Athens has much to offer as a summer destination, either as a city break or a longer stay. If you’re looking for a summer getaway with glorious sunshine, idyllic beaches and a vibrant city full of history then look no further than our beloved city of Athens. It is a place with an innumerable number of things to do, impressive attractions and a rich choice of eateries that will satisfy even the most demanding of travelers. Here are five things you should consider if planning to spend your summer in Athens.
Vouliagmeni Beach - credits: Jekatarinka/Shutterstock.com
The weather can be scorchingly hot during the summer months in Athens with very high temperatures. This is worth bearing in mind when it comes to visiting ancient sites, especially if they are at a higher altitude with little shade, much like the Acropolis. Try to start your day early and visit these areas in the morning; not only will you be able to beat the crowds and the heat, but you will also be safely nestled at a Greek taverna by noon. If combining archaeology, mythology, and gastronomy sounds like the ideal experience for you, why not join us on our Acropolis Delights Tour? Led by one of our deeply knowledgeable guides you will explore the ancient rock and its temples before heading off to some of Athens' best eateries and delis to discover the very best of the city's cuisine.
After a morning of sightseeing, you may be longing to cool off and what better way than by heading to the Athens Riviera where there are a plethora of beaches for you to choose from. Just take the tram from Syntagma Square heading to Glyfada and hit the beach in less than 45 mins.
It's all greek to me - credits: Greeking.me
We are aware that listening and understanding the Greek language is no easy task. However, you don't have to worry about communication - most Greeks, and especially the younger generation, speak English and will be more than happy to help you out. If you are keen to try a few phrases, you'll also find that locals delight in visitors making the effort to learn their language and therefore you will most likely be met with enthusiasm and encouragement- so don't be shy!
Athens metro station - credits: PNIK/Shutterstock.com
The Athens metro is clean and fast and is one of the easiest ways to reach many destinations. For example, the Acropolis, most museums, and many of Athens’ top sites have a metro station close by. You should also keep in mind that during the weekends the working hours of the metro are extended at night but buses and trams are also available to help you return to your hotel whether you are coming back from drinks to the center of the city or the seaside. In case you would prefer a means of private and faster transport, you should read our guide about taking a taxi in Athens. In general, however, there is very little reason to worry, Athens is a rather safe city.
Tip: Have a look at our Athens Airport guide, if you are arriving in Athens by plane.
4. Athens Nightlife
Night view of Monastiraki square - credits: Trabantos/Shutterstock.com
The city is truly wonderful by night with many of its key landmarks illuminated whilst the streets are full of busy cafes, restaurants, and street musicians. You can either go downtown or move to the southern part of the city, which is a better choice during the summer months if you'd like to be by the sea. If you decide on the center, Monastiraki Square is one of the most popular choices for people of all ages, as there are plenty of clubs, bars, and restaurants. Most bars open at around 10.00 pm but remember that here, the nights are long and it is perfectly normal for them to stay open until the last customer leaves. Looking for a night out at the beach? Glyfada, a southern suburb of Athens, is an excellent choice with its mix of restaurants, cocktail beach bars, and nightclubs.
If you're less into nightclubs and more into just enjoying the streets of a city by night, our Athens Evening Highlights Tour with Meze Dinner takes you on a stroll through some of the prettiest parts of Athens, ending with a mezedes dinner that includes wine, a choice for those who want to simply unwind at the end of the day. If you're more of a night owl and you'd like to know where locals go to find the best cocktail and wine bars, our Athens Nightlife Tour in Koukaki Neighborhood is designed to show you how locals like to spend their evenings in town. Along with your local expert guide, enjoy an evening of wine, spirits and cocktail tasting paired with charcuterie boards, street food, and a walk through some of Athen's quirkiest spots.
5. Greek food
Greek Salad - credits: ORLIO/Shutterstock.com
Last but certainly not least! Greece is famous for many things, among which food holds a prominent place. Souvlaki is the original Greek 'fast food' but there is also so much more to discover. Eating in Athens is a real indulgence with a wealth of eateries, taverns, and restaurants to choose from. Whether you are seeking out a traditional, authentic taverna or you're more into contemporary fusion cuisine Athens is not short of culinary options. Many restaurants are also located on rooftops and therefore boast unbeatable views of the city. Our advice is to do your research before choosing where to eat as, unfortunately, there are also many 'tourist-traps, most of which are located downtown. Alternatively, let us take the stress out of choosing and join us on one of our culinary experiences that will show you the best places to eat in Athens. We constantly check and try out new and old places, picking only establishments that we ourselves would frequent and being an independent enterprise we are under no obligation to favor one eatery over another. So when we say local discovery...we truly mean it!
For those of you who like to get busy in a kitchen, rather than only order from it, we have created our very own Greek cooking lesson! Led by a talented and professional chef you will head to Athens' Central Market to pick your own fresh produce and then create a delicious meal. Learn the 'tricks of the trade' to making delicious Greek food, with a glass of wine in hand of course!