Athens is not the first city that comes into one’s mind when thinking about a city-break in December. This is sad, as the Greek capital is really great in December. If you want something different, European and exotic at the same time, this is the best place for you.
I’ve visited Athens for a weekend, exactly in the middle of December. The temperatures were great, around 17 degrees Celsius and there was no sign of rain. All the historical sites were still there, but without the crowds that were long gone. Also, the prices were lower. For example, a ticket for the Acropolis and six other sites cost half the price it would have cost at summer time (15 euro vs 30 euro).
Usually, when you tell somebody that you plan to visit Athens, they will tell you how dirty it is and how bad it smells. The city is cleaned up regularly, but because of the crowds, it does not stay clean for long. In December, this is not true anymore. Besides, it was great to see the city in December clothes, prepared for Christmas in a different way than most Europeans are used to. It was a totally worth experience.
Will I go back to Athens in December?
Athens is great and I plan going back. December was also one of the best times to visit. I think I will do it again. It was great to ditch winter and snow for two days. Besides, I don’t want to get back into a crowded city, full of funny smells at summer time.
Athens means culture and history, which would not suit 40 Celsius degrees. That’s the best time to enjoy a beach on an island like Thassos. If you still prefer a more traditional December city-break, with mulled wine and gingerbread, take a look into my article about the Christmas markets in and around Nuremberg.