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Navigating around Athens

Las Vegas, Nevada
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Navigating around Athens

To all you seasoned travelers -- My husband and I fly stand-by, so we are hesitant to make advanced reservations without knowing if we'll get a seat on the plane or not. How easy is it to "just arrive" in Athens and then find accommodations, utilize public transportation, etc.? We'd love to visit in the near future.

Athens, Greece
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966 posts
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1. Re: Navigating around Athens

Key question; WHEN?

July/August I wouldn't recommend this, outside those months you can get away with it...

Athens, Greece
Destination Expert
for Athens
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13,810 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Navigating around Athens

It is and it isn't.

I explain myself:

Athens is a big place. More than 6 million people i guess. Pretty sprawling in a huge valley, built with low - medium rise mostly everywhere.

At the same time, most places that will be of interest to the first time visitor are located in a very defined area, in the very center of the city, spanning not more than a mile by a mile.

Airport is 45 minutes on the subway and gets you right to the center; taxis, buses and a suburban train get you to the center or other locations in the city.

Under this perspective, you do have to make some basic homework, about which area you want to stay. I 'd proceed a step beyond and have a list of two - three hotels which i 'd use if i was finally visiting. It's not really that all hotels get booked ever up to the full, so you can make a rough research and pick the one - two that interest you most, before hand, then arrive, take the metro or a taxi, go there and start your stay.

A basic research will save you from a headache first day, dragging around your luggage, trying to find a nice place to stay at the price range you want. Without some at least very basic homework it's nearly impossible.

Most hoteliers would certainly accomodate you in a good price even last minutes. Large booking sites like www.booking.com offer good prices, while month you visit also plays a role. It's not a non-flexible market with prices skyrocketing near high season ( this is the case for Paris in mid-June for example ), so, roughly speaking, you can find what you want in the price you want, even some days before, not having to get to a much more expensive option.

Islands are a different case. Some are the "last minute" paradise, some, like the most popular ( Mykonos, Santorini ) need some serious research and early booking, since they tend to reach very high capacities in top season ( mid July to end of August ). Greece has more than 220 islands, all have to offer something really great, i guess a first time visitors options will be around a dozen. . .you do need some homework there too, which seems intimidating at start but it is actually fun and, most basic, free.

Edited: 1:58 pm, May 13, 2012
Bournemouth, United...
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2,133 posts
236 reviews
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3. Re: Navigating around Athens

In Greece everything is Last Minute ! So no worries there !

You will feel totally at home

Plenty of supply to meet all interest and preferences

Nick as always gives you great advice

4. Re: Navigating around Athens

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