01 SUMMER-AUTUMN2009 / issue04
THE OFFICIAL CITY OF ATHENS MAGAZINE FOR TOURISM IN ATHENS www.breathtakingathens.com
THE NEW FACE OF ATHENS ON THE WEB
TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITORIAL
INTERVIEW WITH SOPHIA PANAGIOTAKI
Enjoy the best of Athens with us
SUMMER AND AUTUMN IN ATHENS
THE NEW DIGITAL PLANETARIUM ATHENS
ATHENS - EPIDAURUS FESTIVAL 2009
ROOFTOPS WITH BREATHTAKING VIEWS
SUMMER - AUTUMN CULTURAL HIGHLIGTS
THE COAST ROAD: THE DOWNTOWN OF ATHENIAN SUMMER
FOOD: GOING TO THE BEACH FOR SOME FRESH FISH AND OUZO
2ND ATHENS BIENNALE 2009
Athens Tourism and Economic Development Company President Aikaterini Katsampe
Art Director Angie Paragoulia
CEO Panagiotis Arkoumaneas
Contact: 7 Xenofontos Street, Syntagma 105 57 Athens, Greece T. +30 210 32 53 123 F. +30 210 32 16 653 E. email@example.com www.breathtakingathens.com
Design Director Charalambos Andreanidis
Director, Athens Convention Bureau
George N. Angelis
Sakis Dimitrakopoulos Stavros Dioskouridis
Business Development Manager
Evangelos Kaimakis Production
Public Relations Director
LIVANIS PUBLISHING ORGANIZATION 98, Solonos Street, 106 80 Athens. T. 210 36 61 200, F. 210 36 17 791
Gerasimos Domenikos Dimitris Koilalous Marianna Vergaki
Yorgos Avgoustis Danae Seemann
Editor The Breathtaking mag is a quarterly publication of the Athens Tourism and Economic Development Company
All you need to know about your business trip in Athens
ATHENS WITH KIDS
© Breathtaking mag. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Athens Tourism and Economic Development Company. Where opinion is expressed it is that of the authors and does not necessarily coincide with the editorial views of the publisher of the Breathtaking mag. All information in this magazine is verified to the best of the authors’ and the publisher’s ability. However, the Breathtaking mag does not accept responsibility for any loss arising from reliance on it.
ATHENS EPIDAURUS FESTIVAL 2009
28 SUMMER AUTUMN IN ATHENS
16 2ND ATHENS BIENNALE 2009
SUMMER IN ATHENS
THE NEW DIGITAL PLANETARIUM
ROOFTOPS WITH BREATHTAKING VIEWS
SUMMER - AUTUMN
EDITORIAL Panagiotis Arkoumaneas CEO / Athens Tourism and Economic Development Company
Can a magazine fit the soul and heart of a city? When the first issue of Breathtaking mag was released, the only thing we knew is the love we have for Athens. We wanted a magazine that we would enjoy reading and that would also be a useful guide for its readers. This is what ATEDCo.’s philosophy consisted of, as a company that is gradually developing while offering the highest performance in every area of tourism development in Athens. With the aim of meeting our readers’ demands, we closely monitor market trends and constantly renew our approach, the material and the image of our publications. In our autumn issue, you will read all the latest business news concerning Athenian tourism and much more. You will have the opportunity to read an interview with the director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation in the United Kingdom. We also offer you some excellent suggestions concerning Athens, exhibitions, festivals, Athens with kids and rooftops with breathtaking views. Last but not least, a presentation of the New Digital Planetarium in Athens will take your breath away. Don’t miss the helpful yellow pages that will guide you through the city. We hope you enjoy your read and look forward to seeing you in Athens soon! For more information on Athens, you can visit our brand-new website www.breathtakingathens.com
Business News Olympic Airlines officially passes into MIG’s hands The purchase agreement between Olympic Airlines S.A. and Marfin Investment Group was signed at the Zappeion Exhibition Hall in March. The total amount paid by MIG is €177.1 million and includes the acquisition of all Olympic Airlines assets, the share capital of Pantheon Airways, ground handling services and Olympic’s technical base. The “new Olympic” will be flying under MIG control as of 1 October. The signing took place during a special ceremony at Zappeion with the ministers of Economy and Finance, Development and Transportation, as well as MIG Vice-president Andreas Vgenopoulos. The latter stressed that the company’s objective is to develop a highly competitive Olympic Airways. He committed the company to creating a new, healthy and strong Olympic whose growth would benefit MIG shareholders, company employees, tourism and the national economy of Greece in general. Olympic, which was sold to the Greek state by Aristotle Onassis in 1974, returns to private hands after 35 years of state ownership.
Eight railway axes to bring Athens closer to Central Europe Athens Hilton launches new junior suites The Athens Hilton has recently added 16 new junior suites, thus further increasing guest choice in luxury accommodation. The suites were designed by Alexandros Tombazis with comfort, luxury and elegance in mind. The comfort of 80 square metres of space is enhanced by details of Italian design, such as Flos lighting fixtures, B&B Italia sofas and FIAM tables. The carpets were handmade in Pakistan. Each junior suite consists of two separate areas: a sitting room and dining area and a large bedroom with a double king size bed and spacious wardrobe. The couch in the sitting room folds out to provide a comfortable bed to accommodate an additional guest. Each suite is equipped with two Philips LCD televisions (32” and 20”), two balconies with a stunning view of the Acropolis and two bathrooms, one with a shower and one with a steam bath.
The EU Transport Ministers Council recently decided to develop eight railway lines which will bring Athens closer to Central Europe. This decision calls for the development of eight railway axes, one of which will be the Prague-Bratislava/Vienna-Budapest-Vidin-SofiaThessaloniki-Athens axis. In addition, the council asked for a Regulation Proposal to establish the rights of passengers who travel by bus or coach on international and domestic long-distance routes. The regulation will focus on three main issues: -The rights of persons with limited mobility; -Issues related to the liability of transport operators; -Compensation and passenger assistance in the event of journey interruption.
Libyan Airlines resume flights to Greece After 17 years, Libyan Airlines will resume scheduled service to Greece, connecting Athens with Tripoli and Benghazi with two weekly flights (Monday and Thursday). The flights will take place using the airline’s new, state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly CRJ900 Bombardier aircraft. Libyan Airlines and its Greek agents hope to contribute to the development of trade, tourism and cultural relations between the two countries, while at the same time opening new horizons for investment and a variety of cooperative efforts. Athens International Airport welcomed the Libyan Airlines aircraft with the traditional water arch salute and greeted official guests and passengers at Gate A1 with the Athens Airport ribbon tradition symbolising the air travel connection between the two countries. Present on the flight were Libyan Airlines CEO Captain Mohamed Ibsem; His Excellency, the Ambassador of Greece in Tripoli, Petros Stephanou; Michael Psomas, owner of Michael Psomas Enterprises S.A., Libyan Airlines agent in Greece; and other officials and Libyan business figures. On hand to welcome the inaugural flight at Athens International Airport were officials from the Ministries of Transport and Communications and Tourism development, as well as representatives of the Libyan Embassy in Greece, airport management, state organisations based at the airport and Greek entrepreneurs and friends of both countries.
Athens Airways launches flights to Kozani
Swiss launches new service to Geneva
Athens Airways, in continuation to its network expansion, launched flights to “Philippos” Airport in Kozani May 21. Adding Kozani to its destinations was part of Athens Airways’ initial plans when it began operations and this intention had been announced at the end of 2008. There will be five weekly flights. Next in line as Athens Airways’ destinations from Athens will be Chios, Zakythnos, Rhodes and Kefalonia. Starting 25 May, there will also be a connection from Thessaloniki to Mytilene and Chania. Since April 2, the newly established airline company has launched two more daily flight destinations in Chania and Heraklion in Crete.
Swiss will increase its daily flights from Athens to Geneva for the period 26 June to 24 October. The new service is in addition to its existing daily connections. It will operate three times a week - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - and will depart from Athens at 11:25, allowing for timely, direct connections from Geneva to other European destinations.
Aegean Airlines becomes Star Alliance’s newest member The Star Alliance Board of Directors has approved a membership application submitted by Aegean Airlines, kicking off a 12-month integration process to establish full membership. Upon completion of the process, Star Alliance will consist of a total of 26 airlines (21 existing members and confirmed new members that include Air India, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines and TAM), offering a selection of more than 1,000 destinations in 176 countries served by 21,000 daily flights. As a Star Alliance member, Aegean will have access to world markets wherever there is a sizeable Greek population, such as Australia, Canada, North Africa and the USA. At the same time, travellers in Greece will be able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Star Alliance with access to an extensive network, smooth travel and status recognition through frequent flyer programmes.
Continental Airlines resumes direct flights from Athens to New York Continental Airlines, the fifth largest airline in the world, will once again be offering a direct service from Athens to its New York hub - Newark Liberty International Airport. Flight CO105 was scheduled for daily service from Athens starting 3 May through 8 September, leaving at 12 noon and arriving at Newark Liberty International at 4:10 pm of the same day. Return Flight CO104 departs from Liberty daily at 5:30 pm and arrives in Athens at 10:20 am the following day.
Aegean named Best Regional Airline in Europe Aegean Airlines, the largest airline in terms of passenger volume in Greece, has received two more awards. The awards were decided by the passengers themselves who rated their experiences on a survey of all airlines flying internationally. Aegean was especially honoured to receive the award for Best Regional Airline in Europe for 2009 at a special event commemorating SKYTRAX’s 10 years of operation held on 1 April in Hamburg, Germany. At the same time, Aegean’s cabin crew was named Best Cabin Crew in Southern Europe.
Grand opening for the New Acropolis Museum The New Acropolis Museum made its entrance into the elite of international museums during a grand opening lasting one week and culminating on 20 June. The official grand opening ceremony took place on 20 June, though there was extensive promotion on the mass transportation system for days in advance. Banners and posters were widely visible, while a variety of events were staged throughout the city. The museum’s doors opened on 17 June for cultural journalists and on 18 June for scientists and academics, ministry officials and representatives of foreign archaeological schools based in Greece. On 19 June, the museum opened to foreign journalists. The climax of events was on 20 June with the arrival of state political leaders, prime ministers and international cultural personalities in Athens, while the museum and its exhibits were the subject of international television coverage that same day. The public visited the museum from 21 to 23 June by booking through e-ticketing, with limited entry of 2,550 people in three daily zones over three days. Admission for the rest of 2009 will remain at €1, while in 2010 it will rise to €5. Starting in 2011, admission prices will be broken down into categories for senior citizens, children, students and the disabled. The electronic booking system will specify times for museum visits.
Smoking ban introduced in Greece EasyJet connects Athens and Rome with a new daily flight EasyJet, Europe’s leading low-fare airline, will launch a new daily flight to Athens from Rome Fiumicino airport this autumn. The new route is part of easyJet’s support of the Greek tourism industry with a schedule of 21 flights from major European cities to Greece. EasyJet will offer daily flights from Athens to Rome, increasing its destinations served from Athens International Airport to seven. The airline expects to carry 550,000 passengers to Greece this year, an 18% increase from last year’s figures.
Athens International Airport takes European first in airport marketing Once again, airline companies gave Athens International Airport a European first for its continuous and dynamic support of their development efforts through AIA’s innovative airport marketing programmes. The award was presented during the “ROUTES Europe” conference, where AIA also won first prize for the “Southern Europe - Mediterranean” region, beating out other airports in cities such as Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon and Istanbul. This double recognition is even more significant in light of the economic crisis, which has led to a world-wide drop in air travel, and reflects the successful cooperation between the airport and the airlines. In 2009, AIA’s programmes brought eight new airlines to Athens (Air Arabia, Baboo, Cimber Sterling, Libyan, Lvov, Transavia, Atlant-Soyuz Airlines and soon to add Etihad, the United Arab Emirates carrier) and added six new destinations (Nice, Abu Dhabi, Sharzah, Tripoli, Benghazi and Casablanca).
Greece has introduced a smoking ban in public areas effective on July 1. Under the new legislation, smoking is banned in hospitals, schools, in vehicles and in all public spaces. Huge billboards advertising cigarette brands will also disappear from city centres and roadsides, as the new rules also prohibit the advertising of tobacco. The measures, which went into effect Wednesday July 1, aim to fill gaps left by previous laws creating smoking areas. The ban does not apply to all cafes and bars, however. Premises over 70 square metres will be allowed to create small smoking areas, as long as they remain “totally separate.” Smaller establishments must choose whether to accept smokers or go entirely tobacco-free.
Free wireless Internet in Gazi Residents of and visitors to the Gazi area of Athens will now have free, high-speed wireless Internet access as part of the “Information Society” Operational Programme. The installation of the latest equipment at one of the main Technopolis buildings will serve all the outdoor areas of this multipurpose space, as well as the main squares in Kerameikos and the former Korean Market, making the area one of the biggest in Greece with free wireless Internet access provided by a public agency. Visitors of Technopolis and the surrounding area can have free Internet access provided they have the appropriate equipment, such as a laptop, PDA or mobile phone with WiFi capability. A similar network has already been set up through the Operational Programme in three public areas of the City of Athens. They include Syntagma Square, Kotzia Square and Thissio. The wireless networks were established to help citizens and visitors become more familiar with high-speed Internet and to promote the multiple functions and services it offers to everyday life and work.
Interview with Sophia Panagiotaki director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation in the United Kingdom AND IRELAND What are some of the new directions being take to achieve greater penetration of Greek tourism in the British market?
What is the situation in the British market at this time of economic crisis? It is an indisputable fact that the international economic crisis and the drop of the British pound compared to the euro have affected the British tourism market. According to official statistics from the Association of British Travel Agents, there was a 6% drop in total departures by British travellers to destinations abroad during the first four months of 2009. It is worth noting that during the same period, that is, from January to April 2009, British arrivals in Greece marked a 4% increase over last year. By contrast, departures toward Greece in May were down, with a total decrease of 8%. For this reason, the Greek National Tourism Organisation launched a dynamic campaign in the British market, focusing around the slogan, “Greece: a masterpiece you can afford,” that aims to draw a larger number of visitors to Greece. This year, it is estimated that 65 million British citizens will travel abroad. According to discussions with representatives of the British Tour Operators, Greece will retain third place among the most popular destinations.
Is there room for increasing Greece’s share of the British market? If we take into consideration that about 17 million British tourists visit Spain every year, while Greece draws about 3 million visitors from Great Britain annually, it is easy to see that there is plenty of room for increasing Greece’s share of the British market. Of course, this year, mainly because of the economic crisis, the traditional balance in the market seems to be changing, as country-destinations outside the euro area are emerging to claim a significant number of British tourists. Therefore, our goal is to prove to British friends of Greece that our country has a comparative advantage over other countries because it offers a great variety of options and a high level of service at affordable prices.
As I mentioned earlier, the Greek National Tourism Organisation has decided to adopt a multi-faceted strategy to promote our country in the British market. This strategy includes: a) multiple advertising efforts through the placement of ads in print media, on the Internet and in outdoor locations; b) the intensive collaboration and education of representatives of some of the most important tour operators and travel agents; c) the staging of public events to promote Greek destinations in the larger cities of Great Britain; d) the hosting of dozens of visits by British journalists to our country.
In your opinion, on which forms of tourism should the greatest emphasis be placed? It is well know that the Ministry of Tourism, in an effort to extend the tourist season, has set in motion the promotion of nine forms of tourism and categorised all of the infinite choices that Greece offers its visitors. Through city breaks, cultural tourism, holiday and seaside tourism, touring and outdoor tourism, health and well-being tourism, luxury tourism and conference tourism.
What will the impact of the New Acropolis Museum be on the public and on the tourism enterprise community in Britain? The GNTO office in Great Britain and Ireland worked closely with many of the British media to promote the New Acropolis Museum. We were happy to see that there was significant anc complimentary coverage of the New Museum, urging British citizens to visit as soon as possible. There is no doubt that with the opening of the New Acropolis Museum, Athens, as a capital, has a lot to offer its visitors and to pique the interest of many more.
If a British person told you that he would like to visit Athens, what are the five things you would recommend he do that are not widely known? In conversations with the British, I always try to give them a feel for the “magic” of Athens, the magic of a city where two extremes come together – the classical with the contemporary, the ancient with the modern, the conservative with the radical, the East with the West. So how could I not recommend they climb the Holy Rock of the Acropolis, visit the Ancient Agora, the Stoa of Attalos, Kerameikos, Thissio, Plaka, the Athens Concert Hall, Gazi, the Psiri area, Lycabettus Hill, the Cape of Sounio? Or suggest they relax in the magnificent hotels with thalassotherapy facilities or the unmatched boutique hotels? They should enjoy the delicious Greek gastronomic delights at the tavernas, the small appetiser bars, the luxury restaurants. They should visit our museums and our shopping districts, walk around the archaeological sites in the centre or along the sea. As you can see, I get carried away because it is impossible for me to recommend only five things in Athens.
Our goal for the British market is to make it clear to all those interested that Greece is not just a place for sun and sea, but a destination worth visiting for the so-called “true Greek experience”
From end to end, Athens is a bewitching city, a city that continually changes form.
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4/28/09 5:08:13 PM
Summer & Autumn
Summer and Autumn in Athens
There are so many things you can do in Athens during the summer that choosing what to do may prove quite difficult. Among those things, there are some you must not miss that will help you get in sync with Athens and feel a part of this friendly, vibrant and simply irresistible capital. So put on some sun block, a hat, your sun glasses and some comfortable walking shoes and start exploring the city!
Shopping opportunities that you cannot afford to miss It is not possible to find yourselves in Athens and not go window shopping or buy something from the hundreds of shops. There is always something for every taste and pocket. In one of the most central parts of the city (Omonoia Square), you can find the central market with all kinds of herbs and ethnic shops. A short distance away, (Panepistimiou Street) the Attica Athens Mall is the perfect place for designer labels at very reasonable prices, especially during the summer sale season. Going towards Kolonaki, you will see so many shops that you will wish you could stay in Athens longer! You must go to Ermou Street (Syntagma), one of Athens’ busiest shopping streets. It is no coincidence that its name is derived from Hermes, the ancient Greeks god of commerce!
The last tram... ...is a verse of a song that refers to Athens’ most beloved means of transportation. There are now two lines that both start at Syntagma Square: one goes to Piraeus and the other goes to Voula. The most idyllic route is the one in the direction of Voula because it first cuts across the city of Athens and then runs parallel to the sea to the south of the city. The ride takes about an hour and it gives you a perfect opportunity to admire the Athens coastline and enjoy the nearby areas. As the ticket is valid for one hour and half, you can take a break along the way and take the next tram when you are ready. All trams are air-conditioned, making the ride pleasant, even in summer.
The pedestrianised Dionysiou Areopagitou Street You will find see a lot of people walking along D. Areopagitou Street at the foot of the Acropolis, where you can see the magnificent Parthenon, one of the undisputed masterpieces of the Golden Age of 5th century Classical Greece. Across
the Acropolis, you can also admire the New Acropolis Museum in all its shining architectural glory. Further on in your walk through the living remnants of history, you will reach the many cafes of Thission, the place that nowadays is more like a giant coffee house and offers a privileged view to the antiquities abundant in this part of town. The “great walk”, as Athenians have called this route, does not have any shops, as the law only allows cafes and restaurants.
Greek Dances Theatre “Dora Stratou” Opposite the Acropolis, on the far side of Philopappou Hill, is the Greek Dances Theatre of Dora Stratou, where a professional ensemble of 75 dancers, musicians and singers presents folk dances and songs from all of Greece. Musical instruments and dancers in authentic costumes offer a wonderful spectacle and illustrate the continuity of ancient and modern Greek tradition. The summer Attica sky and the cool night breeze make it an ideal place to lose yourselves in the dream-like spectacle this theatre offers. Opening times: Tue.-Sat. 9.30pm, Sun. 8.15pm.
Summer & Autumn
The National Garden and the forest of Kaisariani A walk in this Athenian spot that is covered with trees will certainly take a load off your mind. This spot in none other than the National Garden (Vassilissis Amalias Avenue), with its numerous paths and extremely tall trees. Both of these features make it an ideal and literally very cool place to get some shade and fresh air. You will think you are in the countryside, rather than the centre of the city. There are four entrances, one on each side of the Garden, so it will not be hard for you to enter its magic kingdom and refresh yourselves. Another place worth visiting and one that is very near downtown Athens (at the end of Ethnikis Antistaseos Avenue) is the forest of Kaisariani. Take a walk among the many trees that grow on Mt. Ymittos: olive trees, pines, aspens, locust trees and cypresses. The panoramic view of the whole of Athens is an added bonus.
Pasalimani You cannot enjoy your summer visit to Athens if you do not at least sample what Piraeus has to offer. Pasalimani, the most cosmopolitan spot of Piraeus, is in some ways similar to the French Riviera with its many yachts that stop there for a few days before continuing their sea voyages. No matter what time of the day you find yourselves there, you will certainly be thrilled, but the best time of the day is in the afternoon just before sunset, when you sit on one of the docks to have an ice cream. You can get there by metro or tram and then by local bus or taxi.
The Temple of Poseidon The Ancient Greeks built the Temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea, at Cape Sounio, one of the most breathtaking sites in the Attica region. The route to Sounio is most interesting, as it runs parallel to the sea. When you reach your destination, you will certainly understand why the ancient Greeks were inspired to choose that particular spot to build the temple. The sanctity and the particularity of the place makes you feel that you are not on land anymore, but rather somewhere between the sea and the sky. To get there, follow the coastal road towards Anavyssos and a few kilometres on, you will see the temple standing there in all its glory.
The New Acropolis Museum The New Acropolis Museum mainly houses sculptures, and specifically those ancient marvels that were literally bathed in natural sunlight. The extensive use of glass on the museum’s external surfaces allows natural light to enter the structure and transform it. In the Archaic gallery (where the visitor can see the finds from the Archaic Period), the light enters through 50 skylights, while in the Parthenon gallery the light enters through two light channels that run along the perimeter. The Museum gives the visitor the impression that it defies gravity, thanks to the 100 columns that support the whole building. A visit to the New Acropolis Museum will make you truly admire the magnificence of ancient Greek civilisation. The best way to get there is by metro (Acropolis stop).
Strolling around and sculpture The area around Alsos Stratou (Army Park, near Katechaki Metro Station) has been transformed into a wonderful, cool garden. While you are there, you can admire the many sculptures that are exhibited in the open and you can also pay a visit to the National Sculpture Gallery (210-7235857) that houses many works by Greek and foreign artists. Inside the park, you will also find a cafe bar and playground so you can enjoy a drink while your kids are having a good time.
Allou Fun Park Athens may not possess a theme park on the same scale as those in many European cities. However, Athenians have enjoyed for some years now a very modern entertainment park. Its name is Allou Fun Park and it opened its doors to the public in 2002. Ever since, along with its kid brother, the children’s fun park Kidom, it is one of the most popular entertainment destinations. Visitors can enjoy themselves with the multitude of happenings and the endless fun from the non-stop games and action. Allou Fun Park is located at the intersection of Petrou Ralli Street and Kifissou Street and it covers an area of 40,000 m2. It includes a bowling centre, mini soccer courts, internet café, shops and the popular multiplex Village Park.
The 2nd Athens Biennale 2009 HEAVEN will take place from 15 June to 4 October. The exhibitions and events of the biennale will unfold along the coastline of Palaio Faliro in various buildings and public spaces. It is designed as a large-scale, multifaceted contemporary art event, with several exhibitions, activities, music and theatre performances, film screenings and symposiums, and the participation of more than 100 international artists.
Artistic directors XYZ (Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, Poka-Yio, Augustine Zenakos), who curated the 1st Athens Biennale 2007 DESTROY ATHENS, have invited an eclectic group of curators to contemplate the subject of Heaven, a broad topic that touches on notions such as lost innocence, nature and ecology, utopias and ideal communities. From this premise, a creative dialogue begins, which will reflect upon the theme itself as well as the methodology surrounding large-scale periodical exhibitions. The diverse approaches of the 2nd Athens Biennale 2009 team of curators will retain their autonomy, while interconnecting creatively and claiming a narrative cohesion which will be further reflected in the exhibition design by architect and artist Andreas Angelidakis. The multiple visual art and performance installations in public spaces will be curated by stage director and choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou and artist Zafos Xagoraris.
2nd Athens Biennale 2009 HEAVEN in Palaio Faliro Exhibitions, installations, public interventions and screening programmes will be curated by Chus Martínez, chief curator of MACBA, and independent curators Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Nadja Argyropoulou, Christopher Marinos and Diana Baldon. The first edition of the Athens Biennale was a great success. The aspiration is for the 2nd Athens Biennale 2009 HEAVEN to be even more successful than the first, which attracted more than 50,000 visitors and was hailed by the international press as one of the best contemporary art exhibitions in 2007 worldwide. It was the subject of wide coverage in such publications as Libération, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Berliner Zeitung, Neue Zeurcher Zeitung and Het Financieele Dagblad, and received positive reviews in international art periodicals, such as Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, Art Review, Contemporary, Art in America and Art Fairs International, among others.
The Biennale has sprung from the terrific energy that has characterised the visual arts in Athens in recent years. Its aim since its establishment has been to provide a contemplative space for contemporary art which will produce exhibitions of high quality, addressing a wide audience and forming a channel of communication between the local and the international contemporary art scenes. Within this framework, the Athens Biennale has organised conferences, published books and formed numerous collaborations with international institutions. In 2007, it founded the European Biennial Network, a collaborative structure that involves the Berlin Biennial, the Istanbul Biennial, the Liverpool Biennial and the Lyon Biennial as co-organisers, and the Venice Biennial, the Göteborg Biennial, the Tirana Biennial, the Periferic Biennial (Iasi) and the European Biennial Manifesta as associated partners. (Further information on the Network at www.europeanbiennialnetwork.org.)
Exhibitions The 2nd Athens Biennale 2009 HEAVEN is envisioned as a versatile contemporary art festival XYZ, the founders and artistic directors of the Athens Biennale have invited a selected group of curators to reflect Heaven, in a time that arguably is one of disappointment and conflict. The six exhibitions of the 2nd Athens Biennale 2009, designed by architect Andreas Angelidakis, take the form of autonomous approaches to this broad subject that nevertheless communicate creatively and claim a degree of narrative cohesion. These six exhibitions are complemented by a series of performative events lasting all through the summer. Venues. The 2nd Athens Biennale 2009 HEAVEN extends along the coastline of Athens, in the areas of Palaio Faliro and Kallithea, from the Faliro Olympic Complex to the Flisvos and Batis Beaches. The venues that the exhibitions take place are the following: • Esplanade Building (next to Tae Kwon Do Court), Water Plaza, Faliron Olympic Complex • Esplanade • Village Center Cinemas • Flisvos Marina • Faliro Park • Flisvos Building • Flisvos Beach • Batis Beach
Access By tram: Tram Νο4 SYNTAGMA / SEF & Tram Νο3 VOULA / SEF
INFORMATION Exhibition Days & Hours • 15 June – 31 July & 1 September – 4 October: Tuesday to Sunday, 12.00 – 00.00. Closed on Mondays, except Monday 15 June, when the Biennale opens for the public. • 1 August – 30 August: Wednesday to Sunday, 12.00 – 00.00. Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. Closed on 15 & 16 August Tickets • Full: 12 euro (for one visit to all exhibitions) • Reduced: 8 euro (for one visit to all exhibitions, students, over 65s, disabled and their escort, members of Ε.Ε.Τ.Ε., ICOM, AICA, IKT) • Unlimited Visits: 20 euro (non transferable, valid for all exhibitions) • Group: 100 euro (for 10 persons, for one visit to all exhibitions) • Reduced Group: 50 euro (for 10 persons, for one visit to all exhibitions, students, over 65s, disabled and their escort, members of Ε.Ε.Τ.Ε., ICOM, AICA, IKT)
Both Lines: Stop DELTA FALIROU (for access to Esplanade Building (next to Tae Kwon Do Court), Water Plaza, Faliron Olympic Complex). Stop AGHIA SKEPI (for access to Village Center). Stop TROCADERO (for access to Flisvos Marina, Flisvos Breakwater, and P. Faliro Park). Stop PARKO FLISVOU (for access to Flisvos Breakwater, P. Faliro Park, and Flisvos Building). Stop FLISVOS (for access to Flisvos Building, and P. Faliro Beach). Stop BATIS (for access to BATIS). By bus: 130 PEIRAIAS / N. SMYRNI (Stop: AGHIA SKEPI) A1 PEIRAIAS / VOULA (Stop: AGHIA SKEPI) Β1 PEIRAIAS / GLYFADA (Stop: AGHIA SKEPI) 101 PEIRAIAS / ALIMOS / ELLINIKO (Stop: AGHIA SKEPI) 550 KIFISSIA / SYGGROU (Stop: FOROS) 217 PEIRAIAS / DAFNI (Stop: AGHIA SKEPI) By trolley: 10 TZITZIFIES / CHALANDRI Stop: TZITZIFIES. From there, TRAM 3, BUSES Α1, Β1 (info line: 185)
Athens with Kids Beach Fun and Water Parks
Copa Copana Park Copa Copana Park is a multi-purpose, fun place in Athens, which hosts leisure activities, happenings, concerts, live DJ sets, parties and events throughout the year. During the summer, visitors can enjoy the pools as well as plenty of water games, while throughout the winter; the park hosts a unique variety of winter activities. Copa Copana Park is the ideal place to spend a hot Athenian summer day. It features 17 waterslides, with various levels from speed lovers to beginners. The “Water Playground”’ includes a children’s pool and children’s water-slides and a huge pirate ship for kids craving adventure! If you want a chance to relax and have fun with your children, this is the place. Opening Hours: 10:00-02:00 12th km Athinon Ave., Haidari Tel: +30 210-5576006 www.copacopanapark.gr
Water Fun One of the largest water parks on the outskirts of Athens, near the Corinth Canal. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this fascinating man-made canal as ships cut their way through it. Enjoy the dew, the swimming pools and the water slides in this flawless water park. The big attractions are the straight Kamikaze slide, the 110 metre Black Hole, and the three mega slides which send you on a fast, medium, or slow breathtaking downhill slither towards the pool. You will also find a shallow pool with small slides suitable for younger children. Opening hours: Daily 10:30-18:30 83km, Old National road Athens – Corinth (150m after the isthmus), Corinthos, Peloponnese Tel: 27410 81400
Hours and hours can be spent by the water, swimming in the shallow crystal clear waters, playing with other children and building sandcastles. This can be done either at beaches or swimming pools. Here are some suggestions for swimming and fun in Athens for you and your children.
Yabanaki Beach Park The Yabanaki Beach Park is a perfectly organised beach where visitors and their children can feel the beat of the Greek summer just a few kilometres from the centre of Athens. There are water sports, such as water ski, windsurf, Tubes, Banana and Fly Fish, which offer a sense of adventure, while there are restaurants with Greek specialties, a pool bar and a café near the water. You will also find a tennis court, a basketball court and a playground for children. Varkiza Coast Tel: +30 210-8972414 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.yabanaki.gr
Karavi Karavi at Schinias beach and water sports club is located 42 km (26 miles) northnortheast of Athens, near the historical city of Marathon. Karavi offers a matchless experience for all water-sports and beachsports enthusiasts, as well as for those wishing to just relax in the sun. The sevenacre property features 100m of clean, sandy beach with umbrellas, sun beds and water sports facilities, and includes restaurants and beach bars. Private, shaded parking accommodates 1,500 cars. The narrow beach area and the windy shore make Karavi the perfect beach for children. The Water Sports School is suitable for beginners in windsurf, water ski and wakeboard. Training is available, making this the right place to introduce children to these amazing sports. 198 Poseidonos Ave., Schinias Beach, Attica Tel: 22940 55950 www.karavi.gr
Aqua Life Sport and Health Center A unique sports centre offering swimming classes for infants (8 months to 2 years old) in order to introduce them to water play and exercise from an early age. The well-trained instructors of the center support the children at all times and help the whole family to get involved in the classes. The Aqua Life Center also offers many other fun activities, such as advanced swimming, ballet, soccer and many other activities for children aged 3 to 6 years. Opening Hours: Mon â€“ Fri: 08:00-22:00; Sat: 08:30-15:00 Agiou Athanasiou & Souliou streets, Anoixi +30 210-8004438 www.aqualifecenter.gr
Gorgones kai Mages A multi-purpose location of creative activities for children that meets the demands of the modern family, it is the perfect place for fun and exercise for children and their parents. You will find a swimming pool and a playground, baby swimming section and group pool-games. It is the ideal place for children to learn how to swim. Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00-14:00, 16:00-21:00; Sat & Sun: 09:30-13:00 August: Closed 88 Archipelagous St., Ano Glyfada +30 210-9606786 www.gorgoneskaimages.gr
Important artists will make their Greek debuts during the festival (Romeo Castellucci, Guy Cassiers, Michael Thalheimer, Alain Platel, Esa-Pekka Salonen) while productions of well respected international institutions are scheduled to take place (Brooklyn Academy of Music, Old Vic, Festival dâ€™ Avignon, Wiener Festwochen). It is all happening from June to August in Athens.
The Athens Festival is a great celebration that has lasted 52 summers, and that has hosted some of the leading lights of theatre, music and dance. The festival will host 61 prominent productions from 15 different countries and hundreds of artists will perform in 10 different venues around Athens and at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus.
Athens - Epidaurus Festival 2009
Musical concerts, theatrical performances, ancient dramas, lectures and many more events will be held at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and various places around Athens.
The festival has something for everyone: from Mitropoulos and Callas to Rostropovich, Pavarotti, Leonidas Kavakos and Dimitris Sgouros; from Theodorakis and Hadjidakis to Savvopoulos, Protopsalti, Dalaras and Marinella; from Rondiris and Koun to Streller, Peter Hall, Noh theatre, Bunraku puppet theatre, and the Peking Opera; from Balanchine to Pina Bausch, and from Nureyev and Fonteyn to Martha Graham and Alicia Alonso. Festival events take place in Athens at historical venues which generate an awe-inspiring atmosphere. In the past few years, new venues have been added to the festival, and the organisers are hoping to expand audience numbers so that more people can experience and become familiar with the events. The festival also plays a vital part in promoting the work of young artists.
In addition to music and theatre, there are also showcases on dance, collaborations among different artists and art exhibitions. The event runs throughout the summer, meaning visitors will have the chance to see what they are interested in at the festival. The organisers of the festival are hoping to rival other European festivals which draw big tourist numbers from abroad. The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is one of the most important cultural institutions of Greece and among the oldest in Europe. Through the years, it continues to maintain the highest artistic standards and to attract Greek and foreign artists of the highest levels.
• Megaron Mousikis, the Athens Concert Hall Megaron Mousikis, the Athens Concert Hall, is situated on Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, next to the American Embassy. The “Alexandra Trianti” and “Nikos Skalkottas” Halls form part of the Megaron extension, the International Conference Centre, which has been opening to the public in stages since 2003. The Hall of the Friends of Music is in the original building. • Technopolis Technopolis is an industrial museum of incomparable architecture, among the most interesting in the world, that has been transformed into a multipurpose cultural space. It is located at 100 Pireos Street.
Venues • Odeon of Herodes Atticus The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is an ancient open-air amphitheatre on the southern slopes of the Acropolis. The 5,000-seat theatre, specially designed for musical and dramatic performances in 161 AD, was commissioned by the wealthy Roman benefactor, Herodes Atticus, in memory of his late wife. Decorated in marble and monumental in size, it has served as a vital part of Greek culture since ancient times when musicians, dancers, dramatists and poets performed in festivals to gain favour with the gods.
• The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is situated within the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, in the Argolis Prefecture of the Peloponnese. It is a half-hour drive from Nafplio and approximately two hours from Athens. This impressive open-air theatre is famous for its virtually perfect architecture and acoustics. The theatre is considered to be the best preserved structure in Greece from the Classical period. The theatre was built around the mid-4th century BC and there are about 14,000 seats total, with 54 rows of seating.
• Pireos 260 The Athens Festival venue at 260 Pireos Street is situated in the Tavros district of Athens, and shares a city block with the Athens School of Fine Art. • Scholeion The Scholeion Theatre is situated in the Moschato suburb of Athens, at 52 Pireos Street.
• Benaki Museum Pireos St. Annex The new Benaki Museum building is located at 138 Pireos St., one of the central development axes of Athens. • Theatron, the Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre “Theatron,” at the Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Center, is situated at 254 Pireos St., next to the Athens School of Fine Arts. • Bios Cultural Centre The Bios cultural centre is located at 84 Pireos St. in Kerameikos.
• Apo Michanis (Ex-Machina) Theatre The “Apo Michanis Theatre” is housed in what was formerly an industrial building on 13 Akadimou St. in the Metaxourgio district. • Parnassos literary society Info: www.greekfestival.gr
Rooftops with breathtaking views The success of something, whether it is a simple recipe or a theatrical production, largely depends on the ingredients. It is the same with the rooftops of Athens. The first and most important ingredient is a view of the Acropolis. If you can see the Acropolis, you are ahead of the game. The second is the sea, and fortunately there is plenty of that very near the city. If you manage to combine both, the recipe is bound to be an absolute success and all that is missing is a bar tender skilled in the art of mixing cocktails. Like every self-respecting big city, Athens offers both roof gardens and alternative rooftops: cafés, or dinner and drinks with a view – first and foremost – of the Acropolis and secondly, the sea. The Galaxy, the Hilton hotel’s roof garden, is one of the most renowned “top floors” of the city. Its reputation has reached the four corners of the earth through references in all the major tourist guides. Those who claim the Galaxy has the best view in Athens are justified.
Though the prices are a bit high due to its location, the Galaxy has an excellent bar combining luxury and quality drinks. From time to time, the hotel hosts parties where mainstream sounds meet a more cosmopolitan beat. Similar but on a more classical note is the roof garden of the legendary Hotel Grande Bretagne at Syntagma Square. Its Baroque design is more reminiscent of Versailles than the Balkans. It is open from 1 pm to 1 am and serves everything from breakfast to nightcaps. The exceptional Mediterranean menu was devised by famed chef Filippo Abisso, who has earned more than a few distinctions in cooking competitions.
And that’s not all, as far as rooftops with a view go. Next to the New Acropolis Museum, you will find the Divani Palace Acropolis, featuring a magnificent view of the Sacred Rock accompanied by the divine cuisine and extensive variety of cocktails at the “Socrates” restaurant. Just beneath Lycabettus Hill, St. George Lycabettus Hotel offers a terrace overlooking the Acropolis, the Panathenaic (Kalimarmaro) Stadium and the Saronic Gulf in the distance. Modern meets traditional here in a unique combination where the piano accompaniment adds an aristocratic air to the setting. Food, drinks and a rare collection of cigars are available from 8 pm to 1 am. Last but not least is the President Hotel in Kifissia, where the rooftop is graced by a swimming pool and bar. You may enjoy a meal or drink to the accompaniment of jazz and free jazz played by well-known Greek and foreign musicians every Friday and Saturday evening. In addition to the hotel rooftops, there are quite a few restaurants and bars that migrate to higher storeys in summer. “To Spiti (House) tou Pil Poul” in Thissio is one of the most beautiful. The view of the Acropolis is enhanced by a sophisticated menu developed by the top chefs of the city. The “Filistron” rooftop, with its traditional appetisers and “old Athens” café atmosphere, is located in the same area. One of Athens’ most refined haunts is “Varoulko,” located further along Pireos Street. Chef Lefteris Lazarou has a special room in his home to house the many awards he has won. Try the fish-based dishes found nowhere else in the Mediterranean. The most ethnic rooftop in the city is to be found along the back street of Agisilaou. Known as “Meson El Mirador,” it serves perfect margaritas and authentic Mexican specialties. For more of a Greek atmosphere for friends to get together, try “Theliseis (Desires)” (Iakhou 3, Gazi) with flavours from all over the world and an emphasis on Mediterranean cuisine masterfully created by Panagiotis. On the way to Monastiraki, try “Brachera” on Avissinia Square (one of the best spots in Athens) for a meal or drink. Finally, the outdoor seating area of the restaurant “Orizontes (Horizons),” on Lycbettus Hill, could be called the “rooftop of Athens” and is ideal for an al fresco meal with a view.
Many of the city’s impressive bars have found their way to the higher echelons of their buildings. The “Bios” rooftop on Pireos Street has been popular since last summer. It is one of the alternative haunts in the city, drawing many of Greece’s up-and-coming artists and musical producers. The rooftop has been designed to resemble famous venues in Berlin and London. Innovation contrasted against the classical presence of the Acropolis creates a unique sensation at what is considered one of the cutting-edge locations in the city. Many agree that the reputation of “Mayo” rooftop in Gazi precedes it. Its opening signals the beginning of summer. A few streets further is the best rock terrace in the city. “45 Moires (Degrees)” is the legendary rock club in Gazi and one of the first in the area. Also in the neighbourhood, but with a more restricted view, is the “Gazaki (Little Gazi)” rooftop on Triptolemou Street. In another part of the city, on Panormou Street in Ambelokipi, are two rooftop dance clubs: the swing and jazz “Santa Botella,” often featuring live music and some of the most famous cocktails in Athens, and the funk rock “Marabu,” where spontaneous rock parties take place every night.
On a private level, many residents of the city’s flats have recently started a trend of making their rooftops more environmentally friendly. The Athens Boutique Apartments is an example of how a rooftop can be made into a prototypical green and welcoming space for residents, as well as of the City of Athens’ efforts to create “green rooftops” that turn gray apartment building terraces into green pockets of oxygen. The Athens Boutique Apartments rooftop may be rented for special events or parties, or just to enjoy a relaxing evening with friends.
ATHENS BOUTIQUE APARTMENTS
The Coast Road
The Coast Road: the downtown of Athenian summer It is an old habit. May comes, temperatures rise and the whole city looks towards the coast. Not that it lies lifeless in winter; there are plenty of lively spots in Faliro, Alimos, Kalamaki and Glyfada year round.
In summer, however, it takes on a different attitude and becomes the central point of reference. When talking about the coastal road, we mean the road along the shoreline of the southern suburbs of Athens known as Poseidonos Avenue. It stretches from the traditional refugee area of Faliro (many refugees from Constantinople settled here) to the up and coming Varkiza area. Poseidonos Avenue connects to the centre through Syngrou and Vouliagmenis avenues, as well as through Pireos Street. The recent addition of the tram (Syntagma-Faliro, Syntagma-Glyfada, Faliro-Glyfada) has made it easier for the public to reach the coast using an alternative mode of transport. The coastal road literally never sleeps. Day follows night without a break: from the beaches to the shopping districts, then to the cafes, followed by dinner in the evening and a night of entertainment, and back to the beach in the morning. Faliro retains the nobility of an older Athens, or even an older Greece. The ladies from Poli (Constantinople) take their swim in the morning in Flisvos wearing colourful caps and can then be seen walking along the promenade in the afternoons. The Faliro area is one of the most quickly developing areas. A giant mall with a multiplex cinema and many stores has also opened there.
The new Greek National Opera House and new National Library will be built in the former hippodrome. The Olympic venues there are used mainly for summer concerts, visual arts exhibits, such Art Athina and the Athens Biennale, and for conferences. The most representative area of the coastal region is undoubtedly Glyfada. Its shopping district is one of the three best in the city. Its 48 coffee shops (City, Egomio, etc.) draw young people from all of the southern suburbs. It is the only place in Athens with a golf course and its main square functions as a focal point for the surrounding area.
It is worth taking a stroll along the waterfront or playing a game at the picturesque fun park. It would also be a crime not to visit its galleries and the famous “Chocolat” chocolaterie. At night, Glyfada turns into an expansive centre of entertainment with its numerous bars and clubs. We will get to that later. There are not a lot of sights along the coastal road. Buildings of architectural interest include post-modern structures designed by great Greek architects Nikolaos Valsamakis and Aris Konstandinidis that house many of the night clubs. The Faliro Common State Cemetery, where many foreign soldiers from World War II are buried, is also of interest. It is very pleasant to walk anywhere along the sea front, from Faliro to Glyfada, to see the giant chess board and pieces at Edem; the old airport at Ellinikon, slated to become a metropolitan park; to take a ride on the tram; or to see the Olympic venues and sports centre in Agios Kosmas. If you are athletic by nature, Agios Kosmas has it all: from small football pitches, tennis courts, track and basketball courts to a go-cart track. Nevertheless, there are two things that distinguish the coastal road: the organised beaches and the night clubs. This is where the sound of beach racket balls melds in with the pulse of one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in Europe. Organised beaches, such as Alimos, Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Voula and Varkiza draw the majority of Athenian swimmers. After washing off the sea salt, they head for the coffee shops. Not just one or two, but hundreds of them: all-day bars, such as Balux Café in Glyfada and Kitchen Bar in Alimos, with coffee, food and drinks; for food at Dekko South and the Pacific Room in Voula; the big clubs like the ethnic and alegro El Pecado Isla in Voula, the Hall of Mad in Glyfada, the Delano and the expansive Akrotiri Boutique in Ellinikon and Shisha in Neo Faliro. There is also Ammos Beach in Alimos near the shore and if you like disco, dress appropriately and head for Vinylio in Varkiza or Boom Boom in Kalithea. Extreme décor, dance shows and large bars with a view of the sea give it all more of a Hawaiian atmosphere than an Athenian one.
The music is generally mainstream and there are numerous R’n’B parties during the week. If you want to get a taste of real Athenian seaside nightlife, visit one of the famous clubs where bouzouki music set locals and nonlocals on fire. If you see a large marquee and want to experience it all, do not hesitate to enter. The Athens coast is full of contradictions. It is a living organism, ready to take up the city’s pulse every summer. It is ready to welcome the millions of residents and tourists who visit every week. You do not have to tour it all to discover its virtues. Even a tram ride is sufficient.
The New “Nikolaos Vernikos-Eugenides” Digital Planetarium of the Eugenides Foundation, one of the largest and best equipped in the world, this year completed the sixth winter session of the New Digital Planetarium’s operation.
Since it first opened its doors in November 2003, the New Digital Planetarium has managed to bring science and technology to more than 1.75 million visitors, most of them young, using digital shows and other means. The shows are largely the Foundation’s own productions, created with the help of skilled technical staff at its disposal, and include digital projections as well as big-screen IMAX films, which are usually very expensive, major international productions. The surface area of the New Digital Planetarium is very impressive, as it is three times that of the older facility and seats 280. The new dome-screen, with a diameter of 25 metres and a surface area greater than 950 sq. metres, is supported by a 6.1 surround, 40,000w state-of-the-art sound system. Image brightness and definition, as well as the huge hemispherical screen, give the audience the illusion that they are being transported to various points of the planet and beyond in an unprecedented, realistic way.
The New Digital Planetarium in Athens
The New Digital Planetarium’s main equipment has been fully adapted to the newest developments in audiovisual technology, balancing digital technology with modern analog film projection and large format slides. The American IWERKS TM large format projection facility allows for the showing of expensive international productions of IMAX TM- and OMNIMAX TMtype films in 70/15 format (70mm and 15 sprocket holes per frame). This gives an image surface 10 times large than one found in conventional cinemas. These new systems have the capacity to project 10,000 stars as they appear from any point on the planet, in the solar system or from any other star hundreds of light years away from Earth.
Two New Digital Planetarium shows that were a great success this year included “The 7 wonders of the world,” featuring a unique journey through space and time. With the help of cutting-edge technology and through digital recreation, the show takes viewers to the past to the Great Pyramid, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Alexandria Lighthouse, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Halicarnassus Mausoleum for a close look at the structure of these ancient creations so aptly classified as “wonders.” But as Hamlet said, “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of,” and the show moves beyond the limits of our small planet to bring the viewer closer to the 7 Wonders of the Solar System, as well as the 7 Wonders of the Universe. Comets and space storms, volcanoes and frozen planets, global clusters and star nurseries, black holes or super nova explosions are just some of the wondrous secretes hidden in infinite space and which are projected onto the large planetarium dome. The epilogue rests on one miracle alone: that of creation, urging everyone to reflect on our own presence in what poet Elytis called “this small, great world.”
Another show featured this year is “The Death of Stars,” which focuses on one of the mysteries of the Universe: star explosions. It explains how stars, like everything else in the Universe, are born, evolve and at some point, die. It shows how the explosive ending of a star is simultaneously an end and a beginning and helps us understand that without stellar explosions, there would be no Earth, no rocks or pebbles, no plants or animals, and no humans. “The Death of Stars” offers the public the chance to take a stellar journey in the company of red giants, white dwarfs and black holes. Viewers will learn about the life of stars of all sizes, from their birth, through their maturation and to their ultimate death. The New Digital Planetarium will endeavour to stay abreast of the latest developments in technology, providing a unique experience for the young and old.
The New Digital Planetarium is located at 387 Syngrou Ave., Palaio Faliro. For more information on programmes and show times, visit www.eugenfound.edu.gr or phone +30 210-9469600. The planetarium is served by the following bus routes: • Β2 , 550, Ε2 , Ε22 (Onaseio stop) • Α2 (Iasonos Street stop) • 126 (Bank stop) All of these buses stop at the Syngrou-Fix Metro Station (Line 2).
Endless Blue Visitors to Athens often overlook the natural beauty of the city and its surroundings. These natural features may not be readily obvious, but they are not difficult to find. Among them are the city’s beaches and those located throughout the Prefecture of Attica.
It should be noted that many of these are cleaner than those on many islands and quite a few have earned a Blue Flag designation. So do not be weary of the sea’s proximity to the city. The waters are ideal for plenty of swimming. There are three main gulfs with shores in Attica: the Corinthian, the Evoikos and the Saronic gulfs, the latter encompassing the greatest length of Attica’s coast. Though there are three different bodies of water, the type of beach does not vary greatly: sandy, not too rocky and with small or large pebbles in some locations. It is the non-natural details that distinguish the style of each beach: cosmopolitan, sporty or isolated for those who want a natural feeling just a few kilometres from the centre of Athens.
Start off with the most well-known and nearest beach along the Saronic coastline. Asteras Vouliagmenis is the popular hotel’s beach. Awarded the Blue Flag, it offers a range of options, though it is a little expensive. It is 30 minutes from Syntagma Square and is accessible on the city bus line. You will not mind the €25 entrance fee (includes umbrella and sun bed) because this is where the Athenian jet set gathers. Water sports, including jet ski, sailing and windsurfing, are available. At Asteras, the paramount cosmopolitan beach, you also find TGI Friday’s and Starbucks. If you do not want to spend so much, you will find the wellknown Limanakia (“bays”) nearby. This is a rocky area offering free swimming in crystal clear waters. If lifestyle is your main concern, then another option is Kavouri. You will find a clean, cosmopolitan beach just in front of the Divani Apollon Palace, with many excellent restaurants in the area. It is an ideal location for night swimming, as it is near the city and hidden from street lights. Free
admission and clean waters are available at the Municipal Beach of Alimos, near Kavouri (accessible via tram and open daily from 10 am to 5 pm). All you have to do is hire a sun bed and umbrella which costs about €9 at most beaches. Tip: The sun beds at Alimos are free on weekdays. There are various beaches along the coastal road (Poseidonos). The Asteria Glyfada beach charges €6 admission and features volleyball courts and football pitches, as well as Balux, the best beach cafe-bar-restaurant 100 metres from the water’s edge. The two Voula beaches are also among the most popular in the city. They offer a bar, restaurant, changing rooms, playing fields and water slides. Water sports are available at all of them. Admission is €5.50 daily (Monday-Friday) and €6.50 on weekends and holidays. There is free parking, umbrellas and sun beds. Next stop: Varkiza and Yabanaki. It is just as famous with all the amenities. Admission is €7 on weekdays and €8 on weekends and it is open from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening.
There are numerous organised beaches along the coast of Athens’ southern suburbs with no admission charge. One exception is the Grandbeach Club in Lagonisi where you must be a member (with full priviledges at €290 a year) to swim. Anavysos is the next best thing. The beach in front of the Hotel Eden is one of the most developed. It has a playground and beach volley facilities with a system that wets the sand when it gets too hot. Immediately following is Mavro Lithari (“black stone”). The beach bars draw mostly young people. Umbrellas and sun beds are at the usual price of €9. You will find plenty of beach rackets, jet skis and a floating raft for diving. It is about one hour from the centre; you will need a car or you can take the KTEL regional bus with frequent departures from Pedion Areos bus terminal. For a bite to eat, try the restaurants in the the Vlahika area of Vari, offering a variety of meats. Lagonisi and Saronida also have clean waters, but the surrounding urban landscape makes for a less than idyllic swimming spot. The more remote beaches of Athens can be found in Schinia. Access is by car or by regional KTEL bus. Karavi (“ship”) is the centre of water activities there. Windsurfing, jet ski, bananas, wakeboarding and many playing fields make up this water sports fan’s paradise. You pay only for an umbrella and sun bed. At the adjacent beaches of Del Mar and Glaros, you will meet the ultimate Athenian beach barista. If you stay late, you can enjoy one of the frequent beach parties held there. For dining, try fish or exceptional Argentinian steaks in Marathon. An excellent spot for diving off the rocks is to be found in Dikastika, a nearby area known to local stunt performers.
Legrena (KAPE) at Sounio are further away but amazing. This is the best beach in Attica, located directly beneath the Temple of Poseidon. It is not organised; there is a canteen and several delectable taverna restaurants serving fresh fish. Beaches with waters resembling the Cyclades islands can also be found in Porto Rafti, including Agios Spyridonas, Avlaki and Erotospilia. They are organised with sun beds and umbrellas and clean. A route through the greenery will take you to Kakia Thalassa (“bad sea”) in Keratea. Locals recommend “Giorgakis” for dining. Finally, Psatha beach is ideal for adventure lovers. On the other side of Attica, along the Corinthian Gulf, beaches are about an hour and a half from the centre. You can stay overnight there or camp out. Do not forget to try the seafood at the tavernas in the area. Egomio, Zisimopoulou 10, Glyfada Chocolate, Zisimopoulou 7 & Ioannou Metaxa, Glyfada Balux Café, Vas. Konstantinou 58 Β, Asteras Glyfada Kitchen Bar, Marina Alimos Dekko South, L. Karamanli 4, Voula Room Eirinikos, L. Karamanli 4, Voula El Pecado Isla, L. Karamanli 14, Voula Hall of Mad, Diadohou Pavlou B, Marina Glyfada Delano, Poseidonos Av., Agios Kosmas Akrotiri Boutique, Vas. Georgiou Β΄ 5, Ag. Kosmas Shisha, Peace and Friendship Stadium Ammos Beach, Palaia Loutra, Alimos Vinilio, Leoforos Poseidonos 33, Glyfada Boom Boom, Thiseos and Poseidonos, Tzitzifies
Summer - Autumn Cultural Highlights EJEKT Festival brings music’s big names to Athens Now in its 5th year, the EJEKT Festival brought some of the best-known as well as new names from today’s music scene (pop, rock, soul, hip-hop, nu rave, electronica), to the Olympic Fencing Venue of Ellinikon in Athens on 18 and 19 June for an audience of every age and musical taste in a big celebration of modern music. Some of the artists who performed included: The Editors, Τhe Pixies, Royksopp, Jarvis Cocker and many more. Rockwave Festival 2009 Celebrating its 13th year of success, Rockwave once again presented a fourday music festival experience this summer that promised to be more spectacular than ever, hosting some of the biggest names on the international music scene on two stages. The Killers, Duffy, Gogol Bordello, Moby, Placebo, Motley Crue, Slipknot, Tricky, Foals, Dinosaur Jr. and many more in one of the best music festivals in Athens. It was held at Terra Vibe, one of the biggest open air venues in the world and an ideal location for Rockwave, held from 27 to 30 June.
Santana live in Athens Carlos Santana, the famous Mexican latin-rock guitarist, will play live in Athens on July 8 as part of his European summer tour. Forty years after his memorable show in Woodstock and 10 years after the success of his album Supernatural that gained him a Grammy Award, Santana, the musician who presents a fusion of Latin and rock elements, visits Athens. Linkin Park and Funeral for a Friend in Athens Following last year’s undeniably sensational performance, Linkin Park are back at “the crime scene” which is no other than Terra Stage, Athens, to give us whatever it is they still owe us. UK post-hardcore band Funeral for a Friend will be the opening act of the show. Don’t miss this memorable live show on 21 July at Terra Vibe in Athens.
Deep Purple in Athens When Deep Purple head to Athens in July, they will give us a true taste of classic rock! Ian Gillan and his unchangeable voice will take us on a voyage that also signifies the return of the strongest line up of recent years. Fearless, intense, passionate, just like a flame that never stops burning, Deep Purple continue to write history on the hard rock scene, as they have been doing for the past 40 years. Don’t miss them at Terra Vibe, Athens, on 22 July.
Faith No More live in Athens Faith No More are one of the bands that formed the rock sound of the’90s. The massively influential group broke up in 1998 but announced last February they would reunite for a comeback tour this summer. The band from San Francisco will perform at Lycabettus Theatre in Athens 10 August. Faith No More have so far released six studio albums, and the ballad Easy is their best-known and most successful song. MGMT live at Technopolis MGMT is Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, the two psychic pilgrims whose visit to Athens is anticipated with great enthusiasm. They’ll be playing songs from their critically acclaimed debut album, Oracular Spectacular, featuring the tracks that have dominated the charts over the past 12 months — Time To Pretend, Electric Feel and now Kids — creating a massive fan base. They will play at the Technopolis Complex on 7 September.
15th Athens International Film Festival For 11 days, from September 16 to 27, the heart of cinema will beat in Athens. Organised by the Athens Film Society, the 15th Athens International Film Festival brings the best of international cinema to the Greek capital. The festival was launched in September 1995 and has continued successfully since then. The movie theatres accommodating the festival are: Αttikon, Αpollon, Danaos 1 and Danaos 2. For more information,visit: www.aiff.gr. The Spaghetti Western Orchestra Armed with over 100 instruments, these brilliant musicians perform music from the movies that made Clint Eastwood a star. The stunning Ennio Morricone soundtrack includes The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, For a Few Dollars More and Once Upon a Time in the West. This ingenious gang of comic maestros underscore these classic compositions with hilarious sound effects -- blowing on bottles, crushing cornflakes, “playing” coat hangers, apples, squeaky toys, rubber gloves, bicycle pumps, nail clippers and many more - recreating every punch up, gunshot, and jangling spur that defined the gunslinging west. The show is highly original and a new genre of concert performances. Five musicians are all multi-instrumentalists and create a full orchestra sound playing 100 instruments. It is inventive, funny and the musicians play the music brilliantly. At Badminton Theatre from 16 to 25 September.
Singin’ in the Rain at Badminton Theatre Autumn will be ushered in with one of the most amusing and entertaining musicals of all time at the Badminton Theatre from 21 to 25 October. Singin’ in the Rain features all the style and spectacle of a golden age and has a host of some of the best loved comedy routines, dance numbers and songs ever written, including Good Morning, Make ‘em Laugh, Moses Supposes, You Were Meant For Me, and of course the most famous song and dance number of all time, Singin’ in the Rain. Olivier award-winning, West End and Broadway star Tim Flavin plays Don Lockwood, the part immortalised by Gene Kelly. Guaranteed to lift your spirits and send you out singing and dancing whatever the weather.
Universal Ballet - Nutcracker A world created from the elements of the most beautiful fairytale will spring to the Badminton Theatre stage from 24 to 29 November, when the Universal Ballet will dance to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music. This fairytale ballet, which premiered in 1892, has inspired dozens of productions by distinguished choreographers and dancers and influenced popular culture. It holds a permanent place in the repertoire of one of Asia’s most important classical dance companies, the Universal Ballet, which has appeared on some of the major stages around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The experience and the dancing technique of the company will prove incomparable.
Going to the Beach for Some Fresh Fish and Ouzo A route that starts in Athens, passes through pinecovered areas and ends in beaches with cool ouzo bars, traditional fish tavernas and beach bars to help you relax is your best choice this summer. So why not take your chances with an area that is known to few, but is certainly one of the most enjoyable, promising a pleasant route, a relaxed atmosphere and, of course, excellent food. This area is none other than the East Attica region.
On the small pebbles of the beach... This is a verse from the famous song by the rebetiko composer and singer Vassilis Tsitsanis, who celebrated Rafina as few others before or after him. He used to sit in its then small harbour, looking at the pebbled beach and the scurrying crabs, while he enjoyed his favourite ouzo with meze (a variety of snacks) and the relaxed natural
ambience. So, it makes sense to visit the old harbour of Rafina and go to one of the many picturesque fish tavernas and treat yourselves to some fresh sea food or just relax and enjoy the sight of the ships that leave the port heading for the nearby islands. If you wish to go there from the centre of Athens, note that the ride takes about an hour, either by bus, which leaves from Pedion tou Areos or by car taking Marathonos Avenue. As you approach Rafina, you will not be able to see the sea, but only small pine-covered hills. As you move further inside the town, you will suddenly find yourselves at a sheltered bay. There you can enjoy a swim at one of the beaches of the area (Kokkino Limanaki, Ble Limanaki) and you can eat at the small harbour where all the small fish taverns are to be found in a row. One of the oldest is the Tavern of Joachim (Limanaki Rafinas, 2294023421). You will be heartily welcomed and come to appreciate the long experience of the proprietors in preparing the foods they serve: grilled meat, fried
fish and the many exquisite hors d’oeuvres. The Kavouria of Asimakis (The Crabs of Asimakis) (Limani Rafinas, 22940-24551) opened in 1952 and offers fine seafood snacks and fish either on their ground floor or on their roof which offers a panoramic view of the Evoikos Gulf. A bit further away, you will find the fish taverna Oceanis (Neraeos Avenue & 3 Thaleias St.), which is a stone’s throw from the sea and offers fresh fish or, if you prefer, fresh meat. However, if what you like is to admire the sea from afar, then there are two tavernas that you should consider going to. The first of these taverns is Ta Kala Kathoumena (8 V. Georgiou, Plastera Square, 22940-25688), which offers mainly home-cooked meals, and dishes inspired by the culinary traditions of the 1922 Greek refugees from Smyrni, Turkey. The second is Limeni (17 Plastera Square, 22940-24750), a traditional mezedepoleio (snack bar) where you can sit outside and enjoy meals that are certain to surprise you with their variety and quality.
Where the pines flirt with the sea Leaving Rafina and following the highway that runs parallel to the coastline, you will see many smaller summer resorts with sandy beaches, pine trees and a fine natural beauty. These areas are: Neos Boutsas, Kokino Limanaki, Mati, Zoumperi, Agios Andreas and Nea Makri. Nea Makri, in particular, has been transformed during the last 20 years or so into a modern suburb of Athens. That is due to the fact that many Athenians are attracted to this area because of its fine beach and its vibrant character. This pine-clad area is a small haven and home to many summer camps for children. It would be a wonderful idea to stop there and enjoy a meal at the beach of Nea Makri or in any other spot that you like along the road, some with a view of pine trees and others with a view of the beache. All the tavernas of Nea Makri are to be found
along the coast, like Trata (Nea Makri Beach, 2294094794), the renowned taverna of Klearchos, which follows a 30-year tradition in preparing and serving exquisite seafood dishes. Other pluses are its tasty hors d’oeuvres and its cool courtyard. At the taverna Astra (31st km Marathonos Avenue, Nea Makri, 2294097315) Kostas Chrysoloras invites you to enjoy his restaurant’s international offerings while listening to live piano and guitar. A bit further away Zoumberis (Zoumberi Beach, Nea Makri, 2294096866) offers a well looked-
swim. The taverna Kavouri (Marathon beach, 2294055243) offers simple, nicely cooked dishes, fresh fish and very tasty spaghetti with seafood or lobster, all of which you can enjoy right at the edge of the sea.
after place by the sea serving fresh seafood.
a unique ambiance built a short distance away from the beach and artfully restored. Its specialties are grilled meat and traditional dishes (roast lamb served in a grease-proof paper instead of a plate). The Naias (17 Poseidonos St., Marathon beach, 22940-56204), another taverna by the sea, is the ideal place to enjoy an impeccable service and exquisite fresh fish, a variety of ouzo snacks, spaghetti with lobster or with shrimp and grilled meat. The taverna Psaras – Dimelis. D. (Marathon
A historical route Marathon is situated a few kilometres north of Nea Makri. There you can see the Marathon Tomb, built by the Athenians during Classical times to honour the soldiers that fell in the historic Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. After you get a taste of history, you can head towards the beach of Marathon where you will find many tavernas, ouzo bars, and cafés to welcome you after you enjoy your
The taverna Tria Adelfia (Three Brothers) (Marathon beach, 22940-55261) prepares authentic seafood snacks, which are served, as is the norm in this area, right next to the sea. The wine presses of Bairaktaris (285 Marathonos Avenue (37th km. – Patitiria Area, 2294055261) is a historic place with
beach, 22940-55237) is yet another taverna where you can treat yourselves to fresh fish, stuffed calamari and other wonderful delicacies in a pleasant environment with a view of the sea. The taverna Faros (Lighthouse) is built right next to the sea and is another place that offers fresh fish. It is a beautiful establishment that allows you to enjoy fine snacks, a variety of seafood and as much ouzo as you like. Deep in the most beautiful gulf of Attica A short distance from Marathon is Schinias, a long beach
with an organised beach situated near a magnificent pine forest that makes a very attractive destination for those who enjoy swimming. The sea is shallow and the beach is sandy. Those who love water sports and particularly windsurfing will have a great time, as there are usually strong winds in the area. The beach of Schinias was an Olympic venue; the Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre hosted the rowing and flat-water canoeing
events in the 2004 Olympics. Schinias is a favourite among Athenians and many spend all day on this quiet beach. There are many small tavernas, ouzo bars, cafés, beach bars and water parks in the area. You can also watch beach volley tournaments and many other water activities. One of the most well-known places to eat is the Karavi (Boat) (198 Poseidonos Ave., 22940-55950), a fantastic place with coconut trees, wooden deck-chairs and umbrellas. In the morning, it serves fresh juice, sorbet, ice cream, beer and coffee, but
you can also find all kinds of sandwiches and burgers. The hamburgers, grilled chicken and fresh meatballs that chef Yannis Geldis prepares are not only unique, but very healthy as well. Lastly, the taverna Glaros (Seagull) (Schinias beach, 22940-63384) is situated in the middle of the beach and among the dishes offered are grilled fish, seafood snacks and exquisite ice cream.
Electricity Tech Specs Voltage 220V Frequency 50Hz
Cost of Living
Clothes and shoe sizes For an easier shopping experience, you can check our list of the Greek equivalents for American and European sizes.
Banks Major international banking institutions, credit card companies and ATMs in and around Athens are plentiful and easy to access. Banks are open to the public Monday through Thursday 08:00 to 14:30 and Friday 08:00 to 13:30, except on public holidays. The “Open24” Bank (Eurobank) is open mornings and afternoons, as well as on Saturdays. Foreign currency may be exchanged for euros at most Greek and foreign banks and at exchange bureaus located in the city center. Bring your passport when exchanging money as you will need it for the transaction. Traveler’s checks and credit cards issued by major companies are also widely recognized and an accepted means of purchasing items in Athens.
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Athens is a city that offers numerous temptations as far as consumer products are concerned. Below is a list with indicative prices for a number of everyday products and services: • Museum tickets €4-12 • Theater tickets from €20 • Cinema tickets €7-10 • Sandwich from €2 • Souvlaki from €1.80 • Big bottle of water €1 • Greek coffee “to go” from €1 • Cappuccino coffee at a café €3,5-5 • A refreshment at a kiosk €0.70 • Drink at a bar from €6 • Full meal (starter, main dish, dessert, not including drinks) between €20-40 1.5 hour ticket for all means of transport (metro, buses, trains) €1
Holidays Calendar of Traditional and National Holidays in and around Athens • October 28 - “OHI” Day commemorates the day the Greek dictator Metaxas said OHI, or “no,” to the Italian ultimatum which asked Greece to allow Italian forces to use Greek soil for military operations or otherwise face war. • December 25 & 26 - Christmas • January 1 - The feast of St. Vassilis (Greek Santa Claus), New Year’s Day • January 6 - The Epiphany • Clean Monday (Ash Monday) movable feast • March 25 - Greek Independence Day • Orthodox Good Friday - movable feast • Orthodox Easter - movable feast • Orthodox Easter Monday movable feast • May 1 - Labor day and the Feast of the Flowers • August 15 - Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Shopping If you come from a country outside the European Union and spend a minimum of €120 on the same day in the same store, you can benefit from a tax refund. Ask for your invoice or receipt and the tax-free receipt. Do not forget to get your invoices or receipts stamped at the airport. You can also find duty free shops at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and at the Port of Piraeus.
Pharmacies Internet Access There are numerous internet cafés in Athens which are usually open all day long and are very reasonably priced. You can also use the public internet WiFi connections in Syntagma Square, Kotzia Square and Theseion (WiFi public hotspots). Athens wifi is a wireless hotspot based on 802.11b/g (WiFi). You can easily connect to the Internet while you are sitting on a bench or enjoying your coffee. The connection is free provided that you chose the wireless network (SSID) athenswifi and type the number which appears on your screen. The connection speed is quite fast and the capacity is 4Mbps.
Mobile Phones Usually mobile phones automatically connect with the Greek network. You can also do it by yourself by choosing the option “network selection” on your mobile to get manually connected. Your mobile phone operator will inform you about charges for calls received from your own country or for the ones you make while in Greece (local and international calls).
Many public hospitals and a few private ones operate in Athens. The Emergency Departments at public hospitals work on a rotation basis. To find out which hospitals are on duty at any particular time, dial 1434. Treatment in public hospitals is free of charge.
Time Athens is in the Eastern-European timezone, which means two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Additionally, Athens has daylight-saving time, meaning that during spring and summer (from March to October) the clocks are put forward one hour.
Pharmacies can be found throughout Athens. For overnight service, there are always one or two pharmacies open in every district. For pharmacies on call, dial 1434.
Of course, a cheaper solution is to get a Greek mobile telephone number as soon as you arrive in Athens and use this during your stay. You can buy a new SIM card even from the kiosks on the streets and the cost is €5.
• Emergency call: 100 • Tourist police: 171 (information available in English, French and German) • Tourist Police Headquarters: +30 210 69 77 386, +30 210 69 24 929 • Airport Police: +30 210 35 30 000
Listed below is a month-by-month breakdown of average temperatures and precipitation in Athens. (Source: worldweather.org and Hellenic National Meteorological Service)
Weather and Climate Athens is an ideal year-round city destination with comfortable and favorable climate conditions for travel and sightseeing. Rainfall is minimal (estimated at just 40 cm or 16 inches per year) and Helios, the sun god in Greek mythology, smiles upon its streets over 300 days a year. The summers (June through August) are dry and hot with temperatures ranging from 78° to 94°F, or 20° to 34°C, and are recommended for diehard sun worshippers. Seasonal winds, known as meltemia, may accompany some hot days depending on the climatic conditions. September is often considered the ideal month for both urban activities and nearby island day trips with temperatures ranging from 70° to 83°F, or 20° to 28°C. The Mediterranean climate makes for mild winters and even milder autumns in low-lying areas (such as Athens) with the coldest temperatures reported in January at a very temperate 41° to 55° F, or 5° to 13°C. Christmas in Athens is a delight considering you can take in the city’s lights and attractions at a relatively comfortable 45° to 50°F, or 7° to 14°C. Snowy, icy days are few but within reach atop the surrounding mountain peaks. In Athens, sunshine and outdoor living is almost always a given- no matter what time of the year.
• Jan: 5.2° - 12.5°C / 41° - 54.5°F 5.69 cm / 2.2 inches rainfall • F eb: 5.4° - 13.5 °C / 42° - 56.3°F 4.67 cm / 1.8 inches rainfall • M arch: 6.7° - 15.7 °C / 44° - 60.26°F 4.07cm / 1.6 inches rainfall • A pril: 9.6° - 20.2° °C / 49° - 68°F 3.08 cm / 1.2 inches rainfall • M ay: 13.9° - 26.0 °C / 57° - 78°F 2.68 cm / 1.05 inches rainfall • June: 18.2° - 31.1 °C / 65 - 88°F 1.06 cm / 0.4 inches rainfall • J uly: 20.8 ° - 33.5 °C / 69 - 92°F 0.58 cm / 0.2 inches rainfall • A ug: 20.7° - 33.2 °C / 69 - 92°F 0.6 cm / 0.2 inches rainfall • Sep: 17.3° - 29.2 °C / 63 - 85°F 1.39 cm / 0.5 inches rainfall • O ct: 13.4° - 23.3 °C / 56 - 74°F 5.26 cm / 2 inches rainfall • N ov: 9.8° - 18.1 °C / 50 - 65°F 5.83 cm / 2.2 inches rainfall • D ec: 6.8° - 14.1 °C / 44 - 57°F 6.91cm / 2.7 inches rainfall
Weights and Measures Greece uses the metric system, as do the majority of European countries. The UK and the U.S.A. use the imperial system. The conversion table below may be useful.
METRIC SYSTEM UK / USA (IMPERIAL) - 1 gram (g) 0.0353 ounce - 1 kilo(gram) (kg) 2.204 pounds - 1 centimeter (cm) 0.393 inch - 1 meter (m) 3.281 feet / 1.093 yard - 1 kilometer (km) 0.621 mile - 1 centiliter (cl.) 0.021 US pint / 0.0176 UK pint - 1 liter (l) 0.264 US gallon / 0.220 UK gallon - 1 liter (l) 2.1 US pints / 1.76 UK pint UK/USA (IMPERIAL) METRIC SYSTEM - 1 ounce (oz) 28.349 grams - 1 pound (lb) 0.453 kilo (grams) - 1 inch (in) 2.540 centimeters - 1 foot (ft) 0.304 meters - 1 yard (yd) 3 feet-0.914 meter - 1 mile (mi) 1760 yards-1.609 kilometers - 1 US pint (pt) 0.473 liter - 1 UK pint (pt) 0.568 liter - 1 US gallon (gal) 3.785 liters - 1 UK gallon (gal) 4.456 liters
Temperature in Greece is expressed in degrees Centigrade. But if you come from the United Kingdom or the United States, you’ll find our conversion tables useful.
Degrees Centigrade Fahrenheit -10°C -5°C 0°C 5°C 10°C 15°C 20°C 25°C 30°C 35°C 40°C
14°F 23°F 32°F 41°F 50°F 59°F 68°F 77°F 86°F 95°F 104°F
Fahrenheit Degrees Centigrade 10°F 20°F 30°F 40°F 50°F 60°F 70°F 80°F 90°F 100°F 110°F
-12.2°C -6.7°C -1.1°C 4.4°C 10°C 15.6°C 21.1°C 26.7°C 32.2°C 37.8°C 43.3°C
Thermal Buses S.A. (ETHEL)
Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE)
Transportation The Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway Company/Metro Line 1 (ISAP) Referred to as Metro Line 1, the AthensPiraeus Electric Railway Company, or ISAP, runs between Piraeus and Kifissia and connects to Metro Lines 2 & 3, the tram and bus routes at hub stations. The total travel time from the first to the last stop on Line 1 is less than an hour. The electric railway runs daily from 05:00 to 00:15 For more information dial: 1440 or +30 210 32 48 311; www.isap.gr
Attiko Metro (Metro Lines 2 & 3) One of the charms of modern Athens is the new underground metro (its construction made headlines when ancient artifacts were found underground and halted its progress). You will see many of these ancient artifacts in special exhibits incorporated into the design of the stations Two lines (Metro Line 2 and 3) serve 23 stations. From start to finish on each line (2 & 3) is 20 minutes or less. At peak hours trains run every three minutes. Attiko Metro runs daily from 05:30 to 00:15. On Fridays and Saturdays operating hours are extended to 02:00. For more information: +30 210 51 94 012; www.amel.gr call
Domestic and international departures from Athens and Thessaloniki with connections to major railways. Main stations are: • Peloponnisou +30 210 51 31 601 • Larissa +30 210 52 97 777 (serves northern Greece and international routes) For more information dial: 1110; www.ose.gr
Blue Buses OASA The blue bus network consists of more than 320 lines connecting the city center to all the Athens suburbs and to Piraeus. OASA provides information on the best way to reach a destination by dialing 185. Blue buses run daily from 05:00 to 00:15. For more information: www.oasa.gr
Proastiakos (suburban rail)
Athens Sightseeing Public Bus Line No. 400
This new high-speed rail system offers access to Irakleio and Neratziotissa, near the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. A connection can be made to the Kifissia-Piraeus ISAP line. It also gets you to Kifissia, the hub of business in northern Athens; Doukissis Plakentias, an important urban residential area; Pallini and Kantza in the eastern part of the greater Athens area; and Koropi, a center of industrial development. A new route to Corinth has just been initiated with plans to extend the network with added routes to Lavrio, Rafina, and Chalkida for easier mobility. It also serves Athens International Airport. The suburban rail runs daily from 06:00 until 12 midnight. The line from Neratziotissa station to the Airport and back to Neratziotissa station runs 24 hours a day every 30 minutes. For more information: +30 210 52 72 000; www.proastiakos.gr
The Athens Sightseeing Public Bus Line No. 400 makes stops at the city’s top sightseeing spots. Schedules from June to September are from 07:30 to 21:00, every 30 minutes. The duration of the round trip is 90 minutes. The ticket costs 6 euros and can be purchased only on the bus. The ticket is valid for 24 hours and provides for unlimited travel on the Athens Sightseeing Public Bus Line and all modes of public transport. For more information: call 185; www.oasa.gr
The Ethel buses are the core lines that connect the Athens and Piraeus city center s to the centers of surrounding municipalities. The renovation of the core Athens bus system resulted in hundreds of new buses, many of them powered by natural gas. There are several express bus routes to and from Athens International Airport. Thermal buses run daily from 5:00 to 23:00. For more information: call 185 or +30 210 88 36 076; www.ethel.gr
Trolley or Electric Buses (ILPAP) The old yellow trolleys of Athens’ past have been replaced by cutting-edge purple and yellow trolley buses with digital displays. The trolleybus is just one more means of transport to take you where you want to go in Athens. Trolleybuses run daily from 5:00 to 00:30. For more information: call 185 or +30 210 88 36 076; www.ethel.gr
Intercity Bus Company or Association of Bus Operators (KTEL) The Greek bus companies, or KTEL, serve destinations outside Athens and have a dense network throughout Greece. Almost every city and village has a local KTEL with routes to main centers and to Athens. There are two bus terminals: Kifissou 100 serves the Peloponnese (+302105124910) and western Greece; the Liossion 260 terminal serves central and northern Greece (+302108317109). For more information: call 1440; www.ktel.org
tram Ecologically and environmentally friendly, with a view of the Saronic Gulf, the Tram connects the center of Athens with the coastal neighborhoods of Glyfada to the east, and Piraeus to the west. Three station hubs along its routes connect passengers with Metro Lines 2 and 3 and one station connects to the Electric Railway (ISAP), or Metro Line 1. Total waiting time during peak hours is a mere 8 minutes. The Tram operates from Monday to Thursday 5:00 to 00:15 and from Friday to Saturday on a 24-hour basis For more information: www.tramsa.gr
MUSEUMS Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos 148 Ermou St., Athens Nearest Metro: Monastiraki Nearest Rail: Thissio Telephone: +302103463552 Opening Hours: 08:00-19:30 Admission: €2 Archaeological Museum of Piraeus 31 Charilaou Trikoupi St., Piraeus Nearest Rail: Piraeus Telephone: +302104521598 Opening Hours: 08:00-15:00; Closed Mondays Admission: €3 The Railway Museum of Athens 4 Siokou St., Athens Nearest Metro: Sepolia Telephone: +302105126295 Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday 09:00-13:00 (Wednesday 17:00-20:00); Saturday-Sunday 10:00-13:00; Closed Mondays Admission: Free
B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music Vasilissis Sofias & Merlin Street, Athens Nearest Metro: Syntagma (Line 2 & 3) Telephone: +302103611206 Website: www.thf.gr Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00; Closed Tuesday; Thu-Fri 10:00-22:00 Benaki Museum Koumpari Street& Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens Nearest Metro: Syntagma (Line 2 & 3) Telephone: +302103671000 Website: www.benaki.gr Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00; Thu 09:00-00:00; Sun 09:00-15:00; Closed Tuesday New Benaki Museum 138 Pireos St., Athens Nearest Metro: Kerameikos Nearest Rail: Petralona Telephone: +302103453111 Website: www.benaki.gr Opening Hours: Mon-Tue Closed; Wed, Thu & Fri 10:00-18:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-22:00 Byzantine & Christian Museum 22 Vasilissis Sofias St., Athens Nearest Metro: Megaro Moussikis Telephone: +302107232178, +302107211027 Website: www.byzantinemuseum.gr Opening Hours: 08:30-15:00; Closed Monday Admission: €4
Cycladic Art Museum 4 Neofytou Douka St., Athens Nearest Metro: Panepistimio Telephone: +302107228321, +302107228322 Website: www.cycladic.gr Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00; Thu 10:00-20:00; Sun 11:00-17:00; Closed Tuesday Admission: €7; Monday €3.50 Frissiras Museum for Contemporary European Art 3 & 7 Monis Asteriou, Plaka Telephone: +30 2103234678 Nearest Metro: Acropolis Website: www.frissirasmuseum.com Opening Hours: Wed to Fri 10:00-17:00; Sat & Sun 11:00-17:00; Mon & Tue Closed Admission: €6
Herakleidon Museum – Experience in Visual Arts 16 Herakleidon St., Thission Nearest Metro: Monastiraki Telephone: +302103461981 Website: www.herakleidon-art.gr Opening Hours: Tue to Sat 13:00-21:00; Sun 11:00-19:00; Closed Monday Admission: €6
Goulandris Natural History Museum 13 Levidou St., Kifissia Telephone: +30 210 8015870 Nearest Train: Kifissia Website: www.gnhm.gr Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 09:00-14:30; Sun 10:00-14:30 Admission: €3.50
Jewellery Museum – Ilias Lalaounis 6 Karyatidon St., Athens Nearest Metro: Acropoli Telephone: +302109221044 Website: www.lalaounis-jewelrymuseum.gr Opening Hours: Thu-Sat 08:30-16:30; Sun 11:00-16:00; Wed 09:00-21:00 Mon-Tue: Closed Admission: €5
Greek Folk Art Museum 17 Kydathinaion St., Athens Telephone: +302103229031 Nearest Metro: Syntagma Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00-14:00; Closed Monday Admission: €2
Jewish Museum of Greece 39 Nikis, Athens Nearest Metro: Syntagma Telephone: +30210 32 25 582 Website: www.jewishmuseum.gr Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 09.00-14.30; Sun10.00-14.00; Closed Saturday Admission: €5
Museum of Islamic Art 22 Agion Asomaton St., Athens Nearest Metro: Monastiraki Telephone: +302103251311 Opening Hours: Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Su 09:00-15:00; Wed 9:00-21:00; Closed Monday
National Art Gallery – Alexandros Soutzos Museum 1 Michalakopoulou & 50 Vas. Konstantinou , Athens Nearest Metro: Evangelismos Tel.: +30 2107235857 +302107235937-8
Website: www.nationalgallery.gr Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 09:00-15:00; Sun 10:00-14:00; Closed Tuesday Admission: €6.50
Museum of Greek Children’s Art 9 Kodrou St., Athens Nearest Metro: Acropoli Telephone: +302103312621 Website: www.childrensartmuseum.gr Opening Hours: Tue to Sat: 10.00-14.00; Sun: 11.00-14.00; Mon: Closed Admission: €2 Museum of Modern Ceramics 4-6 Melidoni St., Athens Nearest Metro: Monastiraki Nearest Rail: Thissio Telephone: +302103318491 Website: www.potterymuseum.gr Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 09:00-15:00; Sun 10:00-14:00; Closed Saturday Admission: €3 National Archaeological Museum 44 Patision Ave., Athens Nearest Metro: Omonoia Nearest Rail: Viktoria Telephone: +302108217724 Opening Hours: Tue to Sun 08:30-15:00; Mon 13:00-19:30 Admission: €7
National Historical Museum 3 Stadiou St., Athens Nearest Metro: Panepistimio Telephone: +302103237617 Website: www.nhmuseum.gr Opening Hours: Tue to Sun 09:00-14:00; Closed Monday Admission: €3; Sunday: Free Numismatic Museum 12 Panepistimiou Ave., Athens Nearest Metro: Syntagma Telephone: +302103643774 Website: www.nma.gr Opening Hours: Tue to Sun 08:30-15:00; Closed Monday Admission: €3 War Museum Vasilissis Sofias Avenue & Rizari Street, Athens Nearest Metro: Evangelismos Telephone: +302107215035 Opening Hours: Tue to Sun 09:00-14:00; Closed Monday Admission: Free
CITY OF ATHENS
BABEL Comics Festival
Athens Video Art Festival
Technopolis hosted hundreds events from May 1999 to present such as: Visual Art - Photography - Technology - Sculpture -Conferences Seminars, International Festivals Concerts - Theatrical and Dance Events- Business Forums Educational Programs Product presentations Concert Alkistis Protopsalti
“Technopolis” of the City of Athens provides: Access to the disabled, Coffee bar, 20 WC, nearby parking. Operating hours: Weekdays and Weekends 10.00-22.00. (Operating hours may be modified without notice) Access: Trolley: Line 21 (from Omonia Square), OASA Busses: 035, 049, 811, 815, 838, 914, B18, ?18, 731, 031. Train: Station “Thision”. Metro: Station "Keramikos". Contact: Technopolis City of Athens, 100 Piraeus Str., 11854 Gazi, Athens Tel: 210-3461589 and 210-3467322, Fax: 210-3413228 http://www.cityofathens.gr/dimotikoi-foreis/texnopolis-dimoy-athinaion Mail: email@example.com
CITY OF ATHENS
CULTURE TO THE NEIGHBOURHOODS Íikitaò Êaklamanis
The City to Share Your Ideas Some of humanityâ€™s most exciting ideas were born in Athens, and from here they were shared with the world. This could be due to the fine weather. Or the inspiring scenery. Or, if you prefer, the Athenian attitude towards life. Whatever the reason, great ideas seem to have always reached the most distant places when coming from this unique place of Europe. Enhanced by its state of the art venues and facilities, Athens today can meet the demands of any event and always deliver an impeccable result. Bring your meeting to Athens. Get inspired. Share your ideas.
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THE OFFICIAL CITY OF ATHENS MAGAZINE FOR TOURISM PROFESSIONALS