Atene d'inverno

Athens in winter: what to do and see and the new attractions to discover

It may sound like a joke but it’s not: Athens in winter it deserves to be discovered. Now that there is no August heat to make every move an odyssey. Now that the masses of tourists have disappeared and the Parthenon it is not desecrated by a coarse line of bermuda-clad hikers. Now that we can devote ourselves to discovering the new museums that have recently opened in the city: proving that the Greek capital it’s anything but a city stuck in its (splendid) past.

Athens in winter: it’s not cold. And there is a lot to discover

And don’t be afraid of being cold. The maximsin December, they never go down below 13 degrees and it is no coincidence that the 38th parallel, the one to understand that it touches Palermo. It can at best do fresh but nothing that can’t be overcome with a slightly padded jacket. And then, with a lot of luck, you might see the whitewashed Acropolis. That will be a selfie that everyone will envy. Obviously the starting point to go and discover Athens (this in every season) is the hill that dominates it with the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the Belvedere. This season the monument is open until 5pm and the entrance fee is reduced at 10 euros. For those who have difficulty walking then no problem: for a few months there has also been a very modern lift sloping glass leading to the top.
If, on the other hand, the day is not sunny, there is a splendid alternative: a few steps away, just 300 meters, is the Museum dedicated to the Acropolis which collects over 4000 unique pieces, including the Caryatids, the female-shaped statues that supported the Erechtheion (those seen on the Acropolis are copies). For fans it is a continuous heartbeat. For everyone a dip in history.
Athens in winter

The archaeological museum

A leap in time that would not be complete without a visit to the great Archaeological Museum which is less crowded this season. And even more interesting. The building built in the late 1800s was thought to bring together the best bits dug into Greece from the prehistory to antiquity and in its two floors you can admire from vases to jewels, from statues to golden masks. With many masterpieces
Athens in winter
If you are tired at this point don’t miss the opportunity to try it Athens Metro getting off at the stop Monastiraki, one of the first and richest in the local transport network. So much so that it seems to enter a museum: exhibited here are in fact the remains during the construction work of the station. Then look around for a place to stop at to eat: an idea would be the close and famous Or Thanasis where tourists and Athenians come to eat i souvlakithe kebabs, and the gyrosthe meat cooked on the skewer served on the pita bread with tomato and sauce tzatziki.

The Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation

After the break, the journey can be resumed in Athens in winter. In the summer everything would be tiring while now it is pleasant to leave again to go and see a new museum that deserves to be discovered: the Basil & Elise Goulandris foundation.
It is a space dedicated to modern art, in the area of Breadcrumbsopened in 2019 which encloses, in a neoclassical building from the 1920sthe collection collected by the owner Basil Goulandris and by his wife Elise: we are talking about works worth 3 billion dollars. It is in fact one of the most important private collections in the world which collects masterpieces ranging from Cézanne, Van Gogh, Miró, Picasso and Pollock. And it seems impossible that everything was born from the passion of just two people.
Instead, it concerns an entire population, a place that is not far from here and that absolutely deserves a stop this season: in fact, if it Panathenaic stadium in the summer it is a marble furnace reflecting the sun at this time it is pleasant to sit on one of the fifty rows of seats and watch the perfect oval 204 meters long. Yesolympic pirate of antiquity still seems to hover over these stones.

The Great History of the Olympic Games

If, on the other hand, you want to know everything about the games of the modern era, those dreamed of by Pierre de Coubertin you have to move to the area of Marussi, out of the center to the north, where theAthens Olympic Sports Complexarose for the 2004 Olympics designed by the archistar Santiago Calatrava.
Here, annexed to the Golden Hall shopping center and only inaugurated in May 2021, stands the new Olympic Museum of Athens which reconstructs the history of the ancient and modern Olympics by showing objects that belonged to the athletes but also multimedia structures to experience those sporting successes. And feel for once a torchbearer and a hero.
But we said it at the beginning: a trip to Athens in winter it also allows you to see what you never have time to discover in summer, looking towards the beaches and islands. And an example of this is certainly the cultural center of Stavros Niarchos Foundation which houses the new headquarters of both the National Library both ofNational Opera and which is a masterpiece of the Italian architect Renzo Piano.
Athens in winter

The Niarchos and Onassis foundations

The immense complex inaugurated in 2016 is located approx 4 km outside the centretowards the sea, and in addition to the buildings, it is formed by a huge green area complete with canals and a panoramic view of the Faliro bay. An area of ​​the sea that can be seen perfectly from the library which, in the reading room, is transparent, and allows you to enjoy a 360-degree view of Athens and its gulf.
We talked about Niarchos, one of the richest men in Greece who has always battled with a great tycoon: Aristotle Onassis. This owner has also left his foundation and a sign of his generosity. It is about theOnassis Cultural Centre which is located along the Syngrou Ave and is a white monolith designed by the French firm Architecture Studio which occupies an entire block with 18,000 m2. of internal space.
The structure houses two theatres, one dedicated to Aristotle Onassis and one to Christine Onassis, as well as spaces for exhibitions, temporary exhibitions of new and well-known artists and events of all kinds. On the seventh floor is the starred restaurant Hytra: the cuisine is international and creative, far from that of the taverns Plakathe neighborhood under theAcropolis. But from up here, on the other hand, the great temple seems very close. And with the clear and cool sky, Athens in winter reveals another face. Different, but just as beautiful.

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