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When you think of Greece, what comes to mind? Let me guess, blazing hot temperatures, the crystal blue Aegean sea. Does that sound about right? What if you aren’t able to travel in the summer months but have time in November? This post is for anyone that is wondering what to expect visiting Athens in November!
If you hope to spend your time on the beach in Greece in November, it is very unlikely it will work out. That said, you could get lucky with some random, unseasonably warm weather, but you shouldn’t count on it. After visiting Athens specifically twice in summer and now in November, I know November is the better choice.
What to Expect Visiting Athens in November
If you consider visiting Athens, Greece, in November, I’m sure you’d be wondering just how wonderful that weather will or won’t be?! Is visiting Athens in November a silly choice? Or is it the European cities’ best-kept secret!?
The capital of Greece, Athens, is a much different place in November than in August, and that is a good thing! You will find the city much less crowded, cheaper, and overall more bearable than in the dead of August.
You can expect several things when you go to Athens in November. Below are some of the most notable.
Athens weather is mixed in November – some days are freezing and wet, while others offer clear, sunny skies above. The average temperature was 59oF (15oC), with maximum temperatures of 64oF (18oC) and low temperatures of 54oF (12oC). At night, the cold air rolls in, making the jackets chilly. In terms of precipitation, a month averages 7 to 8 days of precipitation.
That may not seem like a lot of rain compared to many places worldwide, but it is Athens’ second biggest month of rain. Chances are it could rain a little while you are in Athens, but I bet the weather could be worse from where you are traveling.
I would recommend Athens in November over the summer months every time. It is truly too hot to enjoy Athens when it’s a billion degrees. November is so comfortable with a light coat. Come to Greece in the summer for the Islands. Travel to Athens to explore in November!
Hell, to the yes, there are fewer tourists in Athens in November! Maybe it’s just me, but I would rather visit cities when they are less crowded. Sure, you aren’t going to have that Greek summer weather, but if you are coming to explore the culture of the ancient Greeks, you don’t want scorching temperatures.
From November 1 till March 31, everything in Athens is just cheaper. This includes hotels, museums, and, in some cases, flights.
For example, entrance tickets to all the famous sites are lower by a few euros, depending on the venue. Those swanky hotels with amazing views may now be within your budget! Also, there is a day to visit the Acropolis for FREE; info further down.
Travel Resources For Greece
Ferry Bookings: My favorite ferry service provider is Ferry Hopper! Their app is so easy to use and I find the best deals with them.
Travel Insurance: Travel Insurance is a thing, so don’t forget to get some! Get a quote in seconds with Safety Wing!
Rental Car: There is so much to see in Greece! When booking a foreign rental car I always use Discover Cars! They have the best rates and the website is so easy to use!
Accommodations: Nothing beats using Booking.com for finding the best hotel deals!
What are the best things to do in November in Athens
There are several things to do when visiting Athens in November. You might not find yourself lying by the pool all day wearing next to nothing. Instead, you might be wearing a medium to light jacket, soaking up all the ancient history! Also, not dying of heat stroke.
Since November weather is somewhat unreliable, you want your Athens experiences to have a backup plan. For those rainy days, you can plan to visit the many museums you have to choose from. And save your outdoor sightseeing for a sunny day.
Visit Ancient Sites
The temperature in early November is milder than during the summer, making it ideal for climbing Acropolis Hill. Exploring Ancient ruins becomes instantly pleasant compared to the battle it can be in scorching summer. The hills and inclines in Athens are no joke. Depending on where you are staying and going, you will experience them.
UNESCO World Heritage Site – Acropolis
April 1st till October 31st Open Daily 8:00 – 20:00 & November 1st till March 31st Open Daily 8:00 – 17:00 *last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing
*1st Sunday of every month between November 1 and March 31, access the Acropolis for Free!
Start with a visit to the UNESCO world heritage site, the Acropolis! This archaeological wonderland contains many ancient buildings.
The gateway to the Acropolis, otherwise known as The Propylaia. You will funnel through this gate into the main archaeological sites.
The Erechtheion or Temple of Athena Polias is most my favorite ancient ruin. It is recognizable for the statues of women holding up sections of the building.
Other Top Sites in Athens
April 1st till October 31st Open Daily 8:00 – 19:30 & November 1st till March 31st Open Daily 8:00 – 16:30
The word Agora means “meeting place.” The archeological site of The Roman Agora was the ancient open marketplace where things like meats and vegetables were sold, and things such as wool and grain were traded.
If you are short on time, you could just walk by and get photos from the exterior.
Ancient Agora of Athens
April 1st till October 31st Open Monday 11:00 – 19:30 and Tuesday – Sunday 8:00 – 19:30 & November 1st till March 31st Open Daily 8:00 – 15:00
The ancient Agora of Athens is an important site in Greek history. This was the gathering place, also referred to as the “assembly place,” where the political business would take place.
This site would also be known to gather and listen to religious philosophers and to watch performers.
Prioritize visiting the Ancient Agora of Athens if you have the time. It is a large site that you can expect to take about 1-2 hours to explore.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
April 1st till October 31st Open Daily 8:00 – 19:00 & November 1st till March 31st Open Daily 8:00 – 15:30
A temple built to honor the Greek god Zeus was built between the sixth century BC and the second century AD. The temple was once the second-largest temple in Greece. Destroyed in an invasion, now only 15 columns remain standing of the 104 that were originally built.
Athens: Acropolis, Parthenon, & Acropolis Museum Guided Tour
Go to all the museums
When the weather conditions look a bit undesirable, you can hit the museums and art galleries. The best include Radio Atènes, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
It can be hard to predict the November weather when you visit Greece, but if you plan the main attractions wisely, it will work out great!
Stroll all the quaint shops
Who doesn’t love a little shopping? Especially on those chilly days, it is a great way to spend your time in Athens!
November is an excellent month to go shopping in Athens because there are fewer crowds. The main shopping centers at the heart of town are Ermou streets and its labyrinth of side streets. On Ermou Street, you will find all the commercial brands and stores you may have back home.
Kolonaki is the best location for high-end fashion, but there are other cool things to do in Kouchaki and Psiri. The Varvakylos Food Market is ideal for those who want herbs, spices, and traditional Greek food.
Finally, take an excursion to Plaka and Monastiraki to find interesting and unique souvenirs. Monastiraki is also the home to Athens Flea Market!
Eat traditional Greek food
No matter what the weather is like in Greece in November, you can eat incredible food! Athens, Greece, is the melting pot for all the traditional Greek food.
Each region of Greece is known for its specialties when it comes to cuisine. Crete is known for its marathópitta (fennel pie), and Rhodes is known for Melekuni, honey, and seed dessert bar.
In Athens, the famous dish is Moussaka, which can be compared to lasagna. Moussaka is traditionally eggplant or potato-based with some sort of traditional meat. If you don’t eat meat, like me, you can find a vegan version at select restaurants.
Find all the street art
There is no shortage of street art in Athens! Areas with the most street art are Exarchia, Psyrri, Anafiotika, and Gazi. Make it your mission to check out the art in every area.
Go on coastal walks
In November, the average high temperature is 59oF (15oC), with a maximum of 64oF (18oC) in Athens, so it may be too cold to go to the beach. However, fun things to do could include a walk along the stunning coastline.
A good place to start would be the Pireas port. From there, you can walk along the coast, stopping in cafes and restaurants.
Visit A Hamman
Spa day, anyone? When I visited Athens in November, there were a couple of rainy days. On those days, I booked into a Hamman.
It is a bath house for those who don’t know what a Hamman is. Think steam rooms and saunas. Perfect activity in November in Athens!
You could also get a massage and facial, which I also did on my trip at Hotel Grande Bretagne. If you don’t want to do that either, you could also get your nails done.
Walking Tour of Athens
The best way to see the city of Athens is via a walking tour. Have a local travel specialist take you around the city center and educate you on ancient Greece.
One of the best parts about visiting Athens in November is there are fewer tourists! This makes it easier to enjoy the city. You will also notice lower prices visiting Greece in November.
Book Now: Tours By Locals
Perks When Visiting Athens in November
November is a budget month to visit Athens
November is basically the shoulder season, making November a great month to visit Athens for your budget. Flights from many parts of Europe can generally be much cheaper in November than in summer.
Depending on where you are traveling from, plane tickets can still be expensive. Fares from other European cities will likely be much lower.
Athens hotels may be where you find the biggest savings! Staying in a fancy hotel in central Athens in November could be much more affordable than in summer.
Best Hotel Deals in Athens
Enjoy the Christmas Decorations in November
When you visit Greece in the later part of November, you also have the opportunity to check out the Christmas decorations! Now you might be thinking, really? Christmas Markets in Athens, Greece?
Athens gets quite festive at the end of November and all of December! Lights and decorations will fill Syntagma Square. Find the Christmas Tree Boats (Karavaki) along the ports. These small boats are decorated like a Christmas trees.
Where else can I go?
Want to see more than just Athens? Throughout November, temperatures in Athens may be completely different than in other cities in Greece. Some Greek islands are closed for tourism altogether, while others are open.
If you are itching to leave the Greek capital for a change of scenery, you have options!
Greek Islands to Visit in November
What to expect visiting Athens in November can also be applied to the Greek islands. Not all islands are open for tourism, but some of the larger ones are.
Crete is a Greek island that is open year-round. The average rainfall in Crete in November weather is around 87mm, with an average wind speed of 9mph. Not the ideal time if you are interested in the pristine beaches in Crete.
However, it would be a great island to visit if you are interested in the stunning monasteries and archaeological sites. I would suggest you fly to Crete from Athens.
As I mentioned, most of the remote islands in Greece are closed in November. However, if you are set on visiting an island in Greece in November, I suggest going to Hydra.
7 Easy Day Trips From Athens City Center
Looking for more to do on your trip to Athens? Why not take a day trip?
Day trips to Greek Islands
Hydra is only 2 hours via ferry, making it the perfect island to visit for a day trip! Hydra is located in the Saronic Island group in the central Greece region. Although November may not be the time to visit the beautiful beaches, there is a lot of ancient greek history to indulge in.
If you are looking for day trips a little closer to Athens, I suggest a day trip to Peloponnese. There are some great organized tours to join if you don’t want to research going on your own.
What to pack for Athens in November?
In November, you can visit Athens and pack clothing in various combinations. On sunny days you can wear jeans and an oversized T-shirt comfortably. Make sure to carry some light clothing and a sweater.
Most Athenians swim on a sunny November day in Athens, even though summer temperatures aren’t quite as high. Swimming in November in Athens doesn’t sound like a great idea to me, but if you are brave and want to fit in with the Athenians, I say go for it! Bring a bathing suit, just in case! You could also use it if you visit a spa with an indoor pool.
A raincoat and umbrella are also a good idea. You should pack comfortably but don’t need to go crazy with winter gear.
Tip: It’s essential that you wear a sturdy and safe pair of shoes when you visit ancient monuments. I would advise high heels or difficult-to-walk in shoes altogether.
Travel Gear Essentials
FAQ about visiting Greece in November
Yes! In fact, there is FREE Entry on the first Sunday of every month, starting November 1st until March 31st. The opening times are limited from November 1st till March 31st.
Doors open at 8 am, and the last entry is at 16:30, closing at 17:00. Arrive at least 1 hour before closing so that you aren’t rushed.
It is absolutely worth visiting Athens in November. It will be a completely different experience than visiting in the summer months. Athens is a big city full of culture and ancient history! Don’t let the winter season stop you from visiting this amazing city.
When visiting Athens in November, you can expect cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and discount prices on museums and hotels. In many ways, November is a much better time to visit Athens than the summer.
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Josy A says
Heh, Athens in November still sounds miles better than November in Vancouver! I think I would love to visit at the end of the year like you did (especially if I could see their Christmas Markets – it’s always interesting to see how different they are in different places!)
I already love walking around Athens in the summer, but I often felt like I was melting. Doing the same this with cooler temps and fewer crowds sounds looovely!
Great post! I spent a winter in Athens and loved it! Super nice temperatures and way less busy than summer. I January it had even snowed for the first time in years! I’ll pin your tips for when I go back again!
I often travel during the shoulder seasons for many of the reasons you laid out here. I will definitely consider visiting Greece in November.
Linda (LD Holland) says
We have never visited Europe as late as November. So it was interesting to see what Athens might be like at this time of year. I would certainly be interested to visit when it was a bit cooler, cheaper and less crowded. It sounds like a great time to enjoy both outdoor and indoor sights.