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A seasonal guide to Athens

With each season, the city of Athens offers visitors a new range of activities to experience. Enjoy queue-free access to ancient monuments during the warm winter months, partake in one of the city's spring festivals, soak up the sun one the numerous white sand beaches during the summer, or simply explore the city by foot as the temperatures drop in the fall. With each season giving visitors the opportunity to see a different side of the city, there's never a bad time to visit Athens.

Enjoy queue-free access to the city's unrivalled collection of ancient monuments and ruins in the winter

Enjoy queue-free access to the city's unrivalled collection of ancient monuments and ruins in the winter

Winter

It’s a shame that the majority of visitors to Athens choose to visit in summer – OK, with the glorious sunshine they’re not exactly getting it wrong, but Athens is surprisingly warm and as welcoming as ever in winter. You can still enjoy the Mediterranean vibe and terrace dining that you would in high season, and you’ll find the queues to see the city’s unrivalled collection of ancient monuments and ruins much shorter too.

Warm weather and budding trees covering the city's surrounding mountains mark the return of spring

Warm weather and budding trees covering the city's surrounding mountains mark the return of spring

Spring

The celebration of Easter is at the heart of any Greek spring, and it’s a time that’s made immeasurably more pleasant by the warm, clear weather and lustrous shades of green returning to the slopes of the mountains around Athens. Some of the Athenian festivals that celebrate nature’s rebirth are religious, while some are more about having a good time – luckily, all add to the unique feeling of this enchanting ancient city in the spring.

The city of Athens is fortunate to enjoy three glorious months of summer sun

The city of Athens is fortunate to enjoy three glorious months of summer sun

Summer

Lucky enough to enjoy the very best of a Mediterranean summer, the monuments and mountains of Athens spend around three glorious months basking under the sun. White sand beaches kissed by the glittering Aegean Sea are filled with life and chatter, while in town the tables from bustling bars and restaurants spill out onto the street. Hot, historical and heaving with life, Athens in the summer is as lovely as it is lively.

Athens is best explored by foot in the fall when the temperatures become more bearable

Athens is best explored by foot in the fall when the temperatures become more bearable

Fall

While the temperature around the Aegean drops a little during autumn, it’s still more than warm enough to make tackling the sights of Athens by foot appealing. It’s also the season for harvesting olives and grapes, and a visit to a nearby winery is a great way to while away an afternoon – especially if you can kick back with snacks and a glass of something local while savouring the changing colours of the countryside.