We are currently in overcast and rainy Paris and will be making our way to Athens soon. According to the weather forecast it will be 38 C/100.4 degrees when we arrive. We are wondering if the metro train to Monastiraki Square is reliably air conditioned or should we opt for a taxi which I'm assuming will be air conditioned? We chose Hotel Attalos specifically because it was easily accessible to and from the airport but because of health issues, I cannot tolerate sustained high temperatures so air conditioning will be a priority. Please advise. Thank you in advance.
Yes the Metros were air conditioned when I've been there... As always, be prudent when riding the Metro from port or Airport, because these are the 2 Metros targeted by pickpockets. When the train gets crowded, their technique is to create a distraction by bumping, falling etc, so your hands and mind are occupied then they swoop in. Do NOT keep valuables in any pockets of trousers OR tops -- either in moneybelt, or in your daybag held in front of you w. hand on the closure. When you board at airport, train will be empty. Position yourself in a seat by a door because by the time you reach your stop, the train will be packed, you don't want to have to struggle through crowds, and train does not stop with doors open for that long; be alert. That said, the ride is fast (45 minutes or so) and fare is now I think €16 for 2-person ticket. The Taxi flat-fare by day is €38. Your choice.
The Metro is a great bargain from the airport depending on where your accommodations are. Since you'll be staying at the Attalos, our favorite accommodations in Athens, it will be perfect and a short walk to the Attalos from the Metro Station at Monistiraki Square. The Metro at the airport will be the start of the run into Athens and you'll have great options on where to sit and seats. Just keep your luggage & bags nearby. As you get closer and closer to Athens more and more locals will be boarding and before you know it you'll be in the midst of Greeks! No problem . . . most will be honest, polite and more than likely keep to themselves, but that doesn't mean you have to lower your guard. They'll be musicians and "beggars" wanting money from you or thieves trying to rip off unsuspecting tourists. For the most part you'll be fine but just use common sense and you'll be OK. I've used the Metro from the airport to Monistiraki Square every year since 2010 and have never had a problem. That doesn't mean you won't . . . however the odds of being scammed are low as long as you use common sense. We'll be going to the Attalos from the Airport this October and we have no qualms about being "taken" . . . but again use common sense.
Lines 2 and 3 of the Athens Metro are quite new and modern, opened in 2000, and the airport end of the line in 2004 for the summer Olympics.
Thank you, everyone! We'll be sure to look out for the 2 and 3 lines, sit close to the doors and be alert on the air-conditioned metro. I really appreciate your help!
I don't know if it's 2 or if it's 3, but the ONLY line serving the Airport is the BLUE Line... and it goes to Monastiraki. No problem.
Thanks again, Janet! I'll be looking out for the blue line. Really appreciate your input. Athens is now projected to be 102 degrees when we're there. We weren't planning on going to the Acropolis in the early evening but it looks like it might be the most manageable option now.
I think with your issues, if you can't deal with 100° for a couple of hours, you may have to plan all outdoor sightseeing early in the morning or later in the evening and plan on spending the middle of the day inside - in your hotel room or in a/c museums.
I cannot tolerate sustained high temperatures
Greece is known to have sustained high temperatures in the summer...I wouldn't expect many mom and pop restaurants or other places to be fully air conditioned. I think getting to the hotel is a minor issue compared with being able to fully enjoy the entire trip, including spending time outdoors and/or in potentially stuffy places where the A/C is either weak or nonexistent. I'm wondering why you've selected to go to Greece at this time of year given your constraints - it seems like a bit of a mismatch.
Summer is the only time I can travel for extended periods of time. We have travelled to Italy in June and July in 90 degree weather with no problem. When I began researching a 5-day stay in Athens for mid-June, the numbers suggested high 80's to low 90's, which I can tolerate as long as there is AC in public transit and at the hotel. You're right about the smaller, family run places to eat. Even though I was unable to dine at some of them, I was always able to find good restaurants with AC in Italy and am hoping to do the same in Athens. I'm an early riser anyway so I'll be heading out with the early birds, then come back to the hotel to rest before heading back out in the early evening. Many thanks for all the suggestions and concerns.