Greece : Safety by CityGreece - safety as a country
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, making 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. The 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 has overcharged you, you can always report this 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 to the buses and the Metro. Also, be aware of street crime, like purse-snatching, especially around banks and ATMs.
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 tourists should 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 of Greece, Athens is a 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 traveling alone, and with a low crime rate in general, it is an inviting city that 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 bars.
As long as you know that some areas may not be as safe as others, like Omonoia and Exarcheia, because there are a lot of beggars, drug dealers and thieves, just try to avoid visiting them, particularly at night.
How Does Athens Compare?
- 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. 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 a travel insurance policy that may become necessary during your trip. It protects you in case of illness, accident or baggage loss.
Athens Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
19 Reviews on Athens
Lots of pickpockets and street scams. Do not ever visit!
Street scams and pickpockets are everywhere. They would try every means to unzip your bags and pants and steal your wallets and phones, especially on the metro. Taxi drivers would also trick you. Some of the streets look sketchy as hell where gangsters gather. My advice is do not ever visit Athens. There are lots of other European cities much worth visiting where you do not have to stay alert every second and feel safe traveling around.
This review by Klay is highly inaccurate. Athens is a wonderful and diverse city with many different areas. Overwhelmingly the majority of the areas (including the beautiful suburbs to the south of Athens near the shoreline) are very safe and millions of tourists visit every year without any incidents. Of course in a major metropolis that has over 5 million people living in it just basic common sense is needed. When in crowded areas and especially in metros and buses during rush hour, keep your wallet and bag secure (I cannot understand why some people keep their wallets in their back pockets for example) and be mindful of your surroundings. When in a city this big the major concern is pickpocketing, I would say that this speaks for itself.
I love Athens!
You must’ve been in the wrong area. Every city has good and bad areas. I stayed in the Mt Lycabettus area of Athens and walked miles. I walked to Syntagma Square everyday. I was even out walking at night alone, the latest 11:30 pm. No one bothered me. I’ve traveled to many cities in Europe and Athens is one of my favorites. Γεια σας!
Casey, you said “every city has good and bad areas”. Do you truly believe that in Athens and, for example, in Oslo, you will have the same possibilities to fall victin of fraud or pickpocket? lol. Generally, I agree with your opinion, but some cities -like Athens- have much more bad areas and, unfortunately, Athens is overall more dangerous city than many other cities in Europe, especially nothern capital cities. It’s so easy to go in “wrong” area if you are a tourist. Omonia, Victoria, Attiki, Pedion tou Areos park, Filopappou Hill are some of the “no go areas”. Addiotionally, metro line 1 is famous for romani people who try to steal whatever they find, if they have the oportunity. I am Greek citizen and, sad to say, I strongly agree with Klay. I am proud for my country’s history, but I am embarrased for its safety.
I visited Athens many times with family. it’s a nice city… and we feel safe.
Not a good review.
Athens, and Greece in general, is not so safe for women in every place, definitely not “Low”. There are many incidents were women have been mistreated, catcalled and even harassed or raped. Recently someone in Crete deliberately hit a US scientist with his car in order to rape her and then murdered her!! (google it) Generally incidents with tourists being caught up in a violent fight and sometimes even killed can be found in the news almost every year. Possibility of being mugged also is not “very low”, especially in some neighbourhoods.
Worse happens in London. Google it!
Crete is not Athens
Crete is a Greek island that’s about nine hours away by ferry or one to two hours away by plane. In other words, Crete is not Athens.
Athens is much worse, I got my car broken into and all my things were stolen while i was visiting the Acropolis. Even the police said they have over a thousand baggage/luggage tefts per day in Athens. Essentially it’s a very dangerous place and all tourists are viewed as prey by some. Also the TOURIST POLICE is useless, and also closes at 9PM ( I got there at 9:15). I was sent to 4 different police stations because they all close at 10pm, and in the end it took 2 hours to file a report in the police station at Minermou nr.6 (they were doing me a favor and were completely unprofessional).
I say Athens is not worth visiting
Pick pocket paradise
My husband s wallet was just picked by a group with baby and old people in the metro on the very day we arrived to Athens. They pushed and pushed and when my husband noted his wallet had lost and right away he asked the group to returned to him but in vain. No one in the metro helped and on reporting to the tourist police office, there was no service at all and they even shouted to the other reporting tourists.
So my advice is: don’t go to Athens. Tourists are not protected so why spent money there? There are a lot of good cities all around the world. I m not returning for sure.
Agree. Don’t go/come back.
Worse than Italy when it comes to pick pockets and police not caring for tourists.
Don’t go there. Better, safer places to visit
I was wondering if this page under rated the level of crime in Athens.
Many travelers told me don’t go. Pick picking. Scams. Thieves.
I will go elsewhere. Would been better had this article reflected real world situation.
Being Americans also add the anti American attitudes. Even harassed.
Police in Athens seem to care less about safety of tourists.
Stop going there. Once the money tap runs low from no tourists they may start to care.
Don’t be paranoid, people!
I was in Athens last year and it was safe. I was in the Syntagma Square area and at no time did I feel unsafe. Pickpockets on the metro? I’m sure of it, especially coming from the airport since there were signs warning you of it. But if you pay attention then it’s not a problem. I was on there once but I will definitely go back soon.
We had our rental car broken into 2 times and everything inside was stolen. Also near the acropolis before a guarded hotel with security camera’s. Never heard anything back from the police! Don’t leave anything in your car, even if it’s not visible!
Safe and cultural-rich
I would rate Athens safe even for single female travelers. I had to spend two days on my own until my friends arrived and apart from some minor catcalling I was left unbothered. Pickpocketing is a plague in almost all cities worldwide so I wouldn’t say no to visiting Athens just for this.
Not the most safe, but very memorable and important
One of my favorite cities, but not the safest, especially for women.
The Greek economy is horrible, and there is a sizable population of young men who are jobless or even homeless. Athens has a lot of dark streets and alleyways (very charming and cute in daylight though).
The popular areas a fantastic, but you can still tell this city was once something grander than it is now. I’d recommend everyone to visit, but understandably might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The history and Acropolis make it worth it.
Incredible food, restaurants, and nigh-life. If you are a nigh-owl, there is no better city to visit. Locals start eating dinner closer to 11 PM, it’s insane but a lot of fun.
Pick pockets in Athens
I just returned from a trip to Athens. Great city but I was pick pocketed by Agora in the morning. My advice is hide you bag under your coat or jacket. Within 5 minutes of it happening walking up a steep hill I realised what had occurred. The main centre seems safe at night. I didn’t travel on the metro. We used the same yellow cab driver for airport runs and longer journeys within Athens.
Low risk, but be aware of pickpockets.
In general, Athens is quite a safe city; you just need to pay a little extra attention to avoid becoming victom of pickpockets on the metro (especially near the Airport).
I like Athens, but there are scams
I love Athens – but damn its true that there are scams – friendly stranger scam: random person invites you to a bar for a drink, over charged, pressured to pay, threats, etc. – if some stranger starts talking to you randomly, they’re a scammer or a nut – feel free to be rude to them – pickpockets, taxi scams, too