Athens in the off-season

Parthenon Temple at Athens, Greece | Photo by Puk Patrick on Unsplash
Parthenon Temple at Athens, Greece | Photo by Puk Patrick on Unsplash

Athens in the off-season

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

From approximately November to April, Athens is considered to be in the off-season for travel. This is the perfect time for budget-minded travelers to visit! Much of the city offers less expensive hotel options and discounted entry tickets to some of the most popular sights. Snag the perfect parking place, score amazing restaurant reservations and finally stay in the hotel room with the best view! There are fewer tourists and plenty of room to wander the sights without bumping into other people or being pushed through lines. Can it get any better than this? 

You’re in Greece. It only gets better! One of the best parts of Athens in the off-season is the mild weather. You get to avoid the sweltering heat of the summer and have a more enjoyable experience. Average temps in March are around 60 degrees, and by April, highs average around 68 degrees. Though it may rain, you can rest assured that you won’t be stuck in a snowstorm! Just pack layers, to include a rain jacket, and you’ll be just fine. 

Another plus of specifically visiting Athens during the off-season is that you don’t have to worry about businesses being closed. In more remote places, like Santorini, most businesses and restaurants close. This can be very frustrating if you are trying to find a decent place for dinner. However, the city is always bustling with locals, so no need to fret! 

Check out these amazing sights in Athens, regardless of which season you decide to visit. 

The Acropolis

Dedicated to the goddess Athena, this ancient citadel atop a rocky crag holds monuments from the 5th century BC. Perhaps most famous is the Parthenon, a temple whose construction began in 447 BC. Both the front and back of the structure have eight columns, while each side has 17. Other structures on the Acropolis include: Propylaia, Erechtheion, Temple of Athena Nike, Old Temple, Pandrosion, Arrephorion, Chalkotheke, Brauroneion, Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus and the Pandion Sanctuary. 

Ancient Agora 

Located beneath the northwest slope of the Acropolis is an ancient marketplace where the locals once gathered, called an agora. The area was in use for about 5,000 years, though today it is mostly in ruins. The history of the site is more interesting than the structures; however, the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos are still standing.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

On the southwest slope of the Acropolis is a stone open-air Roman theater. Built in 161 AD for musical contests, it is now able to hold just over 4,500 people for various performances. Imagine watching a ballet or a Greek tragedy unfold on the stage. It’ll be a show you won’t soon forget! 


Mount Lycabettus in Athens | Photo by Luca Nicoletti on Unsplash

Mount Lycabettus

The perfect time to climb to the tallest point in Athens is during the off-season. Mount Lycabettus has a fabulous view of the city, the sea and of the Parthenon. You can either hike to the top, which takes anywhere from 30-90 minutes, or you can take the Teleferik cable car to the top. The cooler weather will make the climb easier and you’ll enjoy the views at the top much more if you aren’t baking in the sun. On top you’ll find the Chapel of St. George’s church, a cafe and a Greek restaurant with amazing views of the city. 

National Gardens

Once a royal garden, the re-named Athens National Gardens are home to a whopping 7,000 trees and 40,000 various bushes and plants. Imagine wandering through the Cyprus trees and Oleander flowers or watching the ducks float in one of six lakes. At the main entrance, you’ll find the famous sundial and endless amounts of groomed trails to roam. 

Piraeus

A trip to Greece just isn’t complete without a visit to the beach. Piraeus has a beach area called Votsalakia just 30 minutes outside of the city. Visit the Port of Zea to view all of the fabulous yachts in the harbor or dip your toes in the sea. Though it’s not swimming season, the water is still beautiful. The beach is full of pebbles but generally clean. Go for a stroll along the beach and get away from the hustle and bustle of Athens. 

Whether you visit all of these locations or just a few, you’re sure to have a fabulous time in the off-season in Athens. Experience fewer crowds during your budget-friendly trip while enjoying near-perfect weather. There’s no time like the present to start planning your perfect Athens getaway!

 

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