Athens Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by rexvaughan
  • Local Customs
    by rexvaughan
  • Local Customs
    by rexvaughan

Best Rated Local Customs in Athens

  • Zeibekiko

    by grkboiler Written Dec 12, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Zeibekiko at a house party

    The zeibekiko is a slow improvised dance that is popular throughout the Greek world. It has its origins in the eastern Aegean islands and Asia Minor. Rebetika music in Athens and Piraeus changed the dance and its rhythms to what it is today.

    Zeibekiko is a dance of personal expression and comes from the soul. It is often performed alone by men while others surround him on their knees and clap. There is no correct way to dance it, and some dancers do some amazing tricks. This is a dance that requires lots of creativity and balance.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • Orkaena's Profile Photo

    FLEA MARKET, ALWAYS ON SUNDAY

    by Orkaena Written Aug 15, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Flea Market view, Plaka

    One sunday early in the morning I wake up (no explanation about it) meanwhile mi wife still sleeping. The city were almost desert, but when I was approaching to Plaka I was surprised by a crowd, a crowd of locals and some tourists.
    I asked to someone and he looked at me surprised: "Don't you know? The Flea Market, every sundays." That was all.
    I started wandering slowly from the orthodox Cathedral crossing the entire Plaka quarter till the Thission bus stop. Amazing.
    Every inhabitant of the Plaka quarter had taken his most oldest and unuseful belongs and posted it on the sidewalk in front of their doors.
    There was everything, from very old 75 rpm discs, ancient weapons, plates, clothes, old clock watches, pieces of unknown machines, at all , everythings that you can imagine.
    The way of commerce? offer, and bargain, perhaps you'll obtain some valuable belongs or just a nice memory.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • oriettaIT's Profile Photo

    Smoking

    by oriettaIT Written Sep 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Everybody in Greece seems to be a smoker! I saw many many men and women smoking there, a lot of them smoke hand made cigarettes.
    If you are not a smoker I suggest you to ask your hotel to reserve you a no-smoking room or you will be very disappointed by your room's smell....

    Was this review helpful?

  • oriettaIT's Profile Photo

    Backgammon

    by oriettaIT Written Sep 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Backgammon is a very popular game in Greece, everywhere you can see people playing. In the bar, sat outside their home or also working, while waiting for a customer.
    In my photos you can see some streets seller enjoying their game.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Robin020's Profile Photo

    Language Time

    by Robin020 Written Jun 13, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    in Greece They speak Greek,here are some usefull words and phrases.

    Hello: Ya sou
    delicious : nostimo
    how are you : olla kala? ,ti kanies?,pos paei

    Good : Kala ,Mia hara

    Thanks: Efharisto

    Please: Se parakalo

    Here you go : oristei

    where is airport: po einai to aerodromio

    expensive: akrivo

    Cheap: ftino

    Far : makri

    Near : konda

    Bus : leoforio

    Kiosk : periptero

    Passport: diafatirio

    How much : poso kanie

    DO not mention it ,you are welcome : tipota

    No problem: den pirazie

    Do i bother : se enoxloo

    Much : pio poli

    Less : legotero

    little : ligo

    1: Ena ,2: dio, 3: tria,4:tesera,5:pendeh,6:eksi,7:epta ,8:okto,9:enea,10:deka

    Was this review helpful?

  • Susumarie's Profile Photo

    For Dumb Americans - Ask for the Check!

    by Susumarie Written Sep 19, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For those Americans on their first time out of the U.S., a big difference you will find when dining is the waiters will not be rushing you away from their tables by giving you the check immediately -- or ever, until you ask for it. You will be sitting forever if you don't request the check. And for Europeans coming to the U.S., expect the check to be shoved at you any time from when your food first arrives till you say you've had enough, depending on the quality of the restaurant, but don't feel like you have to leave -- just a difference in the custom.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • starstudio's Profile Photo

    Dos & Dont's

    by starstudio Written Oct 23, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    >Shake hands with everyone you meet. Don’t be surprised if -once they get to know you a little bit better- they kiss you on both cheeks. It means they feel comfortable with you.

    >Make sure you dress modestly when visiting a church or monastery, which basically means keeping your chest and thighs covered. It’s also customary to drop a coin in the donation box and light a candle.

    >When invited over to a house, it’s advisable to bring a gift to the host, be it flowers, a bottle of wine or some desert. Arriving empty handed makes you look kinda cheap!

    >We know it’s said that Greeks don’t mind being asked personal questions -as we ask some ourselves- but don’t overdo it.
    Asking someone you just met how much money they make is plain rude. You might be asked about your marital status.

    >Another myth buster: If you want a second serving from what you’ve been eating, just say so. If you’re a guest you’ll probably be asked once, so don’t be shy. If you don’t want more, say that too. In a restaurant, feel free to serve yourself and it’s also nice to ask others if they want any.

    >Its customary for people to arrive 30 minutes late for a dinner party.

    >Bars, clubs and bouzoukia require formal dress, so keep your flip-flops for the beach! Cheap eateries like tavernas and smaller bars are casual.

    >It is customary when eating in taverns, mezedopolia or oinomageiria to buy plates for everyone to share, rather than one plate for each person. However, if you still want a main course for yourself, feel free to get it.

    >A 16% gratuity is included in some bills, but you’re expected to leave something extra to round off the amount.

    >Greeks often -not always- don’t respect queues, so stay alert for queue jumpers

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Saying Please and Thank You

    by trudik Written Aug 16, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It was in all the guide books, but it's really true. If you can get your mouth around the words for please (pah-rah-kah-LAW) and thank you (eff-hah-reese-TAW), and use them liberally, people smile at you when they are selling you something or otherwise in business with you. I never managed any more than those two words, but I got smiled at a whole lot.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Aggeliki's Profile Photo

    Musicians from all over the world

    by Aggeliki Written Oct 4, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    a band playing traditional music from Peru

    In the streets of the center of the city and in some shopping areas of the suburbs you see very often musicians from all ovel the world. This one is playing traditional music from Peru. You can but also their cd with the music they play!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Pretzel Man and Corn Man

    by GracesTrips Written Oct 25, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    All over Athens you can find someone peddling pretzels and some peddling roast corn on the cob. I found it interesting to see this one peddler trying to find a spot to "set up shop" as he carried the table top of pretzels on his head. I have to tell you, I never bought either item because....I saw one guy handle the corn with his bare hands after handling the sale of corn by handling the cash. This would never happen here in the states. I'm not a germaphobic but this just did not seem sanitary enough for me.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    See the kitchen

    by ealgisi Written Apr 18, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I found Greek people very friendly.
    If you go eat in a Taverna (a local restaurant), and someone invites you to see the kitchen ad shows you the food before cooking it, don't say no, go and have a look around in the kitchen.

    They are proud to show you the kitchen, i think is a way to show you how they work and ther working environment.

    Was this review helpful?

  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Slow coffees

    by SirRichard Written May 6, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 frappes...

    If you ask for a coffee (Nescafe frappe, mmm) in one of those lovely terraces at Plaka or Thyssio, take it eeeeeaaasy. Enjoy it, relax, watch the people go by...
    Old greeks say it shouldn't take you less than 4-5 hours to drink a coffee. Better keep your watch out of sight, and enjoy!!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Food and Dining
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ouzo

    by WillAntoniou Written Jul 13, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ouzo from lesvos

    I've noticed that when tourists come to Greece, especially young ones, they want to try Ouzo. But then what they do is drinking like a shot. This is not how you are supposed to drink Ouzo. The way we drink it is in a tall glass, with ice or water, and sip over a longer period of time. Ouzo is a very strong drink, the only think you'll do by drinking it in shots is get really drunk, and then really sick. But then again if that's your goal, party on.

    As far as the best brands, it is well known in Greece the best Ouzo come from the island of Lesvos. There are many brands from the island. But, if you can't find it, "Mini" or "Barbayannis" are good.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Food and Dining
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • mapakettle's Profile Photo

    Greek Coffee commonly known as Turkish Coffee

    by mapakettle Updated Dec 2, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the pot contains heated sand

    The World's First Coffee Pot ...

    The ibrik was originally designed to brew coffee in hot sand in the desert, but a stove top will do fine.

    First fill the ibrik 2/3 full with water, add sugar to taste (if you like your Turkish coffee sweet) and top it with a heaping teaspoon of finely ground coffee. The coffee seals the narrow top creating an oven effect. As the water begins to boil it will foam up through the coffee. Let it foam up three times. Stir.

    Pour slowly into two small demitasse cups and it's ready for savoring. Pay attention to the foaming. It is the skill part of the process. If you don't your ibrik will become volcanic and deposit your Turkish coffee on your stove....what a loss and what a mess.

    Ibrik, Briki, Brika, Brickee, Jesvah, Pannikin ... many different names for the same thing!

    See additional tips below for making your perfect 'brew'...

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • OrlandoBR's Profile Photo

    Ouzo - the Greek drink

    by OrlandoBR Written Mar 2, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The ouzo I brought home

    Scotland has whisky, Mexico has tequila, in Brazil we drink cachaça and in Greece, OUZO. I have no idea how good or bad the ones I bought are, but they were small enough to fit my already overweight luggage... now I'm waiting for the right moment to use them...

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Athens

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

70 travelers online now

Comments

Athens Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Athens local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Athens sightseeing.

View all Athens hotels