These are the most often asked questions on visiting Athens. If your question isn’t answered, leave yours in the comments below. I’ll get back to you ASAP.
How many days do I need to spend in Athens?
Well that totally depends on your wishes and your personal preferences.
For example, if you love travelling to cities, Athens is a living treasury. You can be walking, visiting sights and tasting amazing dishes and delicacies for weeks.
On the other hand, if your goal is to hit the islands or mountain greek villages, then spending two or three days in Athens will do!
What time of the year is best to visit Athens?
Bad weather isn’t an issue in Greece and especially in Athens. But then again, this depends on anyone’s definition of “bad weather”.
The high summer temperatures are not friendly to enjoy sightseeing and wandering around Athens.
On the other hand, summer is the most fun and happiest time in Greece. All the beaches are open, everyone’s out looking for fun, the nightlife takes off… you can also pack light and be fine for weeks.
I don’t necessarily recommend visiting Athens in wintertime, as you’ll miss all the Athens Riviera high season and all the great beaches. However, if you stick around this blog, you’ll find great things to do in Athens and in the rest of Greece during winter time. I can assure you that, this country is seriously underestimated when it comes to winter brakes or vacations.
What I do suggest though, is visit Athens and generally Greece at the beginning or at the end of the summer season. That means, if able, you should skip the period from the middle of June until the middle of September.
Is Athens a dangerous city?
Athens is NOT a dangerous city.
It’s a question I was asked many times the last years from friends that wanted to revisit Athens or other first time travellers.
The economic crisis of the last decade, triggered city riots and protests. This has never become a real threat though. There are many homeless people and some junkie spots in the city. I recommend you avoid booking your accommodation. I will be writing extensively about the best areas to stay in Athens and which to avoid.
Other than that, pickpocketing is alive.
Which are the best areas to book my accommodation?
I won’t get into many details here. Distance from the center of your interest can make or break your visit to any place in the world you travel to.
Athens is a huge city, but not all of it has compact historic and touristic interest.
So choose wisely the area you stay. It should preferably be in an easy, for you, walking distance from Syntagma square.
Is there public free Wi-Fi in Athens?
No, there isn’t.
I can assure you, that getting free Wi-Fi though will never be a problem. If you need anything to check or do online, there;s an easy three step solution:Go sit in in a cafe in the center of Athens (or anywhere else)Order your favorite coffee and Ask for the Wi-Fi password. It’s free in almost any cafe or restaurant in the city.
Some old fashioned shops and tavernas may not have free Wi-Fi though (highly unlikely). So before you sit and order just ask to confirm.
Will I pay what a Greek pays?
You may have heard a lot from past visitors in Greece that they were scammed or even ripped off. I’ve heared the myth that there are two different catalogues in restaurants. One with greek and one with “touristic” pricing!
Come on! We live in the 10’s. Travelling has become an art and information is spread lavishly on the net. We all know better than that!
Tourism is the largest industry in Greece and there’s an immense number of businesses based on touristic services. That means that tens of thousands of Greeks live on money earned from serving visitors. They’re not stupid to scam you by charging you 5 or 10 euros more than a Greek. Can you imagine what a disastrous impact will have an insulting review on Tripadvisor or on other Social Media Groups?
The one category of professionals that could possibly try to cheat on you are Taxi Drivers. I’m not trying to offend them and that doesn’t mean this is something that happens often. But there have been many complaints on taxis overcharging.
Is transportation reliable in Athens?
Yes it is. There’s a schedule that public means follow.
But! Traffic in the streets of Athens can be very unforeseen. So, even if a bus “wants” to be on time, it’s highly possible that it won’t. The bus lanes in the streets are often full of cars and traffic police doesn’t do anything about it.
My top suggestion is not to be late when you have a plane/train/boat/bus to catch in Athens or Piraeus. Traffic in the city can be unforgiving.
To avoid unexpected surprises arrange to start on time. But if you’re marginally late, prefer to take the metro or the train to skip any traffic jam.
How much time do I need to see the Acropolis?
It depends on your interests and how thoroughly you want to explore the sacred rock.
During winter time, usually there are no long lines to get in the Acropolis. So as soon as you’ve walked up the hill you can stay as long as you heart desires.
You’ll need less than twenty minutes only to move around and take a quick look at all the ancient beauties and enjoy the unforgettable view All this of course, doesn’t include Dionysus Theatre, Herodion or any walking at the foothill.
A thorough dive into the Acropolis though, needs a lot more of your time. Guided tours may last even up to 3- 4 hours on the rock.
And just to make clear of one thing please!!!! Visiting the Acropolis is another thing than visiting the Museum of Acropolis.
Which is the one museum no one should miss while visiting Athens?
It’s the Archeological Museum without a second thought.
The position and architecture of the Acropolis Museum makes it impressive and unique. You should visit it by all means. But if you have time only for one museum, that should definitely be the Archeological Museum.
It covers an immense period of human history with its findings. It’s beautiful and richer from any other one and from any aspect. It’s one of the most important museums in the world.
What are your questions or even doubts about travelling to Athens? Do you have anything to add on the answers above to help other travellers design a great trip to Athens?