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Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

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Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

My husband and I will be in Athens in mid Oct for 2 full days and 3 nights. I know we are a bit short on time so am trying to make sure no time is wasted. My questions are:

1. Are there usually long lines to get tickets at the site?

2. If so, could you purchase tickets online in advance?

3. Can you buy a pass that allows you to most of the main sites?

4. I also read that there are free entrance days and discounts. Would like to know more about that.

5. My husband has bad knees, so long distance walking is difficult. Is there transportation available within the pedestrianized area at all? Does the Hop On Hop Off bus travel in the Acropolis area?

6. Is ATM the best way to get local currency? If not, what's the best place to exchange money?

7. Given our short stay, besides the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum, what other basic main sites we should not miss?

I would greatly appreciate your advice.

concord nh
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1. Re: Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

Mid-Oct. will be the "off-season". But Athens is Athens a city of 4 million people so there will always be people around, but there will be less tourists. Oct. is our favorite time to travel to Greece, the off-season, but as I said Athens is the main population center for Greece, 1/4 of the people of Greece live in Athens and the surrounding area, still it will be far less crowded than the high season. You should be OK with lines at any archeological and museums. If you purchase the ticket for the Acropolis it will cover most other archeological sites such as the Agora and other sites.

I believe Sept. 27 is International Tourism Day so admission to sites are free.

Walking is the best and cheapest (free) means of seeing the sites, but if you have a disability then some of the Hop On-Hop Off transportation may be a good choice.

ATMs are the best, easiest and safest safest way of getting Euros. Just get enough to keep you going for a few days rather than one large amount.

One of the best and least known areas of Athens is Anafiotika, the Greek "Island" village on the north side of the Acropolis. It's narrow lanes, white washed homes, cats, views and unbelievable peace will make it hard to believe that you are in a city of millions. I highly recommend it.

The Central Markets off Athinas Street are mostly visited by locals rather than tourists. It will give you a first hand look and feel of where the Athenians shop rather than where tourists go. There are the Meat, Seafood and Produce Markets. If you are squeamish or a Vegan skip the Meat Markets but regardless it's an experience that money can't buy. It's Free! The produce markets are great, all kinds of veggies, fruits, cheeses (Feta!), olives, local wines, etc. This is a must that I always recommend to anyone going to Athens. And speaking of Athinas St., it's another must for experiencing the Everyman (or Woman) area for shopping for alternative goods, food, herbs, etc. Much cheaper than anywhere in the Plaka or Monistiraki Area.

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

Hop On-Hop Off buses are not allowed to go close to the ancient sites - the areas are mostly pedestrianised. A better option may be the so called Happy Train, which also do the pedestrianised streets.

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

I think the first reply has nothing to do with what this couple is able to do while in Athens,

Belgium
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4. Re: Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

1. Are there usually long lines to get tickets at the site?

That time of year I'm not certain. I suspect Acropolis to be busy though. For entry to other sites I don't expect much waiting time at all.

2. If so, could you purchase tickets online in advance?

Not that I'm aware of. But if you want to you can buy them at the sites itself one day in advance.

3. Can you buy a pass that allows you to most of the main sites?

Your Acropolis ticket, (12€ if price hasn't gone up since last year) will cover most of the ancient sites.

4. I also read that there are free entrance days and discounts. Would like to know more about that.

I believe you can get a discount card at the airport, free of charge. I have never done so, for the simple reason that I would hate to feel like creaming things off in an already suffering economy. But this is a personal opinion. I think 12€ for most open air sites in Athens, and only 5€ entrance for the Acropolis museum are very low entrance fees. If it were my country, it would probably be 3x more.

5. My husband has bad knees, so long distance walking is difficult. Is there transportation available within the pedestrianized area at all? Does the Hop On Hop Off bus travel in the Acropolis area?

Tough one. Since I spend most of my time walking I don't tend to look out for other options. The happy train can indeed help you out. I don't know how bad your husband's disabillities are, but I hope you'll find comfort in the knowledge that the city center of Athens is quite compact and IMO very walkable.

6. Is ATM the best way to get local currency? If not, what's the best place to exchange money?

ATM will be your best option I think.

7. Given our short stay, besides the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum, what other basic main sites we should not miss?

I agree on visiting the fish and meat market, the fruit and vegetables stands and the spice-street: Evripidou. Of course the change of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, Syndagma.

I think Kerameikos is very much worth a visit as well. I love walking around Monastiraki area as well.

Enjoy Greece!

Oslo, Norway
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5. Re: Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

Market:

http://tinyurl.com/cp59el

Kerameikos

http://tinyurl.com/d72ehy

Monastiraki

http://tinyurl.com/qvv6nr

us
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6. Re: Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

Thank you all so much for the detailed info and advice you have given me here. These are very helpful tips. Much appreciated!

How does the Happy Train work? Could you elaborate?

What do people usually wear in mid Oct?

Thanks again!

Oslo, Norway
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7. Re: Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

One starts near the Roman Agora in Plaka (close to Monastiraki):

http://tinyurl.com/q477ajf

Another one starts next to Syntagma (where Ermou starts):

http://tinyurl.com/6erzgsq

Like said earlier they are permitted to go in the pedestrianised area (this is from outside New Acropolis Museum - descending the pedestrian street surrounding Acropolis Hill).

http://tinyurl.com/9ure78a

Look up this for more information:

http://www.athenshappytrain.com/

Edited: 14 September 2013, 11:27
8. Re: Athens in 2 Days & Many Questions

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