8 things to know before going to Athens

On December 2016, we got an opportunity to make a budget trip to Athens, so we jumped into it on the spot. As I’ve been in Greece say 4 times before, I didn’t anticipate any surprises, because: what could possibly be different? Wrong… I’ve been on the islands before and that made world of a difference. Don’t get me wrong, the trip was FANTASTIC and we absolutely loved the city and people, but I want to give you just a few tips before you travel to the capital of this wonderful country.

1. Check the current situation in the city!

Seriously, try to check the current political situation. When we arrived (07.12.2016) at 22.30 at the airport, we managed to get the last underground to the city center (18 euro per 2 people one way). We were incredibly lucky, as the day before there were some serious riots including the use of Molotov cocktails in the streets, which resulted in the massive strikes in almost every public sphere the day after our arrival. Had we arrived just a day later or before, we would have no way to get to the city via public transport, and the taxis at night can be quite expensive (around 50€) – not exactly the nicest way of starting holidays. Plus, when you get to the museum and hear that most exhibits are off for viewers due to the lack of personnel, who went on strike- this will probably raise your blood pressure as well.

2. Check the district in which you booked your accommodation

The obvious advice is: check how far from the city center your accommodation is and how you can get there. As with any other location, finding a cheap place to stay, but having to pay a significant amount of money and spend time on public transport may turn out to be not exactly the best deal. However, you can find fairly cheap hotels (40€ per night in a double room with breakfast/3* hotel) located even 700 meters  from the exact city center. That’s exactly, where we lived. Great, but… I’m generally strongly against any prejudices, but just keep in mind that you might end up feeling extremely uncomfortable on the small streets, especially in the evenings, surrounded by small groups of young guys in the neighborhood, where even the shops don’t always have Greek names. We’ve been offered several drugs without showing any interest in buying them (we even were chased by a dealer), some of which I can’t even repeat the name of and, unfortunately, we’ve seen the users of these substances with the syringes in their hands on our local street.  Seriously, my level of fear is generally fairly low, but I thought it would probably be wise not to go out running by myself even in the morning.

3. Try street food in the local restaurants

Time for a positive surprise. Before going, we read a lot about Greek street food, but we were honestly surprised by the popularity of this kind of snacks among the locals. It seemed that almost every other Greek was carrying some sort of a take-away snack, while rushing through the city. It was a good sign. The reality was even better… on almost every corner, there are lots of small restaurants (OK- mostly more like snack-bars, but doesn’t really matter in this case) with a variety of meals starting from literary 1€. Yeah… The average price of gyros is around 2-2.20€. The only thing to remember: try to stick with local dishes. The portion of French fries even in a bar can cost you at least twice the price of local food, but what you probably don’t know is that, in the majority of places, you’re going to get them inside of your gyros anyway. There’s absolutely no need to stick to sit-down restaurants, unless you’re willing to spend 3 or 4 times more for the same quality dish in which case: sure, go with it.

And one of the most crucial things for me: COFFEE. The Greeks seem to be equally addicted to this life-saving liquid as I am, so coffee can be bought absolutely everywhere, for the reasonable price of around 1,2 to 1,5€ (unless you visit Starbucks and pay more than for lunch…) But if you do wish to spend a bit more, but for a good reason, you should definitely try out one of the cafes situated on the roofs of the buildings surrounding the Monastriki. For a slightly higher price (4€ per latte), you can enjoy on outstanding view on the city life and the Acropolis.

4. Buy fruit and vegetable on the street market in the center.

Don’t make an assumption that the cheapest prices can only be found in supermarkets (which, by the way, are hard to be found in the city center- we only came across one…). We’ve seen a fish and meat market in the city center recommended on other blogs, but there turned out to be fruit and vegetables market right on the other side of the street as well, and there… MMMMmmm…. We came to Greece right in the middle of the season for citruses and the amount of fresh mandarins and oranges was overwhelming. And the price, I kid you not, 0,49€/kilo… Yeah…. And the guy just gave as a pomegranate as well and, I swear to god, it was one of the best I’ve ever had.

5. Be prepared that the ticket machines generally don’t work.

A good word of advice, especially when you always leave everything for the very last minute. If you want to take an underground or a train, look for the ticket office and stand in the queue, even though the ticket machines are almost everywhere. Why? They don’t work… Seriously, like none of them. It may be quite of an issue if you’re trying to catch the last train from the airport to the city and cannot buy tickets… For the same reason, you may consider buying a return ticket if you have such an opportunity, because sometimes finding an office in the smaller stations may be quite an adventure… Oh, but there are ticket machines, you may say… Oh yeah, they don’t work.

One thing that is absolutely great about Athens, that once you get to the city center everything is really close. If you want to hop from the Acropolis, say, to the Hadrian’s Library or one of the Agora’s- great, 10 minute walk and you’re there. We honestly only needed tickets to get to Piraeus (1,4€ one way), the rest of the city was perfectly walkable.

6. Ferries’ departure time

If you’re treating Athens as a departure point for Greek islands (which are wonderful, by the way…), you’ll probably be taking a ferry from the Piraeus Port (e.g. Athens-Crete- 40€). Well, I hope you’re not in a hurry and your patience level is fairly high… The delay for departure may be up to 2 hours. The lady in the ticket office will probably tell you to run, because the fairy is about to sail out, and then you stand on board for another hour or two looking for the trucks and cars being boarded. So just relax… The concept of time here is just slightly different.

7.  Scams

OK, first of all, we don’t consider the Greeks as being particularly greedy or anything. But, being in such a tourist-beloved place, the scams happen. Especially near Monastriki or, generally, in the city center.

The major two:

The guy approaches you and gives you the ‘fist bump’ or any initiates any other physical contact with your hand. Once you do this, he immediately puts a bracelet on your wrist claiming that it was already bought and that you should obviously pay for that. Our advice for that? Be polite but strict and don’t get into physical contact.

The other one is very similar, say you go on the street and a girl with balloons comes to you and asks if you could hold them for her. And once you do, it’s the same story as with the bracelets. And trust me, once you get those balloons, it’s hard to get yourself out without actually paying. So just in case, don’t touch them

8. Combine tickets for attractions

And the last advice concerns mostly travelling off-season. Firstly, if you’re into visiting all ancient ruins and dive into history, which is probably why you bothered travelling to Athens, there is a combined ticket, like: buy once, visit all ancient places: both Agoras, the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Library, the Temple of Zeus (not entirely true, as it does not include the entrance to the Olympic Stadium and, for instance, the Archaeological Museum).  Generally, it’s a great option if you’re going to visit those places anyway. However, this ticket costs 30€ (December 2016) and if you visit Athens in the off-season period, it’s possible that some of the attractions are closed due to renovation process. Make sure you ask about it before paying for the ticket, as it may turn out to be not the best option and only get on your nerves if half of the attractions turn out to be unavailable (which actually happened to one of our friends in previous February).

These are just some of the points that you might want to have in mind while travelling. However, going to Athens was a wonderful experience and we had such a good time there. It’s definitely a must see if you are in Europe!!!

57 Comments Add yours

  1. Kristen napisał(a):

    Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue regarding this paragraph here at
    this blog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.

  2. Go.Morovia.Com napisał(a):

    Hi Dear, are you actually visiting this site on a regular basis, if so
    afterward you will absolutely get nice knowledge.

  3. 42.Herber.pl napisał(a):

    Very excellent information can be found on weblog.

  4. zeng fanzhi napisał(a):

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital
    to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.

    Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  5. G-S.us napisał(a):

    Well I sincerely liked studying it. This information procured by you
    is very helpful for correct planning.

  6. Clickand.Co napisał(a):

    What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this article i thought i could also make comment due to this sensible post.

  7. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it,
    you will be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will
    come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage continue
    your great job, have a nice weekend!

  8. Ur.my napisał(a):

    Unquestionably imagine that that you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the
    simplest thing to bear in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed at the same time as other folks consider issues that they just do not realize about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the top as smartly as outlined out the whole
    thing without having side effect , other folks can take a signal.
    Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

  9. Www.lookweb.It napisał(a):

    Definitely, what a splendid site and instructive posts,
    I definitely will bookmark your site.All the Best!

  10. Edison napisał(a):

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your
    stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent.
    I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the
    way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible.
    I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is really a great website.

  11. Christi napisał(a):

    wonderful put up, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector don’t understand this.
    You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  12. redir.Cc napisał(a):

    Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I seriously
    enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will
    make certain to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back
    sometime soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great
    writing, have a nice evening!

  13. What’s extra, with the combination of customized
    search results becoming more and more evident, social media is an inevitable
    consider the price of search engine marketing companies.

  14. Thanks foor sharing such a good thought, post is nice, thats whyy
    i have read it completely

  15. A home based job via the World Wide Web has transformed
    the way in which many organizations work, permitting
    them to assist people in farflung areas.

  16. I like this site very much, Its a really nice place to read
    and find information.

  17. Good post.Ne’er knew this, regards for letting me know.

  18. hello!,I love your writing very much! proportion we keep up a correspondence extra about your article
    on AOL? I require an expert on this area to unravel my problem.
    Maybe that is you! Taking a look ahead to look you.

  19. I have recently started a web site, the information you offer on this site has helped me tremendously.
    Thanks for all of your time & work.

  20. Great post.Ne’er knew this, thanks for letting
    me know.

  21. I used to be able to find good advice from your articles.

  22. Real good information can be found on weblog.

  23. Hi there I am so grateful I found your weblog, I really found you by
    mistake, while I was looking on Yahoo for something
    else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say cheers
    for a incredible post and a all round entertaining blog (I
    also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but
    I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have
    time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

  24. I used to be able to find good info from your content.

  25. I want to to thank you for this good read!! I certainly loved
    every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new things you post…

  26. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It will always be useful to read through content from other authors and
    practice something from other web sites.

  27. design bracelet napisał(a):

    Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the amazinng work.

  28. Custom wristbands napisał(a):

    Regards for all yor efforts that you have puut in this.
    Very interesting information.

  29. Dragon city hack 2017 napisał(a):

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be precisely
    what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write
    related to here. Again, awesome web site!

  30. DVD protection napisał(a):

    Quality content is the important to interest the people to visit the site,
    that’s what this site is providing. http://www.webtoolmaster.com/download.htm

  31. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue with your site in web explorer,
    may test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a huge element of other folks
    will miss your magnificent writing because of this problem.

  32. Gregg napisał(a):

    What’s up to every , since I am genuinely keen of reading
    this weblog’s post to be updated regularly. It contains pleasant material. http://rickyconnor5365.soup.io/

  33. Hi, its fastidious piece of writing concerning media print,
    we all understand media is a impressive source of

  34. Economy Car napisał(a):

    Amazing! Its actually awesome piece of writing, I have got much clear idea concerning from this

  35. Touring car napisał(a):

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality blogs
    online. I am going to highly recommend this website!

  36. zeng fanzhi napisał(a):

    I know this site gives quality dependent articles or reviews and other stuff, is there any other site which gives these kinds of
    stuff in quality?

  37. St George hospital napisał(a):

    I think this is among the most important information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general
    things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent :
    D. Good job, cheers

  38. wells fargo bank login napisał(a):

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write
    again very soon!

  39. donna cerca donna napisał(a):

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something
    which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and
    extremely broad for me. I am looking forward
    for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  40. I’m very pleased to uncover this website. I wanted to thank you for your
    time for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every part of it and I have you book marked to see new
    information on your web site.

  41. Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this webpage; this website includes awesome and genuinely fine information designed for visitors.

  42. Lester Christophel napisał(a):

    „Great Blogpost! great threat, i like it, thanks very_ much.”

  43. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out.

    Please let me know where you got your design. Thank you

  44. charles schwab log in napisał(a):

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the web.
    I will highly recommend this site!

  45. adidas ultra boost napisał(a):

    They have been value their weight in gold to me. Keep
    in mind your footwear are an important instrument you will

  46. Jed napisał(a):

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your website! http://wadelinville.wikidot.com/blog:3

  47. www.itunes.com login napisał(a):

    Simply desire to say your article is as astounding.
    The clarity in your post is just nice and i can assume you are an expert on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming
    post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  48. outlook login napisał(a):

    I know this site gives quality based articles and extra material,
    is there any other web page which provides these data in quality?

  49. Rarely do you end up making only one journey to House
    Depot; not often does your plan not get derailed by issues like weak help
    beams and mildew behind these Sheetrock walls;
    and infrequently (if ever) does your contractor’s time estimate maintain true.

  50. outlook email login napisał(a):

    Very nice article, totally what I needed.

  51. Nicolas napisał(a):

    whoah this weblog is great i love reading your posts. Stay up the great work!
    You know, many individuals are looking round for this information, you
    can help them greatly.

  52. Software napisał(a):

    Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe
    for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  53. Eugenia napisał(a):

    Hello. fantastic job. I did not anticipate this.

    This is a fantastic story. Thanks!

  54. Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying this

  55. Leandro napisał(a):

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for supplying this info.

  56. Matilda napisał(a):

    Fantastic post.Ne’er knew this, appreciate it for letting me know.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres email nie zostanie opublikowany. Pola, których wypełnienie jest wymagane, są oznaczone symbolem *