Safety Tips in Athens

  • "George" The Scammer
    by JB10
  • Hollywood Bar, Athens
    Hollywood Bar, Athens
    by DenMurphy
  • A road accident
    A road accident
    by greekcypriot

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Athens

  • greekcypriot's Profile Photo

    Beggars in Athens!

    by greekcypriot Written Apr 13, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You will often come across beggars in Athens.
    Some of them exercise this as a hobby because they are lazy to work.
    Of course they are not Greeks but all sorts of other nationalities who have come to the country.
    Not everyone should be trusted.
    The one in my photo is limb ok

    A beggar in Athens
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    REMAIN VIGILANT - DON't BECOME A VICTIM

    by LoriPori Written Jul 23, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pickpocketing, purse snatching, luggage theft, muggings and other crimes against foreign visitors are on the rise. Remain vigilant and ensure personal belongings, passports and all other travel documents are secure at all times. Do not show signs of affluence. Do not walk in the Athens district of Monastiraki or Omonia or around the two railway stations of Larissa and Peloponissos after dark. Avoid secluded areas. parks and down-market bars and restaurants especially after dark. The tourist police number is 171. The emergency number for police, ambulance, fire and coast guard services is 112. This 24-hour service for visitors is available in English and French.
    This information is courtesy of the Greek Travel Advisory I received from my travel agent

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Arial_27's Profile Photo

    girls, beware

    by Arial_27 Updated Jul 13, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A lot of Greek men (generally speaking) love young tourist girls; and they are especially crazy about blondes. I guess because they aren't used to seeing many. I had a lot of men; such as waiters, shop ownsers, and random strangers on the street; flirt with me, stroke my arm, grab me, etc. No harm was intended from the admiration or flirting, I found that the men were just very forward.
    So don't be too alarmed if you find they're staring at you or if they sort of touch you. If it makes you uncomfortable, just ask them to stop or try to ignore them. Like I said, the attention is usually harmless, but of course can be a safety issue too if it gets out of hand! Believe me, if you're in a situation where you feel uncomfortable; go with your instict and get out of it immediately.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Backpacking
    • Women's Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo

    The Crowds at the Acropolis

    by Paul2001 Written Jan 21, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Acropolis is the most important attraction in Athens and one of the most magnificant monuments in all of Europe. Hence it is very crowded with tourists, especially package groups. Although you would think that judging by this picture that there were not to many tourists about during my visit to the Acropolis, this was in fact not the case. Usually to avoid the crowds one should either visit in the early morning or the late afternoon. I visited in the afternoon well after lunchtime and it was very crowded with hordes of tourists passing by me while I was attempting to take this shot. Finally I gave up and took a photo anyway. Fortunately I managed a shot where there were not to many people meandering about.
    The climb up to the Acropolis will test your patients because of all of the slower people having difficulty with the steep walk. So do not go in a rush. You should not hurry through this delightful monument anyway.

    Crowds milling about the Acropolis

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pieter11's Profile Photo

    Be careful with ouzo...

    by Pieter11 Written Apr 13, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Of course everyone should try the national drink of Greece: ouzo, when visiting Athens. But be careful with it, because it´s really strong *** (40% of alcohol). Don´t mix with wine or beer, at least not with large amounts. Otherwise things can get out of control.

    But if you drink it in a decent way, it´s delicious! So just enjoy and think a little bit...

    Jori looking for goldfish in the toilet :P
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    nothing really to worry about

    by mindcrime Updated Sep 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hotels
    It’s better to book a hotel in advance and try to be in the city center, between Syntagma and Monastiraki if possible so to have the basic districts and monuments around. But even if you live somewhere else there will be for sure at least one bus leading to the center. The traffic is huge some days though so it’s better not to loose all your day in the bus, especially if you don’t have many days to spend in Athens. The bus X95 (5 euro) from the airport will take you directly to Syntagma square.

    Safety
    Athens is one of the safest big cities in Europe, you wont have any big trouble if you just use common sense and watch out for your valuables in croweded areas like in every touristic city. Pick pockets also like the packed local buses/trolley buses. There are a lot of beggars the last years but they don’t show any offensive behavior, just keep walking...
    During the night avoid the area around Omonoia square. Syntagma square and Plaka are very safe, you will see plenty of locals walking around because we like to go to clubs late. If you avoid badly-lit streets you will feel more comfortable anyway in any district.

    Demonstrations
    We have a lot, we like to participate but yes, sometimes it’s dangerous because they turn violent, into a fight with the police or other riots happen at the same. The area between Omonoia and Syntagma is mainly affected during big demonstrations, just say away from there during the protests.

    Strikes
    Not nice for a tourist but you may fall into a strike that may cause change of your travel plans. The last years the train network has seen lots of strikes but also local transport in Athens, less frequent in ferries. Air Traffic controllers often announce participation in general strikes too, keep in touch with your airline.

    Cars
    The Greeks aren’t good drivers, they don’t respect the signs and their car is their kingdom, the pedestrians are like ants :) Cross carefully the streets and even if you see a green light watch out for any car, they don’t stop sometimes :(
    If you want to drive inside Athens, good luck! You will stuck in traffic for good, and the other drivers will drive you nuts in 5’

    Finally, take note of 171, it’s the number of Tourist Police (you can call from anywhere in Greece, daily, 24hours) where you can find help if you are in trouble or just have difficulties with services, shops etc call them also to ask anything about bus timetables, boats, general strikes etc

    Was this review helpful?

  • Susumarie's Profile Photo

    Take Water

    by Susumarie Written Oct 10, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Everyone writes about seeing the Acropolis, of course, and yes, it is a must. But along that lines, do make sure you take along your own supply of water, as there is no water supply as you are hiking on up. There is a bathroom at the top, but again, you are best off carrying a good sized water bottle. I had my "city-safe shoulder bag" (http://www.magellans.com/store/Clothing_for_Women___HandbagsLB399?Args=)
    which has a compartment for a water bottle, very convenient. When we first set off for Europe, my daughter laughed at that bag, but she quit quickly...

    Heading up with H2O Parthenon being refurbished The Erechtheion
    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Susumarie's Profile Photo

    Don't Touch!

    by Susumarie Updated Oct 19, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the base of the path leading up to the Acropolis, just after coming through the booth paying admission, is a "patio" area with sculpture type artwork on display. They are not behind any type of protection, and there are no signs saying keep away. Well, my daughter just thought she would pose next to one of these, and we got put in our place quickly! There was an ancient looking woman sitting off to the side, you would think she was just a tourist resting before continuing on up, but not so! A guard in clever disguise, and she flew up to pounce on my unsuspecting daughter to get her grubby little paws off the sculpture. About scared the pants off her!

    So, don't touch, and beware of harmless looking little old ladies...

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Streetdogs.

    by leics Updated Jan 28, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are lots and lots of dogs on Athens streets.

    Most of them, I think, are not actually 'owned'. Those with collars (red and blue especially) are looked after by animal charities (neutered and fed) but I saw quite a lot without collars.

    They didn't cause me any trouble, and all seem happy enough just to do their doggy thing, wanderting around, sleeping in comfortable places etc etc.

    They are not running in packs, which would be scary.

    But don't be tempted to stroke them and, if you are with children, make sure they don't either. I saw one foolish man get nipped for doing exactly that.

    If you see a sleeping dog, let it lie undisturbed.

    Streetdog1 Streetdog 2
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Watch your step 1

    by leics Written Apr 10, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Marble is a beautiful stone.

    But when it is used for street surfaces, or for paving, it can be exceptionally slippery. This is the case when it is dry, but when it is wet it is lethal.

    There are a lot of marble pavements, steps and surfaces in Athens. Even when attempts have been made to give grip (by chipping holes in the surface) it doesn't really work.

    Make sure that whatever you are wearing on your feet has a reasonable grip and do take care. Good footwear may not always be the height of fashion, but it's better than a broken wrist or ankle ruining your holiday!

    Lovely but lethal!
    Related to:
    • Disabilities
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Watch your step 2

    by leics Written Apr 10, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Keramikos is a fascinating archeological site by the Thissio Metro stations.

    It contains part of the ancient cemetery, with superb tombs, as well as buildings and a really lovely museum.

    It also contains, to my amazement and pleasure, tortoises!

    Watch your step....because I very nearly trod on this baby tortoise, barely 10cm in length and wandering rather sleepily (it was early April) through the grassy site.

    I later saw an adult tortoise........much bigger, more easily seen.......but even so, don't stand on them!

    Baby tortoise. Adult tortoise.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Durfun's Profile Photo

    Last admittance!

    by Durfun Updated Jan 31, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Please note entrance into the Acropolis is denied after 1500 hours during the winter months**!! Lots of people turn back disappointed; I guess no one expects a sight to shut so early.

    Once in, however, people can stay on for a 'bit' longer :)

    They are very concerned about the restoration & preservation of their heritage sights.

    ** 'Winter months' in this instance means low season for tourism, i.e. between October and mid April. Don't worry, during the peak season it's open till 1900!

    However March has temperatures in the 20s, so one would expect longer visiting hours :-( It's due to the fact that more staff would need to be employed, perhaps not viewed as worthwhile when there are not enough visitors.

    Read the signs Note the times!
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    If you have walking difficulties....

    by leics Written Apr 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    .....you are going to find Athens difficult.

    Very few of the sites and places I visited were truly accessible for wheelchairs. You can see from the photo what the surface of the Acropolis 'wheelchair' route is.

    Whoever is pushing will have his or her work cut out.

    Pavements are often narrow, uneven and slippery and there are many steps, especially in the Plaka area.

    Most sites such as Kermeikos (superb) and Pnyx have only limited access and exploring them if you have difficulty in walking would not be easy.

    If you do not have 'normal' mobility I think you must accept that your visit to Athens is likely to be more curtailed than it might be in some other European cities.

    Access route on the Acropolis
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors
    • Disabilities

    Was this review helpful?

  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    Bar Scams!!!

    by wilocrek Updated Mar 21, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Being that I'm not exactly a frequent visitor of bar and taverns in Europe the following may not exactly be a scam but policy but I think its worth noting. While at a bar in the Plata section of Athens with a friend we were scammed out of 75 euro per person. We were sitting at the bar and the two female bartenders who took our orders started talking to us and then asked us if we minded if they had a drink...while I thought it was an odd request I shrugged and said yes as did my friend. After they finished their drink they asked if we minded if they had another...again I thought that was strange...but I just figured they were really polite. Finally after three times of asking our permission for them to have a drink they handed us each a bill that included a 25 euro charge for each of the three drinks they had. They never once mentioned that we were buying them drinks much less the cost. My friend speaks a little Greek and he said there weren't any signs up stating that patrons buy the bartenders drinks without ever officially agreeing to the transaction. We refused to pay and the owner went ballistic and tried to make us pay...we just walked out. So if your male and planning to go drinking in bars that have female bartenders be aware if they ask you permission to have a drink.

    Was this review helpful?

  • leigh767's Profile Photo

    Animal allergy, anyone?

    by leigh767 Written Apr 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This may be a small and silly point to make, but those who are extremely allergic to cats and dogs and the like might want to be careful around at the Acropolis and around the Plaka area because it's ladden with dogs and cats! For the rest of us, they are cute and are a nice presence, but just wanted to add a small footnote that yes, there are strays and non-strays (??) everywhere-- they're allowed to wander freely inside the ruins! Too bad for us who can't run up through the columns of the Parthenon on fours. :P

    Furry allergy?
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

Athens Hotels

See all 284 Hotels in Athens

Latest Athens Hotel Reviews

Hotel Solomou
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Aphrodite Hostel
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Airotel Stratos Vassilikos Athens
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Hotel Tempi
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 9 Reviews
Radisson Blu Park Hotel Athens
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Achilleas Hotel
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
San Remo Hostel
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Argo Hotel
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Baby Grand Hotel Athens
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Holiday Inn Athens Attica Avenue
Pleasant (2.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Student & Travellers' Inn
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 9 Reviews
Alma Hotel
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Ilion Hotel Athens
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Alassia Hotel
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review

Instant Answers: Athens

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

20 travelers online now

Comments

Athens Warnings and Dangers

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Athens locals.
Map of Athens