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Meredith Apr 28th, 2007 11:44 AM

Bus or metro from Athens airport - which is faster?
Hi, all,

We're off to Athens in just a few days!!! When we arrive at the airport, we're trying to decide if we should take the metro or the airport express bus to our hotel, the Hilton. The bus is cheaper (6,40 euros for both of us, versus 10 euros on the metro), but which is faster? We'll be arriving around 2 p.m., if that makes any difference.


Nikoleta Apr 28th, 2007 12:10 PM

Since you will arrive at noon time it is better if you take the metro. From the airport you take the line that goes to Monastiraki, but you get off at Evangelismos station, and walk a little to your hotel.
Welcome to Athens and if you have time, visit the suburbs, like Glyfada by bus A3 or B3 passing from the bus stop in Syntagma square(45minutes ride, 50 cents per person)or Varkiza a little longer ride, same ticket price from Dafni metro station take bus number 171. It will be nice to see a little more than the usual stuff and get a bit close to the shore!
Hope you enjoy!

Meredith Apr 28th, 2007 12:32 PM

Thank you, Nikoleta! We are very much looking forward to exploring your city. Unfortunately, we won't have time for the suburbs this trip. I guess that means we'll just have to come back another time, right? :)


Nikoleta Apr 28th, 2007 01:05 PM

Right Meredith,
since this is your first time you will have enought to see in the center! Don't forget to taste greek cuisine, in plaka or psiri area, just pick a restaurant where you see many locals and order a variety of mezedes!
Safe journey!

Meredith Apr 28th, 2007 03:53 PM

Nikoleta, we love Greek food! Do you have a favorite restaurant that you can recommend?


Nikoleta Apr 29th, 2007 11:26 AM

I have been to about 5-6 restaurants in the center but i do not remember all the names (i never look at the name but i mark them by remembering their location), all in Monastiraki, Plaka and Psiri area. Somehow Psiri doesn't inspire me, maybe because it looks much better only in the night? But at night it is full of people, it has many outdoor taverns and cafes. Still I prefer Monastiraki, Plaka or Thission, to my eyes they are more picturesque;at some corners they provide you views of the Acropolis lit at night.
Thission: lots of coffee shops in a row close to Thission metro-train station, most of them with interesting views and close to Stoa Attalos and the temple of Hephestos. I remember there is even an interesting bead-shop selling all kinds.
Monastiraki: get off at Monastiraki metro station that passes through Syntagma. There is a nice little square, there is a shop where they where playing live music last summer, and it had people until 3am sitting there to listen. I don't remember its name but if they play music this year too, you will find it easily, just in the heart of the square. We didn't eat there, rather had a drink. Places we had dinner in Monastiraki are :
-Bairachtaris (very know to us locals, always packed)Monastiraki square 2, tel 210-3213036
-Thanassis which had limited selections of kebab in its menu but i still liked it, coz it looked more neat to my eyes-also popular-210-3244705
-Dioskouri is in the same street but more or less the same with the other two, compare prices and see!
All 3 are very close one to the other.

Plaka area has some nice ice-cream shops close to the internal square
-it also has a restaurant serving Greek food, a wide range but unfortunately i don't remember the name! How bad, huh?
It is the one right in the heart of the square, next to a "periptero" or kioski- a stand selling newspapers, mags etc etc Try to find it!I must go again to check the name! Shame on me...
-We have also tried Scholarchio in Plaka at Tripodon 14 str, 210-3247605
it was so packed when we went that we had to wait 10 minutes for a table-this is what i didn't like, then it offers you a fixed menu if you want to be served quickly, i'd say it's only fine because of the location and the atmosphere, i don't like packed places and i always enjoy wide range of selection in food(there you have to pick 6 small courses and a drink for 35 Euro-for 2 people that is ).

Psirri area has also a number of good restaurants, just go there after 9pm because earlier it is nearly empty... check where the locals eat and prefer those places, not the ones that are packed with tourists. It is close to Monastiraki station, at the back side.

Please remember that Monastiraki, Plaka, Thissio and Psirri are all in an area you can wander on foot, don't need to take metro from one to the other.

Apart from this maybe you know we have a type of McDonalds in Greece which is called Goodies and i find it much better than McD(i have worked in McD before and know), it offers you fresh salad to pick and much more juicy burgers (like Greenburger!)also spaghetti and some more wrapped delicacies. Check

In Greece I also enjoy the branch of Beer Academy for beer or food, even if it slightly expensive (20-25 perperson)
it is a restaurant in wooden enviroment with selected foreign music, you can sit at the bar or dine at the table.

My favourite restaurant is Palmie Bistro for many reasons... it has large portions of great international food and icecream at veeeery logical cost(you can eat with 15 euro per person), very cosy enviroment, good service, it is just over the beach(it is open in the summer), cool music and very clean also. The only bad things is that it's a bit far for you, located in Voula-a suburb of Athens, if you can't try it this time maybe next time, it is worth it Palmie Bistro, A' Plaz EOT Voulas, 210-8954054
It is better if you reserve a table in advance, because it might be full.
Distance from the center:around 17 kms

I also love Starbucks coffee but that isn't Greek, is it?!

I promise from now on i will be more careful with names of restaurants.
Hope you enjoy your dining experience!!!

Nikoleta Apr 29th, 2007 11:39 AM

Oh that was but again the site is in greek! Well, in Omonia square you can find all: McDonalds, Goodys and KFC, just as you step off the metro!
Bon apetit!

djuna Apr 29th, 2007 12:15 PM

Oh, please, please please please don't support American fast food chains in Greece!!! Not only are they NOT Greek, they contribute far too much to the obesity of America, now something that is insidiously spreading the world over. Corporate fast food. Please, leave these places at home.... Greece, Italy, France, none of these places, with such interesting local cuisine of their own, need these awful fast food places... tourists (American) should eat LOCAL when they are away from home! be adventurous! And eat far more healthily! And have far more fun doing it, rather than cramming the McBurgers down in a stuffy, generic fast food dump!
Eat where the locals eat! Go to Matt Barrett's site (his Athens guide and read about Plaka and Psiri. He offers excellent recommendations for great local tavernas - and where you can find REAL Greek music, mostly in Psiri, later in the evening.
He also tells us where to find THE best coffee in Athens - and it is not Starbucks! Starbucks.. yet another gigantor corporation hell bent on making it's presence felt on every street corner in every city and small town the world over, much to the detriment of the local coffee shops.

Do read his guide... an amazing wealth of information, with names of amazing restaurants - some expensive, some very reasonably priced!
I am venturing into Psiri, at his recommendations, for the first time in a few weeks - at the start of our month in Greece... looking forward to it very much!

Nikoleta Apr 29th, 2007 12:35 PM

djuna i am not against local food because i am a local but i do know very well that no matter how people accuse fast food chains they end up eating there once in a while. And besides this eating all the time at the same places or the same food is boring.
The guide i know it because i found the numbers of the restaurants there. Good for info. i just didn't think to give the link so thanks for doing so!

Nikoleta Apr 29th, 2007 12:41 PM

Barettis-some of it-is a bit old though, like when he is talking about flea market in monastiraki, this doesn't exist for years now.
Meredith also try this link:

mileaday Apr 29th, 2007 01:05 PM

Meredith, we loved Thanassis when we were in Athens last Sept. We were often nearby when our stomachs started to growl so it worked out perfectly. It's very casual and the most inexpensive meals we had in Greece. It's also great for people watching as you can sit at the tables on the street and watch the crowds go by. There were a lot of smokers outside so we usually chose to sit inside by the open window where we could still people watch with no obstructions. I'll try to find my list of other restaurants and post them for you. I can picture a couple in my mind but don't remember the names.
We took the metro to Athens but missed one by minutes and then had to wait for about 20 min., I think. We may have been able to get there nearly as fast on the bus. However, we were hot and tired and the metro was clean and cool. We took the bus a couple of times to save some money and it was actually a bit closer to our hotel.

NikolettaG Apr 29th, 2007 07:53 PM

Djuna, I could not agree more with what you say - about the fast food chains and about Matt Barrett's website - especially when he's writing about food! I've often 'discovered' a 'new' restaurant, then found he's already described my experience. I've got very attached to a taverna in Psyrri, in Heroes' Square: the restaurant has the same name. Huge varied menu, with many dishes from the island of Naxos, where the owners come from.
Nikoleta (Oh dear, this is confusing - two of us with similar names!) I don't understand why you say the flea market at Monastiraki doesn't exist: it's true that Ifaistou Street which leads down from the square, under the sign which says 'Welcome to the Flea Market' (or something similar) is a street of shops, rather than a 'market', but the area at the bottom of this street, around the church of Agios Philippos, is filled with flea market traders every Sunday - the stalls extend along Adrianou Street beside the ancient Agora as far as Thiseion. I don't think it's changed much in thirty years!

djuna Apr 29th, 2007 08:59 PM

NicolettaG, thank you for the name of a Psiri restaurant )! I will look for it when I am there in 3 weeks. I can't WAIT!
And yes, our experience over the last 25 years also has been that the Monistiraki Flea Market still happens, each and every Sunday.

Nikoleta Apr 29th, 2007 10:52 PM

The REAL flea market of Monastiraki was transferred to the area of Sxisto several years ago by the Greek goverment, for those who don't know.
Now if you mean as flea market the refugees who illegally sell the same 15 types of bags or other materials on the streets, then ok that is a flea market then. But if we are honest, it isn't.

NikolettaG Apr 30th, 2007 11:58 AM

Nikoleta: No, not those guys! I don't think of those street traders as any sort of 'market', but of course you do see some in the Monastiraki area as they always operate where there are crowds. I meant the stalls selling 'antiques' - e.g. wrought iron objects, china, glass, decorated mirrors,lamps, old musical instruments, 'collectors items' such as medals, old lithographs and photographs, jewellery, etc. etc.
I'm interested in the Sxisto area you mention, as I don't know it. I tried to find out about the flea market there, using Google, but although there were lots of sites, they were all about Monastiraki. I couldn't find any sites for Sxisto at all, unfortunately.

Djuna, I didn't mention that the taverna in Plateia Iroon plays wonderful live rembetico music and - the best thing for me - there's NO amplification, so you can enjoy your meal without being deafened! But I'm not sure if they have music in the summer, as everyone is sitting outside, but as you're coming soon I'd hope it would still be happening - still a little cool for us for sitting outside in the evening! Wherever you're based in Athens, the square is easy to find: it's very near the Monastiraki metro station. The restaurant faces Aristofanous street; the sign with the name of the square is on the wall at the front of the restaurant. But there are LOTS of enticing looking restaurants and cafes in that area - great souvlaki and kebabs (spicy!)in a very busy restaurant in Aischylou Street!

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