There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Athens each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday) January 6: Epiphany (Theofánia) (national holiday)
The celebration of Christ's baptism gives rise to long processions during the day which conclude at the seafront with a sanctification ceremony, during which the faithful drop a crucifix into the water.March 25: Independence Day (national holiday)
March 25 commemorates the beginning of the uprising which two years later, led to Greece becoming independent from the Ottoman Empire. Many cultural events are organized to mark this anniversary each year, including concerts and other live performances, conferences, and historical exhibitions.April/May (date set according to the Julian calendar): Greek Orthodox Easter (To Páskha) (national holiday)
At Easter, crowds gather in the streets of Athens. Holy Week is celebrated with ceremonies, masses and traditional meals. The Good Friday processions are the most spectacular.May 1 : Labour Day (national holiday)
On this day, the sky above Athens is filled with kites. Families enjoy picnics and pick wild flowers, which they shape into a wreath to hang on their doors at home. This last tradition finds its roots in Anthesteria, the ancient Greek festival celebrating the return of spring and nature's beauty. Continuing this same theme, parades of flower-decorated floats fill the streets of Athens, along with concerts and other entertainment.Early June to Mid-August : Athens and Epidaurus Festival (local event)
This event draws visitors from around the world who come to enjoy plays, ballets and classical concerts performed on the southern slope of the Acropolis, as well as Greek tragedies, operas and operettas.August 15 : Dormition (Koímêsis) (national holiday)
The festival of the Dormition of the Mother of God, familiarly known as Dormition, celebrates the death of the Virgin Mary and her body being taken up to heaven. Like Assumption in the Catholic church, it takes place on August 15 and is marked with numerous processions throughout the city.August full moon: Full Moon Festival (Párti me pansélino) (celebrated nationwide)
The Acropolis, Roman Agora, Odeon and other sites offer free shows: operas, dance fests and theatre plays.October 28: Óhi Day (To óchi) (national holiday)
One of two national holidays, this day commemorates the rejection of Mussolini's ultimatum on October 28, 1940, demanding the occupation of Greek territory by Italian troops in order to reach Russia. Student, religious and military parades take place in the streets.December 25 : Christmas (Christoúgenna) (national holiday)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||7/45||13/55||60/2.4||Not the best period to go|
|February||7/45||14/57||47/1.9||Not the best period to go|
|March||9/48||17/63||41/1.6||Not the best period to go|
|April||12/54||20/68||31/1.2||Good period to go|
|May||16/61||25/77||23/0.9||Good period to go|
|June||21/70||30/86||11/0.4||Good period to go|
|July||24/75||33/91||6/0.2||Not the best period to go|
|August||24/75||34/93||6/0.2||Not the best period to go|
|September||20/68||29/84||14/0.6||Good period to go|
|October||16/61||23/73||53/2.1||Good period to go|
|November||12/54||19/66||58/2.3||Good period to go|
|December||9/48||15/59||98/3.9||Not the best period to go|
The airport is located about 33 km (21 miles) south-east of the city centre.
Whilst getting around on foot is a practical and pleasant way of exploring Athens, the city also has an efficient network of buses, trams and trains serving all of its main districts. The streets are often congested due to dense traffic however, so travelling by car is not recommended.
The Athens Metro has three lines (1, 2 and 3) connecting all of the Greek capital's important landmarks. Metros run from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. (and lines 2 and 3 operate until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday). A flat-fare ticket is available for EUR 1.40 and is valid in all public transportation.
Useful tip: For longer stays, a monthly card valid for all modes of transport is available for EUR 30. A 24-hour pass (EUR 4.50), a 5-day pass (EUR 9) and a 3-day "tourist" pass (EUR 22) are also available, (the latter also includes one round trip to Athens International Airport). For further information, please visit www.stasy.gr.
Athens' bus and trolleybus network is well spread out and serves the main districts of the capital from 5:00 a.m. to midnight. The fare is EUR 1.40 (valid for 90 minutes in all modes of public transportation). For further information, please visit https://www.oasa.gr/en/
There are three tram lines: line 1 (red), linking Syntagma Square to the Olympiacos Stadium of Piraeus, line 2 (green), running from Syntagma Square to Voula (in the Southern suburb along the coast), and line 3 (blue), connecting Voula to Piraeus (Olympyacos Stadium). Trams operate every day from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m and until 2:15 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The fare is EUR 1.40 (valid for 90 minutes in all modes of public transportation). For further information, please visit www.stasy.gr.
Taxis are relatively inexpensive in Athens. They are equipped with meters and a notice showing base fares and applicable supplements is displayed in each cab. For journeys within the city centre, the usual fare is about EUR 0.75 per kilometre.
Upon your arrival in Athens, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stayAthens Tourist Information Office
Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
Info-Point kiosks provide excellent advice and recommendations for exploring Athens and other points of interest nearby. Listed below are the addresses of the three Athens Info-Point kiosks:
The GNTO maintains a website for visitors to Greece, including a section entirely devoted to information about Athens.
In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/
Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire.
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Athens counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Greece.
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
It is strongly advised to drink water from sealed bottles.
For a stay of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay in order to enter Greece.
As a general rule, all other travellers are subject to visa requirements, although citizens of some countries may enter Greece for a short stay of up to 90 days without a visa.
For further information, visit the website of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.mfa.gr/en/visas/
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Greece, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few basic Greek phrases that will make your stay in Athens a little easier:
Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Kaliméra
Good evening: Kalispéra
No, thank you: Ohi, efkaristo
Thank you very much: Efkaristo polí
I don't understand: Den katalavéno
Could you repeat? Boreíte na epanalávete?
What time is it?: Ti óra íne?
Sorry / Excuse me: Me sinhoríte
Train station: Stathfmós
I'm (…): Ime (…)
I'm looking for (…): Psáchno (…)
How much is (…)?: Póso káni (…)?
Do you have (…)?: Ehete (…)?
Where can I find (…)?: Poú boró na vro (…)?
Where can I buy (…)?: Poú boró na agoráso (…)?
I'd like (…): Tha íthela (…)
In Athens like elsewhere in Greece, a service charge is usually included in the restaurant bill. Tips are therefore optional, but appreciated. If the service is especially friendly and attentive, feel free to leave a little something extra for the waiting staff. There is no strict guideline for the percentage, so it is entirely up to you. It is also customary to round up the price of taxi fares and to tip a few euros to hotel porters and ferry stewards.