Short Getaways: A Weekend exploring Athens during late winter/early spring

Athens Winter

A complete guide for those who want to spend a weekend in Athens, by the team at Greeklist.

1. A quick trip to Athens

In the span of a brief weekend, this guide is tailored to optimize your experience in the historic city, providing a meticulously curated itinerary from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. Athens, a city brimming with ancient wonders and vibrant culture, awaits exploration. Join us as we navigate through iconic landmarks, immersive museums, and authentic local experiences, ensuring a memorable weekend in the heart of Greece’s capital.

2. Getting to Athens from the UK

Direct flights from the UK to Ahtens whisk you across the skies in approximately 3 hours. Touching down at Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, travelers are greeted with modern amenities, streamlined services, and superb connectivity—facilitating a seamless transition from flight to the enchanting exploration of the Greek capital.

Direct Flights from UK to Athens

For quick & direct flights, Skyscanner indicates enticing return fares, with prices starting as low as £80, available from London, Manchester, Newcastle and 6 more main UK cities

Connecting Flights from UK to Athens

For those seeking cost savings, but longer flights, Skyscanner indicates enticing return fares, with prices starting as low as £71, departures are available from 13 key UK cities such as London, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

3. The weather in Athens during late winter/early spring

As the city emerges from the cooler months, daytime temperatures in February range from 8 to 15°C , accompanied by occasional rainfall. The probability of snow during this period is typically low. Moving into March, temperatures ascend, spanning 10 to 18°C, with a reduction in precipitation. By April, Athens embraces spring in full, with temperatures ranging from 12 to 21°C , and a notable decrease in rainfall. The likelihood of snow remains minimal throughout this season.

It’s the perfect time to wander in the streets of Athens, if you want to avoid the sunny and very warm days of late spring and summer.

For a comprehensive 10-day forecast, check meteo.gr.

The Acropolis after a snowfall
A rare but majestic view of Acropolis after a snowfall

4. A full weekend plan in Athens

If you want to experience a quick weekend in Athens, seamlessly blending historical discovery, cultural exploration, and culinary delights, then here’s a program to make the most of your short stay. Keep in mind that we recommend you to stay and spend your weekend in the central areas of Athens.

Our program is the following:

Friday

Afternoon/Arrival:

  • Land in Athens and check into your accommodation.

Dinner:

  • Walk down Ermou Street, Athens’ premier shopping thoroughfare full of contemporary boutiques, international brands, and traditional Greek craftsmanship
  • Eat the famous souvlaki in Monastiraki Square
  • Wander around the square and visit is famous Flea Market

Saturday

Morning:

Lunch:

  • Head to Plaka, a lively neighborhood cobblestone streets and the neoclassical buildings
  • Enjoy your lunch there, at one of the many traditional Greek restaurants.

Afternoon:

  • Have some rest after the long walk you had in the morning!

Late Afternoon

  • Take a taxi to Lycabettus Hill for panoramic views of Athens.
  • Enjoy the sunset over the city.

Dinner

  • Head to Mitropoleos Street, where an eclectic mix of restaurants that offer diverse dining options, and enjoy your dinner
  •  Go to Kolonaki, a chic district of Athens, and have drink in its stylish cocktail bars

Sunday

Morning

  • Spend your morning the National  Gardens, enjoying the greenery and peaceful atmosphere, while having a warm coffee on hand
  • Visit the famous Zappeion Megaron, a neoclassical building of the 19th century
  • Go to Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro), where the first modern Olympic Games took place, and capture some iconic photos

Lunch

  • Head to Pangrati, a charming, residential Athenian neighborhood, and have a meal there.

Early Afternoon

  • Head back to your hotel and pack your things

Afternoon/Departure

  • Head to the airport for your return trip to the UK
Evzones at Syntagma Square
Evzones at Syntagma Square
Ermou Street
Ermou Street
National Gardens & Zappeion Megaron
National Gardens & Zappeion Megaron
Plaka
Plaka
Acropolis Museum
Acropolis Museum
Mount Luccabetus
Mount Luccabetus
Kolonaki
Kolonaki

5. Accommodation options for a weekend to Athens

For your quick trip to Athens, we recommend you to stay in the centre of Athens, in order to be close to your destinations. There you can find from upscale hotels to budget-friendly stays, providing diverse choices for a convenient and central stay in the city.

Here is our Top-5 hotel list for Athens:

Find more Greeklist exclusive Hotel deals for Athens and HotelBrain here!

6. Where to have a coffee and eat during a weekend to Athens

Central Athens boasts an array of dining experiences, from traditional tavernas in Monastiraki and Plaka to chic eateries in Thissio and cosy cafes in Pangrati. Explore a diverse culinary landscape amidst the historic neighbourhoods of the city centre.

Here is our top tier list, for your different styles and needs:

Check here for more excellent Athenean dining options on Tripadvisor!.

The 3  Must-try dishes in Athens

Here is our top-3 pick of dishes that you must try during your stay in Athens:

  • Moussaka: A quintessential Greek dish, moussaka is a layered casserole of eggplant, minced meat, and béchamel sauce, baked to golden perfection. Each forkful is a symphony of flavours and textures.
  • Souvlaki: A street food favourite, souvlaki features skewered and grilled meat, usually served in pita with tomatoes, onions, and a drizzle of tzatziki. It’s a delicious and convenient option for on-the-go dining.
  • Gemista: Gemista, or stuffed vegetables, showcase the bounty of Greece’s harvest. Tomatoes, peppers, or zucchinis are filled with a flavorful mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat, creating a satisfying and wholesome dish.

For an extended guide in Greek cuisine, check here!

7. Local Transportation and getting around in the centre of  Athens

You can explore the heart of Athens by strolling through its vibrant centre on foot so we recommend you to avoid using a car. There are also these alternative options to navigate in the centre of Athens:

  • Athens Metro: Efficient and well-connected, the Athens Metro operates from early morning until late at night, with lots of stations located in the heart of Athens
  • Taxi: Widely available and easily hailed, taxis are a ubiquitous mode of transportation in Athens, offering flexibility for spontaneous city explorations.
  • Buses & Trolleys: Extensive and integral to city mobility, Athens’ bus and trolley network.
  • Scooter/Motorcycle Rentals: Embrace the Athenian spirit by navigating its narrow streets on a scooter or motorcycle, a popular and convenient choice for exploring the city with agility.
  • Bike Rentals: As Athens embraces a bike-friendly culture, cycling enthusiasts can enjoy dedicated bike lanes and discover intriguing routes across the city’s vibrant landscape.

8. Safety and Travel Tips for Athens

Follow these safety and travel tips to ensure a memorable and secure weekend in the vibrant capital of Greece:

  • Emergency Numbers: Save these emergency numbers:
  1. the local police (100),
  2. medical emergency (166)
  3. fire department (199).
  4. British Embassy (+30 2107272600)
  • Healthcare Awareness: Familiarize yourself with the location of medical facilities and pharmacies in case of emergencies. We hope you won’t need them!
  • Language: While English is widely spoken, acquainting yourself with a few basic Greek phrases can elevate your interactions, demonstrating respect for the local language and fostering a deeper connection with the culture. Kalimera! (Good morning).
  • Comfortable Footwear: Whether ascending the Acropolis or wandering through Plaka’s cobblestone lanes, reliable footwear guarantees unhindered enjoyment of your explorations
  • Electrical outlets: For British visitors in Greece, a travel adapter with Europlug Type C or Type F is essential for seamlessly powering electronic devices.
  • Greek Coffee: Indulge in the bold and aromatic notes of Greek coffee, a cherished tradition presented in petite cups that encapsulate the spirit of hospitality and meaningful conversations
  • Clothing for late winter: Dress in layers for late winter in Athens, combining warm jackets with versatile sweaters. Be prepared for varying temperatures, ensuring comfort as you explore the city’s historical and contemporary treasures.
  • Clothing for early spring: Opt for light layers and bring a mix of sweaters and jackets to accommodate fluctuating temperatures in Athens. Enjoy the blossoming season while exploring the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and cultural gems.
  • Currency Considerations: The official currency is the Euro. Have some cash on hand for minor transactions, although credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are conveniently located across the city.

9. Conclusion

In summary, the weekend in Athens delivers a comprehensive experience, seamlessly weaving together the city’s rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and culinary offerings. From iconic landmarks like the Acropolis to the charming streets of Plaka and the modern vibrancy of Kolonaki, each facet contributes to a fulfilling and immersive exploration of this dynamic capital.

If you want to spend more than a weekend in Athens, then here is our complete guide for the capital of Greece!

Rainy Athens

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