7 things to do in Athens on a Rainy Day!
1) It’s coffee time! There is a lot of cafes downtown, where you can sit back, relax and watch the rain fall down. Many of them have book corners and free Wi-Fi. Taste Greek sweet treats that will brighten up your day next to a cup of Greek coffee or a cup of organic herbal tea – it is most definitely worth a try! If you prefer a museum coffee shop, stop by the charming skylight cafe at the Museum of Cycladic Art, where you can actually listen to the sound of rain falling on the roof or alternatively head for the south suburbs of Athens to get a view of the sea during and after the rain!
2) Go shopping : Shopping in Athens is always a pleasure but on a rainy day it can become really a relish! If you don’t feel like strolling about the most famous and picturesque shopping districts of the city, the "new kid on the block" are the colourful and impressive department stores that have won the hearts of Athenians and visitors who shop there.
Some of the most modern boutiques in town known for products such as haute couture clothes of Greek and foreign designers, shoes and leather apparels, accessories, toys, antique furniture, jewellery, items for the house etc are situated downtown Athens. Nestled in the heart of Athens, Ermou Street is the most famous shopping promenade and one of the best choices in Athens for clothing, accessories and quality souvenir shopping. If you are looking for shoes, go nowhere else as you will find a great number of shoe shops there! In Voukourestiou St. and other streets around Syntagma Square you will find Greek jewellery shops of worldwide reputation and bookstores that specialise in foreign publications.
3) Get some Culture : Besides sitting in a cafe or shopping, you might also want to do something more intellectual. Athens is full of art galleries and museums and many of them are within walking distance (maybe 5-10 min apart). If you are around Syntagma Square you can visit the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the War Museum and the Numismatic Museum. If art is your thing then you might also be interested in dropping by remarkable art galleries which host art works of Greek painters and sculptures or visit the National Gallery of Art and the Theocharakis Foundation as there are great exhibitions all year round.
4) Discover hidden treasures : If you need to duck in for a while, the Athenian arcades are what you will be looking for. Thanks to their innovative interior design and unique character, it’s only natural that these arcades are among the favourite choices of visitors as well as Athenians! Some decades ago, when imposing, grand buildings were constructed in Athens, no one could imagine that the indoor passages to those buildings would later be a part of Athens’ most striking modern sights!
5) Exhilarating Walk : How about a walk with an umbrella, through the National Gardens? It’s peaceful; especially so on a rainy day, when there are few people out and the gardens hold many secret areas where you can escape the rain. There is a cafe at one end or you can continue out of the gardens and reach Zappeion, where you may visit the magnificent Zappeion Hall and admire the architecture!
6) Hang out at Athens Metro If it’s raining cats and dogs and it’s Monday so museums are closed, don’t panic. There is an archaeological and a contemporary art museum all in one, where exhibits can be admired from very early in the morning till midnight. Where? Underground, at the Athens Metro. It is one of the most modern & best undergrounds in Europe but what makes the Athens metro so different from others is that most of the stations display archaeological finds and modern art. In fact, when the metro was under construction, thousands of ancient objects were found - pottery, statues, even graves! The best places to see these are Syntagma, Monastiraki, Acropolis and Evangelismos stations. In Monastiraki Station there is a small stream flowing through it, you can see it under your feet as well as some ancient buildings from inside the station.
7) Food time around Plaka and Monastiraki : The neighbourhood of Plaka, the oldest one in Athens, always was and still is inhabited from antiquity up to today. Plaka’s unsurpassed charm, also known as the “neighbourhood of the Gods”, is where you should take a break during the day and taste Greek specialties in its numerous picturesque tavernas! In Monastiraki make sure to stop by its numerous small restaurants located around the square and enjoy a glass of Greek wine or ouzo, accompanied by Greek mezes (Greek tidbits).