Place : Athens, Greece
By: Azrilawani Ahmad
Q1: Do you like your vacation there?
Definitely, if I was accompanied by others and going there for a vacation/ leisure (not for a business or work). But, lone ranger was not too bad actually. I still can survive. Moreover, it was really great experience and great journey.
Q2: Do you recommend other people to visit there in future?
For those who love to see a very fascinating archeological site in history, it is highly recommended.
Q3: How long was your trip?
Because it was almost two years ago, I barely remember how many days. I think it was 13 days: 11 days for a business (summer school in Demokritos) and two more days for journeys going there and coming back.
Q4: Which flight did you used?
The reason I went there was for a summer school, so all the expenses (accommodation and flight’s ticket) were fully sponsored by my supervisor. But, I still remember, it was KLM from Cork to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Athens.
Q5: When did you go there? What would you recommend the perfect time to visit?
I went there from 29th June 2008 to 11th July 2008, in the middle of summer. I would say summer is the best time to visit Athens. The weather was so great, and 14 days over there without any single day of rain. The temperature was quite high, and it was warmer than Malaysia though (day 7: it even reached 42 degree!). If you already get used to Irish weather, spring or fall would be the best choice. Otherwise, you will get headache because of very ‘cruel’ Mr. Sun!
Q6: Where did you stay there? Are you recommending others to stay there as well? How much is the cost to stay there?
The room for me was already booked by my supervisor. It was at King Jason Hotel, near the Metaxourgio Metro Station. The room was a bit expensive, might be because of in the middle of summer ~75 euro for single room per night (but I like, because it wasn’t my money!). But you can find cheaper price of hostel / hotel near Syntagma Square (the centre of Athens).
Q7: Any halal restaurant/groceries nearby?
Frankly speaking, it was quite hard to find halal foods/shops or restaurants there. But you can still survive with bread, cereal and other vegetarian options.
Q8: Interesting places you visited there? You can also state other places that you admire but you don’t have enough time to go there. You can also state the chronology of your trip.
Acropolis – A must! It’s a meaningless if you went to Athens but not visiting the Acropolis. It placed a very famous ‘sacred rock’ monument in the world. Don’t miss it!
Mycenae – located 90 km from the centre of Athens, was one of the major centres of Greek civilization.
Corinth Canal – connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. You will mesmerize by a very narrow canal which is mostly used by tourist ship. If you are planning to hire a car, you can drive to Mycenae, Corinth Canal and few others interesting places that I couldn’t remember.
Cape Sounion – one of the most famous and picturesque places in Athens. This site is a popular day-excursion. You can see the sunset over the Aegean Sea, as viewed from the ruins, a sought-after spectacle.
Monastiraki Flea Market- shopping!
Other places- Hadrian’s Arch, The Temple of Olympian Zeus, The Greek Parliament etc.
Q9: Any advice on the transportation there? Rambler ticket etc.
Metro is the best option, but you can use bus as well. You can buy all day ticket that cover metro and buses with quite reasonable price. If you would like to visit a place with a walking distance, just make use of your feet.
Q10: Any other recommendation/ issue to share?
Don’t be afraid of how to communicate with Greek people. Most of them can speak in English, but still have some who couldn’t but you’ll be fine. I think I explained a lot. So, plan your journey wisely and I believe, you won’t regret!