As temperatures soar above 40 Celsius on Wednesday in the latest of a series of heatwaves that have made this summer one of the hottest on record, City Hall has opened dozens of air-conditioned venues where citizens can seek refuge from the heat. The Friendship Clubs will remain open through Thursday when temperatures are expected to start dropping to normal seasonal levels. Most venues will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. while some will remain open until 8 p.m. The areas include the central neighborhoods of Koukaki, Kolonos, Votanikos, Kypseli, Metaxourgeio, Petralona, Neos Kosmos and Pangrati.
According to data collected by the National Meteorological Service, this June was the third-hottest on record. The average high -- as recorded at the weather station in the Athens suburb of Nea Philadelphia -- was 34.6 Celsius, which is more than 3 degrees above the seasonal average.