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Practical Info

Practical Info

Travel documents

EU citizens, as well as citizens of Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway may travel to Greece with their national identity card or passport. Nationals from other countries need a valid passport to enter the country, and in some cases a visa is also required. 

For further information visit MFA visa section.

Accommodation for Media Representatives

As part of accommodation arrangements for Media representatives, and in cooperation with the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, a number of various star-rating hotels for the informal ministerial meetings to be held in Athens is suggested.
The hotels in question are located in central Athens (within a 2-3 km distance from Zappeion Press Centre) and offer reduced rates to accredited media representatives.
Please note that rooms are subject to availability. It is, therefore, advisable to make accommodation requests in good time.
Reservations, payments or cancellations are strictly the responsibility of media representatives. The Greek Presidency does not cover any accommodation-related costs.

Information concerning the suggested hotels is available on the website of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

Arriving at Athens International Airport

Athens International Airport is situated 33 km southeast of the city and there is rapid access to the city centre (Syntagma Square) via express bus routes, the metro and suburban railway system and taxis.

24-hour 7-day express buses

No X95: Airport – Syntagma (trip lasts appr. 60’)

No Χ97: Airport – Elliniko Metro Station (trip lasts appr. 45’). From Elliniko Metro station take line 2 (Anthoupoli - Elliniko). Syntagma stop

Bus tickets sold at the info/ticket-kiosk (located outside Arrivals between Exits 4 and 5), or onboard at no extra cost.


Τickets for metro and suburban railway should be bought and validated before boarding on trains.

Take Metro line 3 (Egaleo – Douk. Plakentias – Airport). Trains run every 30’, 7 days a week from 6:30 to 23:30. The trip from/to the Airport to Syntagma station lasts 40’.

Proastiakos: Suburban railway

Take the Suburban railway towards Ano Liosia – Kiato. Change at Plakentias station for Metro line 3 to Egaleo, using the same ticket.


A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs a flat rate of €35 from 5:00 to midnight, and €50 from midnight to 5:00.

Coming to Athens by road and/or sea-ferries

The main land border crossing points with neighboring countries are: Exochi Drama and Promachonas Serres for Bulgaria, Evzones Kilkis for FYROM, Kakavia in the Ioannina Prefecture for Albania and Kipoi Evrou for Turkey.

The main road axes in Greece are listed below, followed by the European road number:

Athens- Thessaloniki (E 75)
Athens- Corinth (E 94)
Corinth- Patras (E 65)
Thessaloniki-Kavala- Alexandroupoli (E 90)
Igoumenitsa-Alexandroupoli (Egnatia Odos Motorway)

If coming from neighboring Italy, there are several ferry-routes:  

The Port of Patras is connected with the ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, Trieste and Venice in Italy.

The Port of Igoumenitsa is connected with the ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindisi and Venice in Italy.

From the ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa there is access to city of Athens via the main road axes listed above.

Driving Licenses

EU citizens, as well as citizens of Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway may use their own national Driving License, while citizens of other countries must have an international driving license together with their own valid national driving license.

Health and Safety

Health and Safety: EU citizens, as well as citizens of Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway must be holders of the European Health Card (EHIC) or any other legal Community document issued by their social security agency.

Citizens from other countries must consult their social security agency for relevant information.

Getting to the Presidency’s venues

During the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union, most meetings and events are taking place in the city of Athens and its outskirts.

Zappeion Conference & Exhibition Centre

Located in the historic centre of Athens, the Zappeion Conference and Exhibition Centre is within walking distance -approximately 5’- from Syntagma Square and the Hellenic Parliament. Zappeion can be easily accessed by metro, buses, tram, trolleys and taxis.

By metro: Line 2 and/or Line 3 – Syntagma Stop

  • Entrance-Exit: Amalias Ave/National Garden

By tram: Tram (T4) [Syntagma-SEF] / Tram (T5) [Syntagma-Voula]   – Syntagma Stop

For a Metro and Tram Network Map, please click here

By buses & trolleys: There is an extended network of buses and trolleys getting to Zappeion Centre. To find your way to Zappeion by bus or trolley, please click here

By taxi: Taxis in Athens are plentiful and inexpensive. You can normally hail them anywhere at any time of the day, but you can also call for a taxi (numbers for taxis). You may also use the “taxibeat” application when you look for a taxi via the internet.

General Info


Greek is the official languages of Greece. English is widely spoken.

Local Time

Greece Time is GMT+2 (from late March till late October Greece participates in the Western European summer time scheme: GMT+3).

Climate and Weather

Greece has a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and a limited amount of rainfall. In the coastal regions, including Attica, summer temperatures average around 27°C, and winter temperatures rarely drop below 10°C.

Opening hours

Banks are open 8.00 – 14.30 Monday to Thursday and 8.00 – 14.00 on Friday. Some branches are open until late in the afternoon on working days as well as on Saturdays.

Opening hours for Cafes and restaurants vary. There are many options from early morning till late at night.  

Shops are normally open on Mondays and Wednesdays 9.00 – 15.00, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9.00 – 14.00 and 17.30 – 21.00, and on Saturdays 9.00 – 15.00 or 17.00. Department stores and shopping centres are open daily 9.00 – 21.00 and on Saturdays 9.00 – 20.00. In some tourist areas shops remain open on Sundays and public holidays as well.


The currency of Greece is the Euro.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currency may be exchanged for euros at most Greek and foreign banks, at exchange bureaus located in the city centre and at the airport.

ATMs and Credit Cards

Almost all banks in Greece have automatic teller machines (ATMs). All major credit cards and Traveler's checks are accepted almost everywhere.

Power supply

The power supply in Greece is 220 V AC at 50 Hz. You may require an adaptor for the round two-pin sockets.

Public Holidays during Greek Presidency

January 1: New Year's Day

January 6: Feast of the Holy Theophany (Epiphany)

March 3: Clean (Ash) Monday

March 25: Greek Independence Day

April 18: Good Friday

April 21: Easter Monday

May 1: Labour Day

June 9: Pentecost (Whit) Monday

Useful numbers

Dial Code for Greece: +30

Emergency: Call 112, the EU-wide emergency number for police, fire and ambulance. Alternatively call: 

Police: 100

Ambulance Service: 166

Fire Service: 199

SOS Doctors: 1016

Athens and Greece Guides

Athens Guide

Practical information and tips for moving around Athens, starting upon arrival at the airport, can be found at the city’s official visitors’ guide, Breathtaking AthensIt also includes a ‘must do’ list of things to see and experience during a 1 to 3 day stay in Athens.

Greece Guide

The website VisitGreece is the official travel guide to Greece. Here you may find up-to-date information about where to go, what to see and what to do in order to fully enjoy yourself while travelling in Greece.