The Acropolis and museums are closed on public holidays but there are plenty of other things to do in Athens on bank holidays.
As you’ll discover below, you don’t necessarily need to enter a site in Athens to see it!
The Roman Agora at Athens is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Greece. But you will not be able to enter on public holidays. Nonetheless, the site is surrounded by public streets and a low fence, so you can see a lot of it from outside. The bonus is that when the site is empty, there won't be anyone in your picture of the Tower of the Winds.
The Plaka district of Athens, which is located on the slopes of the Acropolis and is accessible by many stairways, is open 24 hours a day, including on bank holidays. Take your time and let yourself get lost, discovering churches and street art before sitting down in a restaurant, that are all open!
Even when most other sites are closed, you can still get up close to Athens's history. The Arch of Hadrian (Hadrian's Gate), part of an ancient city wall, is right next to one of Athens's busiest roads in the center of the city and is free to visit any day of the year.
The National Garden, located in downtown Athens behind Syntagma Square, is one of the loveliest places to visit on a nice day. The park has a botanical garden, children's play area, ponds and fountains, statues, and lots of shady spots to sit down. In the middle of the park stands Zappeion Hall--a grand, sunshine-yellow palace built as a venue for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
This elegant marble stadium, shaped like a horseshoe and built in 330 BCE, only to be restored in 1895 for the 1896 Olympics, is closed on many public holidays, including May 1st. However, it is only separated from the public area by a low fence, so you can see the whole thing without needing to go inside.
On May 1, many Athenians will take the day off work and travel to the countryside or spend time relaxing at home. Restaurants and cafes throughout the main tourist areas including Plaka, Vouliagmeni, Monastiraki, and Psirri are open with Athenians enjoying their day off and visitors enjoying the city.
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