An ultra-short guide to Athens

Arriving by plane: Take the bus (X95 - € 6 - 50 minutes) to the city centre: Subway is equally fast but less frequent. No need to take a taxi from the airport; it is a waste of money.
Arriving by boat: Use the rail and metro system (€ 1,40 - approx. 30 min to city centre).
 
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The Houses of Parliament - Syntagma Square- Athens - Tourism Media © 2016 Expedia, Inc

Accomodation: Book a room in less touristic areas such as Ilisia (close to the Athens Hilton) or Pangrati. Syntagma Square and Plaka are more expensive, but still affordable. Central Athens is quite compact and you can walk or move by train and bus everywhere you want.
 
Language: Greek. One of the most ancient languages in the world and the one you’ll never learn to speak. It is difficult, hard and full of colloquialisms. Don’t worry: English are spoken everywhere and most hotel workers can speak some German or Italian, as well. Even the Greeks who speak no foreign languages will try to help you through gestures and mimics when you ask them something. Also, when lost, ask anyone on the street (especially young persons) for direction; Greeks love to feel helpful! 
 
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Monastiraki Square - Athens - Tourism Media © 2016 Expedia, Inc

Money: Greece is a part of the eurozone so.. it’s euro. Cards are accepted everywhere (ask before if in doubt). Taxis, food, cigarettes and drinks are cheaper than most touristic European cities. The supermarket goods are in average prices (cheaper than France & U.K., pricier than Germany). Foreign magazines are ridiculously expensive but… who cares?
 
Food: Athens is food heaven and decent cuisine is easy to find. Still, excellent food requires some research. Touristic restaurants may serve quality dishes but still, this is not the food Greeks eat at home. Search for the places that locals dine at! Try everything and drink a lot of Greek beer (Fix and Alfa are excellent) or win (from Chalkidiki, Santorini or Samos). Try the famous souvlaki wrap at Agia Irini Square. Search for the traditional eateries with a modern twist at Kolonaki Square and Patr. Ioakim Str. Buy season’s fruits (make sure they are Greek) especially cherries, apricots, grapes, melons and watermelons; their taste is superb!
 
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A fruiys stand at Monastiraki Square - Athens - Tourism Media © 2016 Expedia, Inc

Shopping: The majority of goods are the ones you can find in any other European city so focus on Greek products: Linen clothes, leather sandals, jewelry, Cretan olive oil, mastiha products, sweet Samos wine, mythology books and you’re ok. Our advice: Spend your money in eating and partying rather than shopping!
 
Sightseeing: The Acropolis hill is the city's biggest attraction. Go early in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowds. The nearby Zeus Temple is another must. The ancient Agora and the, almost intact, Hephaestus Temple (a.k.a. Theseion) is also a site you’ll want to walk through. Discover the narrow streets of the busy Plaka district (great small cafes, picturesque houses and medieval churches, under the Acropolis Walls) and visit the popular Kolonaki Square with the fancy boutiques and the elegant cafes (prefer those close to the Apple Store).
 
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Zeus Temple and the Acropolis of  Athens - Tourism Media © 2016 Expedia, Inc

Museums: The Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum are the ones you can’t skip. If you want more, the Museum of Cycladic Art and the Byzantine Museum are two great world-class institutions. For contemporary art check the Benaki Museum Pireos Str. Cityartnow can keep you updated on the current art exhibitions in Athens.
 
Nightlife: Plaka has numerous places for wine and meze. At Theseion district you can have an (overpriced) glass of wine while admiring the illuminated Acropolis. Agia Irini Square and the surrounding areas are filled with bars and restaurants. Gazi district has something for everyone; fancy restaurants, cafes, bars, beer venues and ice-cream parlors. Most big hotels have excellent roof bars with Acropolis view. If you can, catch a musical or dance performance at the magnificent Odeon of Herodes Atticus, built in 161 AD, at the slope of the Acropolis! It’s an experience.

 
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