Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

Greece - Athens - street art - Erica photo

Athens - antique street - isheer photo

The locals are friendly and generally speak good English. They’re happy to stop on the street and help a tourist with directions. Athens is very dependent on tourism and knows it, so they try to ensure you enjoy the city!
But the city itself – outside of the tourist landmarks – is pretty chaotic and dirty. Sometimes the sidewalks are just caked in dry dirt. All the walls – and I mean all! – are covered in graffiti. It’s gross and unpleasant.

When it comes to shopping, you often find a Zara clothes shop in perfect condition next to an empty, derelict, abandoned building that has either been burned down or is on the verge of collapse. The side streets, meanwhile, are in a category of their own: stink and dirt everywhere, and both human and animal waste.

The city is thronged with cars and people, and the parks double as homeless shelters. In the most unexpected places, at the end of an empty street, you might come across a Turkish bazaar or some flea market. I wouldn’t recommend Athens to those with weak stomachs! (2017)

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“Athens made a surprisingly positive impression on me. A lot of people talk it down, but I liked it. Yes, there are run-down parts, but they’re precisely what makes it unique. After visiting the ‘classic’ sights, it’s a good idea to visit the bars and cafés in the characterful local districts, and even in the city center, it’s easy to take a hike on one of the surrounding hills. (2018)

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“What I didn't like is that everything is covered in graffiti. And not street art, but ugly, meaningless scribbles. We only saw one or two examples of street art, which were okay, but overall it was horrible and very depressing for me. The walls of the houses, the subway, and the shutters of the shops were all covered in these scrawls.” (2022)

Practicals

Transport

“We found ourselves in trouble – we didn't know where the bus stop was. No listing, absolutely zilch. We waited at what looked like a bus stop, and then suddenly our bus came, but of course, it didn’t stop. We started running like crazy, but this damn bus driver wasn't waiting for anybody! I thought I was going to cough my lungs out, even though I haven't smoked in 4 years. Well, finally another one came along, and we realized that the bus drivers here somehow don't really want to stop just because someone’s standing at the stop – you have to signal them. So, like characters in American movies flagging down taxis, we waved to the bus drivers as they approached, like ‘hey, we want to get on!’ We weren’t totally sure where to get off either, but somehow we figured out where to signal.” (2022)


Athens - tram - Krista photo

Athens - public bus - Krista photo

Athens - yellow taxis - n.l. photo

Athens - metro - graffiti - Krista photo (2021)

Athens - Omonia metro station - Krista photo

Athens - dirty metro car - Krista photo

Accomodation

“First of all, let’s hope your plane isn’t late, or else you won't be going by subway: the last train leaves around 23:30, and after that, you’ll have to take a bus if you don't want to pay for an expensive taxi. By the way, the bus is also very good, there isn’t so much traffic at night, and it will be full of other tourists, so don’t stress about getting into town. You can get anywhere at night with the Bolt or Beat apps (similar to Uber), which are cheap and safe.

Unless you want to travel 30 minutes X times a day, don’t look for accommodation in the districts towards the coast: Faliro, Voula, and Glyfada are too far away. You can find good accommodation around Plaka, Psiri, or Koukaki, which are safe, central neighborhoods. Moreover, you don't have to avoid anywhere during the day. Don’t believe the fearmongers – you have to pay attention, like anywhere else in the world.” (2022)

Food

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Athens - summertime lunch in a shady restaurant - Peter.H. photo

Athens - Thiseio - Amtiktionos 27 - our favorite restaurant - Krista photo

Athens - Plaka - restaurant terraces Krista photo

Athens -Plaka - restaurant - Krista photo

Shopping

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Athens - Plaka - n.l. photo

Athens - Plaka - souvenir shops - Krista photo

Fun

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Athens - Psirri - nightlife - Krista photo

Athens - Psirri - nightlife - v.j. photo

Public safety

On the subway, pickpockets are active at virtually any time of the day, so tourists should pay permanent attention to their values.  Put your valuables in small bags under clothing. Do not keep documents, money, mobile phones, or cameras in backpacks.

Athens - police car at the foot of the Acropolis - Krista photo

Athens - Changing of Guards - pompom shoes - v.j. photo

Health

“They say you shouldn't drink tap water, and that you should even brush your teeth with mineral water. Well, we forgot and brushed our teeth with tap water... But luckily we didn't have any problems.
By the way, plain, still mineral water is rough €1-1.50 everywhere, but carbonated mineral water is around €4.50 or even €6. Brutally expensive. ☹” (2022)


Others

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Athens - very typical apartment building with awnings over the balconies - Krista photo

Athens - street view - n.l. photo

Athens - street art or graffiti? - ata photo

Athens - Gazi - street art - Krista photo

Athens - Kerameikos (Ceramics) metro station - Krista photo

Background

Destination in brief

Athens is the southernmost capital city of mainland Europe.

Population (in 2020): 3.1. million- 30% of the Greece's population lives here, on 1% of the country's territory

Average net monthly salary (in 2020): 780 Euro - (Greece average: 730 Euro)

History

The territory of Athens was already inhabited 7,000 years ago. It is one of the oldest cities globally, as it existed as a city 3,000 years before Christ. Athens is the cradle of Western civilization, the birthplace of democracy, politics, science, and many arts and theater.

The first Olympic Games were held in Athens in 776 BC. The first modern Olympic Games were also held in Athens in 1896.

Nowadays

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Athens - nice house - Krista photo

Athens - Plaka - abandoned&decayed house - Krista photo (2021)

People

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Athens - Monastiraki - the crowd - Krista photo

Athens - s.k. photo

Attractions

Acropolis

Athens - Acropolis - visitors - Krista photo

Athens - Acropolis - Krista photo

Athens - Acropolis - Peter H. photo 2

Athens - Acropolis - Krista photo

Athens - Acropolis - Krista photo

Athens - Acropolis - Krista photo

Plaka

“Plaka is the oldest and arguably one of the most characterful parts of Athens. It stretches along the base of the Acropolis and almost reaches Syntagma Square. Most of its small streets are closed to car traffic, but of course, this doesn’t mean that from time to time a scooter or a delivery truck won’t speed through and surprise you. Its two main pedestrian streets are Kydathineon and Adrianou.
This was once the party district of Athens, but in the 1970s the city government banned loud music in the area. Nowadays, you can stroll along pleasant, narrow streets between welcoming restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops.
Even right now I want to go back to the Plaka. I’d rather be hanging out in the warm spring sunshine with an ice cream in my hand, than heading over to the terrace of a cafe with a sparkling Mythos beer in my hand.” (2022)


Athens - Plaka - Krista photo (2021)

Athens - Plaka - Krista photo

Athens - Plaka - Krista photo

Athens - Plaka - tourists - Krista photo (2021)

Athens - Plaka - fountain - Krista photo (2021)

Athens - Plaka - street art - Krista photo

Monastiraki

Athens - Monastiraki - Monastirakiou (main square) - Krista photo

Psirri neighbourhood

Athens - Psirri - nightlife - Krista photo

Athens - Psirri - Krista photo

Athens - Psirri - street art - Krista photo

Acropolis Museum

Athens - Acropolis Museum - entrance - Krista photo

Athens - Acropolis Museum - Krista photo

Athens - Acropolis Museum - Krista photo (2021)

Athens - Acropolis Museum - Krista photo

Cathedral Church of Athens

Athens - Cathedral Church of Athens - Krista photo

Thiseio

Athens - Thiseo - our favorite street - Krista photo

Gazi neighborhood

Athens - Gazi - Krista photo

Athens - Gazi - former industrial area (gasworks plant) - Krista photo

Athens - Gazi - Krista photo

Athens - Gazi - alley - Krista photo

Glyfada

Athens - Glyfada - Krista photo

Athens - Glyfada - Krista photo

Athens - Glyfada - uncrowded beach in September - Krista photo

Omonia area

Athens - Omonia area - Krista photo

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