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Have you been wondering where you should spend your Christmas vacation? Look no further, we got you covered! Whether you like your Christmas filled with tradition in a snowy mountaintop chalet or you prefer a more modern, urban, sparkly light experience, Athens has something to offer you. We’ve rounded up the best 6 reasons that will make this Christmas a holiday you will never forget.
# TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS CUISINE
The food lovers and the sweet-tooths will certainly not want to miss out on the traditional Greek Christmas dishes and sweets. Take a bite – or ten – of the sugar covered kourabies, lick your fingers after devouring a syrup dipped melomakarono and don’t forget to take home some honey-covered diples. You can find them in every bakery, pastry or grocery store in the city of Athens over Christmas. On New Year’s Eve make sure to partake at the cutting of the vasilopita pie. You may be the one to find the coin charm in their piece and be blessed with luck for the whole year! And don’t forget to taste the traditional dishes of Greek moussaka, souvlaki, and dolmades for a full culinary experience!
Want to learn more about Christmas food traditions in Greece?
# WALK/SHOPPING IN ATHENS
There’s no better way to grasp a feel of a city’s spirit than by walking its streets. If you want to feel the Athens spirit, take a walk in the city center during Christmas. Walk around the alleys of Plaka and Monastiraki areas, right under the Parthenon and Acropolis. Visit the National Gardens, where you can have fun with your children by participating in Christmas games and activities. Cross the Syntagma Square and marvel at the Christmas tree and all the decorations around you. Finally, walk down Ermou Street and shop for your Christmas presents at a discount. The atmosphere is vivid everywhere and after all that walking the nearby cafes and restaurants are the ideal choices for relaxation and tasting the delicious Greek cuisine.
# THE CHRISTMAS FACTORY
The “Christmas Factory” in Technopolis, Gazi, hosts the house of Santa Claus by Coca-Cola, for what would Christmas be like without our favorite beverage? Let your children help Santa Claus and his happy little helpers build toys for everyone, play with the trolls and elves, create traditional Christmas handicrafts and homemade decoration ideas, play educational games related to this magical period of the year and have their share of tasty treats at the Sweets factory. Your children will absolutely enjoy this experience! The event lasts for more than a month, from November 27 to January 6.
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# SANTA CLAUS KINGDOM
Santa Claus Kingdom is a magical event staged at M.E.C Paiania and hosts a variety of interesting Christmas activities for both children and adults. Your children can take part in ice skating activities, creative games, and even carousels and other fun games in the snow. Don’t miss the real Santa Claus all the way from Rovaniemi, Lapland, the snowman Frodi and other much-loved heroes come to life and are ready to play and take pictures with your children. Rides and toys for children of all ages in this impressive Christmas Theme Park will make for an unforgettable family experience. You can explore all its snowy glory from December 5th till January 7th.
# CHRISTMAS AT THE ATHENS CONCERT HALL
The lovers of classical music and ballet should definitely catch “Don Quixote”, Cervantes’ beautiful story, from the Moscow Classical Ballet with soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre. The Athens Concert Hall, “Megaron”, is the place to be for a rich dance spectacle you will remember for years to come. Make sure you book your tickets early though since there will be only 7 shows, December 22th- 30th.
# ARACHOVA, MOUNT PARNASSUS
Whether you imagine yourself spending this Christmas in a cozy traditional chalet, sipping wine by the fireplace or out in the snowy fields skiing, Arachova is definitely the place to be. Located on Mt. Parnassus, Arachova is the best place to spend a white Christmas. You can find accommodations for all tastes, from luxury hotels to traditional guesthouses. You can spend your Christmas vacation doing winter sports and activities in one of the ski centers in the area or you can choose to walk – carefully – the streets between the gray-stone houses with red-tile roofs located on the steep slopes of the second highest mountain in Greece, after Mt. Olympus. Whatever the weather predictions in Athens, Arachova is sure to be snow-covered from early November till late February.
Whatever you choose for your holiday vacation this year, visiting Athens for Christmas will be, like we said, unforgettable.