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Greece generally has sunshine 300 days per year. But sometimes, rain could happen! In summer, these rainfalls last for very short, about half an hour. But in autumn or winter, it may be raining for 1 or 2 days in the row. Even if you consider this bad luck, do not let it spoil your trip. Here are our top 5 things to do in Athens on a rainy day.
#1 Get some inside culture
It may be raining outside, but inside it is dry and safe. Even if the weather is not appropriate to see the fantastic outdoor monuments, there are many wonderful museums with interesting collections around the city center. It is very convenient that all these museums are found just a few steps away from the metro stations.
The Acropolis Museum, for example, is located right opposite the Acropolis Hill and few meters from the Acropolis metro station. This is an impressive three-floor museum with modern architecture. It hosts findings from excavations on the Acropolis Hill and few other sites around Attica.
On the top floor is the representation of the Parthenon frieze, with original pieces combined with copies from the Parthenon Marbles that are kept in the British Museum. The Acropolis Museum also has a small interesting library to get informed on ancient Greece and a cafeteria with a fantastic view of the Acropolis.
However, there are many other nice museums to visit in the city center of Athens. The National Archaeological Museum is a secret gem that is frequently missed by tourists, probably due to the slightly faraway location of the tourist triangle Syntagma-Plaka-Thission. However, it hosts fantastic pieces of ancient Greek art, discovered in excavations around the country. Very impressive is the size of the museum, the Neoclassical building, and the cozy coffee yard.
Generally, museum haunting is a very popular activity in Athens on a rainy day. Visitors will have no problem spotting a great museum for them: there are many thematic museums in the center of Athens, from archaeological and history to war museums, art galleries, a Jewish Museum, a Museum of Islamic Art and much more.
#2 Go shopping
Chances for shopping are many. Although it may not sound pleasant to go shopping in Athens on a rainy day, however, if the rain is not so strong, it can make a great alternative to sightseeing. Ermou Street is the main shopping street in Athens, connecting Syntagma Square down to Monastiraki and lined up with all kinds of shops.
Very enjoyable is also the flea market of Monastiraki, with many tourist and antique shops. Some indoor malls are also found in the city center, such as Attica Store on Panepistimiou Ave.
#3 Fancy a movie?
There are many cinema theatres spread around the city center of Athens or just a short bus ride away. These cinemas screen Hollywood movies (in English, with Greek subtitles) but there are also few cinemas screening European movies (in their original language, subtitled in Greek).
Some individual movie theatres are found around Syntagma, while a large movie theatre complex is Odeon Starcity in Syggrou Avenue, next to Athens Ledra Hotel. These are great places to spend some time in Athens on a rainy day or night!
#4 Enjoy a long coffee
You have probably heard about coffee tradition in Greece, how people spend hours and hours in one coffee table. Well, get benefited from this tradition! Many of you are not used to sitting more than 30 min in a cafeteria, however, in Greece, the average coffee time is about 90 min!
So, if you are in Athens on a rainy day, just grab a book (or your tablet) and sit in a coffee table in Monastiraki or Plaka, preferably by the window. Alternatively, you can choose a stylish museum cafeteria, like the cafe of the Benaki Museum in Syntagma.