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Impressions of Athens

Watford, UK
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Impressions of Athens

What are your impressions of the Green capital?

I have written on a couple of other websites, and the replies I have received are a bit negative. However, if it was really bad, then how come it attracts thousands of visitors each year?

So what do you think of Athens?

Good or bad?

Clean or polluted?

Boring or interesting?

Lots to do or not enough to do?

Satisfying or underwhelming?

Friendly or unwelcoming?

Safe or unsafe?

Ugly or pretty?

Those kinds of things,

Thank you very much.

New York City, New...
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for Skopelos
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1. Re: Impressions of Athens

Hey GlobalGeezer:-) Although have yet to hear it referred to as 'the Green Capital', would be curious as to those sites you mentioned where you got negative reviews! FWIW, we're all different..we all have our likes/dislikes and unless one has 'been there/done that' so to speak, no one can predict whether someone will fall in love with place..hate it..or anything inbetween..it's a personal call;-) As far as I'm concerned..think we've gone through a long thread here somewhere covering the 'dirty or pretty' aspect..and for me, can't imagine anyone being 'bored' with this City! Nonetheless, different strokes/different folks! I'd say it's a great, safe and extremely interesting City with loads to see do with some of the most welcoming folks anywhere;-) I obviously love the place! Enjoy!

Athens, Greece
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for Peloponnese, Athens
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2. Re: Impressions of Athens

I love it! Going again on Friday.

Good or bad? In what way? Public transport clean, efficient & cheap, A great relaxed atmosphere when you sit & linger over a coffee.

Clean or polluted? The smog used to be a big problem, but that was years ago, it's much improved & better than some capital cities.

Interesting without a doubt, especially historically.

Loads to do, it will be something like my 15th visit this time & I haven't exhausted all possibilities yet by a long way.

Friendly, that's why I'm going, because I have made friends with people there!

Safest city I've ever been to (I'm from the UK)

Ugly or pretty? Well, same as any city, it has areas of both, but the ugly is easy enough to avoid.

Visit & see for yourself, but make sure you ask on here before booking as the location of your hotel can be key to first impressions.

Edited: 10 January 2011, 19:00
Devizes, United...
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3. Re: Impressions of Athens

Hi there

I have to agree 100% with Yiassas. I haven't visited the city as often as she has, but on my trips there, I have been captivated by the place, it almost has a village feel in some areas (Plaka for example) and there's no other capital city in the world where my missus would nip out to a kiosk at 11pm to buy a packet of cigarettes and feel totally safe.

As for the people, as with Greeks in general, I've found the locals to be friendly and both interested and interesting. Yes, there's some grafitti, but so has every other major city on the planet. Yes, there are some less than salubrious areas, but so has any other large city.

Getting around is cheap, efficient and easy, and all the main sights are within a compact central area. Athens airport has to be the most user-friendly I've ever used, the Metro is amongst the most modern in Europe and as for the history, it has to be up there with Rome.

Athens, Greece
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4. Re: Impressions of Athens

The part of Athens that most tourists usualy see ( the 3-4 sq miles in and around the historical center) is really beautiful....the rest of the city should be demolished and rebuild......noone would ever miss it.....:)

London, United...
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5. Re: Impressions of Athens

"the rest of the city should be demolished and rebuild......noone would ever miss it.....:)"

What about the people who live there?

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6. Re: Impressions of Athens

"would be curious as to those sites you mentioned where you got negative reviews"

Lets be honest Litsa, this site could easily qualify in view of the number of negative remarks that we have seen on here in recent months about Athens (invariably vigorously rebutted, often with less understanding than you show for alternative points of view!).

Athen is a fascinating city, and one that I always enjoy, like Litsa I can't imagine, or really understand, anyone being bored with it, but I can understand that people may not always find it pretty, let alone beautiful.

As to the OP's question:

"However, if it was really bad, then how come it attracts thousands of visitors each year?"

A city can be bad and still attract visitors if it has enough of interest. I am not suggesting that Athens falls into this category, but the presumption behind that question is certainly wrong. Naples, for example, is a dirty, uncomfortable, rubbish-strewn city (not entirely through its own fault, it has to be said), that a lot of people have very strong reactions against. I personally cannot be counted amongst its fans (of which there are of course many), yet still plan to go back 2 or 3 times more, not because I like the city, but because there are simply so many fascinating and wonderful things to see in and around the city.

Athens, I think, is similar, in that even if someone does not like the city as much as most of us do, they can still enjoy many of the great attractions that it has to offer. That I think is important to remember. Even if Athens has its downside, even if parts of it are distinctly unattractive, there still remains a great many wonderful things to see, which are worth anyone's time, and make Athens a destination from which every visitor can come away enriched by their experiences.

Edited: 12 January 2011, 15:45
New York City, New...
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7. Re: Impressions of Athens

Hey Herodotus2143:-) To the contrary, I do understand alternate points of view..after all, different strokes..different folks:-) I live in a City where most either love it or hate it..nonetheless, still one of the major tourist Cities in the world and have heard extreme varying points of opinion..all valid..it's a personal take! Every City has it's neighborhoods..good and bad..some more of one that the other and FWIW, I admit the one time I was in Naples and the little that I saw of it..I enjoyed!

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8. Re: Impressions of Athens

Litsa, thats exactly what I said, that you showed more understanding of other points of view than many on here!

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Impressions of Athens

...just re-read..and misunderstood! Need another cup of coffee;-) Thanks ..and keep enjoyin' all!

Athens, Greece
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10. Re: Impressions of Athens

>What about the people who live there?<

they will be the first to be happy about it.....:),really now outside the historical center Athens is so ugly and an architectural nightmare w/ zero infastructure so in the...extremely unlikely situation Greece had the money (yeah right...) to build the rest of the city again anything would be much better than what we have now...

Edited: 13 January 2011, 06:12