Springtime in Athens is glorious. But don’t just take our word for it. If you’re planning a trip to Athens in March, April or May, here are some of the fantastic things you can see and do.
Many consider spring to be the best time of year to visit Athens. From early March, poppies and daisies bloom all around our neighbourhoods and ancient monuments (a signal that the jasmine and bougainvillea flowers won’t be far behind). The warm, sunny weather is perfect for sightseeing. There are fewer crowds to share those world-famous attractions with, and you’ll have the beautiful, blue-sky beaches of the Athens Riviera mostly to yourself. In March and April, you can experience the spirited celebrations of carnival and Greek Easter. In May, the city’s festival season kicks off with a bang. Here are some other excellent reasons to visit Athens during spring.
Go traditional with bakaliaro-skordalia - a Greek Independence Day treat.
Photo: Eleni Veziri
Great things to do in Athens in March
Celebrate Greek Independence Day on March 25 by indulging in a traditional dish: delicious bakaliaro-skordalia (battered salt cod with garlic sauce). Devour it while you enjoy the spectacle of marching bands and flag-waving crowds.
Take the kids to Flisvos Marina in Palio Faliro. This glitzy marina lined with waterfront cafes, restaurants, parks and play areas is a local family favourite, especially on weekends.
Re-caffeinate with a side-order of culture at Athens’ prettiest museum cafés.
Join the lovers, toddlers, and strollers on Dionysiou Areopagitou. Connecting the Temple of Olympian Zeus with the Acropolis, it’s the most beautiful, historic, and Insta-tastic pedestrian avenue in Athens.
Get on two wheels and cycle past scenic and historic sights on an exhilarating Athens bike ride.
Join the locals by:
Lighting a candle in a church during Greek Easter week, the most important celebration of the year all over Greece.
Plan your trip around:
Athens Science Festival (2-7 April 2019)—Explore the connection between science and everyday life at this entertaining and interactive spring festival that’s fun for visitors of all ages. International Day for Monuments and Sites (18 April 2019)—Your chance to see all the city’s ancient monuments and must-see sights for free.
What weather to expect?
Tick off the Acropolis and other ancient sites for free on International Monument Day.
Photo: Thomas Gravanis
Take a springtime stroll on historic Philopappou Hill - aka The Hill of the Muses.
Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis
May signals the start of Athens' much-loved open-air cinema season.
Photo: Thomas Gravanis
Great things to do in Athens in May
Take a hike! The mountains and hills around Athens are covered in wild chamomile, poppies and daisies in May. On Mount Hymmetus, you’ll also find a chapel in a cave and a glorious Byzantine monastery.
Kick start spring with an Athens wellness weekend. From mindful workouts in the gentle sunshine to luxury day spas, spring is all about the ancient Greek ideal of “healthy body, healthy mind”.
Usher in open-air cinema season at a movie screening under the stars. It’s a quintessentially Athenian way to spend warm summer nights. (Outdoor cinemas generally open in May, depending on the weather.)
Drive down the Athens Riviera coastline to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. It’s less than an hour’s drive, before the summer crowds hit the seaside highway.
Savour street food from all around the world at the annual Athens Street Food Festival in Gazi.
Stop and smell the roses in the green suburb of Kifissia. From early to mid-May, the Kifissia flower show takes place in the park opposite the train station.
Join the locals by:
Making wreaths out of wildflowers to hang on your door for Protomayia (May Day). It’s how Greeks celebrate the return of spring.
Plan your trip around: International Museum Day (18 May 2019)—Free entrance to all of Athens’ world-famous antiquities, including the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. Fast Forward Festival (5-19 May 2019 )—This free festival that explores social issues and contemporary culture takes over public and private spaces across Athens for a fortnight.