10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Athens in September

June 28, 2019
Whether you are in Athens for the first or for the hundredth time, there’s no denying that September is one of the best times to visit the Greek capital. This irresistible city that is tangled up in the web of history and culture has so much to offer. From its world-class art and historic landmarks to its vibrant nightlife and bustling shopping scene, Athens is one of the top European capitals to visit right now.

1. Experience Athens like a Local

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This is the month when the true side of the city shines! As Athenians gradually return from their holidays, everything feels more authentic. This is the month that marks the cusp between summer and autumn, and between vacation and reality mode, though you will still see loads of tanned faces around.

2. A treasured experience at Odeon of Herodes Atticus

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Maybe you’ve already heard of the great scholar “Herodes Atticus” and his famous theater called “Odeon of Herodes Atticus”. The unique energy that permeates its walls makes watching a concert or play here a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially on those nights when the Parthenon gets bathed in moonlight in the background.

3. The magic of Athenian Open-Air Cinemas

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Tucked away amidst tree-lined havens inside the city center, the Athenian open-air cinemas promise to captivate their audiences with much more than just film. Resisting the trend of multiplexes, they have retained their traditional charm and retro looks. Cine Thision first opened for business in 1935 and it is the oldest summer cinema in Athens. In addition to the movie, you get to enjoy a stunning Acropolis view plus some homemade sour-cherry juice made by the owner himself.

4. Afternoon Stroll at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

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Sitting on top of the Faliron Bay, the SNFCC is a human-made masterpiece, conceived and designed by Renzo Piano. It first opened its doors in 2016 and it houses the Greek National Opera as well as the National Library. Surrounded by a gorgeous park and neighbored by a large canal, there is a plethora of activities for you to discover and take part in. From walking or biking around the park to kayaking or sailing with your kids, to attending one of the numerous exhibitions often hosted by the center, the SNFCC caters to all manner of different tastes.

5. Beautiful Vistas and Fine-Dining at Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens

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On the 8th floor of this iconic Athenian hotel, the GB Roof Garden & Bar serves exquisite Mediterranean fare accompanied by an impressive wine list that includes many Greek and International staples. But perhaps more than anything, it’s the breathtaking vistas that mesmerize guests here and have earned this place its reputation. With unobstructed views of the moon-lit Acropolis, GB has won the hearts and minds of locals and tourists alike, establishing itself as one of the most romantic restaurants in Athens.

6. Party Under the Full-Moon at Island Club Restaurant

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Imagine a seaside refuge illuminated by the goldish red color of the moon, perched atop a hill overlooking the azure bay of the Athenian riviera. Island Club & Restaurant was named after its unique architecture, resembling a luxurious corner of a Cycladic island where fusion cuisine mixes with a well-curated wine cellar, innovative cocktails and exclusive crowds. In September, join jetsetters from around the world and mingle with the cream of Athenian society to enjoy the famous full moon party that’s the talk of the town.

7. Morning Coffee at Athénée, Where the Old and the New Athens Meet

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This is perhaps Athens’s most sophisticated café and it’s been a gathering place for politicians, film stars and intellectuals alike since 1939. Formerly known as Zonars, Athénée, on the legendary corner of Voukourestiou and Panepistimiou, today this venue has been refurbished, combining timeless sophistication with a contemporary twist. Try its swanky brunches, lip-smacking pastries and classy treats, and visit before 11 to have your eggs Benedict before the crowds emerge.

8. The Last Dive in the Natural Lake of the Athenian Riviera

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Lake Vouliagmeni is a natural thermal spa in the southernmost tip of the city that promises a unique rejuvenating experience. Although the lake’s waters are warm throughout the year, September makes spending some time here all the more pleasant as the outside temperature is milder compared to the summer months. The lake is a one-of-a-kind geological phenomenon and its imposing rock, underwater tunnels and verdant landscape create an idyllic setting that is perfect for you to relax and unwind.

9. Pink Sunsets at the Temple of Poseidon

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It is said that September is the month when Greek sunsets really come alive and fill the skies with golden rays and pinkish hues. Standing at the majestic temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, you can marvel at the evening sky as the sun sets and lights the sky ablaze.

Insider’s tip: the sunset at Cape Sounio has been voted among the most impressive ones in Greece. 

10. Gaze at the Stars from the National Observatory

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Tucked away in a quiet corner of the city center, the National Observatory of Athens is a secret hiding in plain sight. Irresistibly serene, and easily accessible, a visit to the observatory will fill you with a sense of wonder as you sit amidst the quiet setting and gaze up at the starry night sky.