Our cruise ship will be in Athens ( its port ) over night and we wish to tour the city. Which would be better, taking transportation from the dock to the city and touring on our own since most sites are within walking distance from each other or getting a local tour guide? The ship's tours are booked. If a local tour guide, any suggestions/recommendations? THANKS!
Easy easy to do on your own. Download some tourist info to take with you and maybe spring for a streetwise city map (www.streetwisemaps.com) o/a $6. Try to take cruise ship sponsored transportation into the historic center. I say this because if the transportation is provided by the cruise ship and oh, say, civil unrest makes getting back to the port a nightmare, the ship will wait for all it's sponsored transportation to return. In different times you could take the metro in but these are, well the wrong kind of different times. Think you will really enjoy your day in Athens. Keep your eyeballs pealed for really smooth ancient marble paving - slicker than snake snot.
We're in Athens right now and agree with Marie. You might consider downloading (if you have an iPod, iPhone or other appropriate device) the RS audio guide for Greece, print the maps, and you're all set for guided tours of museums and other sites. I don't know when you'll be in Athens, but not all transit strikes seem to be announced in advance. There are lots of English speakers here. Good luck.
We'll be there on the 19th. Thanks!
We have been told there is a general strike scheduled for October 19. You could verify that by checking websites that have been mentioned in other postings.
I have been following the strikes in Athens for a month, and have found this site to be the most informative and up to date: http://livingingreece.gr/strikes/ When they say general strike it usually seems to mean all transport including taxis are offline. But it looks like in this case it's uncertain so far who will join in the strike.
There was general strike held when we were in Athens a couple of weeks ago, all archaelogical sites were closed including the Acropolis. The museums were open though.
Moot point now. . . Our ship didn't dock there, instead we got to Istanbul earlier than expected and had more time there. thanks!
We were in Athens Oct 5-8. We stayed at the Hotel Attatos which was great. The staff were terrific, the hotel spotless and the rooftop bar is the best place to see the Acropolis at night. The hotel was heavily booked by RS fans and the RS guide books plentiful as the olives.
Although it is moot..... in case anyone else is reading this, the walk to the subway station in Piraeus in order to take the train to Athens can be as long as a 20-25 minute walk from the ship,and was very crowded in both directions. It was also the most unpleasant ride i have ever had on public transport due to 2 ruffians. Just a shoutout to the Attalos Hotel as well: they posted notice of a transportation strike and arranged a metered cab to take us to Piraeus. Very nice front desk and breakfast room staff. Very clean as well. They are only a couple of blocks from Monasteraki subway station so hope none of the demonstrations there affected them. BTW, there are delicious pastries and good coffee right across the street from the subway station!