..protests and the streets are closed. Get information from your hotel for possible traffic regulations.
..the airport’s ticket office and combine it with 3-day transportation by all the means that the city offers…for ONLY 22€!
..the bottles with their own wine. Ask them to bring the bottle sealed and open it in front of you.
..free access to all means of public transport.
..Change of Guard on Sunday at 10:30-11:00 in the morning. 120 Evzones create a unique spectacle. Notice: Get there earlier to ensure a good spot.
Athens is a city that hides dangers and traps. But Tips for Athens will make your travel life easier. It is best to know everything before you get there, in order to avoid lines, move around comfortably and save money and time.
- The best seasons to visit Athens are Spring and Autumn.
- There is sunshine 300 days of the year.
- The area of Omonia is not safe (day and night), so you should take care of your personal belongings.
- During the summer months temperatures are high, the atmosphere is sultry and the sun burns.
- In August, many non-tourist stores remain closed.
- Traffic in the city during rush hours can become unbearable. Start early or brace yourselves with lots of patience.
- During national holidays and anniversaries (March 25th / October 28th), you can watch the parade in front of the Hellenic Parliament building.
- There are often protests and the streets are closed. Get information from your hotel for possible traffic regulations.
- All stores accept credit / debit cards.
- During the summer, it would be best to always carry a bottle of water, a hat and sunscreen.
- Follow the route from Monastiraki, go past the Ancient Agora (Adrianou Street), then follow the road to Theseion (Apostolos Pavlos Street), cross Dionysiou Areopagitou Street and enjoy some coffee in Plaka with a view of the Acropolis.
- You can move around by bus, tram, trolley, metro or the electric railway.
- A ticket is valid for all means of public transport. Caution: It is not valid for transport from and to the airport (read below).
- SOS: Get a round-trip ticket from the airport’s ticket office and combine it with 3-day transportation by all the means that the city offers…for ONLY 22€!
- Use the “rechargeable” ATH.ENA TICKET (it can be charged with tickets of up to 5 days, while it must be empty to be recharged).
- Get your tickets from the ticket offices or the automatic vendors.
- Caution, cases of thefts have been reported during rush hours.
- The tourist line “Express X80” operates as hop-on/ho-off and connects the port of Piraeus to the center of Athens. There are two tickets of 24 hours and 3 days and allow unlimited trips.
- Transportation of pets is allowed, as long as they are in a kennel, with dimensions of up to 70x50x40cm (up to 10 kilos, allowed only with a leash and muzzl).
- Entrance to large animals, apart from guide dogs, is not allowed.
- The unemployed have free access to all means of public transport.
- There are four bus lines from the airport: X95: Syntagma-Airport / X96: Piraeus-Airport / X97: Metro Elliniko-Airport / X93: Kifissos Intercity Bus Station-Airport.
Eleftherios Venizelos Airport to City Center:
- By bus:
X95: Syntagma-Airport, every 15-20 minutes, trip duration 45-50 minutes, cost 6€.
- By metro:
Red line, trip duration 35-40 minutes, cost 10€.
- By taxi:
Transport costs around 40€, trip duration 30 minutes.
- Most lines run from 05:00 to 00:00.
- They stop later on Friday-Saturday-Sunday.
- The airport lines run 24/7.
- It is not allowed to board the bus along the route from the airport and disembark on the route to the airport.
- Line No. 040 Piraeus-Syntagma runs 24/7.
- The night lines are No. 500, 790 and X14.
- The city has three lines, green (a.k.a. the electric railway), red and blue.
- Routes from 05:00 to 00:30.
- Every Friday and Saturday night the red and blue lines run until 02:30.
- During rush hours, there are trains every 2-3 minutes.
- Parking for visitors in the center of Athens is charged.
- Controlled parking is in effect for visitor spots on workdays 09:00-21:00 and on Saturday 09:00-16:00.
- Maximum allowed duration for parking is 3 hours and the charge is 0.50€ for half an hour (increased by 0.50€ for every half hour).
- You will not find parking spots in Plaka.
- Athens is not a cyclist-friendly city, so you should be careful.
- Bikes are not allowed inside buses and trolleys, unless they are folding and do not impede passenger pass-through.
- On the metro and tram, only two bikes at any given time are allowed in the last wagon.
- Archaeological sites, museums and attractions are flooded with groups during the summer months.
- The combo ticket is valid for:
Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, Archaeological Site of Lykeion, Library of Hadrian, Northern cliff of Acropolis, Kerameikos, Athens Ancient Agora Museum, Southern Cliff of Acropolis, Olympieion, Athens Roman Forum.
Entrance to public sites and museums is Free:
- Every first Sunday of the month in November-March.
- On October 28th and March 25th (national anniversaries).
- On March 6th (Melina Merkouri Memorial Day).
- On April 18th (International Day for Monuments and Sites).
- On May 18th (International Museum Day).
- On June 5th (World Environment Day).
- On the last weekend of September of each year (European Days of Cultural Heritage).
Entrance to public sites and museums is Free for:
- Youth up to 18 years old (EU citizens).
- Unemployment card holders
- University students from country-members of the EU (they qualify for reduced ticket in some museums).
- Every hour, the Evzones perform the famous Change of Guard for 15 minutes.
- Do not miss out on the Change of Guard on Sunday at 10:30-11:00 in the morning. 120 Evzones create a unique spectacle. Notice: Get there earlier to ensure a good spot.
- Every Sunday at 12:00 tours are organized for individual visitors. See HERE (Booking is mandatory at least 1 month in advance.)
- Visit it on a weekday at the opening, so as to avoid lines and large crowds.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as the climb up is not the easiest of tasks.
- Avoid climbing up the monument during the summer afternoon hours.
- The best time to visit it is early in the morning or before closing.
- Ticket purchase is done exclusively at the central entrance (Acropolis metro station).
- The second entrance is located at the end of Dionysiou Aeropagitou Street.
- The Municipality of Athens offers free wifi to the square’s visitors.
- Get informed about possible protests before visiting it.
- During the summer months, due to all the marble, temperatures tend to get really high.
- The best time to visit it is early in the morning or before closing.
- Caution: On rainy days the marbles are very slippery.
- From the tier 21 you can capture the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, the Zappeion, the hill of Philopappos, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the National Garden.
Athens Ancient Agora & Stoa of Attalos
- Visit it early in the morning before the groups of students/tourists get there, or before closing.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
- The best month is September, as the attendance of an event is more pleasant with the existence of cool air.
- During the winter months, you can admire it from above (Acropolis) or from the pedestrian walkway of Dionysiou Aeropagitou.
- On Sundays (especially if the weather is nice) visitor rates skyrocket and waiting time might be as much as 30 minutes.
- Purchase your tickets online for the Skip line option.
- Every Tuesday & Thursday, with the Cosmote Deals, you have the chance to get two tickets for the price of one.
Allou! Fun Park
- From Monday to Thursday, with the Cosmote Deals, you have the chance to get two tickets for the price of one.
- The cable car works every day from 09:00 to 01:30.
- Go up with the cable car and climb down on foot.
- The round-trip ticket is a bargain.
- Trips are scheduled for every 30 minutes, but if visitor rates exceed the normal levels, they run more frequently.
- Do not go up if the weather is bad or when it is foggy.
- Ideal visiting time is during the sunset.
- Photographs are not allowed in all areas of the museum.
- Free wifi access is provided.
- Book a tour so that you know what you are looking at.
- Free entrance days: March 6th (Melina Merkouri Memorial Day), March 25th, May 18th (International Museum Day), October 28th.
- Book your tickets online.
- The museum does not have parking facilities.
- Enjoy your coffee or meal in the excellent café-restaurant with a view of the Acropolis.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
- Free transportation of visitors is offered daily by a Shuttle bus. The bus starts at the lower side of the Syntagma Square. (See HERE).
- Every Sunday 10:30-12:30, there is a scheduled route from the Cultural Center to Sygrou-Fix and vice versa, due to the Change of Guard.
- The Center offers parking upon charge and bicycle parking spots.
- By bus: Lines B2, 550 / Terminal: stop Onasseio.
Tourist Traps ⚔️
- Avoid the area of Exarchia in the evening.
- Many restaurants and bars refill the bottles with their own wine. Ask them to bring the bottle sealed and open it in front of you.
- Athens gets dangerous at night so do not walk in streets that are not adequately lit.
- At night, underpasses turn into “homes” for the homeless, addicts and dangerous individuals!
- Many bars/clubs serve unclean drinks! If you realize anything like that, ask them to replace it.
- Outside some sites of archaeological interest there are some fake tour guides. Prefer only official guides.
- Do not buy anything from street vendors (cell-phones, perfumes, jewelry etc.). They are usually stolen.
- Shops in Plaka sell souvenirs 2-3 times more expensive than the rest of the shops in the center.
- In many tourist restaurants, they perform the known trick with the double menus (different prices in the one they bring you at first from the “tweaked” ones).
- Taxis have the tendency to charge more. Load the route on your phone in order to avoid circling/unnecessary kilometers!
- Ask for the kilometric distance and the cost (approximately) to the point of your interest before you get a taxi.
- Tipping is not mandatory, but greatly appreciated by waiters/waitresses.
- The dozens of restaurants around the Acropolis serve bad quality food.
- Try the Greek cuisine, you will be impressed by the delicious Mediterranean flavors. Avoid burgers, pizzas, sushi etc.
- On Fridays and weekends you will have to make reservations, as most restaurants are at 100% occupancy!
- Do not opt for restaurants with barkers and windows with photographs showcasing their foods.
- Bear in mind that the best taverns and restaurants are NOT on the central streets, but in narrow roads close to them.
- Prices in taverns-restaurants located close to tourist sites or central roads are inexplicably high.
- You will find authentic Greek flavors in neighborhoods such as Agia Paraskevi, Korydallos, Paleo Faliro, Nea Smyrni and more. (Not included in TripAdvisor).