What to do in Athens in springtime: 8 must-do activities

Tiempo de lectura: 8 minutos
Athens in spring time.
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Spring has sprung! And if you’re looking for a destination that’ll leave you with a spring in your step, look no further. There are so many fantastic things to do in Athens in the spring.

So, why visit Athens at this time of the year? First off, the pleasant temperatures. In the summer, Athens is hot. Very hot. Average temperatures are above 30 degrees Celsius. In the spring, you can shave a good 10 degrees off that figure.

Another reason to go to Athens at this time of yearis to beat the crowds. In July and August, top attractions have long queues. In the spring, you get quicker access and fewer crowds, so better pictures and more breathing space for you!

And finally, Athens in springtime is just, well, lovely! Poppies start popping up, and daisies are dotted around, soon to be followed by Athens’ famous sweet-smelling jasmine and bougainvillea. Sound nice? Of course it does! 

So read on and start planning your Athens springtime itinerary!

1. Acropolis: Athens’ unmissable highlight

The Acropolis of Athens - one of the unmissable things to do in Athens.

First things first, let’s talk about the mighty Acropolis. This ancient citadel dominates the Athens skyline. The Acropolis’s history and architecture are second to none. Of course, it should be near the top of your list of things to do in Athens.

Climb to the top and marvel at the perfectly imperfect Parthenon. This crumbly white temple is the Acroplis’s crowning glory. sitting at its highest point. It’s hard to imagine, but it was once painted red, blue and gold!

In the spring, you’ll be able to climb up to this historical marvel without turning into a sweaty mess. And you can get to the top without having to elbow away crowds of tourists brandishing selfie sticks! Tourist-free pictures are an added bonus!

2. Admire the panorama from Philopappos Hill

The amazing view from Philopappos hill.

To see the Acropolis in all its glory from a different perspective, you can climb the scenic Philopappos Hill.

Find a shady spot under one of the many pine and olive trees. Sit and contemplate life in the city where so many famous philosophers once did the same. There are also pleasant trails to be walked at the top.

Philopappos Hill is the ideal spot to have a picnic while enjoying the warm spring breeze. Plus, you’ll burn off a few extra calories from all the delicious Greek food you’re going to devour!

  • Philopappos Hill is an open space that you can visit for free at any time of the day or night without buying a ticket. However, locals recommend avoiding the area at night because of petty crime.

3. Visit the majestic Temple of Zeus

The majestic Temple of Zeus is one of the best things to do in Athens.

If Zeus himself had had a travel bucket list, the Temple of Olympian Zeus would be right at the top. This impressive wonder is truly ancient. Construction began in the 6th century BC, and the mammoth project wasn’t completed until 162 AD, around 638 years later!

Unfortunately, the temple’s greatness was short-lived. It fell into disuse a little over 100 years after it was completed. However, a good part of the original structure remains standing (very) tall, with its marble columns reaching nearly 21 metres: unusually tall for a Greek temple.

All sorts of shenanigans went on at this raucous temple during its heyday, from sacrifices to earthquakes to the destruction of the 12-metre Statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

  • You can buy tickets for the Temple of Olympian Zeus online.
  • Opening Hours: Every day from 08:00 until 15:00.

4. See colourful flowers in bloom at the National Garden of Athens

The National Garden in Athens, with flowers in bloom and palm trees.

And just a hop, skip, and jump from the temple, you’ll find the pretty National Garden of Athens. This gorgeous public park is bursting with tulips, daffodils and other vibrant blossoms that will be in full bloom, ready to announce the arrival of spring.

It’s the perfect place to unwind, breathe in the sweet scents of spring and take a break from Greece’s chaotic capital.

  • Entrance to the National Garden of Athens is free. 
  • It’s open every day. Early birds will be pleased that it opens from 06:00 to to 19:45.

5. Discover street art in Exarchia

In case you hadn’t noticed by now, ancient ruins are kinda Athens’ thing. But the city also has a modern edge.

If you’re looking to add a touch of urban cool to your Athens adventure, head to Exarcheia. The walls of this alternative, trendy neighbourhood come to life with edgy street art. Wandering through its colourful, lively streets is like walking through an open-air art gallery.

Besides being a hub for artistic expression, Exarchia offers comfortable cafes, cool bars and independent boutiques. So stop off here for a stroll in the spring sunshine, a cup of almost unbearably strong Greek coffee and a quirky photo or two.

  • You can go to the Exarcheia area at any time of the day, and it is free to enter.

6. Take a boat trip in Athens to the breathtaking Aegina Island

A boat trip to Aegina Island.

You can’t go to Greece without visiting a Greek island. One of the top things to do in Athens, especially in springtime, is escape the bustling city and set sail for the serene Aegina Island.

As mentioned, this is low season! This means fewer tourists and more privacy for you to explore this paradise. Discover hidden coves, relax on sandy beaches and sample local delicacies.

Aside from the obvious fresh fish and seafood (calamari is especially good here), Aegina is well-known for its pistachios! So, if you’re nuts about pistachios, you’ll be in heaven.

Think pistachio butter on toast for breakfast, pan-fried feta with chopped pistachios for lunch and pistachio pesto and spaghetti for dinner. Oh, and don’t forget the pistachio ice cream!

  • Ferries between Athens (Piraeus) and Aegina go year-round.The journey takes approximately one hour.
  • Tickets cost €8 – €14, depending on the ferry type. Tickets can be bought online or at the port.

7. Buy an unusual souvenir at a flea market

A flea market stall at Monastiraki.

No trip is complete without some retail therapy. And if you’re looking for something original, Athens has some brilliant flea markets to scratch that itch. Some of our favourites are:

  • Monastiraki – this eclectic open-air bazaar is a treasure trove for those seeking the unusual. It offers anything and everything, from antique jewellery to vintage vinyl. Get ready to practise your best bargaining skills!
  • Plaka – this flea market is set in the charming area of the same name. Grab yourself a bargain surrounded by magenta bougainvillea and picturesque labyrinthine streets.
  • Platia Avissinias Square – one for antiques lovers.Make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase because this bustling market offers all kinds of maps, furniture, old books and rare musical instruments.

So put your bargaining skills to the test and start hunting for that unique souvenir to take home.

  • Monastiraki Flea Market is open every day from 10:00 to 22:00.
  • Platia Avissinias Square flea market is open every Sunday from 08:00 – 14:00.

8. Take your first swim of the season

Swimming in the Beach-Riviera area of Athens is one of the fantastic things to do in Athens.

With the arrival of spring, it’s time to break out your swimsuit and head to Athens’ Beach Riviera area.

If the thought of the Med in springtime sends a chill down your spine, there is an attractive alternative. One of the best-kept secrets and most enjoyable things to do in Athens is the beautiful, bright green Lake Vouliagmeni on the Athens Riviera.

Its mineral waters are fed by underground currents, keeping this emerald jewel at a constant 24 degrees. Imagine taking your first swim of the season before the summer has even started! It’s irresistible. 

And it couldn’t be easier to get to lovely Lake Vouliagmeni by bus!

  • You can go to Lake Vouliagmeni at any time of the day, and it is free!

Athens in the spring: what to pack

A woman looking at the Acropolis of Athens.

Now that you’re all set for your break in Athens in springtime, let’s talk about what to pack.

The weather in Athens will range from mild to warm. It’s best to come prepared. Comfortable walking shoes, light layers and a hat will ensure you’re ready to wander the streets and soak up the Mediterranean sun in style.

Temperatures in the evening can dip a bit, so it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket or sweater for layering.

Athens in springtime: what to eat

Spanakopita, a greek delicacy.

Now that you’ve got your suitcase sorted, let’s talk everyone’s favourite subject: food!

These mouthwatering Mediterranean dishes are some of Greece’s best, showcasing the freshness of spring:

  • Spanakopita (spinach pie) – a Greek classic, it combines layers of flaky phyllo pastry with a filling of spinach, feta cheese, onions, and herbs.
  • Aginares a la polita (Artichokes a la Polita) – this dish shows off the artichoke’s culinary prowess in a traditional Greek style. Artichoke hearts are served in a rich and flavourful sauce made with onions, garlic, lemon, and olive oil. Yum!
  • Lamb Kleftiko – a slow-cooked dish where lamb is marinated with garlic, lemon and spices, then tightly wrapped and baked until it becomes fall-off-the-bone tender.
  • Loukoumades – essentially Greek doughnuts! The tiny golden puffs of dough are fried until crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside, and then drizzled with sweet syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. We dare you to stop at just one!

Discover Athens in the springtime

Athens is a brilliant destination at any time of the year, but there really is something special about Athens at thsi time of the year. So, think about a holiday in Athens in springtime so that you can eat, drink, explore, learn, swim and relax in a more relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy!

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are many rooftop bars and restaurants to enjoy in Athens. Some of our favourites are:

  • 360 Degrees: Offering stunning views of the Acropolis, this rooftop bar is perfect for a sunset cocktail and some breathtaking photo opportunities. The lively atmosphere and delicious Mediterranean cuisine make it a must-visit spot.
  • A for Athens: Situated in the heart of Monastiraki Square, this rooftop restaurant offers a panoramic view of the city. Indulge in creative cocktails and delectable dishes while admiring the enchanting cityscape below.
  • Couleur Locale: Known for its relaxed atmosphere and eclectic decor, this rooftop bar provides a chic setting to enjoy a drink with a mesmerizing view of the city and the iconic Parthenon.

If you’re looking to get out of the capital for a day trip, try these:

  • Hydra Island: Take a day trip to this picturesque island, known for its tranquil ambiance and charming waterfront. You can explore the island by foot or donkey, savour fresh seafood, and bask in the unhurried pace of life.
  • Delphi: Discover the ancient ruins and archaeological treasures of Delphi on a day trip from Athens. Marvel at the Temple of Apollo and the well-preserved amphitheater while immersing yourself in Greek history and mythology.
  • Cape Sounion: Visit the stunning Temple of Poseidon, perched on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. This day trip offers a blend of history, natural beauty, and stunning views.

There are several lush green spaces in Athens to relax, for example:

  • National Garden of Athens: Embrace the serenity of the season at this lush oasis in the heart of the city, where you can stroll amidst blooming flowers, admire the wildlife, and relax in a shady spot.
  • Parnitha National Park: If you seek adventure and tranquillity, this park is ideal for hiking, picnicking and appreciating the natural landscapes that unfold in spring.
  • Anafiotika: Though not a traditional park, this charming neighbourhood near the Acropolis offers a peaceful escape with its narrow alleys, quaint houses, and blooming bougainvillea. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll and some quiet contemplation amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.