Athens at Sunset

When is the Best Time to Visit Athens?

When people think of Greece, their minds immediately transport them to the amazing Greek islands, with their breathtaking beaches and turquoise waters. But mainland Greece is a playground of hidden gems and home to a capital steeped in history and culture.

Athens is one-of-a-kind. You’ll never want for things to see or do, no matter the time of year you visit. But let’s dive into the factors that could affect your travel dates, including weather and airfare, popular events and festivals, attractions, and more.

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The Weather in Athens

With four distinct seasons, Athens has its peak and off-peak periods. But no such thing as a bad time exists when traveling to this incredible city. Here’s everything you need to know about what each season brings to your visit.

Spring (March to May)

Athens warms up in March, with highs of 60°F. By April, highs reach 68°F, and by May, this can get up to 79°F. The mild weather makes spring a great time to beat the summer heat—and score on travel deals!

Summer (June to August)

From June onwards, the capital experiences its high season. Flight prices creep up, and so can the heat, with highs of 92°F in the peak of summer. In August, the city becomes a bit quieter as locals leave for their own vacations.

Fall (September to November)

September is still lovely, warm, and considered part of the peak travel season. However, the weather cools by October, making it the perfect time for hiking, sightseeing, and outdoor activities. Expect highs of 84°F in September, 73°F in October, and 64°F in November.

Winter (December to February)

During the winter months, you can expect highs of around 57°F and lows of 41°F, with January standing out as the coldest month. However, January and February are the cheapest months to visit Athens. Some travelers even combine a city break with skiing in Parnassos.

Exciting events and festivals take place throughout the year in Athens. Here are some that will surely have you running to book your next flight!

Apokries (February/March)

The beginning of the Carnival season marks the end of winter and the start of spring. This is the capital’s official period of partying, eating and drinking, dancing, and celebrating with friends and family. It’s a great time to experience nightlife in the city, and you’ll encounter countless parades and concerts in Varvakios Central Market and other locations in the run-up to Easter.

Orthodox Easter (April)

Easter is one of the most important events in Greece, celebrated everywhere in the country. Athens usually has candlelight processions, street parties, late-night fireworks, and tasty food like spit-roasted lamb. One of the best parades takes place on Lykavittos Hill, and it’s free to attend.

August Moon Festival (August)

What a time to be in the capital! Experience the Athens moon at its brightest and most beautiful. Venues like the Acropolis and the Roman Agora stay open past midnight and offer free entry. For one night only, these venues provide free moonlit theater and dance performances, with a new and captivating program every year.

Summer Nostos Festival (July/August)

Enjoy a week-long extravaganza of free entertainment in Athens. The annual lineup includes live music, dance, sports, and workshops, with everything hosted outdoors at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Athens Epidaurus Festival 2022

This festival takes place from July to August every year and sees the capital transformed into a canvas for the arts. Locals and tourists can enjoy everything from ancient theater to modern-day productions, with spectacular shows including opera, ballet, jazz, and more. See this year’s program and ticket availability on the festival website.

The Best Tourist Attractions in Athens (And When to Visit Them)

Many consider Athens the cradle of western civilization (a title it shares with Rome). If you’re staying in the capital, these are the sights and attractions you won’t want to miss.


The world-famous capital of Athens is home to endless tourist sights and attractions, but the most famous is the Acropolis. Admission is around €20 ($21 USD), and advanced booking is advised if you want to skip the queue.

Next Vacay Travel Tip: Travel in the fall or winter to beat the crowds!  

Theater of Dionysus

Take a tour of the oldest theater in Greece, used from the 6th century BC and seating up to 17,000 people. It’s located on the south side of the Acropolis, and combined tickets are available for €30 ($32 USD)

Next Vacay Travel Tip: Travel in the fall or winter to beat the crowds!  

Byzantine and Christian Museum

This fascinating museum houses more than 25,000 exhibits, including rare scriptures, frescoes, pottery, fabrics, and copies of artifacts from the 3rd century AD to the end of the Middle Ages. Admission is €8 ($9 USD). 

Next Vacay Travel Tip: Admission fees are half price in the low season, making fall and winter a good time to visit.  

National Garden

Located in the heart of the city is a green oasis to escape the hustle and bustle. The garden was established in 1923 and features a private garden for the Royal Palace (now the Parliament Building). Admission is free.

Next Vacay Travel Tip: This garden is at its best in the spring and summer, with plenty of trees to provide shade on a hot summer afternoon.

Philopappos Hill

The Acropolis isn’t the only famous hill in Athens. Standing 482 feet tall, Philopappos Hill offers breathtaking views over the city (and of the Acropolis). As it’s a public park, it’s free to hike and is open 365 days a year.

Next Vacay Travel Tip: The best time to visit Athens for uphill hikes is in the shoulder season when the weather is mild.


Wander around the Anafiotika neighborhood, nestled into the slopes north of the Acropolis. Discover authentic Greek restaurants, stroll through the winding medieval streets, and climb the ‘Restaurant Staircase’ on Mnisikleous Street.

Next Vacay Travel Tip: This neighborhood comes to life in the summer, with terrace seating perfect for al fresco dining.

Athens Sporting Events That Make Tourists Go Wild

With its long history in ancient sporting events, it’s no wonder Athens is sports-crazy. These are some of the live sports that are worth planning your trip around.

Super League Football

Greece’s national sport is football, and the Super League runs from August to May each year. The capital is home to several teams in the league, including AEK Athens and Panathinaikos F.C. Both are considered the best teams in the country!

Greek Basket League

As the country’s second most popular sport, basketball is definitely worth viewing while you’re in Athens. The Greek Basket League runs from October to June, and home games take place in the Ano Liosia Olympic Hall, Nikaias Indoor Hall, O.A.C.A. Olympic Indoor Hall, and Peristeri Indoor Hall. You can also watch the games from countless sports bars around the city.

Greek Public Holidays and Occasions

The biggest celebrations in Greece are Easter and Christmas, both public holidays filling the capital with locals and tourists looking to celebrate. During the run-up to Easter, street parades and processions fill the streets, which may result in busy roads and public transport.

New Year’s Day is another important celebration for locals in the city, with many shops and businesses closing for the day. If you happen to be in Athens on January 1st, this is a good time to walk around the city without the usual crowds.

Other public holidays that may impact shops, services, and public transport include Independence Day on March 25th, Labor Day on May 1st, Assumption on August 15th, and Ochi Day in October.

Don’t miss the festivities, sports, or local attractions. Plan your trip for any season and sign up for the Next Vacay newsletter to get you there.

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