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Current Safety in Athens 2014/2015

I am taking a solo trip to Europe in January 2015 for one week. Three of those days will be in Athens, Greece. Am I safe to do this as a 25 year old solo female traveler? Just wondering if anyone has gone recently or has any safety tips.
Thanks!

Posted by
16894 posts

I don't expect that you'll find your experience of Athens any different at that time than it normally is. Many Greek men fancy themselves real Romeos, so be prepared for a fair amount of attention from them. Sitting on a park bench by yourself will probably be impossible. See tips for traveling solo at http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning.

Posted by
88 posts

I've traveled in Greece several times over the past decade, with friends, family, leading groups of middle schoolers, and as a solo traveler (female, 35) and have always felt safe in Athens. Like any city, there are areas of it that are rougher, so as with any city, choose your hotel location carefully, but in general I have always been comfortable and I'm fairly paranoid :-).

Posted by
4174 posts

I was in Athens 11-16 Oct.

I'm 68 and I may as well have been traveling alone since my husband was sick and stayed in the apartment the whole time.

I used the metro, buses and trams, as well as my feet to get around. Places I went included the major museums, the Acropolis and Syntagma. I was obviously old and slow, especially on stairs, but I never felt vulnerable.

Flash back to my first trip to Athens at age 31. Everything is much better now than back then (except I think we could flush TP 37 years ago). I never felt scared then either.

As someone mentioned, on that first trip I did have an older man approach me while I was sitting on a bench reading. He did give me a hard time about not talking to him, but my version of the "stink eye" sent him off.

I don't know about now, but 37 years ago there were flirts in every city I visited. Athens wasn't special. Back then I didn't go out late at night far from my lodging alone, and I wouldn't do that now either.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you so much for your replies and tips! They are very reassuring. I am looking forward to my trip. :)

Posted by
32264 posts

Although it's been a couple of years since I was last in Athens, at that time there were severe riots occurring at times, mostly around Syntagma Square. There were some fatalities as a result of these. During my trip, I saw no riots or any other problems. Everything was very peaceful, even around Syntagma Square, and I had no concerns about travelling there.

Of course, in addition to flirts, it would be a good idea to take reasonable precautions against pickpockets and other scammers. Were you planning to take a Moneybelt?

Be sure to take note of the comments posted by Lo, regarding flushing TP. In many lodgings in Greece, this is not allowed.

Posted by
4174 posts

We head home in a few days. We have not encountered any toilet anywhere, lodging, restaurant, museum, historical site, where you can flush TP. All may not have a sign saying that, but all will have a trash can near the toilet for used TP.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you Ken for the information. :) I will definitely be wearing a money belt! I will also take into account Lo's comments about the toilet paper. Good thing to know before going there!

Posted by
3362 posts

Enjoy your stay in Athens Maegan -- you'll have time for the famous "landmarks" and if you want a surprise, check out the Melina Mercouri Foundation (near the Roman FOrum), free, and very inspiring. About the money security/ moneybelt situation ... you can be secure without being jittery. In Athens, for daily sightseeing, I just take the money I need for the day in a small "change purse" ... I leave other valuables (cash,credit cards, air tickets, passport) locked in my suitcase back at the hotel. If u really want Passport on your person at all times (I have never needed same, in 11 visits to Greece), you can do color copy of 1st 2 pp and tuck in your daybag.

The security precautions would be while traveling on the Metro or a ferry, when u are taking all your stuff along. A moneybelt is what men use, but many women don't fancy having an extra layer padding their waistline (tho at 22, perhaps you still have a 22" waist!). Thus many women like me favor instead a "security pouch" big enough for wallet, plassport etc, that has string around neck, & hangs down inside front of your blouse or sweater.

Of course, using either, you don't pull it out in public to add or remove items, only in private. Thus, it's still handy to have that small change purse, for walking-around expenses.