ATHENS GUIDE – general on foot guide of this spectacular city

Our four previous Athens films have been cut into one bumper informative guide with new footage from the Ancient Agora near Plaka which we filmed early in 2022. Whether it is your first time there or you have been to Athens many times, there is always something new to discover. Like the riviera and beaches of Piraeus which you could do in the afternoon after a morning in the city or at the Acropolis. It could all be on one easy Metro ticket.

Athens, like Lisbon, Barcelona, and Barbados are recurring ports for cruisers. It is not just a port that a ship might visit en route to somewhere else, but it can be a port in which to shelter from a storm or as an alternative interest when other destinations are unavailable. We once stayed there for three days because the weather curtailed access to Santorini and Mykonos. 

We had four films full of information on Athens and have cut them into one which shows the many ways to travel from the port of Piraeus to areas of the city of Athens. It ranges from the changing of the guard, to the ancient sites of the Agora, Zeus, and the Acropolis. Jean then shows you the stadium. We even take a horse and carriage. Athens can be so much fun, and yet it can be so cheap. Jean shows you how to see it all and have a tour all for around ten euros each. One side of Plaka is Monastiraki, other side is Acropolis Museum and Akropoli Station

Also, as most of these ruins and monuments are so huge it can be a challenge to photograph them. In our film, you might see a few angles that work, or do not. The shots of the Acropolis are shot on a 200mm lens from the hill opposite which is free to climb.

Carry only what you need and watch for pickpockets.

Their version of VAT or sales tax can add 25% to your purchases. If you want to try to claim that back, carry your passport, get proper receipts, and then look for signs showing shops that offer the refund service.

You may wish to do the shops and museums in the morning as many close for siestas in the afternoon. That might mean that the afternoon is time for the beach. Just as in Italy, you MUST validate bus tickets BEFORE you get on the bus. Public transport is easy.

Take proof of age if expecting to get senior discounts but not everywhere offers it as the places are well older than you!

If you are not an explorer, then the red bus could be an option. Or the Metro and the Happy Train. The film explains all.

Athena, the goddess of wisdom, competed against Poseidon, the god of the seas and Athens has had a port since 4BC. But the new cruise terminal at Piraeus has three terminals, (Megas Limani, Zea Limani and Mikrolimano) and they are less than a mile from Piraeus and eight miles from Athens. There may be a shuttle bus, though these shuttles to Athens can cost up to 20 Euros. The Hop On Hop Off Bus now sounds attractive being just outside the cruise terminal, but the new metro system is a cheap, easy, clean way of getting around. Like visiting Rome, you may need a plan, whether based around the metro or the bus. Public bus to the Metro is easy. If it is open buy a ticket at a kiosk to the Acropolis from the cruise terminal, look for the X80 it should be about 4.50 Euro. But it is only Euro 1.40 each way on the metro train. Either walk around the harbour to it, or get the bus going left over the road.

The Olympic games in 2004 did much to enhance the 3,400 years of history with new walkways, better transportation and major works of restoration supplementing the things that never change. They removed hundreds of modern buildings to give better access to the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Arch, the Agora, the Academy of Plato, and the Monastery of Daphne which are now linked by walkways. Syntagma Station is about 500 meters from the Acropolis and is ideal to visit these sites. Travel the green line to Monastiraki and change to the blue line. You could change again and go to Acropolis, but your choice. From here you will spend a lot of time walking and there are many local guides and guidebooks available.  Chat group for your ship? – click here

Just a mention of the Athens Coastal Tram before we dive into the ruins. It also goes from Syntagma Square to the Beaches. Make the square the place you return to and meet if lost.

If you are not an explorer then take a ship tour. These as always are organised to get you there, explain and get you back on time. Here are some examples of TUI – Marella Cruise tours. The others will be similar.

Marella Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean 

Athens and Acropolis – Leave the port of Piraeus behind and head for the captivating city of Athens. You’ll pass by the main sights, like Constitution Square, or ‘Syntagma Square’ as it’s also known, the Houses of Parliament, the Neoclassical-style university buildings, the Royal Palace and the Old Olympic Stadium of Athens. The stadium’s built entirely of marble and offers up a great view of the Acropolis in the distance. The real highlight of this tour comes next, when you arrive at the foot of the magnificent Acropolis, one of the most famous and photographed ancient monuments in the world. Set off on a walking tour, split into several stages, and let your guide explain its history to you. Once you get to the top, you’ll get some free time to wander round, admiring the ancient temples of Athena Nike and the towering Parthenon. Don’t forget your cameras for the breathtaking views of the city below.

ATHENS METRO ATHENS ICE CREAM ATHENS HORSE+CARRIAGE ATHENS PLAKA RHODES GUIDEMarella Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean – click here for Marella Cruise’s own web site – Eastern Mediterranean Cruise deals pageMarella Cruises to the Western Mediterranean – click here for Marella Cruise’s own web site page for – Western Mediterranean Cruise deals page