Top 5 Things to Do in Athens on a Rainy Day
Sometimes the simplest, unforeseen situations can change everything. As ominous (and true) as this might sound, this is something we Greeks know well, when it comes to the weather. Even in summer, the hot, sunny Sunday could easily turn into a rainy (even stormy) Monday in just a matter of a few hours. Not quite what you were expecting when visiting Athens? Well, we’ve all been there; and let’s face it, there’s not much to do under such circumstances (or so some say).
However, no matter how rainy it is outside, it’s always necessary to remind yourself that it’s vacay time and that you should get out of bed, grab your backpack and just get out there! Don’t hesitate to make the most out of such a rainy day, which obviously ruined your plans to walk around the city under the clear, sunlit sky.
Not many ideas coming into your head? Then stress no more, because we’ve got a couple of things to suggest to not let the day go by, having done nothing at all and actually enjoying your trip to Athens on a rainy day!
#1. Find a comfy, cozy, quiet little coffee place
Coffee is for most people simply a beverage. For others, like me, coffee is the water of life and finding some good-quality coffee is vital for our day to go the right way. Rain shouldn’t be an excuse to stay indoors, when you are in need for that dose of caffeine to enter your body. Head straight to the nearest nice, cozy and mellow café, or look one up, and have that much desired cup of coffee. If you don’t know of any, because you haven’t searched yet (although I doubt that), let me give you some options you can pick from:
Kimolia is my number one get-to place, when I want to get away from the exhausting rhythms of everyday Athens city center. It has the perfect ambiance, kind people always eager to assist you with what you wish for, and a good music playing nonstop in the background. Whether you want to simply chat with your friends, read a book or plan your day-trip in Athens, then you’ve found the ideal place to relax and get rid of that feeling of daily anxiety.
Now, this is the place that has a piece of my heart stolen every time I go there. Although not too big of a fan of romance in my life, I can say I love the Parisian-like atmosphere it has. A peaceful, yet sometimes crowded café/bistro/bar (or call it however you want), it is the meeting point of friendly faces, romantic heads and doctors and nurses on their break from the working routine at the hospital just opposite Espressaki.
Unconventional, vintage, multi-cultural. This description is more than accurate for the place that will become your local. It is usually full of people, but a quiet discussion along with great company and some good coffee or hot tea is imperative. Forget about the rain and drink that hot black liquid from your cup.
#2. Treat yourself to a good brunch
Not many things to look for during a cold, rainy day, but food is always an option on the menu. Athens offers some great places to choose from, where you can find a variety of brunch ideas, a trend that is still trending.
You can sit by the window with your significant other, you can sit at a bigger table if you are in a big company of friends, and enjoy. Here you have a huge list of restaurants to choose from that serve good-quality and yummy brunch food, but these are my own two favorites:
- Mama Roux
Always trendy, always Mexican, yet the options there are endless and portions unexpectedly large enough to satisfy the most demanding, hungry eaters. Eggs in all forms and names (eggs Benedict, scrambled, omelets), and then pancakes, muffins (savory and sweet), bagels, and burgers with fries are some of the things you can choose from.
Location: 48 Aiolou Street, Athens
- Bel Ray
This spot is all about the location and, of course, quality over quantity. On a corner of Koukaki you should go grab that Croque Madame that is to die for, pancakes, salads, tarts, accompanied with a nice coffee of fine blend and/or a freshly squeezed juice.
Location: 88 Falirou & G. Georgiou street, Koukaki
In any case, you should brunch it up!
Cook like a Greek for a day!
#3. Find the book you were looking for
Nothing sounds better than a good book to keep you company, when it rains. You can always, however, hit the streets and search for that very special, quaint, comfy book spot, where you can delve into the pages of a good ol’ book with coffee, tea or anything you’d like to enjoy those little rainy moments lost in the world of words.
There aren’t many places you can get to, but here are our picks: the welcoming Poems & Crimes Art Bar (located just a few meters away from Monastiraki Train/Metro Station), the quiet and atmospheric Little Tree Books & Coffee for the proper bookworm in you (2, Kavalloti street, near Acropolis), the homey Booktalks in Palaio Faliro, the unique Free Thinking Zone (64, Skoufa street& Grivaion street, in Kolonaki), the picturesque Polis Art Café (5, Pesmatzoglou street, near Panepistimiou Square) and, of course, Ianos Café for those who would love something stylish and intellectual (24, Stadiou street, near Korai Square).
#4. Try some shopping
Shopping is always a must, regardless of the weather conditions. A rainy day, nevertheless, limits the available places for you to go on a shopping spree and satisfy your consuming urges.
The best thing you can do is to head to the mall closest to you and do your shopping, have your lunch, drink your coffee, or even watch a good movie, if you are in the mood for it. A good solution would be the Athens Metro Mall or the Mall Athens, where you can go floors up and down and enjoy your day shopping, eating, having fun.
However, if you don’t mind the rain or it’s not raining that heavy, then you should do some shopping in Athens’ neighborhoods for an unforgettable shopping experience.
#5. Explore your cultural side
It’s all about indoorsy things when raining outside, and one should never say no to a museum visit. First choice is the Acropolis museum, where you might be skipping Acropolis, but you can still check out some of its greatest exhibits, since getting all wet isn’t your kind of thing. However, the Acropolis museum isn’t the only one, and your options vary: the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Museum of Instruments, the National Museum of Archaeology, the EMST and many, many more museums to choose from scattered all over Athens for the cultural enthusiast inside you.
Moreover, if you’re not in a mood for museum visiting, then you can always visit art galleries, search for photo exhibitions near you, or look for some workshops, ranging from cooking classes to learning how to make your own souvenirs.
Keep in mind: it might be raining outside, but this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your trip in Athens!
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Have you been to Athens on a rainy day? How did you spend your time? Let us know by commenting below!
Words: Spyros Balesias