Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Favorite thing: Probably most times,this is not a bad way to see a lot of the city and gives you the flexibility to stop for whatever time you want (or not) at various locations in Athens. Be aware that sometimes events or traffic can affect the route. We missed a couple of stops, including the stadium built for the 2004 Olympic Games, the day we went as there was some kind of demonstration on the route and traffic was diverted. At one point, one of the buses passed by our stop without even slowing down. In her journal, my wife noted that she was “very unhappy” with the tour. Barring these problems it might not be a bad tour at what I think is a reasonable price at about $18 per person. More info at their link:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: Varkiza belongs to the Municipallity of Vari situated in northern Attica.It lies approxiamately 2kms south of Vari and about 22kms south of Athens. It is a beautiful suburb of Athens with a sandy beach called yabanaki which has tennis court,restaurant,coffee shop,shower,water ski.
The Treaty of Varkiza was signed in 1945 to end the Greek Civil War.
- Food and Dining
Favorite thing: Athens, the capital of Greece and home to the shrine of Democracy... I had heard contradicting opinions about it so I was not sure I was interested in visting it: some said chaotic, others polluted, other again unattractive... and most of all, they all agreed that in July the temperatures were unbearably hot. So when we decided we'd take a cruise - we had also decided that our 17-months baby would never set foot in the city.
Fondest memory: Athens 2011. the shrine of democracy is falling: everyone is protesting and stiking, especially taxi drivers. Arriving to the Pireus I had envisaged to give the city a miss and head to Voulagniemi lake... well, with the ongoing taxi strike there wasn o other choice than to use the efficient public transportation system and head to... the Acropolis, of course!!!
The stray dogs of Athens.
Favorite thing: In Athens you will see lot´s of stray dogs wandering the streets.
Of course it´s never nice to see dogs with no home, but at least the dogs in Athens seems to be better fed and more healthy than in other citires around the world.
Many of the students in Athens feed the dogs and therefor they often hang out around polytechnic school where you have lot´s of students.
They also have a habit of following the local greeks when they demonstrate and they also like to tag along tourist groups walking through Athens as they know that a crowd usually means a few food leftovers.
You do not need to worry about the stray dosg in terms of safety.
I have never seen any of them being agressive to tourists and they are generally big calm guys living a lazy life.
On a funny note, one of the stray dogs of athens ended up with a facebook fan group a few years ago with several thousand members following the life of an Athens stray dog.Related to:
- Road Trip
A stroll in Plaka
Favorite thing: Take a stroll in Plaka and get to the beautiful narrow alleys under the Acropolis.
You will come across beautiful classical buildings with flowery gardens.
I recently went up the hill and the smell of jasmine was all over in the air.
It was such an enjoyable walk!Related to:
- Family Travel
Mavro Lithari beach
Favorite thing: On the road from Athens to Sounio after Saronida , there is an amazing well-organized beach called Mavro Lithari.The two beach bars provide for 6 euros sunbeds and umbrellas (price for 2 sunbeds and umbrella) to the beachgoers. The beach bar offers drinks and coffees, locker room and toilets. For those they don't like to pay the rest of the beach is free.Related to:
Favorite thing: Lomvarda Bay
Situated at the 33 km of the avenue leading from Athens to Sounio.
You may choose between the beach bar Mojito Bay, where the beach is sandy but you will pay for two sunbeds and an umbrella 10 euros as well as you will have to listen to the music coming from the beach bar or go the left where the beach is quiet (no music) . In that case you won't have sunbeds.Related to:
Omonia Square and the surrounding areas
Favorite thing: Dear Malcolm,
Greece is a lovely country, unfortunately corruption by government officials, civil servants and ordinary people from different nationality has ruined our country. Today our government is trying to rectify the situation but it seems it will take very long to do just that. Corruption is very deep rooted and still strongly active with no sight to eliminate this virus. Yes we have a very bad economic crisis and it is effecting us all. Now is your best chance to enjoy a cheap holiday from hotel accommodation to food, having said that some restaurants in some Islands haven't lowered their prices but if you search around the area where your hotel is located I am sure you will find cheap taverns and family restaurants. As for Athens and for safety reasons do not approach Omonia Square and the surrounding areas, better to stay in Syndagma Square. This is a safety advice for travelers wishing to visit Athens and specially Omonia Square.
Wish you a nice holiday
ATHENS THE CAPITAL OF HISTORY HERRITAGE AND BEAUTY
Favorite thing: Athens is a city that embraces contemporary design and architecture, bussing bars and design-driven hotels, while the classics never go out of style.
Athens offers high quality of life, embracing contemporary design, art and architecture, friendly people, buzzing nightlife and good food. The best thing about living and working in Athens is that you can easily escape from it to beautiful seaside landscapes or snow-covered mountains, the nearest Greek island being only a 40-minute boat-trip away. Despite problems such as traffic, parking, relatively high prices and lack of parks, overall it is a rewarding place to live and work.
It is a fact that Athenians work hard and long hours, yet coffees and meals of shared (mezze) sometimes go on forever. During the weekends, lunch can easily slide into supper.
Fondest memory: The visit to the Acropolis citadel, and the visit to the New Athens museum are my best memories. It worths every single penny. After a sweaty hike up marble steps smoothed by centuries of sightseers, the first monument to see in the Acropolis citadel is Propylaea, Greek word for entrance. Walking through Propylaea one is faced by the Nikis Temple, Erechtheio and the Parthenon. Huddled below the Acropolis are the Dionyssus and Herodion theatres, the ancient Agora and the tiled neo-classical roofs of 19th century Plaka. Beyond, modern Athens stretches as far as the sea and the mountains surrounding it.
I remember when I walked up the Acropolis and visited all the Ancient sights how proud I felt for beeing born Greek!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Useful phone numbers
Favorite thing: The most common European emergency number 112 (following Directive 2002/22/EC: Universal Service Directive) and also standard on GSM mobile phones. 112 is used in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in addition to their other emergency numbers.
Here are some useful phone numbers that you might need while in Greece:
Forest fire: 191
Coast guard emergency intervention: 108
Counter- narcotics immediate intervention: 109
Favorite thing: A tourist can go to swim in Varkiza. Beautiful , organized beach with restaurants, cafe near the seaside.
Water sporst are also possible.
Tickets: Monday-Friday 6 euros with bed and umbrella
Saturday-Sunday-holidays: 7 euros
Children up to 6 years: free
Apartments for all day stay: 60 euros for workings days and 80 euros for weekendsRelated to:
- Spa and Resort
Frape coffee, a Greek institution !!!
Favorite thing: A true Greek obsession,
frappe coffee is the highest selling cold drink of
the summer. Definitely not as sophisticated as
cappuccino or espresso, it’s made of Nescafe’s
instant coffee, water and ice. Shaken, not
stirred. Sugar and milk are optional.
You can order it in any café, or even
buy it in DIY packages in kiosks. Keep
in mind the frothy drink is not for the
faint-hearted: Its flavour is intense and
may prove heavy on the stomach, so you
might consider accompanying it with a
light snack from the menu. When ordering
one, you should say if you want it sweet
(glikos), medium (metrios) or without sugar
(horis zahari) and also if you want it with milk
(me gala), or black (sketos).
Then sit back, drink it slowly over the next couple of hours and do some people-watching. Every café in Athens makes a decent frappe, but the best people watching can be done in Kolonaki, Thisio and around Syntagma square.
Ticket House for concert tickets
Favorite thing: This is your place if you’re lnto live music. They sell tickets for almost every concert, from typical live venues till big arenas like the rockwave festival in summer. It’s in the center (near Panepistimio metro station) so you can pass by and see what’s going on around the days you’ll be in Athens.
You can also check for upcoming concerts at www.ticketpro.gr but they charge a small fee if you buy they ticket this way. They are open daily (except Sunday) 10:30-18:30 (Saturday till 16:00)
Address:Panepistimiou 42(turn right into the small alley. Tel.:3608366Related to:
Day out in Athens.
Favorite thing: We stopped at Athens from a cruise ship - which meant we docked at Piraeus and got a taxi into Athens itself (which is about 40 minutes).
We were unfortunate enough to get a dodge taxi driver who took us the long way around the side streets and charged us 40 Euros (it only cost 20 Euros to come back). He then refused to take us to the Plaka (the main shopping area) and instead took us to his family's jewellery store and refused to tell us where the shopping area was!
We nearly gave us on Athens at that point, but some kind person pointed us in the right direct and we walked the 20 minutes to the Plaka area that we had asked to be taken to in the first place!
The Plaka was a nicely set out shopping area in some places, and in others it was more difficult to find your way around. Athens was not as expensive as some places in Europe, but I didn't see anything really unusual to purchase.
It is also kind of difficult to get a taxi. They don't stop if you try to flag them down and it is not that easy to find a taxi rank. Luckily for us, we found one of the cruise ships 'recommended stores' who called us a taxi to take us back to the ship.
More accessable for disabled than other places in Europe.
Thank goodness for the Kiosk a.k.a. Periptero
Favorite thing: You find a Kiosk a.k.a. Periptero just about everywhere you are in central Athens. They are a godsend because they cold drinks, newspapers, magazines, snack and other small items. Very convenient when you're walking under the hot sun and get very thirsty. No need to go into a fancy cafe or supermarket to get some much needed water.
Just open the fridge door and pick what you need and pay the person behind the counter. Don't expect him to get something for you. The prices are slightly more than in the supermarket but a lot less than in a cafe.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
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