Athens Warnings Or Dangers Tips by grkboiler
Athens Warnings and Dangers: 186 reviews and 112 photos
Athens in July and August can be extremely hot and unbearable, so be prepared, dress comfortably, and bring water with you, especially when you are visiting the ruins.
Parthenon from the Propylaia
When walking up through the entrance to the Acropolis, be careful because the marble steps can be slippery! This is also true for other marble surfaces in Athens.
An airport taxi is probably the most necessary taxi you will take in Athens and the easiest way to get from the airport to your hotel with all of your bags. The queue can be long, but stay in it. If someone approaches you and offers a ride, don't follow them. This happened to my parents.
2 men approached them not knowing they were also Greek and said if they didn't want to stay in line and wait they had a taxi for them. They walked to the "taxi" and it turned out to be a box truck. My mom caught them by surprise when she started yelling in Greek and the men backed off and left. Who knows what could have happened?
Most of Athens' taxi drivers, also known as scam artists or other more harsh words, are the cream of the crop. They are to be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary. I stopped taking taxis in Athens, although I will admit not all of my experiences were negative.
Some taxis will rip you off by driving around through the maze of streets to run up the meter. One time on what was supposed to be a shorter drive than it turned out to be, I asked the driver "Eimaste konta?" (are we close?). He assured me we would arrive soon. When I finally got to my destination, my cousin told me the driver took the scenic route.
For other drivers, Ohi Day (No Day) is every day, not just on 28 October. If you tell the driver where you want to go, sometimes he will simply say, "ohi", or no, and leave you to find another taxi. I have had drivers refuse me because they "didn't feel like driving to that part of Athens" or their shift is "almost over and they have to go the opposite way to get home". Thanks for nothing.
Anyone who comes up to you in the street and offers you some kind of amazing deal or offer is probably trying to scam you. Walk away.
Air pollution in Athens
Athens has air that is not quite up to breathing standards. Anyone with asthma or other respiratory problems should take care. The worst time for smog is in July and August when it is extremely hot.
If you are staying in Athens for an extended period of time, it might be a good idea to leave the city every few days or so to give your lungs a break. I recommend Sounio or a seaside town, a nearby island like Aegina, Poros, or Hydra, or up in the mountains near Athens.
In this picture I took from my flight taking off in Athens, you can see how thick the air can be.
Driving in Athens can be a nightmare for the inexperienced. Motorcycles whizzing by and squeezing between moving buses and vehicles at speeds unknown to man, cars turning a 4 lane road into a 6 lane traffic jam, the pedestrian right-of-way being violated at every turn, and the harmonious sound of the impatient motorist's never-ending horn combined with the worst of Greek swearing. Enough to drive someone crazy.
I have friends who live there that wont even attempt it, and I know people who have been seriously injured in accidents driving in Greece for their first time, whether on motorcycles or in cars, so I recommend not to do it. Driving in other parts of Greece is fine, but I have never and will never drive in this city.
Violent crime in Athens is low but it is a big city and it still occurs. Take the normal precautions you would take anywhere. Pay attention to the area you are in at night, don't walk alone in a dark area, etc. Most crimes in Athens are petty crimes which occur everywhere, so look out for pickpockets and scam artists.
Around the city center, an area to avoid is Omonia at night. Also don't get caught in the western areas at night.
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