The best of Athens

Just mention the name Athens, and one conjures up images of gods and goddesses, warriors and poets. With its ever-present sea and sun, amazing sights, and welcoming populace, the “Paris of the Mediterranean” is a dream destination for pleasure-seekers and business travelers alike.

Lenka Běláková
legal representative, Viamare

Favorite hotel: King Jason, 26, Kolonou str. 10437, tel: +30-1-5234 721
Favorite restaurant: Plaka, Traditional tavernas in the old town
Favorite night club: Casino Mont Parnes, 1601 Acharne, tel: +30-1-2469 111
Favorite attraction: Akropolis, National Archaelogical Museum, Patission 44 st., tel: +30-1-8217717
Best-kept secret: Lycavittos – café and restaurant with a beautiful view over the Acropolis
Favorite shop: Athenian gift shops – Plaka, Kolonaki and Ermou Streets, you can find the best shops there
Advice: Remind the taxi driver to turn the meter on!
Josef Matějka
diplomat at the ministry of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic
Favorite hotel: Athens Plaza Hotel, Vasileos Georgiou A2, Syntagma Square, tel: +30-1-335 2400
Favorite restaurant: Gerofinicas, Pindarou str. 10. tel: +30-1-360 2719
Favorite attraction: Akropolis, National Archaelogical Museum, Patission str., tel: +30-1-8217 717
Best-kept secret: Archeon Gevsis (Tastes of Ancient Greece), Kondratou str. 22, near Karaiskaki sq., tel: +30-1-5239 661, In this restaurant they serve dishes cooked according to ancient recipes
Favorite shop: Obchodní ulice Ermou u náměstí SyntagmaThe shopping street Ermou near Syntagma square
Advice: Be extremely careful while driving in the rain. Water and dust on the asphalt road mixed with marble rubble create a greasy emulsion and the road surface is like ice.
leonidas Zikos
import manager, Pemap PřerovFavorite hotel: Grande Bretagne Hotel, Constitution sq. 1, tel: +30-1-333 0000
Favorite restaurant: Taverna Tou Psara, Eretheos 16, Plaka, tel: +30-1-3218 734, I can recommend any of the typical Greek taverns near the Acropolis
Favorite attraction: Akropolis, National Archaeological museum, Patission 44 str., tel:+30-1-8217717
Best-kept secret: Lycavittos – A somewhat forgotten place with a beautiful view over Athens.
Favorite shop: I can recommend typical small greek shops in Pireum; avoid the big supermarkets.
Advice: Do not travel by car into the center of the city, particularly during the rush hours.
Emmanouil Emmanouil
marketing manager, Fiat GreeceFavorite hotel: Astir Palace Vouliagmenis, Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni 16671, tel: +30-1-890 2000, Nice sunset by the sea
Favorite restaurant: Ithaki, Apollonos 28, Laimos Vouliagmenis, tel: +30-1-8963 747, For a romantic view over Saronikos
Favorite night club: Island, Limanakia Vouliagmenis, tel: +30-1-9653 563, best summer shots, Momos and Banana Moon at Kallimarmaron, two winter classics
Favorite attraction: Acropolis, Plaka, Lycabettus Hill, Sindagma
Best-kept secret: Athens is a very open and lively city, unfortunately there are not many places still remaining a secret. However, you can go to Psirri, a very popular place, but one where you can still discover small and cozy places to sit for a drink without being crowded.
Favorite shop: Vardas, Kolonaki 24, Iridotou str., tel: +30-1-7297 900, Karouzos, Prince Oliver, all of them at Kolonaki square, or the same shops in Kifissia, which is a very aristocratic suburb
Advice: Avoid going to the center of Athens in the rush hours. It is better to go for a walk in the evening. During the day, I prefer to go for a walk across the shores of Faliro, Glyfada, Vouliagmeni or Voula.



Basic factsLocation: Attica, Greece.
Population: 3,507,000 (metropolitan area).
Ethnic mix: Vast majority Greek with small minority of other nationalities.
Religion: 97% Greek Orthodox majority; Muslim, Roman Catholic and Jewish minorities.
Time zone: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz; round two- or three-pin plugs are standard.
Average January temp: 9.5° C (49° F).
Average July temp: 27.5° C (81.5° F).
Annual rainfall: 376 mm (14.5 inches).

Where on the web?
For further information, we suggest the following websites dedicated to Athens: – as the URL suggests, this site specializes in helping executive travelers find the best deals on hotels, while offering a perfunctory guide to the city. – a bland but useful portal page, where users can find many other related sites with more in-depth info. – an easy-to-use, but somewhat sterile guide to the city, via links in various categories. – part of the slightly more hip “go Greece” travel guide series. – the “Athens Survival Guide” offers the site moderator’s insider tips to places to stay, things to see, and where to eat and drink .


one-liter bottle of mineral water: EUR 0.40
33-cl bottle of beer: EUR 0.90
Financial Times newspaper: EUR 2.50
36-exposure color film: EUR 4.50
city-center bus ticket: EUR 0.40
adult football ticket: EUR 9-44
three-course meal with wine/beer: from EUR 29.50

100 Greek Drachma (GRD 100) = EUR .29
EUR 1 = USD .98; CAD 1.54; CZK 30.41; GBP .63 (currency conversion rates as of press time)



Business PROFILE

The public sector is a dominant force in Greek economy. Tourism is the largest industry, with turnover estimated at USD 10 billion, accounting for about 8.5% of GDP.

Greece is a key link to the emerging markets in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean. As the only EU state in this part of Europe, the country is regarded as a zone of relative economic and political stability within a volatile region.

Greece has the largest merchant marine fleet in the world, with an 18% share of international commercial tonnage. The Athens metropolitan area accounts for most of the country’s industry: tourism, textiles, machine tools and shipping are among the key sectors.

The award of the 2004 Olympic Games is prompting a surge of investment as well as major construction projects to accommodate the influx of visitors.

The working day in Athens is fairly flexible. In general, offices are open 8:30-16:30, although shops and banks may have different hours (smaller organizations still close for a siesta in the afternoon during summer).







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