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DECEMBER 16

Athens Travel Guide

Arrival to Athens



Arriving Athens By Car
Many drivers or motorcyclists can go in or leave the town via National Road 1, the principal route north from Athens. Make sure your faculties are about you and your consciousness is in order. Major roads are indicated by blue signs. Traffic drives on the right. The maximum speed limit for cars is 120kph (70mph) on motorways, 110kph (60mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas. It is illegal to carry spare petrol (venzeni) in the vehicle. The minimum age for driving is 18 years. Straps must be worn and children under ten must sit in the back seat. Penalties for drinking and driving over the limit are severe – the maximum legal alcohol to blood ratio is 0.05%, above 0.08% is considered a criminal offence. A national driving licence is satisfactory for EU nationals but nationals of other countries may need an International Driving Permit. EU nationals in possession of a Green Card, which gives international third-party insurance, are allowed to import a foreign-registered car, caravan, motorcycle, boat or trailer for a maximum of six months (or up to 15 months for a fee). A Green Card is no longer a legal requirement in Greece for visits of less than three months, however, without it, insurance is limited to the minimum legal cover. Car registration documents must be carried at all times.

Arriving Athens By Bus
You can also get to Athens by bus. Several European towns have bus schedules to Greece. There were very famous in the past but have decayed since the civil war in the Balkans. They are starting to make a comeback. The buses usually arrive in the town of Athens, near the train station of Larissis. Many agencies offer numerous well equipped buses. There are two major intercity bus stations: Terminal A, about 7km (4.3mi) northwest of Omonia at Kifissou 100 and Terminal B, 5km (3mi) north Omonia off Liossion. International coaches from Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey arrive and depart from Peloponnese train station.

Arriving Athens By Plane
The Athens international airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) opened on Wednesday March 29th, 2001. The airport is situated between the towns of Markopoulo, Koropi, Spata and Loutsa, about 27 km (17miles) northeast of the town and 40 minutes of Athens town centre. This is where all the international flights from every country arrive. Many flights for the rest of Greece and some islands are available every day from Athens, Greece. The Airport was developed by public-private partnership. Greece holds 55% of the shares. It is considered one of the most expensive airports in Europe since its restaurants and cafes have to pay a very high rent. The airport is designed to be improved over the years to accommodate increase in air travel. Departure tax is included in ticket prices. You can get to the airport by taking the metro direct from Syntagma or taking the Suburban rail, which also connects to the airport. Otherwise, take the X95 airport express bus from Othonos in Syntagma, opposite the Parliament (1 hour) or bus X96 from Plateia Karaïskaki in Piraeus. Taxis can take longer than public transport if traffic is bad.

Arriving Athens By Ferry
Athens is operated by the major port at Pireás (Piraeus). Facilities at the port consist of left-luggage, ATMs, banks, bureaux de change, bars, restaurants, taxis, car hire and many travel agencies selling ferry tickets. From Piraeus, there are regular crossings to ports in the following areas of Greece: Dodecanese, Cyclades, Peloponnese, Saronic Gulf Islands, Crete, Samos, northeastern Aegean Islands and northern Greece. For the latest departure information, pick up a weekly ferry schedule from the tourist office in central Athens. Schedules change frequently and services are reduced out of season.

Magnificent, fast and comfortable ferries are sailing from Italy to Greece. They make travelling with a car or a motorbike possible and easy. Ferries leaving from Brindisi , Bari , Venise and Ancona arrive in the port of Igoumenitsa, which is situated in the south of Greece, or the port of Patras, 3 hours by car or bus from Athens . Weekly services go to Cyprus and Israel from Piraeus. Boats to Turkey leave only from the Greek Islands. Port taxes are included in ticket prices and vary according to the destination.

Arriving Athens By Train
Trains (OSE) unite Athens to other towns in Greece. However, do not expect the variety and complexity of railroads you usually find in other european countries; the national railroad system is poor in Greece, in effect having only two train lines that travel both to the west. Towards the town of Patra in Peloponessus (GR-8A, E94) and to the north, towards Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki (GR-1, E75), conveniently located near each other about 1km (0.6mi) northeast of Plateia Omonias. Trains also depart Larisis for Turkey, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and northern Europe. Athens is also the hub of the Greek National Railway System.





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