When is the best time to visit Athens? From a demographic and population standpoint, you’ll (not) be surprised that the best time to avoid the crowds in Athens is in fact during the month of August. August symbolises the zenith of the summer, and it is usually the time when the Athenians choose to take their annual summer holidays, the majority of which choose to spend their long awaited vacations in their provincial summer homes, going back to their familial residences often hundreds of kilometers away from the city.
This is an opportunity for the travellers wanting to experience the most out of the city, to venture out when all the ...mice have gone to play! From our Civitel Hotels in Maroussi, you can easily access the centre without the hassle of the city’s usual traffic.
Here are some interesting things to discover if you find yourself in the Athens of August.
Saunter around the Athenian sites - no crowds - no queues
The centre is filled with ancient (and more contemporary) sites that you should definitely explore, while taking advantage of the fact that Athens has perhaps half the people than usual.
Hadrian’s Arch (or Gate) and Temple of Zeus
Located very centrally, on the periphery between Syntagma square and the pedestrian street that leads up to the Acropolis, you cannot miss the imposing marble gateway of Hadrian’s Arch that was built back in 130 AD.
Through this gate and further into the archaeological area beyond, you can stroll around admiring the various ruins until you get to the colossal Temple of Olympian Zeus. Construction began by the Athenian tyrants some 700 years before Hadrian’s age, yet its completion took over half a millennia, and today it stands proudly although evidently scathed by the ruthless pillages of the barbarian invasion circa 3rd century AD.
Acropolis & Museum
Visit the infamous rock, the ancient protector of the city and the stunning Parthenon dedicated to Athens’ patron Goddess, Athena. The Museum is a relatively new development in Athens, and in many senses long overdue, to showcase all the cultural wealth of the ancient Greek civilisation. Any other time, you may need to spend a good 3 or 4 hours to explore it all, however, during August you can see all the artefacts in maybe half the time.
Zappeion Square & National Gardens
One of the more contemporary sites in the heart of Athens, the Academy of Zappeion, a conference and exhibition venue built in 1888, graces the grounds of the National gardens. It is simply beautiful to look at and was more heavily used in the past. Now it is more of a meeting point, as it is a lovely central location for a stroll while admiring the architecture, or a nice background for you to have for an iced coffee break.
The National Gardens are a lush oasis in the centre of Athens, so do visit the grounds and discover the little paths and walkways that wind and bend under the thick canopies and flower beds. Once used to host the Zoological Park with lion dens among other animal quarters, the animals are no longer there, but you can still enjoy the sense of refreshment all the greenery offers.
In the centre:
- Shopping is always a nice pastime for shopaholics, especially if it coincides with sales! Summer sales run from the end of July to the end of August and you can ...rummage the almost empty shops and find that high street (Ermou Str) or designer (Voukourestiou Str) item you’ve always wanted!
Outside the centre:
- In need of some refreshment? We hear you. Beaches are beckoning as the temperatures rise! Be sure to check out some amazing east Attica beaches that are within your grasp for you to discover. Alternatively, for the ultimate lazy day in Athens, you can opt to refresh yourself in our alluring pool at Civitel Attik, so that you don’t have to lift a finger.