General Information

Athens, Greece

Acropolis museumWithin the sprawling city of Athens it is easy to imagine the golden age of Greece when Pericles had the Parthenon built (the most eminent monument of the ancient Greek architecture), when the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were performed in the Theater of Dionysus and when democracy brought all citizens together to decide their common fate on the Pnyx Hill.

Athens is a city with a glorious, fascinating history that has been worshipped by gods and people, a city full of beauty and fantasy. Situated in the prefecture of Attica it extends to a peninsula and is surrounded by the mountains Ymmytos, Pendeli and Parnitha and the Argosaronic Gulf as well. Just a few kilometres from the city center, the port of Piraeus is ready to take you to numerous Greek Islands.

Athens is a city of many aspects. A walk around the city center will lead you to Plaka, Thission with the old, well-preserved, picturesque neighborhoods with traditional shops and taverns; or maybe to Kolonaki, the modern, luxurious side with the newly built department stores and fancy restaurants for a more classy experience. Head up South, not far, and visit the Attica Beaches for a swim or simply to enjoy the sea breeze and the fresh air soaking up the Greek sun.

Do not miss visiting the numerous sites of archaeological interest. Monuments such as the Acropolis, Odeion of Herodes Atticus, Roman Market, Panathinaiko Stadium or Kallimarmaro, the Greek Parliament and the Athens Academy are only just a few of the places worth visiting, not to mention the museums that will take you by surprise. Enjoy your stay in the magical city of Athens!

The New Acropolis Museum
The new Acropolis Museum was designed with two objectives: the first was to offer the best conditions for the exhibition of its exhibits and secondly to be a Museum that welcomes and befriends its visitors. A walk through its galleries is a walk through history – between the masterpieces of the Archaic and Classical periods, but also in the ancient neighborhoods of Athens. The Museum offers many opportunities for rest and recreation, as well as a visitor friendly environment for some of the most emblematic works of antiquity. For more information, please visit www.theacropolismuseum.gr

Museums
A great number of museums throughout the country. More than 207 are state-run or supervised by the Culture and 107 are privately owned.
Most state–run museums are open weekdays except Monday. 
For more information please visit: www.athensinfoguide.com/wtsmuseums.htm

Archaeological Sites and Places of Interest
Here is a small list of Archaeological Sites, Monuments, Museums and Galleries are only some of the places of interest worth visiting in Athens:

  • The Acropolis of Athens
  • The Temple of Parthenon
  • Hadrian’s Library
  • The Roman Agora
  • Lysicrates Monument
  • Hadrians’ Arch
  • Kallimarmaro Stadium
  • The Pnyx
  • Philopappos Hill
  • Kerameikos
  • National Archaeological Museum
  • Acropolis Museum
  • Byzantine Museum
  • Museum of Cycladic Art
  • Municipal Gallery of Athens
  • Museum of the Ancient Agora (Stoa of Attalos)

Useful links about the city of Athens

www.cityofathens.gr

www.breathtakingathens.com

www.visitgreece.gr

www.theacropolismuseum.gr

www.athens-museums.com

www.athensinfoguide.com/gettingaround

 

Transportation

Athens International Airport
Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” is located in Spata, 33 km southeast of Athens and serves all international and domestic flights. The airport is easily accessible from the city center via motorway, express bus or metro. The express bus line X95 (direction Syntagma) serves Athens city center. It allows unlimited travel by all public transport means (incl. bus and metro) for 24 hours from the time of validation. An average taxi ride from the airport to the city center should take approximately 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic. Taxis are available at the taxi station operating just outside the airport arrivals area. ( www.aia.gr )

Athens Metro (Metro Lines 2 & 3)
Athens Metro network (www.ametro.gr) consists of 2 lines (Line 2 and Line 3) and 23 stations, serving 500,000 passengers daily with trains arriving every 3 minutes at rush hours and every 5-10 minutes at all other times. An additional line (Line 1) of the ISAP network, which already existed in Athens connecting the Port of Piraeus to the northern suburb of Kifisia, commutes another 415,000 passengers per day. The Athens Metro connects Syntagma Square to the Athens International Airport in 27 minutes.
Lines 2 and 3 operate daily from 05:30 – 24:00.
Line 1 operates daily from 05:00-00:30.

Tram
The tram’s 5 routes operate daily on a 24-hour basis, serving 47 stations. Tram vehicles arrive every 8 minutes between 06:00-01:00 and every 40 minutes between 01:00-06:00. (www.tramsa.gr)

Buses
The broad bus network of Athens covers almost every point of the city and the suburbs with 7,500 stops. The fleet consists mainly of modern buses, environmentally friendly, with air conditioning and facilities for the elderly and passengers with disabilities. (www.oasa.gr)
Useful tips: Tickets must be bought before boarding (from bus terminals and from the majority of kiosks) and validated in the designated machines (orange colored) within the vehicles. To stop and board on a bus, you must make a hand signal to the driver. To step off the bus, you have to notify the driver by pressing the “stop” button in time. The OASA Call Centre (185 – dialing from within Greece) operates from 07:00-21:00 on weekdays and from 09:00-17:00 on weekends.

Taxis
Taxis are yellow with a red-letter taxi-sign on top. Keep in mind that taxis in Athens can be stopped on their way with a hand signal (just like buses) and they often take more than one passenger at a time getting in and stepping off at different points. For exclusive use of a taxi you are advised to call a “radio taxi”. In any case you can request a taxi from your hotel’s concierge.

 

Passport & Visa Information

Greece follows the Schengen Agreement and provisions for short-term visits. Citizens of all countries applying the Schengen acquit in full, plus associated countries enter with any valid I.D. card and are not subjected to border controls.

Holders of regular passports from the rest of the world need a visa in order to enter Greece (and the Schengen Area).

For more information on how to obtain a visa, you may visit the following site:
http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/before_you_travel/passports_and_visas

To be certain, the best sources of information will be your embassy, consulate.

For more information you may visit the site:
http://www.axa-schengen.com/en/schengen-visa-countries

 

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