This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here.
Welcome to my guide to visiting Athens in November. I cover everything from the best things to do in Athens, my top foodie recommendations and where you need to stay in Athens if you’re on a budget.
I didn’t know what to expect when I visited Athens in November 2019. But it was such a fascinating city that I can’t wait to return… someday. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that there were so many ancient sites throughout the city centre. Like you could visit an ancient attraction and then pop into H&M 10 minutes later. Here are some of the best things to do in Athens in November, plus some additional Athens travel tips.
How to get to Athens
Athens is located right at the end of Europe, so the best way to get there is by plane. I flew into Athens from Munich and flew out of Athens to Singapore via Scoot. I always check Skyscanner for the cheapest flight deals, then buy tickets on the airline’s official websites. Scoot is 100% a budget airline, but you can’t argue with the price.
Once you arrive in Athens, you can follow my lead and hop on the metro from the airport, which will take you directly into the city centre. From memory, it cost about €10 for the ticket. The one downside is that the train only comes every 30 minutes. But otherwise, the metro is a great way to get around Athens. Honestly, any metro with luggage racks wins points in my book.
Here are a few other cheap cities to visit in Europe and my tips for travelling across Europe on a budget.
Where to stay in Athens in November
If you’re a fellow solo or budget traveller, I highly recommend staying at Mosaikon. Firstly, it’s in a very central location. It’s walking distance from Monastiraki Square and its metro station, as well as the main shopping street and the Plaka neighbourhood. Secondly, the staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly. I chatted to a couple of the girls who were so lovely and helpful.
Now, onto the hostel itself. It’s a very modern facility, with a kitchen and a rooftop with Acropolis views. I stayed in a four-bed female dorm and each bed came with a shelf, light and privacy blind. The ensuite bathroom was also incredibly spacious and clean. Definitely check out Mosaikon when looking for budget accommodation in Athens, as it’s one of the top-rated Athens hotels on Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Hostelworld (I found Booking.com had the cheapest price when I booked).
If you’re interested in other Athens hotels, other top-rated properties on my beloved Booking.com include Acropolis Stay: modern rooms, great location and hello, nine breakfast menus. Then there’s the reasonably-priced Ederlezi Boutique Hotel and Still Athens, which is a bestselling hotel.
By the way, here are my top hostelling tips
Why is November a good time to visit Athens?
I believe November is a good time to visit Athens because the weather is great and there are fewer crowds. Honestly, the November weather in Athens was perfection. The temperature was warm but not too hot, so I could comfortably walk around the city in jeans and a t-shirt. November is also one of the best times to travel to Greece as it’s in the shoulder season, which equals fewer people, good weather and cheaper prices. Other shoulder season months: April, May, September and October.
What to pack for Athens in November
If you’re wondering how to dress in Athens in November, I just wanted to reiterate that I was comfortable wearing jeans and a t-shirt and it seemed to be what most people were wearing (tourists and locals). I paired my outfit with my beloved Allbirds, a.k.a the best travel shoes ever. I also wore my light jacket on the Greek Islands day trip mentioned below, as the breeze on the deck was a little brisque at times. Hopefully, that helps you decide what to wear in Athens in November.
Best things to do in Athens in November
Ok, now you’re set to visit Greece in November, let’s dive into what to do in Athens in November. I just wanted to note that Athens is home to a plethora of ancient attractions and I haven’t mentioned them all below because nobody has time for that! However, you can easily view many of them, including Hadrian’s Arch, Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Library, for free just by walking around the city.
Go on a walking tour
Soak up that perfect Athens weather on a walking tour, which is one of the best ways to learn more about Athens. I joined Athens Free Tour and my guide was a lady affectionally known as Princess. I chatted to her as we walked between stops and she was an incredibly interesting woman in general. But her tour was also fantastic. Starting from Hadrian’s Arch, she told us so much information about Athens, the military and the current political climate. We past through the National Garden (definitely visit even if you don’t do a free walking tour), stopped to see the changing of the guards and then finished in Plaka. This is hands down one of the best things to do in Athens.
Do a Greek Islands cruise from Athens in November
I did a Greek Islands day tour from Athens and it was awesome (a long day, but awesome). You can read more about the tour in this blog post, but we visited three islands and my favourite was Hydra. Although heading from Athens to Santorini is a popular route, unless you fly you can’t really do a day trip to Santorini. I also think Athens in November is superb, but you will want to visit the Greek Islands in warmer weather.
Stroll through Plaka, Athens
Plaka is one of Athen’s most photogenic neighbourhoods. Its main thoroughfare, Adrianou Street, is home to lots of shops and is the perfect place to go souvenir shopping in Athens. Its adjacent streets are also overflowing with restaurants. For photos, I recommend heading to Lisiou Street, as it’s home to the Plaka Stairs and colourful buildings with overhanging bougainvillea and wrought-iron balconies.
See the sunset from Lycabettus Hill
Lycabettus Hill is the city’s highest point and you can reach the summit by walking or taking the funicular. With a restaurant and church at the top, Lycabettus Hill looks towards the Acropolis and apparently sunset is the best time to visit.
Go shopping in Athens
Besides Plaka, the city’s other popular shopping street is Ermou Street. Running through the city centre, it’s home to popular shops like Flying Tiger, H&M and Zara. I did go for a wander through the Athens Flea Market at Monastiraki Square, but the stalls here are mainly filled with cheap souvenirs, knock-off designer accessories and randomly, a lot of camouflage paraphernalia.
Visit the Acropolis
Sitting on a hill overlooking the city, the Acropolis is one of the top places to visit in Athens. It’s known for being home to several ancient landmarks, but its most famous resident is the Parthenon. Purchase tickets in advance and head here first thing in the morning to try and beat the crowds.
Spot street art in Anafiotika
One of the best free things to do in Athens is wandering up towards Anafiotika. This was a random place I found through Pinterest research, but I highly recommend taking a detour to Anafiotika. Located next door to Plaka, it’s a small neighbourhood nestled under the Acropolis. It’s incredibly photogenic and there’s random street art everywhere. I kind of felt like I was trespassing to see some of the street art, but there was no one else around so I happily wandered and took photos. Alternatively, you can also take a street art tour that’s guided by a local street artist.
Visit a museum
Athens is home to several museums, with the most popular being the Acropolis Museum. The archaeological museum was built to house all artifacts uncovered on the Acropolis itself, so it’s a must-visit Athens museum for ancient history lovers. Other museums to check out include the National Archaeological Museum, Benaki Museum (with eight different buildings and museums under its umbrella) and the Museum of Cycladic Art.
Where to eat in Athens in November
Food-wise, I found Athens to have both cheap snacks and more expensive restaurant meals. There are also a lot of restaurants to choose from, so don’t be alarmed if servers try and tempt you to stop at their establishment. Here are the best places to visit in Athens in November. Let’s just say, I ate very well.
Located just down the street from my hostel, Oven Sesame is a great place for a quick bite. They specialise in inexpensive toasted sandwiches in these delicious sesame pockets. I had the vegetarian Mozza Melt, but there are lots of sweet and savoury options. You also get a casual view of the Acropolis while dining outside. Did I mention Athens is cool?
Etnico Street Food
This is another eatery near Mosaikon that does a range of street food from countries like Mexico, Korea and India. I was craving Mexican and a burrito from Etnico Street Food seriously hit the spot. It also cost about €5 and the staff were very friendly.
I ventured over here from my hostel because it had good Google reviews and it’s such a cute and colourful place. Like Etnico, it’s a multi-ethnic restaurant that does breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner. I went with the homemade pink lemonade and the Chicken and Parm Burger – fried chicken with tomato sauce, rocket, two different kinds of cheese and caramelised onions. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. With indoor and outdoor seating and friendly staff, I recommend visiting Mama Roux when in Athens.
This bakery and cafe on Ermou Street has a cabinet stocked with Greek pastries. I personally grabbed a spanakopita for a snack one day, because when in Greece, right?
Oh. My. Goodness. I still dream about the amazingly decadent and delicious loukoumades I had at Lukumades in Athens. Named the world’s most unique doughnuts, the freshly-baked and crispy dough balls are an authentic Greek delight. You can get them the traditional way with honey and cinnamon. However, I chose to get mine topped with ice cream, nuts and a chocolate sauce.
I hope this post helps you plan your visit to Athens in November.
It truly is an interesting place, where modern and ancient landmarks harmoniously coexist. I was unsure about visiting Athens solo, but I would now wholeheartedly recommend it. I felt safe at all times and every local I spoke to was very friendly and welcoming. If you’re looking for more Europe content, head to my archive.