PRACTICAL INFO
DURING YOUR STAY

Things you should know during your stay
Metro train station in Athens, Greece

WHILE IN GREECE

If you are visiting Greece these are some things you may want to know and rather than make people search all over the web to find it I have decided to get it myself from the various organizations and put it all together in one convenient location. The ones that are in bold are the ones you may find most valuable.

ELECTRICITY

The electricity voltage in Greece is 220 V/50 Hz and the plugs are of type F. To avoid the risk of a short circuit, be sure to have transformers and adaptors for your electronic devices or ensure that your chosen accommodate will provide you with them.

CURRENCY

As a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, Greece uses the EU’s common currency, the euro (€). 

Cash can be obtained from: 

  • All banks that accept currency exchange (Monday-Thursday: 8am-2.30pm & Friday: 8am-1.30pm, closed on weekends and public holidays).
  • Exchange offices situated in airport, central ports, big cities, as well as at many tourist destinations. A passport is required when exchanging currencies.
  • The ATMs of the banks that accept your credit card .

SHOP OPENING HOURS

Although the opening hours of shops vary from region to region, in large cities they are usually as follows: 
  • Downtown shops, department stores and supermarkets: 9am-9pm, except on Saturdays, when they close at 8pm.
  • Local shops: 9am-2.30pm & 5.30-8.30pm (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and 9am-3pm (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday) 
Shops are closed on Sundays, except for local mini-markets, tobacco shops and street kiosks, some of which operate almost 24 hours a day, including Sundays, especially in tourist areas.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

National celebrations and holidays
  • New Year’s Day: January 1 
  • Theophania/Epiphany: January 6 
  • Ash Monday, the 41st day before Orthodox Easter (movable holiday)
  • Independence Day: March 25  
  • Orthodox Easter Sunday and Monday: Movable holiday
  • Labor Day: May 1 
  • Assumption of the Virgin Mary: August 15
  • National Holiday: October 28 
  • Christmas holidays: December 25 & 26

SMOKING

Legislation in Greece prohibits smoking in workplaces, transport stations, taxis and ferries, as well as in all enclosed public spaces. Smoking is also prohibited in large entertainment venues, such as restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Many, however, have smoking areas.

TIME ZONE

Greece belongs to the Eastern Europe Time Zone and local time is identified as GMT +2.
Daylight Savings (DST) occurs on the last Sunday of March, when clocks move one hour ahead. They move one our back on the last Sunday of October.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS - TELEPHONE DIRECTORY

In case of emergency call:

  • Ambulance service: 166
  • SOS doctors : 1016
  • Duty hospitals and clinics: 1434
  • Pharmacies: 1434
  • Poisoning first aid: 210 77 93 777
  • European emergency number: 112
  • Fire service: 199
  • Police: 100
  • Tourism Police: 171

HEALTH & SAFETY

Prior to your visit to Greece, prepare for the event that you need medical care:

  •  If your country of origin is an EU member-state make sure you are a holder of the European Health Card (EHIC) or any other legal EU document issued by your nation’s social security agency. You can find more information about the EHIC here. In such cases, the necessary treatment in Greece is provided by:
- IKA (Social Security Institute) Health Units (polyclinics) or doctors’ clinics in the region of travel; 
- Regional clinics (formerly rural clinics) or the Health Centres of the National Health System
- The outpatient departments of hospitals

  • If your country of origin is not an EU member-state, make sure you have consulted your social security agency for information before travelling.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

During your visit to Greece you have the option of using the following modes of transportation:  
  • Throughout mainland Greece:
  • The National Bus Network (KTEL) 
  • The Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE)  

In the provinces and large urban centres (Thessaloniki, Patra etc.): 
  • City and intercity buses
  • Taxis

In Athens*: 
  • The metro and the train
  • The suburban railway
  • City buses and trolley buses
  • The tram
  • Taxis 
* The standard pricing of public transportation in Athens is €1.40 for a regular fare and €0.70 for reduced fare. One ticket is valid for 1½ hours after it has been time-stamped at a ticket machine and can be used for multiple urban routes on all public transportation during this time. For further information about smart trip fares (weekly passes, all-day tickets etc) consult the ticket offices in metro stations, as well as at points in the centre of Athens. The sub-route Koropi-Airport operated by the subway and the suburban railway, terminating at the Athens International Airport is not considered an urban route, and therefore falls into a different fare category.
Useful tips for using city buses and trolley buses
  • A wide network of approximately 300 city bus lines (blue buses), as well as trolley bus lines, which serve transportation needs throughout Attica. 
  • The operating hours for the city buses are 5am-11.30pm (blue buses) 
  • The operations hours of trolley buses are 4.25am-0.40am on weekdays, while on the weekends the operating hours are 4.25am-0.15am.  
  • Bus routes operating to/ from Athens International Airport (24hour service): 
  • X93: Bus terminal on Kifisou Ave- Athens International Airport
  • X95: Syntagma-Athens International Airport
  • X96: Piraeus- Athens International Airport
  • X97: Elliniko metro station- Athens International Airport
  • Night bus service: 
  • Bus Line 500: Piraeus-Kifisia
  • Bus Line 790: Glyfada-Peristeri (Agios Antonios)
  • Bus Line X14: Syntagma-Kifisia
24-hour bus line service: 
  • Bus Line 040: Piraeus-Syntagma
  • Trolley Bus Line 11: A. Patisia-N. Pagkrati-N. Elvetia

Useful tips for using the National Bus Transport Network (KTEL)
  • A vast network of bus routes (KTEL) connects each of the capitals of most of the prefectures. The buses comply with all modern specifications for the safe and comfortable transportation of passengers.
  • For more information call 14 505, a phone service that provides the official itinerary information of inter-urban buses (KTEL) all over Greece.
  • For further details concerning connection routes, ticket prices and bus departure and arrival times from Athens station to all over Greece, call 210-5124910/11.
Useful tips for using the metro and the electric railway
  • The metro (lines 2 and 3,) as well as, the overland train (line 1), constitutes Athens’ main urban railway network, consisting of a total of three interconnected lines.
  • The train (line 1) belongs to the metro line network. It is an overground train connecting to the subway at Attikistation and Omoniastation (Line 2), as well as, Monastirakistation (line 3). It is also connected to the suburban railway at Neratziotissastation and Piraeus stations. The line corresponding to the train’s route on transportations maps is the green one. 
  • The subway consists of two subway lines, line 2 (Anthoupoli-Elliniko) and line 3 (Egaleo-Doukissis Plakentias-Airport). The line corresponding to line 2’s subway route is the red one, whereas line 3 is the blue route on maps.
  • To reach the city centre from Athens International Airport, use metro Line 3 (Egaleo – Doukissis Plakentias - Airport). It will take approximately 40 minutes to travel from Athens Airport to Syntagma Square.
  • Ticket fares from Athens Airport from the city centre (and vice versa) are €8 (regular fare) and €4 (reduced) per person, €14 for 2 people, €20 for people, as well as €14 per person for a round-trip ticket to the Athens Airport. 
  • Lines 2 and 3 operate from 5.30am to midnight, except for Fridays and Saturdays when the metro continues to work until 2am. (Routes to and from the Athens airport have different operating hours). 
  • The train (line 1) operates from 5am to midnight on a daily basis. 
  • The Athens public transportation authority regulates ticket fares for the metro and the train. For further information, check here.
Useful tips for using the suburban railway (proastiako)
  • It connects Athens International Airport with the Athens transportation centre, OSE and Kiato.
  • It is connected to the rest of the urban railway network of Athens (metro and train) at Larissa Station (metro Line 2), as well as Neratziotissa station and Piraeus station. 
  • It links to the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) at Larissa Station.
  • The suburban railway operates from 5.30am to 11pm. 
  • Ticket fares from Athens Airport to the city centre (and vice versa) are €8 (regular fare) and €4 (reduced) per person, while the round trip price to the Athens Airport €14 per person. 
  • To reach Athens city centre from the Athens International Airport use the suburban railway and change to metro line 3 at Doukissis Plakentias station (towards Egaleo). Similarly, to reach Athens International Airport from Athens city centre, use the subway (or the train) to go to Doukissis Plakentias station (or Neratziotissastation) and then transfer to the suburban railway in the direction of the Airport (which will be the final destination.) 
  • The Athens public transportation authority regulates the ticket fares of the suburban railway.
Useful tips for the tram
  • The tram connects Athens city centre to the southern suburbs
  • It operates three routes: SEF (the Peace and Friendship Stadium)-Asklipieion Voulas (Thucydides), Syntagma Square-SEF (Aristotle) and Syntagma Square-Asklipieion Voulas (Plato)
  • The operating hours are 5.30am-1am, except for Fridays and Saturdays, operating approximately from 5.30am-2.30am. 
  • The Athens public transportation authority regulates the ticket fares for the tram.