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December 3, 2015updated Dec 08, 2015

Useful Information for your Stay in Athens

By Chris Boyle

WHEN BEST TO GO

Syntagma Square

Greece has relatively mild winters, while summers are generally hot and dry with temperatures peaking in July.

The best time to visit this historic city is during the off peak seasons of April to May and September to October, when the country is less crowded and the weather is comfortable.

LOCAL CUSTOMS

Greeks are a very warm group of people who happily shake hands and embrace in their welcomes.

Greece has recently imposed a ban on smoking in public places. Restaurants will generally add up to 20% gratuity to the bill; if service has been good, extra cash tips are encouraged.

ATTIRE

The general consensus for restaurants, bars and clubs is smart casual.

During the day smart shorts, t-shirts and trainers are acceptable attire for men at museums and ancient temples. Women must be aware that beach wear is not permitted at all cultural sites and when entering churches they must have their shoulders covered.

LANGUAGE

Greek, though English is spoken in all major establishments.

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CURRENCY

Euro

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • January 6 – Epiphany
  • Febuary 27 – Clean Monday
  • March 25 – Independence Day
  • April 13 – Greek Orthodox Good Friday
  • April 15 – Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday
  • April 16 – Greek Orthodox Easter Monday
  • June 4 – Greek Orthodox Whit Monday
  • October 28 – Oxi (No) Day
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 26 – Second Day

EXCHANGE RATE

$1= €0.70 £1= €1.13

COUNTRY DIALLING CODE

+30

24 HOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT

Ambulance: 112 / 166 Fire: 199; Police: 100 Coastguard: 108

EMBASSY CONTACTS

US: +30 210 721 2951 UK: +30 210 727 2600

TIME ZONE

GMT +2

POPULATION

745,000

RELIGIOUS DEMOGRAPHIC

Greek Orthodox

TYPICAL OPENING HOURS

Shops open from 8.30am – 5pm Mon, Wed and Sat. Tues, Thurs, Fri 8.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 8.30pm. Sunday closed, however major stores in the Plaka, Kolonaki and Monastiraki area are open.

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