We are really thinking about staying on the ship when we reach this port! Reviews seem to all be "BEWARE" do not take a cab, pick pockets etc. No sure I want to worry about all that, if you know what I mean....any one have any insight on this port? I would like to see the Acropolis and visit the Plaka but is it worth all the worry and not trusting anyone??
Are there any ship tours that interest you? I often go that route in cities that have a reputation for pickpockets (which, I suppose is most of them). I also have a money wallet that is worn like a necklace under clothing. The strap cannot be cut.
I see no travel warnings or travel alerts for Greece on the State Departments website. I suspect a lot of the comments you're reading are from inexperienced travelers that panic easily. You're an experienced traveler Janfred. Follow the normal precautions that anyone experienced or inexperienced should do. That is, don't where jewelry, don't be flashing around your cash or carry large amounts of cash, use the money wallets under your clothing, if you do carry a purse or tote use the zippered kind or keep the flaps against you. Don't wear clothing or carry totes that broadcast you're an American. Always be aware of your surroundings. There are many other places that are known for pick pockets. Italy trains, subways, and in Spain the Las Ramblas area. I was in Athens in December 2008 and walked the Plaka area and felt safe. I realize there have been some problems in Greece in the last year or so. However; these have been mostly in the non-tourist areas. If you are uncertain then definitely take a ships tour. It would be a shame to miss out on this opportunity.
I want to thank you all for the good input on this Port. I did see a few trips from the ship that did interest us and we would be in a group the whole time. I do think I was a little wary of being out and about a long time by ourselves. :OD
Our driver dropped us off near this cluster of alleyways (walk only) filled with shops and restaurants so we could do lunch. To make sure we found our way back, we took pictures of each street sign at each intersection.
Pickpockets are all too common throughout Europe and not just in Athens. If you are goin(g to get all worked-up about this kind of thing you might want to either stay home of spend the big bucks for the cruise line excursions. Athens is actually a fabulous tourist city (we were just there a few weeks ago) and personal crime (such as pickpockets) are not a big deal for those that take simple precautions and use some common sense. The cheapest (and often fastest) way to get into central Athens from Pireaus is to take the train less then $3 which becomes part of the underground metro (subway) system once you get near the city. Once you arrive in Athens you can transfer to the other metro lines at no additional cost which means you can change to the metro line that takes you to the station near the Acropolis. Getting from the ship to the train station (in Pireaus) can be accomplished by walking (about 25 min) or using the local bus (accross the street ro the port). The bus ticket is now the same as the metro ticket which means 1 ticket (I think its bout 1.40 Euros) can be used for the local bus...train to Athens and the Athens metro lines. I think the ticket is valid for about 90 minutes (once you validate it).
As to the Acropolis (we were just there last month for our 3rd visit) there is a lot of restoration work at the current time...but it causes minimal problems for visitors. We strongly recommend visiting the new Acropolis Museum (located near the Acropolis entrance) which will really give you a better appreciation of the ruins (much of the treasures from the Acropolis are now housed inside the gorgeous museum building). For walkers, its relatively close to walk from the Acropolis to the popular Placa district.
We only do ship excursions and we did pick a nice one for a day in Athens. I had read an article about Athens and it may have been over the top. Not much keeps us home.
The only place I ever fit uncomfortable was in Zimbabwe at the Victoria Falls Airport but that's another story !! Thanks
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