Visiting Athens in the summer is like taking up residence in your oven. Still, the city hosts its biggest influx of visitors during the hot and balmy months of July and August. If you’re looking to visit when the heat index is low and the hordes are even lower, try the shoulder months of May and September.
If you’re looking for other times to explore crowd-free, consider visiting during Easter. Locals are frequently off visiting family in the countryside, leaving the streets empty. If you prefer a more stimulating experience, there’s always the Athens International Film Festival, a September tradition since 1995. It might not be as indulgent as Cannes, but you’re sure to find documentaries and pictures you won’t easily find elsewhere.
Fall also proves to be the best time for penny-pinchers. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the changing of the leaves. Due in part to the overabundance of cars and lack of parks, this city is anything but green. On the bright side, this time of year leaves you with more of the green stuff in your pocket because of lower-priced hotel rooms. See, win-win.