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Tips on Avoiding Athens Tourist Traps

Athens Tourist Traps

Millions of travelers come to Athens every year. Here’s how to avoid Athens tourist traps and spend all your time at the best Athens attractions instead.

The Plaka

The Plaka is one of the most historic parts of Athens, but it’s also home to the biggest tourist traps. Every shop is stuffed with with touristy souvenirs that can be bought cheaper elsewhere in the city. The restaurants are expensive and the food is mediocre. Nearly every restaurant in the Plaka has an aggressive hawker who speaks English and tries to coax you into the establishment. Enjoy walking the Plaka, but spend your money somewhere else.  The Psiri has better places to eat, for example.

Tricky Restaurants

Be alert for the following trick at any Athens restaurant. To increase your bill, the waiter will open bottled water and leave it with you, or may bring a dish of food you didn’t ask for and leave it on your table for you to “enjoy.” Then, the waiter will charge you for the food and water you didn’t request. This can really add up for someone trying to keep a budget, so if the waiter brings something you didn’t order, ask if it is free or send it back (and check your bill thoroughly).  Some restaurants will “accidentally” overcharge.

Taxi Drivers

Even taxis can be tourist traps in Athens. Be sure to know how much you’ll be charged (fixed fare or on the meter) and avoid any extra “surcharges.” Some drivers may try to confuse you with tricks, telling you that you handed the wrong currency and tricking you to pay them more. Others have been known to tack on surcharges for “extras” such as pets.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Athens tourist traps.

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