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About Athens

Athens is the capital and ancient heart of Greece. With over 600,000 residents within its city limits, Athens these days is a collision of a magnificent past and modern sophistication. The city is well-known for its historic centre, first class museums and its mouth-watering cuisine. Touristic attractions include the ancient Acropolis, Parthenon and the lively Plaka District.

Cheap flights to Athens are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to be amazed by this iconic metropolis! Athens is home of Athens International Airport (ATH), located on a 40-minute drive from the city centre. Athens International Airport serves a multitude of airlines, including Turkish Airlines, EgyptAir, Emirates and Qatar Airways. Popular international flights to Athens depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. The flight duration from Johannesburg to Athens is approximately 13 hours and 40 minutes.

Popular flights to Athens

Flight Route Airline Trip Type Travel Dates Searched Price from
Johannesburg - Athens Iberia Airlines Return Oct 27 - Nov 16 1 day ago R7,449.00
Cape Town - Athens Iberia Airlines Return Dec 1 - Dec 11 1 day ago R7,609.00
Durban - Athens Emirates Return Nov 11 - Nov 18 1 day ago R8,539.00
George - Athens Qatar Return Aug 10 - Aug 18 0 days ago R10,209.00
Port Elizabeth - Athens Qatar Return Oct 3 - Oct 17 1 day ago R9,089.00

Why visit Athens

athens-ancient-ruins

Ancient Greek Ruins

Athens is world famous for its ancient ruins that are often the backdrop to paintings, movies and postcards. The Acropolis and Temples of Poseidon are absolutely unique and amazing.

athens-food-dolmades

Famous Greek Cuisine

You’ll be drooling over well-loved dishes such as “moussaka” and “souvlaki” that are served all around the city in stylish, quaint cafes and restaurants.

athens-people-mediterranean

Greek People

The hospitality of the people of Athens is something very special. Don’t be surprised as they invite you to their homes or offer to show you around.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Greece
Currency Euro (EUR)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.07 EUR
Language Greek
Hub Airport Athens International Airport (ATH)
Airline Aegean Airlines
Time Zone GMT+ 2
Travel Adaptor Type C and Type F

Best time to visit Athens

The best time to visit Athens would have to be during spring and early summer (May – mid June). The late summer in Athens can get extremely hot and uncomfortable, and as it is the main tourist period, you are guaranteed to encounter long queues and overcrowded attractions everywhere. Another great time to visit is in autumn (October – mid-November) as it is less crowded then too. Luckily, Athens never experiences bad weather (an average winter day is 14°C!) so you’ll be perfectly fine to book your holiday over the colder season as well. During these times, affordable flights and accommodation to Athens are more readily available, and you’re guaranteed good deals.

Weather & Climate in Athens

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall levels (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 7°C 7°C 9°C 12°C 16°C 21°C 24°C 24°C 20°C 15°C 11°C 8°C
High °C 13°C 14°C 17°C 21°C 26°C 31°C 34°C 34°C 29°C 24°C 18°C 14°C
Rainfall (mm) 50 46 45 28 17 9 8 5 22 42 69 73

Athens may be most famous for its stunning ancient ruins like the Acropolis and Temple of Poseidon, but it is so much more than just a historical site. Athens offers great weather, shopping, stylish eateries and bars, and warm hospitality.

Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and has a recorded history that goes back more than 3,400 years. The city has evolved with the times and all around its ancient structures you will find modern skyscrapers and new-age holistic restaurants and cafes all over. You’ll never run out of things to see and dishes to try in Athens!

When you visit, don’t forget to pack in your most comfortable shoes as you’re going to need them for the long days in Athens. Dinner is often at 10pm, followed by a night out on the town in Loukiani Street in the Kolonaki area.

Compare several airlines and book your cheap flights to Athens online at Travelstart!

South Africans who wish to visit Athens need to apply for a Schengen Visa as Greece falls under this visa. You will need to apply at the Greek Embassy for your Schengen Visa.

You will need two photographs, proof of residence in Athens, flight tickets, bank statements and various other documents to complete your application.

For more information, contact the Embassy of Greece:

323 North Village Lane Hilside Lynwood Pretoria South Africa

Tel: (+27) 12 348 2352 / (+27) 12 348 2427

Fax: (+27) 12 430 4313

Athens is one of the most visited cities in the world and for this reason, the security has been made a top priority by officials. As you can imagine, as it does get very busy over the summer season, and it is important to watch out for petty criminals as they might target your wallets or expensive cameras. One area to be aware of is Omonia Square as there are some homeless people there that have been known to beg for money and food.

It is always important to have your vaccines up to date when you are travelling. When visiting Athens, it is recommended to get a vaccination for hepatitis A if you think you’ll be eating any exotic food and then also a shot for Rabies if you plan to spend some time doing adventurous activities.

Item Johannesburg Cape Town Athens
Meal inexpensive restaurant R 90.00 R 100.00 R 161.00
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R 22.00 R 20.00 R 47.00
Cappuccino (Regular) R 19.00 R 20.00 R 39.50
Taxi 1km (Normal tariff) R 10.00 R 12.00 R 10.00
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35.00 R 35.00 R 56.00

Athens is a huge city and can get a bit loud at times, especially after a long day of sightseeing. For this reason, you might want to opt for a more quiet area such as Plaka. Plaka is still a very touristy area, but it is a lot more laid back and quiet in comparison to downtown Athens. Another option would be Syntagma which offers a similar feel. Both of these areas are safe, in walking distance to all the main attractions and close to cafes and restaurants that lure you in with their delicious aromas.

Athens has a fantastic public transportation system that is affordable and easy to navigate. You can buy one ticket (for one day, three days or a week, depending) and use this on all of the public transport options, except for the airport shuttles.

There are quite a few options to use to get around in Athens. There are buses, trolleybuses, trams, the metro and an above-ground train system as well.

We recommend that you use the metro to travel in the city, as the instructions are easy to understand and all the signs are clearly marked and in English. For the more scenic, no-rush route, use the tram to enjoy the sights.

Main attractions in Athens

Acropolis

Acropolis

Flisvos Marina

Flisvos Marina

Anafiotika

Anafiotika

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