Best Time to Visit Athens Greece in 2024 [According to a local]

You are probably wondering about when is the best time to visit Athens Greece if you are planning a trip to the Greek capital for the first time. After all, you likely want to avoid the crowds, visit the world-famous ruins, archeological sites, and museums that Athens is famous for and enjoy some of Greece’s gorgeous Mediterranean sunshine, right? 

Honestly, there is no such time as a bad time to visit Athens. There is always something going on in the city and most Athenian attractions do not depend on the weather being good for you to be able to enjoy them. 

Still, most people tend to travel to Greece during the summer months (late May to early September). Athens is at its busiest during this time. 

Accommodation, flight, and car rental costs are at their annual high, and you can expect queues when passing through Eleftherios Venizelos airport. If you can, avoid July and August. 

The shoulder season is arguably the best time to visit Athens Greece. This means traveling in either the spring months (March to May) or in the Autumn (late September to November). 

Travelling outside of the peak summer months doesn’t mean that you will be compromising on your trip experience in any way either. Greece sees more than 250 days of sunshine a year. 

The spring and autumn months are usually warm, sunny, and pleasant. You can still enjoy going to the beaches and islands close to Athens. , walking along the coast on the Athenian Riviera, etc. 

From a temperature perspective, you might actually prefer the shoulder season. Temperatures in Athens in the summer often soar over 35 °C – 40 °C. 

Spending extended periods of time outside can become unbearable if you are in a city! 

Best Time to Visit Athens Greece in 2024

Best time to visit Athens Greece
Best time to visit Athens Greece

This article on the best time to visit Athens Greece has been written by someone who has lived in Athens since 2017 (me!) It provides a month-by-month run-through of what you can expect each month of the year in Athens, Greece. 

You will find information on the weather conditions and temperatures, any interesting events or Greek traditional festivals taking place, and any special things to consider for your Athens itinerary. 

Athens in January

When is the best time to visit Athens?
When is the best time to visit Athens?

January is a great time to visit Greece, even if it isn’t the most popular choice. At this time, you can expect daily temperatures between 7°-13°C (44° – 55°F). 

It gets colder at night, and the past few years have seen some snowfall. So while white, wintry days in Athens are not common, they are not unheard of either. 

Pack plenty of layers, a coat, an umbrella just in case, and some snuggly pyjamas for the night time. January is one of the wettest months in Athens but that still doesn’t mean constant rain.

On average, you can expect around 57mm of rain spread across a week. 

A number of Athens museums and archeological are free to enter on the first Sunday of the month, including the Acropolis and its museum, and the National Archeological museum. Do also keep in mind that many Athens landmarks and attractions close earlier in the winter than in the summer. 

Check their specific opening times before you set out. Since January is the low season, you can secure some great deals at this time. This is great for exploring Greece on a budget. 

Accommodation, flight, and excursion costs can be as much as 50-60% lower at this time than during July and August. If you are considering renting a car in Greece in order to take some day trips out from Athens, you can secure rentals at this time of year for as little as €24 a week (versus say, €240 in the summer). 

The festive mood in Athens continues after Christmas and New Year. Bakeries around Athens sell a traditional cake known as a vasilopita.  

There is a coin hidden inside. Whoever receives the coin is said to be guaranteed good luck in the year ahead.

Traditional vasilopita is made from a kind of sweet bread but today, sponge and even chocolate varieties are quite common. You will be able to buy one of these cakes from any Athenian bakery well into mid-January if you want to experience this aspect of Greek culture.

February in Athens 

Best time to visit Athens Greece
Best time to visit Athens Greece

February is the second coldest month of the year in Athens. The weather conditions during this month are comparable to those in January. 

Daily averages are between 7°-13°C (44°F – 55°F). There is an average of only 47mm of rainfall spread across 9 days throughout the month.

Even if you happen to be unfortunate enough for rain to be forecast during your trip, showers are usually brief. They quickly subside and the sky clears up. 

Winters in Athens mean cooler temperatures but the conditions are still usually clear and sunny. Athens isn’t London after all! Admission to various museums and historical sites is free on the first Sunday of the month. 

In 2023, the Greek celebration “Apokries” falls between the 6th and the 23rd of February. This is a tradition that has been celebrated for over 200 years. 

Apokries means “no more meat” and marks the start of the 40-day fast in the lead-up to Orthodox Easter. Clubs and bars in Athens host costume parties for the occasion.

(The particularly wild all-night parties can be found in the city’s Gazi district.) You can think of Apokries as the Greek version of mardi gras or Latin carnivals.

February 27th, 2023 marks “Clean Monday” (Καθαρά Δευτέρα). This moveable holiday falls on the sixth Monday before Palm Sunday each year. 

It concludes the end of Apokries and the move from fasting to feasting. People eat a lot of shellfish and seafood on this day. 

For instance, cuttlefish, shrimp, and octopus. It is also a tradition to spend time outdoors and fly kites in local parks. If you want to join in, you can head to the Athens National Gardens, Lycabettus Hill, or Filopappou Hill. 

March in Athens 

Best time to visit Athens Greece
Best time to visit Athens Greece

Weather conditions really start to warm up in Athens in March, particularly toward the end of the month. This is the start of Spring in Greece.

Average daily temperatures fall between 9°C and 16°C (48°F and 61°F). Significantly warmer days are not unheard of though, especially in the final days of March. 

Rainfall is low this month; You can expect an average of just 34mm of rain throughout the month. 

This is the final month where you can enjoy free admission to Athens museums and sites on the first Sunday of the month. Admission is also free on Melina Mercouri day (6th March) and for Greek Independence Day (March 25th). 

If you happen to be in Athens for Greek independence day, head to Syntagma Square to watch the celebrations. Greece struggled under the rule of the Ottoman Turks for centuries until they finally gained their independence in 1832.

Be sure to be at the square before 10 am in order to secure a good spot. There will be a grand procession complete with marching bands, floats, and military flyovers. Greek flags are displayed with pride in every store, museum, and home. 

It is tradition to eat bakaliaro with skordalia (fried cod with garlic sauce) on this day. Most Greeks cook this at home.

However, there will be many Athens restaurants that remain open on this day where you can try it. Consider making a reservation at one of the many seafood tavernas in Exarchia or Piraeus.

April in Athens 

The Best Tme to Visit Athens? Not July or August!
Best time to go to Athens

April is the best time to visit Athens if you want warm (but not overbearingly hot) weather conditions and a chance to explore the city before the tourist crowds arrive. Expect average temperatures between 12°C and 20°C. (53°F and 68°F). 

However, there have been a lot of much warmer days in recent years and temperatures start heading towards 24-25°C by the end of the month. There is very little rainfall this month.

On average, you can expect clear, dry conditions and around 40mm of rain spread across 3 days. Orthodox Easter falls on Sunday April 9th this year. 

As far as most Greeks are concerned, Easter is just as (if not more) important as Christmas. This can be the best time to go to Athens if you want to immerse yourself in culture and traditions. 

Several interesting things take place during these weeks. On the Tuesday before Easter, Athenians gather at the church of Agios Nikolaos in old Plaka at 7pm to hear the hymn of kassiani. 

You can take communion at Athens churches on the wednesday morning before Easter Sunday. Most interesting of all are perhaps the Good Friday celebrations. 

On Friday April 7th, head to the church of Agios Georgios or the church of Agia Irini. You will be able to participate in a candelit procession through central Athenian neighborhoods.

Tourists are welcome to participate in these celebrations, provided that you are respectful. One advantage of traveling to Athens in April is that many Greeks leave the city and visit their families in rural villages so the city becomes very quiet. 

The disadvantage is that flight prices can become higher as many Greeks fly across the country to visit family. (So too, do Greeks living outside of Greece fly back to Athens).

May in Athens 

May marks the start of summer in Greece. Tourists start trickling in, prices rise and so do the temperatures. 

However, May still sees a fraction of the tourists that you get in Greece during July and August. Expect average temperatures between 16°C and 20°C. (60° F and 68°F). 

There is virtually no rainfall at this time of year. You can comfortably pack your favourite summer clothes in your Greece packing list at this time. (Sun dresses, shorts and tshirts, sandals, swimsuits, etc). 

May in Greece is essentially the “shoulder season”. So you can still secure better flight, hotel, and excursion deals by traveling at this time compared to traveling in July and August.

May Day/labor day is celebrated in Greece on the 1st of May. This is a public holiday and most Athenians flock to Athens’ parks and beaches.

June in Athens 

Best time to visit Athens Greece
Best time to visit Athens Greece

June is perhaps the best time to visit Athens if you want to enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine. Expect daily average temperatures between 20°C and 29°C. (68°F and 84°F).

There is virtually no rainfall during this month. These conditions are perfect for venturing down to the beaches close to Athens or sailing out to Hydra and the nearby Saronic islands.

Most summer tourists flock to Greece during July and August. So, June is the best time to go to Athens if you want to skip the crowds.

June marks the start of the Epidaurus Festival in Greece. This is a wonderful cultural festival that takes place every year between June and August.

Greek dances, theatrical performances, traditional music, and other cultural performances are hosted in historic venues throughout Athens and the UNESCO site of Epidaurus. What could be better than watching a Greek tragedy played out in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre on the slopes of the Acropolis?

June is also a good time to visit Athens for a few days before continuing onwards with a Greek island hopping adventure.

July in Athens 

Athens in July is very hot and humid. Temperatures average out at between 23°C and 32°C per day. (73°F and 90°F).

However, conditions have been getting a lot warmer in recent years and temperatures are often as high as 35°C. (95°F).

This is perfect if you are spending your time lounging by a pool on the Athenian Riviera. However, less than ideal for exploring ancient ruins outside. 

Trekking around historical sites can be tough in the heat. You also need to factor in the crowds and the fact that you will probably have to queue to enter a lot of places. 

July and August are the priciest times to travel to Athens. You should try to book everything in advance if you can. 

That way, you can be sure to secure the best deals and avoid disappointment. Your hotels/accommodation should be booked in advance when figuring out where to stay in Athens.

Ferry tickets, attraction tickets and passes can also be booked online in advance for your convenience.

It can get very humid and muggy in the city centre. Not all businesses have air conditioning and some only have fans.

Fortunately, Mediterranean heat is more of a dry heat, than a tropical heat, and things cool down a little at night. Try to choose accommodation that has air-conditioning if you can.

August in Athens 

Travelling to Athens in August has its pros and cons, just like any other time of year. Temperatures during this month are similar to July.

Daily temperatures average out at between 23°C and 32°C per day. (73°F and 90°F). However, temperatures well into the 40s are not unheard of.

Tourist crowds are at their highest during this time and it can feel as though you hear more international accents than Greek ones! Most Greeks get long vacation times off from work in August.

With no reason to stay in the concrete, many leave the city and head to the islands. The advantage of this is that some residential districts such as Pagrati and the Mets become very quiet.

This is the most expensive time to travel. Accommodation, flights, ferries, car rentals and excursions absolutely need to be booked in advance at this time of year.

If you want to obtain a glimpse of what everyday local life is like in Athens and hang out with Athenians, this is not a good time to travel.If you have some flexibility in your schedule, it is better to postpone your trip until late September or early October if you can.  

September in Athens 

September is a strong contender for being the best time to visit Athens. The number of tourists starts to dissipate, and flight and accommodation prices drop halfway through the month.

Temperatures in Athens in September are still warm enough that you could sail out to stunning islands in the Cyclades and beyond. If you want to avoid the tourist hordes, there are many quiet Greek islands you could consider at this time of year.

Expect average temperatures between 20°C and 28°C. (68°F to 82°F). Rainall is minimum at this time of year.

There is virtually no precipitation. However, you may sometimes see the occasional storm as the seasons start to change.

October in Athens 

The weather in Greece in October is often unpredictable. Typically, it is still warm and sunny – particularly for the first half of the month. 

Daytime temperatures average out between 15°C and 23°C. (59°F and 73°F).

However, you should not plan a trip to Athens in October if your trip revolves around beaches and the summer sun. Sometimes, October can be a little rainy and windy. 

The weather really isn’t as dependable as it is during the summer months. As Autumn approaches, you can expect more rainfall.

Athens sees an average of 48mm (1.9in) of rain in October spread across 8-9 days. Carry an umbrella and a waterproof for exploring ruins and archeological sites.

The rain quickly clears up and subside. October is the last month of summer admission times in Athens.

After this month, a lot of notable sites start closing earlier. It is also the last chance to enjoy certain outdoor events (e.g. the open-air cinemas in Thissio). At the end of October, those businesses close for Autumn and Winter.

Events in Athens in October

Oxi Day (the day of no) is celebrated every year on the 28th of October. This marks the anniversary of the day that Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas said no (oxi) to Mussolini and the Italians when he asked Greece to allow Nazis into the country.

Military parades are hosted all over the country. In Athens, this starts at 11 am from Syntagma Square, but it is a good idea to arrive early to secure a good seat.

November in Athens 

Temperatures start to drop during November in Athens. It gets dark earlier and earlier, and the nights start drawing in. Expect daytime temperatures that range between 12° and 18° Celsius.

Fortunately, prices for tours, flights, and accommodation all decrease during this month. This is perfect if you hope to explore Greece on a budget. 

From November until March, museums and historical attractions across Athens offer free admission on the first Sunday of the month. This includes the Acropolis and its museum. The Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Agora, and the Temple of Hephaestus.

It should be noted that November marks the start of the off-season in Athens. Many touristic sites and Athens museums reduce their opening hours from this point onwards. 

December in Athens 

December in Athens can be a charming time to visit as the city gears up for Christmas. Spending the festive season in Greece may not be the most usual choice but it’s certainly a rewarding one.  

December in Athens can get chilly and snow is not unheard of. Typically though, temperatures seldom dip below 5 degrees Celsius. Athenian winters are much milder than spending December in most European cities. 

From early December, ice rinks are erected around the city. They offer magnificent views over the sunbleached remnants of the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, and other historical sites. A sprawling Christmas tree is set up in Syntagma Square, and gorgeous light displays decorate the streets of Monastiraki, Syntagma, Psiri, and Makrygianni. 

A portion of New Year’s Eve in Greece is spent with families eating good food and waiting for the midnight countdown. Then, people head out to Athens to enjoy the Athenian nightlife and party until the next morning.

Events and parties are hosted at many clubs and rooftop bars and usually require a prior reservation. Firework displays are set off across the city at the stroke of midnight.

FAQs About the Best Time to Visit Athens Greece in 2024

Do you have any further questions or concerns about the best time to visit Athens Greece in 2024? The answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic are detailed below for your consideration. 

Hopefully, you will find the information you are searching for there. If not, please do not hesitate to reach out! 

What is the best month to visit Athens Greece?

The months of March, April, May, October, and early November are arguably the best times to visit Athens, Greece. At these times, you can enjoy warm weather and fewer crowds. 

Is October a good time to go to Athens?

The cute coffee shops of Pagrati, Athens
The cute coffee shops of Pagrati, Athens

October is a great time to go to Athens and to Greece in general. You can still expect “summer weather” at this time of year. 

Famous sites like the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis, etc are far less crowded than during the summer months and that can make them much more pleasant to explore. The southernmost Greek island groups such as the Cyclades and the Dodecanese are also very hot this time of year.

So, you can easily spend two days in Athens and then continue on to some Greek islands.

What is the cheapest month to fly to Athens?

November and February are arguably two of the cheapest months to fly to Athens. Since this is the low season and there aren’t a ton of local events going on, few visitors travel to Greece at this time.

Still, you can find excellent deals on flights to Greece all year round on flight booking sites like Skyscanner. A number of budget airlines service flight routes to Greece including Ryanair and Easyjet.

Final thoughts on the best time to visit Athens Greece in 2024

Do you have any further questions about the best time to visit Athens or planning a trip to Greece in general? You may also be interested in reading this wider Greece itinerary

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything. I have been based in Pagrati since 2017.

Safe travels! Geia sou! Melissa xo


Alice Cooper is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

One Comment

  1. Dear Melissa,
    Thanks for sharing. We are planning a trip to Athens in late October, what do we need to prepare for? Do you have any suggestions? We will go with our toddler:) and we plan to live there for a while. Thanks

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