Experienced Athens Travelers Help Please

Apr 2nd, 2008, 11:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1
Experienced Athens Travelers Help Please


Thank you in advance... I am finally coming to Athens in early October for 1 week with 3 friends.
goal: eat great Greek food, take amazing photos, see/and learn about as many ruins and temples and history as possible..We are all athletically fit

Need anybody's input on:

*best things to see
*best gifts to take back home to US
*your best guides/guided tours to learn about Athens
*your best/favorite "non touristy thing to do/see/photograph"
*rent car or no (I don't read Greek ...or speak for that matter...
*Stay in Plaka or what area is central...
Thanks again... am getting so excited.
ReadyToGoRob is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2008, 01:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,460
You should check out the very informative web site run by an American who loves Athens at www.greektravel.com.

I found the Time Out Guide to Athens extremely useful.

The best things to see would include the Parthenon and other sites on the Acropolis; the Ancient Agora, and the Roman Agora. Strolling the pedestrian streets that link these sites is lovely. The flea market in Monastiraki was atmospheric.

I really enjoyed hearing rembetika music at the Stoa Athanaton, in the building that also houses the central meat market. And visiting the central market in the morning was fascinating.

You might be interested in my trip report:




Nikki is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2008, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 75
A day trip to Delphi is just about a must, and you might consider a loop that includes going down through Corinth and to Mycenae and Epidaurus near Nauplia. One week is not a lot of time, but may be more than you need in Athens.

As far as where to stay, you did not mention what you are willing to spend. The Plaka and around Syntagma (also called Constitution) Square is the most convenient location for wandering.

Do a search on here for past trip reports, and be sure to read greektravel.com Matt Barrett's the greatest!

By the way, October is a wonderful time to be going. We've been in spring and fall, both good.
veramarie is offline  
Apr 5th, 2008, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 392
*rent car or no _ _ _
NOT recommended, if you are staying in Athens. Confusing 1-way roads, heavy traffic, little parking. Public transport, including feet, is adequate.

Most people rent their car their last day in Athens, before heading out to other parts of Greece.

There is also some advantage to an airport car rental, despite the higher costs, because the airport is in the fringes of Athens. Airport also has easy highway/tollroad access.

*Stay in Plaka or what area is central _ _ _
Plaka or neigborhoods immediately adjacent (Thission, Monsastiraki) are preferred.
Expect to pay US$ 150 - 200 for a basic, but clean, hotel in the prime tourist areas. (at 1 euro = $1.50-1.60).

*best things to see
With one week in Athens, you can indulge in some lesser known pleasures. I enjoyed walking the low hills south of the Acropolis.

This area includes Pnyx , Monument of Philopappos, and the National Observatory site.
Excellent views.

A 1/2 day trip to Cape Sounion via the Attiki coast/beaches is very pleasant. The cape is the site of the temple of Poseidon.

A couple of bus tour companies offer Cape Sounion excursions at a moderate cost, chances are your hotel would have the brochures.
tom_h is offline  
Apr 6th, 2008, 12:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 30
Look into the Ava Hotel, in the Plaka. Really nice place and very much centrally located. Can see the Parthenon from your balcony. People are so nice there. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. We went there in October 2007. The Ava Hotel is like an apartment and is very comfortable. A lot of sites, restaurants are within walking distance. The metro is also close by and not hard to use. It also goes to the airport. This was the first time we went to Greece, and we enjoyed our four days there. A must see is the changing of the guards at Parliment (also within walking distance, and Sunday is the special changing of the guards). You are really going to enjoy yourself. The food is delicious!
revo is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 10:29 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,765
If you do a search here you should find a few long threads about what to buy in Athens and the rest of the country. ( I responded to one in the last month.)

Korres products and products made from mastic are kind of chic right now..you can easily find both in Athens.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,818
If you only have 30 euros a day per person for Athens lodging, that's only 60 Euros per double -- and it will be mighty hard to find a double for that Price in Plaka... you'd better start now. Phaedra has doubles with bath next to room but outside it for 60, but double-bed, not 2 singles.
Try Athens Studios -- which is an apartment=type thing that charges per person in a unit, you need to book this far ahead

Affiliated with Athens Backpackers BUT is upgrade from a hostel. Very well situated, just a block outside plaka area, right behind the new Acropolis Museum. A good deal if you can get it!

There's an e-mail to contact them,on the site. NOTE: if you are able to book, be sure to get an e-mail confirmation AND re-check by Phone from overseas before you go, just to be extra-sure.
travelerjan is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Katie_H is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 165
I found Matt Barrett's web sight very helpful. In Athens I stayed at the Hotel Attalos which is centrally located, clean and friendly. I would definitely stay there again, but they run full and reservations need to be made in advance. The Lesvos Store is close to Hotel Attalos, and you will find ceramics, cookies, breads, jams, sea salt, olives, spices, cheeses, ouzo and wine. Komboloi (worry beads) may be found everywhere and are typical in Greece. I am sure you will have a great time!
grapes is offline  

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