First time visiting Athens? Sure, Athens is a great city, with amazing historical sites, divine food, fancy rooftops and friendly people, but there are also a few things you should know about Athens in order to enjoy the capital at its fullest.
1.Staying in the wrong neighbourhood
This is one of the most important things that could make or break your vacation. Choose to stay in an area within walking distance from the centre, to be able to explore the city on foot and feel the real authentic atmosphere. We recommend you to stay around Monastiraki, Psyrri, Syntagma, Plaka or Kolonaki.
2.Eating in touristy areas
Don’t be lured by the waiters standing outside restaurants in touristy areas, trying to persuade you to sit down. No matter how hungry you are, try to find local restaurants with fresh food. Good restaurants don’t need waiters to bring people in.
3.Not taking your time
Allow yourself enough time. Do not overcharge your daily itineraries, or you might end up frustrated! Take your time in everything you do, schedule only a couple of things to do during the day and just go with the flow and enjoy Athens!
4.Not having cash with you
Even if most of the shops and restaurants accept cards, you don’t know when you need some cash. Street vendors, markets and taxis still use cash only. Also, don’t forget to have some change with you: small tips are always appreciated.
5.Visiting the Acropolis without a guide
Visiting the Acropolis is one of the highlights of your visit to Athens. The Acropolis guided tour is a great opportunity to learn more about the history, art, culture and architecture of this marvellous site. It is almost impossible to cover this huge area in a day, which is why we recommend booking a guided tour because it is the best way to explore the attraction more efficiently and smoothly.
6.Ordering kebab instead of gyros
A greek kebab is a long spicy minced meat on a skewer, which can be eaten like a souvlaki: either in pita bread, or ordered separately on a plate, and most often served with yoghurt. It’s delicious too, but not what you might be expecting.
7.Showing too much skin when visiting churches
Out of respect for the Orthodox religion, you should wear appropriate clothing. Shoulders and knees must be covered.
8.Not looking out for your belongings
Like in every other city, beware of pickpockets, especially in the crowded areas. While Greece is generally a very safe country, always pay attention to your belongings in tourist areas.
9.Forgetting to wear sunscreen
The sun is very strong in Athens from April to late October. You need your SPF, no matter how much you want to show your friends back home your gorgeous golden glow.
10.Visiting around the 15th of August
Usually, at this time of the year, Greeks are on holiday and many many shops, bars and restaurants close. While you won’t be bothered by the crowds, it’s still not the best period to experience Athens’ vibrant atmosphere and mingle with locals!