“ Out of an economic crisis, a city surges back.
Vibrancy and innovation can bloom even in hard times. Athens is Greece’s ancient capital, which was hit hard by the global economic crisis and yet is seeing change at sites old and new. ”
The New York Times
Synonymous to sunny weather, numerous attractions and a financial crisis, Greece has more to offer than the classical attributes that it is so well (or not) noted for and guarantees an extraordinary experience to anyone choosing to visit, no matter the time of year.
Besides its ancient history, Greece’s capital city Athens boasts an unrivaled sense of vibrancy strong enough to set it apart from other European cities, as it is -quite literally- a city that never sleeps. During summer, tourist movement peaks as Greece is a very popular destination for vacations combining a rare feeling of freedom and carefree lifestyle.
The heart of Athens beats in Syntagma Square, where most of the public services as well as high-street shops are located. Everything in Athens is within walking distance from the main square, with the basic ‘happening areas’ such as Monastiraki, Kolonaki and Exarcheia being only a 10 minute walk away at most. By hopping on the tram service, you can catch the lovely coastal view of Athens and enjoy the sea at Faliro, Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni, which are just a few kilometres away. Whatever you decide to do in the end, the bustling energy of this city along with its anarchistically styled urban culture, blend to overthrow any sense of predictability that is associated with a typical time out, and are bound to contribute to a memorable stay which you’ll wish to repeat soon again.
If this is your first time to Greece, you’ll probably find of use the following basics:
Capital city: Athens
Official language: Greek
Currency: Euro (€)
International Calling Code: 00 30
Time Zone: GMT +2
Health & Safety
If you belong to a member state of the EU, you can make use of your European Health Card or any other similar legal document issued by your country’s social security agency, in order to have access to the health care system.
First-aid treatment in Greece is provided by the following services:
- The IKA (Social Security Institute) Health Units (polyclinics) or doctor’s offices in the region;
- Regional clinics (former rural clinics) or the Health Centres of the National Health System; and the outpatients’ departments of the hospitals.
Emergency call directory
Ambulance Service: 166
SOS Doctors : 1016
Duty Hospitals and Clinics: 1434
Poisoning First Aid: 210 7793777
Passports and Visas
Citizens traveling inside the E.U. just need to display their police I.D. Card without the need of a passport.
If you are a citizen of an E.U. country that is not a member-state of the Schengen Agreement, please be advised that you will need a visa to enter Greece.
You can obtain further information from the Greek Embassies or Consulates in your country, or even from travel agencies.
Ιf you belong to a non-E.U. country and are not sure whether you need a visa in order to enter Greece, please check out the following list.
Embassies and Consulates
Athens is the main diplomatic base for the majority of embassies and consulates, which are open from Monday to Friday (09.00-17.00). Please click on the following link, in order to get in contact with your embassy in Greece.