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Living in Athens has its pros and cons.


Weather. It is literally perfect. We get sunny hot days even in winter. Summer could be a bit too hot for some people though, but spring and autumn are amazing.
Cheap public transport. Although there are some problems with buses sometimes, and also a few strikes occasionally, you will find that the metro works great. It really depends on where you live. If you live in the center you don’t need a car, you can move around very easily. The price for a ticket that lasts 1,5 hour, is 1,40 euros, and for students, disabled, and old people it is just 0,60 euros. The monthly card is 30 and 15 euros respectively. Unemployed people move around for free.
Nightlife. Athens offers a variety of nightlife options, from luxurious expensive clubs, to sitting in a square and drinking beer. Again it depends on your taste. People go out a lot, even if they don’t have money. They always find a way because in the end we need to enjoy life despite the crisis. Also, people go out on weekdays, not just weekends.
Food. Mediterranean food is known to be tasty. And it is true. But still you need to know where to eat, because there are a lot of touristic places that have crappy food and high prices. Ask Greeks and they will tell you where to eat.
History. If you take a walk in the center you will see a great number of ruins all over the place. Even if you are not interested in history, it is still amusing to see how ruins blend with everything else in the city.
Sea. The south part of Athens is built right next to the sea, and there are also beaches in the east side of Attica, just outside of the city. Nevertheless, you can always ride a bus and enjoy the seaside.
Rent prices. Athens is the only European capital where the price of rent increases in the suburbs, making the center the most affordable place to live. For example, an one-bedroom spacious apartment in the center costs usually 200 euros/month.
Greeks speak usually 2–3 languages. It is hard to find a Greek that doesn’t speak English fluently, and most learn an additional language like French, German, Italian or Spanish. So it is very easy for foreigners to communicate, despite Greek being a very difficult language.
Mediterranean people.


Crisis. Yes, the financial crisis has made life in Athens very hard. The basic salary is about 500 euros, and one can barely survive on that. Plus, all prices have gone up, due to a raise in state tax (23%). Unemployment is about 26%. There are lots of homeless people and their number increases every year. The crisis has also created a bad mood in general, but Greeks keep going out and trying to enjoy life.
Dirty streets. Yes, this is not Germany. Athens is dirty but you get used to it.
Traffic. It’s terrible.
Small or non-existent pavements or bicycle lanes. If you are a pedestrian or a cyclist, it is often frustrating to move around. You will find cars parked on side walks, streets with no sidewalks, and just ONE bicycle lane that functions. Car drivers are the kings of the street and drive like crazy, breaking every rule. They don’t like obstacles (like people) on their way.
Chaos. Athens is a huge mess. It is extremely not-designed.
Distances. Athens is home to 4 million people. It is a big city. If your work/university/friends are far from your house, be prepared to suffer. It is totally normal to take a bus, then the metro, then another metro, then another bus, just to go to your job.
Ugly buildings. Athens expanded very fast and in questionable ways, by corrupted mechanics and architects. It is considered normal to see a super ugly modern building next to ancient ruins.
Corruption. It is very often to use a connection or to bribe somebody just to get a job (or get a simple task done). Politicians are super corrupted and also a lot of civilians.
Public services. Oh my God. No, just no. Don’t get me started. They say Greeks invented bureaucracy. I believe it.


Paul Seebauer replied to the topic 'Moving around' in the forum. 2 years ago

If you wish to travel from Athens to Meteora, then you have plenty of options on how to reach Meteora from the capital of Greece. Whether its only for a day-trip or for a multiday visit, you have the opportunity to choose to travel from Athens to Meteora between train, bus or car. to get If you are staying in Athens don’t miss the chance to explore this amazing UNESCO site of Greece!


a Guest created a new topic ' Moving around' in the forum. 2 years ago

Contrary to most countries in Europe, the most popular means of transport to travel to Greece is not the train but the bus. The rail network of Greece is not well organized and very slow (even nowadays, many improvements have been done for the route Athens-Thessaloniki) and buses in Greece are used for most travel between main Greek cities. The largest Greek cities (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras) have a bus route to most locations around Greece, either directly or via a connection. There are also Greece buses between Athens and the large towns of the Balkans.

Information about connections of buses in Greece (national and international routes) but also information about main bus stations in Greece.


I decided to add some other points to my list

Greeks tend to stare, not in a creepy way but if you're a younger foreign woman you might find you'll turn a few heads. It never really amounted to anything in my case.
That said. If you go out and enjoy the nightlife you will find young Greek men are a bit more forward and romantic than the Northern Europeans. If you do not want that kind of attention just tell them firmly; they will leave you alone and move on to another potential female companion.
Speaking of Greek men, I've dated one. The scariest part of the entire relationship was meeting the parents… by that I mean the mother. Greek mothers LOVE their sons! But fear not, they are just as scared of you as you are of them!
If you do have a platonic relationship with a Greek man do not be startled if he offers to walk you home after a night out. When this happened to me I assumed they wanted to try something and I told them I can walk myself but they informed me they had no motive; it was just, as a foreigner they felt uncomfortable letting me wander the city at night, intoxicated, by foot and would feel more comfortable walking me home or seeing me get in a taxi. This happened quite often and every time they walked me to the door, gave me a hug, and made their way back home… nothing more. In fact one time I was approached by a friend's mother whilst shopping and they asked if he had “been a nice young boy and looked after you properly?”.


best taste

best taste
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Photos of past tsiknopempti. show us your food.
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Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.

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One of the purest joys that man can afford in this world is to visit the Aegean Sea in the spring, with a breath of light breeze; I have never been... Show more

classi fied has a new profile cover. 2 years ago

The center of Western culture is Greece, and we have never lost our ties with the architectural concepts of that ancient civilization.

milita there before you 2 years ago

I know that each one of us travels to love alone, alone to faith and to death. I know it. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t help. Let me come with you.

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I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea.

I'm from California, but I work for a company founded by a Greek and half our team is based out of Greece. I'm currently spending ~8 weeks in our Athens office.

Greeks are awesome. Hospitable, welcoming, cheerful, curious. With the exception of one cashier who complained that I was the 100th person to pay for a souvlaki pita with a 50 Euro bill that day and outright refused to take my money, I've liked every Greek I met.

Greek is a fun language to try to listen to. As a foreigner, words and sentences seemingly blend together. I can't tell when one sentence ends and the next begins. Greeks also speak with much more emotion and variations in tone than the average American. Maybe it's just how the words are pronounced, I'm not sure.

Many Greeks speak and write English quite well, especially the younger generation, though they sometimes doubt their own English abilities. I did have some trouble with the accent at first, but now I understand what someone is saying 99.9% of the time.

Food. Whether it's a souvlaki pita (2 Euros for one in Athens!) or a lamb chop, you can't go wrong with the food in Greece. You can also find snails and intestines, both are which are rather delicious if you dare to try them. Oh, and the olives and feta cheese are really good.

Lunch is usually eaten around 1:30-2:30pm. And dinner sometime between 9 and 11pm. I never knew this before living here, but rather than cook, many people order dinner by phone or online, and have it delivered to their homes. At our company, we eat lunch together as a team (15+ people) every day, whereas in our US office, people tend to eat lunch alone or in smaller groups.

I can't talk about food without mentioning the drinks. I wasn't a huge fan of ouzo or raki the first time I tried them. Raki is slightly sweet but strong (80 to 100 proof). You're supposed to sip on it but you can down it like a shot too. :)


Since the majority of my time here in Greece is spent in Athens, I'll share some of my impressions of this city too.

Athens is huge. Over 3.5 million people live here, but it never feels crowded or like you're in such a big city. If you go up to the Acropolis or another place that overlooks Athens, you'll understand the true scale of the city. Houses go as far as your eyes can see in every direction.
Athens feels rather different than other European cities I've been to (Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich). It's got a long history and certainly feels a bit aged (I mean, one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the world stands here!). Houses, which usually have 6-12 apartments inside, tend to be slightly plain and boxy. But the apartments themselves were spacious and comfortable; all had balconies that overlooked the street outside.

The first thing my co-worker and friend told me when I arrived in Athens was that cars have right-of-way over pedestrians. I chuckled, but it's a true statement. Streets, particularly those in residential areas, are narrower than American roads, and cars can go pretty fast, so you have to be cautious and patient when crossing a road.

As big as Athens is, it has a convenient public transportation system that was quite easy to understand. I can hop on the train/metro and get from the eastern side of Athens (in Iraklio) to the Piraeus port in 45 minutes for 1.40 Euros. Most metros are colorfully covered by graffiti, making each one a unique piece of art.

Taxis are also quite cheap (compared to the US). A ~25 minute ride cost 9 Euros.
After walking and taking the metro everywhere, I dread having to drive everywhere once I return home.

If you ever spend a night in Athens, you'll find that it's a city that never sleeps. The first time I was in Athens, I was jet lagged and could hear cars constantly driving through a main street at 3 and 4am. I've also gone out with friends and stayed out till 6 am.

Athens is quite safe too. I've walked alone at 2am and had no issues (I'd probably never try this at home.)

The Greek Islands

I'll just say this: You can't really go wrong no matter which island you pick. They're beautiful places to visit and live up to the hype. And each of them is different. Hydra was really idyllic. And Santorini looked just like the postcards.