Athens Greece Travel Guide

Athens Greece Travel Guide

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Athens Travel Guide: Overview

Circa the Acropolis hill, the first prehistoric settlements were built around 3000 BC. Legend has it that in or around 1230 BC, Theseus, the King of Athens, merged the ten early Athens tribes into a single state. The greatest and richest state on the Greek mainland was founded through the process of synoikismos, or “coming together in one home,” but it also gave rise to a wider class of people who were shut out of political participation by the nobles. Today, Athens is a giant city with so many cool things to see and do and amazing things to eat. Some people find it to be a bit dirty and chaotic for them so go into it with an open mind and it could be rewards. In this Athens Travel Guide we hope to show you some of the top places to visit as well as some Athens travel tips.

Table of Contents

WHEN TO VISIT ATHENS

Greece is one of the world’s oldest cities and it was once the most powerful city in the ancient world. You’ll be sure to see a lot of history and learn a lot about ancient Greek mythology.

If you’re looking for smaller crowds and mild weather, the best time to visit Athens is during the spring, between March to May. Fall also is a great time to visit between September to October because the weather is warm and accommodations are cheap.

WHERE TO STAY IN ATHENS

The Plaka area in Athens is home to major hotel chains and is close to the city’s most popular sites as well as the major transportation routes. Monastiraki is also an ideal area for those looking for more affordable accommodations that are located near the central districts.

HOW TO REACH THE DESTINATION

By Plane

The Eleftherios Venizelos or Athens International Airport serves flights to Greece from many international airlines so getting to the city by plane is easy. Inside the airport are many shops, restaurants , and ATM stations where you can exchange Euro directly from the ATM. The city center is easily accessible via car, express bus, or metro (suburban train) direct from airport to various places in Athens. The airport is modern and very easy to navigate.

By Train

Yes, there is an extensive network of trains in Europe so traveling to Greece by train is easy.

TRAVEL TIPS

Do Catch Up on Your History. In order for you to appreciate the iconic places in Athens it is better for you to have an idea of its history. It’s amazing how all the preserved structure in Athens are even thought they are over two thousand years.

Do Dress Appropriately. There are churches and sacred places in Athens where you may have to dress a little more conservatively. During the summer, Greece experiences humid weather so make sure you bring sunscreen and some great walking shoes!

Do try traditional Greek cuisine. There are a lot of amazing local cuisines in Greece and a trip won’t be complete without trying some of them. The county’s culture and tradition reflect strongly on the way they cook and prepare the food. You also can’t go wrong with a lamb shank dish. 

Don’t ride taxis without asking for the estimated fare. While its very rare nowadays in Athens to see taxi drivers asking for a much higher fare, it still won’t hurt to be careful. There are still some drivers who take advantage of tourists so be sure to get an estimate before hopping in.

Don’t put the palm of your hand in someone’s face. It might be a simple hand gesture for us or its like gesturing the number 5 but in Greece, the gesture is consider an insult. It is called a “mountza” and its a no-no.

TYPICAL COSTS

Price Range for Hotels

Accommodations in Athens are surprisingly inexpensive. You can get a decent hotel for as low as €25 and there are a lot of options if you do your research and bookings in advance online. Dorms and hostel rooms for backpackers cost about €12 up. For those looking for more luxurious options, 5-star hotels cost about €150 to more than a thousand. A good and comfortable 4-star hotel can be as low as €80.

Cost of Meal

One of the best things in European countries, Greece included, is the number of street foods that you can buy almost anywhere, especially in tourist destinations. Food like gyros cost about €4. Lunch meal at restaurants in business centers or tourist centers cost around €14 while a meal at fast food restaurant cost around €4 to 5. A dinner meal with wine for two at a good restaurant usually cost around €40. Beer is at €4 in bars but it is around €1 at the grocery store.

Cost for Commute

You can get to almost any point in Athens via trains and busses. A train trip usually costs around €1.20 up to €9 depending on the destination. Train prices to and from the airport starts at €6 for single fare ticket. Taxis are a bit expensive and fare starts at around €12.

Top Places to Visit in Athens

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