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Athens, Greece

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by amirrorcrackd, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. amirrorcrackd

    amirrorcrackd Well-Known Member

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    I'll be traveling to Athens in the next week. It will be my first time there and am looking for advice on what I need to do or any other useful information from those that have been there. I'll be there for a very short period of time, and traveling (maybe with the exception of day trips) is not really an option.

    I'll be staying here, so close proximity to the hotel is a plus as well:
    http://www.classicalhotels.com/?siteid=8

    Also would love some restaurant recommendations if you have them (I'm a vegetarian though, sorry).

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. Connemara

    Connemara Well-Known Member

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    I've always wanted to go to Athens.

    This was truer in the past, but the air quality in Athens is pretty poor. If you have asthma or a similar condition, try to use caution when you're there.
     
  3. david-bowie

    david-bowie Well-Known Member

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    I've always wanted to go to Athens.

    This was truer in the past, but the air quality in Athens is pretty poor. If you have asthma or a similar condition, try to use caution when you're there.


    Athens was disappointment for me..city is really dirty..
    But maybe the reason is that I'm saturated with Balkan...for people from USA it can be exotic...
     
  4. designprofessor

    designprofessor Well-Known Member

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    I actually got locked in the Acropolis / Parhtenon complex. Laying there looking up at the stars and out over Athens at night. Amazing sight.
     
  5. Britalian

    Britalian Well-Known Member

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  6. amirrorcrackd

    amirrorcrackd Well-Known Member

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    First of all, it's a business trip and I'm not paying and it's not my choice, but beyond that, what's wrong with the hotel. It's kitschy, but I'm sure it's nice.

    Dan
     
  7. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    must see - cycladic museaum archetectural museum, acropolis, plaka

    good place to eat - go to the monistiraki metro station, when you get out there is a square with a dozen or so outdoor resteraunts, low scale but very nice and full of locals.

    I usually buy honey when I am in athens, and lukum (turkish delight)
     
  8. upstarter

    upstarter Well-Known Member

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    I've been to Greece 7 times and have stayed there for up to 3 months at a time. Here is my response in another forum about Athens. I go by "Soaper" in that forum, so just read my posts (although there is some good info in the other posts).

    http://www.shavemyface.com/forum/vie...ghlight=athens

    I would specifically point you towards the second to last post in the thread, as it gives you one of the best restaurants I have ever been to in all of Greece.

    And yes, I would be very underwhelmed with Athens as a tourist. The best thing IMO is the National Museum. Def don't skip that.

    Enjoy your trip!

    Upstarter
     
  9. zarathustra

    zarathustra Well-Known Member

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    Athens was disappointment for me..city is really dirty..
    But maybe the reason is that I'm saturated with Balkan...for people from USA it can be exotic...


    How is the city really dirty? I just got back from there and thought the city was remarkably cleaner than NYC.
     
  10. david-bowie

    david-bowie Well-Known Member

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    How is the city really dirty? I just got back from there and thought the city was remarkably cleaner than NYC.

    I'm not sure for NYC, but Athens looks dirtier than other European cities where I was..
    But it's only my impression...
     
  11. Dedalus

    Dedalus Well-Known Member

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    First of all, it's a business trip and I'm not paying and it's not my choice, but beyond that, what's wrong with the hotel. It's kitschy, but I'm sure it's nice.

    Dan


    Leaving the US for a country that has a rich cultural history and staying in a hotel that emulates the US...
     
  12. amirrorcrackd

    amirrorcrackd Well-Known Member

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    Leaving the US for a country that has a rich cultural history and staying in a hotel that emulates the US...

    Whatever. More lame would be go to a country with a rich cultural history and spending time in your hotel room. If you don't have anything productive to contribute, why bother? I posted the hotel link for proximity information, not to be criticized.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  13. amirrorcrackd

    amirrorcrackd Well-Known Member

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    Globetrotter and upstarter, thank you for the information. Definitely will try to check out some of those place and restaurants.

    This may be a silly question, but are there any little facts that I should know in how things may differ from the US (for example, do you tip in restaurants, etc.?)?

    Thanks again,
    Dan
     
  14. earthdragon

    earthdragon Well-Known Member

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    Kolonaki - at the foot of Mt Lycabetus, is both retail and restaurant row. It is a real scene with all of the usual suspects (LV, Gucci etc).
    Sensational pavement restaurants and you will not have trouble finding appetizing vegetarian options.

    Walk through 'Mostriaki' - street markets/restaurant area.

    Kiffisia, is also a great location for dining.

    Stay away from the Port/Seaside restaurants (Piraeus), as they are specifically there to 'gouge' tourists.

    Your Hotel Concierge, should be familiar with all of the above.
     
  15. upstarter

    upstarter Well-Known Member

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    This may be a silly question, but are there any little facts that I should know in how things may differ from the US (for example, do you tip in restaurants, etc.?)?

    Thanks again,
    Dan


    Interesting question that I'm glad you asked.

    1. There are NO RIGHT TURNS on red. Unless they've changed the law recently, that's how it is in Athens.

    2. It is perfectly ok to sit in a restaurant/cafe for 5 hours (unlike the US in my experience). That said, you should be willing to spend a little more money there if its crowded just out of respect, ex. get a coffee and a 2 sweets instead of just a coffee.

    3. If a restaurant has an English menu, i suggest you leave. With the exception of very few restaurants, it has been my experience that places with english menus are not the greatest. That means that all the restaurants that you see when you exit the Monastiraki Metro station should be avoided, with the exception of "O Thanasis" who supposedly makes some of the best Gyros in Greece. I tried it and it's different from the normal gyro in that there's no tzaziki and its a meat kabab type thing instead of a shaved off meat or a souvlaki. That said, it is an institution and there are tons of Greeks there even though it in a very touristy area. I have had much better though...

    Once again, I'll recommend my restaurant i spoke of in my previous post.

    4. The tip is included in the bill everywhere you go.

    5. Some people will try to rip you off, ex taxi drivers, people that sell you stuff, and restaurants. Be sure to count your change and be aware of your surroundings. Also, some restaurants can serve bad food. If they claim "fresh kalamari" and they're obviously frozen, I'd recommend that you speak with the owner and get your money back. It is OK to raise your voice in Greece[​IMG]

    6. Another restaurant i forgot to mention in Athens is Krinos. Krinos makes loukomathes, aka greek style donuts with honey, cinnamon, and nuts. This is another Athens institution and has been around forever. By grandfather (born in 1906) went there, my father went there, and I go back every time I'm there. They are VERY GOOD. Krinos is relatively close to the central meat market (which is quite the cultural treat). Many "neolei" or young'ns don't know about it and when I asked kids my age (I'm 20) if they knew where it was they looked at me strangely. The only way I found it without the aid of my dad was by asking a guy in his 50's where it was. He not only told me where it was, he took me there! Yes, Athens does have many rude people but I promise you that there are some amazingly kind people there.

    7. Kolonaki, mentioned earlier, has probably the most beautiful women that I've ever seen. It is the Beverly Hills of Athens (along with Kiffisia) and the young daughters of models who married shipping tycoons are everywhere.... at least that's how I explain it.

    That's pretty much covers it
     
  16. Dedalus

    Dedalus Well-Known Member

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    If you don't have anything productive to contribute, why bother? I posted the hotel link for proximity information, not to be criticized.

    Thanks,
    Dan


    I couldn't care less where you stayed, but you did ask what could be wrong with such a hotel. Sorry you didn't like my answer, but as you said, the importance of spending time outside of the hotel room renders the point moot.
     
  17. meister

    meister Well-Known Member

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    That's how I remember Kolonaki from the 80s too. The other top place is the ice cream shop that serves parfait on Doukididou in Kalamaki shops just off the Sygrou(?) main drag where it hits the seaside. I liked Voula too at night especially the American style bars.
     
  18. Vladimir Berkov

    Vladimir Berkov Active Member

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    For restaurants I had good luck wandering around an interesting area until I saw one which looked non-touristy with a bunch of locals, then going in, finding out there was no menu either English or Greek, and just ordering whatever everybody else was having (most of these restaurants seem to have a limited nightly menu) along with a 0.5l beer. It always worked out.

    The one lousy meal I had was in a touristy area where I was forced to eat at a restaurant with a guy hawking it from the street...and where they had an English menu too.
     

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