This Summer somehow I found myself going back to Greece. And why shouldn’t we Romanians do that since Greece is so amazingly beautiful, so close to home and don’t get me started about the food? But after my first experience visiting Athens, the second time around I wanted to plan everything better, even if it would have been only for one night. Thus, I am sharing with you also my Athens travel information, everything you need to know when planning a trip to Greece’s history packed capital.
So here are my top Athens travel information
How to get to the center of Athens from the airport?
When it comes to travel in Athens, and particularly from the airport to the city, there are plenty of ways of getting around, depending on how deep is your pocket or how comfortable you want your trip to be.
- Taxi ride – as you would imagine, this would be the most comfortable way of getting around, but also the most expensive ( around 50 EUR one way). But if you have a lot of luggage and you want to reach your hotel directly, I guess paying the price is totally worth it. Be aware that in Athens you won’t find Uber ( or at least that’s what I’ve been told by a local).
- Bus – as soon as you exit the airport you will see a bus stop, from here, you can also buy the one-way ticket ( 6 EUR) and also take the X95 bus taking you straight to Syntagma Square. You can also pay by card, but be sure to mention that in advance (Greek people are Mediterranean after all and tend to be a bit impatient).
- Metro – the fastest way of getting to the city, this is a blend of train and underground that will get you from anywhere in the city center, directly to the airport. The ticket costs 10 EUR one way and I found it to be the most desirable means of transportation.
What is the best area to stay in Athens?
I need to admit that the first time we stayed at 2 different hotels relatively close to the center, the Novotel Athenes being the best, but the first one was in a rather creepy area from where we had to walk through a somewhat deserted part of the town.
But still walking distance from the main touristic attractions.
Thus, be careful when choosing the area to book your accommodation and please avoid the Omonia Square area.
The 2nd time around, I knew better and chose an Airbnb apartment (maybe not the best, but it was only for one night) in one of the posh areas of Athens, Kolonaki.
Only 5 min walking distance from Syntagma Square, located on some panoramic hills on the foot of Lycabettus, surrounded by all the posh fashion stores, you will find here some lovely apartments.
And if you don’t want to stay in an apartment and you prefer a hotel, choose one in the area surrounding the Akropolis or Novotel Athenes. What could be better than waking up in the middle of the pure Athenian atmosphere?
Of course, there are always options for those with limited budgets, a hostel for solo travelers to Athens is always a good idea.
When is the best time to visit Athens?
For me, Summer is too much because it tends to get really hot, thus I would highly encourage you to plan a trip to Greece and to Athens in particular during Spring or Autumn.
I guess March to May and September to November would make the best months for visiting the city without worrying about the hot sun or hard wind, and also spending some time under the sun at a terrace.
Check this out for the Best Views in Athens
What else should you pay attention to?
You will notice that in the metro every now and then an announcement related to pickpocketers will be played, thus you should be very careful with your belongings when riding public transportation. Also, another area targeted by them is the central, crowded area, where all the shops are and you will be very likely to have your wallet on hand ( Plaka in particular).
Also, at restaurants in the city center, don’t leave your phone unattended on the table and place your bags where you can see them. At least that’s what we were told to do by a local friend.
Know that in front of the Akropolis there is only one small shop with huge prices, where even so, they never had water when we wanted and we ended up paying 9 EUR for 2 ice teas. So if you are planning to climb the hill and don’t want to spend a fortune on something to drink, buy it from town.
The best view over the city and the Akropolis is from the Areopagus rock which is very slippery so watch your step when climbing it and taking pictures.
What to eat in Greece?
Greece is the perfect place for foodies! I know because with every visit I came back home carrying at least 2 extra kilos and I regret nothing since everything is so delicious.
Just expect huge portions and a lot of different dishes to be served at each meal.
But what should you try?
- Start your day with a bowl of Greek yogurt topped with fruit and honey
- Get a starter with fava beans, tzatziki, fried feta with sesame seeds and honey, dolmas
- Don’t miss the Greek Salad with delicious feta cheese and Kalamata olives
- Where else to try the seafood and fish than in Greece?
- Gyros, Souvlaki, Mousaka and that mouth-watering bread with small olives, herbs and olive oil they bring as a starter