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.


  • Fewer tourists
  • 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

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 tipsDave Briggs
Dave is a Greek travel blogger and writer originally from the UK, and now living in Athens. In addition to this guide and tips about the best time of year to go to Athens, he's created many travel guides to destinations all over Greece . Follow Dave on social media for Athens travel ideas and more:


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