Chances are you didn’t pack an umbrella on a trip to Greece. Lucky you, at the first sign of rain, you will see plenty of street vendors selling umbrellas in the main areas of town. Since Athens is not necessarily a city built for rain, with some streets turning into small rivers, you may need a pair of rain boots if you plan on spending some time outside. If a little bit of rain doesn’t scare you, head to Athinas street, near Monastiraki square, where you will find stores selling cheap rain boots, along with camping gear and suitcases. Once you have everything you need, go! The streets of Athens are usually empty on rainy days.
If you are among the people who enjoy the smell of rain and like walks in the rain, an exhilarating thing to do is a walk through the lush National Garden and the Zappeion next door, which are most likely going to be deserted. There is something about smelling the wet leaves and seeing the surroundings that make this a refreshing break from the sun.
This is your chance to visit one of the many cafés downtown, sit back and relax. Since many of them have free Wi-Fi, you can take your tablet along or simply bring a book and treat yourself to a culinary session and enjoy a good cup of joe or herbal tea for hours. You can of course try the many local treats and sweets as well, while watching the rain fall. Don’t worry if you think you need to leave once you’ve done with your order – in Greece, the average time people drink coffee and socialize is 90 minutes.
Shopping in Athens is really a treat. Of course, the main shopping street of Ermou is right downtown but if you prefer to stay dry then head to one of the many malls. Take the metro on the green line and head straight to the Mall in Neratziotissa. This shopping complex has a plethora of shops as well as eating options and even a cinema. Another great option is the Golden Hall on Kifissia avenue. To get there while avoiding traffic, take the green line and stop at Eirini station. From there, simply hail a cab and the mall is only a short drive away.
Forget the Acropolis (if you do decide to go, be careful as the marble steps get slippery on rainy days) and head instead to the several museums available. Our top pick would be the Acropolis museum, near the Acropolis metro station on the red line. Besides, the museum cafeteria offers a front view of the Acropolis. But don’t limit yourself to this one, the National Museum of Archaeology, the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the War Museum, the EMST, the Museum of Instruments, the Byzantine and Christian Museum and many more are all perfect picks for a rainy day.
Not finding a museum you like? Can we interest you in an art show perhaps? The city of Athens is home to several art galleries worth visiting. Whether you are an art lover or simply cannot think of anything else to do, we are sure you will find a exhibition or art show to see.
Why not visit the Athens planetarium at the Eugenides Foundation? With its 950-sq-metre hemispherical dome, the planetarium sends you on 3D virtual trips across the galaxy, and screens IMAX movies and other shows. Simultaneous narration in English is available. Perfect if you are with kids, or even alone.
Going to the movies is a fun activity to do at any time of the year, but it is ideal on rainy days. Athens has a plethora of cinemas, screening Greek and foreign movies, Hollywood blockbusters, and even indie movies, in their original version with Greek subtitles.
Home to the National Library and the National Opera, the SNFCC is a spectacular venue located in Kallithea. While the center organizes many outdoor events throughout the year, it also hosts several shows and exhibitions. Plus, with free Wi-Fi across the whole complex and a cafeteria, you can definitely relax indoors after a visit of the premises where you can learn all about the impressive work of world-class architect Renzo Piano.