How to Beat the Heat and the Crowds in Athens

How to Beat the Heat and the Crowds in Athens

First, avoid the long entrance lines by booking your tickets online (20 euros, or about $22, for a single-entry adult ticket). Another booking option, the Athena’s Combined Ticket (adults, €30), provides access to six more sites in Athens, including the nearby Agora. Start your day here, before 11 a.m., when most tourists are at the Acropolis.

Your best window for a less crowded visit to the Acropolis is between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., when most visitors eat lunch. But the sun is high, and its been very hot, so take precautions with the weather: Wear a hat and sunscreen, walk slowly, find shade where you can, drink plenty of liquids and take a bottle of water with you. And listen to your body — if it’s too hot, hold off. Also note that starting Sept. 4, the Acropolis will be capped to 20,000 daily visitors. Greek authorities are experimenting with the limit to help combat overcrowding at the site.

Rhamnous, about an hour’s drive from downtown Athens, is a less crowded archaeological attraction — and it has ocean views (adults, €4). But wear comfortable shoes, as it is about a half-mile from the site’s entrance to the remnants of this ancient city.

With the sizzling summer temperatures, follow the local traditions when it comes to eating. Have a full breakfast in the morning, only a light bite in the afternoon and full dinner in the evening — after 8 p.m., when the heat starts to subside.

In terms of finding Greek cuisine, restaurants abound all over the city. In Piraeus, get seafood, like sea urchin and shrimp pasta, at Yperokeanio, a tavern where the scenery feels like a time capsule of a 1950s movie. LS and SIA in the neighborhood of Psyri, in central Athens, offers a contemporary spin on traditional specialties, while Mavros Gatos, a mostly tourist-free haunt in the hip neighborhood of Pangrati, makes delicious meat dishes. For an upscale option by the sea and the best views of the Athens Riviera, go to Ithaki restaurant. Reservations are recommended for all of the above.

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