Visit Athens in October and you’ll enjoy cheaper accommodation, fewer crowds, but still have beautiful sunny weather without the oppressive heat of August – Perfect for exploring the historical archaeological sites and traditional neighbourhoods!
A Guide to Visiting Athens in October
Weather in Athens in October
The average temperature in Athens in October sees daytime highs of 24C (74F) and nighttime lows of 16C (61F). The first half of the month is hotter with almost guaranteed ‘summer swimming weather’ but from the middle of October onwards, the temperatures drop. Compared with home, you’ll likely still think it’s gorgeous weather for Autumn but some cloudy days and rain showers should be expected with October usually seeing 5-10 days of rain, this most often occurring the later in the month that you visit.
Average temperature and rainfall in Athens in October
For more information, you can check my post: When is the best time to visit Athens.
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What to pack for Athens in October
In terms of what to pack for Athens in October, you’ll need all the usual things that you would pack for Summer including sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses, swimsuit and summer clothes including good walking shoes but you should also pack a light jacket or sweater for the evening and some lightweight long trousers as the evenings can get a little chilly, especially the later in the month you visit.
You might also want to pack a waterproof jacket ‘just in case’ as you may get the odd overcast day with rain showers more common towards the end of the month.
Things to do in Athens in October
1. Check out the Archaeological Sites
Athens is chock full of ancient sites that lead you on a journey through Ancient Greek and Roman times but by visiting in October as opposed to November, you’ll have more time to visit them all as opening hours are still based on the extended Summer timetable with many places open 8 am- 7.30 pm. Of course, the Acropolis is the top must-see sight for most visitors to Athens but you’ll also want to check out the Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Panathenaic Stadium to name just a few! You can check here the most important historical sites to visit in Athens.
2. Visit the Museums
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to museums in Athens but thankfully, with opening hours still on the extended Summer timetable in October, you’ll have more time to visit them. The Acropolis Museum has to be top of the to visit list followed by the National Archeological Museum, the Folklore Museum, the Modern Art Museum or the Cycladic Art Museum. Other interesting museums to suit all tastes can be found too such as the Musical Instrument Museum, the Children’s Museum, Jewelry Museum, Motor Museum and so many more!
Swimming back home might be on the chilly side in October but in Athens, the water is beautifully balmy so why not make the most of the hidden treasure of the Attica region – Lake Vouliagmeni. These thermal springs allow you to enjoy the therapeutic properties of Mother Nature without the price tag of the spa!
4. Visit 3 Islands in 1 Day
Usually hotter than Athens, and with sea temperatures still high at 22C (72F) you can take to the sea on an organized boat trip to visit 3 Saronic islands, Hydra, Aegina, and Poros being the closest Greek islands to the capital.
Onboard you’ll get lunch and live entertainment in the form of music and traditional dancing and on land, you’ll be guided around the highlights of each of the island’s idyllic port town before returning back to Athens having ticked off ‘Greek Island Hopping’ from your bucket list though this trip surely prompting you to return to Greece and island-hop for longer!
5. Watch Sunset at the Temple of Poseidon Sounio
In the afternoon, hop on a half-day coach tour and travel through the Athens riviera to beautiful Cape Sounion where you can watch the sunset over the Aegean sea from the golden-aged Temple of Poseidon and the sandy beaches below. On clear days you’ll be able to see as far as the islands of Kea, Kythos and Serifos – so beautiful it’ll take your breath away!
6. Check out the Oxi Day Parade on 28th of October
The most important national holiday in Greece, Oxi Day is celebrated with a huge military and student parade complete with tanks and marching bands. The holiday that commemorates Greece saying ‘No’ commemorates not 1 but 3 important historic events; the day that Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas rejected the ultimatum put forward by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini during WWII, the Hellenic counterattack against the invading Italian forces during the Greco-Italian War, and the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation. The parade which starts at 11 am at Leoforos Vassilissis Amalias Avenue, goes past Syntagma Square and ends at Panepistimou Street.
Insider Tip! There is free entry into the archaeological sites and selected museums on Oxi Day, this includes the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum.
7. Hike Filopappos Hill
Best enjoyed for its Acropolis and coastal views at sunset, Philopappos Hill aka ‘The Hill of the Muses’ measures 147 metres (480ft) tall and is topped with an ancient monument from AD114 which was built to honour the Roman consul Julius Antiochus Filopappos. There are several entry points for reaching the summit of this pine-filled hill including Arakinthou Street, Panetoliou Street, and Mousseion Street.
You might also like: Hills of Athens
8. Stroll through Plaka
One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, and also one of the most beautiful with its neoclassical mansions and scattering of ancient monuments which lead up to the Acropolis, Plaka is an ideal place to enjoy people watching, souvenir shopping, and enjoy some backstreet wanderings, this neighbourhood leading onto the winding and climbing whitewashed ‘island-like’ streets of Anafiotika which are also a must-see if you’re the type of person who loves exploring slightly off of the beaten tourist trail, camera in hand!
9. Take a Street Art Tour of Athens
You can, of course, explore Athens urban street art on your own when you wander around the alleys of Psirri but by taking a street art tour led by a street artist you’ll discover the newest pieces of street art, the underground pieces, and the story behind who created them and why as Athens graffiti is rarely created on a whim, often having political and/or social meaning.
10. Take a Food Tour
Indulge your tastebuds on a 4-hour food tour of the city. Passing by the top sights of Athens you’ll visit the Athens Central Market and an array of eateries including a 100-year-old cafe as you taste numerous foods including pastry items, street food, and classic Greek meze items, the tour ending with lunch.
11. Visit a Wine Bar
If you’re feeling chilly in the evening, head inside at one of the city’s chic wine bars and sip on a glass or two of Greek wine as you listen to the chatter of the locals around you, alternatively warm yourself under an outdoor heater and gaze at the Acropolis as the lights turn on around the city, it’s a memorable way to unwind at the end of a busy day of sightseeing.
Check here: more great things to do in Athens.
Where to stay in Athens in October
Check here a selection of some recommended hotels in Athens. For more information you can check my post – Where to stay in Athens.
$$$ Herodion Hotel: 200 m away from the Acropolis metro station and within walking distance from the major sites, it offers elegant air-conditioned rooms and free wi-fi.
$$ Niki Athens Hotel – with the historic old town of Athens on its doorstep, the swish and swanky Niki Athens Hotel is a fantastic spot for those wishing to be within walking distance of the key sites of Athens; it is clean, modern and elegant.
$ Evripides Hotel The hotel features basic yet comfortable rooms, an on-site sauna and fitness room, and a roof garden restaurant that serves up a delicious daily continental breakfast. Evripides is located just a short stroll away from Plaka and has easy access to the Monastiraki metro station.
October can be a magical ‘goldilocks’ time to explore the city of Athens if you don’t like it too hot but also don’t want it too cold, add to this the bonus of fewer tourists and lower accommodation prices and you’re onto a winner when it comes to October city break destinations.