11 things to know before visiting Athens!

29 Sep

Some things to keep in mind before your visit to Athens

Here are 11 facts about Athens that you may (or may not) know already but it’s good to keep them in mind if you plan a visit in the capital of Greece!!!

1. Nightlife begins late at night…

And late means late! Nightclubs are likely to be empty even at midnight; but as the night evolves, you will find them packed at peak times, around 2-5am! A night out usually ends when the sun rises; or even later! 😉

Athens 2 (2)

Akrotiri Club Restaurant before and after via fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net, gamezone24.net

2. …which means that you will need something to eat at very early hours after going out!

Don’t be surprised to find local people waiting in queues at early hours in front of canteens for a sandwich! This is extremely common especially in the famous ones for their authentic street food in Athens.

vromies_athina_680_273498_5PQ459

Famous canteen “ Vromiko Mavili Square” via in2ife.gr

3. Taxi fares are reasonably priced compared to other European capitals (but be aware of taxi drivers that select longer routes to take your money!).

And that means cheaper than other European capitals, not cheap in general! Be aware of taxi drivers that want to take advantage of you not knowing Athens and give you tours around the capital in order to raise the fare! Also you should know that is very common to look for a second, third etc. customer (as many as they can fit in their taxis!!!)

taxi

Source autoblog.gr

4. The food experience: going out for lunch/dinner is not just about food.

It is something that I have already mentioned in a previous post; in Greece going out for lunch or dinner is not just about eating! It is a form of entertainment, an authentic experience that fulfils all your senses! So it is very common to go to a restaurant or a taverna and spend hours eating, drinking, laughing, singing and dancing!

assets_LARGE_t_942_43580667_type12128

Source imerisia.gr

5. Good restaurants don’t have photos of the food they serve (same goes for bars and cocktails!).

I think it could be a very useful advice to avoid restaurants that have photos with the food they serve. Or restaurants that have waiters outside trying to convince you that you should choose them; It’s usually what most touristic restaurants do but the food they serve is not as good as their marketing skills…!

6. Tips are not included in the bill but are expected by waiters!

Tips are not included when you pay the bill but are expected; no specific rule or percentage of the bill. A good advice would be to tip according to the overall service you receive!

li

Source brw.com.au

7. Make sure you check opening hours for museums and avoid visiting around closing times.

Unfortunately, as strikes are quite common in Greece, you may find yourself in the awkward position of going to a museum and realize that it is not open. So before getting there, make sure that it is open to avoid any unpleasant surprises!

Athens 2 (3)

Acropolis Museum and Cycladic Art Museum, Sources: dhgoldst.wordpress.ncsu.edu, telegraph.co.uk

8. There are open-air cinemas (during summer!) that are really worth visiting!

Open air cinemas will give you the opportunity to enjoy a movie under the stars and at the same time enjoy the Athenian sky and the view from the cinemas in the “old” way; many cinemas even show blockbusters from the 60’s or 70’s!

Athens 2

From left to right Cine Aigli, Cine Thission, Cine Athinaia, Cine Paris, Sources: blog.aeglizappiou.gr, iefimerida.gr, athensmagazine.gr

9. Book a hotel downtown; most of the attractions are in the centre of the town and you can also use public transportation to get anywhere!

You will find hotels for every budget and many options regarding location in the centre of Athens. Since many of the attractions are located there, the best way to explore them is to book a hotel downtown and walk around!

herodion-hotel

View from Herodion Hotel via tripadvisor.com

10. You can visit an island even for an 1-day excursion from Athens (and it’s not that expensive).

If you visit Athens but still want a taste of the island experience in Greece, you can take the ferry from Piraeus and go to the nearby islands of the Saronic gulf, like Aegina or Agistri for a small excursion!

aponissos_beach_1

Source Agistri.gr

11.Keep an eye for demonstrations downtown Athens.

Well, you probably know already that, with what has been going on lately in Greece, demonstrations in the centre of Athens are very common. As sometimes they might cause problems to your moving around, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on what’s going on in Athens or ask the locals for information. If you find out there is going to be a demonstration try to avoid going downtown to places like Syntagma square which is the most common place for protests, outside the Parliament building.

Useful Website: http://livingingreece.gr

Stavros Tsoukatos

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One Response to “11 things to know before visiting Athens!”

  1. travelangels September 29, 2013 at 23:11 #

    Reblogged this on travelangeling.

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