Athens Warnings and Dangers
Athens, Greece is the one of the cradles of human civilization. This is where much of western civilization began. Today, visitors to modern day Athens will find a city alive with life and but one that may require special preparation to remain safe.
Athens has lots of sights here that date back thousands of years. Many are grouped in a single area right in the center of the city. The rest of Athens offers leisurely cafes with special Greek dishes, narrow side streets that offer shade from the sun and museums that showcase ancient antiquities. When seeing the city in person, it is best to do so carefully knowing that some areas may not be as safe as others.
One area where many people urge others to take particular caution is the Omonia Square area. This square has ancient roots and is still part of modern Athens. However, it is known to be an area where homeless people may congregate both during the day and at night. Take special precautions, especially late at night if you are visiting a regional restaurant or bar.
Another area that may require special attention to your surroundings are the National Gardens. Some areas are unlit and lie near the Zappion. The low light makes it easy for pickpockets to target people walking by, particularly at night. The northwestern part of the city is also considered less safe than some other areas of Athens. Be wary when traveling here on foot. Stick with a tour guide as they can help you avoid the most dangerous parts of Athens.
Be aware that demonstrations and strikes are not uncommon. If possible, avoid being caught up in one. You are not a citizen and the police may regard your participation as possibly illegal. Many such demonstrations are more common during certain holidays such as Labor Day on May 1st and November 17th when university uprisings took place. Keep track of strikes as they may impact your ability to get around the city or to and from other parts of Europe.
Greek food is often based on the use of fresh ingredients. If you are served something that does not taste good or smell fresh, feel free to send it back. Drinking is part of the Greek culture and you’ll find many bars in Athens. However, drinks should not cost too much. The national drink is ouzo. You should not be charged a huge amount for a small glass.
Take care when walking through Athens. Many streets are made from marble. This makes them very slippery when it rains. Bring a good umbrella and a pair of comfortable rubber soled shoes. Be careful as well when climbing across many Greek monuments as they are also made from marble and slippery in the rain.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about dangers in Athens.