Skip Navigation

Athens

Photo © kody

Travel Guide Europe Greece Athens

edit

Introduction

Antoher view of Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill

Antoher view of Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill

© All Rights Reserved malasue

As the capital of Greece, Athens is the nation's most important city and has been attracting travellers for countless centuries. While it may not be as popular as many other European capitals, it has seen a steady rise in the number of visitors over the past few years, particularly after the Athens Olympic Games of 2004 - the first time Olympic Games in Athens since 1896. With a population of nearly 4 million, Athens is the largest city in Greece. Unfortunately, it has also become one of the most polluted cities in the continent as well.

Athens is one of the longest inhabited cities, dating back 3,000 years or more. During the glory years of Ancient Greece, it was one of the most important city states in the world. Today, historical monuments such as the Parthenon on the Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Hephaesus and the Agora are the landmark attractions which continue to draw visitors from across the globe.

Top

edit

Neighbourhoods

The municipality of Athens, the city centre of the Athens Urban Area, is divided into several districts. Some of the more interesting ones are:

  • Omonoia with Omonoia Square, the oldest square in Athens.
  • Metaxourgeio is a neighborhood is located south of the historical centre of Athens, between Kolonos to the east and Kerameikos to the west, and north of Gazi.
  • Psiri and Gazi are dotted with renovated former mansions, artists' spaces, and small gallery areas.
  • Syntagma - with Syntagma Square, the capital's central and largest square, lying adjacent to the Greek Parliament (the former Royal Palace) and the city's most noted hotels. Ermou Street, an approximately one kilometer-long pedestrian road connecting Syntagma Square to Monastiraki, has traditionally been a consumer paradise for both Athenians and tourists.
  • Plaka is one of the most traditional neighbourhoods in Athens.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

© All Rights Reserved DBassler

Originally built in the 5th century BC the Parthenon (Παρθενών) is the most famous ruin in all of Greece and is located on the Acropolis. This building was built as a temple to Athena in Athens. This building also represents an enduring symbol of Athenian democracy. It has many excellent examples of ancient Greek architecture and art work on the inside. The temple has had many forms in the different eras of occupation ranging from a temple to Athena, to a christian church to a mosque. Today it is one of the most popular tourist sights in all of Greece.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Temple of the Olympian Zeus
  • Temple of Hephaesus
  • The Agora

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

  • The Athens and Epidaurus Festival (Also Known as The Hellenic Festival) - This is the oldest and most famous festival in Greece that is rich in history and a pure celebration of Greek art and culture. It highlights and promotes the work of young artists in various forms of contemporary, modern and classic art. For more than 40 years, a great number of artists have performed through the medium of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, ballet, acrobatics and opera, making it a top festival to see when in the city of Athens.
  • August Moon Festival - Archaeological sites around the city are opened late into the night to the public in celebration of the full moon. You'll find the areas around the Acropolis, Thisson and Monastiraki packed with people as activities, theatrical performances and cultural events will take place. The Acropolis won't be open this year, but its Museum will open late with a free concert along the Grand Promenade.
  • The Petras Festival - The Theatro Petras in Petropoulis, Athens, is transformed into an incredible outdoor venue and hosts the best in Greek theatre and concerts. Big names, international percussion performances and amateur groups play at the summer festival in the old amphitheater. Address: Petroupolis suburb, Athens
  • Marourssi - In the quiet northern suburb of Marourssi, Athens, Greek theatre explodes between June and early Septemebr. Iroon Square hosts a few free rock music concerts in celebration in these summer months. Address: Marourssi, Athens
  • Rockwave Festival - This annual rock music festival has been running for 16 years and has become one of the most famous festivals in Greece. Big name international acts as well as local bands play here and attract crowds to the naturally preserved Terra Vibe Park. The setting and the weather make it a great European Summer Festival. Address: The Terra Vibe Park, Malakassa, Athens
  • The Acropolis Rally - This has been held for over 50 years, making it one of the longest-standing world rallying. It is an intense circuit as it is held on very dusty and rough mountain roads, and cars require reinforcements to cope with the conditions. High summer temperatures add to the extreme annual race which sees drivers from many different countries compete in the 'Rally of the Gods'. Address: Route begins at the Acropolis, Athens

Top

edit

Weather

The combination of pollution and high temperatures (up to 43 °C), makes summer a bad time to visit Athens. Winters are mild with occasionally some frost at night, but usually above zero. Spring and autumn have very nice and warm conditions and nights are pleasant as well. In general, Athens is a dry and sunny city during these times with some showers possible but rarely rainy all day.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max12.5 °C13.5 °C15.7 °C20.2 °C26 °C31.1 °C33.5 °C33.2 °C29.2 °C23.3 °C18.1 °C14.1 °C
Avg Min5.2 °C5.4 °C6.7 °C9.6 °C13.9 °C18.2 °C20.8 °C20.7 °C17.3 °C13.4 °C9.8 °C6.8 °C
Rainfall56.9 mm46.7 mm40.7 mm30.8 mm22.7 mm10.6 mm5.8 mm6 mm13.9 mm52.6 mm58.3 mm69.1 mm
Rain Days12.610.410.28.16.23.71.91.73.37.29.712.1

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

International
Athens International Airport (ATH) is the main airport in the city and is the main hub for the national airline of Olympic Airlines. Destinations with this airline include Alexandria, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cairo, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Montreal, Moscow, New York, Paris, Toronto and Vienna. Aegean Airlines has several flights within Europe as well, including Rome, Milan and Düsseldorf. Many European airlines have direct flights to Athens. Easyjet is a low-cost airline serving Athens from London, Berlin, Paris and Milan.

Domestic
Olympic Airlines has domestic flights to many destinations from Athens including Alexandroupolis, Chania, Chios, Corfu, Heraklion, Ioannina, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kavala, Kefalonia, Kithira, Kos, Limnos, Milos, Mykonos, Mytilene (Lesbos), Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Sitia, Thessaloniki and Zakynthos. Aegean Airlines has a share of domestic flights as well.

To/from the airport

  • Car: The airport is accessible by the Attiki Odos toll highway from the centre of Athens and northern Athens, Varis-Koropiou Avenue from the western part, Laurio Avenue from the south and Spata-Loutsa Avenue from the east. Parking places and rental car companies are both widely available at the airport. Also taxis and limousines are available, albeit at a cost of course.
  • Rail: A train station next to the airport terminal is accessible by an elevated walkway. The station is served by both the Athens Metro and Suburban rail service Proastiakos. The station is connected with line 3 of the Athens Metro, while it is also connected to the Athens Central Railway Station (Larissis Station) and the port of Pireaus as well as to Corinth via Proastiakos.
  • Bus: Four bus lines (X93, X95, X96, X97) connect the airport directly to metropolitan Athens and the port of Piraeus. Regional bus services by KTELKTEL Express also operate to the airport, with connections from Athens Airport to Rafina, Markopoulo, Lavrio, Kalyvia, and Keratea.

By Train

The Hellenic Railways Organisation operates a network of train, most of them originating and terminating in or near Athens. Trains north stop in Thessaloniki, Livadia, Paleofarsala, Larissa, Plati, Edessa, Florina, Seres, Drama, Komotini and Alexandroupolis while trains south stop in Kiato, Xylokastra, Diakofto, Patras, Olympia, Argos, Tripoli, Megalopolis and Kalamata.

By Bus

KTEL operates numerous buses from Athens throughout destinations in Greece.

By Boat

There are dozens of ferries to and from Piraeus, the port of Athens and located within the municipality.
Check the Greek Travel Pages for an impression about companies, schedules and prices, as the choice is very wide. Or check the Greek Ferries website or another one about Ferries between islands in Greece. This applies to both international and even more so domestic connections to many of the islands. Routes from Piraeus usually go to the Argo-Saronic, Cyclades, Dodacanese and the Northeast Aegean island chains and also to Crete and other mainland ports as far as Thessaloniki.

On some routes, faster hydrofoil services operate. There are two classes on most ships (first and second) and couchettes are available on night trips. In summer, book well in advance.

Italy

Although remember that time schedules are not an exact science in Greece. Therefore many ferries leave early or more often extremely late from port. This means do not depend on time schedules ever! Always get to port a little early and be prepared to wait.

Top

edit

Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Achilleas HotelLekka 21Hotel-
Airport Hotel Les AmisVaris Avenue & Sokratous 16-20 Vari-AthensHOTEL75
Albion Hotel20th, Akominatou strHotel-
Alma Hotel5 Dorou st. Gr - 10432Hotel-
Amaryllis Inn25, Menandrou Str PireosHostel-
Amazon Hotel19 Mitropoleos & 7 Pentelis St., SyntagmaHOTEL75
Apollo Hotel10 , Ahilleos Str Metaxourgio SqHotel76
Aristoteles Hotel15 Aharnon str.Vathi sqHotel79
Art ApartmentOlympias 20,10446 AthensApartment-
Athens Atrium Hotel & Suites21 Okeanidos Str Aghios Sostis,Nea SmirniHOTEL-
Athens Backpackers12 Makri Street 11742 AthensHostel89
Athens City Hotel232, Patission StreetHotel-
Athens Easy AccessSatovriandou 26 AthensHostel-
Athens Evripides Hotel79 Evripidou StreetHotel76
Athens House HostelAristotelous 4Hostel63
Athens International Youth Hostel - Victor Hugo16 Victor HugoHostel73
Radisson Blu Park Hotel Athens10 Alexandras Ave.HOTEL-
Athens Studios3a Veikou St Makrigianni 12 Makri St MakrigianniHostel80
AthenstyleAgias Theklas 10, Monastiraki AthensHostel82
Home Travelers - Athinaikon40 Evripidou streetHOTEL81
Avra Hotel3 Nireos StreetHotel-
Carolina Hotel Athens55 Kolokotroni StreetHotel-
Cecil Hotel39 Athinas Str 105 54Hotel78
Chris Hotel - Athens6 Potamou Str Nea KifissiaHotel-
Delphi ArtAg. Konstantinou Street 27, 104 370 Athens Ag. Konstantinou Street 27, 104 370 AthensHotel-
Dioskouros6 Pittakou Street Acropolis, PlakaHOSTEL77
Dryades HotelEmmanuel Benaki 105 & Drydon 4, ExarchiaHOTEL-
Economy Hotel5 Klisthenous 10552 AthensHotel81
Emmantina Hotel33, Possidonos Avenue Glyfada 166 75Hotel-
Epidavros Hotel14, Koumoundourou Str.Hotel77
Eridanus Hotel78 Pireos StreetHotel-
Faros Hotel-Piraeus140, Notara StreetHotel77
Fivos23 Athinas Street MonastirakiHostel70
Galaxy Hotel Athens39, Posidonos Ave.& KalamakiouHOTEL-
Galini PalaceK.Karamanli 95Hotel-
Golden Sun Hotel Athens72, A. Metaxa Avenue, Kritis Sq.Hotel-
Hostel Aphrodite12 Einardou & Michail Voda Corner 65HOSTEL-
Hostel Lozanni54 Kapodistriou StreetHostel72
Hostel Zeus27 Sofokleous StHostel75
Alassia Hotel - Athens50, Socratous Str.HOTEL-
Hotel Anemoni65-67, Evripidou Street, Piraeus 65-67, Evripidou Street, PiraeusHotel-
Hotel Anita25 Notara Str. PiraeusHotel77
Hotel Argo23 Notara str. Athens-PiraeusHotel-
Hotel Athens Cypria5 Diomias Str. 5 Diomias Str.Hotel-
Hotel Candia40, Th. Deligiani StreetHotel71
City PlazaAcharnon 78Hotel-
Hotel Claridge Athens4 DorouHotel69
Hotel Congo Palace-Athens81 A Poseidonos Avenue GlyfadaHOTEL-
Hotel DelfiniLeocharous 7 PiraeusHotel72
Hotel Diethnes52 Peoniou St 10440 AthensHotel74
Dorian Inn Hotel15 - 19 Pireos StreetHotel76
Hotel Filoxenia Athens50 Aharnon str.Hotel72
Hermes Hotel19 Apollonos Plaka / SyntagmaHotel-
Hotel Jason Inn-Athens12, Assomaton Street,Hotel-
Hotel Kinetta Beach57th km Old National road, Korinthos KinettaHotel-
Hotel LondonPoseidonos Ave 38, Glyfada, Poseidonos Ave 38, Glyfada,Hotel-
Hotel Melia14 Chalkokondili and 28 OctoberHotel-
Hotel Neos Olympos38 Deligianni streetHotel77
Hotel Palmyra70, Possidonos Avenue, GlyfadaHotel-
Hotel Parthenis21 Kon Karanmali Ave, VoulaHotel-
Hotel Phidias-Athens189, Kountouriotou str., Piraeus,Hotel85
Hotel Piraeus Dream79-81 Filonos and 78-80 Notara Streets, Piraeus 79-81 Filonos and 78-80 Notara Streets, PiraeusHotel-
Plaka Hotel7 Kapnikareas & Mitropoleos StHotel-
Plaza Non-Smoking Hotel17 Alkyonidon Avenue Voula 166 73Hotel87
Hotel Rio Athens13 Odysseos Str., Karaiskaki SqHOTEL76
Hotel SolomouSolomou 72Hotel76
Hotel Stanley1 Odisseos str, Karaiskaki Square,Hotel80
Hotel Tropical74 Possidonos Avenue,Hotel-
Ideal Hotel Piraeus142, Notara StreetHotel77
Ilion Hotel7, Agiou Konstantinou StrHotel75
Iniohos HotelVeranzerou 26Hotel-
Ionis Hotel Athens41 Chalkokondili StHotel-
Jason Prime3, Nikiforou st.,Omonia SquareHotel-
Kiani Akti Hotel40 Agias Marinas Ave.Hotel-
King Jason Hotel26 Kolonou Str, KerameikosHotel-
Lilia Hotel131 Zeas Street,PiraeusHotel-
Magna Grecia Boutique Hotel54.Mitropoleos StreetHotel-
Mare Nostrum Hotel Club ThalassoVravronos Ave.Vravrona Attica GreeceHotel-
Marina Hotel Athens13 Voulgari St.Hotel75
Metropolis Hotel46 Mitropoleos StreetHotel-
MiramareVas.pavlou 4 voula athens VoulaHotel76
Mistral Hotel105 Al. Papanastassiou StreetHotel-
Nafsika Hotel Athens21, Karolou str AthensHotel-
Nicola Hotel14, Olenou streetHotel-
Niki Hotel27 Nikis streetHotel-
Noufara Hotel45, Iroon Polytechniou AveHotel-
Odeon Hotel Athens42 Pireos StreetHotel-
Omiros Hotel Athens15 Apollonos Str Syndagma SquareHostel-
Pagration Youth Hostel75 Damareos Str. PagratiHostel80
Pan Hotel11, Mitropoleos StreetHotel-
Pella-InnErmou 104Hostel78
Pergamos Hotel14 Acharnon Str. 104 33Hotel78
Pikermi Hotel-Athens107, Marathonos AvenueHotel79
Plaza Vouliagmeni Strand Hotel14 Litous StreetHotel-
Proteas Hotel9, L. Latsoni str. AthensHotel77
San Remo HostelNo.8 Nissirou St., and T.Delligiani St., 104 38 AthensHostel72
Stefanakis Hotel-Athens17 Afrodites Str.Hotel-
Students & Travellers Inn16 Kydathineon PlakaHOSTEL88
Tempi Hotel29, Aiolou streetHotel77
Triton Hotel8, Tsamadou street, Piraeus, GreeceHotel-
Verori Hotel-Athens69 Sakelariou Str.Hotel-
Zorbas Hotel10 Gkyilfordou St. Victoria Square Athens 10434Hostel74
Athos Hotel3 Patroou StreetHotel-
Acropolis Museum Boutique Hotel48 Sygrou AV, 11742 AthensHotel-
Soph & Chris Northern BackpackersAgias Theklas 12 MonastirakiHOSTEL77
Acropolis HouseKodrou 6-8, PlakaGuesthouse85
Athens Delta Hotel27, KERAMEON STR.Hotel77
Diros Hotel21 Agiou KonstantinouHotel-
Blue Sky HotelEleftherias 26 & Zamanou GlyfadaHotel-
Faros II Hotel PiraeusKolokotroni 117 PirauesHotel-
Hotel Savoy Piraeus93 Iroon Polytechnioy Ave PiraneusHotel-
Hostel ArgoVictor Hugo 25Hotel-
Hotel Koridallos2 Od. Androutsou & Pipinou StrHotel-
Balasca Hotel45 Liosion StreetHotel-
Acropolis View10 Webster str.&Robertou GalliHotel-
Palmyra Beach Hotel70 Possidonos Avenue GlyfadaHotel-
Achillion HotelAgiou Konstantinou 32HOTEL76
Athens Center Square Hotel15, Aristogitonos & corner of Athinas street, MonastirakiHotel81
Hotel Efesos30 St. Konstantinou str AthensHostel76
Arethusa Hotel6-8 Mitropoleos Str.& 12 Nikis StrHotel-
Oscar Hotels25, Filadelfias & Samou StreetHotel-
Centro Residence123, Aharnon StreetApartment-
My Place in Athens12 Kallergi MetaxourgeioApartment-
Angel Suites HotelTimoleontos Vassou 22Hotel-
Athenaeum Athens89-93 Syngrou AvenueHotel-
Hotel LidoNikiforou 2Hotel-
Sparta TeamMenandrou 21 AthensHOTEL72
Athens Moka Hotel38 Stournari StreetHotel-
Chic Hotel25 Pireos strHotel-
Hotel Olympic1 Souri st. and Vassileos Georgiou Av HalandriHotel-
Stalis Hotel10 Akominatou StrHotel-
Anixi Boutique Hotel17 Marathonos Avenue AnixiHOTEL79
Myrto Hotel40th Nikis St. PlakaHotel-
Parnon Hotel20 Tritis Septemvriou 21 Chalkokondili strHotel-
Cosmos Hotel16 Psaron streetHotel-
Civitel Olympic Hotel2a Kifisias Avenue & Pentanassis MaroussiHOTEL-
Civitel Attik Rooms & Apartments13 - 15 Eptalofou str. Maroussi, AthensHOTEL-
Golden Age of Athens57 Michalakopoulou AvenueHotel-
Acropolis Ami Hotel10 Iras str. AcropolisHOTEL75
Diva HotelKefallinias & Sporadon 13HOTEL-
ADAMS hotel6 Hairefontos stHotel-
SOHOMenandrou 25Hotel68
Centrotel HotelPaioniou 11aHotel-
Avra Hotel-Athens3, Nireos Street,Paleo Faliro ,Hotel-
Hotel Alma5, Dorou Str. Omonia Sq.Hotel-
Nefeli - AlimosVan Vaik 5, AlimosHOTEL-
Athens Odeon Hotel42 Piraeus Street KerameikosHotel-
Kimon Athens HotelApollonos 27HOTEL74
Hotel NefeliXatzimichali 2 PlakaHotel-
Athens Colorful Urban HomeKamaterou Street 3GUESTHOUSE78
Cecil Hotel39 Athinas StrHotel-
King Jason Hotel26, Kolonou st KerameikosHotel-
Jason Inn12, Assomaton street PsirriHotel-
Tasos ApartmentsMakrygianni 45APARTMENT-
Piraeus Inn189, Kountouriotou st. PiraeusHotel-
Chic ComfortAgiou Louka 41APARTMENT-
Your Cosy Home in AthensStr. Popliou nr. 10-14GUESTHOUSE-
City Circus Athens16 Sarri streetHOSTEL87
Athens House HostelStreet Aristotelous no 4Hostel-
Hotel des RosesSQUARE KIFISSIA Miltiadou 4Hotel-
Hotel Chris6 Potamou Str Nea KifissiaHotel-
Hotel ElitePeiraios 23Hotel-
Niki Athens Hotel27 Nikis Street Syntagma & Plaka DistrictHotel81
Hotel Green Hill36th Amarousiou Avenue HeraklionHotel-
PRIMA HOTEL7 D. Falireos Str. Neo Faliro MoschatoHotel-
Blue Sky Hotel26 EleftheriasHotel-
Oasis Hotel Apartments27, Posseidonos AvenueHotel-
SPARTA TEAM Hotel21 MENANDROU STREET OMONIAHotel-
Pan Hotel11 Mitropoleos strHotel-
Athens Colorful Urban ApartmentsKamaterou Street 3APARTMENT-
Athens WayArachovis 17 Ippokratous 60HOTEL-
Spiti ApartmentsMylopotas IosAPARTMENT-
Marina HotelVoulgari 13HOTEL-
MINOA HOTEL12 Karolou Street MetaxourgeioHotel-
Blue Sea Hotel - Alimos49 Themistokleous street AlimosHotel-
Hotel OrionEM.Benaki 105 & AnexartissiasHOTEL-
Metropolitan Hotel AthensSyngrou Avenue 385HOTEL-
CANDIATheodorou Diligianni 40Hotel-
Stacs AccommodationI. Drosopoulou 105A KypseliApartment-
Stacs AccommodationI. Drosopoulou 105 AAPARTMENT-

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Internet access is widely available throughout the country. Almost all hotels provide internet access, either free or paid. Local coffee shops usually offer free Wi-Fi access, as many other public places do. Feel free to ask for the password, if the network is locked. Internet cafes however tend to be expensive, about €1.5-2 per hour.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The cheapest way to call someone abroad is to use a pre-paid calling card and call from a land line anywhere (also from your hotel room). Pre-paid calling cards are sold in many shops and kiosks. The calling card is not much more than a phone number and a pin code, which you dial prior to dialing the usual phone number. If you want to call internationally, ask for an international calling card. For one euro you can call for about 45 minutes, so buy a card in the cheapest value (which is about €3). Calling someone for half an hour is cheaper than sending one email from an internet café. Cards expire usually 90 days after first use. You can also use this pre-paid calling card at public phone boxes, which are widely available.

Mobile phones are prevalent in Greek's communication, and if you need to talk with your co-travelers it is advised that you buy a local prepaid plan instead of using roaming, as it is far cheaper. There are at least three mobile carriers, Cosmote, Wind and Vodafone all of which require by law presenting some form of identification in order to activate your prepaid plan. Choose whichever has better reception in your area, keeping in mind that GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS 2100 bands are supported. Data usage is cheap, costing about €3 per 100 MB. Ask the mobile carrier for more information.

Post

Hellenic Post is the Greek postal service. On their website you find more information about options to send letters, postcards and parcels and there is a search function regarding post offices and post boxes. It also has information on services like paying bills, transferring money, financial products etc. Greek post codes are five digits long and are usually written as follows; 123 45. The first three digits are used to identify the city, municipality or prefecture, for example the digits between 100 and 180 relate to the city of Athens. The last two digits identify a street or part of a street. Most post offices are open Monday to Friday from 07:30-14:00, although the largers ones usually have longer opening hours. For sending packages, you can also use international courier services like DHL, UPS or TNT.

Top

Contributors

as well as Oz_Travelette (11%), Lavafalls (8%), pauletterouliez (4%), dr.pepper (4%), KellieBarnes (1%), Sam I Am (1%), Peter (1%)

Help contribute to this article to share the ad revenue.

Athens Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Athens

This is version 53. Last edited at 3:15 on Jun 12, 14 by KellieBarnes. 74 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License