Christmas is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and it is especially magical in the Greek capital… In this article I present you the 3 places you MUST visit if you also decide to spend Christmas in Athens.
Surely you have already heard of “Syntagma”, the most famous and crowded square in Athens, well, you’ve probably heard of it:
Already in itself this place looks quite beautiful at night, as both the large fountain located in its center and the Greek parliament located nearby have a nice lighting of their own; HOWEVER, it is during Christmas when Sintagma brings out (literally) its full splendor.
Christmas tree located in the most famous square in Athens, Greece (called Syntagma). It is part of the Christmas decoration, with the Greek parliament in the background.
Christmas tree in Syntagma square.
Greeks are very fond of celebrations in general, and this combined with the fact that they are somewhat religious… results in a great Christmas atmosphere! Of course you can’t miss the traditional Christmas tree in the middle of the square either. All in all, a visit to the square is more than mandatory at this time of the year, TWICE hehe, the second time when it’s already dark 🙂
|Everyday at 10:00 AM|
New Athens Free Tour
Experience Athens through history and mythology on our free walking tour. We cover the major classical sights, infusing a touch of modern Greek life. Discover the heart of ancient Athens as you stroll through Plaka, past the Acropolis, and ancient theaters.
|Everyday at 10:00 AM|
Very close to the metro station Monastiraki (whose square is a very famous square and we could call it the epicenter of Athens), we find the “hipster” neighborhood of Athens: Psiri.
This is an area with a great nightlife: bars where you can enjoy live Greek music, cafes with the best sweets in town (I will give you a list of their names later), typical Greek taverns where you can taste the rich local cuisine ….
and the most EXTRAVAGANT and PAINTERFUL decoration I have ever seen in my life
Facade of a cafe called Litle Kook during Christmas in Athens.
Christmas decoration of Little Kook
It is also worth mentioning that the waiters are always uniformed according to the decorations 🙂
In short, a whole show where you can enjoy the best Christmas atmosphere in the city.
SUPER recommended if you are traveling with your family.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)
As for the first two places I have recommended, despite being essential visits on your next trip to Athens, these are destinations that are included in (almost) all travel guides you can consume….
But I want to bring here an added value (that’s why we dedicate hours to this blog hehe), and therefore I come to tell you about a place as magical as unknown:
SNFCC is a HUGE center located near the Athenian coast (I’ll tell you in a moment how to move there for free), which houses the Greek National Opera and also the National Library (and I don’t mean the neoclassical building located in the center of the city, as the library was moved here a few years ago).
|Everyday at 9:30 AM & 4:00 PM|
Ektor Free Historical Walking Tour
Discover the historic gems of Athens and step into a world of legend. Our adventure starts at Lord Byron’s Statue, leading you through the ancient wonders of Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Zeus, Monastiraki, and Plaka. Would you like to join a local Athenian guide for an incredible journey back in time?
|Everyday at 9:30 AM & 3:00 PM|
But why should we be interested in it?
The answer is simple, it is one of the most beautiful places in Athens and definitely the most modern in terms of architecture and design. It also has a garden ideal for strolling, which is very well complemented by a small artificial pond that is most romantic.
Very nice, but what does this have to do with Christmas?
What I wanted to get to is the pond hehe, and sorry for the delay! In addition to all the PROs already mentioned, during Christmas, the water freezes over and they open an ice skating rink. I honestly think it is the MOST beautiful place I have ever seen where you can do this activity.
Finally, I want to add that there are many events (most of them FREE) that are worth attending, especially if you travel to Athens for Christmas. I attach the link with the calendar of activities:
Now comes some good news and some bad news:
This interesting place is NOT located near the center (the bad one), however it is very easy to get there AND FREE if you know how (the good one hehe).
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation organization provides anyone, interested in going to their center, with a bus that leaves from Syntagma square every 20-30 minutes to that destination. You can catch this bus in front of the streetcar station, on the side where the parliament is located. You will easily recognize it as it is a white mini-bus bearing the acronym “SNFCC”.
There are certain things you MUST know, regarding the archaeological sites, if you are traveling to Athens for Christmas or thereabouts….
First of all:
There is a combined ticket that gives you access to all the open-air archaeological sites, which costs 30 euros – DO NOT BUY IT! On any other occasion you would save a lot of money by buying it, as with it you can enter 7 different sites that would be more expensive to go to separately. However, in low season the price of each individual ticket is reduced by half (this includes Christmas).
I have seen many tourists, ill-advised, purchase the 30 euro ticket when it is not convenient to do so. Now I am sure that the same will NOT happen to you, dear reader.
The second thing:
It is also worth knowing that there are certain days when the archaeological sites (including the Acropolis) are closed. I am referring to the days:
- December 25.
- December 26th.
- January 1st.
With nothing more to add on my part, we would also be delighted to have you on any of our tours or routes we have around Athens.
Kαλό ταξίδι! / Have a nice trip!