When to Go in Athens

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Greece is an incredible country, and Athens should definitely be on anyone's "not to be missed" list. While it's possible to visit Athens and have an enjoyable experience at any time of year, here is a look at what you can expect in the various seasons. You should take the local festivities into consideration as well as the tourist season.

Winter

From December through February you can expect temperatures to range between 5 and 15 degrees C. It is often cold and windy in Athens and most of the rainfall occurs in the winter. However, there are still plenty of sunny days that will allow you to make the most of the tourist sites, with the added bonus that you'll have them mostly to yourself. If you visit in December you'll get to experience Athens in all of its Christmas glory, as the city is decorated throughout the month. February plays host to Carnival, a decadent festival where locals and tourists alike dress up for the various masquerades. The Winter Jazz and Blues Festival is also a fun event. Since it's the off-season, you can expect prices to be much lower. But don't be surprised if a lot of the tourist locations close early and a fair amount of restaurants will be closed entirely.

Spring

In the spring the temperatures warm up and the city becomes a beautiful place. Between March and May the temperatures rise steadily from 6 to 26 degrees C. Bring a light jacket for cooler mornings and evenings. The air is fresh and the wind is filled with the scents of jasmine flowers. Don't forget your antihistamines if you have pollen allergies! If you travel around Easter you can enjoy the annual celebrations, and in May you can experience the Athens in Bloom Festival when the entire city seems to be covered in flowers. One thing to keep in mind is that while it's still the off-season for tourism, it's definitely high season for academic conferences. Book your hotel well in advance.

Summer

Athens is incredibly hot in the summer, with temperatures ranging between 18 and 33 degrees C. In August the temperature can soar well above 35 degrees C. On the plus side, the weather is dry and you can spend your days out-of-doors so long as you bring plenty of sunscreen and water along with you. The best festivals occur in the summer, including the Athens Festival for the Arts. Rockwave Festival in July is an incredible rock music celebration, and the August Moon Festival is one that shouldn't be missed. Keep in mind this is peak tourist season, so book your accommodations well in advance. Also, in mid-August most of the locals head out of the city, leaving it relatively vacant for tourists.

Autumn

The temperatures begin to cool in the autumn, starting at a hot and humid 29 degrees C and dropping to as low as 10 degrees C by November. There is increased rainfall, so bring rain gear and a light jacket for those chilly nights. There aren't too many festivals during this time but the Hellenic Festival does continue into autumn and lasts until October. Once the end of October arrives, a lot of tourist venues begin to close early. Also, as in the spring, this is a peak season for academic conferences. Don't be surprised if hotels fill up quickly.

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