Athens is the most populous and the largest city in Greece with a population of 3.7 million inhabitants.
It is the city where the western civilization began, but today, it is the capital of Greece with numerous landmarks and highly popular tourists’ sights, including the Acropolis, the Parthenon temple, the Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, The Ancient Agora, Syntagma Square, the Temple of Olympian Zeus among many others.
Its antiquity and all these sights dating back thousands of years, make it well visited since people from all over the world come to admire the beauty of the ancient ruins mixed with the newly made restaurants, hotels and bars.
Warnings & Dangers in Athens
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Athens is considered a very safe city, even for solo female travelers. Crime rate is very low and as long as you take normal precautions, you will feel safe here. Most visits are trouble-free, but the theft of passports and wallets are common on the metro and in crowded tourist sights.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Fake taxis can sometimes be a problem in Athens, so tourists need to insist on the meter and make sure the rate is correct. If you realize that he/she have overcharged you, you can always report to the tourist police, once you take the receipt and registration plates. You should be aware of the possibility of taxi sharing, which is not common in other countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Regarding the fact that it is a top tourist destination, pickpocket risk is at a very high level in Athens. Special attention should be paid in the buses and on the Metro. Also, be aware of the street crime, like purse-snatching, especially around banks and ATM machines.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Natural hazards, like earthquakes can happen in Greece, but are very rare. During the summer months when the weather is too hot, forest fires often occur.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
The possibility of being mugged or kidnapped in Athens is at a very low level. There are some dangerous parts of the city, but you will be informed about them by your travel guides.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The risk of a terrorist attack in Greece is at a low level, but still it cannot be ruled out. Demonstrations and riots are considered a part of everyday life, so it is better for tourists to avoid them in order not to be arrested.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Scammers, who try to take advantage of tourists, are frequent in Athens, especially close to the landmarks. Tourists should pay attention to people offering help with their luggage. Recently, there have been some reports of the friendly stranger bar scam in Omonia, Syntagma, and Plaka, which are very well visited by tourists.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
As the whole Greece, Athens is a really safe city for women travelers. There are almost no reports on personal attacks, including sexual assault and rape against foreign women in Athens. Of course, vigilance is necessary as in any other major city in the world.
So... How Safe Is Athens Really?
Athens is the city with a rich history and the magnificent Acropolis is there as a reminder of that. Its parks, squares, museums are only some of the must see sights that attract people from the whole globe.
Being safe, even for women travelling alone, and with a low crime rate in general, it is an inviting city which offers tourists a historic walk and the exploring of Athens’ charming neighborhoods while in the city.
There are some areas throughout the city with a lot of pickpockets, so you should take precautions to protect your belongings. Your valuables, like money, credit cards and passport, should never be shown in the street or in bars.
As long as you know that some areas may not be as safe as others, like Omonoia and Exarcheia, due to the fact that there are a lot of beggars, drug dealers and thieves, just try to avoid visiting them, particularly at night.
- Visas - If you stay less than 90 days, you do not need to have a visa when entering Greece. The EU nationals can stay longer in the country, but they need to have a valid passport. In order to find out whether you need a visa or not, there are useful websites that can help you.
- Currency - The official currency in Greece is the Euro. You may exchange your money at banks or Foreign Exchange Bureaus. You should be aware of the restrictions on the amount of money you can withdraw per day. In comparison with other European capitals, Athens is considered a cheap city.
- Weather - When the weather in Greece is in question, the best time to visit Athens is from May to September. Winters are mild and rainy, and summers are hot, but not that hot as some places in Greece's interior.
- Airports - The new Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is 27 km away from the city center, and since it was opened in 2001, it is one of the most attractive European airports.
- Travel Insurance - You should get travel insurance policy that may become necessary during your trip. It protects you in case of illness, accident or baggage lost.