Off to Athens next week Off to Athens next week
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  1. #1

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    Default Off to Athens next week

    Has anybody here spent much time there, and if so, any polite recommendations ?

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    Yes it's fooking polluted, dirty, noisy, gridlocked, mostly ugly and unpleasant.

    And this time of year it is likely to be raining too.
    I was miserable and depressed, but CUK turned it all around. Now I'm depressed and miserable.

  3. #3

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    Full of Greeks, too. Best avoided. The Acropolis is, in fact, the Holiday Inn ... they never completed it.

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    Get down to the port and get on a boat. Loads of nice islands a few hours away by ferry.

  5. #5

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    Was there three weeks ago for 36 hours (before a two week tour of the ancient sites)

    1) One day in Athens is enough to see the sites. After day 2 you will be looking for things to do elsewhere.

    2) Piraeus port is a dump. If you have booked a hotel there to save money, you will be disappointed. There are nice parts of Piraeus but they are inconvenient for public transport to Athens centre.

    3) If travelling from the airport by train, it goes every half hour at 00 and 30. I didn't know this and missed it by 3 minutes. It costs a premium 6 Euro (a taxi is apparently 50-55).

    4) Unless staying in a top class hotel, breakfast in Greek hotels is entirely missable.

    5) The Acropolis gets stupidly busy with tour groups. To avoid this you need to go early (but with the 2 hour time change you might find this difficult - I did!). The ticket entitles you to visit 5 other sites dotted around Athens, these do not get busy.

    6) There are lots of companies offering tours. A couple that I picked up were: www.chatours.gr and www.keytours.gr. Didn't use them and can make no recommendations.

    I thought that they were expensive compared to "diy" (where available), especially as they charge the same price for an overnight stay in November as they do in August (as an independent traveller in November you will get a room for 40% of the August price).

    If you want to do some of the ancient sites, taking your driving license (both bits) and hiring a car for few couple of days is definitely going to be better value.

    Top sites to visit (IMHO) were Mistra (which none of the tours go to!) and Metora (only on a Sat/Sun do all monasteries open), neither of which are "Ancient" sites (they are medieval). Delphi was (probably) the best ancient site.

    Korinthos is the easiest diy. You can go there by train and take a taxi to the ancient site/canal (this will not be too expensive). If you do this I also recommend a trip to Acrocorinthos (on the top of the hill), but you won't get a taxi back unless you take your phone with you (it's a about 5km back to ancient Corinthos - all downhill). Strangely, this is another medieval site!

    7) I was disappointed by the choice of Greek food available in the restaurants (perhaps I just looked in the wrong class of restaurant). There were far too many places offering those well known Greek exports "Pizza" and "Spaghetti Bolognese" for my liking.
    Last edited by tim123; 11th November 2008 at 21:36.

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    Thanks very much for that comprehensive info Tim123

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberman View Post
    Has anybody here spent much time there, and if so, any polite recommendations ?
    I went to a fabulous Greek/Thai fusion restaurant there about 3 years ago. It was superb. Of course I can't remember the name of the place

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Platypus View Post
    I went to a fabulous Greek/Thai fusion restaurant there about 3 years ago. It was superb. Of course I can't remember the name of the place
    For some reason when I think of a Greek/Thai mix..restaurant doesn't come to mind

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Platypus View Post
    I went to a fabulous Greek/Thai fusion restaurant there about 3 years ago. It was superb. Of course I can't remember the name of the place
    I've been there too. Can't remember its name either.

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