Traveling to Athens may sound to be very, very exciting. It is. But it isn’t that easy, especially for first timers. For one, English is not the main language in the city. Second, Greece has a pretty different culture as compared to other European cities. Thus, before packing your suitcase and booking that flight to the capital of Greece, reading some city guide will come very handy.
Getting a good map and informative pamphlets is important when visiting Athens, particularly for those who intend to travel the city without getting the service of tour guides. Independent travelers can make their way to Athens by first dropping by the information desk of the Greek National Tourist Organization. There, tourists will not only get pamphlets and maps, they will also be provided with accommodation list, ferry boat schedules, and useful numbers among others. The best thing about all these is that these services are all provided to tourists for FREE!
Cash is of utmost importance when traveling to Athens. But if you run out of it while exploring the city, the banks and ATM’s in the city will be at your disposal. Spread all over the city and available 24 hours, getting cash from ATM’s in the city will not be a problem so long as your bank account is all right. If you prefer to use credit cards than cash though, then it’s still fine as most of the shops, hotels and restaurants in the city do accept credit card.
A point noteworthy to remember is the city’s currency: Euro. If you are a European, this won’t be much of a hassle; however, if you are traveling with dollars, you would have to go exchange your money at any banks in the city as well as in Post Office, travel bureaus, and foreign exchange offices.
If you want to stay connected with your friends while you are away from home but has not activated your roaming number, you can easily purchase a new Sim card in the city which costs around 40-50 Euros (a relatively cheap price considering the high cost of living in Athens). If you need your pals to call you while in Athens, you just have to inform them of the city’s area code, which is 210 followed by your number in the city.
In case of emergency, these numbers will be very helpful: 100 for police, 176 for emergency medical assistance, 199 for the fire department, and 171 for the tourist police.
Athens may just be everything you need for a tourist destination, but doing some research before you head to the city will just increase the fun and enjoyment you will have in the Greece capital. Happy traveling!