Located west of the Monastiraki neighborhood and the Acropolis, Thissio is a lovely historic neighborhood in the city with the Acropolis on full show.

The neighborhood is full of neo-classic buildings, outdoor cafes with heaters, musicians, artisan stands, street art, cozy restaurants and cafes, and the perfect place to take a stroll with ancient views surrounding you.

Locals love coming to Thissio to walk their dogs, take in the city, breathe life, and catch up with good company.

Church of Agia Marina in Thissio

Coffee & Dessert (Christmas-themed Cafes)

So far you’re probably learning that there’s a theme here, Greeks love to eat good food, enjoy different types of drinks, and socialize. This leads to one of the next best things to do in Athens in winter; enjoy coffee and dessert. 

Coffee and Greek culture go hand in hand and also have a relationship tracing its roots back to the Ottoman Empire. So with such a deep history, Greece has been given a lot of time to really get creative.

You’ll find numerous spots throughout the city with extravagant desserts, all sorts of specialty coffees, and themed menus with whimsical decorations to the nines. If you’re visiting during the Christmas or holiday winter period and would love to experience these cafes, you’re in for a treat. My recommendations are:

Little Kook – Likely the most well-known themed cafe in Athens, Little Kook is located centrally in the Psiri neighborhood and likely has the most extravagant decor of any cafe/sweet shop in the city. There’s a neighboring gift shop as well where you can find unique little Christmas gifts and decorations if you fancy having a browse.

Cap Cap –  Cap Cap is another popular fairytale-themed cafe located in the Aigaleo neighborhood of Athens. It’s located a bit outside of the center, but is easily reached by metro and is a good neighborhood to explore to get a better idea of what life is like outside of the center.

The theme of Cap Cap changes about once a month depending on the season or holiday, and the specialty here is their extravagant desserts that are close to works of art.

Each dessert is thoughtfully designed to the theme, and you’ll also find fun drinks here such as butterbeer if you visit during the Harry Potter theme!

Bouzoukia 

If you’re feeling brave and searching for the quintessential Greek winter activity, therein lies the Bouzoukia.

Bouzoukia goes far back into Greek history due to the “Bouzouki”, the classic Greek instrument that the clubs are named after. 

These clubs are the heart and soul of Greek nightlife, and when the warmth heads in for the year and winter appears, Greeks put long beach days away for long nights at bouzoukia and nightclubs. This is something that you need to experience first-hand to fully understand.

Famous Greek musicians sing their classics to devoted fans, flowers are thrown on the stage, bottles of wine are drunk, and everyone is having a great time. Even if you’re not familiar with the musicians performing, the fun energy is enough to feel a part of the collective experience.

Keep in mind that these performances typically start around 11:00 PM and can last until 3-4 AM, so if you’re someone that can’t stay up late, Bouzoukia probably aren’t for you.

Outdoor performance with a bouzouki

Day Trip to Meteora or Ancient Delphi

When searching for things to do during winter in Athens, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many wonderful day trips from Athens in winter. Athens may be a condensed and concrete city, but go outside of the city to one of the many surrounding areas and you’ll be in an entirely different world when in Greece’s rugged nature. 

These are the day trips that I recommend when on a winter visit to Athens:

Meteora is an impressive, otherworldly rock formation in central Greece with 6 different Orthodox monasteries built upon its different peaks. A UNESCO Heritage Site since 1989, Meteora is easily one of the most incredible places to visit in Greece and in the world.

Just staring at these rocks evokes inspiration, magic, and even spiritual feelings to those that visit and should be on your Athens winter itinerary. 

If you’re interested in taking a day trip to Meteora from Athens you’ll have a few options for transport. Either rent a car (you can browse Rentalcars.com for deals) and head there independently (it’s about three and a half hours away, and you’ll want to make your way to the town of Kalambaka).

Or you can take part in a guided tour leaving from Athens such as this full-day tour , taking you to and around Meteora and then back to Athens later at night. If you prefer to explore sites independently and would like flexibility for your day, driving yourself would be best.

But, if you’re someone who likes guides for site exploration and would like to skip the driving, a tour such is best. As it’s not the closest destination, I’d recommend even staying a night in the area to get the most out of your stay.

Meteora in winter

Ancient Delphi

Ancient Delphi is one of the most popular places to visit in Greece, the most popular day trip option from Athens, and with good reason. Located on Mount Parnassus, Delphi is home to the 4th-century BCE Temple of Apollo, which once housed the famous oracle.

The site itself has remains of the sanctuaries of both Apollo and Athena Pronaia, as well as an in-depth museum offering plenty more information and artefacts. The location itself is stunning, surrounded by the rustic Greek countryside and nature.

Delphi is an incredibly popular spot to visit throughout the summer but due to its lack of cover from the sun, it can become incredibly warm. This makes winter the perfect time to visit the famous Greek UNESCO site.

To reach Delphi from Athens , you can either rent a car (it takes about 2 ½ hours from Athens), take a guided tour such as this full-day tour , or get a ride on a public bus. If you decide to take public transport, it will take longer, but you’ll save money in comparison to taking part in a tour.

The bus will take around 2 hours and tickets can be booked here (the bus books up quickly so I recommend reserving in advance).

Apollo Temple in Delphi

Where to Stay in Athens

Athens Ivy Suites – This mid-range hotel is an excellent choice while staying in Athens . Centrally located to all the Greek capital has to offer. They have a number of comfortable rooms available and there is also an on-site bar and a wonderful terrace boasting views over Athens. Click here to see their availability

The Modernist Athens – For those looking for a luxury escape in Athens, this 4-star hotel is an excellent choice. It has a fantastic location for exploring the city, a number of plush rooms available and a range of amenities to ensure your stay is a great one. Click here to see their availability

101 Adrianou Apartments – This aparthotel is an excellent choice if you’d like to have your own, self-catering space in Athens while still enjoying the benefits of staying in a hotel. There are a number of comfortable and fully-furnished different flats available that range in size, so you can find the right on to suit your needs. Click here to see their availability

City Circus Athens – If you’re visiting Athens in winter solo or on a tight budget in Greece , this hostel is a great choice for you. They have both private rooms and dorm beds available along with great shared spaces perfect for meeting other travelers. Click here to see their availability

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Athens hotels!

Mainly known as a summer destination around the world, Athens is a good competitor to other popular winter destinations in Europe. From warm comfort foods, beautiful views in many directions, and rich cultural exploration, you’ll quickly be glad that you took the plunge and booked a winter trip to the Ancient Greek city. 

Are you visiting Athens in Winter? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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About Olivia Ellis

Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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Best Time to Visit Athens: Month-by-Month Guide

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While it is most known for its ancient ruins and archaeological sites, Greece’s capital Athens is also a modern, sprawling metropolis. A very vibrant place, its packed schedule of cultural events and pounding nightlife scene means there’s something to enjoy whenever you go.

Having said that, the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn are arguably the best times to visit. As well as avoiding the huge crowds, heat waves and high prices of summer, you can take boat trips to the gorgeous Greek Islands without jostling for space aboard.

While winter is the low season, moderate temperatures and the cheaper prices mean you can still have a nice time away. With so much to see and do, Athens is a great year-round destination.

What’s the Weather Like in Athens?

Lying just inland from the Aegean Sea, Athens is built across a number of hills in the Attica Basin. Surrounded on three sides by massive mountains, it has a hot Mediterranean climate with scorching summers and mild winters.

Averages of around 31 and 32°C (88 to 89°F) in July and August are also accompanied by dry weather and bright, sunny skies. Besides being a bit wetter and cooler, wintertime also sees less sunshine and fewer hours of daylight.

Due to its setting and the fact it acts as an urban heat island, Athens often has quite bad air pollution. Its constant traffic and increasingly frequent forest fires in summer also don’t help unfortunately.

Best months to visit Athens

Best Time to Visit Athens

As temperatures of around 15 to 24°C (59 to 75°F) are more manageable, both spring and late autumn are usually considered the most comfortable months to visit. You then avoid the summers’ long, hot, dry days but still enjoy plenty of sunshine and clear blue skies. Prices are also cheaper and there are fewer crowds at all its attractions.

With temperatures regularly reaching the mid-to-high 30s (95 to 100°F), July and August can almost be unbearable in Athens. Despite the heat and humidity, these are among the most popular months to visit Athens as people have holidays. Numerous festivals are also held with many taking trips to nearby beaches, islands and archaeological sites.

Athens in January

Athens Museum

After the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, January is quite quiet in Athens. Aside from being the coldest month of the year, the weather is rather unpredictable with sun, rain and sometimes even snow appearing on the same day! If you’re very lucky, you’ll get to see the Acropolis magically covered in a thin layer of snowfall.

While its festive lights and Christmas Factory are up until the 6th, after this there is not all that much going on around the city. Although you lose a bit of its special ambience, you can visit its main attractions and museums without any queues. You can also pick up some great deals for hotels and flights.

Athens in February

Athens in February

Very similar weatherwise to January, February is also quite cold and wet with temperatures averaging 13°C (55°F). If you wrap up warm though and pack an umbrella, you can amble about all its archaeological sites with barely anyone else around.

Flight prices and hotel rates are again much cheaper as most people wait to visit when the weather is warmer. Athens also has exciting events such as its Dance Festival to attend with three weeks of street parades, parties and concerts taking place for the Apokries Carnival.

Athens in March

Independence Day

Depending on the year, these fun festivities in the run-up to Lent may carry on into March with other huge events including its FoodExpo and Independence Day celebrations. At these, you can either try thousands of tasty local food products or watch a grand military parade commemorating the country’s founding. Although it is still the off-season, averages of 15°C (59°F) entice more people back to the capital.

With 6 hours of sunshine and 12 of daylight a day, you can spend a lot more time outdoors, wandering about. As all the hotels and archaeological sites still receive relatively few visitors, prices are cheaper and places are less crowded. Its spring flowers also look very picturesque in its parks or on the mountainsides.

Athens in April

Athens Springs

April is really when tourism takes off again in Athens. The longer, sunny, dry days are ideal for strolling about sightseeing before the summer crowds arrive. Average temperatures rise to 19°C (66°F) with cheery poppies and daisies blooming throughout the city.

Flight and hotel prices do increase though around Easter – a very important religious holiday in Greece. More regular ferries also depart for Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos if you want to visit some of its idyllic isles before they are overrun later in the year. With very few overcast days, April is one of the best months to visit Athens.

Athens in May

Athens in May

With temperatures hitting 24°C (75°F) and all kinds of interesting events taking place, May is arguably an even better month to explore Athens. A lovely, lively summer-like feel reigns over everywhere as people spend more time outside due to the dry, sunny days.

Not yet as expensive or crowded as summer, it has fantastic food and jazz festivals to enjoy as well as the month-long Athens City Festival. Celebrating spring, this sees lots of concerts, art exhibitions and sporting events held around town. May is also a good month to take day trips to nearby sites like Ancient Corinth and Epidaurus before they get too busy.

Athens in June

Athens in June

While averages of 29°C (84°F) can already get a bit much, June is the beginning of the peak season in Athens. As people pour in, prices go up with many hotels and restaurants being packed out. The Acropolis and its ancient Agora also start to get very full during this month.

With 15 hours of daylight though – the most of the year – you should have plenty of time to explore the center and enjoy sitting at its outdoor cafes. Besides sunbathing and swimming in the sea, you can also take ferries to visit some of its nearby isles. The almost three month-long Epidaurus Festival also has hundreds of dance, music and theater productions to attend, many held in the capital’s ancient theaters. Alternatively, you listen to big live acts at the Release music festival or DJ sets at Colour Day.

Athens in July

Athens in July

Along with August, July is by far the hottest month in Athens when temperatures average a scorching 32°C (89°F). With heatwaves increasingly common, particularly hot, dry summers can make sightseeing rather sticky and unpleasant. Some local shops and restaurants close for the holidays.

Despite the heat, vast crowds descend upon the city to see its sites or cool off at the nearby beaches. July also sees a number of huge events like the Rockwave and Ejekt festivals take place with rock music lovers arriving for both from all around Greece and further afield. To keep cool, you’ll want to wear light clothing, hydrate often and avoid strolling about during the hottest hours of the day.

Athens in August

Athens Crowds

As many people have holidays, August is the most expensive month to visit in terms of both flight and hotel prices. While the heat, humidity and large crowds can be off-putting, there is a very vibrant feel to its old streets and modern squares. Long queues do form though at its main tourist attractions.

Around the 15th, the city suddenly feels quite empty as many locals head off on holiday. You can still enjoy great shows and concerts though at the on-going Epidaurus Festival. When the moon is at its brightest, you can also visit its archaeological sites late at night for the August Full Moon Festival. Nearby beaches will be at their busiest, however, as Greeks relax at the coast and avoid the worst of the crowds in the capital.

Athens in September

Athens Shopping

Slightly cooler and cheaper, September is another of the best months to visit Athens. Once the school holidays are over, crowds drop considerably and a wonderful relaxed feel replaces the excited buzz of the summer months.

Although still hot, averages of 28°C (82°F) are much more pleasant for ambling around the center. Plaka’s cute cafes and artsy boutique shops will also be a lot less busy. The same is true for the ferries running from Piraeus. In addition to perusing Art Athina’s contemporary installations, you can watch thought-provoking movies at its International Film Festival.

Athens in October

Athens Rainy Day

Screenings are held into October when the prices and crowds continue to fall further. Still a very popular month to visit, it sees temperatures average 22°C (71°F) and a bit more rain starts to fall again towards the end of it. It’s well worth packing a light jacket as the evenings can get a bit nippy.

With fewer people around, this is a great time to hit up its archaeological sights and islands where you can benefit from some fantastic deals. Bear in mind though that ferries may run less frequently depending on the route. Both sunbathing and swimming are less comfortable as the weather is a bit more unpredictable.

Athens in November

Athens in November

November sees a drastic drop in tourist numbers as temperatures fall to 18°C (64°F), and there is much less sunshine and more rainfall. As wintertime opening hours apply, some museums and archaeological sites may close a bit earlier. The good news though is that prices are way cheaper and there are almost no crowds wherever you go.

As this is the off-season, ferries run less frequently and many businesses on the islands shut for the winter. While you can pick up some good deals, they do lose their allure a bit due to the shorter, drearier days. Aside from running the Athens Marathon, you can always explore the Acropolis and Agora without almost anyone around.

Athens in December

Athens Christmas

With it raining 10 days on average and temperatures dropping to 14°C (57°F), December is one of the quietest months in the capital. While there are some decorations strung up and the Christmas Factory to stop by, there isn’t quite the same ambience as in other European cities during winter.

If you want to escape the worst of the cold weather though, its mild temperatures, low hotel prices and laidback feel can make for a nice getaway. Besides celebrating Christmas and New Year’s here, there is also AthensCon to attend at the start of the month. Here you can buy games and collectibles or dress up as your favourite anime character! If you layer up and take an umbrella with you, strolling about its deserted archaeological sites alone can be quite atmospheric.

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The Best Time to Visit Athens

Greece › Athens › Best Time to Visit Athens Updated: February 27, 2024 By Santorini Dave

See Also • Best Places to Stay in Athens • Best Hotels in Athens • Best Hotels on the Athens Riviera • Best Family Hotels in Athens • Best Things To Do in Athens

Beach resort in Athens

If visiting from June to September the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel on the Athens Riviera is a wonderful choice. In spring, fall, and winter the Grande Bretagne in central Athens is best. Both are great places to stay and on our list of best hotels in Athens .

When is the Best Time to Visit Athens? My favorite time to visit Athens is during the shoulder seasons of late April to early June and late September to early November. During these months, the weather is typically warm and sunny, with fewer crowds than during the peak summer months of July and August. First-time visitors to Athens who are most concerned about outdoor sightseeing in comfortable weather will find these months the best. The shoulder seasons offer comfortable temperatures for exploring the city’s historical sites, such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Ancient Agora. Me and my son eating dinner on an outdoor patio in Athens during an April visit. In the shoulder seasons, you can expect mild temperatures, ranging from 60°F (15°C) to 80°F (27°C), and a lower likelihood of rain compared to the winter months. The weather is ideal for walking around the city, enjoying outdoor cafes, and visiting the many archaeological sites and museums. While I find the summer months of mid-June to mid-September to be very hot, they do offer the most sunshine and driest weather. That said, for most visitors the summer heat makes sightseeing less comfortable, and tourist sites can be very crowded. If you prefer a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, consider visiting Athens during the off-season, from November to March. The weather is cooler and more unpredictable, with a higher chance of rain, but you’ll experience fewer tourists, lower prices, and a more authentic experience of the city. Athens January Weather: Cool, rainy, occasional sun. Sunshine/Rain: 120 hrs/57 mm Athens February Weather: Cool, damp, some sunny days. Sunshine/Rain: 120 hrs/47 mm Athens March Weather: Mild, less rain, more sun. Sunshine/Rain: 180 hrs/41 mm Athens April Weather: Warmer, occasional showers, sunny. Sunshine/Rain: 210 hrs/29 mm Athens May Weather: Warm, mostly sunny, little rain. Sunshine/Rain: 300 hrs/19 mm Athens June Weather: Hot, sunny, minimal rain. Sunshine/Rain: 360 hrs/10 mm Athens July Weather: Very hot, sunny, dry. Sunshine/Rain: 390 hrs/5 mm Athens August Weather: Extremely hot, sunny, dry. Sunshine/Rain: 360 hrs/6 mm Athens September Weather: Hot, sunny, little rain. Sunshine/Rain: 270 hrs/13 mm Athens October Weather: Warm, more rain, mostly sunny. Sunshine/Rain: 210 hrs/45 mm Athens November Weather: Mild, rainy, less sun. Sunshine/Rain: 155 hrs/58 mm Athens December Weather: Cool, damp, occasional sun. Sunshine/Rain: 120 hrs/65 mm The Acropolis of Athens at sunset. The best times to visit the Acropolis are late spring and early fall. If visiting Athens in summer, the best time of day is early morning or early evening (two hours before closing). When I Recommend Visiting Athens Best Time to Visit Athens for Good Weather : Athens is blazing hot (and busy) in July and August, when afternoon temperatures can rise to 40°C. A better plan for warm pleasant weather is to visit between mid-April and late June or early September through late-October when temperatures typically hover between 20°C and 25°C. March and November also have good sightseeing weather but be prepared for cool nights and some rain. (Some years Athens even gets snow in the winter.) Best Time for Sightseeing : The best time for sightseeing in Athens is when the weather is mild and there are smaller lines and fewer tourists: April through about mid-May, or October and into early November are the best times to visit the top attractions in Athens . Best Time to Visit the Acropolis : The best time to visit the Acropolis is in the early morning hours, especially in the summer months when it gets unbearably hot by late morning and early afternoon. As Athens is a major stop on Mediterranean cruise routes, tour buses will be pulling up at 8 a.m. when it opens, so you’ll need to be there and be ready to enter the minute the doors open to stay ahead of the crowds. The next best time is near the end of the day, about two hours before closing. It’s best to buy Acropolis tickets online . In terms of what months are best for visiting the Acropolis, I recommend April, early May, October, and early November when crowds are smaller but weather still enjoyable. Best Time for Beaches : Greater Athens has the longest coastline of any European capital, with 16 Blue Flag beaches. The best time to visit to experience them is from June through September. September is especially nice when the big crowds have gone but the water is a comfortable 24°C, having had all summer to warm up. Best Time to Experience Authentic Greek Celebrations : Easter is the most important celebration on the Greek calendar, with Greeks celebrating an entire seven days over Holy Week. This is a great time to visit for those looking for a local experience, with the chance to enjoy candlelit processions, fireworks, and sumptuous feasts. Note: Greek Easter usually falls on different dates than Easter in US, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe. Athens Travel Seasons High Season (Mid-June through Mid-September) : Summer in Athens is the high season, a good time to visit if you’re hoping to experience heat and a hopping nightlife. There will be an especially lively atmosphere with lots of tourists in the streets. Summer also sees the highest hotel and airfare rates. In August, many locals, including shop owners and restauranteurs, go on vacation to the mountains or beaches, which means some businesses will be closed. Shoulder Season (April through Mid-June, Mid-September through October) : Shoulder season is the time most feel is the very best for visiting Athens. From April through the end of spring and again in early fall, the weather is often pleasant with high temperatures ranging in the low to mid-20s. This is also when there are better deals for accommodation and flights, and most shops, attractions, and restaurants will be open. Low Season (November through March) : The low season is from late autumn through winter. While this time of year brings more grey days and rain, snow is rare in the city with low temperatures usually well above freezing. There’s plenty of room for sightseeing (crowds are thin and lineups rare) and discounts on both hotels and airfare are usually readily available. The downside is that Greek ferries won’t be running on a full schedule. Athens Events and Festivals Athens in January New Year’s Day/Saint Basil’s Day – A national Greek holiday, January 1st celebrates both the New Year and Saint Basil’s Day. It’s similar to Christmas Day in North America and many other places around the world, as Saint Basil is Greece’s version of Santa Claus. People exchange gifts and some make a special cake with a coin inside known as a vasilopita. The person that receives the slice with the coin inside is believed to have good luck. Many businesses and tourist attractions will be closed, though most restaurants, cafes, and bars will be open. Epiphany – January 6th is the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated in many places across Europe, including Athens. One of the oldest Christian celebrations, it represents the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as well as the famous visit from the Three Wise Men. In the Greek capital, visitors can experience a sight to behold, with thousands gathering for the Blessing of the Waters in Piraeus, Athens’ main port. Souvenir Expo – For five days in mid-January, the largest expo of folk art and tourism items comes to Athens. The Souvenir Expo features products inspired by Greek tradition, with outstanding masterpieces exhibited, including handmade decorative items, tourist clothing, and objects with high classical value. Athens in February Carnival – Carnivals are hosted throughout Greece with some of the biggest and best festivities enjoyed in Athens. Known locally as Apokries, it takes place three weeks before Lent. While it’s related to Christianity, its roots are in ancient festivals that honored Dionysus, the god of fertility and wine. Nightlife is bustling now with clubs and bars throwing all sorts of themed parties. On the last weekend of Carnival, there are multiple parades and outdoor celebrations. In the old quarter of Plaka, the streets will be filled with locals throwing confetti and engaging in plastic bat wars. SNFCC Ice Skating – Throughout February, part of the long canal at the Stavros Niarchos Center (SNFCC) is transformed into an ice-skating rink, open for free to the public every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Valentine’s Day – As one of Europe’s most romantic cities, Valentine’s Day, February 14, is celebrated in a big way in Athens. Here and throughout the country, gifts and cards are exchanged, while many restaurants offer special romantic dinners. Couples can enjoy walking in the glow of the Parthenon at night, walk hand-in-hand through the pedestrian streets of Plaka, and take in local performances. Athens in March Clean Monday – Clean Monday is one of Greece’s most important feasts. It’s celebrated on the first day of the seventh week before Easter Sunday, and marks the end of Carnival celebrations. Clean Monday is a national holiday, which means some businesses will be closed. Locals enjoy building and flying kites, consuming shellfish, and taking outdoor excursions. As noted above: Greek Easter has different dates than Easter in the West. Independence Day and the Feast of the Annunciation – March 25th marks two holidays which are celebrated at the same time, the Greek National Anniversary which celebrates the country’s victory in the war of independence against the Turks, and a major religious holiday honoring the day that Angel Gabriel announced Mary the incarnation of Christ. This is a national holiday, bringing business closures, including some tourist sites like the Acropolis, other archaeological sites, and all museums. Some streets may be blocked for parades and festivities. Saint Patrick’s Day – Pubs and bars throughout the city frequently offer special drink deals, including green beer along with Irish music and dancing for St. Patrick’s Day. The Greek-Irish Society hosts its event of the year, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Ball, on or around March 17. Athens in April Athens International Film and Video Festival – This film festival takes place over a week in mid-April. It showcases some 250 films and video, including feature-length films, narrative, short-form, and documentaries from around the world. Holy Week and Easter – Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday (in the Orthodox calendar) is Holy Week in Greece. While it sometimes falls in March, it’s usually in April. The biggest holiday of the year in Athens and throughout Greece, many shops will have limited hours and there are church services every evening. On Saturday, just before midnight, many locals arrive at church with Easter candles. The lights are switched off to represent Jesus’ death and the priest announces that “Christ Has Risen.” Afterward, there are lots of cheering, kisses, and fireworks. Easter Sunday brings family and friends together for large feasts where wine is ever-flowing, lambs are roasted on a spit and people crack red eggs against each other – the one standing with the last remaining uncracked egg will have good luck. Comicdom Con – Held for three days in mid-April, this even promotes emerging local illustrators as well as international comic artists. The Feast of Saint George – This day honors one of the most celebrated saints in Greece. Hosted on April 23 most years, while some of the most elaborate festivals are in the mountain village of Arachova, and in Skiathos and Skyros, there will be feasting, music and dancing at venues throughout Athens. Athens in May May Day/International Workers’ Day – May 1 is May Day and International Workers’ Day in Greece. A national holiday, locals often head to the countryside to enjoy picnics, and many museums, monuments, attractions and some shops will be closed, although restaurants usually remain open. Across Greece, there is generally a day-long transit strike, and in Athens, there may be protests as well as parades scheduled. Athens Jazz Festival – One of the city’s most popular festivals offers five days full of music, bringing jazz musicians from across the globe to perform on historic Lycabettus hill. Athens Epidaurus Festival – This annual arts festival is hosted in both Athens and Epidaurus starting in late May and running through the summer. One of the country’s most famous festivals, it includes theatrical, musical, and a variety of other cultural events at various venues around the city. Athens in June Mt Olymprov International Improv Festival – This event features improve shows, instructors, lots of food and fun to the city for five days in early June. Art Athina – Held for four days around the Summer Solstice, this international contemporary art fair is one of the oldest in Europe. Launched in 1993, it showcases artists, cultural institutions, and Greek and foreign art galleries. Athens Photo Festival – The leading international festival of photography and visual culture in southeastern Europe, the Athens Photo Festival features works from emerging and established artists and photographers from across the globe. European Music Day – This national event is celebrated in more than four dozen Greek cities for five days starting on June 21st each year. There are 350 events hosted at more than 200 venues, with dance groups, choirs, philharmonic and symphony orchestras, and music ensembles playing in squares, archaeological sites, parks, and gardens. Athens in July Rockwave Festival – Taking place for two weeks in July, this festival is one of the most famous in Athens, hosted just outside of the city in Malakasa. Some of the past artists have included Robbie Williams, Arctic Monkeys, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, The Black Keys, and Lana Del Rey. Ejekt Festival Athens – This long-running festival is hosted at the Plateia Nerou by the sea. It showcases some of the best electronic-based and alternative music in the world for two-days in mid-July each year, including big-name bands like The Cure. Athens in August With many locals heading to beaches, mountains and islands to cool off during their holidays, festivals are limited in the city this month. The Day of Assumption of the Virgin Mary – August 15 is a national holiday and the second most important holiday after Easter that celebrates Mary’s ascent to heaven and her reunion with Jesus. Many businesses will be closed, with processions and feasts around the country, including Athens. August Full Moon Festival – Every year in Athens and throughout Greece, the year’s most impressive full moon is celebrated with a variety of events. A series of sites and monuments will be open free of charge, and other festivities like free concerts are held in museums around the city. Athens in September Athens Book Fair – The annual Athens Book Fair takes place during the first half of September. Each year features a special theme, like 2018’s which was dedicated to poems set to music, with special evenings highlighting collaborations between poets and composers, with songs performed by well-known singers. Athens International Film Festival – This festival takes place over the second half of September. It supports independent film production, featuring films from around the world with no genre limitations. European Day of Languages Multilingual Festival – In late September each year, this festival presents songs, dance, stories and games in celebration of the European Day of Languages. Athens in October Oxi Day – On October 28 each year, Greeks around the country celebrate the day the country said no (“oxi”) to the Italians who had asked for their surrender during the Second World War with Ohi Day, also known as Oxi Day. It brings feasts, processions, folk fairs and more. In Athens, there will be a parade marching past the Parliament building. Halloween – Bars and nightclubs around Athens use Halloween as a great excuse for throwing costume parties and offering special themed menus. Trick-or-treating generally only takes place among expats who often organize special events for their kids. There is usually a Halloween Carnival held on the Athens campus of American Community Schools where children can play games and win prizes. Adults can look forward to all sorts of fun events featuring live music, ghoulish cocktails, and costume contests. Athens in November Athens Marathon – Held annually during the first half of November, according to legend, the Athens Marathon covers the very same ground Phiedippides ran when he delivered news of victory from the battlefield of Marathon. The finish line is at the birthplace of modern Olympic Games, Olympic Stadium. Anniversary of the Polytechnic Uprising, Athens – A national holiday on November 17 each year, this day remembers the 1973 student uprising at Polytechnic University in Athens. This is when tanks crashed into the gates of the university and multiple students were killed. There is a march, often followed by violent protest around the American Embassy; this area is best avoided by tourists at this time. GeMin – Held for three days in late November, this event features rock displays, minerals, fossils, crystals, gemstones and more at the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens. Athens in December Holiday Events – A wide range of events celebrating Christmas will take place leading up to the holiday, including music shows at the Athens Concert Hall. A Christmas tree will be lit up in blue and white, the holiday colors of Greece, in Syntagma Square, there are holiday bazaars, and a Santa Claus Kingdom which offers indoor ice skating, games, rides, and fair food. Christmas Eve – On Christmas Eve, December 24, children traditionally sing Christmas carols from door to door. Christmas Day and Boxing Day – Christmas Day, December 25, and Boxing Day December 26, are national holidays throughout Greece with many businesses closed, although some restaurants will be open. Today, families follow typical western Christmas traditions. New Year’s Eve – Like many cities around the world, Athens celebrates December 31, New Year’s Eve, in a big way. There will be special events, including dinners and parties, hosted across the city, and a countdown to the New Year accompanied by fireworks. As the Greeks believe the New Year brings good luck and fortune, many spending their time playing cards with friends and family, with games lasting through early morning hours.
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Visiting Athens in the Winter: Weather – What to Pack – Things to Do

  • Last Updated on: Jan 16, 2024
  • Read Time 12 mins
  • Published: Nov 18, 2019

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Visiting Athens in the winter is not an idea that comes up very often among travelers. Mostly known as a summer destination, Athens lures hordes of travelers from May until the end of August. However, few know that the Greek capital is equally charming in the wintertime, offering plenty of choices for things to do. In fact, if you want to see the city without the tourist crowds, the perfect time of the year to visit Athens is from November until the end of March.

Here are what you should know about visiting Athens in the winter and a few ideas to add to your to-do list.

Athens Weather in the Winter

Even though temperatures are significantly lower in winter than in summer, the weather in Athens is still quite pleasant.

January and February are the coldest months of the year, with temperatures between 13 and 5 degrees Celsius.

However, the days have started getting chilly since November. Rainfalls aren’t uncommon during these months, but usually, they don’t last long.

is january a good time to visit athens

You’ll probably get your vitamin D dose even if you’re visiting the Greek capital in the heart of winter.

If you want to know more about the best season to visit Athens, please read our detailed guide here .

Athens Temperatures in the Winter

What clothes to pack for your trip to athens in the winter.

Now that you know what the weather is like in Athens in the winter, you know that you have to leave your flip-flops and shorts back home.

Don’t worry, though; you don’t need to master the art of layering to survive the cold in Athens. A sweater and a jacket will be more than enough to keep warm while visiting the Greek capital .

is january a good time to visit athens

If you’re coming from a northern European country, you’ll probably cope with the weather quite easily.

Having said that here are a few suggestions for your winter in Athens packing list:

  • Warm clothes (Jackets, gloves, scarves, winter hats, etc)
  • A raincoat for the rainy days
  • Comfortable footwear for getting around and sightseeing
  • Extra pairs of socks. Rain in Athens is rare and usually brief but very sudden
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen. Even in winter, Athens is very sunny
  • Mosquito repellent. Especially if you’re planning to take a seaside trip
  • A body wallet to avoid pickpockets
  • An international power adapter
  • A power bank and extra chargers

Do you still need help? You’re in luck. We have put together the ultimate travel checklist for Athens. Check it out right below.

a woman looking the parthenon

Planning a Trip to Athens: The Ultimate Travel Checklist

Why visit athens during wintertime, book a flight and a hotel room at a lower price.

As winter is the off-peak travel season in Athens, prices drop. From November until the beginning of March you can find low-cost flights from several European cities . Moreover, accommodation in Athens is much cheaper compared to summer. Hotel rooms and Airbnbs can be found at lower prices even in the center of Athens. Plus, in many landmarks, prices are reduced during the winter months. For example, the Acropolis entrance fee is €20 from the 1st of April to the 31st of October and €10 from the 1st of November to the 31st of March.

Pleasant weather for outdoor activities

In the summer, temperatures often hit 40 degrees Celsius in the daytime. Walking around the city or doing one of Athens’s numerous outdoor activities can become very difficult under the sun’s heat. In winter, though, especially in December, the weather allows you to explore the great outdoors . On a sunny winter day, you can, for example, easily walk on top of Mt Lycabettus, or go hiking at Philopappos Hill .

is january a good time to visit athens

Escape the tourist crowds

One of the best things about visiting Athens in the winter is that there are significantly fewer tourists.

is january a good time to visit athens

Not only will you see the city’s authentic side but you’ll also avoid the long queues at the city’s archeological sites and museums.

Imagine visiting the most famous attractions like the Parthenon or the Acropolis Museum at your own pace without squeezing through hundreds of people to get a nice photo.

attractions in athens greece

Athens Uncovered: Must-Visit Places for Every Traveler

Taste authentic greek winter food.

Greek food and the gastronomy of Athens are two of the main reasons why travelers love visiting the city repeatedly. But did you know that visiting Athens in the winter will make for a completely new culinary experience? Greek cuisine is very seasonal, meaning many dishes can only be enjoyed in wintertime. Make sure to try fresh wild greens, lahanodolmades (the famous cabbage rolls), and rakomelo (boiled raki with honey and carnation). Also, if you’re visiting during Christmas, dig deep into a plate of melomakarona (honey biscuits) or diples (deep-fried dough with honey).

is january a good time to visit athens

Experience Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Athens

Like most religious holidays, Christmas in Greece is traditionally a family affair.

Most of the shopping streets, museums, and archaeological sites close down on Christmas Eve and the city starts looking as real as possible.

Grab this opportunity to explore crowded places like Anafiotika and Dionysiou Aeorpagitou Street, and you’ll immediately feel like a local.

On the other hand, New Year’s Eve in Athens is probably the year’s busiest day. There’s a lot of shopping, numerous events, fine dining, and a lot of drinking all day.

is january a good time to visit athens

After sundown, the city becomes a great party and locals hang around until the morning.

Planning to visit during the Christmas holidays? Then, you need to take a look at this guide right below.

christmas in athens greece

Christmas in Athens: Weather – Tips – Where to Go and What to Do

Things to do in athens in the winter, explore plaka and anafiotika.

Now is your chance. You’ll never be able to see either Plaka or Anafiotika more comfortably without the hordes of tourists passing by.

is january a good time to visit athens

Get lost in the narrow pedestrian streets of Plaka and discover the oldest street in Athens , enjoy a cup of Greek coffee and do some souvenir shopping while admiring the picturesque alleys and neoclassical buildings that will make you believe you are strolling through a postcard.

explore plaka neighborhood

The Picturesque Plaka Neighborhood in Athens

Visit a museum on a rainy day.

Don’t worry if it happens to rain while you’re in Athens. You were bound to visit a few museums at some point anyway.

Apart from all the obvious choices like the Acropolis Museum , the National Archaeological Museum , and the National Art Gallery , you could also try something more peculiar like the Museum of Greek Popular Musical Instruments or The Museum of Cycladic Art.

museums in athens greece

Exploring the Cultural Treasures of Athens: A Comprehensive Guide to the Museums of Athens

And if you get tired of browsing through the exhibits, you can always have a break to enjoy some coffee and the sounds of rain.

After all, there’s only one thing better than a museum on a rainy day: museum restaurants and cafes .

Explore the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Just a few minutes away from downtown Athens, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is a must-visit attraction and a great option for a winter walk.

is january a good time to visit athens

Within the beautiful complex, you’ll find the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera, and huge green open spaces with an artificial canal.

You can even get a bus from the city center to SNFCC completely free of charge.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC)

Take a seaside trip to the athenian riviera.

The Athenian Riviera is among the most beloved places in the city among locals.

Granted, a stroll down the beach is not quite the same in wintertime, but you’ll still be able to enjoy breathtaking views, exquisite food, and shopping at the most famous southern suburbs of Athens like Voula and Glyfada.

explore-athens-riviera

The Athens Riviera: A World-Class Destination for Sea, Sun, and Sights

Climb up lycabettus hill.

Lycabettus is the tallest and most popular hill in Athens. It overlooks the Attica basin and offers immaculate views of the city.

You can either walk up the hill or ride the cable car that goes all the way to the top starting from the foothill of Lycabettus in the upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki.

It runs every half an hour, and the ride is quite enjoyable. Tickets cost 10 euros for a round trip.

is january a good time to visit athens

Explore the National Garden of Athens

The National Gardens of Athens in Syntagma are also an exceptional choice for a winter walk.

You can easily get there just by walking a few minutes from the Parliament on Syntagma Square .

Just grab a cup of coffee and walk through the gardens, do a bit of birdwatching, and discover peculiar monuments and old buildings hidden among the labyrinthine pathways.

National Garden in athens

Nature’s Oasis in the Heart of Athens: A Guide to National Garden and Zappeion Hall

See the parthenon on acropolis hill.

We’ve mentioned it a few times in this article already but we can’t stress this enough: visiting Athens in the winter is the best time to see all the famous ancient sites that are swarmed with people any other time of the year.

And so the Parthenon couldn’t be missing from this list. The walk up the hill to admire the magnificent temple will be the highlight of your trip.

The Acropolis of Athens

Exploring the Heart of Ancient Greece: A Visit to the Acropolis of Athens

Visit the city’s markets.

Even though markets take place all year round, in the winter, there are more options, as during the summertime, many vendors go on holiday.

is january a good time to visit athens

Food markets like the Athens Central Market, antique markets, and fashionable markets all over the city center.

Most of them are held on the weekends or Sundays attracting locals and tourists.

varvakios central market in athens greece

A Hidden Foodie Oasis: Visit the Athens Central Market

Hammam experience.

There isn’t a better way to warm up on a winter day than a traditional hammam experience. Hammam Baths in the Thissio neighborhood feature traditional hammam rooms that are ideal for some moments of pure relaxation. Moreover, the luxurious and cozy space offers massage services as well as manicure, pedicure and body hair removal, and facial cleansing services.

Go Ice Skating

Even though it rarely snows in Athens, some ice rinks around the city will set you in a wintery mood. Ice n Skate, close to Eleonas Metro station, the 1,000-square-meter ice rink close to the department store Athens Heart Mall, and the Ice Arena at Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) are the best places for honing your ice-skating skills.

is january a good time to visit athens

Take a day trip from Athens

Even though Athens has a lot to offer, we would highly recommend taking a day trip to delve deeper into local culture and get a taste of rural Greece.

Still, we would suggest you stay clear of any seaside destinations like the Saronic Gulf islands , as life in these islands tends to be very slow in the winter.

Instead, you can admire the astonishing monasteries with a trip to Meteora or learn more about the history of Greece with a day trip to Ancient Olympia .

If you want to check for more great options for a day trip destination from Athens, read the article below.

hydra island saronic gulf

Best Day Trips From Athens To: Ancient Sites – Islands – Towns

Where to stay in athens in the winter.

Choosing a hotel in Athens if you’re visiting in the winter will be much easier than looking for one during peak season.

Still, you should be looking for the best location if you want to have all the famous attractions within walking distance from your hotel.

hotels near acropolis

Stay In the Heart of Athens in These Top Hotels Near Acropolis

We would recommend choosing a hotel in the city center and specifically in the areas around the Acropolis: Koukaki, Thission, Monastiraki, Petralona, and Syntagma.

In short, all the sought-after areas where it’s almost impossible to find availability in the summer.

You can search and compare hotels, and find all the rates on Booking.com , the largest booking platform worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Athens in the Winter

Should i visit greece in winter.

Definitely yes. Visiting Greece in the winter is a different experience than visiting any other time of the year.

Is Athens worth visiting in December?

December is actually the warmest winter month in Athens. We highly recommend visiting in December, especially if you plan to spend Christmas in Athens.

Is Athens worth visiting in January?

January is one of the slower months for tourism, but that’s why it’s a great idea to visit then.

Is Athens warm in winter?

Athens is quite warm in the winter with an average temperature of 9 °C (48.3 °F) and a minimum temperature of around 6 °C (42.8 °F).

Does it snow in Athens in December?

Snow is very uncommon in Athens, especially in the city center. It normally snows only a few days a year. Still, you may see snow in Athens if you are lucky enough.

What’s the coldest month in Athens?

The coldest month in Athens is January.

Which area of Athens is best to stay in during winter?

Any area in the city center and close to the Acropolis like Syntagma, Monastiraki, Koukaki or Thission would be an excellent choice.

What do you wear in Athens in the winter?

Athens is rarely extremely cold. A normal winter jacket and jeans would be enough most of the time. However, make sure to pack some warm winter clothes just in case temperatures drop below normal levels during your trip.

To sum it up, Athens is a great city for a short getaway in the heart of the winter.

This guide aims to introduce you to the wintery side of the Greek capital and present you with the most important things to keep in mind before you start looking for hotels and booking your tickets .

A Quick Reminder:

Remember that Athens By Locals is here to guide you with planning the perfect trip to Athens and help you every step along the way. If you didn’t found what you’re looking for, or need any recommendations about your trip to Athens, feel free to  contact us  and we will do our best to help you. Please be as more detailed as possible regarding your subject so as to help you better.

If you like what you read please scroll down at the end of this page and subscribe to Athens By Locals so next time to receive more articles like this straight forward to your email. Join us on Facebook  for comments, photos, and other fun stuff. If you enjoy this article please share it with your friends on Facebook.

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is january a good time to visit athens

Best Time to Visit Athens

What's the athens weather like year-round.

It’s never too soon to start planning a visit to Athens, and with the hefty increase in visitor numbers this year, sooner rather than later is our advice. And it also helps to know what hotel prices are like, and if there are any special events that might make one month better than another one for you.

So here’s our month-by-month round-up of what to expect in Athens, with average temperatures, rainfall, typical hotel prices, and any major events that might add to your visit.

is january a good time to visit athens

January has average temperatures of around 55°F (13°C), and it is one of the city's wettest months with an average rainfall of an estimated 2.24” (56.9mm). But see our page on Athens in the Rain - there’s plenty to do!

Snowfall is quite rare, but if you're lucky, you might witness the majestic Acropolis dressed in white. On the hotel front, you'll find some much-needed respite from inflated prices, making it quite an affordable time to visit.

February is similar to January, with temperatures around 57°F (14°C), and average rainfall hitting about 1.84” (46.7mm). No major tourist events occur this month, resulting in lower hotel rates. This time of year offers a quiet, unhurried experience of the city, so it's perfect for anyone who likes to avoid the crowds.

A mild month, March serves up an average temperature of 62°F (17°C), with rainfall decreasing to 1.6” (40.6mm). It also hosts the Athens Half Marathon , an event attracting a good mix of locals and travelers. Hotel prices begin to nudge upwards but are still comparatively affordable.

is january a good time to visit athens

A balmy 70°F (21°C) is the norm in April , although it still comes with 1.2” (30.5mm) of rainfall on average. The Easter celebrations in Athens are quite a spectacle, with the city coming alive in religious fervor and cultural fun. See our page on Easter in Athens . Expect hotel prices to rise during the Easter period though.

The Athens weather in May steps up the heat, bringing average temperatures of 79°F (26°C), but still with moderate rainfall of about 0.9” (22.9mm). Towards the end of the month, you can enjoy the Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival , and while hotel prices go up a tad, it's a good time to visit.

June marks the start of the hot Athens summer. With average temperatures nudging 88°F (31°C) and the raindrops more or less disappearing, suntan lotion is a must. Consider attending the Release Athens Music Festival , which typically occurs in the summer months. Hotel rates are at their peak during this season, so book in advance!

is january a good time to visit athens

July is the hottest month, averaging 91°F (33°C), with virtually no rainfall. It marks the start of the outdoor cinema season, which is an essential part of Athens’ summer culture. Hotel prices stay high, so early booking is key to securing a good deal.

August continues the scorching Athens climate trend with averages still at 91°F (33°C), but remember that these are averages and it often gets much hotter. We know from experience! With locals often out of town and other tourists avoiding the heat, Athens becomes a quieter version of itself. Despite the Athens Epidavros Festival , hotel prices usually decrease slightly due to the mass exodus.

September , often considered one of the best time to visit Athens, delivers an average temperature of 84°F (29°C), and rainfall is still minimal. Local tourism picks up again, along with hotel rates but it's typically less crowded and more enjoyable.

is january a good time to visit athens

October brings temperatures down to a more comfortable 74°F (23°C), coupled with slightly increased rainfall around 2.05” (52.1mm). Hotel rates start to dip post summer.

November carries you into the start of winter with an average temperature of 64°F (18°C) and rainfall increasing to around 2.3” (58.4mm). Besides the Athens Authentic Marathon , there aren't many major tourist events in November, and hotel prices continue a slight decline.

The Athens weather in December brings on the cold, presenting an average temperature of 59°F (15°C), coupled with a rainfall of 2.7” (69.1mm). While a rare snowfall could be in the offing, Athens really shines in the holiday season, with festive decorations and fun-filled events. Hotel prices are at their lowest, making it one of the most cost-effective times to visit.

Hopefully this guide helps you pick the best time to visit Athens, and remember that Athens' temperate climate ensures an enjoyable trip no matter when you decide to go.

Till next time…

Mike and Donna

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PRIVACY POLICY

Best Time to Visit Athens

Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Athens with a month-by-month account of the weather, hotel prices and any special events that are happening.

Athens is a riveting mix of history and contemporary culture, with a climate that often surprises the uninitiated. Before we dive into our month-by-month guide to the best time to visit Athens, let's talk a little bit about what you can expect weather-wise in this incredible city.

acropolis-museum-athens-greece.jpg

Athens has, not surprisingly, a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. But remember, it also has its fair share of microclimates due to the surrounding mountains and the sea, leading to some refreshing variations you'll appreciate. Let's dive into what each month of the year brings.

Our Pick of the Athens Guides

Lonely-Planet-Pocket-Athens.png

Best Time to Visit Athens Month-by-Month

January has average temperatures of around 55°F (13°C), and it is one of the city's wettest months with an average rainfall of an estimated 2.24” (56.9mm). But read our page on Athens in the Rain and you'll discover there's plenty todo.

Snowfall is quite rare, but if you're lucky, you might witness the majestic Acropolis dressed in white. On the hotel front, you'll find some much-needed respite from inflated prices, making it quite an affordable time to visit.

February is similar to January, with temperatures around 57°F (14°C), and average rainfall hitting about 1.84” (46.7mm). No major tourist events occur this month, resulting in lower hotel rates. This time of year offers a quiet, unhurried experience of the city, so it's perfect for anyone who likes to avoid the crowds.

A mild month, March serves up an average temperature of 62°F (17°C), with rainfall decreasing to 1.6” (40.6mm). It also hosts the Athens Half Marathon , an event attracting a good mix of locals and travelers. Hotel prices begin to nudge upwards but are still comparatively affordable.

Easter-in-Greece-640.jpg

A balmy 70°F (21°C) is the norm in April , although it still comes with 1.2” (30.5mm) of rainfall on average. The Easter celebrations in Athens are quite a spectacle, with the city coming alive in religious fervor and cultural fun. Read all about Easter in Athens . Expect hotel prices to rise during the Easter period though.

The Athens weather in May steps up the heat, bringing average temperatures of 79°F (26°C), but still with moderate rainfall of about 0.9” (22.9mm). Towards the end of the month, you can enjoy the Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival , and while hotel prices go up a tad, it's a good time to visit.

June marks the start of the hot Athens summer. With average temperatures nudging 88°F (31°C) and the raindrops more or less disappearing, suntan lotion is a must. Consider attending the Release Athens Music Festival , which typically occurs in the summer months. Hotel rates are at their peak during this season, so book in advance!

July is the hottest month, averaging 91°F (33°C), with virtually no rainfall. It marks the start of the outdoor cinema season, which is an essential part of Athens’ summer culture. Hotel prices stay high, so early booking is key to securing a good deal.

Greek-National-Theatre.jpg

August continues the scorching Athens climate trend with averages still at 91°F (33°C), but remember that these are averages and it often gets much hotter. We know from experience! With locals often out of town and other tourists avoiding the heat, Athens becomes a quieter version of itself. Despite the Athens Epidavros Fe stival , hotel prices usually decrease slightly due to the mass exodus.

September , often considered one of the best time to visit Athens, delivers an average temperature of 84°F (29°C), and rainfall is still minimal. Local tourism picks up again, along with hotel rates but it's typically less crowded and more enjoyable.

October brings temperatures down to a more comfortable 74°F (23°C), coupled with slightly increased rainfall around 2.05” (52.1mm). Hotel rates start to dip post summer.

marathon-race-pixabay.jpg

November carries you into the start of winter with an average temperature of 64°F (18°C) and rainfall increasing to around 2.3” (58.4mm). Besides the Athens Authentic Marathon , there aren't many major tourist events in November, and hotel prices continue a slight decline.

The Athens weather in December brings on the cold, presenting an average temperature of 59°F (15°C), coupled with a rainfall of 2.7” (69.1mm). While a rare snowfall could be in the offing, Athens really shines in the holiday season, with festive decorations and fun-filled events. Hotel prices are at their lowest, making it one of the most cost-effective times to visit.

Hopefully this guide helps you pick the best time to visit Athens, and remember that Athens' temperate climate ensures an enjoyable trip no matter when you decide to go.

Other Athens pages

Athens, an Eater's Guide to the City, is published by Culinary Backstreets, who do walking food tours in Athens and the book recommends the best places to eat.

Athens Eaters Guide

Athens, an Eater's Guide to the City, is published by Culinary Backstreets, who do walking food tours in Athens and the book recommends the best places to eat.

A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

A History of Athens

A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

There's all kinds of entertainment in Athens whether you're interested in theatre, dance, classical music, jazz, Greek music, rock music, disco, opera or movies.

Entertainment in Athens

There's all kinds of entertainment in Athens whether you're interested in theatre, dance, classical music, jazz, Greek music, rock music, disco, opera or movies.

This Athens dining guide doesn't list restaurants but gives practical advice on types of eating places, tipping, hotel breakfasts and picnics.

Athens Dining Guide

This Athens dining guide doesn't list restaurants but gives practical advice on types of eating places, tipping, hotel breakfasts and picnics.

Around Monastiraki is the flea market, Athens cathedral, Kerameikos Cemetery, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Psirri and Gazi nightlife districts.

Monastiraki and Around

Around Monastiraki is the flea market, Athens cathedral, Kerameikos Cemetery, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Psirri and Gazi nightlife districts.

Easter in Athens is, like everywhere in Greece, the biggest religious celebration of the year and this page tells you what to expect over the Easter weekend.

Easter in Athens

Easter in Athens is, like everywhere in Greece, the biggest religious celebration of the year and this page tells you what to expect over the Easter weekend.

The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to see in Athens, and the best museum in the world for seeing Greece's archaeological treasures.

National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to see in Athens, and the best museum in the world for seeing Greece's archaeological treasures.

The Athens War Museum is a fascinating look at Greek history through the lens of warfare from ancient battles to the Greek War of Independence and World War II.

Athens War Museum

The Athens War Museum is a fascinating look at Greek history through the lens of warfare from ancient battles to the Greek War of Independence and World War II.

Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens

Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

Athens Food Tours are being introduced by new company The Greek Fork, and will include tours of the Central Market, and the best street food.

Athens Food Tours

Athens Food Tours are being introduced by new company The Greek Fork, and will include tours of the Central Market, and the best street food.

Amusing children in Athens is easy as there is lots to do including a children’s museum, planetarium, beaches, and easy excursions to the nearest islands.

Amusing Children in Athens

Amusing children in Athens is easy as there is lots to do including a children’s museum, planetarium, beaches, and easy excursions to the nearest islands.

If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

Where to Eat in Athens and Piraeus

If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

Athens car rental options include almost all of the major international car hire firms such as Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Europcar.

Athens Car Rental

Athens car rental options include almost all of the major international car hire firms such as Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Europcar.

This extract of Artistic Athens in the Lonely Planet book Culture Trails takes visitors on a journey through the artistic side of Athens..

Artistic Athens

This extract of Artistic Athens in the Lonely Planet book Culture Trails takes visitors on a journey through the artistic side of Athens..

Athens Airport hotels include the luxury Sofitel at the terminals, Holiday Inn near the airport, and others close by like the Hotel Pantheon.

Athens Airport Hotels

Athens Airport hotels include the luxury Sofitel at the terminals, Holiday Inn near the airport, and others close by like the Hotel Pantheon.

The Athens Agora or ancient market is a must-see site and one of the best things to do in Athens with its restored arcade building, the Stoa, and its museum.

Athens Agora

The Athens Agora or ancient market is a must-see site and one of the best things to do in Athens with its restored arcade building, the Stoa, and its museum.

Athens Airport car rentals include Alamo/National Car Rental, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt, all with offices at the airport.

Athens Airport Car Rental

Athens Airport car rentals include Alamo/National Car Rental, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt, all with offices at the airport.

Pictures of Athens from the Greece Travel Secrets website

Pictures of Athens

Pictures of Athens from the Greece Travel Secrets website

This drive around Attica offers visitors high hills, beach resorts, small villages and classical sites like Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

A Drive around Attica

This drive around Attica offers visitors high hills, beach resorts, small villages and classical sites like Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis and eating!

My Athens: a Portrait by Travel Writer Mike Gerrard

In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis and eating!

This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is the main square in Athens and has a metro station, the Greek Parliament building, hotels, cafes, and a post office.

Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is the main square in Athens and has a metro station, the Greek Parliament building, hotels, cafes, and a post office.

The beach resorts of Athens are easily reached from the city and also close are Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Marathon and Rafina's port.

Cape Sounion and the East Coast

The beach resorts of Athens are easily reached from the city and also close are Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Marathon and Rafina's port.

The Pnyx hill near the Acropolis is one of Athens' true hidden gems, a place to wander freely away from the crowds and discover ancient places and mysteries.

The Pnyx hill near the Acropolis is one of Athens' true hidden gems, a place to wander freely away from the crowds and discover ancient places and mysteries.

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A month-by-month guide on when to visit Athens

Things to do in Athens Athens Travel Guide Best Time To Visit Athens

Athens , the capital of Greece, is home to the ruins of what was once a thriving civilization. Mainland Greece and the islands that dot the surrounding Mediterranean Sea make it a tourist hotspot. Athens certainly draws a lot of people through the year given it's proximity to numerous other sites. The city itself boasts of a myriad of museums and ruins to be explored, and each season in this ancient city has something to offer to anyone visiting.

Quick Jumplinks to Navigate the Guide

  • Best Time To Visit Athens - Know Before You Plan Your Trip

Athens Through The Year

Best season to visit athens, a month-by-month guide to visiting athens.

  • Athens 3 Day Itinerary
  • More Athens Guides

Know Before You Plan Your Trip to Athens

Best time of the year to visit athens.

The months between March and May, as well as September and November, are ideal for visiting Athens. The weather in the spring and autumn is pleasant, and sunshine is almost always prevalent. Not to forget, that there are fewer tourists and better flight and hotel prices than in the summer.

Best Time To Visit Athens For Different Kinds Of Travellers

Best Time for Sightseeing & Outdoor Activities: June and July, because the warm weather in Athens makes it perfect to take in the outdoors!

Best Time for Museum Buffs: March and November, because it is not very crowded and these months don't have many national holidays, which means attractions will be open throughout the month. Added bonus of less crowds means you can take your time to explore whatever catches your interest.

Best Time for Honeymooners: April and October, because the weather is quite pleasant and the high season crowd hasn't yet arrived in the city. The beginnings of spring and fall make the perfect time for a romantic getaway.

Best Time for Budget Travellers: February and December, because the frigid weather is unfavorable for tourists, leading to many businesses offering flight and hotel deals that would prove to be lighter on your wallet.

Best Time for Shopaholics: January and February, because the post holiday season-lull encourages businesses to offer clearance sales that you can take full advantage of.

Tourist Seasons in Athens

  • High season in Athens: Summertime in Athens is the high season, and it is a great time to visit if you want to experience the city's heat and vibrant nightlife. There will be a particularly bustling mood in the streets, as there will be a large number of tourists, and this season will also witness the highest lodging and flight charges. This is not a good time to be in Athens if you prefer to explore spots by yourself.
  • Shoulder season in Athens: Most people believe that the greatest time to visit Athens is during the shoulder season. The weather is usually good from April to the end of spring, and again in early September, with maximum temperatures in the low to mid-20s. This is also when you can get better hotel and airfare prices, and most shops, sights, and restaurants are open. This time should suit most travelers.
  • Low season in Athens: The low season lasts from late fall to the beginning of winter. While there are more cloudy days and rain at this time of year, snow is uncommon in the city, with low temperatures normally well above freezing. There is plenty of opportunity for touring as crowds are thin and lines are uncommon, and hotel and flight savings are frequently available. On the downside, transportation during this time is difficult to find.

spring in london

Athens in Spring

Athens is arguably at its best in the Spring season. The average high temperature during this time of the year hovers around the 20°C. With the blue water bodies around, the spring bloom adds another dimension to the Greek capital. Spring season is a great time to be in Athens if you prefer to travel without the throngs.

summer in london

Summer in Athens

The sweltering Greek summer is quite popular amongst the tourists. Athens receives millions of visitors from around the world during this season. The water temperature is mild during this time and the sun is out, making it the best time for watersports and sunbathing. The highs during the summer are recorded at around 34°C.

autumn in london

Athens in Autumn

Fall colors sit well in Athens. With the vegetation turning brown, orange, and amber, Athens’s average temperature falls to a very welcoming 24°C during this season. Precipitation is more likely in autumn than in summer, but it’s still infrequent enough to attract tourists. If you couldn’t make it to Athens in spring, autumn should be your next target.

winter in london

Athens in Winter

Winters in Athens are characterized by variable temperatures and unpredictable precipitation. These two factors make the Winter season quite unattractive for travelers. The winter lows in Athens can be anywhere around 7°C. Snowing is rare and unlikely in Athens during the winter.

Follow our detailed guide to pick a month for your Athens exploits.

Paris in Jan

Athens In January

Average Temperature: 7°C to 13°C

best time to visit athens

The coldest month in Athens in January, but it is nearly warm when compared to cities in Europe at this time. The weather can change at any time, producing sun, rain, wind, or snow. Even though the days are shorter in the winter, there are still over 9 hours of daylight to experience the beauty of Athens in early January. January 1st is a national Greek holiday that commemorates both the New Year and Saint Basil's Day. The Feast of the Epiphany is observed on January 6th in various parts of Europe, including Athens. The greatest fair of folk art and tourism items comes to Athens for five days in mid-January.

Athens In February

Average Temperature: 8°C to 14°C

best time to visit athens

As February progresses, expect plenty of sunlight and gradually warmer days, as well as fewer tourists and lower lodging rates. Bringing a variety of clothing is still recommended because it can seem much hotter than the thermometer says when the sun is out, and it can also get chilly late at night. Carnivals are held all over Greece, with some of the biggest and greatest celebrations taking place in Athens. It takes place 3 weeks preceding Lent and is known as Apokries in the area. During the month of February, a section of the long canal at the Stavros Niarchos Center (SNFCC) is changed into an ice rink, which is accessible to the public for free every day from 10 AM to 10 PM.

Recommended Experiences in Athens during Winters

Acropolis & Acropolis Museum: Ancient Athens Tour With Skip The Line Tickets

Athens in March

Average Temperature : 10°C to 17°C

best time to visit athens

March brings in spring, and the weather is starting to warm up. In March, there are normally more sunny days than rainy days, and the average amount of precipitation decreases. With such a minimal amount of rain, many people will visit this month and not witness much, if any, rain, obviating the need for an umbrella. One of Greece's most prominent feasts is Clean Monday. The Greek National Anniversary, which commemorates the country's triumph in the fight for independence against the Turks, falls on March 25th, as does a major religious holiday commemorating the day when Angel Gabriel announced Mary as Christ's incarnation. For St. Patrick's Day, pubs and clubs in Athens offer exceptional drink offers, including green beer, as well as Irish music and dancing.

Athens In April

Average Temperature : 12°C to 20°C

best time to visit athens

In April, the warm weather arrives for the first time. With enough sun and very little rain, this is a fantastic time to visit Athens. Attractions' hours have been extended, and days are getting longer, but lines are much shorter than in the summer, and crowds are scarce. In mid-April, the Athens International Film and Video Festival are held for a week. In Greece, Holy Week lasts from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. It can happen in March, but it usually happens in April. In Athens and throughout Greece, this is the most important holiday of the year, thus many shops will be closed and there will be church services every evening. On April 23, the Feast of Saint George honors one of Greece's most revered saints.

Athens In May

Average Temperature : 16°C to 25°C

best time to visit athens

May is a fantastic month to visit Athens. For the most part, it will seem like the height of summer, but without the throngs of tourists. With just over four days of rain, there are essentially no concerns about rain. When it comes to packing, you may want to bring a light jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings. In Greece, May 1st is May Day and International Workers' Day. Locals generally go to the countryside for picnics on this national holiday, and many museums, monuments, attractions, and stores will be closed. One of Athens' most prominent festivals, the Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival, takes place over five days and features jazz musicians from around the country.

Recommended Experiences in Athens during Spring

Ancient Athens Pass with Skip the Line Entry to Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Zeus

Athens In June

Average Temperature : 21°C to 30°C

best time to visit athens

In June, the heat and tourists arrive, with the average high temperature rising five degrees from the previous month. Rain is nearly unheard of now, with only one day of rain on average in June, and nights are pleasant. With the sea temperature rising, this is the time for almost everyone to enjoy splashing at the beach. Around the Summer Solstice, Art Athina takes place for four days. This is one of Europe's oldest international contemporary art fairs. The Athens Photo Festival, southeastern Europe's biggest international photography and visual culture festival, showcases work by rising and popular artists and photographers from throughout the world. Every year on June 21st, European Music Day is commemorated in Athens for five days.

Athens In July

Average Temperature : 24°C to 33°C

best time to visit athens

Athens is experiencing some of the warmest temperatures of the year now that summer has arrived. There will be no rain, but lengthy, hot days are expected. With the sea temperature at 24°C, this month is all about spending time at the beach, so bring more than one bathing suit and lots of summer clothing to stay cool and protected from the sun. Rockwave Festival, held just outside of Athens in Malakasa for two weeks in July, is one of the most well-known in the city. Ejekt Event Athens is a long-running festival that takes place in mid-July each year and features some of the best electronic and alternative music from across the world for two days. .

Athens In August

best time to visit london

August's weather is very similar to July's, with the exception that the average high rises slightly. The city is largely deserted now that most residents are on their two-week vacations. While it is quite hot, many people find it tolerable due to the dry atmosphere, and the calmer roadways make it a little more comfortable than July. Mary's ascension to heaven and reunion with Jesus is commemorated on August 15, which is a public holiday and the second most significant festival after Easter. The August Full Moon Festival is held every year in Athens and around Greece to commemorate the year's most spectacular full moon. During this time, a number of landmarks and monuments will be open to the public for free.

Recommended Experiences in Athens during Summer

Day Cruise From Athens To Agistri, Moni and Aegina With Mediterranean-Greek Lunch

Athens In September

Average Temperature : 20°C to 29°C

best time to visit athens

While early September will be hotter than August, the weather will progressively calm down. Many people consider August to be the best month to visit Athens, especially in the second half, when the crowds drop out dramatically. Rain is still unlikely, with precipitation falling across three days on average. During the first half of September, the annual Athens Book Fair takes place. Each year's fair has a unique theme. During the second half of September, the Athens International Film Festival takes place. It promotes independent filmmaking by screening films from all throughout the world, regardless of genre. Every year in late September, a festival honors the European Day of Languages with singing, dance, tales, and activities.

Athens In October

Average Temperature : 16°C to 24°C

best time to visit athens

Though it may seem like ideal weather to many, the weather begins to chill drastically around October. It may be warm enough to swim during the first half of the month, with the sea remaining pleasant from the summer heat. The later in the month you travel, the more likely you will need a jacket or sweatshirt, but during any visit in October, it is a good idea to carry a variety of clothing. Every year on October 28, Greeks all around the country commemorate Ohi Day, the day when the country refused to surrender to the Italians during World War II. Halloween is a fantastic occasion for bars and nightclubs in Athens to hold costume parties and offer special themed menus.

Recommended Experiences in Athens during Autumn

Meteora Day Trip from Athens by Train

Athens In November

Average Temperature : 12°C to 19°C

best time to visit athens

The average high temperature in November in Athens drops another five degrees, making it feel as if someone turned on the air conditioner. The first half of the month normally has more sunlight than clouds, but the second half has more dreary days with a good probability of rain. If you are visiting Athens this month, bring layered clothing as well as a rain jacket and/or travel umbrella. The days will be shorter as well. The Athens Marathon, which takes place every year in the first half of November, is said to cover the same ground that Phiedippides traversed as he conveyed news of triumph from the Marathon battlefield. This day, which falls on November 17 each year, commemorates the 1973 student rebellion at Athens' Polytechnic University.

Athens In December

Average Temperature : 9°C to 15°C

best time to visit athens

Athens experiences some of the lowest temperatures of the year in December, but the winters are moderate. If you visit now, pack a travel umbrella and waterproof clothing because there is a lot more rain. There may even be snow on a few days, though it will most likely be a light dusting. More bright days are expected in the second part of the month. A wide selection of Christmas-themed events will take place in the run-up to the holiday, including music performances at the Athens Concert Hall. In Syntagma Square, there is a Christmas tree lit up in blue and white, the Greek holiday colors, as well as holiday bazaars and the Santa Claus Kingdom with interior ice skating, activities, attractions, and fast food.

How many days in Athens do you need?

Depends on how much of the city you want to explore, but ideally, 4 days should be enough to cover all the main sites. 

What is the hottest month in Athens?

August. Temperatures can reach upto 40 degree celsius at the time.

What is the rainiest month in Greece?

December, with an average of 97.6mm of rain.

Which is the best month to swim in the sea in Greece?

That would have to be August when the average sea temperature is 25°C. Paired with August being the hottest month, and the sea at a comfortable temperature, this would definitely be most ideal.

What is the coldest month in Athens, Greece?

The chilly weather lasts for about 4 months, from November to March, with an average daily high temperature below 62°F. The coldest month of the year in Athens is January , with an average low of 42°F and a high of 55°F.

What is the best month to go to Greece?

May, June and September would be the most ideal to visit the country, because the days are sunny, but just enough for it not to be scorching.

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Amulya Chintaluri

Amulya's love for travelling was a natural consequence of her moving around so much as a child. Throw in her love for writing into the mix, and there's no better way to spend her time. A person who collects hobbies like Infinity Stones, she loves reading, sketching, drawing, painting, dry pressing flowers, music, cooking, eating cake, watching TV and sleeping.

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Best Time to Visit Athens Greece: City Break Guide

Most people tend to agree that the best time to visit Athens is during the spring and autumn months. That doesn't mean that you can't visit at other times though. There's always something to see and do in Athens!

Best time to visit Athens

Best Month To Visit Athens

If I had to choose one month as the best time to go to Athens, it would be September. You can still enjoy favourable weather, the crowds are reduced from their August peak season highs, and the city feels abuzz with creativity and new beginnings as the summer holidays have ended.

Overall, the best time of year to go to Athens is April through until the end of June, and September until the end of October. Athens feels both hot and crowded in July and August, two months which are best avoided if you have the freedom of when to spend time in Athens, Greece.

In this article, I'll break down the reasons why Spring and Fall are the better times of year to visit Athens, along with what to expect no matter what time of year you spend in the Greek capital.

I should also mention that there are no particular months to avoid visiting Athens, although personally I would avoid traveling to Greece in August if you have other options.

A local's insights into visiting Athens in all months

Having lived in Athens for 9 years now, I have seen how the city has certain rhythms when it comes to tourists visiting. The summer months are by far the busiest, and the winter months much quieter .

That doesn't necessarily make the summer the best time to visit Athens though. It can be insanely hot, especially in August in Athens!

That said, because many Athenians leave for the islands in August, so it can be a more peaceful month to visit the city. The metros have far fewer people on them, and driving in Athens is a lot easier in August.

Decisions, decisions. There are a lot of factors involved in choosing when to visit Athens!

Do you want to avoid the tourist crowds in Athens? Are you looking for reliable weather? Do you want cheap accommodation in Athens ? Are you looking at visiting Greece when air fares will be lower?

Here is when I consider the best time of year to visit Athens:

  • Mid-April until Mid-June
  • September to Mid-October
  • August (Crazy hot, but most Athenians depart for their vacations, leaving the city virtually empty)

The Acropolis is the most well known of the historical sites in Athens Greece

Best Season To Visit Athens

In my opinion, the autumn is the best season to travel to Athens. The months of September and October and particularly good, as the weather is still good, temperatures are easing off, and there are a lot of cultural events in the city.

When To Visit Athens

Let me break this down for you, giving the pros and cons behind visiting Athens in each month.

To be honest, this is not the most interesting article in the world, but it does have the information you need!

If you are interested in other destinations outside of Athens, this article on the best time to visit Greece will help. You can also get hold of my free travel guides below.

Athens in January

Athens doesn't really go full in to New Year celebration mode on a scale seen in London, but there is a certain majesty in seeing the firework display near the Acropolis . For the rest of the month, you can expect a quieter city with mixed unpredictable weather.

Weather in Athens Greece January : Obviously, the weather in Athens in January is not going to be optimal! Expect average temperatures to have highs of 13° and lows of 7°. There will also be 4 or 5 rainy days in January in Athens to contend with.

January is the best time to visit Athens for accommodation in terms of value for money. Any of the good hotels near the Acropolis will be cheaper at this time of year compared to later.

  • Cheaper accommodation and cheap flights
  • A quieter city with fewer tourists
  • The weather can be unpredictable – Snow, wind, rain or sun. Who knows what the next day brings!
  • Shorter opening hours at the ancient sites in Athens .

Athens in February 

This is a close contender for the best time to visit Athens. When my brother visited for 2 days in Athens  in February, he had amazing weather.

It's not guaranteed though, which may rule it out for some. The day I moved to Athens in February 2 years ago, it snowed!

If I was to recommend one month for budget travellers to visit Athens, it would be February. Prices are still low, there are fewer tourists, and flights are cheap.

  • Cheap flights and accommodation in Athens at this time of year
  • Fewer tourists
  • Weather warming up nicely, especially towards the end of the month
  • Don't bet on the weather being consistently good – anything can happen!
  • The archaeological spaces of Ancient Athens have shorter opening hours.

The Temple of Zeus is one of the surviving buildings from ancient Athens

Athens in March

The weather is starting to become more stable in March, making it one of the best times of year to visit Athens. The days are becoming longer too, meaning that there is more daylight to enjoy the city.

Note that Independence day in Greece is March 25th and is a national holiday. If you're in Athens in March on this day, make time to see the big parades!

If you are planning a city break in Athens, I would suggest that mid-March onward is ideal .

  • From the middle of March onward, the weather is warmer and more consistent
  • More daylight means more time to enjoy Athens!
  • The archaeological spaces still have their earlier winter closing times
  • Prices start to increase – Book accommodation in Athens ahead of time!

An art display inside the Herodion in Athens

Related: What is the weather like in Greece in March?

Athens in April

April would be a perfect month to visit Athens, apart from one thing. Easter.

Easter is a big thing in Greece, and people often take a week off to spend time with families. As such, airfares may be higher, and businesses may be closed. You might also find that some archaeological sites would be closed.

On the positive side, you would get to experience a Greek Easter! Take a look here for dates and what to expect – Greek Easter .

My advice here, would be to find out when the Greek Orthodox Easter is for the year you plan to visit Athens, and try to avoid it if you can. (Unless you specifically want to travel to Greece just for that). The rest of the month is fine though.

Temperature wise, tourists are going to most likely be able to wander around in shorts and T-shirts during the day time, but need to wear a light jacket in the evening.

One event you might be interested in checking out in Athens in April, is the Athens International Film and Video Festival. More details here – Athens Film Fest

  • The weather is nice and warm
  • Archaeological site opening times are extended to the summer hours
  • Prices for accommodation and flights (apart from Easter) may still be relatively low.
  • Whilst Easter won't really affect regular tourists, some shops and businesses may be closed.
  • Flight prices over the Easter period may increase as Greeks return home to spend time with their families.

Easter in Arachova

Many people return to their family villages during Easter, where cooking lamb is a big thing! This photo was taken in Arachova. Instead of visiting Athens in Easter, why not consider a smaller town or village instead?

Athens in May

Weather in Athens Greece in May : In terms of weather, May is the best time to visit Athens. Whilst there may still be the occasional chilly (15 degrees) or rainy day, you are most likely to enjoy comfortably warm weather.

It is at this time that the cruise ships also start to arrive in Athens, bumping up the number of visitors considerably.

Note that International Workers Day is on May 1st, and there is always a massive workers strike on this day. Don't plan any ferry trips on this day if you can help it!

If you're heading to the Athenian Riviera keep in mind that you will have warm days in May in Athens, but the sea temperatures are still quite chilly making only a short sea swim possible, especially at the start of the month.

  • Consistently good weather
  •  Archaeological sites open until late
  • Long hours of daylight
  • Tourist numbers starting to increase
  • Prices for accommodation starting to rise

Athens in June

The story for June is pretty much the same as May, just with temperatures getting higher and tourist numbers increasing more. It is highly unlikely you will experience rain or chilly weather at this time of year in Athens, even in early June. (Don't blame me if you do though)!

  • Great weather
  • Longer daylight hours
  • A great time of year to eat ice-cream!
  • Tourist numbers building up
  • Accommodation prices higher

Read: Greece in June

Athens in July

July is starting to be peak season for Athens and Greece in general. You can expect tourist numbers to be a lot higher at this time of year. Prices for flights and accommodation will also start reaching their peak.

Weather in Athens Greece in July : Temperatures are hot in July in Athens, and the chance of rain is very low indeed. You can expect highs of 32° and lows of 23°. You don't want to be at the top of the Acropolis during the peak heat of the day!

Reserving accommodation in Athens ahead of time is strongly recommended. I don't really consider this to be the best time to visit Athens due to the heat in the city.

  • It's going to be warm!
  • You can enjoy fuller days of sightseeing in Athens
  • It might get a little too warm for some!
  • Tourists numbers creeping up to their maximum levels
  • Prices for flights and accommodation generally reaching peak levels

The Roman Agora in Athens

Athens in August

August is the peak of the high season in Athens, so hotel prices are likely to be higher. That said, as a resident, I think August is a great month to spend in Athens. Whilst the amount of tourists remains reasonably high, most Athenians use this month to take a two week vacation.

As a result, it feels like the city virtually empties, there's way less traffic, and rumour has it, you can even find parking spots easily. Crazy, I know!

Weather in Athens Greece in August :  This is the absolute hottest time of year to be in Athens. While the average temperatures are 32 in the day and 23 at night, it's not unusual to experience 40 degree days. 

The chances of precipitation falling are not very high, although flash thunderstorms may occur towards the end of August in Athens as the weather tries to break.

  • Far fewer people in the city, which means there is a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • The streets are quieter, encouraging more urban exploration!
  • It can be insanely hot
  • Many ‘local' restaurants, bars and businesses close for 2 or 3 weeks
  • Flight prices may be higher
  • Accommodation may be higher

Athens on vacation

Athens in September

This is my second favourite month in Athens. The temperatures are starting to dip down, and the peak amount of tourists is behind us.

Mostly though, there is a great creative vibe in Athens during September. Everyone seems to put into action the plans they made over the summer.

There are shows, events, festivals and exhibitions all over the place. A great month for culture vultures to visit Athens!

Late September in particular is the shoulder season time in Athens, so it's possible to find better flight and hotel deals to Athens at this time of year.

  • A wonderful creative vibe in the city
  • Endless events
  • Great weather, starting to get cooler
  • Full moon concerts at the Herodion!
  • Not many I can think of, apart from accommodation and flights still being reasonably high.

Athens in September can be a fascinating city. This classical guitar concert at the Herodion will be hard to beat!

Athens in October

October narrowly misses out on being the best time to visit Athens, because the weather starts to become less predictable.

Sure, there can be some lovely warm days, but those rain clouds start to drift in over the mountains from time to time. There are way fewer crowds as early fall is the off season, and outdoor sightseeing is much more pleasant without the summer heat.

It is around this time of year, that the archaeological spaces go on to ‘winter opening hours'. Many of them will close at 15.00. I've a full guide here to visiting Greece in October . Another guide here to what to do in Athens in October .

Note that Oxi day (Ohi Day) is October 28th and is a national holiday.

  • Exhibitions and shows are still in full force
  • Pleasant weather
  • Accommodation prices getting cheaper
  • Some rainy days in Athens in October
  • Starts to get chilly

The Temple of Hehpaistos in the Ancient Agora of Athens.

Athens in November

Many people assume that due to its southern location, Athens has year around good weather. Whilst it might have compared to northern European countries, it can get surprisingly chilly during the winter months.

Air-cons get switched over from chill mode to heating mode, and the daylight hours get shorter. Winter is generally not considered the best time to visit Athens, but if you want to see the city in its more authentic state, it’s a good month to come.

The annual Athens marathon takes place in November each year. Although not as high profile as say the London marathon, it is one of the toughest courses to run due to the uphill sections.

During November in Athens, the ancient sites will haver shorter opening hours, and the weather is much cooler particularly at night. You can still eat outside, but you will notice that restaurants have outdoor heaters. Wear a jacket!

  • Not many tourists at all
  • Some great deals to be had on hotels in Athens
  • It's getting colder
  • Rain is possible
  • Shorter opening hours for ancient sites

Athens in December

Finally, we reach December. This is the coldest month of the year, and in 2016 we had a couple of light snow days.

The Christmas season is thankfully a lot lower key when compared with the UK or USA. The absence of German style Christmas Markets perhaps doesn't make Athens a prime destination in December.

  • Escape the Christmas hype (more or less)
  • Cheaper accommodation
  • It is getting cold!
  • At Christmas time, flight prices will be higher as Greeks return to see family.

I've a full guide here: How to spend Christmas in Athens .

You might also read: Warm places in Europe in December

Best time to go to Athens FAQ

Readers planning to travel to Athens and wondering what the best time of year might be, often ask questions similar to:

Which month is good to visit Athens?

September is an ideal time to visit Athens due to its pleasant weather and fewer crowds. As children return to school in Greece and the rest of Europe in September, the city experiences a decrease in tourist numbers compared to August.

How many days do you need in Athens?

2-3 days in Athens allows for enough time to see the essential highlights such as the Acropolis and Parthenon. However, if you wish to explore the city more extensively and soak up it culture and contemporary vibe, 3-4 days is better.

What is the rainy season in Athens?

Athens does not have a rainy season in the traditional sense, however it rains more between December and February in Athens than at other times of year. There is virtually no rain in the summer months.

Is Athens or Santorini better?

Athens is a huge city filled with ancient sites, museums, and culture, while Santorini is a small island famed for its blue domed churches, whitewashed houses and sunset views. Which one is better depends on what type of traveler you are.

What is the hottest month in Athens?

August is the hottest month in  Athens, with an average temperature of 28.5 °C (83 °F). In recent years, temperatures have exceeded 40 °C (104 °F) during heatwaves, so take precautions if visiting Athens in August by staying well hydrated and protecting yourself from the sun.

What is the cheapest month to travel to Greece?

The low season from November until March will typically have lower prices for accommodation in Athens. International flights to Greece are also cheaper from November to March, making it the best budget friendly time of year to visit Greece.

Also read: Athens Greece Travel Tips

Best time to travel to Athens, Greece

Please pin this guide on the best time to go to Athens, Greece for later!

The best time to visit Athens, Greece

More Athens City Break Guide Information

  • Day Trips from Athens – A selection of the best day trips from Athens
  • Athens in Winter – Things to do in the winter in Athens
  • How to get from Athens Airport to city center – A guide to using the bus, metro, and taxi from the airport.
  • Hotels near Athens Airport – Sometimes, staying near the airport makes sense, especially if you have early flights or arrive late.
  • Money in Greece – Which currency, how to get it, and how to spend money in Greece!
  • Budget travel guide to Greece – How expensive is it to travel in Greece?
  • What is Athens famous for? – Just why has Athens had such an impact on western culture for 2500 years?

And that, my friends, is a reasonably comprehensive guide on when the best times to visit Athens are! If you are thinking of planning a trip to Athens, and want to check anything or ask me a question, just leave a comment below!

Dave Briggs: Writer at Dave’s Travel Pages creating Greece travel guides, Greece travel planning tips

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Real Greek Experiences

Greek Culture, Travel Information, Itineraries, Life in Greece

Greece In January – Weather And Best Places To Visit

Few tourists visit Greece in January. Yet, the Mediterranean country is an interesting destination to visit during winter. Here is all you need to know if you decide to take a January holiday in Greece.

Reasons to visit Greece in January

Visiting Greece in January

Few people planning a short break in January will consider going to Greece. Many visitors think that Greece is just a summer destination, and believe that everything shuts down during the off-season.

It’s true that many places in Greece, like the smaller islands, are seasonal destinations. Even the famous Mykonos and Santorini are very quiet in winter.

Anyone who chooses to visit in January will see a completely different side of the islands, without the summer crowds or the busy beach bars.

Visiting the Herodion theatre in Athens Greece in January

However, not all of Greece shuts down in January. The biggest cities, like Athens and Thessaloniki, are vibrant and lively.

Similarly, the mountain villages and ski resorts around the country are ideal for people who want to take a ski holiday, or just to enjoy the winter landscapes.

Let’s see what the weather is like in Greece in January. 

Greece weather in January

Let’s face it – January, along with February, is the coldest month of the year in Greece. Here is what the average temperatures look like at a few different areas of the country:

  • Athens: 4-13C (39-55F)
  • Thessaloniki: 2-9C (35-48F)
  • Corfu, Ionian islands: 5-14C (41-57F)
  • Rhodes, Dodecanese: 9-15C (48-59F)
  • Coastal towns in Crete: 8-16C (46-61F)
  • Kalamata, Peloponnese: 5-15C (41-59F)
  • Epirus: 0-9C (32-48F)

This is a good deal colder than the 30-35C (86-95F) temperatures in the summer months!

Wherever you go, you are also likely to get several rainy days. Athens and the Cyclades are relatively drier than Epirus, the Ionian islands, west Peloponnese and Crete.

Snow is not uncommon, especially in the north of the country and at the mountainous regions. This is an ideal time to visit a ski resort in Greece, like Parnassos or Kalavryta.

With all that said, blue skies and sunny days are actually quite common. Photos in this article have been taken in January!

Swimming in January in Greece 

You typically won’t find beach weather in Greece in January. The sea temperature is around 14-16C (57-61F) on average, and maybe a couple of degrees warmer in Southern Greece.

Greece weather can be cold in January

On most years, January has a few sunny days when the weather is pleasantly warm, known as the Halcyon days. According to traditional stories, the weather gets better to allow a bird, called the halcyon, to lay its eggs with safety.

People who are used to lower sea temperatures should be able to swim on these days. In fact, several Greeks swim during the coldest months of the year. It’s supposed to be good for you 🙂

The Epiphany celebration – Theophania

On the 6th of January, during the annual event of the Epiphany celebration , hundreds of people around the country dive to retrieve a cross that a priest has thrown in the water.

This day is a public holiday in Greece, and if the weather is nice, it’s a real bonus for participants! You can read some more info in this article about Greek celebrations .

The Epiphany celebrations in Greece

Let’s see the best places to visit in Greece in January, and what to expect.

Explore Athens Greece in January

All things considered, visiting Athens in January is a great experience. The city won’t be as packed as it is during the summer months. Instead, you will find plenty of Athenians, a buzzing atmosphere, and, incidentally,  the winter sales. 

Some of the famous ancient city’s top attractions are the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and all ancient sites in Athens . As sunset is earlier in winter, opening hours are shorter, with the larger sites closing at 17.00.

On the positive side, tickets cost half-price, there are considerably fewer tourists compared to the peak season, and you won’t face any heatwaves. That said, avoid the occasional rainy days, as the ancient marbles can get slippery, and bring a scarf when it’s windy!

The Caryatids statues in the Acropolis Athens in January

January is a great month to visit the world class museums, galleries and other indoor attractions in Athens. The Acropolis Museum, National Archaeological Museum or Benaki Museum are among the best museums in Athens .

People on a budget can check out this list of free museums and galleries in Athens – there are many!

You will find that most shops, restaurants and cafes are open in January. You might not be able to sit outdoors on the coldest days, but you will find plenty of indoor places to eat and drink – plus, Christmas parks will still be open in the first week.

Ellinikon park in Athens in January

Here are the 30 best to do in Athens , at all seasons – after all, it’s a year round destination. And by the way, January is the beginning of the winter sales season, so it’s a good opportunity to go shopping in Athens .

Finally, the Acropolis and other ancient sites are free to visit on the first Sunday in January. Here’s some more information .

Visit Thessaloniki in January

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city. It’s an incredible destination for anyone who likes Roman and Byzantine history, due to its number of historic sites.

The city is full of Roman sites, like the Roman Forum, the Galerian Complex and the Rotunda. You will also bump into several Byzantine churches, some of which are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Thessaloniki before the winter storm

Museum lovers will thoroughly enjoy the excellent museums dedicated to Thessaloniki’s 5,000-year history. Most visitors will start with the city’s symbol, the White Tower, the Archaeological and the Byzantine Museum.

For an insight into modern and contemporary culture, allow some time for the fantastic Folk Life & Ethnological Museum and the numerous art museums in the city.

Apart from its history and culture, Thessaloniki is a wonderful place to wander around and soak the ambiance. The Upper Town, the long sea promenade and the various colorful neighbourhoods are all worth a visit.

Thessaloniki in January

Not to mention the city’s iconic nightlife, which thrives year-round. Stroll around the iconic Ladadika, but also wander off to Valaoritou and Polytechneiou streets, and explore the various tavernas and bars.

Here is my detailed guide about why Thessaloniki is totally worth visiting ! And here’s how to get from Thessaloniki Airport to the city centre .

Tip: Thessaloniki typically gets much colder than Athens. Bring some cold weather clothing, and get ready to explore!

Getting to Thessaloniki

There are several international flights arriving at Thessaloniki airport year-round. If you are in the capital, you can take a domestic flight, bus, or train to Thessaloniki from Athens .

Day trips from Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is an excellent base from where you can explore numerous nearby places. Here are some of the best day trips from Thessaloniki .

The Greek islands in January

Generally speaking, the Greek islands receive very few tourists in January. Compared to Northern Europe, winters on the islands are fairly mild. Yet, despite the winter sun, rainy days, gray skies and strong winds are common.

Most of the coastal resorts on the Greek isles shut down in winter. Hotel, restaurant and shop owners take some time off, and do all the necessary repairs.

Fishing boats at Kefalonia island in winter

However, the biggest cities and towns, like Heraklion and Chania in Crete, or Rhodes town, remain lively year-round. So while it won’t be a beach holiday, it will be a good opportunity to experience local life in the Greece off-season.

While the winter months are probably not the best time to visit the Greek islands, you can find some bargain prices for accommodation, especially on the most expensive islands.

This is your best bet if you want to spend some quiet time at some of the most iconic destinations in Greece. Here is why you should consider visiting Santorini in winter . Bonus: did you know that sunsets are actually more colorful?

Getting to the Greek islands in January

Ferries run to the Greek islands year round. Whether you want to board any of them in winter is another matter, as the Aegean Sea is likely to be rough, more than during the meltemi season .

You will find domestic flights to many of the islands from the Athens international airport. However, there are few – if any – direct flights from European airports to the Greek islands in January.

Visiting mainland Greece in January

Despite the seasonal rains, winter is a lovely time to explore mainland Greece. You will be able to visit the ancient sites with few other tourists, and take advantage of the much lower accommodation prices in popular destinations.

Here are a few travel ideas for places to visit in January in Greece.

Ancient Delphi and Arachova

The amazing site of ancient Delphi is a popular day trip from Athens. Once considered the navel of the world, Delphi is located in a region called Sterea Ellada, in central Greece.

Delphi town, close to the ancient site, is rather non-descript. While you can find a few restaurants and hotels, a much better choice is Arachova, a charming mountain town a short ride away.

Arachova village near Delphi in winter

While retaining its traditional character, Arachova is also popular with skiers who visit the nearby Parnassos ski resort. Booking your hotel early is recommended.

Even if you are not going skiing, the average low temperature in Arachova at night is below zero, so be prepared!

Getting to Ancient Delphi and Arachova

While public buses to Delphi and Arachova run year-round, and are fairly frequent. However, renting a car will give you more freedom to explore the area. You will also need to have snow chains with you, just in case.

If driving in Greece sounds daunting, you can also take a guided tour to ancient Delphi , including a stop at Arachova.

Nafplio, Mycenae and Epidaurus: The Peloponnese in January

Peloponnese is a large region of Greece south of Athens. It’s home to amazing archaeological sites like Ancient Epidaurus , Ancient Olympia and Ancient Mycenae .

The most popular town to visit in Peloponnese is Nafplio, a lovely coastal town with stunning neoclassical architecture and an impressive Venetian castle. Visitors should also consider a trip to Kalamata , a vibrant coastal city in the south.

Visit the Peloponnese in January

If you are looking for ski resorts, check out Kalavryta, Zireia and Mainalo, attracting dozens of visitors every winter.

People visiting Peloponnese in January will be rewarded with beautiful winter landscapes, snowy peaks and some great prices for accommodation and attractions.

Getting to the Peloponnese

You can drive to Peloponnese in a hired vehicle. As an indication, driving to Nafplio from Athens will take you just under 2h. Moreover, there are numerous guided tours to the Peloponnese , combining several popular destinations.

Greece’s hidden secret: Epirus in January

Epirus is a large region in Northwestern Greece with spectacular nature, often described as Greece’s hidden secret.

Some of the highlights in Epirus include the incredible Pindos mountains, the wild Voidomatis river and Vikos gorge, said to be the deepest in the world.

Metsovo in Epirus - Greece in January

Among the winding roads, you will come across dozens of traditional mountain villages which have kept their authentic character. Papingo, Aristi, Syrrako and Zitsa are just a few of them, along with Metsovo, which is popular with skiers.

The largest city in Epirus is the lakeside Ioannina. A city full of history and legends, with lovely architecture and thriving student life, Ioannina is a worthwhile destination in its own right.

Getting to Epirus

The area is best explored by private vehicle. Driving to Ioannina from Athens will take you around 4h 30. Again, you will need to have snow chains, as snow is common in the area.

What to pack for Greece in winter

Packing for Greece in winter can be confusing, especially if you only have hand luggage, but it’s perfectly doable.

The best advice is to bring clothes that you can wear in layers. Include a few thermal sweatshirts if you are planning to spend lots of time outdoors. Don’t forget to pack comfortable, anti-slippery shoes.

This article with what to pack for Greece for any season goes into more detail.

Frequently asked questions about Greece in the winter

Visitors coming to Greece in January and the winter months often ask questions like these:

Is January a good time to go to Greece?

If you are mostly interested in history and culture, and do not mind the occasional rain or cold nights and days, January is an interesting time to go to Greece.

How hot is it in Greece in January?

Depending on where in the country you go, average temperatures in Greece in January range between 0-16C (32-61F).

Which Greek island is hottest in January?

The warmest islands in Greece in January are the ones in the south, like Crete and Rhodes. Be aware that rain is common.

Can you visit the Greek Islands in January?

It is possible to visit the Greek islands in January. However, note that there will be few (if any) direct flights from airports in Europe, and that most of the beach resorts will be shut down. The average high temperature on the islands will rarely exceed 16C (61F).

Is Mykonos open in January?

The clubs and beach bars in Mykonos will not be open in January. Most people visit Mykonos between mid spring and mid autumn. January is a good time of the year if you want to see the island without the crowds.

More travel tips about Greece

If you liked this article, take a look at these other ones:

  • Tipping in Greece
  • How to book a train in Greece
  • A guide to Greek souvenirs
  • Greece tourist attractions
  • Hottest Greek islands in October
  • Useful words and phrases in Greek
  • Athens in November

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The Best Time to Visit Greece for Good Weather, Fewer Crowds, and Affordable Prices

Greece is calling your name.

is january a good time to visit athens

Greece has long beckoned travelers with its beauty. From the crystalline waters in the surrounding Mediterranean Sea and the rich historical sites that dot the nation's map to the divine cuisine and stellar hotels, the European country deserves a spot high on travelers' wish lists.

Travelers flock to Greece year-round, but some months are better to visit than others, especially if you're keen to explore beaches, avoid the masses, or score a deal on a hotel room. Here are the main tourist seasons to keep in mind:

  • High Season:  June to September
  • Shoulder Seasons:  April to May and October
  • Low Season:  November to March

Ready to plan your trip? Here are the best times to travel to Greece, whether you're after good weather, affordable prices, or fewer crowds.

Michela Buttignol/Travel+Leisure

Best Times to Visit Greece for Smaller Crowds

Unsurprisingly, the most popular times to visit Greece are the late spring, summer, and early fall months. This is when the weather is ideal, and all the venues open their doors, inviting guests to stay, eat, and drink.

According to CEIC Data , Greece received 3.64 million tourists in June 2022. In July of the same year, that number rose to 5.27 million, and in August, a whopping 5.86 million enjoyed a Greek getaway, making it by far its busiest month to visit. Numbers dropped in the fall, with 4.56 million visitors in September and 2.75 million in October.

If you don't plan on hitting the beaches, consider a trip to Greece during the winter. While the weather is cooler (the average temperatures hover around 50 degrees Fahrenheit), the crowds are much thinner. In 2023, around 635,000 people visited Greece in January, and a mere 572,500 came in February. In fact, the nation didn't crack one million visitors until April, making the winter much more manageable if you're trying to avoid crowds. However, many venues and hotels close for the winter, so search for accommodations in your intended destination to see what's available and when.

Alessandra Amodio

Best Times to Visit Greece for Good Weather

If you're after warm weather but want to avoid the sweltering heat, plan a trip in late spring or early fall (April through June or September through October). In May, the average temperature in Athens, the nation's capital, ranges from a high of 74.8 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of 61.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In June, things warm up to an average high of 82.6 degrees Fahrenheit — perfect for taking a dip in the ocean.

In September, the average temperatures drop a little in Athens to a high of 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit. October is even chillier, with an average high hitting 71.4 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low around 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, it's cool, but nowhere near cold enough to feel uninviting. Just remember, the country is relatively large, especially if you include the best islands in Greece , so check your exact destination for average temperatures before booking.

Best Times to Visit Greece for Lower Prices

Visiting Greece on a budget is possible. All you need to do is plan accordingly. According to Skyscanner , the cheapest months to book a flight to Greece are October, November, March, and April. The website notes that July tends to be the most expensive month to fly to Greece, so it's best to avoid the middle of the high season if you're trying to save money.

While April is a less expensive month to fly, it's worth noting that hotel prices increase slightly during Greek Orthodox Easter, which sometimes falls at the end of April. The end of December and the beginning of January see a similar spike. Hotels tend to be pricey during July and August, so avoid these busy months if you're looking for lower room rates.

Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands

Again, the best time to visit depends on what you're after, but generally speaking, for the most delightful weather, plan a trip to the Greek islands in the late spring, early summer, or beginning of fall. Yes, you can visit in midsummer if you don't mind the heat (and being shoulder-to-shoulder with other travelers).

For example, in Santorini, the average high in July hits 84 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low is 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The upside is the ultra-warm water at this time of year, with an average sea temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In July, the island typically only experiences one or two rainy days, making your chances of basking in the sun pretty good.

September is considered one of the best months to visit the Greek islands, as the weather is still sunny and warm, and the crowds have thinned out. However, you'll want to research the island you plan to visit since temperatures vary across the archipelagoes.

Worst Times to Visit Greece

There's no bad time to visit Greece. However, July and August can be uncomfortably hot and humid — especially in Athens — with temperatures often soaring above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The capital city and Cycladic islands (including Mykonos and Santorini) are also at their most crowded and expensive during these months, so it's best to avoid midsummer if you're looking for more elbow room, lower prices, and a relaxed atmosphere.

On the flip side, January is the coldest month in Greece, with temperatures hovering around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While the cool weather is ideal for exploring historical sites, shops, and art galleries in Athens , it will likely be too chilly to swim in the ocean. If your dream vacation in Greece includes beach time, avoid visiting during the winter months.

is january a good time to visit athens

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The best time to visit Athens

The best time to visit Athens

The best time to schedule a visit to Athens is during the fall, winter or spring, according to AFAR, a US-based print and digital publication dedicated to experiential travel.

In a recent feature published in AFAR’s online edition, travel writer Helen Iatrou advises travelers to book their dream vacation to Greece beyond the summer months and dedicate a whole week to Athens.

“The best time to schedule a visit to the Greek capital is during the fall, winter, or spring. This is when Athens is at its prime and, more notably, when Athenians are in town. So, you’ll gain a better perspective of what life is really like in this vibrant metropolis where the ancients coexist with their contemporaries”, Iatrou writes.

Read the full article here .

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These Are the Best Times to Visit Greece

Anthony Grant

Finally ready for that dream trip to Greece ? With a coastline longer than the United Kingdom's and thousands of islands, the country is a great place to visit any time of year. But absent a last-minute flight deal (and they do come up, though nonstop options from the US are still limited), planning ahead is the way to go in order to make the most of your time in Greece.

The urban attractions of Athens thrum at full tilt all year long, while most Greek islands are at their best once winter has left the picture. Whether it's sultry Mediterranean breezes you seek or the cheapest time to book that hotel room with a sea view in Mykonos, consider this your essential guide to planning a perfect trip to Greece.

The Best Weather in Greece

is january a good time to visit athens

Generally, the best weather in Greece is what you'll experience in May, June and September. Plenty of sunny days that aren't too hot make May an ideal time for long, leisurely walks in Athens. By June, the beaches of the Aegean islands are warm enough for swimming and popular islands like Mykonos aren't crowded yet.

July is when things get toasty and sometimes uncomfortably humid in Athens, and the city is crowded with tourists then, too. August, naturally, means great beach weather, and if you like your big cities to yourself then it's also a fine time for Athens, as most Athenians ditch the capital.

September has lots of advantages (namely: fewer tourists), but the days are still long and warm and better yet, it's less humid than in July and August. In Crete, the southernmost Greek island, you can go swimming well into October.

The Best Times to Visit Cities in Greece

The two biggest cities in Greece are the capital, Athens , and Thessaloniki. Both are destinations in their own right and for culture vultures there is really no bad time to go. In the peak summer season, major attractions in Athens such as the Acropolis Museum are more crowded than in wintertime, when on many days you'll have even iconic places like the Acropolis largely to yourself. Winter in Athens is also a great time to check out lesser-known museums, tune up your Instagram or warm up in a luxe Turkish bath .

is january a good time to visit athens

Generally speaking, think of April to June as the ideal times to explore Athens and other Greek cities including historic Nafplio. Thessaloniki is a vibrant city with a wealth of cultural attractions, but in the height of summer it gets so humid they actually have public fans in places to keep the air circulating.

Choose shoulder season months like October and May for an optimal experience there. Most island towns are empty of tourists from November until around the time of Greek Easter, but the main town in Corfu and the Cretan cities like Heraklion are up and running all year long.

When to Visit Greece for Events

From religious holidays to cultural festivals, there are plenty of events worth attending throughout the year.

Spring Events

Greek Orthodox Easter is the most important holiday in the Greek calendar by far. In 2019, Greek Easter falls on Sunday, April 28, but festivities actually begin the week prior on the Saturday of Lazarus. Easter is celebrated in different ways throughout the country, with many variations on the candlelit processions of Good Friday and Easter Sunday celebrations themselves — but you can count on plenty of lamb roasts and fireworks. Easter in Corfu is one of the most famous, but wherever you are in Greece during this time you can expect to experience at least some of the country's very rich and colorful Easter traditions.

Summer Events

Summer is when most music and arts festivals are in full swing. The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is the country's most prestigious annual summer arts festival, with events taking place at the ancient stone Odeon of Herodes Atticus theater (the Herodion) below the Acropolis as well as south of Athens at the amphitheater of Epidaurus, the best-preserved theater of the ancient world. Events include a mix of classic and contemporary (last summer, Bill Murray recited poetry in the Herodion) and are usually scheduled from late June to early August.

The Athens Festival in Epidaurus, Greece. (Photo by Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On the day of the August Full Moon Festival in Athens, museums and ancient sites are open in the evening free of charge until midnight.

Assumption is Aug. 15. It's a public holiday in Greece and considered the "Summer Easter." On this day, life in Athens pretty much grinds to a halt as Athenians dash off to the countryside or the islands. If you want to make sure you have a good place to stay anywhere outside of Athens on Aug. 15 or in the two weeks following, it's increasingly essential that you plan and reserve ahead of time.

Fall Events

The prestigious Thessaloniki International Film Festival is usually held during the first part of November. And while they're not exactly going to enrich anybody in cultural terms, Black Friday shopping events in November have recently taken Greeks by storm.

Winter Events

Christmas in Greece is nowhere near as big a deal as Greek Easter, but there are festive lights in the center of big cities like Athens. Also in Athens, New Year's Eve means festive fireworks over the Acropolis.

Fireworks explode over the Parthenon temple atop the Athens Acropolis hill during New Year's day celebrations, in Athens on January 1st, 2017. (Photo by Panayotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Best Times to Explore the Greek Islands

The best times to visit mykonos and santorini.

What ultimately draws visitors to Santorini is the views over the volcanic caldera and not the beaches, and that appeal has fueled the island's rise as a year-round destination. May and June are the best times to dodge the crowds but also enjoy some sun. Otherwise, it's probably better to wait until after mid-September.

Mykonos is a bit trickier: in May and June (and again in September) you'll have more elbow room at the island's many beaches and posh beach bars, but to get a taste of the international razzle dazzle for which the place is most famous, July and August do rock to that inimitable Mediterranean island vibe. But it's also a very expensive vibe. Unlike in Santorini, by the end of September it's already very quiet again in Mykonos.

Santorini, Greece. (Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler/Unsplash)

The Best Times to Visit Other Islands

Whether it's Corfu in the Ionian Islands, Rhodes and Patmos in the Dodecanese archipelago, Paros and the other islands that make up the Cyclades or Crete, the best time of year for an island visit is generally going to be in June, July or September. Prices are lower and hotel rooms are more readily available in June and September, and you can count on warm weather in those months, too.

Loads of Greeks and other Europeans on summer holiday can make island travel in August a real challenge — and sometimes a downright headache. And many islands have their off-season charms: For example, the Saronic Islands near Athens like Hydra and Aegina are easy and fun to visit any time of year (but beach time is mainly May through September).

When to Visit Greece to Avoid Crowds

The tourism season in Greece typically gets going after Greek Easter, with shoulder season ramping up in May and the peak season stretching from the latter part of June into July and all of August. Increasingly, in places like Athens and Crete, September is now considered a high season month.

If you want to avoid crowds in Athens, time your summer travel for June or August instead of July. In the Cycladic archipelago (which includes Mykonos and Santorini), avoid July and August unless you don't mind crowded ferries and higher prices.

In Crete, you can expect crowds at many beaches and in the cities of Heraklion and Chania from June right up until October, so consider June or early fall for Crete. By contrast, in Corfu where the beach season is not quite as long as in Crete, you'll have an easier time avoiding crowds in September.

Winter in Athens tends to be cold and damp, but there are still many sunny days and exploring museums and ancient ruins in the absence of crowds and big tour groups can be quite cool.

The Cheapest Times to Visit Greece

is january a good time to visit athens

Traveling to Greece is usually priciest during peak season, so if you're looking to save, wait until the off-peak or shoulder seasons. The best hotel deals in Athens are going to be from early January through March, but weather is not at its best at that time. You can generally find good hotel deals in April, May, the first part of June and sometimes in September (but less so in Crete).

The shoulder seasons in Greece run from April through the first part of June, and then from about mid-September through mid-October.

Affordable Airfare

Unsurprisingly, airfare is at its most expensive during the summer. July, specifically, is the priciest month when, according to the farecasting app Hopper, long-haul flight prices are around $1,090 round-trip. In May, that dips to $930 round-trip. But during the shoulder seasons and in winter, prices plunge accordingly.

Currently, all American airlines offer only seasonal nonstop flights to Athens and they tend to be expensive, but there's often a workaround. Find a cheap ticket to either London Heathrow (LHR) or London Gatwick (LGW) and then find a flight that fits your schedule with Greek carrier Aegean : a Star Alliance member with several flights a day from London to Athens International Airport (ATH). Plus, you'll typically get better service than you would from the British low-cost carriers, plus meals are included.

Affordable Hotels

is january a good time to visit athens

The most expensive time to book a hotel room in Athens is generally in the summer. The cheapest times are January (after the New Year holiday) and February. The most expensive time to book rooms in popular islands like Mykonos and Santorini is July and especially August.

According to Booking.com , based on bookings made between January 2018 and December 2018, hotels in Athens are 33% more affordable in February than compared to the most expensive month of the year, which (for Booking.com ) is June. Hotels in Santorini in January are 51% more affordable than they are in August, and for Mykonos, March is 73% more affordable than August.

If you're planning to visit Mykonos in the summer, you should plan ahead as much as possible and if you find a deal (paid or points), grab it. Expect hotels on many Greek islands — not just Mykonos and Santorini but also ones like Syros and Sifnos — to be completely sold out over the Aug. 15 Assumption holiday and do not assume you'll be able to find a deal, or anything really, on the spot during that extremely busy time.

In Crete's largest city of Heraklion as well as elsewhere on the island, the high season now effectively runs through the whole month of September, making it wise to book ahead in Crete even for early fall travel.

Skyline of Athenth with Acropolis hill

The 10 Best Hotels In Athens

All products and services featured are independently selected by forbes vetted contributors and editors. when you make a purchase through links on this page, we may earn a commission. learn more, dobrina zhekova , contributor, forbes vetted.

A thens is a city of contrasts, where modernity and history meet in a vibrant urban landscape. Evidence of the Greek capital’s glorious past can be found everywhere, from the ancient ruins of the Agora—where thinkers like Aristotle and Sophocles once gathered—to the instantly recognizable silhouette of the Parthenon sitting atop the Acropolis. But this city is also firmly rooted in the present, with Michelin-starred restaurants, flourishing art and design offerings and an exciting hospitality scene. The best hotels in Athens, all of which are both peaceful and sophisticated, expertly reflect this duality.

For travelers seeking an opulent stay, heritage hotels like Hotel Grande Bretagne and King George transport guests to a bygone era, while modern boutique stays like the incredibly chic The Dolli and the gastronomy-focused Xenodocheio Milos add to the city's modern energy. And just a short drive from downtown Athens, properties like the Four Seasons Astir Palace and One&Only Aesthesis offer a different kind of experience, where tranquility, resort amenities and postcard-perfect sea views abound. No matter what you’re seeking, you’ll find it at any of our selections for the best hotels in Athens in 2024.

Best High-End Hotel In Athens: Hotel Grande Bretagne, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Best boutique hotel in athens: xenodocheio milos, best value hotel in athens: the foundry urban suites, best hotel for romance in athens: gatsby athens, best hotel for families in athens: st. george lycabettus lifestyle hotel, best hotel for design lovers in athens: athenswas design hotels, best hotel for spa and wellness in athens: four seasons astir palace, hotel with the best rooftop in athens: the dolli, hotel with the best view of the acropolis in athens: king george, a luxury collection hotel, hotel with the best amenities in athens: one&only aesthesis.

The suites are filled with Old World opulence—think high ceilings with crown moldings, antique decor items and en-suite marble bathrooms.

Hotel Grande Bretagne

Who Will Love It: Guests with a penchant for opulence and Old World luxury
All-Star Amenities: Full-service spa with an indoor pool and steam room; rooftop pool and restaurant; multiple bars and lounges; a wine cellar; 24-hour butler and room service; Frette bed linens; marble bathrooms with rain showers and bathtubs
What Not To Miss: Guests can enjoy unobstructed views of the Acropolis from the hotel's rooftop, as well as watch the hourly guard changing from their balconies
Location: Syntagma Square

In 2024, Athens's Grand Dame celebrates 150 years of continuous service, an impressive feat for any hotel, let alone one in a bustling city like Athens, where new properties pop up every few months. Built as the private home for a wealthy Greek in 1842, just 12 years after the city was liberated from the Ottomans, this spectacular Victorian property has hosted numerous world dignitaries and A-listers.

Occupying prime real estate on Syntagma Square opposite the Parliament, guests can kick back with a drink by the rooftop pool, the city's most spectacular views unfolding before their eyes. The 320 guest rooms and suites are filled with Old World opulence—think high ceilings with crown moldings, antique decor items and art pieces, en-suite marble bathrooms, plush textiles and crystal chandeliers. The hotel's food and beverage program is just as legendary. Led by Michelin-awarded chef Asterios Koustoudis, the fine dining GB Roof Garden Restaurant & Bar is an ode to local flavors (the restaurant will reopen in April after undergoing renovations), while its elegant Winter Garden sets the stage for the best afternoon tea experience in Athens.

The hottest ticket in the building is a table at the bright and airy Estiatorio Milos.

Xenodocheio Milos

Who Will Love It: Fine dining enthusiasts and fans of acclaimed chef Costas Spiliadis's Milos restaurants
All-Star Amenities: A spa suite offering treatments with Elemis products; 24-hour in-room dining; a gym; concierge services; pillow menu; smart TVs
What Not To Miss: Dinner at the hotel's signature restaurant
Location: Downtown Athens

With nine restaurants spanning all four corners of the world, acclaimed chef Costas Spiliadis built the Milos brand outside of Greece, so when he opened his first Hellenic location in 2022, excitement was definitely in the air. To make things more interesting, Spiliadis brought Milos to Athens and launched it in his first hotel, Xenodocheio Milos. The 43-key property, housed in two elegant 19th-century neoclassical buildings steps away from Athens's Pláka historic neighborhood and the hip Kolonaki area, Xenodocheio Milos is a serene oasis, inspired by the Greek concept of “philoxenia ,” welcoming strangers and showing them hospitality.

Cycladic motifs and subtle nods to the country's nautical heritage have been incorporated throughout the property—from the elegant pops of blue in the lobby to the curved headboards in the guest rooms, referencing inflated wing sails. Of course, the hottest ticket in the building is a table at the bright and airy Estiatorio Milos. The Mediterranean menu is heavy on seafood, but the star of the show is the ingredients, always fresh and local, cooked simply and without many bells and whistles to highlight their natural taste.

Tucked on a quiet street in Athens's historic Psyrri neighborhood, the property boasts 12 spacious residences in a former 1930s printing house.

The Foundry Urban Suites

Who Will Love It: Travelers seeking residential-style comfort in the heart of Athens
All-Star Amenities: Pillow menu; in-room spa treatments; daily breakfast; rooftop garden; private balconies; fully stocked kitchens
What Not To Miss: Sunset drinks on the lush rooftop garden with views of the Parthenon
Location: Psyrri

Experiencing a destination like a local is an elusive notion, but staying at The Foundry Urban Suites will certainly take you one step closer to enjoying the city at your own pace and with all the comforts of a home—a very chic home, that is. Tucked on a quiet street in Athens's historic Psyrri neighborhood, the property offers 12 spacious residences in a former 1930s printing house. While no two suites are alike, the underpinning aesthetic of the spaces is industrial chic with mid-century modern motifs. With high ceilings, hardwood floors and iron frame windows, guests can experience luxury loft living in downtown Athens.

The property's best feature might be its rooftop terrace, designed to emulate a lush picnic garden, where guests can enjoy a lazy afternoon perusing the stunning views of the Parthenon. While the hotel doesn't have a full-service restaurant, the rooftop serves as its de facto bar area, where guests can order from a menu of homemade sourdough pizzas, cocktails, local brews and wine from independent Greek winemakers.

Lush flowers and greenery hanging from the ceilings, their opulence in stark contrast with the clean lines of the chic furnishings.

Gatsby Athens

Who Will Love It: Couples who appreciate unique hospitality experiences
All-Star Amenities: Smart TVs; 24-hour room service; two bars and a restaurant; a spa suite; a gym with a private trainer; Ortigia bath products; a rooftop terrace
What Not To Miss: Sundowners at the rooftop terrace
Location: Downtown

Gatsby Athens rewards guests with a distinctly Greek hospitality experience and is located just a short walk from Syntagma Square. The 33-key property is a feast for the senses from the moment you step inside—lush flowers and greenery hanging from the ceilings, their opulence in stark contrast with the clean lines of the chic furnishings. Even if you're not here to party, upgrade to the Gatsby Party Suite, which, with a private outdoor jacuzzi and theater projector, is the ultimate setup for a romantic couples getaway. The hotel's beautiful rooftop is reserved for guests only and is home to a bar (the ground floor houses a restaurant and a bar, too) anchored by a fireplace and surrounded by classic Athenian views of the Acropolis.

The hotel goes above and beyond to keep kids entertained with supervised activities in the kids' playroom or a movie in the screening room.

St. George Lycabettus Lifestyle Hotel

Who Will Love It: Families and multigenerational groups of travelers looking for extra hotel amenities and on-site entertainment
All-Star Amenities: A screening room; kids' play area; rooftop pool; kids programming; restaurant and two bars; some rooms with private balconies
What Not To Miss: A pool day at the rooftop enjoying the panoramic vistas
Location: Kolonaki

Luxury and family-friendly amenities are not easy to nail down at city hotels, which often don't have the square footage of vacation resorts, but St. George Lycabettus expertly blends the comforts of a high-end stay with amenities geared towards its youngest guests. After all, how many hotels can say they have a designated screening room for movie nights? Each guest room and suite has floor-to-ceiling windows, with many looking out to Lycabettus Hill and offering plenty of space for relaxing and playing.

Head to the sixth-floor rooftop for a refreshing dip in the pool and some of the most breathtaking views of Athens. The poolside restaurant has an extensive menu of Greek and international classics as well as a kid's menu and smoothies. The hotel goes above and beyond to keep kids entertained, with supervised activities in the kids' playroom or a movie in the screening room. The in-house art gallery is also worth checking out—especially if you travel with young children—since creative workshops are often held there.

The contemporary look is juxtaposed with images of sculptures from Greece's National Archaeological Museum, a subtle reference to the hotel's historical surroundings.

AthensWas Design Hotels

Who Will Love It: Guests who like sleek, modern decor
All-Star Amenities: Nespresso coffee machines; private balconies; pillow menu; work stations; marble bathrooms; concierge; in-room spa and beauty treatments; babysitting services
What Not To Miss: Dinner with a wine pairing at Sense, the hotel's fine dining rooftop restaurant
Location: Pláka

Sitting on Athens's most famous pedestrian drag, ​​Dionyssiou Aeropagitou, less than five minutes from the Acropolis Museum, AthesWas’ prime location is one of this hotel's main draws. Lead by the concept of "classic modernism," the property features just 21 rooms where clean lines and natural materials reign supreme. The contemporary look is juxtaposed with images of sculptures from Greece's National Archaeological Museum, a subtle reference to the hotel's historical surroundings. The property's signature restaurant, Sense, and its chef, Alexandros Charalambopoulos, approach classic Greek cuisine with a modern mindset, and the result is a fine dining culinary journey through the country's gastronomic culture set against the most spectacular views of the Acropolis.

Comprising two buildings, Arion and Nafsika, guests can choose from elegant rooms and suites, some with private pools and breathtaking sea views.

Four Seasons Astir Palace

Who Will Love It: Well-heeled travelers seeking tranquility and the world-class amenities the Four Seasons is known for
All-Star Amenities: Helipad; spa; three private beaches; multiple sports facilities; kids club; multiple bars and restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Pelagos and Nobu's Matsuhisa Athens
What Not To Miss: Make sure you book one of the resort's many cultural and culinary experiences, such as olive oil tasting, wine tasting, or a pottery class to explore different aspects of Greek culture
Location: Vouliagmeni

Sitting among dozens of acres of fragrant pine trees and blooming wildflowers just 30 minutes from downtown Athens, the Four Seasons Astir Palace is the ultimate wellness oasis. The property, which dates back to the late 1950s, when the region became a vacation hot spot with the world's elite, reopened in 2019 after a complete renovation led by New York City-based design studio Meyer Davis. Comprising two buildings, Arion and Nafsika, guests can choose from elegant rooms and suites, some with private pools and breathtaking sea views. And if privacy is at the top of your wishlist, then book one of the 61 bungalows with expansive patios and pools. Travelers staying at the bungalows also have access to their own private beach, one of three on the property. With five tennis courts, jogging trails, a basketball court, a golf club, several swimming pools and water sports, everyone can find a heart-pumping activity to keep active. If working out on vacation is not your cup of tea, indulge in some rest and relaxation in the resort's sprawling spa, featuring ancient Greek wellness rituals and water therapies.

The Dolli's rooftop offers a surreal glimpse of the famous landmark floating above the hotel's pool.

Who Will Love It: Bon vivants and art connoisseurs
All-Star Amenities: Library; salon; rooftop restaurant; rooftop pool; rooms with balconies; smart TVs; Guerlain bath products; in-room spa treatments
What Not To Miss: While the rooftop restaurant is the crown jewel of the hotel, enjoy afternoon tea in the elegant lounge, admiring the museum-worthy art collection and sampling sweet treats

Rooftops with Acropolis views may be de rigeur in Athens, but only The Dolli offers a surreal glimpse of the famous landmark floating above the hotel's pool. Or at least that's what you might be led to believe when you first lay your eyes on the breathtaking view opening before your eyes from the property's highest point (trust us, it's the stuff of Instagram dreams). Optical illusion aside, every space in this extraordinary property, reminiscent of France's most elegant maisons, belongs in the pages of a design magazine. From the lavish art-filled salon with pieces by Picasso and ceramics by Jean Cocteau to the exquisite hand-made furnishings in the guest rooms and pied-à-terre-style apartments, The Dolli dazzles with impeccable style and a sophisticated sense of joie de vivre. Guest rooms are cozy but have plenty of character, and the luxury Acropolis Junior Suite stuns with its marble bathroom featuring a massive bathtub and windows that overlook Athens's most famous landmark.

For a truly outstanding stay, book the top-floor two-bedroom penthouse suite with a private pool and terrace.

King George, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Who Will Love It: Families and travelers who favor Old World elegance
All-Star Amenities: Rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar; collection of artwork by famous Greek artists in the lobby; Frette linens; some rooms with private patios and balconies
What Not To Miss: Sunset dinner at the Michelin-starred Tudor Hall restaurant

Living up to its regal name, King George is an exquisite property that has interiors fit for royals—think marble flooring, antique furnishings, Greek columns, Murano chandeliers and an art collection that belongs in a museum. In fact, many dignitaries and celebrities have chosen to stay here through the years and revel in the hotel's signature sense of opulence and famous Acropolis views.

However, you're likely to find yourself taking in the vistas from its rooftop, an elegant dining space that fully captures the sophisticated atmosphere of the hotel. In the evening, the chic Michelin-starred Tudor Hall restaurant serves Greek and international cuisine—set against the stunning background of the city's whimsical skyline—and patrons can indulge in one of the most extensive wine lists in the city. For a truly outstanding stay, book the top-floor two-bedroom penthouse suite with a private pool and terrace.

Private pools, fragrant gardens, outdoor showers, and fireplaces create an upscale setting for the ultimate Athenian experience.

One&Only Aesthesis

Who Will Love It: Luxury travelers and global jet setters with an affinity for glamor and exquisite, amenity-packed resorts
All-Star Amenities: Three pools; private beach; Guerlain spa; a kids club; tennis courts with personal trainers; private pools in residences; private terraces; some rooms have outdoor showers and tubs
What Not To Miss: Dinner at Ora, Michelin-starred chef Etore Botrini's Mediterranean eatery
Location: Glyfada

Less than 20 minutes from the Acropolis lies the One&Only Aesthesis, offering guests fairytale-like serenity complete with lavender fields, lush forests and glistening coastal views. Opened in October 2023, the luxe resort is set in a protected forest reserve, transforming it into a tranquil utopia just outside the hustle and bustle of the Greek capital. Here, mid-century modern glamour meets timeless luxury, all dreamed up by South African interior designer Inge Moore. Private pools, fragrant gardens, outdoor showers and fireplaces create an upscale setting for the ultimate Athenian experience. The property teamed up with renowned chefs Ettore Botrini and Paco Morales to craft a food program influenced by Greek and Andalucian culinary traditions. Cocktail hour is best enjoyed in Thimisi, a chic waterfront bar with spectacular sunset views invoking the glamorous past of Glyfada.

About Dobrina Zhekova, Your Athens Guide

I am a travel journalist with over a decade of editorial experience in print and digital media in Europe and the U.S, including bylines in Travel + Leisure, ELLE, Harper's Bazaar, Sunset, Departures, RobbReport, InStyle, Vogue and many more. I am an expert on all things luxury travel, art, architecture and design—from the newest 5-star resort in Bora Bora to the latest immersive exhibition in Paris. I originally hail from Bulgaria and have extensive experience traveling throughout the region, especially to Greece.

Dobrina Zhekova

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens (2024)

Written By: The Planet D

Updated On: March 22, 2024

You can’t miss the Acropolis when visiting Athens, you can see it from everywhere! Standing proud over the city, the Acropolis is the number one attraction in Athens. So, you know what that means? A lot of crowds! This ancient citadel, perched above the city on a limestone plateau, is a beacon of history, art, and civilization. For those drawn to the echoes of the past, a visit to the Acropolis promises a deep dive into the heart of Greek heritage, with the majestic Parthenon standing as its crown jewel. We have been lucky enough to visit this amazing site three times and want to pass on our tips to help you have the best experience. So get ready to explore the ins and outs of making your Acropolis visit as epic and enlightening as possible, from dodging the crowds to uncovering the best views.

Table of Contents

What is the Acropolis?

is january a good time to visit athens

The Acropolis of Athens is a UNESCO World Heritage that stands as a beacon of the grandeur of ancient Greek civilization. Perched atop a 172 meter high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens, the Acropolis dates back to the 5th century BC, serving not only as a symbol of the power and culture of Athens but also as a pivotal monument in the development of Western civilization.

This historical site is home to several iconic structures, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaea, and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Acropolis’s history is intertwined with the birth of democracy, philosophy, and the arts, making it a focal point for scholars and tourists alike to explore the origins of these fundamental concepts. An Acropolis visit offers a window into the ancient world and its enduring influence on modern culture and society.

Best Time to Visit Acropolis

is january a good time to visit athens

To avoid the throngs of tourists and the scorching sun, aim for an early morning or late afternoon visit. The Acropolis opens its gates at 8:00 AM, so getting there right at opening time can give you a cooler and somewhat more private experience. We walked from our hotel at sunrise to make it for the first slot at opening, as soon as the guards came down, we rushed ahead to the entrance to be first up without any crowds.

If you can’t make it for the first time slot, we suggest visiting an hour or two before closing allows you to enjoy the golden hues of sunset casting a magical glow over the ancient stones. Plus, all of the organized tours and tour buses will be gone by then.

Tickets and Timed Entry to the Acropolis

is january a good time to visit athens

Since our last visit to the Acropolis, the city of Athens has made visitors slecect a mandatory timed entry. When booking tickets you can choose the time and date that you want to enter. And lucky you, you can enter the Acropolis 15 minutes before (or after) the time of your choice. We suggest booking as early as possible because, naturally, the crowds will be larger as the day goes on with people lingering on the Acropolis grounds long after their timed entrance.

You can book tickets in advance with Get Your Guide. We highly recommend booking 8 am to see the military march down after raising the flag and to be the first on the Acropolis grounds. We were first up the stairs and had the Acropolis all to ourselves!

Combo Tickets – Planning Your Visit to the Acropolis

is january a good time to visit athens

An Acropolis visit doesn’t have to break the bank, a standard entry ticket costs around €10, with reduced rates available for students and seniors. Prices can fluctuate, especially by season and combined tickets that include entry to other historical sites in Athens, so it’s worth checking the official website for the latest information. Purchasing tickets online in advance can save you time and spare you the hassle of long lines. You can book Acropolis tickets in advance here with an audio tour included.

We visited the Acropolis using the Acropolis plus Six Archeological Sites Combo . This is the best ticket for first-time visitors to Athens. It includes not only the Acropolis but also entry to the Roman Agora and Ancient Agora, as well as Aristotle’s School and the Keramikos Ancient Cemetery. Plus, access to Hadrian’s Library and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.  Details here .

Opening Hours: Timing Your Adventure

is january a good time to visit athens

The Acropolis is open daily from April to October from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, offering ample time to explore.

Winter hours shorten a bit, so plan accordingly. Remember, the last entry is usually an hour before closing, so give yourself plenty of time to wander and wonder.

Recommended Route and Where to Enter the Acropolis

We entered the Acropolis at the The Propylaea which is the most popular Acropolis entrance. If your timed entrance is first thing in the morning, we highly recommend this entrance as you will be first to see the Parthenon free from crowds.

If your entrance is later, start your visit at the Theatre of Dionysus, then move up to the Asclepieion and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Continue to the Propylaea, the monumental gateway that leads to the top of the Acropolis, where you can explore the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. This route offers a logical progression through the site and ensures you don’t miss the highlights.

Highlights of Your Acropolis Visit

is january a good time to visit athens

You cannot come to Greece without visiting the Acropolis. Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, and the Acropolis has stood high above the city for more than 2,500 years. Many people think that the Parthenon is the Acropolis, but the Acropolis is actually an entire complex at the center of the citadel.

The Acropolis is considered one of the greatest architectural wonders in the world . There are many things to keep an eye out for during your visit, so let’s take a look at some highlights.

The Parthenon

is january a good time to visit athens

A “visit to the Parthenon” is non-negotiable. This temple, dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, is the epitome of Doric architecture and a symbol of the glory of ancient Athens. Its size, harmony, and the precision of its construction are a testament to the ingenuity of its creators.

The Parthenon is the most famous of the ancient ruins of Acropolis. It is the symbol of democracy dominating the hill of the Acropolis and dates back to the 5th century BC. But the Acropolis is filled with archeological wonders besides the Parthenon. On the grounds, you will also see The Temple of Athena Nike, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre.

Other temples to visit are the Propylea Temple of Nike, the Erechtheion Temple and you must see the Dionysus Theater. I learned of this theater while studying Greek Tragedies in theatre school, and it was amazing to see this famous theater. Also, don’t miss seeing the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the sanctuary of Asclepius.

The Propylaea

is january a good time to visit athens

The grand entrance to the Acropolis sets the stage for what lies beyond. Walking through the Propylaea is like stepping back in time, with each step taking you closer to the heart of ancient civilization.

As you ascend the majestic pathways leading to the heart of the Acropolis, the Propylaea stands as a monumental gateway, inviting visitors into the ancient world’s most revered sanctuary.

Constructed between 437 and 432 BC under the guidance of the architect Mnesicles, the Propylaea was envisioned as a grand entrance, symbolizing the transition from the mortal world to the divine abode of the gods. Its architectural grandeur, with Doric columns and a meticulous design that balances aesthetics and function, captures the essence of Athenian democracy and artistic excellence.

Walking through this historic portal, one can almost hear the footsteps of ancient philosophers, statesmen, and pilgrims who entered the Acropolis with awe and reverence.

The Erechtheion

is january a good time to visit athens

Located across the grounds from the Parthenon the Erechtheion is an exquisite temple, dating back to 421-406 BC. It stands out for its unique structure, the famous Porch of the Caryatids, where six gracefully carved female figures serve as architectural supports in place of traditional columns.

is january a good time to visit athens

This temple, built to honor both Athena and Poseidon, hosted a sacred olive tree and a saltwater well that symbolized the contest between the two gods for the patronage of Athens. You will also want to visit Poseidon’s Temple when in Athens.

For those exploring the Acropolis, a visit to the Erechtheion is essential, offering insights into the complexities of Athenian worship and the architectural innovations that have influenced Western culture for centuries.

The Temple of Athena Nike

is january a good time to visit athens

The Temple of Athena Nike is my personal favorite. It is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena and Nike Goddess. Athena Nike may be the smallest of the temples of the Acropolis, but I love its location standing on the edge of a high cliff. 

This small yet significant temple is a beautiful example of Ionic architecture. Its delicate proportions and intricate details capture the eye and the imagination. Purchase  skip the line tickets  in advance to avoid queues.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

is january a good time to visit athens

Odeon in ancient Greece was a building for singing and musical shows. In Athens, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is the theatre that sits at the base of the Acropolis. To this day it hosts world-renowned artists, like the Foo Fighters in 2017 and Sting in 2018.  See details of events at the Odeon here.

And did you know that it is still in operation? It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch a concert in the oldest of venues among ancient ruins. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is not only historic and intimate, but every seat offers great views of the stage. As part of the Epidaurus Festival every summer, the Odeon hosts dozens of concerts. Don’t be afraid to attend theatre events! Unless noted specifically, theater shows will have English subtitles.

Theater of Dionysus

is january a good time to visit athens

Nestled on the southern slopes of the Acropolis, you will pass the Theater of Dionysus on your way down. Make sure to stop and take a look, as you can get very close to its seats and on its stage.

As the birthplace of European theater, this historic site dates back to the 5th century BC and holds the distinguished title of being the world’s first theater.

It was here that iconic playwrights like Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes debuted their timeless works to audiences of up to 17,000 people. The remnants of the theater, including its marble thrones and orchestra circle, whisper tales of a bygone era where art and democracy were in their nascent stages.

For those journeying through the Acropolis, pausing to immerse oneself in the atmosphere of the Theater of Dionysus is essential, offering a unique glimpse into the cultural heartbeat of ancient Athens. Stepping into the Theater of Dionysus, visitors are transported back to a time when drama and performance were not merely entertainment but a vital part of civic and religious life.

Tips for a Smooth Visit

is january a good time to visit athens

  • Choose the Right Entrance : While most visitors use the main entrance on the west side, consider the lesser-known southeast entrance near the Acropolis Museum. This entrance typically has shorter lines and can save you time.
  • Wear Comfortable Shoes : The paths around the Acropolis are uneven and can be slippery, especially the marble steps. Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes to navigate the terrain safely.
  • Stay Hydrated : Athens can be hot, especially in the summer months. Bring a water bottle with you, as there are several refill stations around the site.
  • Sun Protection Wear a hat and use sunscree : The heat can be intense, especially in summer, with limited shade available. I personally wear a portable neck fan.
  • Follow the Recommended Route : Start your visit at the Theatre of Dionysus, then move up to the Asclepieion and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Continue to the Propylaea, the monumental gateway that leads to the top of the Acropolis, where you can explore the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. This route offers a logical progression through the site and ensures you don’t miss the highlights.
  • Many original statues and artifacts that were once part of the ancient buildings.
  • Plan for the Sun : With limited shade available, wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Capture the Best Views : For the best photos of the Acropolis, head to Areopagus Hill, located to the west of the Acropolis. This vantage point offers stunning views, especially at sunrise or sunset.
  • Respect the Site : Remember that the Acropolis is not only a tourist attraction but also a significant cultural and historical site. Follow all posted signs and guidelines, and do not touch or climb on the ancient structures.
  • Purchase Tickets in Advance : Buy your tickets online to avoid long lines at the ticket office. You can also consider purchasing a combination ticket, which includes entry to other historical sites in Athens.
  • Hire a Guide or Use an Audio Guide: To fully appreciate the historical and cultural significance of what you’re seeing, consider a guided tour or an audio guide.

Beyond the Stones – Acropolis Museum

is january a good time to visit athens

Visit the Acropolis Museum : To complement your visit and gain deeper insights into the history and significance of the structures you’ve seen, visit the Acropolis Museum. Located just a short walk from the Acropolis, the museum houses

How to Get to the Acropolis and Parthenon

is january a good time to visit athens

The most efficient route is via the Athens Metro, with the Acropolis station on the Red Line (Line 2) serving as your direct gateway. Emerging from the station, you’re a mere stone’s throw from the archaeological marvel, with clear signage guiding you to the entrance.

For those who prefer to soak in the city’s ambiance, a leisurely walk through the historic Plaka district reveals the layers of Athens’ rich tapestry, leading you to the foot of the Acropolis hill. Along the way, charming cafes and shops offer a taste of modern Greek culture amidst the shadows of history. Whether you choose the speed of the metro or the allure of a walk through Athens, the journey to the Acropolis is an integral part of the experience, seamlessly blending the city’s ancient past with its vibrant present, ensuring that every visitor can reach this testament to human ingenuity with ease and enjoyment.

Visiting the Acropolis is more than a walk among ruins; it’s a journey through history, art, and mythology. As you stand on this ancient ground, looking out over Athens, you’re not just a tourist—you’re a part of the ongoing story of one of the world’s oldest cities. With these tips, your visit to the Acropolis and the Parthenon will be as enriching as it is awe-inspiring. Welcome to the cradle of Western civilization.

Check out these travel guides about Athens and Greece to plan your travels

  • Where To Stay In Athens – A Guide To The Best Neighborhoods
  • 23 Unique Things to Do in Crete
  • Where to Stay in Santorini: Best Hotels and Towns
  • 25 Best Things to do in Santorini, Greece
  • The Ultimate Guide to Costa Navarino, Grece
  • Things to do in Meteora Greece – MORE THAN MONASTERIES
  • 25 Interesting and Fun Facts About Greece
  • Ultimate Greek Food Guide – Traditional Dishes to Eat in Greece
  • Pelion Greece – Visiting the Unknown Paradise of Greece
  • Best Things to do in Halkidiki, Greece
  • 16 Delightful Things to do in Skiathos, Greece
  • Best Places to Visit in Greece

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens (2024)”

Good tips to follow. Visiting Athens in two weeks.

Excellent guide, Thank you. We actually going to Athens in a month time so this will come in hand. thanks

is january a good time to visit athens

The Best & Safest Areas to Stay in Athens for 2024

I f you are planning a trip to Athens, you may be wondering which are the best and safest areas to stay in Athens. Well, look no further because below I’ve reviewed the safest places to stay in Athens, Greece.

As an experienced female traveler, safety is always a top priority for me. Before visiting, I spent a lot of time researching the safest neighborhoods in Athens. Then on my most recent visit I was able to spend time exploring the different areas to get a feel for each one.

Based on my experience in Athens, I’ve written this guide to help you decide which is the best and safest area to stay in Athens for your next trip to Greece.

Don’t Have Time to Read this Whole Post?

Here are the best and safest places to stay in Athens:

Plaka: Charming & historical I Hotel: Electra Palace

Syntagma: Heart of the city I Hotel: Elia Ermou Athens

Psiri: Vibrant & lively I Hotel: A for Athens Hotel

5 Safest Areas to Stay in Athens Greece

Athens is a city worth visiting for its history and culture. In general, Athens is also a very safe city to visit, but as with any major city, some neighborhoods feel safer and more welcoming to visitors than others.

Below are the best and safest neighborhoods in Athens and the top places to stay in each area.

1. Plaka – The Best and Safest Place to Stay in Athens

Plaka is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens, located next to the Acropolis. The charming Plaka neighborhood is known for its narrow streets, neoclassical architecture, boutique shops, cafes, and traditional Greek tavernas.

Plaka is easily one of the prettiest neighborhoods in the city, and its central location makes it the best choice of where to stay in Athens. It is ideal for first-time visitors or anyone who wants to experience the historical charm of the ancient city.

Why Plaka is a Safe Place to Stay in Athens

Plaka is a very safe neighborhood in Athens. You will find many other travelers here and the area is perfect for wandering around and exploring the old city. 

As Plaka is such a popular area for visitors, the area is well-secured and perfectly safe to walk around day or night. Keep in mind that pickpocketing is common throughout the city of Athens, so keep watch over your belongings in crowded areas.

Recommended Hotel in Plaka

Electra Palace Athens

Rating: 9/10 I Price: $$$ I Book Here

Acropolis views

Rooftop pool & terrace

5-Star hotel with luxurious rooms

Located in charming Plaka neighborhood

Check Availability and Book Electra Place Athens

2. Athens Center & Syntagma Square

The center of Athens is the area around Syntagma Square and Ermou Street. Syntagma Square is the main square in Athens and is home to the Old Royal Palace and Greek Parliament. 

This neighborhood is known as the heart of Athens and is home to many hotels, restaurants, department stores, and shops. It is also a major transportation hub and where many civic buildings and offices are located.

Staying in the city center is a great choice for those who want to be near all the attractions and within a bustling and lively atmosphere.

Why Athens Center & Syntagma Square is a Safe Place to Stay in Athens

This is a safe area to visit in Athens, and there is often a police presence due to the government buildings in the area.

One thing to be aware of is that Syntagma Square is one of the more common places to see protests and public demonstrations. However, in general, this is a very safe and tourist-friendly area in Athens.

Recommended Hotel in Athens Center & Syntagma Square

Elia Ermou Athens Hotel

Rating: 9.1/10 I Book Here

Steps away from the popular Ermou Street

Modern rooms – some with balconies or a private jacuzzi

Views of the Acropolis

Rooftop restaurant & terrace

Check Availability and Book Elia Ermou Athens Hotel

3. Kolonaki 

Kolonaki is located along the southern end of Lycabettus Hill. It is best known for being an upscale neighborhood, filled with designer boutique shops, trendy cafes, and fine dining.

This is also one of the safest areas to stay in Athens, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to be in a super touristy neighborhood.

Why Kolonaki is a Safe Place to Stay in Athens

This upscale neighborhood is a perfect place to stay for a luxury trip to Athens, plus it is an incredibly safe part of the city.

It’s a popular destination for international visitors as there are plenty of shopping and dining options. As one of the most expensive areas in the city, the streets are very clean and well-kept which adds to the overall classy atmosphere.

Recommended Hotel in Kolonaki

The Social Athens Hotel

Rating: 9.4/10 I Book Here

Luxury boutique hotel

Beautiful, modern design

Some rooms feature views of Lycabettus Hill

Check Availability and Book The Social Athens Hotel

Located next to the Acropolis and the popular Plaka area, is the laid-back neighborhood of Koukaki. For many years, this neighborhood has been a residential area but it is now becoming a more popular area to stay in Athens.

Koukaki is home to many locals but is also becoming well known for its art scene and for having several trendy eateries and cafes.

Why Koukaki is a Safe Place to Stay in Athens

Koukaki is a very safe part of the city and it has a less touristy and more local feel compared to Plaka and other neighborhoods. One benefit is that there are also fewer pickpockets as they tend to stay in more touristy areas.

Recommended Hotel in Koukaki

Cohort Koukaki

Spacious, apartment-style rooms with kitchen space

Highly-rated for cleanliness

Beautifully designed with exposed stone walls

Modern amenities including AC and streaming services

Check Availability and Book Cohort Koukaki

Psiri (also spelled Psyrii) is a vibrant and lively neighborhood, that borders the popular Monastiraki Square. 

The neighborhood is known for its artistic and bohemian vibe, and you will find many art galleries, cafes, and street art around.

This is a great area if you enjoy nightlife, as there are many different bars, tavernas, and restaurants throughout the neighborhood.

Why Psiri is a Safe Place to Stay in Athens

Psiri is a great choice of where to stay in Athens to experience local culture and the vibrant nightlife. Athens is an incredible city at night – and it’s definitely worth exploring some of the bars or tavernas.

As a female traveler, I felt completely safe in this neighborhood even at night. There were quite a few people around, which added to that feeling of safety at night.

Recommended Hotel in Psiri

A for Athens Hotel

Rating: 9/10 I Book Here

Panoramic views of the Acropolis

Rooftop bar & terrace

Stylish, modern rooms

Breakfast included

Vibrant & lively area

Check Availability and Book A for Athens Hotel

Other Safe Places in Athens

Below are a couple of other safe areas in Athens to visit. I would use some extra caution when in these areas in regards to pickpockets or walking alone after dark, but in general they are safe places to visit.

Monastiraki

Monastiraki is a lively and vibrant neighborhood in central Athens. It’s known for its famous flea market, traditional tavernas and restaurants, and its famous landmarks such as Hadrian’s Library.

Moastiraki is a safe area to visit or stay at in Athens, and you will find many other travelers here. 

One thing to keep in mind is that as with any popular tourist location, pickpocketing can happen frequently here – especially in Monastiraki Square or in the flea market (when you are distracted). So, when you are in this area make sure to keep a close eye on your belongings.

Exarcheia is known for its anarchist culture, as well as its radical political and intellectual activism.

The streets feature a lot of graffiti and politically charged murals. You’ll also find several anarchist bookshops, cafes, bars, and clubs in this area. 

This neighborhood in Athens is so unique, and I think it’s worth checking out. However, it may not be the best neighborhood to stay in unless you are really interested in the alternative scene. 

While this is a safe area to visit, it’s good to be aware that there can be protests here which can sometimes result in clashes with the police. 

In general, if you see a protest or demonstration it’s best not to get involved since you won’t have a full understanding of the situation – instead just head elsewhere in the city.

Areas to Avoid in Athens

Below are a few areas to avoid staying at in Athens. Again, it is not that they are completely unsafe, but they have higher crime rates than other neighborhoods in Athens. 

Especially as a female traveler, I’ve found that some areas of a city may feel safe for locals but don’t feel super comfortable for me as a female traveler. 

When traveling somewhere you want to feel safe and comfortable where you are staying, and these areas just may not be a great fit for tourists. 

This neighborhood in central Athens has a reputation for having higher levels of drug usage and theft. It’s best to avoid walking around here at night, especially if you are traveling solo.

Victoria Square

While the area isn’t extremely dangerous, it does have higher rates of theft and may not be a great location for tourists to stay in.

Tips for Staying Safe in Athens

Athens is considered a safe city to visit and the US State Department classifies Greece as a Level 1 – Take normal safety precautions.

Below are a few common safety tips to use when traveling to Athens:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Watch out for pickpockets – especially in crowded areas or on public transportation
  • Avoid protests or public demonstrations
  • If you rent a car, do not leave luggage or important items in the car when parked (especially your wallet or passport)
  • US citizens can enroll in the STEP Program which allows the US Department of State to notify you in case of emergencies abroad
  • Athens is pretty safe at night, but its best to walk with a friend after dark or take a taxi back to your hotel

FAQ: Safest Areas to Stay in Athens

Plaka is the best area of Athens to say in, especially as a first time visitor. The Plaka neighborhood is very safe and central to the main attractions like the Acropolis. The area is also very historical and charming, with narrow streets, traditional Greek tavernas, and boutique shops.

It is safe to walk around Plaka at night. Plaka is one of the safest areas to stay in Athens. It is one of the most popular areas for tourists, so the area is kept safe and secure. Plaka is pretty well lit at night and there are typically many other people around, which adds to the sense of safety.

The safest neighborhoods in Athens Greece include Plaka, Syntagma, Koukaki, Kolonaki, and Psiri. These neighborhoods are safe, but also a perfect option for tourists as they are very central to all of the main attractions in the city. There are of course other safe areas in Athens, but they are more residential.

The Wrap-Up: The Best and Safest Areas to Stay in Athens

When traveling to Greece, visiting Athens is a must – even for just one night . While Athens is a major international city, it is also a safe place to visit.

However, the best and safest areas to stay in Athens include Plaka, Syntagma, Koukaki, Kolonaki, and Psiri. Staying in one of these neighborhoods will put you in the central part of Athens, surrounded by the history and culture of this incredible city.

If you are planning a trip to Greece, make sure to add more to your itinerary such as taking a road trip through main land Greece or heading to the beautiful island of Santorini.

The post The Best & Safest Areas to Stay in Athens for 2024 appeared first on Get Lost in Wanderlust .

If you are planning a trip to Athens, you may be wondering which are the best and safest areas to stay in Athens. Well, look no further because below I’ve reviewed the safest places to stay in Athens, Greece. As an experienced female traveler, safety is always a top priority for me. Before visiting, I...

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