Overlooking the ancient glory of Greece, the Acropolis stands proudly as the high city. It is a shrine for many tourists who visit it year round. The focal point of Acropolis is the Parthenon, which is the largest temple. And before you start your journey here are some helpful facts.
THINGS TO DO IN ACROPOLIS
Acropolis is on a hill top, so be ready to climb your way up. It is just a 10 minutes walk uphill, and it isn’t steep. Tickets to Acropolis are not available online. There are two ticket counters around the entrance which offer the ticket.
10 Euros for a day during the off-season and 20 Euros during tourist season. There is also a combined ticket costing 30 Euros, which is valid for five days (you can use this ticket to visit nearby attractions). EU Students and under 18 can enter the monument for free, just take your ID card with you.
If you come via metro, then the ticket counter is near the Acropolis Museum. And if you come from Thesion Metro Station or Monastiraki then there is the ticket counter next to a gift shop. There are three stations around Acropolis- Thissio, Monastiraki, and Acropolis. If you are staying at one of the nearby hotels like – Acropolis Select Hotel, then just walk to the Acropolis Museum, get a ticket from the nearby counter.
The entrance from near the Acropolis Station and Acropolis museum is called entrance via South Slope (southeast side). You will walk past Theatre of Dionysus to the steps of Propylaea will serve as an ascent to Acropolis. The path is paved so that you will have a smooth walk.
The other way in is from Thissio and Monastiraki station. But the way from Monastiraki is the steepest that is why it is not preferred much by anyone.
After you walk on the steps to Propylaea, you will see the Temple of Athena on the right. (But the temple is not accessible, it is under reconstruction). Once atop the steps, you are free to roam around in the uneven ground of Acropolis.
You will also get to see Erechtion, which is one of the most intact Greek structures in Acropolis. Do not miss the Sacred Olive tree. There is a tale behind this tree. Once Athena and Poseidon were having a contest, and Athena struck this tree with her Spear. Athena won the contest, and hence the city has the name after her “Athens.”
Next, in the way comes Parthenon where There is always construction going on. So you will see a lot of cranes and workers. But there are still opportunities to click some cool photographs. Most of the sites here are under reconstruction, that is why annoying noises will always be in your ear.
Odeon of Herodes is not a theater like the Theatre of Dionysus because this is for concerts and speeches not for stage performances like the other. So when you see Theatre of Dionysus, please try the throne. And, did you know Theatre of Dionysus was the first ever built theater? Isn’t that cool?
HOW TO REACH
When you are planning a trip to Athens, then you need to keep one thing in mind is the long flights you ought to take. Once you reach the Airport, There are many ways to reach your hotel. But we would suggest you book a hotel near the Acropolis because all the sites will be in walking distance.
There is subway service from the airport. But you have to pay 10 Euros for using the metro. And if you take a taxi then the cost is $45, it is lesser if you contact your hotel and ask them to pick you up. Hertz and Sixt Rent a car is near the arrivals from where you can rent your ride.
WHERE TO STAY
As we said earlier, better stay in proximity with Acropolis, So that you are in walking distance of all the important sites. There are budget, modest and luxury options within a few miles radius.
If you do not get a hotel near Acropolis then, take a metro ride to the Akropoli metro stop and walk along your entire way to the Theories St.
WHEN TO GO
The ultimate rule is -Visit as soon as you can. In the summers it opens at 8 and in winters at 8:30. Your best bet will be to go in winters and through the Southeast, not the west entrance because it is less crowded. And the best part is you will have the sites all to yourselves, less crowd, more wind – Just you and Acropolis. After 10 AM the intensity of the sun rays become unbearable in summers, that is why go as early as possible.
WHAT TO WEAR
Greece is a hot place, and the hiking you do while going to Acropolis will dehydrate you. So wear something comfy (maybe cotton). Skip flip-flops; wear a nice pair of boots. The steps are made of marble. Hence they are kind of slippery. So wear a boot which has a good grip. It gets windy up on the hill so prepare you for it also. If you are going in summer, then there will be a use of hats to beat the sun. Bring a large bottle of water with you, as well as some snacks to keep your tour going.
Greek is the language spoken in Greece. But it is hard to learn the language in a short period of time. English, Italian, German and French are other popular languages by which you can get by.
Most of the road signs and even the hotel menus are in both Greek and English. You can get around in Greece with little to no English. Learning a few phrases though will not harm you – “ Kalimera” is the Greek for “ Good Morning,” “ Kalispera” for “ Good Afternoon,” Efkharisto is the word for thank you.
If you want to ask a person whether they speak English then – “ Milas Anglika?” If they say “Neh,” then it’s a yes, and if they say “Ohi,” it is a no. “ Can you help me?” is “ Borita na me” in Greek. For road directions, you will hear Aristera (Left) and Dexia (Right).
Euro is the currency around Greece. So no matter whether you are in Athens or Santorini the currency is going to be the same. There is currency exchange center in all the touristy places in Greece. Make sure you have enough cash. You can exchange the currency as soon as you reach Greece. There are machines near the luggage pick up where you can do the exchange. Cash is the best way to pay because there will be additional charges if you pay by Debit or Credit card. Credit cards are also seldom accepted. There are ATMs around Athens, so you will have no problem exchanging money. But you will have no idea of the exchange rate until you get your bank statement. Every bank in Greece has an updated currency chart which gives you an idea of how much you will withdraw.
FREE WI-FI & SIM CARDS
There are many places around Athens where you will find free Wi- Fi. The first one near to your destination is the Acropolis Museum. All the Flo Cafes and the Starbucks cafes also provide free wi-fi. So head to one of these to use free Wi-Fi. It is best if you download the area map of around Acropolis so that you can reach the places without the use of data.
Sim cards are available at Germanos in the Departures area of the Athens airport. You need to ask a security official to help you get there if you can’t find it. You can buy a Cosmote What’s up Sim Card which is free of cost, but you have to top-up it with a data plan and talk-time. Passport and an ID is must if you want to buy a sim card anywhere in Greece. There are also a lot of Vodafone, Wind and Cosmote shops around Central Athens where you can buy a sim card.
When in Athens, eat as the Greeks. There are many foods stands near the Monastiraki stop. Here you can get a typical Greek Souvlaki with Drink at just 7-8 Euros. A Greek Souvlaki includes a pita bread rolled around grilled meat and veggies. If you fancy a meal like back at home then head to Goody’s food chains which are similar to Mc- Donald’s offering Sandwiches, burgers, salads, pies, etc.On the north side of Acropolis is Adrianou which has a lot of Greek Tavernas serving traditional Greek food.
Any place can be cheap or Expensive. A trip to Thailand is costly if you want it to be and it can also be the cheapest one you ever planned. You can survive in 40 Euros/ day in Greece, and you can live comfortably with 100 Euros a day in Greece. If you are looking for a whole total cost including the accommodation, transportation, Food, entrance fees and Airfare 5K Euros is a must for a person planning a two weeks trip.
HOW MANY DAYS FOR ACROPOLIS
Start in the early morning, and the whole site of Acropolis can be done in around four hours. Take your trip leisurely, and you can enjoy the little details of Acropolis. But if you are in a hurry to visit the nearby islands and have only a day or two in Athens, then you can cut short your trip to one and a half hour. The combined entrance ticket gives you access to Acropolis and its nearby sites for 3- 5 days. So, those who want a relaxed tour can use the ticket that way.
No matter the rules and speed limits in Greece, drivers are rash. The roads in the city area are well- kept. But when you move away from the urban area the roads get rocky. Walking in Greek Streets is also a great dare. You never know when the drivers will whiz past you. If you have to reach Acropolis, we recommend you use public transport. Metro is your best bet as there are three stations around Acropolis.
RENTING vs. BUS, TRAIN, TAXI
Sixt is a car rental inside the Airport; you can book it as soon as you land. Or else there are many local rental companies which are good options. The prices start from $13; it depends on the type of car you choose. Make sure you have an International driving permit. Even though car rental companies are not strict in Greece, you still need it.
Driving in Greece is for the experienced only, so if you do not want mini-heart attacks from time then use public transport. Metro connection in Athens is the strongest in Greece. And taxis (the yellow ones) have meters, so you do not have to fix the price before you get in.
RIGHT or LEFT DRIVING
Driving in Greece is on the right. As we said earlier the drivers in Greece are rash, but in Athens, the driving is slower because of the traffic. The speed limit in multi –lane highways in 110 km/h.
ELECTRICITY & PLUG TYPE
Tourists from North America need a transformer to elevate the voltage of their appliances because the standard voltage in Greece is 230 V. And sockets are Type C and Type F. Your laptop and mobile do not need a transformer just an adapter is enough. A USA- European 2- round plug adapter is must pack or universal adapter will do the trick.
HOW SAFE IS ATHENS
There is little to no violent crime towards tourists in Athens. But beware of pickpockets in the Monastiraki Flea Market. There are also taxi drivers who will try to con you. Some will ask for an exorbitant amount of taxi fare, and others will tell you the hotel you booked is full. Be careful, do not trust anyone easily.
September 6, 2017 1:40 pm