Christmas is a family holiday, and people usually spend their time off with their loved ones in the warmth of their homes. Yet, the holidays are also a great time to travel, and many people choose to experience the Christmas spirit far from home at some picturesque mountain resort or a lively metropolis.
For the latter, one of the top urban Christmas destinations in the world is none other than Athens.
Lose yourself in the bustling lifestyle
When we think about Christmas in a big city, we think about streets brimming with lights and decorations and vibrant shops welcoming packs of shiny, happy people.
Athens is famous for its vivid lifestyle all year round. During Christmas, the city becomes the country’s hotbed of celebrations, surprises, and endless holiday fun. People flock daily from Greece and abroad to visit friends and family, enjoy the city’s colourful coffee shops and eateries, shop around for unique gifts, and have a great time.
Savor the unique holiday pastries
Greek gastronomy is highly acclaimed worldwide, and the country’s traditional holiday pastries are always a treat, even to the most demanding palates.
Athens is home to many top Greek confectioneries and hundreds of quality mom-and-pop pastry shops and bakeries. That means you can find delicious melomakarona (honey-dipped semolina pastries), kourabiedes (sugar-garnished butter cookies) and other local delicacies (like diples) in every corner and many variations.
Have tons of fun at the numerous Christmas villages
Christmas is indeed about good old family fun. Especially for the children, this is the best time to immerse themselves in holiday magic and fairy tales.
That’s why Christmas villages were invented in the first place. Like every big city in the world, Athens offers a variety of pop-up holiday theme parks. At the Christmas Factory, the Santa Klaus Kingdom, the Winter Wonderland, and the Christmas World, kids and grown-ups are welcome to get in the spirit and share some unforgettable holiday moments.
Enjoy the open shows and festivities
Athens is home to a few million people known for never missing an opportunity to take their celebrations out of the house and share their joy in public.
That’s why the Municipality of Athens and other cultural bodies organize many Christmas-themed events, bazaars, concerts, live shows and other festivities leading to the city’s signature open-air party on New Year’s Eve. During the holidays, roaming around Athens is like walking into a huge festival where a different surprise awaits around every corner.
Visit the sites in peace and quiet
From Summer to Fall, Athens welcomes loads of visitors to its historical sites and museums, making it difficult to enjoy them without bumping into tourists and kids.
But during the Christmas holidays, visitors and locals focus on having a good time around the city instead of sinking their teeth into Greek culture and ancient history. As a result, ’tis the season to take one’s time, visit the many diverse sites — and catch a winter view of the Acropolis, of course — and slowly consume the cultural gifts Athens offers in bundles.
Shop till you drop!
Last (but not least), let’s not forget that shopping for us and our loved ones is a big part of Christmas fun wherever you may find yourself, from a local flea market to a huge mall.
Well, Athens has both, plus a vast network of shopping streets right in the heart of its central district, where you can find items from local designer brands, incredible artifacts, and unique gifts for every taste and preference. There’s no chance of walking around Athens at Christmas time and not returning home with more goodies than you can carry!
So, how about spending this year’s holidays in one of the liveliest, most fun cities in the world?