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Athens--RS audio tour

I edited the title as I've settled on the red bus HOHO for transportation mostly but trying to figure out how to do the RS audio tours for the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum and the Athens City Walk. Maybe throw in Philopappas Hill if time.

Maybe even a cab would be best??

Will this work? Worried about logistics with trying to do all of this. Not sure if I need to be at the Acropolis right away to avoid crowds this time of the year or not??

Athens will be a cruise port destination on Sunday Nov 5th from 8am to 5pm

It is just me on this day. no physical limitations.

Posted by
23 posts

Hi Vick,

I always do the hop on- hop off bus tours in cities I've never been to before. Starting early is key- as I like to do one whole round just sitting if time permits and then getting off on the 2nd round. But if you are short on time I would stop at sights as the come around because depending on your route it can probably take up to 2 hours to go all the way around. My husband and I did the City Sightseeing tour (red bus- in Athens. We actually did the Athens-Piraeus tour. It also included a guided walking tour around the Parthenon- not "in" the Parthenon though- around the back of it and walk to Monastiraki Square. We were not expecting that so tour the Parthenon first maybe. (The bus does drop off at the Parthenon/Acropolis and all highlights- including Acropolis museum. There's a map on the website of all the stops). It also stopped in front of Monastiraki Square which wasn't far from our hotel so we leveraged it as transportation. The link I posted seems to also have a cruise specific tour you may want to look into that. We did not do this as part of a cruise so I can't comment on that but Piraeus is the port area so that would be included as a stop on the route.

Have fun! We loved Athens! Oh and I think you can get a discount by booking online.

Posted by
2899 posts

Vick -- there is a bus that goes from the Cruise port directly to the acropolis. the X80 -- thislink describes route fully - I would advise you to use this instead of a hop-on hop-off Bus. Those busses work best in other large cities where landmarks are far apart, and there are many major roads that go right pas the major landmarks -- a good example is London. By contrast, in ATHENS almost every major "sight" is within walking distance (except the Nat. Arch. Museum) and furthermore, these sights -- Acropolis, etc -- are often on "no-cars" lanes. Thus, the hop-on bus cannot even come close, and is limited to large streets where you will sit stuck in traffic, staring up at Apt buildings.

The X80 (x means express) goes straight to Acropolis... and no, this time of year, no crowd worries. Then u can walk down thru the Ancient Agora (which Rick also has a D-i-y walkthrough for), and then to Acropolis Museum across a wide promenade. aftrward u can easily go to t he Arch of Hadrian and Temple of Zeus a few hundred yards away. Skip the Kerameikos Cemetery, too far. THe x80 bus driver can tell u the sked and where to wait for return trip.

Posted by
23 posts

Another thought- does your cruise line have a tour you would be interested in? Not sure what cruise line you are using but when I've cruised in the past I've booked some tours through the cruise line and you get the 'guarantee' that you will not be left behind if your tour runs long. I do like the RS audio as well but if you're worried about seeing a lot in not a lot of time perhaps look into that.

Posted by
338 posts

thanks for the tips. I believe I am going to be "brave" and try to take the Metro in to Athens and if time is tight, a cab for the return ride.

As usual, I should have read the RS book first!! his "Mediterranean Cruise Ports" book is outstanding. It was actually simple to find the answer to my original question.

Metro to Syntagma Square
RS audio tour City Walk first
RS audio tour Ancient Agora
Mars hill??
RS Audio Tour Acropolis
RS Audio tour Acropolis museum
Maybe Filopappos hill if time.
Cab or metro back to ship

Posted by
2899 posts

Rick Steves book was published before the X80 bus was instituted. Several reasons to reconsider:
• X80 starts right by the cruise ship pier. Metro is over one mile away... on this link, THe Cruise pier is the one beyond the red letter K -• ... and believe me, that's a looong walk. by the time you get to the Metro, the x80 may very well be reaching the acropolis.
• The Green Metro does not go to Syntagma Square, it goes to Monastiraki, and you would have to change to another line to get to Syntagma square. Do you want as a "newbie" to negotiate a busy subway system you know nothing about?
• If you emerge from either station you are still a 30-minute walk from the Acropolis.... of course you say you want to do a bunch of other walks first, but I think that is unrealistic (see next point).
• I applaud your ambition at wanting to do it all. However If you start with everything else BEFORE you go up on The Rock, you very likely will find yourself having to skip the main event! Do Acropolis FIRST -- and you can skip one of the other things if need be.
• Getting back to Ship: Metro vs. X80: Remember, your ship will Pull up the Gangplank at 5 pm. Even if you take a Metro back to Piraeus it's 35 minutes on train, and remember you still have to count the time to get to Monastiraki, buy a ticket, get down to the platform, wait for train, disembark fight your way through the crowd to the street -- and then you STILL have a 30 minute walk to the Ship!! (and good luck getting a Taxi in Pireaus!!)

• If you take X80, that link I gave you shows exactly what it does -- it's 30 minutes to Acropolis & another 15 minutes to Syntagma. You could get off at Acropolis, go up top, go down to Ancient Agora, go to Acrop Museum and THEN, only then, if you have time, head for Syntagma. The driver will tell you where the stops are and WHEN. You should not really wait longer than 3:30 to start your journey back to the boat.
• Especially if it's a Free Sunday, you should try to get to the Acropolis first, because of crowds; it will peak about noon.
• And finally, the Metro is a Pickpocket target, the bus will be pickpocket-free because of limited stops.

Posted by
714 posts

Be the first person off the boat, take the X80 bus to the Acropolis and do that first - it opens at 8.30. Then walk around the base of the Acropolis to the Ancient Agora and walk through that area. You can then take the Metro from Monistraki to the Acropolis stop, involves a change at Syntagma, and then head to the ACropolis Museum. Or continue walking past the Roman Forum, down through Plaka to the Museum. Be warned this option could take the best part of the day as there is lots to see allng the way. At the Museum head directly to the top floor for the Marbles and work your way down. I would suggest not slavishly following the RS guide for theAcropolis and Museum, but have it on hand for reference. I think by the time you have done this you will need to head back tp Piraeus. No time for a city walk or climbing any hills. Lots of reasonable places for lunch or coffee around the Acropolis, but beware there is no such thing as a quick snack in Athens, a coffee buys you a table for as long as you want it!

Enjoy a great city that demands’s taken me 4 short visits to finally make it to the National Archaeological Museum!

Posted by
396 posts

I was just reading last night in Rough Guide about some crime on Filopappou Hill. It sounds like you need to be aware of surroundings, at a minimum. Apparently incidents have occurred there even in daylight. If you google 'mugging' and Filopappou Hill you definitely get a number of hits; I realize you can't believe everything you read on the internet but I consider Rough Guide somewhat more authoritative. I hate to sound like a worry wart but having just read this I would feel bad if I didn't mention it.

Posted by
2899 posts

Yes, for many years there have been cautions about Philapappou Hill, if only because it's one of the few places where one might be out of the sight of other people. However for a lightning-fast partial-day visit to Central Athens, it's not feasible anyway.