The Greek capital, Athens is the center of the ancient world, with its abundance of historic sites and landmarks still in impeccable condition, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
However, throughout the summer months, it can be incredibly hot and crowded, making it significantly less enjoyable; yet, if you are flexible with the time of year in which you travel, September is the absolute best time of year to visit: the weather is perfect, the crowds are small as the schools have re-opened, the prices start to slightly drop, and there are a whole host of fun events taking place throughout the city. Here is everything you need to know about visiting Athens in September:
A guide to visiting Athens in September
Weather in Athens in September
If you adore the sunshine without it being debilitatingly hot, then September is the perfect time to visit Athens: with an average temperature of 24 degrees centigrade throughout the month, the climate is warm but pleasant, making the conditions for wandering around the city immensely comfortable and enjoyable.
Similarly, the average rainfall in Athens in the month of September is relatively low, at around just 14mm across and an average of 3 days, you are highly likely to be able to explore the city and all of the fantastic sites without the hindrance of a rain shower.
Average temperature and rainfall in Athens in September
|High °C||29 °C|
|High °F||84 °F|
|Low °C||20 °C|
|Low °F||68 °F|
|Rainy days||3 days|
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What to pack for Athens in September
September is a warm, sunny month in Athens, though it can get a little chillier in the evenings, so it can be a little confusing to know what to pack exactly. Here is a list of some of the essentials that you should pack for your trip to Athens in the month of September:
- Swimsuit – whether you have a swimming pool in your hotel, plan on hitting the beach, exploring the islands or the lakes, a swimsuit is an essential item for anyone visiting Athens in September! It is the perfect way to cool off and enjoy the sun.
- Hat – though not as hot as the summer months, the September sun can be scorching, and it is so important to take a hat with you on your travels; ensure that your hat has a wide rim for added protection.
- Sunscreen – one of the most important items that you can pack for your trip to Athens, is some sunscreen; the sun can be incredibly hot throughout the day, so ensure that you keep applying it and that it has the highest protection factor possible.
- Summer clothes – because the weather is warm in September, you will need to bring a selection of summer clothes with you; lightweight, loose-fitting shirts, dresses, trousers and shorts will all be incredibly comfortable and breathable when exploring the city throughout the day and are also very easy to pack. Ensure that you do bring some items with you that are long-sleeved, and that cover your knees and chest, in case you wish to visit any sacred or religious sites; this will save the disappointment of not being allowed in!
- A light jacket – though the weather in Athens is hot throughout the day, the September evenings can get a little chilly; though you will not need a heavy, thick jacket or coat, you may wish to bring a lightweight jacket with you that you can easily throw on in the evenings.
- Walking shoes – another essential item to bring with you on your trip to Athens is a good pair of walking shoes, that are sturdy and comfortable. When exploring the plethora of archaeological sites and landmarks, comfort will be key; pack at least one high quality pair of walking shoes to avoid getting blsters and pains!
Things to do in Athens in September
1. Visit archaeological sites and museums for free
September is a great month to visit Athens if you are a history and culture enthusiast, as, on the last weekend of the month, the city offers free admission entry to archaeological sites and museums, as part of European Heritage Day.
2. Visit a Winery
One of the top things to do in Athens in September is to visit a Winery; throughout the Athens area, there is a huge selection of wineries and vineyards, that each provides a unique insight into the ins and outs of the Greek wine world. You can explore the cellars, vineyards, and even sample some of the delicious products. Here are some of the best wineries to visit in Athens this September:
Alternatively, you can do a winery tour. With this incredible and unique wine tour, you will sample some fantastic wines, learn about the history and culture of the region, and soak in the beautiful surrounding scenery.
Finally, if you don’t have the time to leave the city centre you can do a wine tasting with a Sommelier under the Acropolis.
3. Watch a performance at Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Originally completed in the year 161 AD, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens is situated on the southwest slope of the Acropolis and is one of the most spectacular Roman theatre structures in the city. The theatre still hosts an array of different performances and festivals, and there are so many options to choose from. To view the upcoming festivals and performances, click here:
4. Go for a swim in the Athenian Riviera
Take a short bus from the city centre of Athens, and escape to the Athenian Riviera, a string of fantastic local beaches that are dotted across the Saronic Gulf. Due to the warmer temperatures and fewer crowds in September, this is a great way to spend your time; there are waterfront cafes, scenic streets, and clear, warm waters that are perfect for swimming in.
5. Visit 3 islands in a day
Temporarily leave the hustle and bustle of Athens, and take a full-day cruise to three of the beautiful Greek islands, Hydra, Poros and Aegina, which are situated in the scenic Saronic Gulf. This tour will escort you from the historic alleyways of Hydra town to the flourishing island of Poros and its serene beaches, all the way to the historic landmarks of Aegina. With onboard entertainment, delicious food options, a guide and more, this is the perfect way to experience the Greek islands.
6. Sunset at the Temple of Poseidon, Sounio
One of the best ways to enjoy Athens is at sunset; this fantastic tour will allow you to experience the beautiful Temple of Poseidon in Sounio at sunset, as well as an unforgettable drive along the picturesque south coast of Attica, and a stop at one of the most stunning beaches in the whole of Greece. The Temple is one of the most well-known in the country, and is the ancient Greek temple to Poseidon, who was the god of the sea; this is a great tour for history and culture lovers.
7. Athens International Film Festival
Though the dates change each year, the Athens International Film Festival is a wonderful celebration of lesser-known genres and elements of independent cinema and is a great way of bringing new and interesting productions to audiences. It was originally founded by the Athens Film Society in 1995 and has been running successfully ever since. For more information about what the festival entails this year, visit the website.
8. Visit Lake Vouliagmeni
Situated in the Athenian Riviera lies this unusual phenomenon, Lake Vouliagmeni, which is a brackish-water lake. Due to the warm climates in September, Lake Vouliagmeni is the perfect place to visit on a day trip from Athens; it is absolutely stunning, and there are a string of fun activities to do here.
9. Check out the rooftop bars and restaurants of Athens
The bustling metropolis of Athens has no end of fantastic and swish rooftop bars and restaurants, many of which offer the most impressive views of the surrounding scenery and historic landmarks, making them a prime location to sip away on a sumptuous cocktail in the warm September sun. Some of the best include Thea Terrace Bar, Galaxy Bar, Hytra, Couleur Locale, and A for Athens.
10. Watch a performance at the outdoor Dora Stratou Dance Theatre
Since the year 1953, the Dora Stratou Dance Theatre has hosted a string of different performances, that focus on historic Greek dances. Throughout September, there are an array of different outdoor performances to watch; this is the perfect cultural experience in Athens. For more information, visit the website.
11. Have a picnic in the National Gardens or Filopappous Hill
Also known as the Hill of the Muses, Filopappous Hill is a beautiful spot to enjoy a picnic at; there are some beautiful vantage points that show off the Acropolis and the Saronic Gulf, and there are a lot of ancient myths and legends attached to this hill. Another great spot for a picnic is the National Gardens; this enormous oasis feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Athens and is the perfect escape.
Where to stay in Athens in September
$$$ Herodion Hotel: Situated below the Acropolis, this elegant and charming hotel is a great spot; it is central and offers gorgeous panoramic views of the city from its rooftop garden.
$$ Niki Athens Hotel: 100 m away from Syntagma Square, it is a fantastic spot for those wishing to be within walking distance of the key sites of Athens; it is clean, modern, and elegant and has free wi-fi.
$ 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.
For more information: Check out my post the best areas to stay in Athens.
Athens is a stunning destination throughout the year, but September is the perfect time to experience its charms without the hindrance of boiling temperatures, expensive prices and swarms of tourists; there is so much to explore and experience, and so many memories to be made.