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2011 Summer School Travel Info_ Week July 4- July 9, AIT Premises “The Olympia Summer School on Science and ICT” Week July 4 – July 9, 2011 1. AIT Location .......................................................................................... 2 2. Accommodation…………………………………………………….............. 3 3. General Information................................................................................ 4 4. Directions to and from AIT..……………….............................................. 12 5. Public Transportation in Athens ………………………………………… 17 6. Sightseeing and shopping in Athens ................................................... 26 7. Maps …………………………….. ..………………………………………….. 39 1 1. AIT LOCATION The first week of the Oylmpia Summer School on Science and ICT, will be held at the Athens Information Technology (AIT) premises: 19,5 km Markopoulou Ave. Peania, Attica, GR 19002 Greece AIT is very close to the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos and located next to the INTRACOM S.A (the largest Greek telecom/IT industry) building complex. A taxi ride will normally be less than 15 minutes. AIT is also connected through public transportation to Athens center. AIT Summer School Staff Ms. Lara Barbour Tel: +30-210-6682704 Fax:: +30-210-6682708 e-mail: email@example.com Dr. John Soldatos Tel: +30-210-6682759 Fax:: +30-210-6682703 Cell: +30 6973336139, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.ait.edu.gr/ait_web_site/faculty/jsol/soldatos.html 2 2. ACCOMODATION Summer School hotel rates: • When contacting the hotel, specify “AIT Summer School” to receive AIT rate. • AIT rates are based on availability and given on a first-come first-serve basis. • The hotel is located near a metro station and other public transportation. • Please check hotel website for complete information Athinais Hotel (center) 99 Vassilisis Sofias Ave Platia Mavili, Athens Tel: +30-210-6431133 Fax: +30-210-6461682 email@example.com www.athinaishotel.gr Single = €65.00 Double = €80.00 Breakfast and all taxes included. Deadline for reservations at this rate: none, based upon availability Located in the city center and walking distance to the Megaro Mousikis metro stop. Summer School 1st week participants may also request a room at the AIT dormitory : AIT Dormitory Located next to AIT facilities. Limited availability. First come –first serve basis. www.ait.gr/about/dormitory.asp Rates: • Single room: € 24 per day (no breakfast) • Double room: € 30 per day (no breakfast) 3 3a. GENERAL INFORMATION AIT Library The AIT library is open to all participants Monday to Friday 11:00-19:00. There is LAN capability available for laptop use. AIT Student Bookstore A bookshop and digital multistore operating Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00 carries scientific and other books, PCs, software, hardware, multimedia, memories, CDs/DVDs, consumable goods, gifts, and more. A large collection of music CDs, DVD movies and games is available together with DVD players and sound systems (www.studentscorner.gr). 3b. ATHENS – GENERAL INFORMATION General information for visitors on transportation, entertainment, doctors, travel, and many other services throughout Athens and Greece: telephone 11888. (operators speak English) NOTE: When calling Athens from abroad, dial 0030-210+number. When calling other cities in Greece from abroad, dial 0030-area code+ number. If a telephone number has been changed, call General Info 11888 & 11850. Emergency/useful telephone numbers European emergency 112 Police 100 Police Info 1033 Ambulance 166 Emergency Hospitals 1434 Pharmacies on duty 1434 Fire Department 199 Poison Center 210-7793777 General Information 11888 International Operator 139 Tourist Police 171 or 210 171 SOS Doctors 1016 ELPA Road Assistance 10400 Traffic Police (Athens) 210-5230111 Athens Airport 210-3530000 4 Banks Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 14.00. Closed Saturday and Sunday. ATM cash machines are located everywhere throughout the city and in all large hotels. The easiest place to change money is at the airport upon arrival. Greece's monetary unit is the Euro. No other currency is accepted and it is best to exchange dollars or other currency at a bank or at the airport. Exchanging money at a bank or official exchange shop will give you the best rate. Foreign currencies and traveler’s checks can be exchanged at all banks, exchange counters and most of the hotels. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com Credit Cards For lost/stolen credit cards: American Express 210-3397250 Diners Club 210-9290200 Eurocard 210-9503673 Marstercard 00800-1188-70303 toll-free Visa 00800-1163-80304 toll-free Exchanging money Eurochange: - 2 Karageorgis Servias, Syntagma 210-3312462 - 4 Karageorgis Servias, Syntagma 210-3243882 - Athens International Airport 24 hours Western Union: throughout the city and in many banks and post offices Post Office The main Post Office is located on Syntagma Square and is open: Monday to Friday: 07:30 – 14:30 Saturday: 07:30 – 14:00 Sunday: 09:00 – 13:30 Post Office branches are located in all neighborhoods and are open only Monday to Friday 07:30 – 14:30. 5 Mobile phones Greece uses the same GSM system as most EU countries, Asia and Australia. USA and Japan use a cellular phone system that is incompatible with Europe. To avoid roaming charges, mobile telephony companies in Greece, such as TIM, Vodafone and Cosmote, offer a-la-carte communication services without fixed charges at very low prices. All kiosks, electronic and tourist shops sell phone cards for domestic and international calls. Medical Services/Pharmacies Hospitals: Accident and emergency treatment is available 24 hours per day at duty hospitals (Tel: 106 for the hospital on duty or check the International Herald Tribune/Kathimerini). Doctors: Round the clock service is provided by SOS Doctors (Tel: 1016), who charge a fixed rate for hotel or home visits, and do not accept credit cards. Pharmacists are well trained and licensed to dispense a wide range of medicines. Pharmacies have the same as shop hours. A schedule of after- hours pharmacies is posted on pharmacy doors, published daily in the International Herald Tribune/Kathimerini, or you may call 1434 for a Greek recording of after-hours pharmacies. For after-hours pharmacies and on-duty hospitals: 1434 Open the same as shop hours: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday: 09:00 – 15:00 Tuesday, Thursday: 09:00 – 14:30 and 17:30 – 20:30 Sunday: closed Taxis-Limousines • Airport to AIT: approx €20. • Flat/minimum rate is €2.65. • From 05:00 to 24:00 the tariff is single (shows “1” on the meter) • From 24:00 to 05:00 the tariff is double (shows “2” on the meter) • Additional charges are added covering rate per km inside city limits, rate per km outside city limits, to and from airport, ports, railways and bus stations, baggage of 10kg each, toll booths. • According to Greek law, taxis drivers should provide, upon request, a receipt for the amount paid, indicating the taxi’s registration number and the driver’s name. 6 Radio taxi companies: Ikaros 210-5152800 Proodos 210-3251200 Enotita 210-6459000 Mega 210-6616500-9 Apollon 210-3636508 Athina 210-9212800 Kosmos 210-18300 Express 210-9943000 1303 Limousine services: Limousines AAA Royal Prestige 210-9883221 Astra Limousine Service 210-9236755 Convecta Limousine Service 210-3225090 Limousine Service 210-3234120 WSW Skycap Services At Athens International Airport: 210-3530100 or www.skycap.gr. Provides Meet & Greet, Baggage Handling, Transport Service for both departing and arriving passengers. Three options of taxi, minivan and limousine. VIP transportation: Mr. Spiros Gonos, 6977-807234 www.athenstransfers.gr, firstname.lastname@example.org Car rental agencies Avis 210-3224951 Budget 210-9214771-3 Hertz 210-9982000 Auto Union 210-9221211-3 Arena 210-8946883, 210-6147400 Michael Stamou Luxury rentals 210-9222442-3 Courier Services DHL 210-9890000 UPS 210-9984000 ACS 210-8190000 Express City 210-8219959 Geniki Tahidromiki 210-2842222 Speedex 210-9943100 7 Shops Retail and pharmacies Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays: 09:00 – 15:00 Tuesdays, and Thursdays: 09:00 – 14:30 and 17:30 – 20:30 Sundays: Closed Large department stores are open daily from 09:00 to 21:00. Supermarkets Mondays – Fridays: 09:00 – 21:00 Saturdays: 09:00 – 20:00 Sundays: Closed Business Services (translations and secretarial support) Businet 210-9531730 International Business Services 210-7245541 Executive Translation & 210-7783698, www.executiveservices.gr Interpreting Services Intertranslations 210-9225000, www.intertranslations.gr Bookstores (foreign language) Compendium, Syntagma 210-3221248 Eleftheroudakis, Syntagma 210-3258440 Folia tou Vivliou (The Book Nest), center 210-3231703 Kauffman (mostly French), center 210-3222160 Libro, Kolonaki 210-7247116 Public, Syntagma & Piraeus 210-3242860 & 210 4126400 (+ music, electronic, computer/photo/mobile accessories) FNAC, The Mall, Glyfada, & Monastiraki 210-6305555, 210 8984300 & 210 3731100 (+ music, electronic, computer/photo/mobile accessories) Electricity Electrical voltage in Athens is 220 AC, 50 Hz. A transformer kit with a European round/ 2-prong plug is necessary if you intend to use any electrical appliances which are not compatible with this voltage. 8 Time Zone Athens Daylight Saving Time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Tipping At hotels and restaurants tipping at a rate of 5-10% of the total is common. Taxi drivers and porters expect tips. Newspapers & Press (foreign language) Hotels, kiosks on Syndagma Square, Kolonaki Square, Kifissia, Glyfada, carry major international newspapers & magazines from around the world. The Athens News is a daily English language paper which focuses on Athens and Greece and some international news. Weather Winters during the mid-November to end of February period can be cold, with daytime temperatures occasionally falling to low single digit figures (centigrade). The likelihood of rain is higher, mostly in January and February. Summers (mid-May to end September) are hot and dry with 28-38 C degrees the expected range. Spring and autumn tends to have a sample of both summer and winter weather, in temperature and rainfall, usually somewhere in between the two - but these periods are typically mild. ATHENS: approximate temperatures by month (°C) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low 5 5 7 10 14 18 21 21 17 13 10 7 High High High High High High High High High High High High 13 13 16 20 26 31 34 34 29 23 18 14 ATHENS: approximate temperatures by month (°F) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low 41 41 45 50 57 64 70 70 63 55 50 45 High High High High High High High High High High High High 56 56 61 68 78 87 93 93 86 75 65 58 9 Kosher in Athens Jewish Community Organization Athens: 210-3252823 Catering company that specializes in kosher food: Rachel 6944-527848 Sightseeing in Athens Athens Info Guide http://www.athensinfoguide.com/index.htm For complete information on: history of Athens, general information, transportation in Athens, maps, hotels, restaurants, entertainment, cultural agenda, shopping, sports, local customs, traveling with children, beaches, off the beaten path, walks in the city, traps and warnings, excursions, car rental, travel agents, photo gallery, and much more…. Museums In Athens: http://www.greece-museums.com/athens-museums.php; http://www.athensguide.com/museum.html Bus 400: The cheapest and easiest sightseeing tour in Athens. With €5 you will get to see the most interesting sights of the city. You can hop on and off as often as you like, the ticket is valid for the whole day. The bus departs at Irakliou Street (National Archeological Museum) every 30 minutes (07:30 – 21:00). The full tour takes about one and half hours. www.oasa.gr More Information on Athens and Greece may be further found at the National Greek Tourist Office (NGTO/EOT): 210-8707000, http://www.eot.gr or http://www.visitgreece.gr Public Transportation in Athens General information on transportation may be obtained at telephone 185 or: www.oasa,.gr (buses) www.ethel.gr (buses) www.ametro.gr (metro) www.proastiakos.gr (suburban railway) Clothing Size Conversion Chart Women’s Clothing: - American: 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 - British: 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 - Continental: 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 10 Suits, Overcoats, Sweaters - American: 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 - British: 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 - Continental: 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 Collar Sizes - American: 14 14.5 15 15.5 16 16.5 17 - British: 14 14.5 15 15.5 16 16.5 17 - Continental: 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 Women’s Shoes - American: 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 - British: 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 - Continental: 36 37 38 39 40 Men’s Shoes - American: 5.5 6.5 7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5 11.5 - British: 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 - Continental: 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 How to cross the road in Athens! Do not presume that all cars will stop at a red traffic light - they do not. And do not presume that a one-way street may not have traffic going in both directions; scooters and mopeds especially, routinely ignore traffic direction regulations. The way to approach all this is simple, when you cross the street look at what car and driver are doing (not what they "should" be doing). If a green light shows that it's OK to cross you must first, look for yourself to see that all cars have stopped and none are still approaching the junction, then proceed and keep watching. Presume that motorized vehicles have right of way. 11 DIRECTIONS TO AND FROM AIT BY CAR to AIT ….from northern suburbs • Take Messogion Avenue towards the airport • At the Stavros crossing of Messogion Ave. and Lavriou Ave. turn left on Lavriou Ave. to Peania/Lavrio. • Pass through the area of Glyka Nera • At the entrance of Peania keep left at the traffic lights direction Koropi/Markopoulo (don't pass through the center of Peania) • After about 2 km the road forks • Keep left (direction Markopoulo), Leoforos Markopoulou, to go to AIT • After 800 meters you will see AIT on your right (glass and yellow brick building), next to the INTRACOM compound. Note: The distance between Stavros and AIT is about 9 km. Depending on traffic, it will take about 15-20 minutes to reach AIT. ….from the city center • Take Messogion Avenue towards the airport • At the Stavros crossing of Messogion Ave. and Lavriou Ave. turn right on Lavriou Ave. to Peania/Lavrio. • Pass through the area of Glyka Nera • At the entrance of Peania keep left at the traffic lights direction Koropi/Markopoulo (don't pass through the center of Peania) • After about 2 km the road forks • keep left (direction Markopoulo), Leoforos Markopoulou, to go to AIT • After 800 meters you will see AIT on your right (glass and yellow brick building), next to the INTRACOM compound. Note: The distance between Stavros and AIT is about 9 km. Depending on traffic, it will take about 15-20 minutes to reach AIT. … from the coastal suburbs (Faliro, Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni) • Drive on the coastal Poseidon Avenue in the direction of Vari • At Vari, turn left on the Varis-Koropiou avenue and follow the signs to the airport • At the end of Varis-Koropiou avenue (at the Koropiou intersection), the road splits • Keep right and follow the road • At the 2nd traffic light, keep right • At the 3rd traffic light (large crossroad) turn left on Markopoulou Avenue (caution: if you go straight you will reach the airport) and continue straight • After approximately 3 km, you will find AIT on your left (glass and yellow brick building), next to the INTRACOM compound. 12 Note: Depending on traffic, it will take about 30-40 minutes from Vari to AIT. ....from Attiki Odos • Take Exit 18 Peania-Spata towards Peania. • Turn right as you come off the Exit • Turn left at the first traffic light (Lavriou Street) • Keep going until you reach a fork in the road • Keep left, Leof Markopoulou, to go to AIT • After 800 meters you will see AIT on your right (glass and yellow brick building), next to INTRACOM compound FROM THE AIRPORT to AIT … by Suburban Rail (“Proastiako”) The Suburban Rail ticket costs €6.00. The ticket must be purchased and cancelled prior to entering the metro. The ticket is valid for 90 minutes and may be used for transfers. Take the Suburban Rail from the airport and get off at Koropi station: • At Koropi change to bus line 310/Koropi-Peania. • Get off at Defteri Markopoulou bus stop, right in front of AIT and just before the INTRACOM compound. Note: This bus comes every 20 minutes-half an hour and takes approximately 20 minutes to reach AIT … by taxi upon exiting the Arrivals gate. • Airport to AIT: approx €20. • Flat/minimum rate is €2.80. • From 05:00 to 24:00 the tariff is single (shows “1” on the meter) • From 24:00 to 05:00 the tariff is double (shows “2” on the meter) • Additional charges are added covering rate per km inside city limits, rate per km outside city limits, to and from airport, ports, railways and bus stations, baggage of 10kg each, toll booths. • According to Greek law, taxis drivers should provide, upon request, a receipt for the amount paid, indicating the taxi’s registration number and the driver’s name. Note: Depending on traffic, it will take approximately 20 minutes to reach AIT. 13 … by car • Leaving the airport direct to ATHINA • Drive on the "Attiki Odos" road and take Exit 18/Peania. • Turn right as you come off the Exit • At the first traffic light (Shell gas station) turn left • Keep going until you reach a fork in the road • Keep left (direction Markopoulou), Leoforos Markopoulou, to go to AIT • After 800 meters you will see AIT on your right (glass and yellow brick building), next to the INTRACOM compound. BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION to AIT Bus/metro ticket costs €1.00 and is subject to change. The ticket must be purchased prior to entering the bus/metro and must be cancelled immediately upon entering the bus or before entering the metro. The ticket is valid for 90 minutes and may be used for transfers. ....from Omonia • Take the metro line 2/Ag. Dimitrios and get off at Syntagma • At Syntagma switch to metro line 3/Ethniki Amyna and get off at Ethniki Amyna • At Ethniki Amyna change to bus line 308/Ethn. Amynas - Peania – Koropi or 125/Ethn. Amynas - Peania-Varkiza to Peania. • Get off at the Folia bus stop at Koropi Ave. (about 1 km after the turn- off to Koropi) and direct to INTRACOM's gate (AIT is located next to INTRACOM's premises). Note: This bus comes every 20 minutes and takes approximately 40-50 minutes to reach AIT .... from Syntagma • Take the metro line 3/Ethniki Amyna and get off at Ethniki Amyna • At Ethniki Amyna change to bus line 308/Ethn. Amynas - Peania – Koropi or 125/ Ethn. Amynas - Peania-Varkiza to Peania. • Get off at the Folia bus stop at Koropi Ave. (about 1 km after the turn- off to Koropi) and direct to INTRACOM's gate (AIT is located next to INTRACOM's premises). 14 Note: This bus comes every 20 minutes and takes approximately 40-50 minutes to reach AIT or • Take the metro line 3/Ethniki Amyna and get off at Doukissis Plakentias station. • At Doukissis Plakentias change to bus line 310/Koropi-Peania. • Get off at Defteri Markopoulou bus stop, right in front of AIT and next to the INTRACOM compound. Note: This bus comes every 20 minutes-half an hour and takes approximately 15 minutes to reach AIT or • Take the metro line 3/Ethniki Amyna and get off at Koropi station. • At Koropi change to bus line 310/Koropi-Peania. • Get off at Defteri Markopoulou (2nd Markopoulou) bus stop, right in front of AIT and next to the INTRACOM compound. Note: This bus comes every 20 minutes-half an hour and takes approx 20 minutes to reach AIT AIT TO THE CENTER or AIRPORT (with public transportation) Bus 310/St.Douk.Plakentias -Gl. Nera- Paiania- St. Κοropiou (just opposite AIT on Leof. Markopoulou) to Doukissis Plakentias metro station Change to the metro at Doukissis Plakentias and make the necessary connection according to your destination (center or airport) Note: For the center: use the same bus ticket (€1.00) for bus and metro, which is valid for 90 minutes from the time the ticket has been validated For the airport: the €1.00 ticket does not cover the Doukissis Plakentias - airport segment. The metro ticket to the airport is €6.00 and may be purchased from the Doukissis Plakentias metro 15 AIT / SOUTHERN SUBURBS (Glyfada) AIT to Glyfada: Bus 310/St.Douk.Plakentias -Gl. Nera- Paiania- St. Κοropiou to Koropi metro station …then change to: Bus 120/Proast.Koropioy -Vari(Pigadakia)- Glyfada and get off at stop closest to your hotel Note: use the same bus ticket (€1.00) for both buses, which is valid for 90 minutes from the time the ticket has been validated Glyfada to AIT: Bus 120 to Koropi metro station …then change to Bus 310 to Doukissis Plakentias and get off at Athens Information Technology at the Triti Markopoulou (3rd Markopoulou) bus stop. Note: use the same bus ticket (€1.00) for both buses, which is valid for 90 minutes from the time the ticket has been validated 16 5. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN ATHENS General information on transportation may be obtained at telephone 185 or: www.oasa,.gr (buses), tel 185 www.ethel.gr (buses), tel 185 www.ametro.gr (metro), tel 210-5194012 www.proastiakos.gr (suburban railway) General information on Athens: www.cityofathens.gr General information for visitors on transportation, entertainment, doctors, travel, and many other services throughout Athens and Greece: telephone 11888. TAXIS • Airport to Athens center: approx €25-30. • Airport to Piraeus: approx €25-€30. • Flat/minimum rate is €2.80. • From 05:00 to 24:00 the tariff is single (shows “1” on the meter) • From 24:00 to 05:00 the tariff is double (shows “2” on the meter) • Additional charges are added covering rate per km inside city limits, rate per km outside city limits, to and from airport, ports, railways and bus stations, baggage of 10kg each, toll booths. • According to Greek law, taxis drivers should provide, upon request, a receipt for the amount paid, indicating the taxi’s registration number and the driver’s name. … using taxis Taxis may be hailed anywhere. The meter must be running when they start off (there is an immediate charge of €1.05) and it should show a (tariff) “1”, except after midnight it shows double tariff “2”. The minimum fare is €2.80. Use taxis from the official taxi rank when leaving the airport. It is quite normal for taxis to pick up other passengers en route, but everyone still pays the full fare for their trip (this is an accepted, though illegal, practice). Tipping is optional – usually round up the amount to be paid. During the Easter and Christmas holiday period, there is a surcharge of approx. €1.00. You can call a radio taxi for a €5.00 surcharge, or make an appointment for a later time for a €6.00 surcharge. These are approximate surcharges, as they depend on where you call the taxis from. 17 Athens Radio taxis: Ikaros: Tel. 210-515 2800. Website: http://www.athens-taxi.gr Kosmos: Tel. 18300 (210-4205000 calling from outside Athens) Express: Tel. 210-994 3000 Europe: Tel. 210-502 9764 Hermes: Tel. 210-411 5200 VIP transportation: www.athenstransfers.gr ; +30-6977-807234 Mr. Spiros Gonos - email@example.com PUBLIC BUS SERVICE General information on transportation may be obtained at telephone 185 or at www.oasa.gr and www.ethel.gr • * 90-minute ticket for bus/metro/train: €1.00 • * 24-hour ticket for bus/metro/train: €3.00 • * 7-day ticket for bus/metro/train: €10.00 (*except for: Airport Express buses and SuburbanRail/Metro Line to Airport) • Airport bus one-way: €3.20 • Tickets for the bus/metro/train system must be purchased prior to entering the bus/metro/train and cancelled upon entering the bus and before entering the metro/train. • Tickets for either bus/train/metro can be purchased at train/metro stations or at kiosks throughout the city. • The penalty for traveling without a valid ticket is 60 times the ticket price and is payable on the spot. METRO SYSTEM General information on the metro system is available at www.ametro.gr, tel: 210-5194012. 18 Metro Lines Line 1 (green) Kifisia to Pireas Tickets are according to fare zones: 1st zone: Pireas – Monastiraki 2nd zone: Monastiraki – Ano Patissia 3rd zone: Ano Patissia – Kifissia Hours of operation: 05.30-00.30 Line 2 (red) Agios Andonios to Agios Dimitrios/Al.Panagoulis. Hours of operation: 05.30-24.00 Line 3 (blue) Monastiraki to Doukissis Plakentias, where it connects with the new Suburban train from the airport. Hours of operation: 05.30-24.00 Fridays and Saturdays the metro closes at 02:00 • Metro lines 2 and 3 connect with line 1, which is the old electric train line (part of this line is above ground – great for sightseeing!). • Lines 1 and 3 connect at Monastiraki station. ELEFTHERIOS VENIZELOS AIRPORT For complete information on daily flight arrival/departures, services & facilities, access & parking, airport info: www.aia.gr ATHENS AIRPORT to THE CENTER Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos Airport is located 34 km/21 miles from the city center. • Taxi: The cost of the taxi from the airport to the city center is €25-€30 (includes various charges). • Metro: Line 3/Blue and then with the same ticket switch to the metro line you require – as per your travel needs. Tickets (€6) may be purchased at the airport. • Airport express bus: upon exiting the Arrivals at the airport. Although buses run 24 hours, the metro closes 24:00 to 05:00. A one-day travel 19 ticket is €3.20 and can be purchased from the airport bus kiosk, metro stations and transport kiosks around Athens. - X92 connects with the northern suburb of Kifissia (average traveling time 45’) - X93 connects the airport with Kifisos bus terminal (average traveling time 65’) - X94 connects the airport to Ethniki Amina metro station (average traveling time 50’) - X95 connects the airport to the city center/Syndagma (average traveling time 70’) - X97 connects the airport to the Dafni metro station (average traveling time 70’) Airport express bus ticket (€3.20 – must be cancelled upon boarding the bus) allows for only 1 trip to/from the airport and unlimited travel by bus, trolley, metro for 24 hours from the time of its validation during the first trip. Tickets may be purchased from airport bus drivers, metro stations, blue/yellow transportation kiosks, or airport bus kiosk. ATHENS AIRPORT to PIRAEUS • Taxi: The cost of the taxi from the airport to Piraeus is €25-€30 (includes various charges). • Metro: Line 3/Blue to Monastiraki, then with the same ticket switch to suburban rail line 1/Green to Piraeus (terminal is just opposite ferries and flying dolphins/hydrofoils boarding area). Tickets (€6) may be purchased at the airport. • Airport express bus: upon exiting the Arrivals at the airport. Although buses run 24 hours, the metro stops from 24:00 to 05:00. A one-day travel ticket is €3.20 and can be purchased from the airport bus kiosk, metro stations and yellow and blue transportation kiosks around Athens. - X96 connects the airport with Piraeus/Platia Karaiskaki (average traveling time 90’) - X95 connects the airport to the city center/Syndagma (average traveling time 70’): 1) from Syndagma metro stop take metro line 3/Blue to Monastiraki metro stop; switch to rail line 1/Green to Piraeus (Piraeus terminal is just opposite ferries and flying dolphins/hydrofoils boarding area); or 2) take bus 040 from Filelinon Street/Syndagma to Piraeus. 20 ATHENS AIRPORT to LARISSIS TRAIN/BUS STATION Larissis Station Deligiannis Street 31-33, Tel: 1110 or +30-210-5297777/5298740 International trains and trains from Peloponese, Thessasoliniki International buses arrive at the Larissis Train Station - Station is on metro line 2/Red - then switch to another metro line/suburban rail according to your travel plans. ATHENS AIRPORT to INTER-CITY BUS TERMINALS Athens Kifissos Station 100 Kifissos Street Tel: +30-210-5134110 Terminal A: KIFISOS Kifissou 100 Tel: +30-210-5134588/+30-210-5124910 Buses to/from the Peloponese, Ionian Islands, Western Greece - Bus X93 goes to the airport (average traveling time 65’) - Bus 051 goes to Omonia from where you can switch to metro/suburban rail according to your travel needs Terminal B: LIOSION Liosion Street Tel: +30-210-8317096 Buses to/from central Greece - Bus X93 goes to the airport (average traveling time 65’) - Bus 024 goes to Omonia from where you can switch to metro/suburban rail according to your travel needs International buses arrive at the Larissis Train Station. 21 AIRPORT BUS SERVICES – with site links El. Venizelos Athens international airport is served on a 24-hour basis by all bus lines, except for bus line X94. Click on the line of your choice and see the frequency of service, the stops and the route diagram. The airport is served also by the Suburban Railway (www.proastiakos.gr) and the metro (www.ametro.gr) X92 Kifisia - Athens International Airport (average travelling time 45’) This line connects the airport with Platanos Sq. Kifisias. X93 Kifisos Intercity Bus Station - Athens International Airport (average travelling time 65’) This line connects the airport with the intercity bus stations of Kifisou and Liosion. X94 Ethniki Amyna Metro Station - Athens International Airport (average travelling time 45’-50’) This line connects the airport with the nearest metro station "Ethniki Amyna" (metro line 3). X95 Syntagma - Athens International Airport (average travelling time 70’) This line connects the airport with Syntagma square in the city center (connection with metro lines 2 and 3) X96 Peiraias - Athens International Airport (average travelling time 90’) This line connects the airport with the port of Peiraias (connection with ferry routes and metro line 1) X97 Dafni Metro Station - Athens International Airport (average travelling time 70’) This line connects the airport with the Metro station of Dafni. ATHENS SIGHTSEEING BUS LINE – Bus 400 The sightseeing public bus tours the ancient and modern landmarks/highlights of Athens. Although there is map of the route on the site, it is not very clear. It will be easier to find these sites on your own map of Athens. http://www.oasa.gr/index.asp?pageid=105 22 Tickets: The ticket costs €5.00, is purchased on the bus, is valid for 24 hours, and can be used for other public bus/metro/train lines (except the Airport Express Buses and the Metro Line 3/Blue from Doukissis Plakentias to Airport). Ticket should be validated on first ride and be kept to be shown to the bus attendant every time you board the bus or to inspectors who may ask for them on other means of public transport. Schedule: Duration of the trip is 80-90 minutes. June to September 07:30 – 21:00 Every 30 minutes October to May 09:00 – 18:00 Every 30 minutes November to April 10:00 – 16:00 Every 60 minutes Route: National Archeological Museum (Vas. Irakliou Street – side entrance of the Museum) Omonia (Athens’ commercial center) Psyri (trendy night spots) Kerameikos (the ancient cemetery) Thiseion (entrance to the ancient Agora/market) Monastiraki (flea market) Varvakios Agora (Athens’ central market) Klafthmonos Square Syntagma (Constitution Square/modern parliament building) Benaki Museum National Art Gallery Ambelokipi Panathenaic Stadium (1986 Olympic Stadium) Plaka (flea market, souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes) Acropolis Temple of Olympian Zeus Old Greek Parliament building University/Polytechnic (site of historic student uprising against dictatorship) National Archeological Museum 23 THE COASTAL TRAM From Syntagma Square (city center) to Voula (by the seaside) http://www.tramsa.gr/index.cfm?page_id=171&lang_id=1 The ticket is €1.00 (valid for all means of public transportation) and must be purchased and cancelled before entering the tram. It is valid for one trip only. The tram network has 48 stops of which three, the ones in «SYNTAGMA», «SEF» and «ASKLIPIO VOULAS» are terminal stations. In 16 of those that passenger platforms are located in the center, in 30 of those the platforms are on the side while at «SEF» and in «ASKLIPIO VOULAS» there are two central ones. Each stop is equipped with seats and overhead covers for the waiting areas, a visual and speaker type of information system, ticket issuance and validation machines, housing for the electronic equipment, announcement boards with informative material (i.e. maps), a clock, waste disposal containers, lighting and closed circuit tv. An electronic system for informing the passengers is installed which generates electronic announcements from the speakers in addition to digital screens which indicate the exact time of arrival of the tram, delays or changes in the routes as well as other information. There is also an emergency telephone which is used to communicate with the Control Center in the case of emergencies or when works are performed on the network. A closed circuit TV system is installed at all stops and at most junction points in order to assure the safety of the passengers, to prevent ill mannered actions, to protect the equipment and to monitor the operation of the tram in the intersection areas with the normal automobile traffic. The history of the tram of Athens The first trams appeared in the streets of Athens in 1882. They were light vehicles, with 16 seats covered during the winter and 20 open type during the summer and were drawn by 3 horses. The origin of the 800 total horses used was Asia Minor, they were small and lively but suitable for the hilly roads of Athens and the frequent stops. The Faliro steam powered tram started operating in 1887. Departing from the Athens Academy it went through Panepistimiou, Amalias and Thiseos avenues all the way down to Tzitzifies and from there through the coastal highway it ended up in Faliro to the organized beachfront where people went swimming. In1908 the first electrically powered trams (from Belgium) were put in operation destined to gradually replace the horse drawn ones. In 1939 a high number of the Belgian trailers were disposed while all the tram cars in operation were renovated and their color changed to deep green, and for this reason they were called the “Greens”. The following year in accordance with the contractual amendment to the agreement that the Greek State had signed in 1937, 60 additional new and modern tram vehicles were received from Milan. On October 28 1940, the Athens tramways participate in the war constriction. The photographs of crowded trams full of enthusiastic mobilized soldiers who were lining up to join the army and be sent to the battlefields still remain classic. The period following the war is digressive for the tram of Athens, with the abolition of some specific lines. The real abolition however coincides with the impressive dismantlement of the lines at the Haftia junction by crews of the Ministry of Public Works in the dawn of November 16 1953, and then the mothballing of the Patisia-Ampelokipi and Kipseli Pagrati lines. The last ringing of the bell of the Athens tram sounded outside the depot located in Agia Triada Keramikos at midnight of October 15th 1960. The Perama line however remained in operation until April 1977. 24 25 6. SIGHTSEEING AND SHOPPING IN ATHENS ATHENS INFO GUIDE: http://www.athensinfoguide.com/index.htm For complete information on: history of Athens, general information, transportation in Athens, maps, hotels, restaurants, entertainment, cultural agenda, shopping, sports, local customs, traveling with children, beaches, off the beaten path, walks in the city, traps and warnings, excursions, car rental, travel agents, photo gallery, and much more…. MUSEUMS IN ATHENS (for more museums and contact information): http://www.greece- museums.com/athens-museums.php; http://www.athensguide.com/museum.html BUS 400: The cheapest sightseeing tour in Athens is the public bus 400. With €5 you'll get to see the most interesting sights of the city. You can hop on and off as many times as you like, the ticket is valid for the whole day and trip lasts about 80-90 minutes. Although there is map of the route on the site, it is not very clear. It will be easier to find these sites on your own map of Athens. http://www.oasa.gr/index.asp?pageid=105 Tickets The ticket costs €5.00, is purchased on the bus, is valid for 24 hours, and can be used for other public bus/metro/train lines (except the Airport Express Buses and the Metro Line 3/Blue from Doukissis Plakentias to Airport). Ticket should be validated on first ride and be kept to be shown to the bus attendant every time you board the bus or to inspectors who may ask for them on other means of public transport. Schedule June to September 07:30 – 21:00 Every 30 minutes October to May 09:00 – 18:00 Every 30 minutes November to April 10:00 – 16:00 Every 60 minutes Route National Archeological Museum (Vas. Irakliou Street – side entrance of the Museum) Omonia (Athens’ commercial center) Psyrri (trendy night spots) Kerameikos (the ancient cemetery) Thiseion (entrance to the ancient Agora/market) Monastiraki (flea market) Varvakios Agora (Athens’ central market) Klafthmonos Square Syntagma (Constitution Square/modern parliament building) Benaki Museum National Art Gallery Ambelokipi Panathenaic Stadium (1986 Olympic Stadium) Plaka (flea market, souvenir shops, restaurants, cafetarias) Acropolis Temple of Olympian Zeus Old Greek Parliament building University/Polytechnic (site of historic student uprising against dictatorship) National Archeological Museum 26 (HISTORICAL) SITES OF INTEREST Athens is known the world over for its ancient monuments – and no visit to the city would be complete without visiting its most iconic landmark, the Acropolis. Dating back to the 5th century BC, the Acropolis is made up of the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea, and embodies the highest ideals of Ancient Athens - harmony, beauty, proper measure, liberty, knowledge, virtuous competition and democracy. The Acropolis and its surrounding area - including the Acropolis slopes, the Ancient Agora, the Areopagus, the Pnyx, and the Hills of the Muses, the Roman Agora, and Library of Hadrian – are at the historical heart of the city. Walking through them, it doesn’t take too much imagination to picture Ancient Athens as it was back then. The monuments are intrinsically linked with the birth of democracy they symbolize a precious part of the cultural heritage of Greece and western civilization ever since. Those ideals have echoed through the centuries and can still be heard today. The Middle Ages and Ottoman Period, however, were trying times for Acropolis and the surrounding sites. They suffered as a result of natural disasters like earthquakes, but more so at the hands of man. Some monuments were reused as palaces, churches, mosques, and residential areas. But perhaps the greatest damage occurred when an explosion rocked the Acropolis during Morosini’s siege in 1687, and (as many Greeks will tell you) as a result of Lord Elgin’s looting of the marbles (1801-1803). These events altered the face of the Acropolis more than anything else in its long history. Exploration and excavation of the sites began a few years after the establishment of the Greek state in 1834, and continued until about the middle of the 20th century. Important restoration programs are now underway on several monuments. Philopapus Hill and the Pnyx The western hills (Hill of the Muses or Philopappus Hill, the Pnyx, and the Hill of the Nymphs) is to the west of the Acropolis. It was an important and densely inhabited section of the ancient city. The Pnyx is dominated by the site where meetings of the Assembly of the Demos, the principal institution of Athenian Democracy, were held. Philopappus Hill is crowned by the monument of the same name as well as a modern Observatory. The Philopappus monument is a funerary stele erected in 114-116AD by the Athenians in honor of Caius Julius Antiochus “Philopappus”, the exiled prince of Commagene (a kingdom in south-east Asia Minor that had just been conquered by Roman Empire).This area, mythically connected with the Amazonomachy, was first inhabited during the 6th century BC. During the 5th century BC, it was one of the most densely populated parts of ancient Athens including two well-known demes (districts), Melite and Koile. The ancient Koile road, running from Athens to the port of Piraeus, was a most important commercial and strategic thoroughfare. This historic Observatory, the first of its kind in Greece and throughout the Balkans, was designed by renowned architect Theophile Hansen and was inaugurated in 1842. It has a unique cross- shaped structure, that points to the four points of the horizon, while its resplendent golden dome can be seen gleaming in the Athens sky from quite a distance. 27 The Lysikrates Monument This monument commemorates the support of its benefactor-founder of a theatrical performance at the nearby theater of Dionysus, the earliest theater in the world. It was built in 335BC by Lysikrates and is also known as the “Lantern of Diogenes” in reference to its unusual shape. The circular building rests on a square shaped limestone podium and includes a portico of six Corinthian columns. It also has a frieze featuring the life of Dionysos, the god of wine and revelry. In 1669, the structure was handed over to Capucin monks, who used it as a study room. The Lysikrates monument is the best preserved of its kind, mainly due to the efforts of French archaeologists Fr. Boulanget and E. Loviot who restored the area in 1887. The Acropolis The Acropolis of Athens is a perfect example of how ancient architecture was adapted to a natural site to form what has become a model worldwide. It was the ancient city’s most important religious center and its monuments have become an important symbol of ancient Greece’s bequest to Europe and the world. The first signs of occupation on the “sacred rock” of the Acropolis date back to the Neolithic period (2nd millennium BC). In Mycenaean times (1200-1100BC) it was the seat of the king, whose palace stood roughly where the Erechtheion was built many centuries later. After the 11th century BC it was home to the cult of Athena, patron goddess of the city. There, Athena was worshipped at majestic temples, brilliant buildings and votive monuments. The most renowned were built in the second half of the 5th century BC, when Athens took a lead among the ancient world’s city states, following important victories against the Persians and the establishment of Democracy. In the golden age that followed, thought and art flourished, and an exceptional group of artists made the ambitious plans of Athenian statesman Pericles reality, under the guidance of the sculptor Pheidias. The most important monuments were built during that time: the Parthenon, built by Ictinos (447-432BC), the Erechtheion, with its shrines to Athena Polias and Poseidon- Erechtheus and the porch adorned with the famous Caryatids hand-maidens (421-406BC), the Propylaea designed by Mnesicles (437-431BC), and the small temple of Athena Nike (421- 407BC). After the Acropolis itself, the Slopes were the most important religious center of ancient Athens. The sanctuary of Dionysus Eleuthereus on the South Slope, established in the 6th Century BC, was the site of the Great or City Dionysia celebrations. Here too was the theater of Dionysus, one of the world’s most ancient theaters, where the works of the Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were performed. The same archaeological area is also home to the Odeion of Pericles, ancient Athens’ first roofed building for musical contests, the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepius founded in the 5th century BC, the Stoa given to the city in 160 B.C. by the king of Pergamon, Eumenes II, various monuments donated by sponsors of theatrical performances such as the Monument of Lysikrates, and the Odeion of Herodus Atticus, built in the 2nd century AD. With the predominance of Christianity, especially during the 5th century AD, many buildings on the South Slope were reconsecrated as Christian monuments. The East Slope is dominated by the cave of Aglauros, where the Athenian youths took the oath to protect the sanctuaries and sacred institutions of the city. One of the most important monuments of the North Slope is the spring of Klepsydra, in front of which ran the last section of the Panathenaic Way. On this side of the rock there are three cave sanctuaries dedicated to the cults of Pan, Zeus, and Apollo, the cave with the Mycenaean spring, the sanctuary of Aphrodite and Eros, and the medieval church of Saint Nicolas. 28 www.theotheracropolis.com: the many other non-stereotypical sides and identities of the Acropolis. An excellent blog before visiting the Sacred Rock, especially for those who like to dig deeper than the surface. The Roman Agora, Library of Hadrian, Tower of Winds The Roman Agora and the Library of Hadrian include the two large Roman monuments north of the Acropolis and east of the Ancient Agora. The Roman Agora was the center of commercial activity of the city during Roman times, while the Library of Hadrian housed the state archives and philosophical Academies and was its spiritual, educational, and cultural center. The Roman Agora was constructed by the Roman emperor Augustus (19-11 BC) to accommodate the commercial enterprises of the city, with shops, storerooms and offices. The Library of Hadrian was built by Hadrian in 132 AD as part of a project to house the city’s largest library, the state archives, and philosophical schools. The site also features monuments such as the Water Clock (Horologion) or Tower of the Winds (with its ornate sculpted depictions of wind-gods, wind vanes, sundials and a complicated internal water-clock) built around 50BC by Macedonian astronomer Andronikos Kyrrhestes, as well as the Vespasianae (public latrines), the Agoranomeion, and the Fethiye Mosque (Tzami). North of the Roman Agora is the Medrese (Seminary) and to the south the Mosque. A section of the late Roman fortification wall and a four-apse early Christian can be seen within the Library of Hadrian. The Ancient Agora The Agora was the heart of the public life of the city - its religious, political and commercial center, where Athenian Democracy was born and flourished. The Agora was a large, open square that provided a forum for social and cultural activity, commercial exchange, religious festivals, open- air theatrical performances, and athletic contests. From the 6th century BC, the area was gradually surrounded by public buildings that were rebuilt over the course of some 800 years while the Agora remained the center of Athens. It was traversed by the Panathenaic Way and by the West Road. Tradition has it that Europe’s first law court was on the Areopagus, next to the Ancient Agora. The Kerameikos The most significant and official cemetery of Ancient Athens. Also: part of the Themistocleian wall, the Dipylon (the greatest gate of the city of Athens), the Pompeion building, the Sacred Gate, the marble bull statue, and its museum. The Temple of Olympian Zeus Dedicated to Zeus, Father of the Gods, the city’s biggest sanctuary, consisted of 104 Corinthian columns. The temple was completed in 131 AD by Roman emperor Hadrian (it took over 700 years to build) and 15 of the more than 100 immense columns of this temple now remain, with their Corinthian capitals. 29 Adrian’s Arch Facing the Temple of Zeus, it marked the border between the old and new city of Athens, and was dedicated to the Roman Emperor Adrian. The triumphal marble arch lies on an ancient street that led from the old city of Athens to the new Roman section, built by Hadrian. It was constructed by the Athenians in 131 AD, in honor of their benefactor emperor. Two inscriptions are carved on the architrave, one on each side: the first, on the side towards the Acropolis reads "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus"; the second, on the other side, facing the new city reads "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus". National Park Royal Garden was commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838 and completed by 1840. It was designed by the German gardener Schmidt who imported over 500 species of plants and a variety of animals including peacocks, ducks, and turtles. Unfortunately for many of the plants, the dry Mediterranean climate proved too harsh and they did not survive; animals continue to thrive. The upper garden, behind the Old Palace, was fenced off and was the private refuge of the King and Queen. In 1878, the Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen designed the neo- classical Zappeion Hall. It was named after Evangelos Zappas, an Epirote businessman who was instrumental in starting the Zappian Olympic Games, a precursor to the modern Olympic Games. The Zappeion was the Olympic village for the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens and also as a venue for the fencing events. Starting in the 1920s, the area in front of the Zappeion was a major transportation hub for trams and buses. Today it is used for public exhibitions. This garden has become public and it is open all day long. It is one of the rare places in Athens, where one can find an agreeable retreat with shade, flowers and the song of the nightingales. The garden encloses also some ancient ruins, tambours, and Corinthian capitals of columns, mosaics. Zappion: Built in 1874-1878 by architect Theophil von Hansen, on the order of Greek-Romanian national benefactors the Zappas cousins, this neoclassical structure originally housed an exhibition hall. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, that include a pleasant coffee-shop and restaurant, as well as an array of interesting sculptures, it is now used for international conferences, commercial events, as well as for European heads of state meetings. The Kalimarmaro Stadium The Panathenaic Stadium (also known as the Kallimarmaron, or the "beautifully marbled"), at the foot of Ardittos Hill in Athens, was built long before dimensions for athletics venues were standardized and its track and layout follow the ancient hairpin-like model. During classical times the stadium had wooden seating. It was remade in marble by the archon Lykurgus in 329 BC and was enlarged and renovated by Herod Atticus in 140 AD. It is the only major stadium in the world built fully of white marble (from Mount Pendeli). In ancient times it was used to host the athletic portion of the Panathenaic Games in honor of the Goddess Athena. The remnants of the ancient structure were excavated in 1870. It was fully rebuilt in 1895 (with marble from Mt Pendeli, the same kind that was used 30 2,400 years before, for the construction of the Parthenon on the Acropolis) in order to host the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The site of the Panathenaic Stadium was originally a small natural valley, between the two hills of Agra and Ardettos, over Ilissos river. It was transformed into a stadium by Lykourgos for the athletic competitions of "Panathinea", the greatest festivities in ancient Athens. Herodes Atticus restored the Stadium, giving it the form that was found at the 1870 excavation: the horseshoe construction with a track 204.07 meters long and 33.35 meters wide. It is believed that the Stadium had a seating capacity of 50,000 people. In the Roman times, the Stadium was used as an arena. The Panathenaic Stadium (owned by the Greek Olympic Committee) is now mainly a tourist attraction and is used only in special events. It was used in the 2004 Olympics, where following the tradition of the first Olympics, the marathon finished here. The Stadium now has a capacity of 80,000. Visitors can walk up to the Stadium but are not allowed to enter its grounds. Planetarium This is home to the largest and, by general acclaim, most advanced digital 3-D 360 degrees planetarium in the world, built in 2003 by Eugene Evgenidis and designed to seat 280 people. Large format films and planetarium shows are projected on a 25-meter diameter dome. Thanks to the latest digital technology you can scuba dive in the great barrier reef, get up close and personal with a Hawaiian volcano crater, and follow Neil Armstrong’s footsteps on the surface of the moon. There are interactive science and technology exhibits arranged on three levels. This hall focuses on Matter, Materials, Sound, Image, and Biotechnology. Eugene Eugenides was a shipping magnate who had the foresight to create an organization in 1956 that would help produce the caliber of qualified workforce capable of reconstructing a country ravaged by civil war. In this spirit, 20 scholarships are offered to students each year, as well as donations to support education and ensure equal access to knowledge. MUSEUMS The Museum of the Acropolis Contains masterpieces found during the excavations of the Acropolis dating back up to 480 B.C. It is considered to be one of the most important museums in the world although in the past, a lot of masterpieces were and remain stolen. The National Archaeological Museum The National Archaeological Museum houses a unique, recently refurbished, collection of ancient Greek art and artifacts. Its more than 20,000 exhibits on the development of Greek civilization to the late Roman era. There are vast collections of finds from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Cycladic and Mycenaean periods, finds from the prehistoric settlement on the island of Thera (Santorini), a sculpture collection (7th- 5th centuries BC) showcasing many internationally-acclaimed masterpieces of the genre, some of which attributed to Praxiteles’ workshop, the Near Eastern Antiquities Collection, and the Metallurgy and Vase & Minor Objects Collection. Another major highlight is its renowned Egyptian Collection, 1,100 priceless items of which were recently put on permanent exhibition (following years in the museum’s vast underground storage areas) is considered one of the foremost Egyptian collections worldwide. The Stathatos Collection of ancient jewelry was also recently brought up from storage and put on display. 31 The Byzantine and Christian Museum Set in a beautiful building, surrounded by a serene courtyard, this museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore the way of life, art, religious practices and customs of the Byzantine and Medieval periods in Greece. The Greek Folk Art Center Contains a collection of Ceramics, wood carvings, pottery, and metal objects illustrating all forms of Greek art from 1650 to today. The Benaki Museum Contains a collection of Holy Icons, Greek and Roman antiquities, Byzantine, Coptic, Chinese, Islamic, neo-Hellenic, even ecclesiastical art, and a rich photographic archive covering the image culture and customs of Greece. The New Benaki Museum This recently opened annex to the Benaki Museum is situated in an ex-industrial strip spanning Piraeus Str and extending to the Gazi area, which is fast transforming itself into a veritable hub of experimental and avant-garde artistic activity. Housed in a tasteful building that gracefully combines simplicity and an imposing aspect and provides a most welcome contrast to its rather neglected surroundings, this museum is well worth a visit if you wish to take in what Athens has to offer as far as modern and contemporary art exhibitions are concerned. As well as its regularly alternating temporary exhibitions, it also periodically hosts alternative drama performances by independent unconventional theatre companies. The Islamic Art Museum Also a recently opened annex of the Benaki Museum, the elegant neoclassical building near the ancient Kerameikos cemetery, displays a fine collection of Islamic art from the Near East, Middle East, Far East, and North Africa, from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and an evolution of Islamic art in relation to the historic development of Islamic civilization. Lalaounis Jewelry Museum The museum is a center for international jewelry studies. On permanent display are the creations by Ilias Lalaounis, a famous Athenian jeweler and goldsmith. More than 3000 pieces of jewelry are displayed and micro-sculpture from 45 collections designed by Lalaounis in the period 1940- 1992. They include jewelry inspired by prehistoric art, Bronze Age Greece, Greek jewelry from the Classical and the Hellenistic periods, Byzantium, the art of Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Far East, as well as creations marking developments in technology and science, from breakthroughs in biology to space travel. This is a private non-profit foundation devoted to the historical development of the art of jewelry. It is located at the foot of the Acropolis, in a picturesque neoclassical building. Its permanent collection comprises more than 4000 items of jewelry, designed by its founder Ilias Lalaounis . Many items in its collection have been inspired by the art of ancient and Byzantine Greece, Europe, America and Asia, as well as from nature and from scientific discourse. It also provides educational facilities such as a library and jewelry- making workshop, as well as seminars designed for students. Cosmos - The Foundation of the Hellenic World This center is not a museum in the conventional sense of the term. It does host exhibits showcasing the development of the arts, sciences, and every aspect of society throughout the Hellenic world, but its exhibits are not the usual original artifacts, but contemporary reconstructions of an interactive 32 character, including state-of-the-art technological applications. The Foundation also hosts the “Tholos”, a dome-shaped virtual-reality theater. The Virtual Reality areas offer a unique experience. Ancient cities and monuments that have been completely destroyed, with the help of technology come to life before your very eyes exactly as they were in the past. The exhibition areas also include, a selection of Hellenic traditional costumes, a projection room, and a chronological display of Greek History. The Museum of the Ancient Agora Housed in the renovated “Stoa of Attalos” (150 BC) within the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora, it is a museum of the History of Democracy on the development of Athenian public and commercial life, civic emancipation, and democratic institutions, from antiquity until the birth of the modern Greek State. The models of the Ancient Agora, Acropolis, and Pnyx are very illuminating examples of the city’s ancient topography. The National Gallery of Art Houses paintings, engravings, and sculptures of Greek and European artists and is devoted to the history 8of Greek and Western European art. Alexandros Soutzos, a lawyer and art-lover, donated all his property and his collection of works of art, for the creation of a museum of art. The initial nucleus of paintings was enriched by donations, particularly of works of western European art, which had belonged to wealthy Greeks of the diaspora. Today, the National Gallery possesses a collection of 9,000 paintings, sculptures, and engravings, as well as miniatures and furniture. The Gallery frequently organizes temporary exhibitions, and also houses conservation laboratories and a library. The Museum of Eleftherios Venizelos Contains a library, photographs, and personal belongings, of the greatest Greek politicians. The War Museum Dedicated to the history and practice of warfare, it holds an important collection of war memorabilia from the Mycenaean Period to present-day Greece, with special focus on the Second World War, the War in Korea, and the Cyprus War. The architecture of the building itself is very original, as it is one of the most representative examples of the avant-garde architectural movement in Athens during the 1950s. The historical fighter planes at the entrance are also worth seeing. The Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art This museum is housed both in an appealing modern building as well as in a stunningly beautiful neoclassical edifice and includes one of the best and most representative collections of Cycladic art worldwide (from the Cycladic, third millennium BC), as well as a smaller selection of Bronze Age, Minoan, Mycenaean, Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic items. It also regularly hosts interesting periodic exhibitions. Kerameikos Museum Exhibits dating back to 840 BC, including Mycenaean to Roman times. Displays the important archaeological finds unearthed at the adjacent ancient Kerameikos cemetery, such as funeral urns, funerary monuments, and pottery items, aptly illustrating the funerary customs of ancient Athenian society. 33 The Numismatic Museum Exclusive exhibition of over 2,500 coins covering all the periods of the Greek History. The Kanellepoulos Museum. A private collection of Greek Art dating back to 2,500 BC. The Jewish Museum of Greece. This is a historical and ethnographic museum that aims to preserve, explore and present the material evidence related to the historic Jewish community in Greece. It holds more than 8000 artefacts showcasing the secular and religious history and way of life of Jews in Greece Museum of Greek Folk Art From the 17th century to the present, this museum preserves, records, exhibits and presents the history and evolution of Greek folk art. Among its exhibits are embroidery, weaving, traditional costumes, household items (such as the intricate ‘stamps’ used for embossing and decorating bread during traditional festivals), shadow-theater puppets (the famous Karaghiozis), as well as silver, wood, and stone carvings. Museum of City of Athens This museum is housed in the stately mansion that was the residence of Otto, the first King of Athens and his wife Amalia (1837-1843), and its first floor is dedicated to their memory. It seeks to present the modern history of the city of Athens, since it became capital of the nascent Hellenic State in 1834, to the present day. Among its collections are works of art, items of furniture. and household objects, as well as complete reconstructions of typical late 19th/early 20th century living rooms of the Athenian aristocratic elite. National Historical Museum Housed in the imposing historical building that was Greece’s first House of Parliament, this museum tells the story of Greece since the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, with special focus on the War of Independence (1821-1829), through to the mid-19th century. The commanding statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis, among the leaders of the Greek War of Independence, proudly greets visitors to the Museum. Among its invaluable exhibits are archival records, photographs, costumes, flags, paintings, religious icons, royal portraits, and weapons. Hellenic Children’s Museum This is a small haven for children aged up to 12 years old, with multifaceted thematic exhibits specially designed to cater to childrens' imagination and stimulate their intellectual, creative and inquisitive faculties. Its historic three-storey neoclassical building includes an attic and garden. ATHENS Thissio: This is a wide pedestrian road where you can walk without worrying about cars, and which goes all around the foot of the Acropolis. When the Acropolis is lit at night it is magical to sit at a café and look up at the temple. Plaka: The area is at the foot of the Acropolis with buildings dating back two or more centuries. It's enjoyable to walk in the little narrow streets climbing up the Acropolis rock, many of which are lined with 34 cafeterias, restaurants and souvenir shops. You can also discover small exhibits on the way through and small museums such as the Museum of Children's Art, The Museum of Greek Folk Art, Museum of Musical Instruments. There is also a summer cinema in Plaka square: Cine Paris. It has wonderful plants and a view of the Acropolis, competing with the movie for your attention. Monastiraki: This area is between Plaka and Psirri, and has a wonderful flea market where you can find items ranging from off- brand winter jackets, to army knives, and especially antiques. Although it is touristy, it is mixed in with the sort of old shops that are one of a kind. Psirri: Next to Monastiraki you will find old warehouse buildings and industrial buildings presenting a new face. This is the area of intriguing restaurants in novel settings with original interior and exterior design, benefiting from the character and nature of the original use of these industrial buildings. Art galleries and artists' workshops and studios, experimental theaters and cafe/bars. Find what you like here by wandering around during the day and return for the prize pickings (the places you choose to dine in and have a drink at) later that night. Gazi: A relatively new hot spot characterized by the old factory that used to produce gas for lighting the streets and houses of Athens many decades ago. The old factory has been transformed into the “Technopolis” cultural center where concerts, exhibitions, and festivals take place. It is the new top choice for evening entertainment with endless bars and restaurants. Lykavittos: Bit of a steep walk uphill to the viewing area and church of Agios Georgios, rewarded by excellent views. The Lykavittos theater is actively used for performances. On the way to Lykavittos, at Dexameni (beyond Kolonaki square), there is a summer cinema - movies shown in the open air, worth a try if it's a new experience for you. Kolonaki: Located at the foot of Lykavittos, this is one of the smart areas of Athens. Boutique clothing stores, pricier antiques, furs, jewelry, and kiosks with a great selection of foreign press. The Athenian elite of politicians, journalists, authors, actors, models,and powerful businessmen, frequent the cafes in this area. The cafes around Kolonaki Square, with tables on the pavement, are a great source of gossip and people watching! Metro Stations Art and archaeology at the Metro stations: even if you don't actually need to travel by Metro, it is worth visiting the metro stations. Archeological remains found during the construction and works of important Greek artists, modern or classic, are displayed at each station. 35 SYNTAGMA (Constitution) SQUARE The name Syntagma means “Constitution”. The Square has a long history. It seems every major event in Greece has either been mourned or celebrated here. It is a large public square with shaded walkways and benches and cafes, and the scene of the largest political rallies, holiday concerts and festivals. During the Christmas season the square is bejeweled in lights. At the top of Syntagma is the Parliament Building, formerly the King's Palace, built between 1836 and 1840 by King Otto and financed by his father Ludwig I of Bavaria. The classical style of architecture, known as neo-classical which originated in Greece and is the dominant style of all the old public buildings, houses and mansions of Athens, was actually re-imported into Greece in the late 1800s from Europe and then modified by Greek architects. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded by Evzones, the Presidential Guard.The tomb is placed at the bottom of a high wall on which a relief depicts a fallen soldier, surrounded by quotations from Pericles' funeral oration. Further inscriptions tell of historic battles in which Greek soldiers took part. Two Evzone sentry boxes protect the Tomb. Evzones: originally, the name of the historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek army in 1867. Today, it refers to the members of the Presidential Guard, a ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Parliament, and the Presidential Mansion. The Evzones undergo very exclusive and rigorous training and are expected to be on constant alert. Each soldier mounts guard for one hour at a stretch, three times every 48 hours. They work in partners in order to perfect the coordination of their movements. They are not permitted to talk, move, or react to anything. Their ceremonial steps during the changing of the guard are specifically designed to stretch their muscles. When on duty they are not allowed to move unless the accompanying solder gives them the order. 36 Their Uniform The unit is famous around the world for its unique traditional uniform which is designed to be similar to the outfits worn by the klephts (mountain guerillas) who fought the Ottoman occupation of Greece. The most visible item of this uniform is the fustanella (skirt). Their proven valor and peculiar dress turned them into a popular image for the Greek soldier. The Evzones have uniforms suited to the season. The red clogs with black pompoms and rivets underneath are standard equipment, and so are the white woolen stockings and the red caps with a waist long black tassel. The summer uniform is a khaki colored with a short skirt pleated behind, also including a belt and golden buttons, plus a collar and shoulder straps trimmed with blue bands. In winter, the uniform is blue-black. The uniforms are hand made by special craftsmen in workshops within the barracks and take 80 days to make. The skirt has 400 pleats (one for each year of the Ottoman occupation). The leather clogs with black pompoms weigh 3 kg and have 60 nails studded into the soles so the Evzone does not slip. The Parade A full dress uniform is worn on special occasions, such as the grand changing of the guard on Sunday mornings. The full dress is a white shirt with very wide sleeves and a short white skirt, a belt and a black waistcoat with golden embroideries and a collar. The spectacular parade starts from the Evzone camp on the street of Irodou Attikou behind the Parliament and moves down Vasilissis Sofias towards Syntagma Square. The marching band if followed by the entire Presidential Guard. There is a more frequent and smaller changing of the guard which takes place every hour on the hour, day and night, the year round. Three guards march from the barracks accompanied by a solder in regular military uniform. A little ceremony at the tomb marks the actual changing. 37 SHOPPING IN ATHENS Besides the areas of Plaka and Monastiraki which are well known to travelers for their large variety of tourist shops in all of central Athens, downtown streets that were once choked with traffic have now been closed to all motor vehicles and this diverse shopping area has become a walking shopper’s paradise with every kind of shop you can imagine, and some you never imagined existed. The two other main shopping streets of Eolou and Agiou Marcou are the streets where you can find incredible bargains in clothes, fabrics, yarn, shoes, and cafes where you can catch your breath after a period of furious shopping. There are old women from Russia and young men from Persia, selling silk shirts, socks, and underwear on the street. In August-September and January-February everything is on sale. You can literally go to Greece and replace your wardrobe and the money you save will pay for your ticket. There is always something going on at Eolou and Ermou streets. Generally shops are closed on Sundays, but that's the day to go to the Flea Market in Monastiraki. Keep your eyes open when shopping in Athens. Not every shop has a big glass window with their goods displayed on the sidewalks. Some shops are hidden away in alcoves, atriums, basements, and even the backs of apartment buildings. In fact many of the true craftsmen have shops that seem like they are hidden, either because they have a circle of customers that keep them busy enough or because they are artists happy with the way things are and don't seek more business The first area you will normally be recommended to shop in is Ermou Street, the pedestrian street that runs off Syntagma Square. All the latest boutiques and houses of fashion can be found on Ermou Street. If you like big shops or to buy brands, head for Attica near Syntgma Square, or to Notos Galleries near the Town Hall (Kotzia square), both of which have roof-top cafés with beautiful views. Shop hours are: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 09:00-13.30 & 17.30-20.30 Monday, Wednesday, Saturday: 09:00-15.00 Sundays: All shops are closed. Some large department stores are open Monday-Friday from 09:00 to 20.30. Tourist and other shops in tourist areas (Plaka, Monastiraki) open on Sundays. Enjoy your visit to Athens!!! 38 39 PROASTIAKO – SUBURBAN RAIL 40 41 42 43
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