Strikes, protests and demonstrations occur regularly, including at tourist sites such as Syntagma Square in central Athens. Public transport is often disrupted, and the protests can turn violent without warning. Avoid locations where protests are happening, monitor media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Syntagma is a major transfer point for the Athens Metro. It is also home to many restaurants, shops, and the famous Varvakios Market, where restaurants and residents buy fresh fish, meat, produce, and spices. It is a favorite area of Athens for almost everyone!
- Strikes, protests and demonstrations take place regularly and can turn violent. Rioting can break out with little warning. Avoid affected areas, monitor media and follow the advice of local authorities.
- Petty crime and theft are serious issues in tourist areas, buses, and trains. Pickpocketing, bag snatching and slashing luggage to steal belongings are common.
- Physical and sexual assaults occur, particularly on the islands, during summer. Don’t walk alone in isolated areas at night.
- Drink spiking is a risk. Don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended.
- Terrorist attacks have occurred at or near popular tourist areas in central Athens. Always be alert. Take official warnings seriously.
- Bush and forest wildfires are common from June to September. Earthquakes can happen. Monitor the media for updates.
From the travel blogs I have read, pickpocketing has increased on the Metro. I plan to take George’s Taxi, as I have for my past three trips here. They have great, knowledgeable drivers, and Mercedes cabs. Dmitri is my favorite.
I have used the Metro numerous times here. Generally, in the off hours when tourists use it, there are few people on the trains. Rush hour, of course, can be problematic, as it is anywhere in the world.
- COVID-19 remains a risk in Greece. If you catch COVID-19, you must quarantine for at least 5 days. When your symptoms have subsided, you can leave quarantine but must wear a mask for another 5 days.
- Medications such as codeine are subject to special rules. Carry a prescription and a letter from your doctor.
- Measles is common in Greece. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date.
- West Nile virus (WNV) can occur, especially in northern Greece. There’s no vaccine to prevent it. Use insect repellent. Make sure your accommodation is insect-proof.
- The standard of medical care varies. Public hospitals are short on medical supplies and provide limited nursing care. Family or friends usually provide care.
- Private hospitals are expensive. You might be evacuated to Athens if you’re seriously ill or injured on an island. Make sure your travel insurance covers this.
Just remember, you can go to any pharmacy and they can help you with many routine health care and medical needs.
- Always carry an ID, such as a photocopy of your passport.
- Don’t use or carry illegal drugs. Even small amounts can lead to heavy fines and prison sentences.
- It’s illegal to take photos of military sites and personnel. It’s also illegal to smoke indoors.
- You may have to do military service if you’re a male dual national. If you’re of Greek descent and born outside of Greece, get advice from the nearest Greek Embassy or Consulate before you travel.
- Same-sex relationships are legal in Greece, though attitudes vary throughout the country. Avoid public displays of affection, especially in rural areas. Attitudes are generally more accepting on many Greek islands such as Mykonos, Santorini and Ios.
Everybody loves to take photos of the changing of the guard. It is the most riotous scene in all of Greece. You must take photos.
See you in Athens!!!!
I will be in Athens by Thursday, via Paris. From there, who knows, maybe Crete, or Thessaloniki??