Athens in Pills
Please find below a list of the most frequently asked questions.
Nationals of some countries will need a travel-visa to enter Greece (and Schengen area).
Participants should contact the Greek Embassy or Consulate in their home country as soon as possible to confirm their travel-visa requirements. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to procure the necessary visa to attend the congress.
Participant should initiate the application process at least 3 months prior to departure. OIC Group is not able assist participants with their visa application and cannot intervene with Embassies or Consulates on behalf of any participant.
For additional details please visit the following websites:
Visa invitation letter can be required during the registration process.
Only participants fully registered in the Meeting can obtain a personal invitation letter.
If requested, relevant expenses for hardcopy of the invitation letter sent by express courier must be paid in advance.
Please note that the visa invitation letter only aims to assist participants who need to obtain a visa or permission to attend the Meeting and it is not a commitment from the organizers to cover any kind of expenses or to provide any financial support. All expenses incurred in relation to the conference remain the sole responsibility of the participant.
To get the latest update regarding necessary documents to enter or depart from Greece check the Greek Government official site: https://travel.gov.gr
The meeting organizers are developing a detailed plan with instructions and measures applied in order to carry out the meeting in accordance with the current rules included in anti-COVID protocols, it will soon be available on line.
In Greece, the standard time is Eastern European Time (Greek: Ώρα Ανατολικής Ευρώπης; EET; UTC+02:00). Daylight saving time, which moves one hour ahead to UTC+03:00 is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. Greece adopted EET in 1916.
To calculate the time difference with your city click here.
In Athens, the capital of Greece, the climate is Mediterranean, with mild, moderately rainy winters and hot, sunny summers.
Greece’s official language is Greek.
The official language of EGS Congress is English, interpretation service will not be provided.
The international dialing code from abroad is +30.
For international calls, dial 00 + national code + area code + personal number.
Mobile phone network coverage is available across Greece and is plentiful in Athens. If you are travelling to some remote areas of the country pre- or post-event, coverage may become limited
The currency in Greece is Euro.
Banks are usually open from Monday to Friday, generally from 8:30am to 2:30pm. ATMs (cash machines) work 24 hours a day. All banks close down at weekends and on public holidays.
There are plenty of currency exchange offices, banks and cash machines throughout the city.
In Greece the power plugs and sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.. A transformer and an adapter are necessary to use North American electrical appliances whose plugs have two square pins. Adapters are available in most hardware stores.
How to arrive
The capital of Greece is situated in the southernmost region of the Balkan Peninsula, southeast of Europe. Its remote location in the European continent and the country’s orography make the easiest way to get to the city by air or by sea.
Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is 27km east of Downtown Athens and well-connected to Athens by public transportation. This airport handles all international flights and domestic flights for Athens.
Trains from the south and west, including Eurail (www.eurail.com) connections via Patras, arrive at the Peloponnese station (Stathmos Peloponnisou; tel. 210/513-1601), about a mile northwest of Omonia Square on Sidirodromeon. Trains from the north arrive at Larissa station (Stathmos Larissis; tel. 210/529-8837), just across the tracks from the Peloponnese station on Deligianni. The Larissa station has both an exchange office (daily 8am-9:15pm) and luggage storage (daily 6:30am-9pm).
To get to the train stations, you can take the Metro to Larissa (line 2), close to both stations. A taxi from the center of town should cost about 10€. The Metro runs from Omonia, Syntagma, and Koukaki to the Larissa Metro station, which is near the train stations. The most central place to catch the Metro is the stop in front of the Parliament building on Syntagma Square.
You can purchase train tickets just before your journey at the train station (running the risk that all seats may be sold); at the Omonia Square ticket office, 1 Karolou (tel. 210/524-0647); at 17 Filellinon, off Syntagma Square (tel. 210/323-6747); or from most travel agents. Information (in theory in English) on timetables is available by dialing tel. 145 or 147.
Piraeus, the main harbor of Athens’s main seaport, 11km (7 miles) southwest of central Athens, is a 15-minute Metro ride from Monastiraki, Omonia, and Thissio Metro stations. The subway runs from about 5am to midnight and costs 1.40€. The far slower bus no. 040 runs from Piraeus to central Athens (with a stop at Filellinon, off Syntagma Sq.) every 15 minutes between 5am and 1am and hourly from 1am to 5am for 1.20€. To get to Athens International Airport, you can take the X96 bus (5€), the Suburban Railroad (8 €) or the metro which will require a change at Monastiraki station to line 3 (8 €).
Metro Line 3 runs from the airport to the city center stations of Syntagma and Monastiraki, departing every 30 minutes from 5:30am until about midnight. The trip takes 45 minutes and costs €10 (24€ for groups of 3). The metro station is a 5 to 10-minute walk from baggage claim; elevators are available. There are both machines and ticket windows staffed with people. The metro trains and suburban trains run from the same platform and have different ticket windows – be sure to get metro tickets and get on the metro train if you’re going downtown. The train runs from 5:30am to 11:30pm (but times can change slightly with season). The airport ticket is good for all transit in the city for up to 90 minutes. Validate when first getting on the train, and then again if you switch to a different train or bus in the city.
If you’re arriving or departing at night then the bus is a good alternative to the metro as it runs 24/7. It has several advantages over the metro: the bus is the cheapest way between the airport and downtown and it has much more space than the metro for baggage. The one drawback to the bus is that during the day it has to deal with Athens traffic which can slow to a standstill. The bus can get from the airport to downtown in 40 minutes in light traffic but can take up to 1.5 hours in heavy traffic. The heaviest traffic times are 7:30am-9:30am and 4pm-6pm All airport bus numbers start with an “X”. In the daytime, buy your ticket before boarding and validate your ticket on board. Late at night, you’ll need to purchase your ticket from the driver on the bus.
X95 – To Syntagma Square (€6) in 40 to 80 minutes. It also stops across from the Hilton. Every 15 to 30 minutes.
X96 – To Piraeus/Ferry Port (€6) in 45 to 90 minutes. Every 15 to 30 minutes.
X93 – To Kifissos Bus Terminal A (for buses to Peloponnese, Thessaloniki, Corfu) in 60 minutes. Every 30 minutes.
Taxi from the airport to central Athens is done on a flat fee and cost €38 through the day and €60 from midnight to 5am. From the airport to Piraeus by taxi costs €54 through the day and €70 at night (but this is not a flat fee so watch the meter or pre-arrange the rate with your driver). Taxis are found at Exit 3 on the arrivals level. Taxi fares should include all tolls and airport fees. If you’re asked to pay anything else tell them you’ll call the tourist police and they can help sort it out. Just dial 171 to contact the tourist police operator who should be fluent in multiple languages. (This number will work anywhere in Greece.) There is a limit of four passengers in all Greek taxis.