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Many major sights, as well as hotels, cafés, and restaurants, are within a fairly small central area of Athens. It's easy to walk everywhere, though sidewalks are often obstructed by parked cars. Most far-flung sights, such as beaches, are reachable by metro, bus, and tram.
Check the Organization for Urban Public Transportation (OASA) Web site for English-language information on how to use public transport to get to sights around the city. OASA also answers questions about routes (usually only in Greek). The office, open weekdays 7:30-3, distributes maps of bus routes with street names in Greek; these are also distributed at the white ticket kiosks at many bus terminals.
The price of public transportation has risen steeply, but it is still less than that in other western European capitals. Riding during rush hours is definitely not recommended. Buses especially are air-conditioned and have space for luggage, but they can sometimes get extremely crowded.
Upon boarding, validate your ticket in the orange canceling machines at the front and back of buses and trolleys and in metro stations. Keep your tickets until you reach your destination, as inspectors occasionally pop up to check that they have been canceled and validated. They are strict about fining offenders, including tourists.
You can buy a day pass covering the metro, buses, trolleys, and trams for EUR 3; a weekly pass for EUR 10; or, at the beginning of each month, a monthly pass for EUR 35.
In English, If You PleaseEnglish-language books, newspapers, and magazines are readily available in central Athens at international bookstores and kiosks in Kolonaki and Syntagma. Local English-language publications include the weekly Athens News, which offers a mix of politics, features, travel, and style articles; the English-language version of Kathimerini, sold as an insert with the International Herald Tribune, also prints a weekly entitledAthens Plus; Odyssey magazine, a glossy bimonthly; and Insider, a lifestyle monthly magazine.
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