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Athens gets less excited about Christmas and New Year than most of its northern European counterparts. It’s only during the last decade that the city has been putting an effort into organizing outdoor concerts and other events and Athenians seem to respond in greater numbers every year.

The seasonal festivities officially start with the lighting up of the city Christmas tree in Syntagma Sq by the Mayor. Unfortunately at the time we went to press the detailed schedule of events was not available but we can safely say that there will be daily happenings on most Athenian squares, small outdoor markets, concerts, etc.

On the New Year’s eve every year a huge stage on Syntagma Sq hosts a free concert with many famous Greek artists and bands playing from early evening. A good place to be when the year changes is under the Acropolis or even better on Filopapou hill which is less crowded than Syntagma and you can enjoy the full fireworks spectacle that takes place on the hill.

Most Athenian restaurants and hotels on Christmas and New Year evenings offer formal dinners with special menus but bear in mind that prices are fixed and high. It can cost anything between €50-200 per person for a set menu, wine and champagne. Unfortunately Greece is a country where everything is taken care of at the last minute, so we were not able to have specific prices and menus from anyone. It is therefore advisable that you call the restaurant or hotel of your choice for details.

Finally, all bars and nightclubs organize special events that on New Year won’t start before 1:00 am the earliest, and most five star hotels serve ‘New Year Breakfast’ from the early hours (€30-€80).

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