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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Athens in 2023

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Athens in 2023

Are you looking for a vacation rife with culture, sunshine, and fun? Look no further than Athens, Greece. This location is a stunning place to rest and relax beside the ocean after a long day of perusing museums and ancient exhibits.

Athens is often packed with tourists, locals, and scholars who wish to unlock the secrets of the old world. This city can teach you a lot about history and yourself — while giving you a stunning tan!

You may need to consider a few things before setting out to Athens for your next adventure: what you’ll need, the best time to visit, and when tourism will be high in the area. Read on to learn why Athens is a perfect vacation destination and the best times to visit Athens.

Why You Should Visit Athens

Woman standing on a hill and holding up a Greek flag in her right hand while overlooking the valley

Kudla/Shutterstock

Athens is a lively city with culturally significant monuments and museums. This location is beautiful and has plenty of local eateries that can satisfy nearly any palette.

Additionally, Athens is on the water, making it a coastal area full of sunshine, water sports, and fun to be had. Athens is home to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. The Acropolis of Athens is home to many ancient buildings and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This location showcases the craftsmanship of the ancient world and can be a wonder to visitors who want to see one of the best feats of the ancient Greeks.

You can also visit the Acropolis Museum, which is home to many artifacts and statues that have been moved to the museum to keep the pieces safe. This museum can easily take up a whole day of your vacation since it has so much for you and your family to check out.

One of the biggest attractions in Athens is the Parthenon. This location is a 5th-century BC temple to the Greek gods. Be mindful as you check out this location, as the columns are crumbly and may have you amazed at what it may have looked like millennia ago.

Some other stunning locations in Athens include the following:

For those disinterested in the stunning history, there are tons of restaurants with authentic Greek meals and vistas for swimming, watersports, and other fun activities!

Read Next: The Best Places to Visit in Greece and The Best Islands in Greece

Overall Best Time to Visit Athens

View of the Acropolis as seen from a rooftop coffee shop in Monastiraki Square during the best time to visit Athens

Milan Gonda/Shutterstock

The overall best time to visit Athens is in May. The beginning of May is a perfect climate in Athens and will allow you the best temperatures for your stay.

In the summer, the temperatures can get so high, you may be at higher risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion while checking out cultural sites, like the Parthenon and Acropolis.

Athens is also not overwhelmed with tourism in May, ensuring you and your family will have enough space and opportunity to see everything you want without worrying about having to deal with crowds or other people. However, the end of May tends to get a little busier.

September through October is another best time to visit Athens. This period is not as popular with tourists who have children because those children will have to be home in time for school lessons.

However, these months have cool weather that will be warm enough to accommodate walks through the city, but not too warm to cause any health conditions. Athens during the fall months is beautiful and will allow you the opportunity to see everything in the museums without having to battle crowds.

You may also have plenty of room in the pools, oceanside spots, and restaurants since these locations will be filled mostly with locals who don’t feel the need to flock to these locations often.

Cheapest Time to Visit Athens

Snow on the Acropolis during the cheapest time to visit Athens, the winter

Santorines/Shutterstock

Visiting Athens will mean dealing with a lot of costs, many of which can’t be changed or negotiated. For example, restaurant prices and museum admission fees will likely not change.

However, flights can be cheaper during some parts of the year. You can see October, November, March, and April flight prices dip, making these periods the cheapest time to visit Athens.

You may also note hotel and villa prices dip during these months since not many tourists are visiting during these months. Typically, traveling to Athens in the winter months will make the price much cheaper and give you more availability when choosing flights and rooms to stay in.

You may notice that you have a wider selection of hotels and room options during these times, which may be incentive enough to deal with chillier weather.

Travelers from colder climates may be more comfortable during the fall and spring seasons in Athens anyway since they will be more familiar and easier to navigate. When looking for a cheaper stay in Athens, you may want to consider the following things:

  • Your selection of cold-weather clothing.
  • The cost of airfare and hotel stays.
  • How much you’ll need for food and transportation.

You may be able to cut some of the costs of traveling to Athens by choosing the fall and spring seasons for your unforgettable vacation or choosing to stay for a shorter period.

Least Busy Time to Visit Athens

City center with closed shops and hanging outdoor light fixtures during the least busy time to visit Athens Greece

rawf8/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Athens is from August through October. Most tourists will try to go to Athens during school holidays, like spring break, summer break, or winter break.

However, if you choose a period between August and October, you’ll likely not suffer as many crowds and be able to experience everything with a lot more ease.

Athens is likely still experiencing hot weather in August, so you may want to choose the tail end of the month or decide on September or October for your vacation. August may have some summer showers, so you’ll need to prepare for the weather.

However, summer showers may drive the crowds away and make it easier for you to see some of the ancient architecture up close if you aren’t afraid of getting a little wet. For example, many travelers won’t want to make the walk to see the Parthenon or Acropolis even if it’s raining a little.

Prepare for summer rains with the following material, and you’ll likely have a stunning, unforgettable time on your vacation:

  • Waterproof ponchos for yourself and any cameras or equipment.
  • Umbrellas for walking around despite summer showers.
  • Bathing suits for midday swims or swimsuit tops to substitute for underclothing since they dry faster.
  • Warm clothing, like sweaters, sweatpants, and hoodies.
  • Rain boots for walking comfortably around the city.

Although you may need to adjust your work or school schedule to make this vacation work, seeing Athens in the calm season is a perfect choice for avoiding crowds and making sure you see everything Athens has to offer.

Worst Time to Visit Athens

Street with a shopping center outside with chairs next to the street on a cloudy day during the worst time to visit Athens

Ermou street is a pedestrian and clothing shopping street in downtown of Athens and contains many of the big international names,Greece – 10-16-2021/Ali A Suliman/Shutterstock

There is never a terrible time to visit Athens, but there are certainly times in the year that can make this location undesirable. For example, you won’t want to visit Athens in June or July since the temperatures can get so high, you may be at risk for heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Traveling to Athens during the holidays can be an especially grueling experience, too. Many history buffs and enthusiasts may travel to Athens to enjoy the Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays, especially if they have religious beliefs that coincide with ancient Greek culture.

You’ll also likely want to stay far from Athens during spring break or other school holidays. The weather in Athens is usually gorgeous during these times of the year.

However, the area may be so overwhelmed with tourists, you may not be able to see any of the things up close that you want to. For example, museums and ancient heritage sites will likely be filled to the brim and the crowds will be hard to maneuver.

You may also note beaches, resorts, and villas are sold out during these seasons. Additionally, many restaurants will be booked for a few before these breaks, making it hard to get anything other than hotel restaurant food or fast food in the area.

Things to Consider

Going to Athens is no small task, but there are some things you can consider to make the trip a ton easier for you and your family.

When planning your trip, the top priority things to consider will include the following:

  • What you want to see the most.
  • Where you’ll be staying and the amenities they offer at that location.
  • The temperature and your access to drinkable water, if vacationing during the summer.
  • The clothing you’ll need for your trip.
  • The number of other tourists visiting the city at the same time.
  • How close your hotel or villa is to your desired locations.

You may also need to consider minor things like basic Greek, although English and other languages are widely spoken in this area.

Also consider your basic comfort needs, including sunscreen during the summer, electronic devices and charges you’ll need, and how laundry can be done at the hotel or villa you choose to stay in.

Finally, be mindful of how transportation works in Athens. Although the city is walkable, it may be exhausting for some people and you may want to call a taxi or other service to pick you up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Colorful homes in yellow and orange in Plaka pictured during the best time to visit Athens

Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

Planning a trip to Athens can be challenging, but these answers can give you a good idea of how best to plan your trip and what the best time of year is to visit Athens.

How many days is enough for Athens?

You can expect to spend four days wandering the streets of Athens to get a complete experience in the city.

Is Athens expensive to visit?

Athens is the cheapest city to visit on the continent. This city is one of the least expensive locations in Greece to visit, largely due to the main attractions that drive tourism and draw in visitors from all over the world.

What is the hottest month in Athens?

August is the hottest month in Athens. During this time, going outside may be difficult for visitors unfamiliar with the weather and the heat in the area.

Is Athens a walkable city?

Athens is a walkable city and has plenty of restaurants, locations, and culturally significant spots for you and your family to walk to. Many hotels and vistas are located nearby and don’t require a vehicle.

Is Athens tourist friendly?

Athens is the most tourist-friendly city in Greece and welcomes visitors from all over the world. This city is perfect for foreigners who want to experience the main sights and visit culturally significant museums and spots.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Athens?

The best time to visit Athens, Greece, is in May or September through October. During these months, the weather is cool and not too hot to make you uncomfortable. You also won’t have to deal with large crowds and troubles regarding tourism in the area.

However, whichever season you choose, to visit, you’ll be greeted by rich history, amazingly fresh food, and more sights than you can possibly pack into one trip. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Athens today!