Athens Reopens For Summer

  • by XpatAthens
  • Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Athens Reopens For Summer
It’s been a long road, we cannot lie. But this month, Athens finally opens its doors and legendary sites to the world once more with the official restart of tourism in Greece by the Greek Government on Saturday, 15 May. Everything that makes summertime in Athens so amazing is back on the menu in May!

In short, we mean a return to idyllic days on the sun-drenched shores of our beautiful beaches. Sunset cocktails on stylish rooftops with the Acropolis for company. High-spirited meals with friends, old and new, in leafy squares. Open-air movies at jasmine-scented summer cinemas and live gigs at ancient arenas under the stars.

We can visit our favourite museums and galleries again as if for the first time and check out some brand new ones too: such as the landmark National Gallery of Art, fresh from an extensive 8 year makeover, and the old Public Tobacco Factory, due to be reborn in June as an emblematic culture hub, with an international exhibition “Portals”.

Let’s hit the shops (without having to make an appointment first); trawling for hot street fashion, vintage treasure, or cool souvenirs. And relish together all those sights, sounds, and unpredictable encounters that signal the return of Athens’ seductive summer energy, as we freely explore the city’s beating urban neighborhoods, each with its own distinct village vibe.

During the extended second lockdown (in effect to varying degrees since 7 November), the City of Athens has rolled up its sleeves to ensure that the Greek capital is both safe and more accessible to welcome back visitors and residents alike this month. These expansive initiatives have included improving sidewalks and cleaning streets, removing graffiti across the city, smartening up the National Garden and scenic slopes of Mount Lycabettus, and planting bright flora and new “pockets parks” to green up the urban experience. Athens has also refined its social distancing protocols to ensure that citizens and visitors experience a buoyant, re-charged, and well-prepared city.

More specifically, here’s what now open (or about to open) in Athens this month:

• Restaurants and bars have reopened their outdoor spaces.
• Open-air archaeological sites such as the Acropolis and the Roman Agora are open with strict protocols.
• Organised beaches are operating again with strict health protocols.
• Hairdressers, barbers, beauty, and nail salons are open (by appointment).
• Parks have reopened and fishing in coastal municipalities is permitted again.
• Museums and conservatories are operating with visitor quotas and protocols.
• Summer cinemas and outdoor cinema screenings recommence on 21 May with 75% capacity.
• Live shows in outdoor spaces and theatre venues resume on 28 May for seated attendance only, with a fixed occupancy rate of 50%.

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Whether you've just arrived in town – or have been here for years – Athens always has new secrets to share! 
This is Athens is the official guide to this captivating city of ancient energies and booming urban culture. Compiled by a team of specialist local writers, This is Athens brings you an authentic and intimate portrait of a living Athens beyond the guidebooks – along with daily curated listings of all the best events and great weekend inspiration all-year round. From must-know neighbourhoods and emerging art hubs, to gourmet hotspots, cool shopping and the buzziest bars, This is Athens will help you to get the most out of living in Athens!

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