Monday, November 5, 2007

Prices of fresh fish


Prices of fresh fish at restaurants get the lion share of complains in Greece. The reason is that fresh fish prices in Greece change daily, and the menus at restaurants don’t include them. Usually the menu would say something like “market price” next to a fresh item. This is how it works. The customer would ask to see the fresh fish, and the waiter will take the customer to the place where the catch of the day is displayed (usually in the kitchen, or somewhere near the front of the restaurant). There the customer can inquire about what kind of fish is displayed, how much it costs per kilo, and would order the quantity he/she wants to eat. The waiters are usually not forthcoming with the price information, and travelers neglect to inquire, and this has lead to many misunderstandings and complains. It’s not really a scam, as many tourists believe. Greeks order like that, and either don’t ask about for the price (its a status kind of sign like: “I am out to enjoy myself, I like this fish, price is not an issue”), or if they really care, they ask outright.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Acropolis Museum Studio internet free





Two guests can be easily accomodated in this Studio.
This fully equiped and furnished Studio Apartment is right in the center of Athens, 5 mins walk to the new Acropolis Museum and famous ancient center and Metro Station, but in a very quiet street.
It is very close to shops and public transport (3 minutes walk to the Metro station Acropolis),

In - Studio amenities:
Central heating
Hot water independency
Colour flat lcd-tv
Hair dryer
Cooking facilities / oven
Toaster
Coffee-maker
Refrigerator
Linen & towels

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Photos from Plaka



New Acropolis Museum in Athens




The design by Bernard Tschumi was selected as the winning project in the second competition for the design of the New Acropolis Museum.
Tschumi's design revolves around three concepts: light, movement, and a tectonic and programmatic element, which together "turn the constraints of the site into an architectural opportunity, offering a simple and precise museum" with the mathematical and conceptual clarity of ancient Greek buildings.
The new Acropolis Museum is under construction at the southern base of the Acropolis, at the ancient road that led up to the "sacred rock" in classical times.
Set only 800 feet from the legendary Parthenon, the museum will be the most significant building ever erected so close to the ancient temple!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Newspapers & press


Readily available at kiosks on Syntagma square - opposite the parliament building and in front of McDonald's and the Post Office.
These kiosks carry major international newspapers & magazines from around the world. The Athens News is a daily English language paper focused on Greece and some international news, the German daily paper is Athener Zeitung.
These kiosks also stock some cigars ("Poora"). For a better selection the Cigar shop on Philellinon. Turn right as if you are walking out of McDonald's, pass the post office and cross Mitropoleos Street, it's about 100 metres up, on the left.
Around Syntagma and at Metro stations, you may also find free publications (some available in english) like Athens Voice and others.
Foreign books and magazines are also available in Eleftheroudakis on Panepistimiou str. or the Eleftheroudakis shop below Starbucks on Mitropoleos (Cathedral) square.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Athens museums map


You can find there high quality objects which bring classical Greek culture into our daily lives!
Aythentic copies, decoratives,textiles,home and office supplies!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Furnished Apartment in Plaka (internet free)



Athens, Plaka-old town (down of Acropolis, historical center)
2 min from Syntagma square,
2 min from famous and exclusive shopping area (Ermou street), fast access to all archeological sites.
3 Metro stations access (~ 2-3 min walking distance to each station)
Fully Furnished apartment for rent, 67.00m2 including: 2 Bedrooms with spacious closets, living-dining room, full bath and fully equipped kitchen.
Flat amenities include: Hot water, Colour TV, Hair dryer, Iron, Electric stove, Washing machine, Coffee maker, Refrigerator, kitchen accessories (plates, dishes, pots, ventilation, etc).
The bedrooms includes , 1 double bed and 2 single beds with all necessary accessories (liners, pillows, etc).
The sofa in the living room can turn to a bed accommodating 4+1.
High speed Internet connection provided .
Special discounts are offered for stays 3 weeks+.

email: adriagraf@gmail.com

Weather in Athens



The clearest days in Athens are wonderful, with sunny, clear views across the city and its monuments. It can be this way in any month, but at times Athens suffers from noticeable pollution. It's clearest after windy or rainy weather.

Winters during the mid-November to end of February period can be cold, with daytime temperatures occasionally falling to low single digit figures (centigrade), snow is rare. You can expect the norm to be 10-16 degrees. The likelihood of rain is higher, mostly in January and February.

Summers are hot and dry with 28-38 degrees the expected range. Consider these conditions to apply from mid-May until the end of September.

Spring and autumn tends to have a sample of both summer and winter weather, in temperature and rainfall, usually somewhere in between the two - but these periods are typically mild.

We should point out that, in common with worldwide weather changes, recent years have seen greater unpredictability in climate.

Athens airport


The New Athens Airport - Eleftherios Venizelos [Opened in 2001]

Airport telephone number: 210-353 0000.
Luggage carts (baggage trolleys) are available at 1.50 euros.
The airport is designed to cater for disabled people.

Airport information website: www.aia.gr

Baggage store: Pacific Left Luggage - Level 0/Arrivals. Tel. 210-353 0160.

Getting to and from Athens airport to the centre of Athens by Metro, train & express bus
The easiest & fastest way:
Airport to the centre of Athens, Monastiraki (and vice versa): in only 45 minutes!
* Suburban train leaving from the airport and connecting with Metro Line 3 at Plakendias station. You can continue on Line 3 to the centre (Syntagma or Monastiraki) or change to Line 1, at Monastiraki station, to continue to Pireas port.
* Also, some of the metro trains of Line 3 "surface" at the Plakendias station and continue all the way to the airport. There is a train (Metro or Suburban, alternating) every 15 minutes.
NEW: The Suburban (above ground) rail from Athens airport was extended and now goes all the way to Pireas port (takes about 50 minutes).
* Metro (or Metro & Suburban rail) tickets Monastiraki to Airport (and vice versa) cost 6.00 euros one-way, 10.00 euros return.

*Useful: Information about traveling from Athens airport to the centre or port (or wherever) on Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) and on on the Athens Airport site.
More about the new Suburban train ("Proastiakos") routes. Tel. 210-5272 000. info@proastiakos.com.gr.
Athens Metro website (poorly designed and slow site!)
Also, on our site, see below and more information about Lines, connections and tickets, or see the Athens Metro map and Athens centre map (with the Metro Lines on).

Driving from the Airport to Athens centre.
Tip: Follow signs for "ELEFSINA" until you see signs for Athens/centre (strangely there are no signs saying "Athens" to begin with!)

Buses leave from Door 5 of the Arrivals level.
Tickets costs 2.90 euros, valid on all means of public transport for 24 hours (but only one trip only to or from the airport). You use the same ticket for the entire journey or a bit of sightseeing on the way!
More about buses and other transport from the airport on the OASA website.

X94 Express bus to the Metro station, "Ethiniki Amyna" on the signs, better known as Pentagono (travelling time: 50-70 minutes).
First bus 07.30, last bus 21.55 (frequency 10-20 minutes).

X95 Express bus to the centre, (Syntagma) (average travelling time: 70-90 minutes). Every 10-30 minutes, 24 hours a day (travelling time: 70-80 minutes).
Connecting with Metro Lines 2 & 3.

X96 express bus, all the way to Pireas taking a route that avoids the centre of Athens, partially along the coast (travelling time: 90-120 minutes).
Every 20-40 minutes, 24 hours a day.

From Pireas buses start at Karaiskaki Square - opposite Strintzis Shipping company at the port

Taxis at the airport

There is a taxi rank at Door 3 of the Arrivals level. Taxis cost about 30 euros to the centre; 35 euros to Pireas - plus 3 euros airport surcharge (the meter stays at tariff 1 for these trips, except after midnight, when tariff 2 applies). Taxis charge 0.30 euros more for each piece of luggage over 10 kilos.
Recommendation: try to adjust your position in the taxi line to coincide with a newer looking taxi - whether you get into a shiny new Mercedes or a battered old Fiat, you pay the same rate.

Limousine service: Level 0/Arrivals (between Doors 3 and 4). Tel. 210-353 0100.

Parking at the airport
Short-term (less than 4 hours): P1 & P2
Up to 20 minutes: free of charge
21 minutes-1 hour: 3.00 euros, over 1 hour: 2.10 euros/hour.
Long-term: P3
Up to 1 hour: 3.00 euros, up to 2 hours: 5.00 euros, up to 3 hours: 7.00 euros etc.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Athens metro lines and tickets

The Metro Lines
The Metro in Athens is brand new and extensions to the existing lines are still being built. The Metro Lines (2 and 3) connect with Line 1, which is the old Electric train line (only part of this line is underground - great for sightseeing!). Line 1 and 3 connect in the centre at Monastiraki (near the Acropolis).
The existing lines are as follows
Line 1 (green) is completed (Kifisia to Pireas).
Line 2 (red) completed part: from Agios Andonios to Agios Dimitrios/Al.Panagoulis.
Line 3 (blue) completed part: from Egaleo to Doukissis Plakendias, where it connects with the new Suburban train from the airport.

Tickets

Metro (Lines 2 & 3)
The price of the ticket is 0.80 euros. Tickets *must* be validated before boarding, through the special Ticket Validating Machines installed inside the stations. Each ticket is valid for 90 minutes from the time of its validation and for Lines 2, 3 or Line 1 interchanges. It is not valid for return via the route already covered. This means: If you take e.g. Line 3 from Ethniki Amyna, change at Syntagma to Line 2, then change at Omonia to Line 1 (continue e.g. to Pireas) you use the same ticket (validating it only the first time).
Hours of operation: 05.30-24.00

Electric train (ISAP) (Line 1)
Tickets are according to fare zones:
1st zone: Pireas - Monastiraki (see map)
2nd zone: Monastiraki - Ano Patissia
3rd zone: Ano Patissia - Kifissia
Hours of operation: 05.00-00.30

Suburban rail

The line from Athens Airport was extended and it now reaches Pireas (Piraeus - Athens' port) in about 50 minutes. The ticket costs 6 euros one-way.

Tickets: 0.70 euros for a trip between one or two consecutive zones, 0.80 euros for a trip between the three zones and for correspondence to Metro Lines 2 and 3. Ticket is valid also for 90 minutes for a single journey in one direction.

Tickets for either train or Metro can be bought at every station (and only there, NOT in kiosks etc., unlike bus tickets). There are selling counters and automatic machines (the latter require change in coins).
24 hour/airport tickets, allows 1 trip only: to or from the airport (valid for 24 hours from the time of first validation) and for the express bus lines. Can be bought at any station for 3.20 euros.
A 7-day ticket costs 10.00 euros and gives you unlimited travel for all public transport for 7 days (validate only once, at the beginning).

The penalty for those travelling without a valid ticket is 18 to 48 euros, charged on the spot.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Syntagma Furnished Studio (internet free)



It is very close to shops and public transport (3-5 minutes walk to the Metro station), a quiet home away from home right in the middle of the city for your holiday or business travels in Athens!

In - Studio amenities:
Air-conditioning Hot water independency Colour 30 channel-tv Hair dryer Cooking facilities / oven Toaster Coffee-maker Refrigerator Linen & towels
High speed Internet connection is provided free.

Activities (on site and nearby): Shopping, Sightseeing, Restaurants, Cinemas/Movie Theaters, Live Theatre, Museums. Other Activities: Within walking distance and / or accessible with the Metro are all archeological sites: Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Marble Stadium, Athens National Gardens, Theatre of the Herodeon, National Archeological Musuem, Benaki Museum, Musueum of Cycladic Art, Folk Art Museum, Children's Museum, Mt Lykavittos.

Special discounts are offered for stays 3 weeks+.
email: adriagraf@gmail.com

Monday, June 25, 2007

what to see and do in Athens

The Acropolis
This is the original site of Athens, a limestone plateau supporting the Parthenon, the all-marble temple dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos (literally virgin Athens). A landmark visible from many parts of the modern city. In the same section are the Museum of the Acropolis (re-opened after renovation - a newer and bigger museum is on the cards), the Erechtheion with its six stone Karyatides maidens holding one side of the temple .The site includes the Parthenon, the museum, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Nike (Wingless Victory) and the Aeropagus, the rocky hill that served as the first high court.
Acropolis site - Open: daily 08.00-19.30 (until 31 October - in winter it closes earlier)
Acropolis museum - Monday: 11.00-15.00, Tuesday to Sunday: 08.00-17.00 (holidays: until 15.00).
Admission: 12/6 euros **

Special Admission Rates and "closed" dates for Sites/Museums
**Acropolis special ticket package: 12/6 euros
There is now a special ticket package that includes admission to sites at walkable distance: Acropolis site and museum, Ancient Agora and Thission, South slope and Dionysos Theatre, Roman Agora, Kerameikos, Olympieion (Temple of Zeus)
Free Admission to All: Sundays between November 1st and March 31st, first Sunday of every month except July-August-September and: March 6, April 18, May 18, June 5, last weekend of September.
CLOSED: Jan 1, March 25, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, May 1, October 28, December 25 & 26.
Free admission: people under 18 years, Greek and EU students, tour guides and journalists.
Reduced rate: (approximately half the full rate) students from counties outside the EU, EU citizens over 65 years.

More about the museums and what they offer can be found in the Culture Ministry's site: www.culture.gr

South slope of Acropolis
The entrance to the south slope is separate, on Dionysiou Areopagitou. The south slope of the Acropolis played a significant role in the artistic, spiritual and religious activity of ancient Athens. Important public buildings were erected in the area: the Odeion of Perikles, the sanctuary and theatre of Dionysos the choregic monuments, the Asklepieion, the stoa of Eumenes and the Odeion of Herodes Atticus .
Admission: (included in Acropolis ticket). Open: daily 08.00-19:30.

The Ancient Agora of Athens
The market of the city, which was the center of public life. Most impressive is the Thission, the doric Temple of Hephaestus. The frieze depicts the exploits and adventures of Thiseus (the hero who in mythology killed the Minotaur of Crete). Constructed in the 5th century BC by Ictinos (the architect of the Parthenon), it is probably the best-preserved Greek temple with its 34 columns almost intact. In the Agora area, the restored Stoa of Attalus, which is part of this visit, houses a fascinating small museum, with everyday artifacts found in the area. In the middle of Agora is also the Agioi Apostoloi church, built in the 2nd century AD, with Byzantine frescoes and wall paintings.
Admission: (included in Acropolis ticket). Open: daily 08.00-19:30.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Furnished Acropolis Apartment


Athens, Plaka-old town (down of Acropolis, historical center)
2 min from Syntagma square,
2 min from famous and exclusive shopping area (Ermou street), fast access to all archeological sites.
3 Metro stations access (~ 2-3 min walking distance to each station)
Fully Furnished apartment for rent, 67 square meters including: 2 Bedrooms with spacious closets, living-dining room, full bath and fully equipped kitchen.
Flat amenities include: Hot water, Colour TV, Hair dryer, Iron, Electric stove, Washing machine, Coffee maker, Refrigerator, kitchen accessories (plates, dishes, pots, ventilation, etc).
The bedrooms includes , 1 double bed and 2 single beds with all necessary accessories (liners, pillows, etc).
The sofa in the living room can turn to a bed accommodating 4+1.
High speed Internet connection provided .

Special discounts are offered for stays 3 weeks+.
No commission fees, direct from the owner.

email: adriagraf@gmail.com

Monastiraki


From the electric train station of this name, heading west in the area that skirts the park around the Thission and Ancient Agora, at the end of the shopping street Ermou. There is the flea market where items ranging from off-brand winter jackets, to army knives, vie with old telephone cards (especially along Adrianou - which also has several rather romantic cafes and restaurants - on Sunday mornings).

Many gift shops and most notably antique, junk and collectors corners of every sort. This is touristy, but it's mixed in with the sort of old shops, that are gems and one of a kind.
By the way, walk just down from the station away from the flea market to Kirikou street and you'll find the busiest and most popular after-work Gyros places - if a Gyros is good anywhere, it is here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Shopping in Athens



The first area you will normally be recommended to shop in is Ermou street, the pedestrian street that runs off Syntagma at McDonald's. Yes there are some good shops here for clothes, but veer off into the side streets for cloth and varied items and also try Monastiraki.
If you like big shops or to buy brands, head a for the Town Hall (Kotzia square).
The Notos Galleries department store will reward you with good views from its roof top cafe.
If you will be going to Pireas and are looking for lower priced items, you'll probably do better there.

Opening hours are: 8.30-13.30 & 17.30-20.30 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Monday and Wednesday 8.30-14.00. Saturday 8.30-14.30 (or 15.00), Sundays closed.
Some department stores are open everyday from 8.30 to 20.30 without a break. Tourist and other shops in tourist areas may be open for more hours and on Sundays.
Currency converter & Euro guide

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plaka-walking in Athens old town


The oldest district of Athens, the Plaka, is characterized by monuments of all periods, which prove that this was the heart of the city from Antiquity until modern times.

Several small churches, a mosque, an Ottoman bath and the first university of Greece, together with the Roman Agora, constitute its cultural mosaic.

After a walk in its narrow streets, a glass of wine in one of the little taverns under the Acropolis is a must.

Furnished Apartments in Athens Center

We give visitors the opportunity to live like Athenians in what are essentially private residences in the very best parts of Athens. Excell...