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I just got back from Athens, Greece, and it was jam-packed! I was shocked at how many people were visiting because it was supposed to be a slow season. So it made me think, what’s it like spending New Year’s Eve in Athens? 

Here are my top tips for New Years Eve in Athens 2023

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New Years even in Athens

Is Athens an excellent place to Spend NYE?

Athens is an excellent place to spend New Year’s Eve. Here are some reasons why:

  • Festive atmosphere: Athenians know how to have a good time, and visitors can expect a jubilant and festive atmosphere on New Year’s Eve.
  • Fireworks: Athens offers several great places to watch the fireworks, including Syntagma Square, the Acropolis district, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).
  • Live music and dance performances: Visitors can enjoy live music and dance performances at Syntagma Square and other venues throughout the city.
  • Traditional Greek foods: Visitors can enjoy traditional Greek foods on the New Year’s Eve table, including Vasilopita, Manestra, Lahanosalata, Lahanodolmades, Pastitsio, Makaronia Ograten, Meze, Yiaprakia, Christopsomo, and Pork.
  • New Year’s Eve dinners with a view: Visitors can enjoy a luxurious New Year’s Eve dinner with a view of the Acropolis at hotels such as the Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens and the Electra Metropolis Athens.
  • Off-season deals: Athens is considered an off-season destination during winter, so visitors can find great deals on hotels and accommodations.

Visitors can expect to have a great time for New Year’s Eve in Athens.

What is there To Do for New Year’s Eve in Athens in 2023?

Here are some ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Athens:

Countdown at Syntagma Square: The City of Athens counts down to the new year at Syntagma Square with live music and dance performances.

Live music, DJ sets, and fireworks at SNFCC: Visitors can expect live music, DJ sets, ice skating until 2 a.m., and a spectacular fireworks show in front of the SNFCC’s Agora.

Climb a hill: One of the top things to do in Athens on New Year’s Eve is to climb a hill and watch the fireworks from above.

Attend an open-air all-nighter: Another popular option is to attend an open-air all-nighter with live music and dancing/

Try ice skating: Visitors can try their hand at ice skating. ( Definitely not my favorite)

Visit the Acropolis: Visitors can visit the Acropolis and enjoy the view of the city from above

Attend a party at Hilton Athens hotel: Traditionally, the best NYE party is held at the Hilton Athens hotel with great DJs, breakfast, and more.

Celebrate at City Link: Another party last year was held in the City Link, a posh venue in Athens.

Experience the top shows of the year: Visitors can celebrate the New Year in Athens, Georgia, and experience the top shows of the year at The Georgia Theatre and 40 Watt Club.

Street parties, delicious food, music, and fireworks: New Year’s Eve in Athens is a giant celebration with street parties everywhere, delicious food, music, and fireworks.

athensi

What is the Average Temperature in Athens for New Year’s Eve?

The temperature in Athens during the winter months can range from mildly cool to cold, with average lows ranging from 24°F to 42°F and average highs ranging from 39°F to 55°F.

We just got back from Athens and it was a lot warmer than usual, so I feel New Years 2023 may be a bit warmer than previously.

Additionally, visitors can expect a lot of people and activity in the city, creating a warmer atmosphere in certain areas. 

It is important to note that temperatures can drop significantly at night, so visitors should dress warmly if they plan to be outside for the fireworks or other outdoor activities. 

Overall, you should check the weather forecast before traveling to Athens and dress appropriately for the expected temperatures.

Where to Stay in Athens, Greece for New Year’s Eve

I have been to Athens twice this year, and I can’t think of another area to stay in besides the Plakas neighborhood. It sits at the foot of the Acropolis, and there are many restaurants and shops within walking distance. You also have the metro right there.

Based on research here are some other areas visitors choose to stay at when going to Athens for NYE.

  • Herodion Hotel: Herodion Hotel is a highly-rated hotel in the Plaka neighborhood of Athens. It is within walking distance of the Acropolis and other major attractions. Visitors can reserve a room for New Year’s Eve.

We just visited this hotel’s rooftop, and it is truly stunning. You have a view of the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. You need a reservation even when visiting during nonholidays.

  • A for Athens: A for Athens is a popular hotel located in the Monastiraki neighborhood of Athens. It offers a great view of the Acropolis and is within walking distance of many restaurants and bars. Visitors can reserve a room for New Year’s Eve
  • Grande Bretagne: Grande Bretagne is a luxury hotel located in the Syntagma Square neighborhood of Athens. It offers a great view of the Acropolis and is within walking distance of many restaurants and bars. Visitors can reserve a room for New Year’s Eve.
  • AthensWas Hotel: AthensWas Hotel is a boutique hotel located in the Monastiraki neighborhood of Athens. It is within walking distance of the Acropolis and other major attractions. Visitors can reserve a room for New Year’s Eve.
  • Andronis Athens: Andronis Athens is a luxury hotel in the Psirri neighborhood of Athens. It offers a great view of the Acropolis and is within walking distance of many restaurants and bars. Visitors can reserve a room for New Year’s Eve. This one has outstanding reviews!

Overall, visitors can choose from a variety of neighborhoods and hotels in Athens for New Year’s Eve, from the Plaka and Monastiraki neighborhoods to the Syntagma Square and Psirri neighborhoods. 

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What are some of the best places to watch the fireworks in Athens on New Year’s Eve?

Here are some of the best places to watch the fireworks in Athens on New Year’s Eve:

The Acropolis district: The pedestrianized area beneath the Acropolis, in the neighborhood of Thissio, comes alive with live music, DJ sets, performers, and a birds-eye view of the Acropolis as it is lit up at midnight by a magnificent fireworks display

Syntagma Square: One of the most popular places to be in Athens for New Year’s Eve. Visitors can expect live music, DJ sets, ice-skating until 2 am, and a spectacular fireworks show.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC): Visitors can enjoy live music, ice skating, and a fireworks show at the SNFCC.

Rooftop bars and terraces: Many revelers also gather at rooftop bars and terraces to drink cocktails and watch the fireworks. More info on Rooftop bars further down in the blog post.

Mount Lycabettus: Visitors can grab a bottle of wine and climb Mount Lycabettus to watch the fireworks.

Agia Irini Square: Partygoers flock to Agia Irini Square with an array of great bars and clubs.

Gazi area: Another option is the Gazi area, which also boasts a vibrant NYE atmosphere until the early morning hours

The Herodion Hotel: The Herodion Hotel is a lovely hotel with a spectacular roof terrace where visitors can watch the fireworks behind the Parthenon.

New Years Eve Athens 360 Bar

Rooftop Bars for New Year’s Eve in Athens, Greece

There are several rooftop bars in Athens where visitors can reserve a table for New Year’s Eve. Here are some of the best rooftop bars in Athens that offer reservations,.

  • The Rooftop Athens: The Rooftop Athens is a popular rooftop bar that offers a great view of the Acropolis. Visitors can reserve a table for New Year’s Eve.
  • Art Lounge Rooftop: Art Lounge Rooftop is another popular rooftop bar that offers a great view of the Acropolis. Visitors can reserve a table for New Year’s Eve.
  • NYX Rooftop Bar Restaurant: NYX Rooftop Bar Restaurant is located at the top floor of the Academias Hotel Athens and is the newest lifestyle entry in the Athenian gastro-scene. Visitors can reserve a table for New Year’s Eve.
  • 360 Cocktail Bar: 360 Cocktail Bar is a rooftop bar located in Monastiraki that offers a panoramic view of Athens. Visitors can reserve a table for New Year’s Eve.
  • GB Roof Garden: GB Roof Garden is a rooftop bar located at the top of the Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens that offers a great view of the.

How Do Greeks Typically Celebrate NYE?

  • Spray holy water: In Greek households, it is a common tradition on New Year’s Eve to spray each other with holy water. This ritual is believed to grant protection from all evil spirits.
  • Set off fireworks: Fireworks are an essential part of any traditional Greek celebration, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. The loud bangs from the pyrotechnics are said to scare away any bad luck lingering around from the previous year.
  • Share a plate of Vasilopita: On New Year’s Day in Greece, it’s customary to cut a special cake called Vasilopita before dinner. Each person slices off a piece that contains either a small coin or charm – depending on their age. Whoever finds the coin or charm is said to be lucky throughout the rest of the year.
  • Decorate with bay leaves: Another popular custom during this time in Greece is to adorn homes with bay leaves – symbols of good health, fertility, nutrition, wisdom, strength, and peace – usually hung above doorways.
  • Playing cards: Greeks believe that the New Year is the time for good luck and fortune, therefore, many choose to play cards or even the lottery. Playing cards between friends and family is a tradition that usually lasts until the early morning hours, and since the game is played for good luck, the players don’t bet a lot of money/
  • Singing carols: New Year’s Eve is the time when Agios Vassilis, the Greek Santa Claus, visits the house, bearing gifts for the children. This is also the time when Greek families exchange gifts. Kali Hera is a Greek tradition when close family members give money to the children. This act of generosity is also considered to bring good luck in the new year.
  • Bounamathes: The next morning in many places in Greece, there is the tradition of Bounamathes. The adults in the family give money to the kids, wishing them a happy new year.
  • Scatter pomegranate seeds: In some parts of Greece, it is customary to scatter pomegranate seeds in the house for good luck.

Overall, Greeks celebrate the New Year with a mix of religious and cultural traditions, including spraying holy water, setting off fireworks, sharing a plate of Vasilopita, decorating with bay leaves, playing cards, singing carols, and scattering pomegranate seeds.

If you are visiting Greece in the Winter, it would be great to visit Santorini as it is less crowded.

Vasilopita paradosiaki

What are some traditional Greek foods that are typically served on New Year’s Eve?

Greek cuisine is rich in flavors and traditions, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Here are some traditional Greek foods that are typically served on New Year’s Eve, according to the search results:

  • Vasilopita: Vasilopita is a traditional Greek cake or bread served at midnight on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the life of Saint Basil. It is a sweet cake with a coin hidden inside, and whoever finds the coin is said to have good luck for the rest of the year.
  • Manestra: Manestra is a tomato and orzo soup that is typically served on New Year’s Eve in Greece1.
  • Lahanosalata: Lahanosalata is a cabbage salad that is often served as a side dish on New Year’s Eve1.
  • Lahanodolmades: Lahanodolmades are stuffed cabbage rolls that are a popular dish on New Year’s Eve in Greece1.
  • Pastitsio: Pastitsio is a Greek pasta dish made with meat and pasta, and it is typically served on New Year’s Eve12.
  • Makaronia Ograten: Makaronia Ograten is a cheesier, meatless version of pastitsio that is also popular on New Year’s Eve.
  • Meze: Meze, or Greek appetizer dishes, are a common item on the New Year’s Eve table in Greece. Stuffed grape leaves and spanakopita are popular appetizers.
  • Yiaprakia: Yiaprakia are stuffed grape leaves that are often served on New Year’s Eve in northern Greece.
  • Christopsomo: Christopsomo is a traditional Greek Christmas bread that is also served on New Year’s Eve.
  • Pork: Pork is a popular main dish on New Year’s Eve in Greece, as tradition suggests. The custom of the gourd spread all over Greece, which meant slaughtering a domestic pig on Christmas Eve, thus assuring a rich provision of meat during the holidays.

So, which of these foods would you like to try?

Safety Tips for Ringing in the New Year in Athens

1. The Buddy System is Your BFF

Two heads are better than one, especially if those heads are on a swivel looking for pickpockets. Stick close to your travel companion or make friends with locals. You know, the kind who won’t make your wallet “disappear.”

2. Public Transport: Keep It Light

If you’re hopping on the Metro or a bus, only bring essentials. Stuffing your pockets like a Christmas turkey just makes you an easier target. And please, for the love of Zeus, don’t put your wallet in your back pocket unless you want to make a generous donation to the Athens Pickpocket Association.

3. Say ‘No’ to Over-the-Shoulder Bags

Opt for a crossbody bag or a money belt hidden under your clothes. If you’re going full-on tourist, consider a fanny pack—yes, they’re back, and they’re chic as hell. Make it even trendier by calling it a “belt bag.”

4. Hold the Ouzo (Sometimes)

A little ouzo never hurt anybody, but a lot of ouzo might make you forget tip #1, #2, and #3. Keep your drinking in check so you can keep an eye on your belongings and make sensible decisions. You don’t want your first act of the New Year to be reporting a theft.

5. Keep Your Phone on Lockdown

Phones are swiped faster than you can say “opa!” Always know where it is, and use a phone leash if you have to. Better a leashed phone than no phone.

6. Be ATM Smart

If you need to withdraw money, opt for ATMs in well-lit areas or inside banks. While ATMs in dark alleys might appeal to your adventurous spirit, they’re also a hotspot for less-than-savory characters.

7. Love Thy Neighbor, But Trust No One

Greeks are incredibly warm and welcoming, but you can’t rule out the odd bad apple. Trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is.

8. Emergency Numbers are Your New Mantra

Know the local emergency numbers. It’s like being on a first-name basis with bouncers—hopefully, you won’t need them, but it’s good to be prepared.

And there you have it! With a little bit of caution, you can make sure the only thing you lose this New Year’s Eve is track of time while having an absolute blast in Athens.

Important Emergency Numbers in Athens

For a safe New Year’s Eve celebration, jot down these essential emergency numbers. It’s better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them!

  • Police: 100
  • Fire Department: 199
  • Medical Emergency: 166
  • Tourist Police: (+30) 210 527 4500

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