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+.


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:

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.
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.


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.

1br Apartment in Plaka - Athens Center

Fully Furnished apartment on second floor (with elevator), 65.00sqm, amazing view at Acropolis in including: 1 Bedroom with spacious closet...