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Greece Travel: Traveler's Reviews
Athens Survival Guide

Matt has a very special way of making you feel as though he is taking you by the hand, walking with you through Greece, telling you about the places he has found. Whenever I read his pages, I sense I am there with a friend. The photos help also, giving you a visual picture of the places you are "visiting."  I enjoy the site because he is imparting knowledge he has learned over the years -- and in the end, helping you have a better time while there. I used his Athens guide and found it extremely helpful while in Greece last year

Dear Matt,  thanks for all your valuable info on Greece.  No one should travel to Greece without first reading all the wonderful material you provide.   Thanks to you I was able to find my way around in Athens without fustrations.
Once again,  thanks.
Elizabeth Ghaffari 

Just returned and wish I had seen your web page before my trip rather than
after. None the less I enjoyed it very much. I do love Greece.

Dear Mr. Barrett,

My daughter and I traveled to Greece this past summer, and I used your website as one of the main resources for my trip.  Thank you for your reference for George, the Taxi Driver.  I used his service (we met George Jr) for when we arrived in Athens, and it turned out to be a blessing as the metro, busses, etc were on strike in June, and our airplane was over seven hours late getting in.  As we were getting ready to go, people questioned our sanity as our news services were filming every riot in Parliament Square and blowing it out of proportion.  I used your site to keep it in perspective and informed my 80 old mother and friends accordingly.

We didn't let the strikes slow us down and we had a great time in Greece.  Our tour guide while we were on tour was David Willett, who was probably the best tour guide I have met.  Not only did he know art and history, his knowledge of plants and the geology of the land was outstanding.  I also used your website for planning a cruise around the islands--we went with Louis Cruises and again had a great time. 

Thank you for all your work on your website--if I had the money, I would go to Greece and do the entire trip again--only stay longer than the month we were there.  World Cup is much more fun in Europe than in the states.  Even my non sports daughter got hooked.

Kay T
Dear Mr Barrett,

I would like to thank you for your excellent web site with its wealth of information on Greece, where my wife and I go frequently for holidays.  In particular, we were very grateful to obtain details of the taxi driver George Kokkotos.

We took some friends to Athens recently for a long weekend and e-mailed George in advance to pick us up and return us to the airport, and also to take us out for a day in the Peloponnese.  We had been to Athens a couple of times before, but our friends had not, so I wanted everything to run smoothly for them.  I need not have worried – everything turned out just like George says on his web site.

So I shall be able to recommend him to our friends in England (and to one who lives in Athens - Kifissia!) and I’ve passed on his details too to our local Travel Agency.

Yours sincerely,
Michael W
North Yorkshire, UK

As a Greek American married to a fellow from Athens, and having traveled to Athens many times, I find your site fabulous.  It can help a newcomer as well as one acquainted with Athens.  Keep up the good work!  Anyone going to the Olympics must see this site!!!!!!!

Dear Matt,

I stumbled across your website when I started seriously planning my trip to Greece about a year ago.  Mind you, I've been planning this trip in my head for the past 18 years!  It was my first trip abroad, and I was travelling alone, but I couldn't wait to get there, regardless of how nervous I was.

I just wanted to say thank you.  Your site is  filled with invaluable information.  I ended up doing a group tour for the first week I was there (through a company in the states), but contacted Fantasy Travel for my second week (as none of the packages I could find took me to where I wanted to go!).  I worked with Eleni (who I just wrote a thank you to), and she was wonderful.  Everything went smoothly!  But seriously, all the goofy insider information you have is just wonderful!  Way more helpful than a lot of the tour guides that are out there!  My only regret is that I never made it (or could find!) the poet/sandalmaker guy!  I was really looking forward to that, but my cell reception was a little spotty over there!

Keep doing what you're doing!  I'm betting there are a lot of other people like me who see your site (and learn SO much from it), but never contact you.

Thank you for helping me make my dream vacation (for 18 years!) come true!


Kristin L

Dear Matt,

Thank you for patiently answering my questions before our small group of independent travelers enjoyed our week in Athens earlier this month.  Your website was unbelievably helpful in planning for the trip.  We dined at several restaurants you suggested, stayed in one of the hotels you had listed (Amazon – basic, as are our needs, but outstanding location) and hired Billy and his Mercedes van for a wonderful day trip to Delphi. 

We loved our brief visit (even despite the strike on Thursday which shut down transport) and have decided that cruising the Greek Islands is a must for the future.

Again, I am most grateful to you for sharing your passion for Greece and knowing what travelers like us need to know!


Pat Kovalcheck
Brentwood, Tennessee

P.S. You can add this to your testimonials if you wish.

H i Matt
I've been reading your guide all winter, and spent last weekend in Athens
with my husband. We had a great time - I felt as if I knew the city after
reading your guide. The Hotel Attalos was great, and I was pleasantly
surprised by the Metro. (I've been going to Greece for years, and have no
great faith in their organisation!). Also, the new airport is superb. We
travelled via Athens to Leros last summer, and have been impressed by the
facilities both times.

I wish we'd been able to meet you on our trip - you really brought the city
alive for me. Best wishes from sunny England!

Jan Harding

Hi there
I have just spent some hours reading in your page, and I want to cry, because I miss being in Athens so much! :) And reading your page really made me want to go back!

I am a big Athens fan, many people dont like this heavy trafficated and smoggy city, but I think that Athens is the city  in europe with most charm and life.

First time I saw Athens from the air I was overwelmed, so perfect, so beautiful. I didnt want to go home after my first trip and after this I have been going back many times.  And I never get the feeling of being in a big city, it seems so small to be so big :)) If you know what I mean.

I have already planned to move to Athens in august this year, I am currently looking for a job and a place to live :) This way I can stay forever in this wonderful city!

Your page is really great! I could not stop reading and looking :) I saw all the places I love and remember, thank you for making my day so nice by looking at your page!

Christina Lervik, Norway

Hi Matt,

I wanted to thank you for your extensive info on Athens and tell you about a couple of our finds that may make it into your blog if you like them.

First, your resto recommendations:

We loved Taverna Psirri.  The lamb chops are amazing.  And the horta was good too.

We had a mixed experience at Naxos.  The first night we went they weren't real busy and we had a delicious grilled fish, salad and grilled Octopus.  On the strength of that meal we asked to have a table on Good Friday night for our last meal in Athens. Big mistake. The restaurant is slammed on Good Friday.  Absolutely mobbed with local families. That was fun but the food really suffered.  They had obviously pulled in extended family to help deal with the crowd and our server spoke little English.  We ordered fish which never came, 90 minutes later they told us they had run out.  The fried calamari was akin to a tire. the salad was barely dressed whereas the dinner before it had delicious olive oil and lemon, perfect.  We would definitely go back to Naxos but not on a night when they are really busy. We did however find a really good Indian restaurant on Ormou and at the foot of Leokoriou called Indian Cuisine which bailed us out at 11:30 p.m. with a delicious couple of take outs.

We loved Te Kati Alo.  Super nice people and delicious lamb and dolmas.

A young couple in the building we were renting a short stay apartment in told us about Troon Street and that surrounding neighborhood.  We did not make it over there but were pleased to see that you list a couple of places there!

We did find, courtesy of the Culinary Backstreets blog a great place opposite the Agia Irini Church called Kouzina Manas Kouzina.  The concept there was to cook food that is like mom's homecooked food (if your mom was a really good cook!) and serve it in one of three portion sizes.  They have a range of soups, salads, veggie dishes, meat and fish each day.  Menu changes each day.  The biggest plate, with three portions of whatever you want is 8 Euros.  Portions are generous and we greatly enjoyed the food.  Very nice young entrepreneurial guy runs the place and the tattoed chef is a sweetie.  I went on good friday morning for breakfast and they explained that the church had asked that they not open until noon that day.  But they invited me in, the chef made me an omelet and fresh orange juice.  With that and a double greek coffee I was good to go.

We also loved Stani, the historic dairy bar near Omonia.  The breakfast there is delicious and inexpensive, the sheep yoghurt with honey and walnuts is killer and the staff are very sweet.

We also had a good dinner at Lithos in Psirri (Aisopou 17) our first night.  The food was very good, a little more expensive than some of the tavernas but not significantly.  Service was nice and for a first night when you are new to the city it fit the bill really well.

We tried to find Cafenon Evi but it seems to have changed name and owner??  Mavros Gatos looked great but we ran out of meals--

One other thing, we went to Crete for a week and had to fly back through Athens for a quick overnight.  We found a small hotel in the village of Artemis called Piri's Hotel.  The owner will pick you up at the airport and drop you back the next day.  Rooms were 80 E-- not dirt cheap but with the transfer and a nice breakfast, and, the convenience of not having to go in and out of Athens it was well worth it.  The hotel was extremely clean, there is a nice neighborhood taverna within a 5 minute walk and you can also take a local bus down to the waterfront to have more resto options.

We were smitten with the Acropolis Museum and the Benaki.  We liked the Archaeological Museum but found it to be a little overwhelming with somewhat old fashioned displays.  Well worth a visit though.  Loved the Agora and the Acropolis.  I had the rather remarkable experience of wandering in the Central Market on Good Friday through a forest of lamb carcasses. I was convinced there were no lambs left in Greece after than.  I never could find the Easter market in Psirri but maybe next time.

All in all, a great visit greatly helped by your information.

Sally Peabody

Your Great Days in Paris & Turkish Journeys


Dear Matt,
This is just a quick and simple but very sincere and genuine email thanking you for your fantastic online guide. I have just come back from a week's holiday in Greece and I cannot begin to describe to you what a life changing experience it was. I feel like I've come back as a better version of myself, as corny as that sounds! It was my very first holiday alone and so felt like a huge achievement, almost like a present to myself :)
Greece seemed like a strange choice to family and friends, especially considering the current financial climate but your guide motivated me and made the place seem exciting and inspiring, and I was certainly in dire need of some inspiration so it made perfect sense to me! All the information that you have online is up to date, helpful, useful and relevant. It made travelling so much safer and made the trip easier overall. I wish you had a guide for every country in Europe to be honest!
So thank you so much for encouraging me to take this trip as you armed me with so much information and therefore confidence that I felt that I could in fact do it alone. Greece (I spent 5 days in Athens and 2 days in Santorini) is an experience which I will never forget and I'm grateful because you helped to make it happen. You write your guide with passion and real love for the country and it really shows.
Lots of love,

Yasmin (23 year old Female Explorer)
P.s. Female travelers worried about travelling alone, please do not be scared of Greece. It was such a lovely experience, I did not have any unwanted attention from men, at least not any more than I would have had back home! If you stick to the same common-sense measures that you would anywhere in the world, then you'll be fine!
P.s.s. My favorite part of Athens was without a doubt Exarchia and I'm so grateful for your guide that breaks down what the place actually means to Greeks rather than the overhyped media stories. It was nice to see all the tourist parts of Athens like Plaka but Exarchia is where I felt home and where I felt just like a Greek. People need to be aware of safety issues around certain areas but also go with an open mind when you're visiting a new country, you never know what you might find!


We just returned last night from four days in Athens and three in Istanbul.  At your recommendation we stayed at the Hotel Attalos and loved the central location.  We made some friends on the rooftop bar - three couples from North Dakota who had corresponded with you.  The accommodations were simple, clean and well-priced - but location topped it all.  In 4 days we used no taxis or public transportation - walked everywhere - Kolonaki, Pangrati, Symtagma, Lycabettus Hill, Plaka, Anafiotika and, of course, Monistiraki.  Dennis did drive us out to the Temple of Poseidon which was my 12-year-old sons favorite day.  We spent two hours climbing/discovering every inch of the hill.  We also enjoyed the Central Market and the sandal maker. 

It was a fantastic trip and I needed to tell you so.  THANK YOU!

Lorelei McD

Hi Matt,

I just wanted to write to you and thank you for your wonderful website.  I just got back from a week in Greece, with two days in Athens and the rest of the time spent on Santorini.  I booked my own flight, but went through your recommendation of Fantasy Travel for the hotel and airport transportation.  They got me a great deal on the hotels and the transportation being pre-paid and taken care of made things really easy.

I also used your Athens guide and had both dinners at your restaurant reccomendations which were both fabulous (and I'm a bit of a gourmet food snob, so that's a huge compliment coming from me!)

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post the wealth of information on Greece, very helpful tips and make some recommendations that I wouldn't have found anywhere else.  I'll definitly reccomend it to anyone else I know that's going to Greece.  Your the best!


Richmond, VA

Matt – thank you so much for your help and your website.  My friend and I stayed at the Attalos Hotel – the hotel, the staff, everything was perfect.  The location is wonderful – we had a great time.  We (with help from the staff) went on the Athens City tour – the 1 day cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydra and the Delphi tour. I used the taxi service you recommended and it was great – I got my back after going through customs and there was the driver holding a sign with my name on it.  After traveling what seemed like 24 hours – it was nice not to have to think about things.

Thanks for your help.  Athens and the Greek people are beyond wonderful.  Thanks for all the hard work you did on your website – it helped us prepare.  

If you need a reference or a testimonial – let me know.  Thanks again.


Hi Matt
Have been travelling to Greece for more than 30 years and always check out what you have to say before visiting anywhere new.
Have recently returned from a  break in Athens (something we have been meaning to do for a decade or two) and have to say that your recommendations were spot on. We stayed at the Atallos, loved To Psirri close by as well as a number of the others. Enjoyed a trip out to Vouliagmeni and agree with you that the top floor at the Benaki is a real highlight.
Thanks for your efforts, really appreciated.

John Wade

Dear Matt,
just to let you know I followed your guide like a bible on a recent trip to Athens, Attalos, Psiri, market, etc, had a great time.
I went to a fantastic fish/seafood taverna in Piraraki ( little Piraeus) called NAMASTE, fresh clams, seafood soup, mussles in garlic, langoustines, baby octopus,  bread, 1/2wine kilo house ( very good) two desserts, She took us to the fridge to look first ! Fantastic. It was only 45e ( I was with a friend) but I don’t think that made a lot of difference.
So if your ever down there I can recommend this place to you , I am going back to Athens in Feb !! ( I live on Rhodes, so 3 flights a day, hee hee)
Do you know any bars that sell Souma ?? Its our local drink on Rhodes.
Have a good New year
regards Emma

Dear Matt,
I came across your site while looking for some information on Athens, Greece.  We were taking a tour of Greece with Overseas Adventure Travel, but we were not going to have any time in Athens, so 6 of us decided to arrive a couple of days early in Greece and tour Athens on our own before meeting up with our tour group.  Per your recommendation, I emailed Fantasy travel about a half day tour of Athens and and a half day tour of Cape Sounion.  I worked with Dina Kastrinaki of Fantasy Travel and she did a fantastic job of setting up our tours with a great guide.  We changed our Cape Sounion tour to a later afternoon tour in order to take in the sunset at Cape Sounion, which was fantastic and we would all recommend to anyone going to Cape Sounion to go see the sunset.  Dina was very professional and very prompt.  We would recommend her and Fantasy Travel to anyone wanting to do Athens our their own.
We also took your recommendation on George's taxi service and he had a very nice van their to meet us at the airport and transfer the 6 of us to the Hera Hotel where we were staying.  It had not had anyone smoking in the van, which was great and was very clean.
We would also recommend the Hera Hotel to anyone that wants a great location to the old town of Athens.  We were in walking distance to many things.
Thank you again for the great web site.
Sally Burrell

Idaho Falls, ID


Hi Matt,

I hope the holidays have been great for you! We've had a wonderful
couple of weeks in Athens.

Thanks for your recommendations! We've had a few meals at Mary's, and
have been to Saita Taverna, Apolausi and some other great places we
stumbled upon. We'd agree that O Mbakalogatos is a really fantastic
restaurant- we had an amazing meal there- but I have a hard time not
loving the 'secret' taverna by the Central Market even more! I could
have the great retsina and the mashed favas everyday!

Greece's historic sites and and antiquities have been wonderful to
see; we even booked a day trip to Delphi through George's taxi service
and had a great day with Kostas at the helm. But to me the highlights
of our trip have been Platia Agiou Georgios and the Athens Central
Market. Staying on Platia Georgios has been worth the trip all by
itself. As I think you mention on your site, it's almost a village in
itself, and it is quite a lovely little oasis in such a big city. It
turns out the apartment we're staying in is directly above Allotino,
so we have a delightful view of Platia Georgios, day and night. Just
stepping out on the balcony and taking in the view makes me
tremendously happy. (Oh yes, Allotino IS great too!) I've greatly
enjoyed Kypseli in general, but Platia Georgios has been the icing on
that cake.

Outside of Platia Georgios, my favorite thing has certainly been the
Central Market. It's just so lively and interesting, and it's
wonderful to see a large modern city that still has such traditional
commerce going on. I actually want down and bought... well, I figure
it was probably goat, to cook up in a fricassee for our Christmas
dinner. Had a fun time navigating the market in the pre-Christmas rush
and the merchants were very, very patient with my very poor Greek. I
loved the Laiki Agoras in Kypseli, but the Central Market is, of
course, exponentially more exciting and facinating. There are
traditional markets in the UAE, of course, some taking up quite a
large area in Dubai; I enjoy those as well and go to them frequently,
but Athen's Central Market is even more lively and varied, a place I
would love explore over and over.

It's been quite interesting to get to talk to Greeks during this trip.
Despite the severity of the crisis and the terrible impact that it has
had on many of their lives, they have been, in my opinion some of the
very nicest and even upbeat people that I have ever met. It would not
be surprising or unexpected to hear more negativism from them; I know
a lot of Americans in similar situations that do! (Of course when
Greeks discuss their government, it's a whole different story! All
bets are off!)

My wife has been chronicling our stay on our blog; usually just short
and sweet updates with a few pictures. It's mainly so our families
back in the US know that we're alive and what we're up to!

Thanks again for the recommendations and for your terrific websites. I
wish I had found them months earlier! We'll be recommending them to

Great to see the Istanbul site up! Looks great! We went to Istanbul
last January and were amazed by it! Hope to go back someday, of
course, but I think a return to Greece is higher on my list now.


Greetings Matt Barrett-We want to thank you again for your informative
website and your additional answers & suggestions by email.
We had a wonderful visit in Athens, with side trips to Delphi & the nearby
islands. Your travel guide helped us plan our daily excursions & enriched
our appreciation of the sights. Thank you.
Your most profound contribution to our trip was your recommendation of the
Adams Hotel in the historic Plaka District. It was ideal. The proprietors,
Kostas & Dimitri, are supremely gracious and helpful. The rooms are simple &
sufficient. The breakfast was delicious. The location could not have been
better--in the shadow of the Acropolis, a block from great restaurants, with
easy access to everything you want to do in Athens. We couldn't realize,
until we were there, that a few blocks on the map constitute a huge
difference in the ambience of the neighborhood. Please use my recommendation
as you wish so that others may choose the Adams Hotel.
We would also like to agree with your endorsement of several essential
museums: the Museum of Greek Folk Art (in the Plaka) & the Benaki Museum.
And, for getting around Athens quickly & inexpensively, the Metro subway was
Thank you again for your assistance.
Best wishes...Todd Hamilton

Dear Matt,

My name is Eithan and I just returned from a 5 days trip to Athens with my wife. We had 5 amazing days and we wish to thank you for your site, which served us in so many ways to make the best out of Athens. It is already the second time that I go to Athens “with” you, and it was the occasion for me to check out the lovely neighbourhoods of Kipsely and Thissio. Following your recommendations, we did not hesitate to go there during Christmas, and boy, what a big surprise: coming out of the metro in Syntagma station on a sunny afternoon of the 24 December, right in to the big street party. Athens is beautiful and alive during the holydays, unlike, must I say, other European cities, such as Paris, where I live, which is certainly spectacular around Christmas, but absolutely dead during the days of the 25 and the 26 of December. I went to the records shops near the market, and came back with a nice set of music, almost completed my collection of Dimitra Galani (my favourite), and they were very pleased to know that I come shopping after visiting your site. I also paid a visit to Kostas, the famous suvlaky in 116 Adrianou st., which is still one of the best, even under the hands of his son (or grandson, I think..?). You are very right about Pireus, but out of curiosity I decided to go there anyway, the Zea is nice, but should be visited in summer. What can I say, your site is great, and thank you for helping us make the best trip.

I wish you all the best, Chronia Polla, and keep on with your great writing,

Eithan and Noa

p.s. Why not publish a hard copy of your guide?

Dear Matt,

My wife and I lived in Athens for 18 months and we had many visitors while we were there.  We discovered your web site very soon after we arrived thanks to a friend and wore out several printed copies.  We had a copy of that other guidebook, Lonely something or other, and I have always wanted to thank you for putting together your much, much better guide.  IT IS THE BEST!  We left Greece just over a year ago to work in the Kingdom of Bahrain and we were wondering if you have a cousin or something in Bahrain.  Just kidding!  I was reading the Athens News on line and missing Greece a lot and remembered your web site.  It is so good and so accurate that it made me miss Greece even more than before.  We have sent the web link to your site to many friends in the USA and Canada and all of them have gotten as much information and pleasure from it as we do. Thank you for all of the hard work, great pictures, etc. 

Efharisto, para, para poli !!  (I cannot spell in English and my Greek is even worse)

Tom Rushin
ChevronTexaco Operations Specialist
Oil Processing Department
Low Sulfur Fuel Oil Area
Bahrain Petroleum Company Refinery, Awali
Kingdom of Bahrain

Dear Matt,
My son and I have just returned from a 5-day stay in Athens - loved your guide before we went (in fact, reading it earlier this year helped me to decide to go there) and love it even more now that we've returned.  Thank you very much for such an extensive and idiosyncratic view of the city.  Will not hesitate to follow your recommendations in future, especially with regard to the Islands and booking arrangements.
Sincerely,  Anne Simpson 

Mr Barrett,
Thank you for loving my hometown as much as I do. Your open-mindedness
is a ray of hope in a strange, harsh world. I will always consider you a
dear friend.
Best wishes to you and your family,

Hi Matt!
I'm an Australian expat married to a Greek and have lived in Athens for 15 yrs. I have to say that I stumbled on your website looking for things to do for some foreign friends that would be visiting.  I had no idea that there were so many secret places and fun things to do that I had missed out on. Just goes to show that the "locals" are often less motivated to take the time and trouble to find these things out, especially when you are involved in the daily grind of work and family instead of just having fun as a tourist on holiday. Your website is lively, interesting, informative and fun, and I have recommended it to all my friends.
Well done and just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you,
An honorary Athenian,

Hi Matt

My wife and I had a short trip to Athens recently (21/3 - 23/3) and despite first impressions, the closure of the National Museum and overcast weather, we had a great time.  As background, we are a couple of Malaysian Chinese currently working in Scotland and had never been to Greece before.  We read a few negative reports about Athens and were apprehensive about the trip.  However we read your site (and our daughter loved your daughter's site).  We must say that Athens is all that you shown in your site and more!  The people are very friendly (not pushy - can be cheeky which is great but also quite personable) and the food really good.  We felt safe at all times - there was only one time when a drunk tried to ask for money.  We were fascinated by the flea market - quite different from the other flea markets we seen (eg Paris).  We wish we had more time.  One of the things you did not deal in your site are the sweets or desserts.  We loved those Greek sweets and found at least 3 around Plaka, including the K Kotsolis at Adrianou street which is also a café.  We are still eating the lot we brought back.  It is great city and I am sure it will get better.

Eileen & Mun Chin

Dear Matt,

I found your Athens Guide several months ago and I wanted you to know just how helpful it has been.  My husband and I have been to Athens several times but there had been a ten-year gap since the last time we'd been there and, while we were going to be in Athens for the Olympics and had our accommodations arranged, we wanted to take a quick trip to Samos and from there to Ephesus.  The information on travel agents, specifically Fantasy Travel, was invaluable.  They (Nadia) did a fantastic job - we felt we really had a friend working for us in Athens. I have made this site one of my "favorites" and will continue to enjoy using it. I appreciate the fact that you do update it regularly - I wonder if there is a way for you to indicate the dates of your updates -- that's one thing that I miss as I read through the vast amount of material you make available.

Again, many thanks for this site -- it is a real labor of love.

Judith Kebic

WOW WOW you have the most amazing website - and the only one with a
decent map of Athens (in English).  I've been trawling through loads of
rubbish from Google, and finally came across your site.  Trust a fellow
(well, former, in my case) Chapel Hill/Carrboro resident to come through
with a comprehensive, informative site.  Definitely adding to my list of
favourites - if not for my use, then for anyone I ever hear of who is
going to Athens!

Kind regards,

You're too good to be mayor.  You are a levendis, a pallikari and rebetis and a mangas.  What mayor can be all that?

Dear Matt Barrett,

Just wanted to thank you for the information on your website.  A friend and I just returned from a couple of weeks in Greece and found your site to be very helpful.  Especially with jewelry shopping in Athens!  We went to
Byzantino on your recommendation and ended up purchasing several pieces there from George and Laura which were too beautiful to resist.  We did some comparison shopping and found that Byzantino's jewelry was unique compared to the offerings of the other shops.  So thanks for the tip.

Thanks again,

Susan Koulouris
Medford, Massachusetts

your homepage is amazing and I actually just writting to tell you that!! I am an Au Pair in Athen and  it's my first time in greece and my first time in a huge city like Athen Your page  makes live in Athen much easyer and to bad I just found it now. It toke me over two month to figure some things out in Athen and their are still lot's of thinks I just don't get. Athen is a huge city and sometimes pretty chaotic, but nw that I found your page it toke me less then half houre to plan my way down to Pireaus by bus.
Thanks again and you did a great job :-)

Matt, just back.  Secret restaurant, Butchers Shop and Hotel Dryades in full vigour, so thanks for all the tips.  Gazi was great as was the Viatour food tour – I’d really recommend that.

Times seem tough at present, but folk were universally pleasant – many seemed almost embarrassed and brought up the deficit when I wouldn’t necessarily have done so, as if they wanted the topic off the table right at start.

Thanks again,


Hey, Matt,

Thought we'd let you know that we used George's taxi services to get us from the airport to the Attalos, which was great. We were so relieved to see him waiting for us! The Hotel Attalos was as advertised. It's certainly an economy  hotel, but they were friendly and efficient, and all we really wanted was a bed. The rooftop garden, though, made it pretty special. All we really wanted to do at that point was relax with a glass of wine. We ran into four folks from Tucson doing the same thing, and they arrived there also because of your website, so you give good advice, clearly.

We also used George for a half day tour the next day, and he was great. We felt entirely taken care of, and though we balked a little at first at the price, we agreed it was worth it, in the end, especially because he took us to the ferry offices at Piraeus and then delivered us to the ferry itself, which was a long way from the ticket office, and I'm not so sure we could have found it without him. When we return to Athens at the end of May, we're hoping that he'll pick us up and take us to the airport. We liked him.

Right now, we're on Patmos for the next two months, settling in after our first week, and enjoying it very much, anticipating the Easter celebrations, which should be very special in Hora, where we are living in a house rented from a friend.

So thanks for maintaining your website. We appreciate it, and we'll steer other folks that way, happily.

Sam & Sally Green

Hi Matt,

I just wanted to let you know that I'm a huge fan of your website. I found
your Athens travel guide and your travel guide to Greece two years ago when
I was getting ready to travel to Greece from Boston, and it was really
tremendously helpful. I felt like someone I knew was giving me the kind of
advice that I really needed, and was pointing out all the fun and
interesting little details about life in Athens. While I was there (I
worked in Athens for the summer after my junior year in college), I fell in
love with the city and people even as the city and people drove me crazy,
but that made sense to me because Athens is like that! And sometimes I
really miss Athens, and of course I miss my friends there. So even though I
haven't been back in two years, I go to your website at least once a month
and spend hours reading and looking at all your pictures, and it lets me
relive the experience of being there and remember all the things I loved so
much and found so fascinating. I am grateful for your website and I really
appreciate all the hard work you put into it.

Thanks so much,
Lisa Langdon

I visited your web site, the Athens survival guide. I am a Greek
who lives in Athens and I feel the need to congratulate you
about the site. Sometimes I think you know better Athens than I
do ! Keep on updating your site.

Regards from Athens

Hi Matt

My wife and I have just returned from a fantastic 10 days in Greece. Celebrating 20 years of wedded bliss, we spent 3 days in Athens, 5 days in the islands and a final night in Athens before flying home.

We used your guide before we left and printed out a bunch of pages to use while we in Athens. Domigos at Brettos liquor store says hi. We ate to our hearts content at many of your recommendations including Psaras Fish Taverna (very romantic but I fell off my chair), The Plaka Restaurant (fun and lively), Domigos (cod fish is now not one of our favorites) as well as Thespidos and Byzantino (our two favorites).

My wife enjoyed Byzantino Jewelry Store more than I had hoped and the Cine Paris was a grand diversion.

We also had many pages from Frommers and Foders books with us. They never left our suitcase. Your guide was so much better, it gave us a more "local" feeling. Thank You for all of the effort that you have put into you passion. 

 (Thank You)

Mark Evans
Suttons Bay, Michigan

Hi Matt!  Wasn't sure how to add a post to your site but wanted to say MANY THANKS!  We visited Greece in September and found every service you recommended exactly as you said we would - wonderful and worthwhile.

Travel Phone - we bought one and could not have done without it.  Unfortunately we were in Greece when the 9/11 event occurred.  We received a call from our families within 15 minutes of the bombings.  We were able to call our families and they us when others couldn't get through on hotel lines or other land lines.  We loaned our phone to 3 other families and it worked out wonderfully.  I also had lost luggage and a few other glitches and the phone was perfect.  Truly the best money we spent!!!!!!!

We visited Byzantino and left some money there as well.  Laura was wonderful.  I bought a bracelet for my husband and should have taken a picture of Laura as well!  He would have like that even better!

Again, our thanks Matt - keep up the great work!

Melissa DeLisio and Mary Carroll, Columbus, Ohio

Dear Matt,

My father, boyfriend and I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Greece and
we have to thank you.  Your site was so helpful!  I used it to plan the trip
and as a resource for hotels, restaurants, sites, shopping, etc.  Before we
left, my father printed the whole thing out so we could read it on the plane
and pack it in our bags as we went out to see the sights.

Our trip was a last minute decision so we were a bit frantic trying to
prepare.  Your site lead us to the agent who booked our hotel 2 days before
arrival.  The Hotel Cypria was a wonderful spot, so quiet and so close to
everything.  Helpful hint, the "Acropolis View" room does have a lovely
view, and the exhaust pipe for the buildings sewage!  My father was moved to
the room due to a problem in his original room so it's not like we're
complaining, just a word to the wise.

The biggest help of all was
George the Famous Taxi Driver!  We called from
the Frankfurt Airport (way to wait till the last minute pops!) and they said
"No problem, someone will meet you."  We arrived and met Dennis, George's
son.  He was fantastic!  After the harrowing ride to the hotel we quickly
learned that it's best to leave driving to the locals.  We explained that we
didn't really have an itinerary and would only be in Greece for a week and
wondered if he had any suggestions.  He quickly planned our week for us,
maximizing our short stay.  We had a great trip out to Sounion for a half
day and then did a 2 day trip to Delphi and Meteora.  Amazing trips all
around.  Dennis was so dependable, friendly, together and well informed. I
wonder if I know as much about my home as he does!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  You made our trip what it was and now we
all can't wait to go back.  Next time we are thinking of sailing the
islands.  When you speak with George again, please let him know how grateful
we are to Dennis and that I will be passing their info along to anyone I
know who is traveling to Greece.  I have fallen in love with Greece and
Dennis certainly helped in the courting.

Also, FYI, you are able to walk around the Temple of Poseidon - in, around,
all over!  Your site had said you couldn't but there was nothing there to
stop us.  Or the gentleman who left his "Fanta" can (not to worry, I chased
him down).  Also, Lord Byron's "autograph" is on the square pillar to the
right when you are facing the temple from the path.  Right there, in front,
on the outside face, just short of eye level - more like sternum level.

Thanks again and hope your next trip is as great as ours was!


Erin K. O'Brien

P.S. - My heart broke as the plane took off and I've been all around this
beautiful Earth.  I normally don't like going back to spots I've already
seen but I will certainly return to Greece as many times as I can.

You must get hundreds of emails like this - I returned last night from a long weekend in Athens with my wife and I just wanted to say how much the information on your website contributed to making our stay really memorable and enjoyable.

It is always strange at first being in a new country for the first time - but with the information from your site we were able to find our feet immediately and do far more than I could have hoped to achieve in a weekend, from finding that ideal gift to a taxi tour with George and Spiro.

Many grateful thanks for helping make our weekend so great.

Ef -cha-ri-sto (or something like that!)

Ed Dawes - Birmingham England

I have spent two days checking out everything I didn't know about Athens.  My neighbor is taking a trip to Athens in April or May and wanted me to get her some information.  I stumbled upon your website and was overwhelmed by all the information you are providing.  You are truly remarkable to have put all that information together along with photos.  I don't know when I've had a better vacation!!!  I called my neighbor and told her I want to go to Athens with her (of course she would have to pay - I work for the local city government and they don't pay that good).  Anyway, I really want to thank you for showing me a place outside the USA that if I should ever win the Lottery, that's the place I want to go first.

Sincerely, Joanna Huestis (Gulf Breeze, Florida)

Dear Blueking,
I happened to end up in your webpage about Athens, and
I was really amazed from it. It is a great "gift" for
my city, it says the things exactly how they are, and
reminded me that even when I get seriously pissed-off
in the usuall trafic-jams, Athens a few hours later
will be cool again :). I would only like to read some
more stories about experiences that people had in
Greece, good or bad, like the driving licence story.
Good luck in your next trips, anywhere...

PS. I have been surfing the net for 5 years, and it is
the only time that I feel the need to congratulate
someone for his web page. 

WOW!  Matt!  You are terrific!  My cousin just guided me to your Athens
Guide.  I am a travel agent, and never, ever have I read anything so
right on and personable ever!  You write as I would talk to someone!  Do
you publish any travel books?  You would blow Insight guides, Fodor,
Fielding...etc off the shelves!  I am very new to the internet.  Do you
have other destinations?
Thanks for the best travel reading ever.
Rosie Flanagan 


I just wanted to tell you how incredibly helpful your guide has been.  I'm
a University of Chicago undergrad and will be studying in Athens from late
March until early June.  Your site answered so many of my questions that I
just wasn't finding the answer to anywhere!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Christine Parsons 

Many THanks for your survival guide!!! I was  up to all hours looking for
things ot do using it, evne had a spritied discussion wiht
George the taxi
about what coeuld we do on short notice.  I will definitely find
him next trip for a tour of the city.

I ended up walking around Benaki museum- the only bummer was no
photography but the museum is outstanding.  You might notice the museum
cafe has quite reasonable food at very easonable prices including frappes
whihc wired me for the better part of the rest of the day!!

WE walked trhough national park and wandered down the Plaka and as luck
would have it the veyr first store i popped into was Olympic Jewelry  owend
by the same people as Byzantino  and then  fell into byzantino.
We even bought some jewelry there your tips are dead on on everything i
have tried so far.  THANK YOU !!!!!

At Byzantinos I fell in love with Laura but alas my wife wouldnt let me
keep her so I had to settle for jewelry  Oh well (haha) its a wonderful
store and very warm peopel and great pricing.

Some other info:  the metro lines are more complete so you might want to
update that info. ANd your comments about Piraeus are dead on
.Also from a curise ship to the metro station -- the difference betwen a
rush hour ride and non rush hour ride is 8.43 vs 1.33 euros-  haha.

Again many thanks you  should do guides for a lot of cities it would help
the weary traveller have more fun.
Richard Karasik

Cape Town, South Africa, 8 February, 2001
Dear Matt,
I have just spent almost an hour going through your very interesting website and felt that I had to write and congratulate you on it!   Some friends and I have been going to the island of Skiathos every summer for about six years now and we always have to pass through Athens.   In the beginning we did not like the city at all ... but with time we have grown to like it.   After going through your web pages I realise that there is so much that we have missed out on and that there is more to Athens than meets the eye initally.
We will be there next month and cannot wait to try out some of the restaurants you have mentioned!   Your website has been so well put together and the photographs are fantastic and bring the whole "guide" to life and the information is clear as well as personal.
Happy travelling, With kind regards,
Len Straw. 

Hi Mr. Matt!
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your extensive information that we found on the web regarding The Parthenon and everything we now know about the Parthenon Marbles.  My son is doing a History Fair project on The Parthenon and after we researched and then came upon your write up - well it made the project even more interesting than we thought!  I was reading some info to him that you had written and I looked at him and said this is even more exciting than we thought...  He told me I always say that, but what he has just learned is there is so much more to history than meets the eye!
Just thought we would let you know that you helped a young student learn some pretty fascinating stuff!
Good things never go un-noticed! ;)
Lori & Carson

Dear Matt
I have been looking through your site for the last couple of days, and I
wanted to congratulate you for your work. I am actually Greek, currently
studying in England, and looking through your site I got even more
homesick than I usually am (especially now that I'm in the middle of
exams). I have to admit that your site is one of the best guides for
Greece that I've come across. Even from a local's point of view, it's
excellent. Most guidebooks usually get on my nerves because they only
deal with the touristy places and things to do, and do not get the point
of living in Greece. I particularly liked your Athens guide. It is
indeed a beautiful city when you get used to all the traffic and smog,
and in 21 years you can imagine that I've grown very fond of it,
especially now that I'm away. You are one of the few foreign people that
sees this.
As for the sections about other parts of Greece, I was amazed at all the
places you've visited. At last, a good guide that deals with more than
just the islands (with the possible exception of Lonely Planet, by far
the best guidebooks, they're the only reason that I made it through my
Inter-rail last year...).
Anyway, I just wrote because I felt I had to congratulate you after
managing to make me this homesick... Keep up the good work!

Yia Sou Matt Barrett !

Your website on my home city is fantastic ! I've just looked at the
section on the streetpeople and buskers, and listened to the violin
player (amazing). I'm glad I came across your site (through some other
Greek links) and I tell people about it. I'm a hideously homesick
Athenian, temporarily in LA with my American husband. (I grew up in
S.Africa though). Your site has helped me to revisit my most favourite
place and birthplace (Plaka), and I was even crying here at the screen,
seeing hundreds of details that I know, including banana-sellers and
other people that I used to see.
I'm amazed at all the details and great photos of Athens that you've put
Bravo ! Ise katapliktikos. Na isaste kala....esi ke i  ikogenia sou.

Kalo fthinoporo.....
(and my husband, Matt as well....we came to LA for him to record the
greatest rock 'n roll CD for many, many years. Tell you later if you're

Dear Matt

 My recent (and second) trip to Athens (I got back to the UK very late Tuesday night) was made so much better by your excellent web site.  Basically, we went on the Matt Barrett trail and, in the three days we were there tried to sample the delights that you recommended. 

We stayed at the Adams Hotel.  A very interesting place.  We stayed on the third floor and had a whole suite to ourselves (although we just paid for a room).  Great balcony with tremendous view of the Acropolis.  Rather cold due to the freak weather conditions where London was at least 2 degrees warmer than Athens but we do understand that the Athenians aren't really geared up to this sort of weather - and we come from England so we survived!  We felt sorry for the poor guys in the lobby with their respective portable heating arrangements and woolly hats! 

We went to the Plaka Taverna ( I assume this is the same place as the Plaka restaurant that you described) and had a very cheese orientated lunch at the Platia Iroon (we had our last lunch there - they remembered us and we got kisses from the lady in charge and had a good chat with the young waiter).  Only thing is - after two delicious meals at this place, I've had a bit of a cheese overdose and am trying to have a break from it right now! 

We were going to go to Aegina on Monday, but Sunday night in Brettos put paid to that.  7 rather large brandies later we had a bit of trouble getting up in the morning.  However, I was impressed that even though I felt a little tired and emotional there was no headache.  It was full of tourists and seems to be quite a meeting place for everyone.  As you suggested I bought a few bits and pieces and got some excellent presents for people.  Damigos was good - weirdly nice to have fried fish in batter (as you know very popular as part of fish and chips in UK) with garlic sauce - we'll be back there again. 

The meat markets (both in Piraeus and Athens) were a revelation.  Not for sensitive souls - my husband loved it!  To me it was an area of blood, sheeps' heads and testosterone!  English kids, who think meat grows in a shrink wrapped polystyrene container, would get a real education from this - then again, it could harm them for life!!!!!  I know one thing - you would have a whole generation of vegetarians!  Visiting places like this, to me, is so much better than endless museums and tourist attractions.

We found Vassilenas in Piraeus.  It was lunchtime (we didn't realise that he did not open for lunch), but because we had so obviously come to seek him out, he opened just for us.  The food was sublime.  What a place.  Of course, we gave him a good tip!  I'd love to think that we sat at the same table as Melina Mercouri - is that possible? 

We're going back again in April as we are going to Paros for a few days - staying at the apartment of Martina and Sakis (in Naoussa).  We found it on the internet on their own website: .  As it was out of season, it was very reasonable - 44Euros per night for five of us.  We'll let you know what its like and we'll try to take some digital photos.  I have communicated with Martina and she seems like a very nice lady.  She also runs a cat sanctuary from her apartments and is involved in PAWS (Paros Animal Welfare).  The apartments have kitchen, balcony or terrace and are fully maid-serviced. 

Thank you again Matt for all your help.  Your website is amazing - who needs guide books?  I hope that you get some reward for what you do- you ought to.

Kindest regards


I had the oportunity to visite Athens last week-end together with my wife and some friends. Half of the group did attend an international medical congress, while the remaining 3 of us could enjoy Athens.
I found your Athes Guide on the Internet and foud it VERY good and useful.
We used your Restaurand Guide.....
We tried some of your recommended greek food......
We used "your" taxi-driver George for transport to the Congress Center, sightseeing in and around Athens (VERY good) and transport to an early flight back home......
We visited "your" rock in the front of Acropolis.....
We followed your guide through Plaka......
We visited the Flea Marked.......
We followed your recommendations through the City Market.......
I baught jewlery by Byzantino for my wife......

In other words...... You see we covered it "all" thanks to your excellent guide.
Thanks for your contribution to a unforgettable week-end!

Best regards
Stein Rasmussen
Oslo, Norway 

Thank you for sending the newsletter. I stumbled across you a few days ago and have been reading everything in  '' ..........I absolutely love it; it is so informative, casual, earthy, readable, not the normal 'touristy' information.
My first trip abroad; feel somewhat prepared after reading so much information about Athens and the islands.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I am getting really excited and really looking forward to visiting your Greece. 

Browsing through your site I could hardly tell the difference whether
you were a visitor or a fellow Athenian. Great work!

This is Tony from  Sao Paulo,Brasil...
I am planning my fourth trip to Greece, at this time after march 20th,
not summer!! I was surfing in the net , and ended up with your page!!!
It is one of the most interesting and helpful guide I have find!
I can tell you I have looked in references books such as Fodor`s,
Frommer`s and many others....
Your page is THE BEST !!!!!!

Congratulations !!!!!!

Dear Matt,

My wife and I went to greece this summer and used your guide extensivley.
People swore we must have been there before.
As we passed by Berettos in the Plaka, I told some American ladies all about it.
We ate at Byzantinos and we had a ball.
I went to the flea markets and looked through all the Nazi and USSR memorbilia.
What a place.
Nicely written, well laid out.  Great site.
Have a Mythos beer on us.

Jim Gale
Washington DC 

I've lived in Greece off and on for nearly 30 years now, and I think that
your Athens web site is one of the best I've seen.  I think you've done a
fine job.

Walter Satterthwait 

I found your site a couple weeks ago. I got the opportunity to meet my niece in Greece at the last minute and had no clue where to go and what to do. I printed off your Survival Guide and that's all I needed to know...except Greek and with three weeks to plan I didn't have time to learn. Your information was invaluable to us, and the Attalos Hotel is the perfect place to stay if you're on a budget and want to be right in the middle of things. Thanks again for your effort in putting all this info in one place. 

Dear Matt,

Being a first time traveller, having picked my first backpacking stop as
being Athens, I am, say the least, apprehensive.  It doesn't help being an
english woman, in my mid twenties, travelling alone for the first time!

I came across your Athens Survival Guide quite by accident, whilst looking
for street maps on the 'Net and having read some of it and intending to read
it all I had to Email you and say Thank you.  It really made me feel like
Athens isn't a big bad city and somewhere I can visit without feeling too
much trepedation.  Reading about your favourite restaurants and places to go
makes it feel friendly and not so unknown, for which I am very grateful.
Due to you I intend to visit Plaka and purchase a street map before I leave
my native UK and plot where to go.  I am also going to get George to pick me
up at the airport.  I have a week and a half to go and will be travelling
for at least 3 months around Europe, staying in Hostels.  Athens for a least
6 days then some of the Islands etc..  Before making my way thru Italy and
France.  I just wanted to let you know how much it helps to read your page
and how it brings Athens to life in a very funny and familiar way.
It almost stops me feeling like a complete and utter stranger in a totally
foreign city!!

Thanx again

And your guide was wonderful and a big help.  We met another American couple that also had your guide, and referred to you often.  I was SOOOOO surprised at how safe we felt in Athens, even at night; much better than our cities here.

We hit snow at Delphi and didn't venture the trip to Meteora . . . and we are so glad.  One of the tour buses jack-knived and no one else was making it around that bus, up the mountain.

Will heartily recommend your site to all that are contemplating a trip to Greece.  Thanks again!



Just wanted to say that I just landed from a week in athens and it was everything you said it would be and more!! I found your guide very helpful, but I found that the Athenians to be even more gracious and freindly than I could have ever imagined. I love it, I will be going back!!


I am a college student at Loyola University Chicago and just read a
good chunk of your Great Athens tips.  I'm currently sitting here in a
computer lab and must admit that your commentary made me laugh out
loud, for I remember much of the same to be true.  Thank you for
writing something so close to home!
Oh, and I wouldn't recommend the Tower Air cheap flight to anyone!!!!
My family took it over this past summer. It left from NY at 12:00 P.M.
and was crowded and I threw up 3 times!!!
But you are correct, one does have plenty of time and warm sunshine
to get over it!!!
Thank you again for your humor and wit!
  Beth Manuselis 

Dear Mr. Barrett,

I just want to let you know that my wife and I visited Athens for a few days
in connection with the past weekend and that we found your personal advice
and the information that you made available on internet to be most helpful
and valuable. We stayed at the Adams Hotel which we found nice and very well
situated. We had a glass of ouzo at Mr. Brettos's shop and had dinner
afterwards in the fish restaurant right below.

We enjoyed Athens, admired not only Akropolis and the Agora but also the
top-modern and most impressive metro stations and trains, and we happened to
be there in the middle of the carrnaval which was extensively celebrated in
the streets of the Plaka.

Thank you for all your assistance on the computer screen!

Best regards,

Hans Danelius 


I have been going to write this since 10/1 when we got back from the trip.   The hotel was great, absolutely great! We stayed at the Atalos.

It is a “C” class hotel, so I had great reservations about your judgment concerning it.  When we pulled up on the street, I had greater reservations!  The hotel has very little street presence – not much more than the door and it is sandwiched in between two hardware stores.  Boy did I think I had made a mistake!  But from the time we went through that door my concerns were over and I was glad we made reservations for it.

The room was excellent and the breakfast really good.  There is a little “dirty” blond with very dark eyes that appears to manage the breakfast area and besides being very helpful, she has a very pretty smile.

The front desk was also helpful and very friendly.  I asked them how many guests they got off the internet like me.  They said that 80% of the guests were American.  Well, the time I spent there that did not seem correct.  All the people I met were Canadian.  J

Now on to George’s Taxi Service and Guide Service.  All I have to say is that they must make a lot more money than do I as the Mercedes they all drive are newer than my Ford Taurus!

As a guide we had a gentleman named Spiros.   He was worth every cent of the cost.  I am a student of the Bible and have taken some Greek.  I wanted to see Corinth – he took us there and also through a large part of the Pelopenesis (sp?).  Well, did I find that my Greek was deficient?  Don’t ask, my face is still red.  Spiros is a walking history book.  He was both entertaining and informative.  Thanks for recommending George’s Taxi.

Well Matt, bravo to you.  Yes, bravo!  Our time in Greece far outshined the time we spent in some other places such as Cairo.   I might even come back to Greece.   I got to say that what you told us all turned out to be true.  You are straight arrow!  Tell Spirio my wife and I say hy!

Larry Ball

Matt, we got so much information from your site before going to Greece this summer, it was amazing how much easier it made our trip.  From staying at the Attalos to having George's taxi service take us all around, etc.
We were showing friends of ours your site last evening and noticed your article of the sailing trip you took this summer.  Sounds fantastic!!!  As I was reading along, I notice a name from my past, your friend, Ana Kamais.  Ana and I grew up together in the Hartford Greek  community and attended Greek School, etc. together.  He Mom, Despina, is a very good friend of my Mom's and they spend much time together.  I have not seen Ana since she moved back to Greece many years ago, but ask her Mom about her often.  So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw her name in your article and found out it was the same person I knew.  She would know me by my maiden name, Malamati Karatasios (Matula is my nickname) and she would also know my husband very well, Bobby Litts.  We all attended the same church in Hartford, St. George.  If you talk to her or write to her, please mention me to her and give her my e mail (  I would love to have her e mail as well.
Keep up the great work on your site...all our friends, etc. who we have sent to  it are thrilled.  We just hope that the world situation settles down enough that we can return to Greece soon.
All my best!
Marilyn (and Bob) Litts
P.S. We visited Aristidis at the Thiamis Icon shop in Athens and instantly became friends.  What a lovely person he is!  He is painting an icon of St. John the Baptist for us (we collect icons) and has just sent us a beautiful icon of the Virgin Mary for a wedding gift.
The folks at the Attalos were just great!  I wrote and told them so and have referred them to friends as well.
Thanks again!

Hi Matt, I hope this message reaches you ok.

My name is Ian Boulton, and I have just enjoyed a week in Athens with my
wife Marion (she of diminutive size and hence silly e-mail address).

We are from England, and took a week off to chill out after having two of
our kids get married this year, and having Virgin Atlantic airmiles enough
to take us both to Athens, that's where we chose to go.

 We have been to the Pelopennese before,  but never to Athens, so we sought
help from the good old internet, and Lo and Behold! We discovered the
Athens Survival Guide.

We used all the info in your guide to make the most of our eight day visit,
and with the added bonus of having fantastic weather (no rain at all...just
bright sunshine and blue skies) we did a lot more than we dared hope.

Firstly, we stayed at the Adams Hotel, which was perfect for what we wanted
to do. The people ther are so friendly, and the rates are really good (we
paid about £40 per night for a double room , B&B, and had an enormous
balcony on which we could have held a party for about fifty people, and
which had a great view of the Akropolis).

We tried a number of your recommended restaurants, and agree with you about
the Byzantino...though in fact it was closed for renovation aftrer a fire
when we first arrived, and we did not get to eat there until our
penultimate day. We went back on the last day too, though!

We also followed your recommendation to try the bakaliaro underneath
Bretto's (we started most evenings at Bretto's), Psaras and the Socrates
Prison Taverna.

I thought you might be interested in a few other things that we found, and
which you might like to check out:

Restaurants.  We also tried Braxos in Adrianou, it is a bit expensive, but
the roof garden has a beautiful view of the Akropolis flood lit at night.
The food is good too.

The Taverna next to Sigalas is also good...the work on the metro extension
made Sigalas impossible to eat at outside.

The best place we found of all was not in Athens however. One day it was so
hot we took the ferry over to Aegina, and looking round for somewhere to
eat lunch we came upon the little fish market, just clearing up after a
busy morning's trading. From your comments about good eating places near
Athens market, I thought maybe we'd have the same luck here...and we did.
There are two small tavernas full of men and a few kids, taking lunch at
the end of the market morning. We ate in one of them and had the best fried
fish and whitebait we'd ever eaten. With a bottle of wine the whole lot
came to only 4600 drachmas (it would have been even cheaper if we had taken
a carafe of the local retsina, but I'm afraid we haven't acquired the taste
for that yet).  We are both from fishing towns in the east of England, and
we know our fish, and I'm telling you this was brilliant.

The other thing I will mention is the changing of the guard at the tomb of
the unknown soldier, next to the Parliament Building. This happens every
day every hour, but on Sundays the evzones wear their best uniforms. In
fact when we were there it was the week of a national holiday, so there was
a parade on Sunday morning as well, and on the actual day of the holiday
(Oct 28) there was a massive parade with bands and schools from all of
Athens taking part, many of them in national dress.

Well, I hope these bits of information are of some use to you.  I'd like to
thank you very much for your excellent web-site, without which we would not
have had such a rewarding visit.

Maybe one day we might bump into each other at breakfast in the Adams
Hotel, as I am sure we will return,

 Best wishes,

  Ian Boulton 

Dear Matt

I really enjoyed your Greece Travel Guide on the web, especially

I'm really impressed by the friendly tone and the chatty style - so
different from the many guide books. We've got Lonely Planet and Rough
Guide and one or two others which are useful in their own ways, but none of
these captures your enthusiasm and personal detail which makes it come
alive so well.

We were only in Greece for two weeks, going out to our boat which has been
in Lefkas for the winter. We managed three days in Athens and enjoyed
Brettos and some of the other places you mention, including Byzantino
Restaurant. We stayed at the Phaedra Hotel at the corner of Adrianou and
Lissikratous, in front of the  church of Agia Ekaterini. It was clean and
friendly and very well located (just round the corner from Brettos). We
also enjoyed the mezedes at Ouzeri Kouklis at 14 Tripodon, as well as the
hand made shoes nearby at Padelis Siodi,  27 Tripodon. My wife has been
looking for decent leather flip-flops for about three years since she lost
her previous ones overboard in Italy. The advice about going to the EOT was
also very useful since they gave us the bus times to Lefkas and the
location of the Bus Terminal A (Kifissou St.)

So thank you again and well done on a brilliant web site. Can I post you
2000 drachma to encourage you to continue? Where do I send it?

John Roslington

(I teach in a school,, in Worcester, UK and went to Greece
with my wife Caroline and student son James. Our boat is a 33 foot sloop
called Don Quixote and we sailed her, slowly, to Greece from England, via
France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Tunisia and Malta. The boat is in her sixth
year in the Mediterranean.) 

Hi Matt,

Hope all is well. Just printed out your fabulous web-site addition on Christmas in Athens!

We’re spending 16 days in Athens for the holidays. This will be my 3rd trip to Greece and I

can’t wait! Just wanted to let you know that I think if you created a book with all of the

incredible information & pictures from your website you would have a best-seller on your hands!!

Thanks for all the wonderful advice! Everything you say is always right-on! J

Shannon Hadjis



THANKS so much for the info that you forwarded to me with reference to Greece!!  (The check is in the mail.....actually my CHEAP husband said it would be well worth the $10.00).  We made our trip from October 6 to October 19.  We had a fun, informative and VERY interesting trip, thanks in large part to your information.

As we have elderly parents, (mine is in a nursing home in Asheville, NC where are you located???) my husband and I were down to the wire deciding to head overseas for two weeks.  However, we finally decided to take the chance to visit a county where we had NEVER been and with limited info that we had personally located.

I normally read extensively on the area we are visiting and make a day-to-day outline of what, when, where and how.  This time, you did the job for me AND it worked!!  We did make the mistake of staying in Ilisia because we were accustomed to staying in some very nice Best Westerns (better than US standards) in other European location, i.e. Venice, Lucern, etc., NOT in Athens!!

Yeah, we goofed!  BUT, we learned the hard way that you CAN walk from the Plaka (actually the Acropolis) to Ilisia and on to Likavitos and tell the tale!!  (It's about those Taxis that don't stop if you are on the WRONG side of the road, GRRRRRR!!)  Oh yeah, we're 52 and NOT in great shape; but, we've traveled in Europe before and learned to just "Deal with Whatever"!!!

My opinions of Athens run from dirty, WAY overcrowded with insane traffice to some very nice and friendly shop owners with fun shopping, REALLY good Greek Salad (and other food, BUT we loved the Greek Salad....every day!!) and, of course, the unique experience of visiting the Acropolis.  This time, fortunately, we listened to your advice and arrived prior to 11:00 and were definitely glad!!  It was amazing how quickly you could go from fresh and clean to gross and "yucky"!!

We bought the Ouzo at the appropriate place as well as a gold bracelet from your suggested location.  However, the sandal guy was GREAT!!  We almost didn't find him!!  What happened to cheap carpets????  Not where we went!!

Well, is that enough to explain that we REALLY enjoyed and benefited from your 30+ pages (that we carried over.....some people laughed as they saw us reading it....they knew what we were doing!!!)

THANKS!!!  (I'll tell my husband to WRITE THE CHECK!!)

Linda Vestal
Nashville, TN 

Hi Matt,

Myself and my girlfriend spent a week in greece last december and had a wonderfull time. we used your guide which was excellent and made our trip even more enjoyable. We went to see Bretto on numerous occations and brought back a various selection of his bottles. The problem is they have run out and I was wondering if there would be any way in getting in contact with Bretto to see if he could send me some more drinks in his metal canisters. If you could help me it would make an excellent surprise and christmas present for my Girlfriend.

Many thanks

Richard Bullock. 

Hi Matt,
Yes.  Today was our Delphi excursion with George.  He said you are an ambassador for Greece.  Our day was perfect.  He had picked out just the right stops for a coffee this AM and lunch this PM.  One needs to be in shape to see the archeological sights in Greece.  Fortunatley, we managed very well. 
Attalos Hotel is an ideal location for the typical tourist.  Everything centrally located.  The roof bar is a gem of a place to view the Acropolis at night.  We missed going to the Central Market and wish that had been considered.  We did learn the hard way that most museum/official Greek cultural centers will not admit after 2:30. 
On our overnight to Aegina, we went to Aegina (port) vs Aegia Marina -- after taking a quad around the island we were VERY happy that we were not able to connect with the Hotel Karyatides and ended up booking instead with the Aeginitiko Archontiko in Aegna town/port.  It was charming; we were truly staying in a tradional home.  Good location and breakfast was included.  Rooms ranged from E60-80 with breakfast.  We rented bikes and went to Perdiko for part of the afternoon.  We also did not realize that there were 2 different ferry routes. One to marina and one to the Aegina town/port.  Again we were lucky.  We got on the correct ferry and would have been frustruated if we had landed at the Marina and then need transport back to Aegina town.
People here are very nice and are very willing to make a cell call for you or to help with figuring out best routes on a map.
I am glad you make some money off of the service you provide.  You made our trip!


Hi Matt

Just thought I’d let you know that we’ve recently returned from a 5 day trip to Athens and your website was SO helpful I thought I’d write and thank you. We followed most of your recommendations, stayed at the Attalos Hotel, ate at Paradosiako , tried the Patsa at the Meat Market, visited the Keramaikos, as well as the obvious – Acropolis, Lykavitos, Flea Market etc. and without your guide, we’d have missed some of these things so we’re very grateful that you take the time to do this. The info about what to do at the Airport, how to get the metro etc was also helpful as it probably saved us a bit of money since we usually hop in a taxi when we don’t know the ropes.

We were very unlucky with the weather – it was SO cold (unusually so, I believe) and it even snowed on the last day but we’re not complaining.

Anyway, once again, a big Thank You. You made out holiday better than it could have been.


David & Madeleine

For what it's worth, I used the information on your page to contact
George for two days of guide services while in Athens.

We were met promptly at our hotel by a man named Christos who told us
that George was booked but he was filling in for the day.  Christos
owned an older Mercedes that he normally used as a cab and drove us to
Delphi with several excellent side trips on the way.  He was well
informed and spoke very good English and went about the excursion in a
leisurely and informative manner.  As we approached Delphi, he confirmed
by his cell phone with a private guide, whom we met at Delphi, that she
would guide us through the actual site.  She also did an excellent job.

Upon returning to Athens on the day long excursion, Christos showed us
where the shopping would be best and dropped us off there, offering to
wait for us but we knew we could find a cab to get back to the hotel.

On the second day, Christos was again prompt and conducted a four hour
tour of Athens, getting us to all the right places, such as the changing
of the guard, without long waits.

He did an exceptional job and we'd highly recommend his services.  Phone

Hope this was helpful.

I also used the information on your page and found it to be an excellent
guide as we found our way through Athens.  This was my fourth trip to
the city and thought I had seen most of it but your guide took us to
places I had not visited.  Thank you for such an excellent product.


Just to let you know, my wife and I just returned from Athens for the
holidays and had an incredible time.  Thank you so, so much for all your
incredible information.

We had Brooklyn Pizza deliver to our hotel AND ate there the next day.
Yummy!  And we ate at a lot of the other places you mentioned and
visited most of the sites.  THANK YOU so, so much for providing such
teriffic info.  You changed our trip!

Happy 2000!

Jay Baxter
Los Angeles, CA 


My company is sending me to Athens next week and I thought I'd surf the web for info on the place, since I've never been there.  Having traveled to England, France, and Spain, I'm comfortable with some European travel.  However, there's the usual nervousness in traveling to a new place.

I'd like to thank you for all the valuable information your web site has provided.  I feel I'll have a more enjoyable experience from simply checking out all the info you provided.

Thanks again and best regards,

A. Griffith 

Dear Matt,

It was purely by chance that I decided that I wanted to go away and sample some Greek culture and life after I came across your 'Guide to Athens' on the web last year.

Well, I had a fantastic week, meet so many friendly and interesting people and saw virtually all of Athens!

Now I am planning to go to Lesvos during June. It seems like such a fantastic island I can't wait!

I just wanted to say a very BIG thankyou. Your guides are so well written. Down to earth advice, interesting stories, tips on the best places to go and the people of Greece. I hope that you manage to gut your guides into print becuase they are one of the best, if not the best information sources on Greece!

Claire Feldkamp 

 All I can say is that you are one amazing guy!  I was throughly
impressed by your guide of Athens.  I can not even begin to thank you
for the help that you have given me.  I am a junior in high school and
needed information for an assignment.  I wrote down so much and read
even more because it was so interesting and very humorous!  When I get
married, I am going on a honeymoon to Athens and I am going to use YOUR
webpage for a guide.  Thanks again for the information and keep up the
fantastic work on that page of yours!

      Sincerely yours,

Dear Mr. Barrett,

    I have e-mailed you about three or so weeks ago concerning a vase we bought in Athens , but, failed to receive.  With your advise, and Mr. Tom Mazarakis' help, we have received the "most beautiful" piece on 4-10-00.  We would like to express our deepest thanks for your advice and contact in Athens. As we have in the past, we will continue, fervently, to pass on your website to our friends at our Greek Orthodox church and others interested in travel to Greece.

    Again, thank you so much and God bless.

Jon and Donna Kramer 

I have just returned from my Greece holiday a few days ago.
First of all, I wanted to thank you so much for all your advice.  I used
soooo many of your suggestions.  I impressed my friends and husband because
it made me look like I knew what I was doing!!  :)
We went to Byzantino in the Plaka twice for Dinner!!  All I can say is Menu
A rocks!!  :)  We bought a great ring from Byzantino (excuse my spelling)
jewlers in the Plaka.  Laura says hi.  She is so nice!!  I bought great ouzo
at Bretto's!!  Anyways thanks a lot!!

Well thanks again talk to you later.
Oh by the way, you are very popular in Greece and everyone knows your name!!

Hi Matt

Just wanted to thank you so much for all the terrific info provided on your website.
(we e-mailed each other a few months ago). We just returned from Athens on 10/23
finishing up a Rennaissance Cruise starting in Istanbul then Kusadasi, Rhodes and
Santorini. We packed in as much as we could in 4 days in Athens but not nearly
enough time to even scratch the surface - but enough time to be fascinated by the
city and particularly The Plaka. What a great place! And with your help we were
able to get around painlessly.

We stopped to see Mr. Bretto and gave him your regards. What a delightful gent.
We (my wife Beth and I) had an ouzo (wonderful) and brought 2 bottles plus a bottle
of his brandy home with us.

We also stopped to see Laura at Byzantino and left about $1,000 lighter.  Beth
bought a 22K hammered gold bracelet, hand made, Museum copy 5th century,
with Small sapphire, ruby and emerald stones. Absolutely beautiful.She is ecstatic.

When asking for directions for the Byzantino Restaurant we were told it burned down. We had lunch next door at Plaka Teverna.  Hit a few other spots including
Diogenes Taverna (Lisikrati Sq). We also had the souvlaki (sandwich) and a couple
ice cold Mythos at Tavern Sigalis on Metropolis at Monastiraki Sq.

I guess we'll just have to go back to see more of the stuff we missed.

Thanks again, Matt, for making our trip more enjoyable.

Jack & Beth Mannion
Pensacola FL 

We arrived back late last night having taken the Theofilos out of Mytilene
on Tuesday night then a flight out of Athens yesterday. Your Athens Survival
Guide came in very useful. We had already booked the Attolos Hotel but the
recommendation on where to eat was much appreciated. On our only other visit
there (in 1981) we ended up in the Plaka eating and expensive rather
indifferent moussaka and souvlaki. The Byzantino was excellent not only very
good ethnic food but also real value for money. The only downside to it was
that their tsatzizki proved to be better than the one my wife, Irene,
makes(her observation not mine). Even the kids had to agree.
My kids are already planning next year's trip and they tell me that they may
fly out a week before Irene and I. As they will be 18 and 16 then and we
have the offer of a house for them I may jealously have to concede.
If our visits coincide next year I may drop by for the odd ouzo of three.
Keep up the good work.


Peter Wallace 

Hi Matt,
   My friend Elizabeth Herring first told me about your travel pages about a year ago. I enjoy reading them and appreciate all you are doing to offer people an authentic view of Greece. I know and love many of the establishments you mention in your reports on Athens and other destinations. And I also want people to see the fun side of Athens and the beauty and warmth that lies under the urban congestion and noise.
   I lived in Athens for 14 years, wrote for The Athenian magazine on cinema and features, was a correspondent for Variety newspaper and The Age (Melbourne.) I also taught Greek and American cinema appreciation courses at the Hellenic-American Union in Athens. And in the summer I planned, booked and led academic groups from the US and lectured to Elderhostel groups. I am not sure if we have ever met, but Elizabeth seems to think we must have sometime over the years.

   Well, back to my work. Thank you so much for your solid research and enthusiasm in presenting your material to frequent and first-time visitors. I hope I will be hearing from you in the near future.

Adio for now,
Samantha Stenzel 

Just returned from Greece. 1 week in the Dodacanese Islands sailing, and 1 week on the mainland, including Athens.  I just wanted to let you know how helpful your web page and your Survival Guide were for us.  We used Dolphin-Hellas (Kassiani) for all of our reservations in the islands and in Athens.  She did a fabulous job.  Everything was done perfectly.  In Athens we used your guide to finding great places to eat, and to get around.  One thing you may want to let people know is that Platanos is closed on Sunday evening for dinner.  We were quite disapointed, but then found a wonderful place around the corner, so not to worry.  Bought jewerly at Byzantino, which as you say, is wonderful and the people were great.  I just thought you'd want to know how great your help was.  I 'll be sending you a donation soon.  Thanks.  Janet Niles 

Dear Matt;
Thanks for your guide which we printed from the net and took with us to
athens for a 5 day city break, It was very useful we even managed to find
the Kafeneon in the dark and had cheese balls and ouzo as you suggest!
many thanks;

brian & shelagh kirkland. 

Matt, Just wanted to thank you for absolutely making our Athens trip.  My husband went on business, and I spent a whole week just exploring Athens via metro and coastal tram and mostly by foot.  You never failed me, and sometimes I found a place I thought was terrific only to discover later that it was featured by you, so quality shows!
In Psiri, which I wouldn't have explored except for you section on it, we ate twice--once at the Odos Aisxylos (I'm a sucker for lots of white lights and someone eating there gave us a thumbs up as we passed), which was so honest that when our neighboring dining companions (who were also staying at the Attalos on your recommendation) had a full packet of cigarettes whisked away by an over-eager waiter, they sent another out to buy the exact brand to replace it immediately).  I'm from Louisiana and it reminded me a bit of the French Quarter...the older, not-too-slick part.  The second place I don't remember the name of, but it was in the center of the square and their fish dish was excellent.  Our only complaint was our before dinner beer down another street--should have known when they said they didn't have Mythos that we were in the wrong place.
In the Plaka, I had already chosen a place for lunch and sat down, lured by the shade and the charm of the "maitre d' " then pulled out your guide and saw that I was indeed at the Byzantine (Vizantine on their sign), where I had a large Greek salad, bread and water.  When I left, I told the "maitre d' " the he was indeed an artist in finding me the perfect table, and he kissed my hand.
Wandering farther, I chanced onto a great looking place up a side street to the top, made note of it for the evening, and when I got back to my hotel, looked again at the guide and discovered that I had chosen Psarras.  It was all it was said to be--charming, cool, romantic, good food, and we made friends with the couple on the lower step who came there every time they were in Athens.
The rest of Athens, I wandered and explored and got on and off metros and coastal tram (to Glyfada, an old memory) and went into places I maybe shouldn't have been (weaseled my way onto the grounds of the National Observatory on the Hill of the Nymphs and stood in awe as an amateur astronomer in front of the ornate entrance).  Hadn't been to Athens in 37 years, so everything was new to me.
So, this is just a note of gratitude for the detail in your guide, and I will always consult it any time I go back to Greece.
Lynne Olson 


Having just come back from 2 weeks in Greece I feel like I know you since it was your guide that helped make this one of our best vacations ever.

First of all there was George the Taxi Driver.  He was outstanding and I hope you will pass this on to him.  We spent 3 days with George one in the Peloponnese and 2 in Delphi and Meteora.  By the end of 3 days I felt like I was saying goodbye to a member of my own family.  He was very knowledgeable and gave us an insight into the Greek culture that you just can't get from tour books and huge bus tours.  Plus he knows the best place to stay in Meteora!!  Not some chain hotel in town but a wonderful spic n' span clean inn in the mountains called Arsenis.  When I walked out onto our balcony the mountain view was so beautiful I wanted to sing out a chorus from the Sound of Music!  By the way, no one should go to Greece without Meteora on their tour.  In all our travels I have never experienced any natural beauty like it not to mention the spiritual aspect.

Back in the Plaka we did walk with your guide in hand which made us feel well oriented within a day.  O Plantanos Taverna was a gem quiet and filled with locals.  Can't say the same about Byzantino too noisy and crowed.  Socrates Tavern was empty on the 2 nights we walked by so don't know if they've changed hands or cooks but we passed it up for Strofi which was good with a beautiful view of the Acropolis.  And if someone wants to splurge as we did on our last night in Athens, Daphne's inside courtyard is the place.  The food service and ambience were top notch and the bill for 2 with 3 courses including wine...$110.  Brettos is a beautiful store and was going strong the night we were there.  Byzantine Jewelers does have beautiful unique pieces and so does their neighbor Angelo's.

Our second week was spent with Viking Cruises on the Aegean Lady II.  I'll forward you my e-mail to them since this was a perfect unstructured way to see the islands as opposed to the oversized cruise ships.  And the intimacy of sailing with only 20 other people was wonderful.

Thanks again for all your recommendations!  We cannot wait till we return to Greece with all its beauty, history and warm and friendly people!!

Charlene Carbone 

Dear Matt,

My family and I traveled to Greece in summer of 98.  Your quide was
incredibly valuable and we thank you for it!  We printed it, read it and
depended upon it while in Greece.

The night before the first day of really sightseeing, we got out George's
number but decided that it was too late to call him for the next day.  So we
went out on our own the next day.  At the end of the day we were walking by
the Grande Bretagne to see it again (from a previous trip) and hopefully to
grab a cab.  We needed to go to the office of a ferry company to pick up our
ferry tickets.

As we were walking by the Grande Bretagne a man called to us to see if we
needed a cab.  We said yes, expecting to go with the gentleman who summoned
us.  Instead he directed us to another gentleman.  We jumped in our cab and
took off for the ferry company.  When my husband went inside to pay for the
tickets I was looking at our driver and he looked vaguely familiar.  I asked
him if, by some small chance, he  had a web site and he answered no but that
there was this man named Matt from the US.....etc. etc...  I pulled out my
picture of George and his wife that I printed off the internet and he pulled
out the original!!! Unbelievable!!!

We used his services that night as he drove my husband, me and our 2 small
children to Sounion for dinner and sunset.

He is a godsend in a city of smokers!!!  As with all the people we met, he
was informative, very friendly and genuinely nice.

We thank you for all your incredible tid bits of information.  It made our
trip quite pleasant.  The only change that I would make for our next trip,
is that I would definately rent a car in Athens and take it on the ferry
with us to whatever island we would go to.  It was far too confusing and
difficult to manage our gear with the kids, traffic and masses of people at
Pireaus and again on the other end.  Those traveling with cars were settled
in quicker and off and running quicker upon arrival in the islands.
Additionally, you can rent a better car in Athens than the islands that we
traveled to.

We thank you!

Heidi Evans

Hi Matt:
KALIMERA--I feel terribly ungracious at this time for not taking the time to
personally thank you for your information.  After all, it has been 9 months
already since we returned, and boy does time fly.  Actually we went on another
vacation--our annual trip to the Cayman Islands--in August, so between Greece
in March/April, Cayman in August, and then to top it off a family wedding in
Arizona December 12, I feel like 1999 was the year for travel.  Oops I forgot,
a quick weekend to Southern California 2 weeks after we got back from Greece!!
 And in case you don't remember me, my family and I live in Cleveland.

So now that I have made my excuses, let me just SHOUT:  Thank you for all the
information.  Yes we used Goerge--although we did not get to meet him--one of
his workers picked us up @ the airport, and since we did not stay but 2 days
in Athens we did not have time to use much of your Athens guide.  We did stay
at the Hotel AUSTRIA, and got a great rate for booking on the internet.  And I
did order the Greek course from Helen Dumas, plus I took my trusted European
Phrase book, so when I went to the butcher in Corfu, I could safely ask for
"arne".  It was a great time to go, if one ignored the sounds of the missiles
being fired over Corfu at Kosovo!!  There were NO tourists, we were really
oddities--and we stayed at a place with a kitchen, so I got to go to the
market, bakers, butchers like a true greek woman!!

And YES, I did vote.  Best of luck to you in the year 2000 and beyond.

Efkaristo poli

Lois E

P.S.  If you want to use this letter, just take my name out, please!!!!
But other than that you have my permission to use it on your web site. 

Dear Matt, Andrea & Amarandi,
Hello! I absolutely love your pages about Greece, especially the Athens
airport section. You had me cracking up in the middle of my university
computer lab because everything you said was so true. My family is Greek and
I too know the legend of the Athens airport luggage carousel. It's so funny,
but I still look forward to it every time!

Anyway, just wanted to tell you that your page is helping me SO MUCH because
I am planning my first solo trip "without parents" to Greece for this summer
so all the help I can get is great. Your pages are so helpful Thanks!

Just wanted to drop you a line to say how helpful your web page and newsletter were during our recent trip to Greece.  We had George pick us up from the airport and take us on a day tour to Delphi.  He was loads of fun and we will recommend him to our friends who plan to travel to Greece next May.  We stayed at the Adams Hotel while in Athens and found it friendly, comfortable, and clean.  We took you up on your newsletter recommendations for shopping and restaurants and were very pleased with the results.
Again, thanks for taking the time to put all your information on the web.  Your information was an invaluable asset to us on our trip.

Debbie & John McKinley 

Dear Mr. Barrett!
I would like to tell you how much good your Athens survival guide did to me.
I am a greek student living in Munich, Germany since 1993 and I haven´t
managed to travel to Greece for the last 2,5 years. One of the few
possibilities to stay in touch with Greece is the Internet and so I landed
on your page. I really enjoyed reading the text version. Since I was born
and raised in Athens, Marousi in particular, it reminded me of all the
wonderful times I had there.
It is always uplifting to see that there are more people that love the city
that sometimes torment us but always embraces us with warmth.

Next time you´re in Athens, be sure to visit a café called Zeppelin. It is
on the hill of Galatsi and you can sit there and drink your coffee watching
Athens at your feet. At clearer days you can see right down to Pireaus.

Again, thank you a lot.

Sincerely yours,
Dimitris Georgakopoulos 

Hi Matt,

I was feeling bored, and decided to have a look at the net - no special destination. And I "fell" on your guide on "my" city = Athens. And I don't mean Athens, Georgia (or something like that), but "Atheena". Veeeeeeery amusing!! And you really astonished me with all that info you have. You know -- you seem to be so patient, so humorous, so understanding that you would have liked any place. Good for you.

Oh, first let me introduced myself: My name is Alexandra Tsakona and I am an Athenian who loves her city (not necessarily the city's inhabitants). I've been thinking to ask you: did you know that there is an "internet cafe" at the Megaron Mousikees =Athens Concert Hall across the US Embassy? Although the internet cafe you suggest (corner Boulis & Ermou or something like that) is much more practical due to its location, I thought just in case somebody is around the US Embassy, one could be interested in that, too. Should you be interested, the "Megaron" has a site: . This contains info on the internet cafe there. As you might see on my e-mail address, I work at the "Megaron", but have nothing to do with the internet cafe.

Well, I have to go back to work. Before I leave you, I want to tell you a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGG "euharisto" (efharisto), i.e. thank you, for what you say about my city!

Wish you best,

...and I never saw a nicer travel site before! Congratulations! And not
just because of your benevolent and humorous writing style but also
because of the wealth of the info and the depth into which you reached
into the life of a city everyone hates and loves at the same time.I
guess you muct have stayed quite some time.

I run into your guide accidentally surfing in th net trying to plan this
year's vacations.
Bye Matt, good work!

Eri Leftherioti 

I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your page.  I was stationed in
Hellinikon for 5 years and loved every moment I was there.  I lived in Glyfada
and got downtown as much as I could.  I miss it so much, I would love to live in
Greece permanently if I could find gainful employment there.  Your comments and
little descriptions about life in Athens are so right on, I had flashback after
flashback.  I will return either this year or next and your site gives me an
idea of how things have (and have not) changed.  Excellent site!  Eucharisto

Hello, I just returned from a 2 week trip to Greece (my first time) and it was amazing.  Just wanted to thank you for all of your helpful information -- I practically memorized your website.  Just a quick word of caution -- we stayed at the Hotel Avra b/c all other places around Athens seemed to be full and it was very nice and comfortable.  However, none of the taxi drivers seemed to know where it was.  It was very helpful to carry around their business card and memorize the names of the larger streets surrounding the hotel.

Again, thanks for the great website.  Can't wait to go back to Greece!

Lien Duong 

To all the people who have made this site


I just want to thank-you for making this site so enjoyable.  My husband and I spent our 10th anniversary trip in Greece and found your website very entertaining and made our visit much more fullfilling.  We only had 2 days in Athens but we did visit Oinos cafe, Brettos (bought lots of ouzo) and we bought each other a 10th anniversary wedding band at Byzantino's, and of course, the Acropolis.

Again congratulations for such a wonderful site.  I still visit it from time to time to reflect on such a magical place.



Jen and Darcy

Printed off about 30 pages of your guide and had the pages with me as I explored Athens.  Walked into Bratano's showed him his picture and was immediately made welcome.  An English speaker and reader was present translated your work and all enjoyed a laugh about the magazine kiosk and the behavior of the owner.  He is now aware of your comments so beware.  Every cafe and bar wanted to read about themselves and had to show me where pictures were taken.

In fact by the end of three days all the pages had disappeared.   Great guide myself my companion and all the inhabitants of your guide thank you for the enjoyment.

Russ Addiss 

I am Greek living in Chicago and usually when I meet people they ask me
where the best Greek restaurant is and where should they go in Greece.  I
give them as much info as I can but I always send them to your site.  I go
(or try to go) almost every year and all your information is right on.

Dear Mr Matt Barrett,

Last year this time, I was browsing thru the net for want of info on Greece and I slipped into your site during my search.
Your pages on Athens Survival Guide is one of the BEST TRAVEL GUIDE ever.
It had all the info one needs and more.  I'd printed all your pages and planned my trip on those lines.
My Hubby and myself made a trip to Athens and Kos Island. 

We are from India, South India to be precise.

whole of our trip, we've been thinking / thanking you  cause while walking on the streets we came across everything that you'd mentioned and it made our trip so very simpler and enjoyable.  It was a no fuss, no mess travel experience. Having your guide was  like holding a GPS in hand, guiding us all thru.

I even picked up the body butter, olive oil soaps, etc.  that you'd mentioned.

the entire trip went so smooth and without any problem thanks to your travel guide and this THANK YOU NOTE HAS BEEN LONG, LONG, LONG PENDING.

This year we are planning to visit north of Italy and while discussing on our trip I couldn't stop thinking about your pages.
Wish I could find a travel guide like yours on Italy tooo. 

I'm sure you must be receiving thank you notes from all over the world cause your pages are the BEST.
Keep up the good work. Really wish you'd come up with more travel guides in future.




 Dear Matt, I think you do a superb job on your website.Anybody who wants to visit Greece should  be informed by it. I also want you to know,that I appriciate the attention you gave to my critisism of the  side walks of Athens.
                                  Thank you again
                                   Tom Tsirigotis 

Hello Matt Barrett,
We are Richard and Alice Altman and we want to just send you a quick email
for now from the SkyNet Internet Cafe in Athens on the corner of Voulis and
Apolonos. Your info has been extremely helpful to us and we wanted to let
you know how much we appreciated finding you and your GreeceTravel site. We
will send you a more detailed email when we get home, but wanted to thank
you for all you have helped us with..
Till Then

Richard and Alice Altman 

hey im studying about Athens in my 8TH grade calass it realy intresting to learn differnt stuff evrery day.i hope one day i get a chance to go Athens one day just to see how life is in Athens.


                                    your fan..........

Hi there, just thought I'd drop you a line. I used your guides and info extensively on my recent trip to Greece and Athens. I wished I'd booked the Attalos hotel in advance as it was full when we arrived there, but used the Cecil instead. There rate stared off at 32000 drc but we got it down to 24000. that was for 4 of us although it was impossible to sleep on the fourth bed. After 3 weeks in the Islands and reading  your warning several time about the soulaki sandwich I thought we could not get caught out but we did. In exactly the restaurants that you said.After questioning the waiter insisted that a gyro pitta was indeed this platter at the grand price of 1500 drc, as it did not have any zatziki on we asked for some and that cost us another 600 drc for a spoonful.That was the one and only bad experience of the whole trip, so not too bad. I won't be caught again. Thanks very much for your guide.Keep up the good work.
Jean Winter 

Hi Matt

We returned from our trip to Greece and I would like you to know that we
went to see the flocati rugs at Mazarakis in the Plaka. Told him Matt
Barret suggested we come there. Saw your name in the window!

Also, we bought some Breetos ouzo, it really is great! But we really
loved the wine on Santorini as well.

Greek salads are so great I could never get enough of them!

Ate at Eden (we had eaten there three years ago), still good.

Ate at Platanos - fish, should have tried other things as well!

Went into Byzantino Jewellery store but didn't really want any

Monastiriki flea market, shortly after noon on the Sunday! A fantastic
experience. Would have been fun to have been there first thing in the
morning but it was still all "a-bustle" later. Lots of people!

We were only in Athens for three days and being in a centrally located
hotel, were able to walk everywhere. The Plaka certainly is an
incredible place. I would never get tired of it.

We were on a tour with a tour company and I so wish I had taken your
advice in the beginning and planned the trip myself. I'm sure we
wouldn't have wasted so much time waiting for one thing and another. It
was that "hurry up and wait" syndrome. We live and learn!

I took some vitamin B tablets. It probably did some good and we sure
needed it.

We were on a 3-night cruise to Mykonis, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Crete. Four
nights on Crete where we rented a car. Driving was fine. Three nights on
Santorini, a favourite spot, not enough time. Three nights in Athens. I
hope Athens is ready for the Olympics!

Thanks again for your good suggestions. My husband and I would have done
more but we had another friend in tow who needed her rest in the
afternoon. We are seniors and not as fit as some!

Maybe some other islands sometime.


Noeline Martin 

Hey Matt , I just wanted to let you know that I had a great time surfing
through your pages on Athens !!
Where are you from ? Are you Greek ?
I especially had a howl reading your captions on the flea market .
I've never been to Athens before ( I am a Greek Canadian living in Vancouver) but I look forward to visiting this city especially after visiting your
site ! It looks like everyone is happy and friendly !


Hello Matt,

I've had this link to your web site for a while now, and I've just noticed you have updated it. Many thanks for your excellent information on Athens, I've been quite a few times and read all the guide books - but yours is by far the best!

My wife was born in London like me, and her parents are both Greek. Hence the connection to Souvlaki, a pseudonym I once used on a world-wide hit. Oh, and I love the real souvlaki's too of course, with lots of tzatziki (or houmus).

Best regards,

Mark Summers

Just wanted to write and thank  you for your information/advice on your web-site.  We just returned from 10 days in Greece, and your comments were very helpful.  We especially enjoyed the Athens subway system, and used it to return to the airport and get around the city.

Thank you!


Mr. Barrett, it is my pleasure to visit your website, and thank you for your quick reply ! I wish you the best of luck on your run for minister of tourism, I hope you make it ! If those greeks know anything, they should realize that you are probably more concerned about their country then they are. My parents have a home on the island of Salaminas and they are there six months out of the year. My mother has lived in America for many years now, and she says that Greece is not like it used to be when she grew up. Everything you mention in your website is so true, I've heard it all from my mother. I have told my parents of your website, and I'm sure they would be very proud to see the ideas you have about changes come to life ! Again, good luck and God Bless !


my name is Paola, I'm 26 and I'm from Italy.
I'm writing you because I would like you to know how much I appreciated the
Athens Survival Guide you published in Internet.
Next week I will go to Athens for some days and after having read your guide
I feel prepared to get from that city all the best it can offer.
I hardly looked for an Athens guide in bookshops, but I just found Greece
Guides. Then I looked for something in Internet and I found your guide.
I think it could be appreciated also in other languages...have you ever
think about this?
I would like to translate it in Italian, what would you think about this
idea?...Of course I must have your approval...
It would be nice to have your impressions....
One question more.....What exactly is OUZO???...You wrote a lot about it...I
know that is a drink...but which kind of drink?

Thanks for considering my mail

Dear Matt Barret

I have just found you site Athen's Survival Guide and I would like to say thank you very much. You did a great job.

I went to Athen for the first time in January I spent there only four days. I brought with me some guides in German (I live in Germany but I am Brazilian, half Spanish).
Before travelling I tried to find some information on line, but I was not so happy with them. It is a pitty that I found you site after travelling.

I am writing a book about the trip. I am doing it for myself (I don't expect so much that I will publish it one day) and your information are going to help.

I promise I will tell everybody about this Athen's Survival Guide and I wish you could carry on doing other useful city guides like this one.

Thank you very much again and congratulations.

Yours faithfully,

Ronaldo Navarro
from Bremen (moving to Berlin next month)

Hello Matt,

I have enjoyed visting your site over the last couple of years and have the found the information both insightful and informative. I especially want to thank you for helping me discover Brettos. I have on several trips to Athens walked past the tiny colorful shop and never gave much notice to it. After reading about it on your website I decided to go in and sample the ouzo. I agree - it is the best ouzo I have ever had in Greece. Since then I am hooked and would not think of going to Athens without stopping in.

This all leads to a question that I hope you can answer. Currently my plan is to be in Athens on a Sunday and I am hoping that the store will be open late in the evening - after 6 PM at least. Do you think the store is likely to open at this time? The exact date I will be in Athens is May 13th.

Again thanks for all the great info.
Graham Jardine

I would like to tell you that I went to Athens and I really enjoyed myself
there...specially because I followed your guide!!!!!
You know...I even met Theresa...the acropolis guide...I went to visit
Bretto's...and we drunk ouzo!
It was really fantastic....I have some wonderful pictures of Sounio (why not
adding this attraction in your guide?)and of a green Athens....very
different from the ones I have seen taken from my collegues that went during
If you need some pictures...I can send them to you!

Thanks for considering my mail

hi is Vasso again

I found the pages on street people excellent!Once again you presented Greece with realism.And to to tell you the truth until now I hadn 't realised that some of those people are very good musicians.Propably because we see them every day and because we have no time to stop and pay anttention on them.Sad maby, but true.

In your next trip maby you could take a few pictures of the gipsy tellers fortune that you can find them in monastyraki.One of the them stoped me one day, she was very old and she read my palm.We sat on the street and people were passing by but she was so friendly and she looked very wise.I don 't believe in those things but I believe that they are part of monastiraki and plaka 's world.

Also it would be interesting for the ''naive american viewers" :)) ,to take some pictures of gamblers in the street,if you find them, in the same areas again.They usally play a game called ''papas'' if you know it.They have three cards, one of them is a king, and the change their position on the table very fast and then you must find where is the king.These guys are real ''rebetes'' they are part of the underground world.

I don 't know your two friends who work in antenna.I am working in the antenna internet department and they must work in the antenna tv which is in another building.Anyway it 's a small world.You never know....

Once again congratulations for the good work.


Your page is THE BEST i've ever seen on internet,even
beats most of the books abuot greece in us.i can tell,
i've been living in athens over a year,many years ago...

Dear Matt, Just wanted to add that your Travel Newsletter was great, but then I went to the Athens  survival guide!! It is fantastic! Chock full of information! EPHARISTO, GRACIAS, DANKE, !

Matt - Thank you for having such a wonderful web site. I have been to Athens
several time before, but I just found you. I know enough to know you really
know what you are talking about and that is rare, as you know. I am telling
all my travel friends about you. Thanks again!
Lyle Cashion

Again, thank you for your most informative information on Greece. We didn't make the sandalmaker, but we did make just about everybody else in your Plaka shopping guide. My wife enjoyed Byzantino's and did buy. We never could make out if Kosta was the owner and what was the connection with Olympico, where my wife also bought. Did try Byzantinio's on more than one occasion as we were in the area. Very good. Saw them actually shoo some itinerent musicians away. Visited Brettos and my wife bought much at 107 Adarianou.
On leaving the Attalos, I gave all your website information I had downloaded to a couple checking in and wished them a good stay too.
All the best to you and your family.
Arlene & Ray Best 

Hello Matt.
We've just come back from Athens where we spent a really nice weekend thanks to your guide. All your enormous writings about Athens on were really helpful for us, because your advices matched our desires. We not only discovered a wonderful greek history, but also could have a lot of pleasure.
One hour after landing in Athens, we could check that "Matt" is a magic word... We arrived at Paradosiako, met Dimitri who first shook his head to say no when he guessed that we wanted a table, because the terrace was full, but I just had to say the magic word and Dimitri found 3 small tables inside just beside the fridge. And then we had one of our best moments in Athens, eating so fresh fish and Greek salads, and trying our first Greek words with Dimitri.
We also enjoyed so much the Taverna Tou Psiri and To Cafeneon. The magic word also worked with Angelo the King when we searched for good ouzo...
Really thank you for all that work you've made on
Kind regards.
Patrice GIRRES
PS: I would be interested in how you can live with your passion, if you're OK to explain me.

Hi there,

My name is Ann-Marie and I just wanted to say that I think that you Athensguide site is EXCELLENT, you make it all so easy to read and understand, I have been searching the web for details on shopping etc in Athens and nothing compares to this, I jsut happen to stumble across this site (isn't it always the way - when you are looking for something you can't find it, then when you least expect it, it appears before your eyes?) I have really enjoyed reading this and love the way you have set it all out, I have even had a little chuckle here and there.

Thank-you for making my trip to Athens that much easier and more interesting.


Dear Matt,

I am one of the visitors of your web page ( and I am really glad of what you are writing in those pages, since I am a Greek and I know how accurate are whatever you write in there.

Please accept my congratulations, for the quality of your web page and the honest way you are describing everything in there. It seems that you have worked very hard to create this web page and I totally appreciate your hard work!

I have been surfing in your web site for only 30 minutes and I felt that I wanted to express you how much I am enjoying it, so I decided to write you this note.

"BRAVO" again for the GREAT work!

I hope you keep working in this page and let American people (and not only) know more about Athens/Greece.

With great appreciation,

Vangelis Mitrousis

I am thoroughly enjoying your Athens guide.  Printing like crazy.  Would like all the info I can receive before Oct 23rd when I leave Los Angeles for Greece and the Islands.  Thanks, Kit 


I wanted to thank you for your web site.  I have visited Greece once before in 1999, but I just returned from a wedding in Greece for my girlfriend.  We went through Athens to Santorini. 

We took advantage of George the taxi driver because we only had one full day in Athens and it was a marvelous experience. I printed out all of your descriptions and pronunciations for food, and that was incredibly advantagous. 

Thank you for all of your work and information.  Your help made our trip incredibly easy, safe and much more enjoyable.

Thanks, M.

I happened upon your site last month, just before going to Athens.  I have
been to Athens many times before, but had more fun this time than I have had
for years following some of your suggestions, such as those you have in your
guide to the Plaka (e.g., the restaurant and jewelry store both named
Byzantinos, Brattos, etc.).  Congratulations.  By the way, I don't recall
that your guide mentions the restaurant Strofi, which is across from the
Odeon of Herod Atticus and has a rooftop restaurant with spectacular views
of the Parthenon.  We liked it very much.  You might want to check it out.

HI Matt,I have just spent 4 glorious days in Athens.Weather for mid March 17 to 25 celsius.Tried several eateries you recomend,all good. I would add though that there are many more that would more than pass.
We had several student marches ,none of which caused many problems.
The only downside were the heavily coated women at the archealogical sites,very aggresive and dictatorial.
Your webb site more than helpful a great aid to anyone touring Athens. Bill Alexander.


Come upon your web site as part of my research for my honeymoon. It was the
most informative site/source I found- by far. Thank you very much.

In particular, we bought some jewelry from Laura at Byzantino and used your
recommendations for the Cine Paris, getting Ouzo, dinners, and hotels.

The only critique I can provide is that the Armonia Hotel was very
disappointing. I would recommend taking it off of your site. Just our two

Best regards and thanks-

Will and Laurie Moselle

Hi Matt,
I just found your Athens guide site - at last someone with something good to say about the place!!
I have loved Athens since the first time I was there in 1967, (it was late April - just about when the tanks started rolling) on my way to India. I was there again in 1969, (when they were having the vote for the syntagma), this time on my way back from India. I stopped there for a month, living on the roof of a small pension in Plaka - it was great, I had a perfect view of the Acropolis from my sleeping bag.
More recently I dragged my wife and eldest daughter out to Kerkyra in '87, where we stayed for about a year and a half, (in the meantime managing to produce another daughter, who was born there), and then after a spell back here in England, I dragged them off to Greece again, this time to Gytheion, where we were for about two years. However the dearest beloved prevailed again (the girls education the reason - I thought the Greek system was just fine, but was overruled).
So here we stay for a while, at least until Maria (the youngest, now just approaching 14) finishes her education.
I don't know where you are at the moment, but if you are in Athens, I will be there with Suzy, my wife, for a couple of days October 8th to 10th. If you fancy swapping a couple of anecdotes over a beer or three get in touch. We will be staying at the Adonis hotel, just off Nikis st. in Plaka.
Love to hear from you, keep up the good work.
                                  Kevin Jones
p.s. Is the spearfishing in the title of your book (I haven't read it yet) that ever popular sport of kamaki ?

Hello Matt: We just returned from Greece and found your guides  very helpful. I downloaded your guide to the Plaka and found it very useful. We took it with us and followed your guide and found all the places you recommended. We bought liquor at your friends store. There were 6 of us so we spent quite a bit. The guys said the brandy was the best they had ever had and wished they could have gone back for more. Also your guides to the islands was very helpful. The only thing that I  would recommend that you put on your web sight is a caution about the cabs. Most are very honest, but my sister and her husband were ripped off by a very dishonest and scary cabbie. He was taking them from the Parthanon to our hotel in Vouliegmeni. We knew that it was more expensive  and we were told to set the price first, which they did at 7000 drachmas,but the cab driver would not let them out of the cab until they had paid him over $200.00 He then let them out in the middle of nowhere. If it hadn't been for the very helpful bus drivers they might still be wandering around Athens. We recommended to everyone that they take down the cabs drivers licence before they got in. Because they had not they could not identify him and the police could do nothing. Other than that incident every thing else was wonderful. Thankyou again for your insight into Greece, it made for a wonderful holiday.

Loved this guide. Top quality - keep up the good work!

David Fair
Producer: Internet Travel Guides 

We just returned from Athens yesterday (12/17/01) for a week of business for my husband.  I had contacted you before we left about a real estate agent you might know since my job for the week was to try and locate an area we might want to live if we relocate to Athens.  You recommended I contact Dorian for this problem and I should have!!  But, the Greek company who will partner with my husband's company said they would help me - but it turned out they were so very busy that didn't happen.

I had contacted George for taxi service - but again, the Greek company arranged to pick us up at the airport.  Again, I should have followed your advise and called on George to take me around to some of the neighborhoods - it would have saved me so much time!!

I have so many thanks you's to you for your wonderful web site and your recommendations.  Since I don't speak Greek (yet), the thought of trying to figure out which neighborhood we would like was a daunting task.  So, my first stop was Tommy at his rug shop in the Plaka!!  He spent about an hour with me while we talked about locations and modes of travel (for my husband who will be working at the Athens Tower near American Embassy).  He gave me some wonderful insight into different neighborhoods and things to look for in housing.  All in all, a wonderful man and a source of valuable information.  He even walked me across the street to the Skynet Cafe to make sure I got the help I needed in connecting to the internet while there.  I had my laptop with me, but had not been able to log on at the hotel - found out from the helpful folks at Skynet it's probably my modem not recognizing the dial tone!!

On our last day, Saturday, we finally had time to visit some of your other recommendations in the Plaka.  We found Brettos, sampled his Ouzo, bought 2 to bring home - and toasted you with a drink.  Mr. Brettos is a gracious gentleman and we enjoyed our visit with him and his wonderful shop.

Next on MY list was BYZANTINO's where we were greeted by "Jimmy".  Laura, Kostas and George were off Saturday so we missed meeting them.  But Jimmy was a wonderful host for the 2 hours of our visit!!  He treated us with a special drink and I was treated with my Christmas present!!!  I'm attaching a picture of the absolutely beautiful necklace and earrings my husband bought for me.  It's a work of art - I hope your wife enjoys seeing the picture.  They are everything you said they would be - a lovely shop and wonderful people.  I sent them an email this morning thanking them and received a wonderful note back from Laura!

For your information and possibly your web site, I located a relocation service in Athens.  Maria Shuman of Cendant Mobility Globalnet ( is a Greek-American living in Glyfada and provides a full service relocation service.  I talked with her several times and she was wonderful!  Since my job was neighborhood locations not only for us (2 adults) but three other families, one with school age children, she was a life saver.  For anyone visiting your web site who need this type of service for a  move, they would find her extremely helpful. She takes care of everything!

Now, my one question - which language learning tapes do you recommend?  The one by Dr. Balanis or Helen Dumas?

Matt, sorry for this long email - but I wanted to let you know what a help your web site has been and what wonderful people we met through you.  Please feel free to edit any portion of this for your testimonials.

Thanks again, I'll keep in touch and please add me to your newsletter list.
Jackie Grant-Carter
Orlando FL
P.S.  If we relocate to Athens, you will now have another place to visit/stay!!

i suppose you get alot of mail saying this but i just thought i let you know my wife and i have just returned from athens and we had a great time with a lot of help from your site and we have returned with ouzo from mr brettos


i hope thats right

Hi Matt-
First of all, your website is awesome! I had an internship in Athens last
summer and moved there knowing very little. Your site gave me the guidance,
insight, and knowledge I needed to survive in the chaotic city I found
myself falling in love with. Thank you!
I'm on a hunt for something very near and dear to my heart (or my
stomach)...a frappe mixer! I think the Greek grocery store I'm going to
soon will carry Nescafe but I would really like the actual mixer (not just
the mixing cup). Any ideas where I can find one?

Shannan Volley

Dear Matt Barrett,

I have friends leaving for a trip to Greece in September, and I am creating
a list of things for them to experience in their three days in Athens.  I
went to school in Athens in 1995, and found the 1st cemetery by accident.  I
too was profoundly moved in the time I spent there.  The Jewish section, and
non-Greek Orthodox section were also fascinating.  What a story of history,
and of lives.  Thank you for the respectful appreciative way in which you
share this amazing place. I will be sharing your site with my friends.


Hi Matt,

Thank you for your superb Athens Survival Guide. I've just got back from my
first trip there for 13 years - I felt like I knew the city pretty well
thanks to the wealth of information on your site. It made the whole trip so
easy and extremely enjoyable.If  I hear of anyone I know planning a holiday
in Greece I will be sure to direct them to one of your sites; meanwhile I'm
going to start planning my own next trip to the islands later this year.

Thanks again, and keep up the good work.


I just want to thank you for an excellent guide on
Athens! I have been to Greece several times, but never
to the capitol. I started to search my local library
and bookstores, but the guides they offered were just
that - guides for the typical tourist places. Your
guide says so much more!
So - thank you very much for making and displaying
your guide for free. So much work, and no money in it
for you - I´m impressed. The world (and the Internet)
would be a much better place if there were more people
like you!

Sincerly, Randi Elisabeth

I am a British student taking a degree in Classical Civilisation, and i fell i must write in response to the comment on the Elgin marbles (or parthenon sculptures). although there is certainly a point to be made about the marbles being returned to Greece, you offer such a one-sided and biased argument that i feel it is rather unacceptable to demand to everybody that they shoud sign the petition to have them returned.
in reality, countries all over the world have other countries' various artifacts and ancient cultural heritage. just because the Greek government is kicking up such a fuss people seem to be assuming that this is an entirely unique situation between GB and Greece. aside from this issue it is important to remember that the British have taken exceptional care over the marbles continuing up to the present day. Lord Elgin acutally picked up the pieces of the marbles as they were lying on the ground having been blown off the Parthenon in the middle of a war between the Greeks and the Turks. Now suddenly the Greek government realises that they they really do want them afterall. Purely on a practical note, far more tourists vistit London than anywhere else in Europe and the marbles will be seen by far more people than if they were taken back to Greece. The marbles remain one of the most important pieces in the British Museum and countless acedemic scholars are doing work with them all the time. Also, whilst they have been in the museum the marbles have been inside and clear of the dangers of acid rain that have all but ruined many of the sculptures that remain exposed to the elements back in Athens - not to mention the potential for damage if the marbles were moved from the museum and transported all the way to Greece.
Now, i am by no means marginalising the Greek government's argument for having the marbles back, and I for one argree that they have a good point. I am not stating catagorically that the marbles should remain in Britain, but i am aware of both sides of the argument. i felt that perhaps whoever wrote their piece on the Elgin Marbles was not, so i wrote in reply...

apart from that i think your site is very informative and interesting,
yours cheerfully,


Hello Mr Matt Barrett,

Thanks for your nice guide through Athens. It was very helpful to me. I visited Athens the first weekend of February. We only had three days in which we travelled a lot on foot, but with your guide in hand, it took me a bit faster through the less interesting areas and into the more interesting sites. We stayed in the Royal Olympic Hotel, which is in walking distance from the Plaka.

I just wanted to add that we had a marvellous time in a small restaurant in the Plaka on Mnisikleou Street, called Taverna O Geros Toy Moria. Although we didn't get much choice in desert (everbody in the restaurant got real good yoghurt and honey and some fruit) the food which we did order ourselves was excellent, fresh, well taken care of.

But most of all, the music was really fantastic. Unfortunately I forgot to ask the name of the band. There were three men playing, to elder men and one younger one (I guess around 30 years old). And later a lady singer joined the group. Her voice was very good, especially in combination with the male singer. Although I don't really like Greek music for a whole evening (it gets on my nerves), I could really appreciate this band. At a later stage two young men left their tables and started to dance some authentic Greek dances. Very beautiful to watch.

The price for the whole evening was reasonable and the service was splendid. The owner
(I think) was very busy outside trying to get people inside. We were the firts but of course we are stupid tourist who are already hungry at 20.30 hrs. But at 23.00 hrs the restaurant was totally full (I guess because of the great music).

We had a great time in Ahthens but of course we paid too much for several things. Problem is... It's my vacation and I don't like to pump up my adrenaline-level to try and get the best bargain. Sometimes I'm just too tired hassle. But thank God it was a businesstrip for my partner, all expenses paid. So I didn't feel too bad when we really overpaid the taxidriver to the new airport. The taxidriver and me had a very nice conversation. I speak about 50 words Greek and I can read the letters. As soon as I answer a Greek "nèh" (yes) they start rabbling on in Greek, presuming I know all the other words as well. But this taxidriver luckily also spoke English.

Thanks again and greetings from your friend Nick Nikolau, the ringseller. We met and had a nice talk.

Annelieke Erkelens,
The Netherlands

Dear Matt Barrett,

Thank you very much for your email - I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your
website and I look forward to visiting some of the places you recommend and
of course try the Frapouzo.

Many thanks
Bev Sinclair

Hello Matt, I thought I'd just let you know we went to Athens for New Year.

It was really fabulous.  We can't wait to go back.  I think it was great to
go at a quiet time, we visited the Acropolis on New Years Eve (jolly cold)
and there was only a handful of people, so we were able to really linger
even though we were freezing.  New Years day was blue skies and warm and we
walked across the City and spent a couple of hours enjoying the truly
breathtaking views from Lykavittos.

Anyway, great website, thanks for sharing.

Meg, London.

Hello Matt,
I have been obsessing over your marvelous Survival Guide for the last
few nights. To Greece in May/June! The photographs of the first
cemetary with the Cavafy poems are unusually lovely and unusual too. I
have been traveling since 1966, with my first visit to cemetaries in
Wales. I have painted, drawn and enjoyed the peace of cemetaries since
then. One of my most profound moments was in a cemetary near Zurich,
Switzerland where the marble was sculpted by a nearby shop. There was an
infant/child section. The Swiss make gardens of the graves. It was
sunset. It was my last night in Europe. I cried. How sad to contemplate
death of such young ones amid such beauty. Thanks for the beautiful
tribute. Anne Mansfield Portland, OR.

I may be a Brit but i found your site very helpful for my first visit to Athens last week.
My time would have been far less usefully spent without it.
Special thanks for guiding me to Patsa at Papandreau and ouzo at Brettos. There is little chance I would have found these delights on my own.

I am sure when you update the bus/metro data you will mention the day ticket for 2.90 euro which is excellent value and can be used for any 24 hour period from the validation time. From then on you can hop on and off without any further transactions.

I note the mission you refer to and will send them something in appreciation when I work out how to do it from UK.
Bob Ford.

Hi, Matt: Just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed your Athens guide. What an amazing amount of work and care you've put into it! I found the link on jeeves two weeks ago while I was feeling jealous and nostalgic - two dear friends spent their honeymoon on Rhodes and asked my advice about things to do in Athens.
I was married to a Greek, and we spent about a year and a half total there in 1991 and 1994. I love the downtown area of the city, and especially Plaka and all the ancient sites. I was also excited to excess to discover you knew about my favorite restarant! I think the little place in the meat market is the absolute best place to eat in the whole city.
I've really enjoyed reading what's new in the city - it's only too bad I don't miss the man like I miss Athina! Again, absolutely fantastic job on the whole site - your writing and photography are wonderful. It's like walking down the streets again. Thanks for a great experience! Regards from Shelli

Hi Matt,

My boyfriend and I just got back from Greece. I wanted to let you know
that we used the information provided on your web-site at every turn. It
was extremely helpful...especially your tips on where to get the best
souvlaki in Athens. We loved the food!! Your descriptions,
recommendations, and directions were always right on the mark. Your site
beats any travel book we consulted. Thanks so much. Keep up your
work...its invaluable to anyone planning a trip to Greece.

Your friends from Canada,
Kerry and Adam

Mr. Barrett:
Congratulations on capturing so much of the essence of Athens. I am visiting the city for a week long "journalists of Greek descent" conference (two days in Cyprus as well) on Sunday.
If nothing else, reading your web page has certainly got me even more excited about my trip.

I return to Greece June 15th with my family this time but I will be spending most of my time in the Northwestern part, Kastoria.

Yes, it's Greece, Greece, Greece this year and I am not complaining one bit!

Cheers and thanks again.
Costa Maragos

Hi Matt!

Just thought I'd let you know how much I enjoyed your web page !

Although I know (or "KNEW") Athens quite well, it has been a while, and you certainly brought me up to date, and also taught me quite a bit that I never knew !

You see, I too was an expatiate living and working in Greece. I first went to Greece in 1961 for a few months & returned in 1962 for almost 2 years, again in 1965 for a few months....after that it was 1985 when I went as a tourist, and AGAIN in 1991 to play a concert in Likavitos. I am professional musician (Trumpet), and I gather you play Bass? (Are you still playing? ) I opened the ATHENS HILTON, and worked there for a year with Gerassimos Lavranos Orchestra , also worked at Mont Parnes, Acropole Palace, Nereida, and recorded with many of the "Greek Stars". Of course it was back in the 60's in the "Golden Age" of Athens, when every hotel had an 8 piece band and we would work until 4 or 5 every morning !

Of course, I too learned the language and have managed to keep it up (more or less) by working here in the New York area with Greeks (Gamos kai Horospirides)b They SAVED me when I hit New York... after being on the road with Buddy DeFranco & The Glenn Miller Orch.(It didn't mean skata, to the NY musicians ....but the Greeks took me in again,and I managed to make a decent living playing music)

Enough about me and my self -grandizing...My wife and I are hoping to get to Greece in mid- August untill mid- September....I will look up some old ("OLD") friends and your web page will be very helpful. f you have a minute, drop me a line, and maybe we can say "Hello" in Athens this summer.

Efharisto kai igiasou..

Wally Besser

My name is Sarah Roberts. I am writing to thank you for your wonderful "Athens Survival Guide" website. I am a college student who spent last fall semester studing abroad in Athens. Prior to my trip I found your website and read everything you had written about Greece and Athens. While living in Athens (Pagrati) I used your website as source for chosing everything from restraunts and rembetikis to islands and museums.
I was on the computer today and I came across your website in my list of favorite sites. It was such a joy to look at your site again. Reading about frappes and souvlaki and seeing all the wonderful photos of Athens and it's people really brought joy to my heart. It brought back so many wonderful memories of the four months that I spent there. Greece really is an amazing country and Athens will always hold special place in my heart. The open air markets, street performers, stray dogs, mopeds, and crooked sidewalks give it a a charm and character that no other city has.
Thank you again for your informative website. It really helped me to make the most out of my experience in Greece and it's a joy to look at it now and be reminded of the great times I had there.

efkhareestow poli
Sarah Roberts

Hi Matt,

I would like to thank you for the brilliant Athens guidebook at It helped me a lot while I was planning my
trip to Athens because I had never ever been there before, nor did I
know anyone who had been there (everybody has been to at least one of
the Greek islands, though). Especially sections "Walking in Athens" and
"Getting out of Athens" (the Greek Island Synopsis) provided me a lot of
useful information.

I arrived in Athens on June 11th and stayed there for a week, except for
the two-day trip to Santorini which is perhaps the most beautiful place
I've ever been to! I'm about to book a longer Santorini vacation for the
next summer. :) In Athens, I visited many of the sights and the places
mentioned in "Walking in Athens", especially I enjoyed the Monastiraki
flea market, so thanks for spreading the info! Also, the Plaka area was
neat, lots of lovely things to buy and nice restaurants to go to.

I read in your guide about the taxi drivers in Athens but still I was
not careful enough. It seems that the bus stop for airport buses in
Syntagma square is quite a popular place among the crooked taxi drivers
of Athens to lurk for tourists. As soon as I got down of the bus one of
them came to me and offered to take me to my hotel. I kind of knew right
away he's gonna fool me but as it was the only option for me to get to
my hotel (I did not have a clue about my whereabouts) I jumped in his
taxi. It was about a 7-minute trip and he charged me 25 euros which is
quite a lot but, however, it did not crash my budget. A couple of days
later a night time taxi from the same place to the hotel cost 2,50
euros, only then I knew how badly the first driver fooled me.

Well, it became quite a long story. :) Once again, thank you for the
website. Now, I think, it's time for me to start surfing the Greece
travel guide of yours in order to find something about Thessaloniki and
Igoumenitsa where I'll go in October. :)

Greetings from sunny Finland,


Top site!

Funny and also loaded with tips.

Good work fella.


You didn't know me at ACS....I'm a few years younger. I was friends with your brother, Dave. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your website -
Athens Guide. I am now a corporate travel agent but our liesure agents always come to me when we have clients going to Greece. I always recommend your site as a MUST in planning. I know you do this to share your experience with future travellers to a country you love, and it is appreciated.

Thank you
Sue Cole Feldkamp
ACS class of '75

I was so lucky to find your site before I took a week long trip to Greece.
My first day in Athens was hell-my sister and I could not find anything. We
were hot, we were sweaty, but above all we were hungry. And all we could
find was a China 88 (Chinese fast food).

Our second day was so much better. We had the forethought to consult the
print outs we had from your site. And we decided to visit Psaras Fish
Taverna for dinner. We couldn't have been happier. It was wonderful-we had
lamb, grilled squid, taziki and greek salads, etc. We ate like queens.
Just as we asked for the check a little older man came over and asked if
everything was alright. We gushed on and on, we were so happy and full, and
he said he would send us dessert.

He sent over a custard dessert and two pieces of baklava, on the house.
Both were delightful. Then he told us to remember that he has a coffee and
dessert house, I think it is called Metropole. We were too tired that night
to do anything other than sleep. But believe our surprise when two days
later we walked by Metropole and he ran outside to greet us! Imagine a man
that sees hundreds of tourists everyday, and he remembered us 2 days later.
We felt very special. He kept trying to get us to come in for coffee on the
house, but we had already made plans.

Thank you so much for recommending Psaras. And if you can check to verify
the name Metropole, please add them as well.


Just wanted to say thanks for such a helpful site. I leave this Sunday from Wisconsin, America to come to Athens Greece for about 7 months. I am playing professional basketball for one of the women's teams. And your site was the most helpful in finding out about Athens! You should come check out one of the games!! :)
Angie Jackson

First Cemetery/Kavafy

That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing that, and all the work that you have put into your guide. I don't believe I have ever seen a site so dedicated, and so original, to any city such as this one. Especially a city that guidebooks, at times, tend to downplay.

I had read about Cavafy in some article (in which he was featured alongside Portugal's Fernando Pessoa) and only caught just a wee bit of his poetry. I intended to look him up some more of work later, which hadn't yet come--and then your 1st cemetery/Cavafy piece really showed what a soulful generousity and knowingness of human nature he possessed. I'm definitely going to look around for more of his poetry.

Thank you for this site. I hope one day to visit Athens & I wouldn't dream of going without jotting down the wealth of information you provide. Unlike most "guides", you really make the city breathe. Fantastic.

--Abra M.

Matt You were right on the money on nearly all topics.
1 Greece is truly beautiful
2The Plaka is my favorite place.
3 The Greek people are sincere, warm &friendly.
4 Cafe 's need lessons in making espresso. Best espresso in Greece at Athens airport in McDonalds no less.
5 Public toilets ( WC ) are a disaster, & even some in fairly nice restaurants.

Would I go again you bet but I would pick one spot Athens, Thessalonica & stay for 3 or 4 weeks. Island hopping was very difficult for me. We took many pictures .

G.J.Pisano MD

Matt-I used several suggestions that you made and I feel it made our trip go much smoother. I would like to make a contribution to your favorite place which I think you mentioned in your information, but I can not seem to find it now.

I also wanted to say that we met Laura at the Byzantino Jewelry Store and made a few purchases. She was very helpful and directed us to two of her favorite restaurants and also where to catch a cab and not have to deal with the Plaka cabbies. We bought Ouzo from the Brettos Liquor Store and had ouzo there many times during our stay. Our favorite experience was the CineParis because it was so unusual and we wouldn't have known about it if we hadn't read your information.

Although we had two days scheduled with George, he got tied up and sent Paul. Although we loved our two days with Paul and learned alot about his family and Greek ways, I felt he was not very knowledgable about the sites. In fact we asked what the name of the tall, narrow tree that you see all over the Athens country side and he didn't know. We later found it was a cypress tree. The up side was that he took us to two cafes for lunch that had GREAT food and a WONDERFUL tour buses or rude tour people pushing. He was worth the money! It was also great to have him stop whenever we saw something to photograph or investigate.

I also wanted to tell you about a very good bakery and coffee shop in Plaka called K. Kotsolis on Adrianou str. 112 Plaka, l05 58 Athens-Hellas Tel. (01) 32 21 164. It is run by the grand children of the man who started the business. The pastry was good (by my standards); they had American and Greek coffee and was the cleanest place I have been in. We stopped in every day for an afternoon rest the 5 days we were in Athens.

Last but not least there were two negative things that I came away with. Dealing with the cab drivers was not only a chore but very tiresome. Even at our hotel, the Metropolitian, we had a bad expericence with a cabby who bargained with us infront of the bellman who called him and then took us to a restaurant we didn't want to go to in the Plaka (we asked Laura and she said it was a good place for music but not the food). He waited outside until we had made a dinner reservation. We did not return but found this cab outside our hotel every night! Our tour director with Insight was going to talk to the hotel.

Honest, the last thing I'll bother you with is the fact that you might want to warn people about all the stray animals in Athens and Plaka. Although I am not an animal activist, I am an animal lover and I realize that people in other places have different ideas on pets and domestic animals. It was not that people were cruel to these strays but rather indifferent. Many shop keepers fed them and had water out, but after we asked Paul about why there were so many, he said people don't board them. When they go on vacation, they simply turn them free and purchase another when they return. Nor do they have a neuter program. It was very upsetting to my sister and I and we carried several McDonald hamburgers in our bags to feed the worst of them.

We loved our trip and the Greek people and would return in a heartbeat. Thanks for all your helpful information and if you'd email me your favorite charity I'd like to make a contribution.

Just to tell you that I read many Internet guides to Athens and yours is
the most complete. Good luck!

Michelle Sague

Have just stumbled on your website by accident through a search on Athens. Am off to Rafina next weekend and visiting friends of many years but this time taking somebody very special. Usually we stay in Rafina and only occasionally go into Athens. This trip we are planning to spend time in the city and your site has given me loads of ideas. Simply the most useful and interesting site that I have visited for a long time. The jewellry is beautiful.

Thank you


Thanks for raising my level of appreciation for the musicians and other
people of Athens to a new level!!

PA Dickson
Vista, California, USA

Dear Matt:
Thanks so much for your web site. We just returned from our first and
definitely not last trip to Athens. Unfortunate the National Museum was
closed but your suggestion about Benaki was great. We used your restaurant
recommendations and they were great as well. Thanks. We had a fantastic
Pam Skinner

Hi Matt,
I have been reading your Greek Island and Athens survival guides, very useful.
I visited Athens for the first time this year, in March, a conference to do with my job, wasnt really looking forward to the thing, I was told that Athens is crap, smelly, crowded, polluted, clogged with traffic, concrete jungle and unfriendly locals. What a load of rubbish it was brilliant the best capital city in Europe! I knew that a return was on the cards, so in May I took my Wife, we had the best holiday for years.
We have both looked at your survival guide to reminisce about our visit.
Susie and David Simpson

Hi there,

After going on holiday to Greece since 1991 (about 20 times), we made our first trip to Athene from 26/12/2002 until 30/12/2002.

Thanks to your "Athens Survival Guide" and thanks to some guidelines a few Greek friends gave us, we have had a wonderfull time in Athens and we are already certain to go back in the near future.

Your "Athens Survival Guide" has been a great help to us, although we could have managed by ourselves as we have a great deal of experience concerning Greece and its inhabitants and their mentality. That is one of the most obvious reasons why we go to Greece two or three times a year. We even went to evening school for 5 years to learn the language. I even teach Greek now in one of them. Nobody in Athens was able to detect the fact that we were foreigners, this maybe has advantages, but could as well have disadvantages.

We are very greatfull for the restaurants and the café's that you recommend on your site: we had lovely evenings at the Byzantino restaurant and at the Kouklis ouzeri, we had splendid coffees at the Oionos Café and we even bought ouzo and raki at the Brettos Store.

In four days we managed to see quite a lot of the center of Athens: the Plaka, Anafiotika, the Actropolis and its museum, Monastiraki, Thission, Psiri, the Meat Market, Omonia, Kolonaki, the Lykavittos, Syntagma, the National Gardens, the Zappio, the Ancient Stadium, the Benaki Museum, the changing of the guards in front of the Parlaiment Building, a.s.o. (we even made a trip with the metro to Pireas). This would not have been possible if we had not had the splendid blue sky and the sunshine, we o,ly had rain for 3 or 4 hours.

We got back home, very tired (I had the feeling I had walked 100 miles), but incredibly satisfied and incredibly enthousiastic about the number 1 town of our beloved Greece.

Thanks again for all the information we could find on your site and keep up the good work. In fact, if one has read the "Athens Survival Guide", one does not at all need other (expensive) guidebooks. We will mention your site to all our filellines that go to Greece every year.

Have a splendid 2003 ! ! ! ! !


 Happy New Year!

We are back in the UK now having experience a marvellous NY holiday in Athens.

 From your website we contacted Dolphin Hellas who were very good at making a booking for the hotel and arranged a taxi to collect us from the airport on the 29th.

 On the 30th, we took your advice on the Platia Iroon Ouzerie.

Good food and excellent music.

We had visited Platia Iroon during the day reconnoitre and it is obviously still part of "real Athens" as we witnessed sheep carcases hanging from a clothes rail being sold to passers by. Very alfresco!

 Platia Iroon is also the centre of the universe because as we disgorged from the taxi in the evening, 2 friends who live a mile away from our house walked past heading for a restaurant called Zenophon.

Small World.

 New Year's Eve was spent in the dining room of our hotel, the St George Lycabettus. very pricey but what a view of the city and of the midnight fireworks. And the bands played on until 0600 apparently. We were in bed before that. Some of our friends reported being woken by a 21 gun salute at 0730. We never heard a thing!

The evening was worth every Euro.

 We then went on to Crete to for 2 days to stop with our friend Nicos Terzakis who owns the aparthotel Mia Hara, just outside the small resort of Sissi. Even if we are biased, we can highly recommend it.

There is a website. Nicos also breeds pedigree Labradors - see website "Lasithi Labradors". Only 3 puppies left as of last Friday. These are English stock - top quality.

 And no snow - 18/65 degrees. We got home to 30F and snow.

 Cheers and good luck.
Shiela & David Carlton

The most heartwarming pictures I've seen in years.  I visit your survival guide daily.  Just dreaming of late April -early May this year; praying that nothing happens to block my trip to Greece.


Hello Matt!

I can't tell you how much your Guide and net info enhanced our trip in

We had it "wired" when we arrived at the airport and it was all "up hill"
from there - so to speak.
Staying at the Hotel Attalos was perfect, allowing us daily walking treks
or access to rail and bus travel.

The Plaka was our favorite "hangout" but, I was determined to find the
Diros and the Secret Underground Tavenas - and did!  Of course, with your
coaching, we were right at home!  The gentlemen at the Diros even took me
aside for Retsina "toasts" (guess I've still "got it" - or they were

I must mention here that we were looking for a special piece of jewelry
(for me) as a memento and found all of your suggested shops.  Not looking
for "the norm", I kept my eye out for something different and - ah hah!
THE JEWEL - a tiny, tiny shop at 29 Pandrosou St, Monastiraki, drew my
attention.  Michael Abatzis with his wife, were gracious hosts.  They
both had spent  a good bit of time in Australia so their English had a
wonderful mix of Greek and Aussie to it.  We got on so well, that Michael
invited us to join him in an Ouzo, which we did, having a delightful

He showed us a letter from Princess Cruises offering to "steer" customers
his way, for a sum of $1,300 ($1,500 ?) per year.  He declined, saying
that his shop was far too small to accommodate a cruise shopping group.
He also showed us a design for a necklace and earrings that he had been
commissioned to do for a Princess (can't remember the country) - to be
completed by February.  With 40 years on "the bench", he was not only
accomplished, but a great representative of his craft and Athens, as
well.   I came home with a beautiful Alexandreite (sp?) in a setting of
his imagination - which was beautiful - and his prices, for that and a
gold chain (which he insisted in doing a true tug of war to prove how
strong it was) were amazing.
Most of all, our experiences in Athens were grand, thanks to your
guidance and the wonderful nature of the residents of Athens.

We went into the university and a gentlemen saw us admiring the ceiling.
Speaking no English, we took us in tow and unlocked doors, giving us a
personal tour!  Amazing!  At the Benaki, a group of school children
approached me with questions in English about my age (?), name, etc.
Before we left, we had completed first name introductions all around.

So, THAT is what the travel experience is to me....personal interaction,
amazement,  appreciation and more.  We can't wait to return.  We hiked
the hill behind the Monastery of Daphne (which was closed) and I found a
truly old piece of pottery, unearthed by the rains.  I carefully tucked
it away, so it would remain where it belonged - and hopefully, it won't
be spotted anytime soon.  It has been in it's place for so long.....

So, again, a huge thanks from a California school employee and a U.N.
Peacekeeper, getting a one week break from Kosovo, for making our Athens
experience so enjoyable.  Please don't forget Michael Abatzis at the
Jewel. His smile is as large as an Athens sun and never could anyone be
more gracious.
Happy Travels, Matt!
Patricia Dickson (Calif)
Michael Rodley   (presently - Kosovo)


Great site about Athens.

I you do not mind, I'd like to include it on our church's link for our Greekfest.

Robert Andrews
Greekfest Webmaster

last time i went to athens (it hapends twice per year) i checked out
your web site and the first thing i did was going to plaka to buy Ouzo
from Bretos ! It's deliciouse !!!!

Thanks for your tips !


My name is Kristen Updegraff, a physician in Manhattan, and I took my first trip to Greece in October of 2002.  I never did thank you for the incredible love and work that is in the pages of your website - how everything you wrote helped my mother (63 - her first trip there, too) and myself have the most wonderful, most unique time.  We even got kisses from Mr. Brettos after we mentioned your name :-)

Many, many thanks and know you are so appreciated!


Dear Matt.

I've never been to Athens (I'll go there only next week), but I find your
guide excellent: highly informative and interestingly written.  The
pictures are also splendid.

Best regards,

Birger Lohse, Copenhagen

I travel a lot and have recently just got back from Morocco(February) and Prague ( 10th time).  Since I often travel alone, I would make quite a research on the places I have charted for that year and Athens is one of the places I plan to visit this year.

With all the going-ons in the world, I felt that this should not stop me from doing what I love most, which is to travel.  You site has just given me more reason(s) to see Athens.  While reading your guide, I was also purchasing a ticket to Athens.  I'm sure a lot of people must have told you this, but your site is amazing and I can not wait to test them, from the hotel to the taxi guy.



Hi there, Matt! 

    I feel I know you quite well after trawling through your website. 

    My husband, Alan & myself returned from Athens two days ago.  We found, what we thought was, a nice taverna so thought I'd write to you about it.  It is called Hermion and it's at 15 Pandrossou St, Plaka.

    We liked the place - O.K. so we're not 21 anymore so that probably means we incline to something that looks somewhat sanitised by comparison to other places.  The food was good - it was actually hot - & there was a really good choice. They have live music and the service we had was good and the prices were reasonable.What more can you ask for? It was well patronised by the locals (always a good sign). Don't advise anyone with a guilty conscience to go there as there were quite a few priests eating there too!! 

    Well, I suggest you look at their website.I can't believe you don't know the place but, just in case............

    I have been looking through your photo album today - I don't know why I bothered taking a camera with me!  They're great!!

    Thank you for all the useful information that I have gained from your site much of which I printed out & took with me. We are off to Barcelona next month & I hope we can find a fraction of the information.

    Kind regards,

                             Edna Nichols

Yah sas Matt Barrett!! My friend and I are at the internet cafe in Syndagma right now and decided to mail you. We both found your web site very helpful for all of our Greek information. We have been studying at the Athens Centre for two months and will be here for two more weeks. If you happen to be in Athens in that time we would love to meet up and have some slouvaki or something. Thanks again for all the help. -Mia Alkire and Olivia Corr.

Hi - - I lived in Greece for three years (Papagos area) until 1976,
and have been reading & looking at pictures of greece ever since.
Your website is very entertaining and informing, and I very much
enjoyed looking through all of your photos of Greece (particularly
the street scenes in Athens). It makes me want to visit there again
all the more.

A very good website.


Hello Matt,
I had a great holiday in Greece. Thanks very much for your advice before I
went. I have a couple of comments which you may like to take into

1) The Athens Metro now runs direct from Ethniki Amina to Monastiraki (you
don't have to change at Syntagma). The Monastiraki station opened in May. I
got either the E94 or E95 bus from the airport to Ethniki Amina and then the
Metro direct to Monastiraki. This is not only a lot cheaper than a taxi (2.9
euros) but the ticket is valid for public transport (bus and Metro) within
Athens for 24 hours, which is brilliant. Also it is actually quicker to go
by Metro and bus than it is to go by taxi. Plus it means that I avoided the
horrendous traffic in central Athens and the aggressive driving habits that
mean there are a lot of accidents (one of the worst traffic accident records
in Europe).  The paper Metro map doesn't show the direct link from Ethniki
Amina to Monastiraki but the Metro signs lead to Monastiraki at Eth. Am. so
I took a risk and stayed on the Metro and sure enough, it's the next stop
after Syntagma. At the airport Tourist Information they have bus and Metro
transport maps and timetables. Very useful.

2) I stayed at the Cecil Hotel in Athens and it was OK but a bit scruffy. If
that is a recommended hotel (and certainly it is recommended by all sorts of
guide books as well as you) it makes me wonder what all the other hotels in
Athens are like. It is in a very handy position for central Athens and the
transport systems though, especially now the Metro has opened, as one of the
station exits is on Athinas Street, so I would probably on balance still
recommend it. Also, when I asked the hotel about buses and the Metro they
had no idea. I cannot believe that everyone travels by taxis. The hotel
receptionist (not George) and I had an interesting chat about the congestion
charge in London. Surely Athens has to do something before the Olympics next

3) I spent most of my time on Skyros, in Skyros town, on holiday with the
Skyros Centre  an alternative holiday centre (well, two
centres - one more open air, sports and fun based, off the beaten track, and
one with varied and interesting activities at the edge of the little town -
population of Skyros 3000 people).  I really loved Skyros as it seemed to be
a real Greek village, not overrun by tourists. It was a holiday that many
people with an active mind and an able body would find interesting. Most of
the people who go to the Centre are British but I would recommend it to
anybody who speaks English. I was able to practice my limited Greek in the
village as well and wander about completely independently as well as enjoy
the courses. There are some lovely walks in the hills and valleys around the
town. Everybody was very friendly. It's easy to fly to Skyros from Athens,
and very cheap if you book the internal flight direct with Olympic Airways.
Check it out.

Anyway, I had a great time and all my worries proved groundless.

I hope you enjoy your year and your time in Greece.

Best wishes,

Your website on Athens is the most comprehensive free on-line site I have ever found.  I have traveled to Greece several times and your information is quite accurate and easy to use.

Thanks for continuing to provide this service.

Larry Mumphrey
Katy, Texas

Hi Matt,
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your website. I 
have had the amazing good fortune to visit Greece twice in my life, 
and I plan to return one day. I'm so happy to find that you have a 
little article about the Telis Brizole Restaurant! My husband and I 
were staying in a hotel off of Eleftherios Square in 1998. We were 
returning from the Plaka one night, very tired, very hungry and very 
late. There were no places open in the square, so we wandered around 
until we found food! And it was at the 2 pork chop restaurants side 
by side that we found ourselves. While we were waiting for our meal, 
a group of musicians - returning from their work, stopped for their 
supper and played for everyone while they waited. It was an amazing 
night that we will not forget. Thank you so much for bringing back 
our memories of Athens!
Best regards,

hi there, just wanted to say what a great web site. I only found it today so haven't had time to read much you are a life saver. I love athens but haven't been since i split with my greek boyfriend who gave me the info i required to get around. I was really worried about going again without him but wow the gods sent me your page so I don't need to give up Athens.LOL  Going to Symi on saturday but when I get back I will plan my next trip to the city of my heart!!  thank you very much keep up the good work. kylethalassa

I wanted to tell you that I first visited your site in 2000, when we first visited Greece.  I printed out a lot of your pages, and tips for the Plaka, and I brought it along on the plane with me, and it got passed around and read by a lot of folks.  We hired George to take us on a day trip to Delphi, and it was FABULOUS.  I think if we book this cruise, we will hire George again to go to Mycenae.  (Not sure if I spelled that right).  

We also sought out that Ouzo store you told us about, and went in and bought 2 bottles from the owner, and told him we had read about him on your website.  Your advice was very helpful and I appreciated it.

Thanks again for answering my Olympics question!

Judy Anderson

Hi Matt!!!

Just returned from a wonderful trip to summy (and HOT) Athens. I've been studying Greek history aat school and with a little help from your survirval guide these days in Athens have been the best so far in my life.

One thing I thought about; reading your homepage doesn't inform that a lot of sights are closed due to renovation before the Olympic next year. We went there to go to The National Arch. Museum and the Kerameikos as some of the main reasons for travelling... Without knowing they were both closed for public.

You have such a wonderful and amazing homepage - wouldn't it be possible to tell the visitors about this??? I guess a lot of people would like to know.

Greetings from Denmark,'

Kristina Rasmussen

PS; Have you been to Athens this summer? Isn't it amazing a mess all this rebuilding makes???

Thank you so much for this excellent site and all your advice! We had an amazing time in Greece. We stayed at the Attalos and everyone was so wonderful there, that was a great recommendation. They also helped us get a rental car and we found a nice hotel in Delphi. We also went down to the bay of Corinth from Delphi and had lunch. The weather wasn't the best but compared to Germany where we live now it was amazing. We followed a lot of your tips but still went out and adventured on our own and had a great time. We only had time for Athens and Delphi partly because a lot of the sites were closed on Christmas and the day after. We felt like we did not have enough time to see it all! Next year we plan on seeing some of the islands and staying longer. It was a wonderful trip and we thank you for helping give us some hints to make it great!

-Alison and Aaron :)

Yasou Mattias

Hope I got that right, I'm just a beginner with Greek. Anyway greetings from Australia.

I had a brief correspondence with you last year prior to my first trip to Greece. We had ten days sailing and then about 14 days to meteora, delphi and the peloponesses. Certainly Athens itself was one of our highlights. Loved the view at sunset from the roof bar at the Attalos and spending a day at the Archaelogical museum (not enough). Pylos, down in the far south west of pel is an undiscovered gem. Definitely recommend the Twelve Gods for accomodation

We are planning to make a return journey next September after the Olympics.

We want to spend a week at least back on the pel then a few days in Athens and maybe a week on Kea. Or maybe up at Volos and the Pelion peninsula (for the mezedes and tsipouro). Anyway plenty of time.

Have you been in Greece this summer? How is the Omonia square work going?

Do you think they will be ready for the Olympics

Please put me down for your newsletter and

Kind Regards

John Connolly

Hi Matt,

I got back from Greece a couple of weeks ago and just wanted to thank you for your web pages.  My friend Nancy (who's already written to you) downloaded a bunch of them and they really proved helpful, particularly the sections on Plaka and Psiri.  We found the little place that distils the ouzo and raki (and I have a large metal canister sitting on the shelf waiting for a cold evening in December when I can open it and remember beautiful warm Greek summer evenings).  We also tried the restaurant (Platia Iroon) in Psiri that you recommended, the one owned by the musical Leonard Cohen fan.  He said to tell you that he gets lots of customers through your website.  We also found a wonderful restaurant in Argostoli, which you probably won't have heard of as it has only been open two months.I can't remember the name but I'll mail you later.

Thanks again for helping to make a very memorable holiday


Nigel Urry

I have dreamed of going to greece since I was a child, after reading wonderfoul myths and stories from greek hystory. that dream came true few years ago, when I was on excursion with school - we were in athens but also traveled and seen some other important places in greece, such as epidaurus, sounion, mikena..... but athens was something special. those 5 days were so special, the town itself is more than beautifoul, the sent of culture and tradition in the air was amazing.... I personally felt like I was ment to be there, to absorb that something which is the soul of the city.... 

tonite I lokeed to my 'favorites' and saw 'athens survival guide':) I can see that the page is even better now than when I visited it last time, and I want to thank you for it.  all those pictures bring me back to the time of total happines when I was walking down the beautifoul streets with so many cute guys arond....  so I can't wait to go there again!!! and, who knows - maybe I meet you there some day:)

all the best,

         vanja from novi sad, serbia & montenegro  

Just returned from Greece once again...and your site was helpful as always..the unification project is incredible!!  no one could tell me if vasilissas olgas avenue was going to be pedestrian in time for the an article in usa today which state that over 10 miles was to be pedestrian in time for you have any info on this.....and do you know anything about the new many conflicting stories

hope to hear from you soon
have a great day

Hi Matt,

  You probably don't remember me, but I had written you back in 1998/99 time frame. I was going to Greece for my first time to meet my family there. Since then we have all grown close, with lots of phone calls, E-mails and frequent visits. I have to thank you for your web site, as it has been very helpful in giving me many ideas about where to go and what to do everywhere I go.

  The question that I have for you concerns marriage. I have read your section on getting married in Greece, but I still have some questions.

  I have been seeing a Greek Woman who lives in Brazil. Her parents immigrated from Greece to Brazil. She has dual citizenship with Brazil and Greece. She has two degrees.  One in mechanical engineering, and the other in law. We want to get married in Greece next summer/ fall...after the Olympics in my families village of Kimi on Evia. I need to know what is the best way to proceed with this. I would like to have a church wedding, as we are both orthodox. I also would like to know if , once we are married in Greece, this would allow her to come to the U.S as my wife. I know that the U.S. Government is wary of foreigners getting married only to move to the U.S. This is not a reason, as we have been seeing each other and communicating for two years or more.

   Any information you could give me would be very helpful. I have to say thank you again for your web site. If I was a tour director, I believe that I could direct many successful tours, just by using your site.

  I hope to hear from you soon. Oh, and by the way, the last time I was in Athens, I stopped by Brettos ouzouira, and had some of the best ouzo I have ever had. I asked the old man behind the counter if he knew you and he said "Oh yes" and we had quite a conversation. It seems like your as well known in Greece as in the U.S.

Write soon, as any arrangements to be made must be made soon I fear. Thanks again for your help.


Yanni Angelis.........

Not sure where I am supposed to send this, so I used this address.

I have to say that your site is absolutely magnificent. I am Greek, I am
living in Athens, and even for me it is a great source of information which
dozens of interesting places and shops to visit. I recommend this site to
all travelling discussion boards I participate in (following your advice)
and wish you the very best of lack with the site. Admittedly, the design
needs a lot of work, but the content is plain perfect.

I sincerely hope you will never get tired of Athens Guide, and that it will
always be on-line.

I do not know what you do for a living or if this site generates some sort
of income for you, but if you ever deside you do not have the time or money
to support it please give it to someone else. It owuld be a shame to lose
all this great stuff you have gathered here.

best regards, Yiannis


Thanks a lot for your Athens Survival Guide. When the work is getting hard
my relax is to go to these pages.
My family and me visited Athens two  times, so I can remember the good
moments we spent in this "incredible" city. I hope to go there again.

Best regards,

Sixto Santonja Hernández

Dear Matt: 

We would first like to take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful Athens Guide.  We were in Greece for three and a half weeks, the last of week of August and first part of September.  You're guide proved to ve invaluable and was put to a lot of use.  We used George's taxi service to go to Meteora and Delphi and also our airport transfers.  There were fantastic!  We used your guide all over Athens and especially through the Plaka - of course we found Jimmie at Byzantino's - we did some major damage there!!  They were the greatest people. We then were on the island of Skiathos for two weeks and did the day trips to Alonosis and Skopolos from there.  Had a great time. 

Anita Baker

Hi Matt. My name is Brittney and I live in Ontario, Canada. I just wanted to say thanks for your webpage! A little while ago I had a school assignment to plan a trip (our teacher wanted us to learn how to book flights,etc, although we wouldn't actually
be taking the trip). I chose to go to Athens but couldn't find much information, especially about recreational activities to do there. Your site was a life saver! It was really helpful, so like I said I just wanted to thank you for that.


We downloaded all your pages re Athens and the Plaka before this years holiday. It was our second on the mainland, i.e peloponese. WE stayed in tolon but alsobooked for Athens for two days and did it all via public transport!!!!  The arrangements in Athens were something else but we wouldn't hyave missed it for the world!!!.  Have some of Mr Brettos Ouzo and look forward to Christmas day!!!  Thanks for the guidance it was brilliant for novices to Athens!!! I've always wanted to see it and now I have


Penny& Kevin Smith

Hi, Matt!

Mabuhay!  I am Paolo, 25 years old from Manila, Philippines. I visited your website and let me tell you how happy I am to be reunited, once again, with my old friend (i.e. Athens).  Its been seven years since I last set foot to athens, but I feel like I was strolling yesterday around Pandrossou Street and Omonia, eating Algida and buying "eisiteria" in a "periptero", and most of all listening to the music of...I forgot the name of the instrument played on the streets.  Its like a piano but it is played by a pedal-like thing.

Gosh, I was surprised to see the Syntagma Station!  7 years ago, I was passing at an old, dark station with no escalators. Honestly, i was really surprised with the big transformation of the Station.

Two thumbs up for your site, Matt!  Keep it up.



I came across your web site (very extensive!) before we traveled to Greece.....It helped us "break out" of the tourist mode a bit.  One thing I decided I wanted to see was the central market after you wrote about finding good olives there.....After lots of walking throughout the Plaka and then into the market area, we "stolled" through all the hanging meat (and walked through animal parts of all types on the floor) along with the "fragrant" fish market.  Found the olives----but the market wasn't the "farmers market" of Pennsylvania I had envisioned (stalls of vegs, baked goods, cheeses, meats, other products) but it was something a lot of tourists probably don't seek out and see!

I think exploring your site more now that we are home from Greece will help us remember what we saw and bring back memories of a great trip throughout the land and islands.



Dear Matt Barrett,

My husband and I would like to express our sincerest thank you for
introducing us to the Lake Vouliagmeni. This is a paradise which we would
definetely not have found without the introduction from your Athens
Survival Guide. We visited the lake twice during our 14 days visit and
enjoyed both sun-bathing and the wonderful water in quiet surroundings
suiting 2 adults with no children much better than a noisy beach. These are
memories we will treasure and a place we will come back to!

We have just returned from our 2nd visit to Athens and we also fould good
use for several of your other tips and information. (Not a word about
garbage collectors strike.....)

Keep up-dating the site, please. We will be sure to visit it again prior to
our next visit to Athens / Greece.

Warm regards,

Bodil W. Schmidt
A Dane living in Sandefjord, Norway.

Hi Matt
Some time ago you sent me information about your newsletter - many thanks. In my email I mentioned I was going to Greece. We went to Thessaloniki & Athens & had a wonderful time. I've been to Thessaloniki twice before abut Athens I've been to many many times - almost every year since 1987 & twice in some years. My favourite hotel is the Philippos & I've stayed there many times though I've stayed in several other hotels over the years. While we were there this time we found your two favourite hotels & picked up their cards - so we may try one of them next time.

We also tried a couple of your food recommendations - the Psaras which was wonderful - food & atmosphere. We also ate in the meat market & I tried the patsa! The Kouklis ouzeri has been a favourite for many years & we were there again on this trip.

I am a lover of Greek music too & have a good collection. Many of the cds have been bought in Greece but I have bought many others from Trehantiri here in London. I bought a couple of your favourites in Greece this time - the Dalaras Rembetika cd & The Greece of Tsitsanis - love them both. Recently I saw Dalaras & Marinella in concert together in London - a really wonderful evening.

I've printed off quite a lot of your information & hope to do more now I have a new supply of ink. I love to spend time reading about Greece & now I have a new really interesting & enjoyable 'guidebook'.

Many thanks for all the pleasure you give through your website - keep up the good work!
all the best

I will be going to Athens, Greece in January for several weeks to help
with the planning for the Olympics and then hopefully back in May -Sept.
I've never been there and find your site very helpful and informative.

Lieutenant Scott Blackburn

Dear Matt Barrett:

As I was browsing this site about Athens, Greece, I had no idea that I was
so unprepared for the laugh explosion that would hit the office...
of course.
For several instances, I had to count on the help of my klinex to wipe the
tears of my eyes!!!

I was laughing so much that my co-workers thought that I was getting
sick...I mean...crazy!

I know very well what you meant, for the only reason that I am a Brazilian
kiria, married to a sovaro kirio Greek sisigo( husband). I have been to
Greece several times, ( and I love Greece very so much), have passed,
without the stroller, on many of the places mentioned on your article. And I
know very well how the Greeks are!

I tell you...I had not exploded in laughs, like today as when I was reading
your advice.

Congratulations!!!  That's fantastic.  I will forward it to my friends.

Socorro Rigopoulos

Dear Mr. Barrett,

Thank you for a wonderful website.  I am greek, but your website helped me
with our recent trip from South Africa where we live to Greece with my
boyfriend, 2 kids and the in-laws.  I also had the pleasure to meet your
daughter at the Hotel Attalos (it was in August).

Next year, I am going with my sister in law, would you know of anywhere to
go in Greece to swim with Dolphins?

Thank you in advance.

Best regards, Claudine

Dear Matt,
I am a Greek-American who is currently living in Greece for the next couple of months. I just wanted to write you and thank you for the great website, it's so informative.  You know Athens better than most Greeks!
Anyway, if you're going to be in Athens in the next few months, drop me a line, otherwise I'll see you in NY in February.


Matt, thanks so much for all the time and effort you've put into your web sites.  I returned from Greece Nov. 11, 2003.  I had a fantastic trip.  Your Guide was very very useful.  Currently I'm organizing my 100+ pictures together and your site was again the place to go to get proper names and spellings.  One day I will  return.  I made some interesting friends.

Thanks again and keep up the good work.

Dear Matt,

I spend two hours on your site, and I never do such a thing,
I really love it , specially now where I'm far away from home for 10
Being an IT guy I can tell you this..
I would not find a better athens guide on the web.

Keep it up and thanks for making me smile on  my late night "CODING

I wonder if you are applying for a greek passport too.well you should..
You know Athens better than I do my friend


Just got back from my first ever trip to Greece.  (Basically Athens for six days.)  Though I had purchased several touring books, printouts from your site quickly became my "bible" for our trip.  Walked our legs off around the city and made a Metro\Ferry trip to Aegina on our own (with your guidance).

BTW there's a ton of construction and re-construction going on right now - No doubt in prep for Olympics visitors.

I really can't begin to tell you what a help your site was.  We'll go back after the Olympics and things settle down.

Thanks again - keep up the good work,  Rick Hubner & Andrea Nilon


I would just like to thank you for your e-mail.  It was very helpful!!  We
took your advice and hung around at the airport for about an hour - its
amazing how quiet the busses are after the planes have stopped landing!!
Piraeus was fine, apart from one pack of dogs that decided we weren't
allowed to walk along one part of the harbour, and the cafe was open 24hrs!

All in all, a really good holiday was had, and I am sure your advice
contributed to it starting off very successfully.

Many Thanks for your help


 Thank you so much for such an informative and helpful guide. Even though we booked a tour vacation to Greece, we used your guide for most of our travels. Laura (you need a new picture of her, my wife and I were arguing if that was her or not) from Byzantino was fantastic (yes we bought), George was a gem that is one of a kind and is an asset to his country. The whole vacation was just wonderful thanks in part to your web page! If we could buy that distillery (Brettos), we would. And yes we brought back some liquor. I think the tourist information place moved again though. We found the one you said moved and it was an empty building with a little sign on it, but no one was home. L Thanks to the generosity of the people and your web site it was still no trouble to find anything.

Thank you again,

Jason and Elizabeth Kiersh


I just wanted to thank you for all of your references. We had a great week in Greece. The people at the Attalos Hotel were wonderful. The taxi service was great. And, I'm drinking an ouzo from Brettos as I'm sitting here in San Diego writing you right now. Thanks again. Keep doing a great job for all of us.

Ken Franklin

Hello Matt,

Last time I was in Athens, Omonia was still being built (for the fourth time
in my life time). I wanted to see if the project had been completed, so I
did a Google search and came upon your short narrative

As an Athenian living in the US for the past 26 years, I relate so much with
your review of Omonia! I could have not said it better myself! What a joke,
what a fiasco! And all this for the Olympics! Regrettably, I think Greece is
committing cultural suicide in its xenocratic mania to appear "modern" and
"Civilized". I think the majority will be "proud" of this abomination, much
as they were about Pizza Hut when it first opened in Kifissia!

Thanks for your insight.

Yannis Barbas

Dear Matt - i'm writing you from Skopje, Macedonia - My wife is posted here
with USAID.  We're going down to Athens over new years.  Thanks much for
the very excellent site.  It's really exactly what i was looking for. -
Happy Holidays - John

I am TOTALLY impressed by your informative, enthusiastic and candid website on Athens.  It sums up everything I feel about my favourite city.  I have lived here for 10 years and still can't eloquently put into words exactly what it is that I love about this place, but whatever it is, you obviously feel it also.  I have an American artist friend who's visiting from an island for a few days and although she's been in Greece for several years, can rarely be dragged away from her painting and her mountain village and knows very little about Athens.  She's skeptical, but I've told her to look through your website before she comes.  I think that might just do the trick.

I'll send a donation to your cause.

Keep up the good work.

Erika Kenyon (ex-England)


we are two Italian tourists and we just came back from Athens.

It was the first time there and thanks to your suggestions we had wonderful meals, we had fun and this mail is just to say to you: many thanks!

We will tell to all friends about the site J

We also tried to find by ourselves a nice place to go… and finally found one: Budos tel. 2103211966 ( Plaka ) with live Greek music, not expensive food, friendly atmosphere in a brand new restaurant… do you already know it?

Greetings from Italy!!!

Barbara and Massimo

Dear Matt

Just returned from our second Xmas trip to Athens and wanted to say how much we appreciated your website.  On both occasions we have had several meals at one of your recommended restaurants  called the Diros and have really enjoyed them.  This year we had a meal at another place quite close called the Fidias which I would like like to warn you about.  The food was great however we were astonished to find that the bill was much more than we had anticipated and we had been overcharged by two meals and we had paid 8 euros for french fries for my grandson which worked out to about 30 cents per chip.  On complaining to the manager the bill was reduced by the two meals we had not received but the prices in this place are very high and we certainly will not be eating there again.  Once again many thanks for your brilliant site and also a big thanks to your daughter from my grandsons.

Beverley Pembridge

Dear Matt,

   I'm sure I wont be saying anything that hasn't already been said and I know my story is a little postponed but here goes.

  I went to Athens a year ago to build a planetarium dome for the Eugenides foundation.Thats right,I build planetarium domes.You know..the place you take kids to see  movies about the stars or constellations or just plain movies on a big round dome that totally surrounds you.(I'm sure you always wondered who built those things).I was there for about 2 1/2 months and luckily I found your website before I went.I cannot stress enough to anyone who has never been there that your site is not only the best step by step city travel site I've ever seen for ANY city but that if you dont read Matts site and heed what it says you might just find yourself in deep trouble.By trouble I mean spending alot of money needlessly,dealing with some unsavory characters i.e. the malaka cab drivers or even having an actual boring time.Just read Matts site and if you dont follow it at least keep some of the things you read on the site in your mind.It is really a great help.Thanks Matt,and if you get a chance take your family and see a show at the planetarium, kids usually love it.

Thanks again,

Ian Carper

International Planetarium Dome Installation Supervisor       

Dear Matt – I’ve just returned from a few days in Athens as a surprise birthday present for my wife. We’ve had family holidays on Corfu, Rhodes, Kos , and Zakynthos but this was our first visit to Athens, and the first time to Greece without our children (thanks to the Grandparents!). I discovered your guide a couple of weeks before departure so had plenty of time to absorb your advice, and it was time well spent – many thanks for an excellent web site! We were bowled over by the hospitality shown at places such as Ouzeri Kouklis , Plaka restaurant, and (although we didn’t even buy anything) the lady at Byzantino jewelers helped us from getting lost on our first day.

I should add that we have had the rare pleasure of experiencing Athens in the snow – indeed our flight in on Saturday 14 th was delayed because of snow-blocked runways.

Unfortunately that meant that George the Famous Taxi driver missed picking us up, his wife and George both phoned the airport to be told that the flight from the UK was cancelled, so he was very apologetic when I phoned him from the airport when we arrived. It was not a good idea for George to venture out into the snow drifts to fetch us (we didn’t expect him to) so we never got the chance to meet him. Apart from Sunday (bright but snowy – I can email photos if of interest) the weather was pretty cold and grey, but we still had a great time. We were booked into the Acropolis Select hotel on Falirou but due to the snow our room was still occupied by stranded passengers so were were upgraded to the Divani Acropolis on Parthenonos St instead. A bit of a typical upper standard business class hotel so not very atmospheric, but high standard and lovely staff – the guys serving cocktails in the Pericles bar were great, and the basement souvenir shop actually was pretty good value for money, undercutting the Plaka shops for ‘official Athens 2004 Olympics’ merchandise. On that theme, we took a ride on the Metro to see the construction site – I’ll be amazed and impressed if our Greek friends really have it all finished in time!

Only regret was not up early enough to go to the English language service you mention on Sunday morning, though on Tuesday I noticed that there was a Greek Evangelical church on Amalias near Hadrian’s Arch that proclaimed ‘simultaneous English translation’ according to the board outside.

Thanks once again,

Steve & Anne

Mr. Barrett,

    I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for some great recommendations I took from your Athens Guide website.  The Attalos Hotel inAthenswas exactly what we were looking for.  The Platia Iroon was superb; we went back for more our second night inAthens.  I showed them the page of your guide where you talked about their restaurant and they were ecstatic.  Your walking guide of the Acropolis had me and my two traveling companions chuckling all the way.  So thank you very much for taking the time to share your insight onAthens.  We also spent a few days in Santorini and I want to plug our hotel and the best meal we had while we were in Greece .  Uranos Traditional Houses in Imerovigli was the perfect place for us to stay.  At a mere 70 euros a night we had what I believe to be the best apartment, the best view, and the best hostess (Dora rocks!) in all of Santorini.  Our meal at the Katina Fish Tavern in Amoudi was also out of this world.  The immense sea bass we ordered fed the 6 of us to capacity, and there was plenty left over, and all of the other goodies they served us were equally tasty.  When we hesitated ordering the fish because we though it was a bit expensive the owner said we could all drink for free (I don’t think he realized what he was getting himself into, but he never complained once).  Anyway, suffice to say it was a meal for the books.  

    OK, that’s all for now.  It was a short trip toGreece (we live in Saudi so it was a close jaunt) and my first, but I will certainly be back.  Thanks again for your tips.

    Alexa G


Don't know whether or not I'll find my way to Athens ... am looking at possible theatre work there ... but regardless your site is a gift ... thank you!
Bink Goncharoff
Santa Barbara, CA

Hi Matt!

I'm Vandana from London... At the moment I'm completing a piece of databases coursework for my degree - making a booking system for tourists, it's based completely on Athens. I've found your site a brilliant resource, and I did not have get any more information from a multitude of sites as there were on your one site!!

Thanks again!

Kind regards,

Vandana Sood

Greetings friend, im a greek canadian and am happy to
say im moving to athens to work downtown after
finishing university here. since i dont know anyone in
athens except old family friends, i was imagining
athens as a cold concrete jungle which was told to me
by parents and other ignorant people here. Your
website has taken ALL THE anguish and fear of living
in the heart of Greece, completely away. However even
if i still had this anguish i still go, cause my soul
is in Greece and have been counting down the days to
DOUBTS that i had about living here, you made athens
have a life and a soul with friendly people thank you

Sam, Paraskevas Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Hello, I have been perusing your Greece site, and I love it.  I did click on the Cemetary photos, and the poetry that went along with it was quite moving.  I would think that this would be interesting to see.  Thanks for the great Greece tips, i'll need it, i am hoping to get there in August as an Olympic volunteer from Canada.

Lynn Waller~Cookie Diva
BC Product Marketing Adviser
Girl Guide Cookies

I just want to say thankyou for your site
if it wasn't for your site, i wouldn't have had a lot of help for my school project on Athens [Greece]
your site had a lot of useful info and everything i need!

i just wanted you to know i appreciated your site and keep doing what you do!
good luck for the future

Dear Matt,

I have just returned from my first week in Athens (not Greece,  went to Corfu several times in the 70's having read 'My Family and other Animals' at school!) 

Thankyou for a wonderful website I am suffering from post-Athens cold-turkey and can look at it from time to time to keep me going until the next visit.

Spent Easter there so it was amazingly quiet for much of the week, stayed in the Herodion Hotel (nicknamed Heroin by my teenage, slightly dyslexic, son) after a surprise upgrade due to ours being full, so felt we were really near some of the best bits. Couldn't keep away from the 'blue and white village' under the Acrop. 

My reaction to the street people is similar to yours, and the dogs and cats, live and let live.  Without them Athens would not be what it is.  The Plaka photgrapher is now on my kitchen wall, having seen him several times during the week I now feel sad that we didn't use his services.  Where does he live?  He look like a retired teacher.

Have you seen the man outside the Acropolis who gives impromtu  history lessons to anyone who will listen, in what seems to be any language?  I imagined that he was a failed university lecturer!   He carries a blue plastic bag full of baguette and hugs the people he has talked to when they leave him.  He has a sun-drenched face and is not very old.  If you see him why not put him on the web-site.  Funnily enough I met a man just like him in Prague, not so sun-drenched obviously!

Thanks again,

keep up the good work.

Penny (primary school teacher in the wilds of Suffolk, England)

Omygod! What a great site! And I'm not even going to Athens. My brother and
his wife and son and son's girlfriend are - next week. I'm going to email
them and tell them they have to check out your website. Love your
recommendations and humor. Right up their alley. Thanks!


Thank you for your reply, I have come back from Greece, it is a fantastic place, I had a really good time there, and came across many friends there.

Based on your information, I am really feel ease there, thank your for all your effort and good luck!

Sincerely Shirley

My daughter, a crew member of Hola Airlines, Pilar Goffa, stayed at the Hotel Armonia in Athens, and was very pleased in all ways regarding the Hotel.

The very efficient staff, the delicious food, very clean.

A privilege site.

I also like to thank you very much for helping me get the e.mail address from Hotel Armonia, I have been able to send mails to my daughter instead of the very expensive phone calls.

Many kind regards from Aline and Pilar

Dear Matt,

I will be visiting Athens and Greek Islands for the first time in June.
I stumbled across your fantastic website a month ago and have been
surfing the site and its links over and over.
You have done a great job.
Many thanks for the hours of enjoyment we've had and now we are
more than ever looking forward to our trip.
Thanks again.



I just wanted to thank you so much for the most comprehensive guide to Greece on the Internet! I am a Fulbright professor to the University of Athens. My wife and I arrived 10 days ago and we will be here 4 months. We have rented an apartment in Paleo Faliro, very conveniently located next to the tram. I'm not sure people express their gratitude as often as they should. I know that all the information you have provided was a great help as we prepared for our trip, and we continue to use it as we look for restaurants, excursions, etc. I expect many other people have been helped by your work.
Efharisto Dom Caristi,
Associate Professor
Department of Telecommunications Ball State University

Just wanted to send a note of thanks for sharing the wealth and insight of your travels.  We toured the streets of Plaka,  visited the Byzantino Jewelry Store, and stopped off at numerous coffee shops and restaurants as recommended in your guide.  I'm into scavenging on a tight schedule with two nights and three days in Athens the pages I downloaded from your site accompanied us as we wandered the streets.  The English speaking tour guide at the Acropolis made our experience unforgettable.  As first timers to Athens we did all right thanks to research and guidance from an experienced traveler...

best regards,


Matt- Your online guide to Athens is mind blowingly awesome! It has been far more helpful than the stack of travel books on my night stand. Where have you been for my entire travel life? Do you have any other sites on other locations? -Jenn in Redlands, California

Hi Matt,

We used your site three years ago to plan a ten day trip to Mykonos and Athens with our newborn son. 

We loved our trip so much, more than anything because of all the wonderful tips we got from your site, that we are scrambling to organize another last minute trip this August. 

I just thought you would like to know how much we appreciate all your hard work, and that you made hellophiles out of one American and one Italian. Everyone is always so surprised when we name Athens as one of our favorite cities, but with your wonderful guide to the Plaka we spent a fabulous four days there.  We had a hotel problem, but the lady (Wanda?) over at the travel agency (was it Dolphin?, I can't remember) came down personally to the hotel and, after much shouting and gesticulating, a room magically appeared for us.  It was great.

This time we are hoping to use the sailing company you recommend.  Rebecca

Just reading through, and don’t want to stop! I’m making the trip in September to watch my husband compete in the Paralympic games. Keep up the wonderful writing, research and sharing of your passion for this wonderful place! My favorite thing so far is the list of gifts to buy for all the people back home – WONDERFUL! I’m so excited for this trip, you’re an angel! Thx!

Kim Rasmussen

Hi Matt,

Back during Greek Easter my husband, aunt and I spent two weeks in Greece, one in Athens and the other on a cruise to surrounding islands.  You gave me some good recommendations for restaurants and for George the Taxi Driver.  I wanted to thank you for answering my questions and for providing such a great service with your site.  There were several things, such as going to the top of Mt. Lykavittos, I probably would not have done.  I enjoyed my trip IMMENSELY and hope to return in the near future.  Thanks so much again!

Andrea D'Aria

Hi Matt,

I cannot tell you how great your website has been, and I cant wait go go to Greece at the end of the month. 

I was wondering is it possible to take the new " metro" from the airport to say the Glyfada area of athens and grab a taxi from there?  or would you just reccomend taking a taxi from the airport to our destination .

Thanks you so much for you time and the Amazing web site, if has been more useful than all 3 travel books I have purchased.

Gretchen Kalogeras

I am one of the many excited fans of these Olympics and I enjoyed reading your site

I found it very easy to read with a lot of information (history, facts etc).

Congratulations on providing a clear picture of how when and what is expected from an interested traveler. 

My wish is that the hope we are all looking for will come out from these Olympics and bring the world together again in these scary times that we are living in.

Please keep up the good work,

An Olympic fan.


As a fellow Rebeti -in-Exile, I am writing to say how much I enjoy your “Athens Survival Guide” webpage.

Great Job! You really know Athens…better than my relative there!



Matt -

Your website for Greece is amazing!  I love it.  I think I read or have printed almost every page!  I leave for Greece for the Olympics in a week and a half, and I know this will be helpful information.  Thanks!


Dear Matt
I just wanted to say that your website is very useful.  My family and I
stayed at the Armonia Hotel in Vouliagemini a few weeks ago after contacting
them through your website.  We had a very enjoyable stay and read a lot of
information on Athens from your website prior to our holiday.
Thank You
Kind Regards

Just to say thank you! I was in AThens this last weekend. I was reading your guide in advance and I took parts of it with me during my trip. I really enjoyed it (both, your guide and Athens) When I was reading your guide before to arrive, I felt that I just wanted to arrive and go for a wolk, looking for that Athens described by you. I really liked Athens, its bars, "ouzeries", people, the food! I think the next one, I''l be capable to follow you "guide for a trip to Aegina" (or something like that..:)
Congratulations, and I hope to see you sometime..
Cristina (from Argentina, but living in Switzerland...)

Hi my family and i are from new zealand and we leave for greece tommorrow.  My husband is in the olympic's. Just want to say a very big thank you for your wonderful survival guide.  It has helped us with alot of information and has put i know my mind at ease.  I'm taking my son and i feel alot more comfortable knowing that there will be great food and activities and many other things that will help his trip be better.  Thanks again. Really appreciate all your advice and tips.  I'm even more excited now and am looking forward to an excellent trip.

Thank you

T. Winitana

I'd like to thank you for providing an absolutely fantastic guide. I will be in Athens for three days only for the Olympics and wanted to get the most out of those three days.

I have now planned my trip down the to finest detail, thanks mainly to your wonderful site. I'll let you know how I get on!

Hello  Mr. Matt Barett,

I just wanted to personally thank you, along with all the various online information presenters associated with you and others, for all the time and effort you put into your online travel guides. 

Thanks to your guides my time in  the Athens  area went smoothly and  was much more predictible.  Thank you once, again,  i read most of your guide before i visited Greece and was glad that i did!!

Mr Ami  R

Hello just got back from 4 days in Athens. We used your guide and found it really helpfull. When we visited the Plaka Restaurant they saw the guide and the picture from it, The owner was very pleased and insisted that he would decide what we would eat and promptly took away the menu, his choice was absolutely delicious, the best meal of our time away, thanks again.
Phil S

Dear Matt,

Sent an email last nite, continued reading your website and decided winter maybe Christmas was the time for me to go....had great laughs at your Christmas that wasn't story.  You had me chuckling mightily cuz' that's my feeling about air travel exactly.  Thoughts of impending doom every time I get on a plane.  Sat down this morning with coffee in hand to read my latest copy of Harpers and went to the classified section and what did I find but your ad in the travel & tourism section.  Now, I think that is what I would call serendipity and thought I would again contact you about Greece travel for sure.  Live in Prescott, Arizona weather is spectacular this year couldn't find a better place but need a real, real change of perspective and again want to find my roots.  As I mentioned in my first email... father was Harry George Eliades his father Polycrates and my grandmother was originally Mary Tragedis from Bournabout(sp?) Turkey.  I will no doubt be travelling alone.  Thanks for your articles so interesting and exceptionally ( pardon the expression, almost anally complete)!

Nanci H (aka Eliades)

Hi Matt,

I came across your website whilst looking for information for my son's school project on Athens.


I showed my husband, we spent a long time looking at everything on this site and WOW, we now are saving to go for a trip to Athens, thank you.

Your dedication to this site and your love for Greece and Athens is so obvious.

WELL DONE!!!   I think every travel agent here in Australia needs to know about this site. 

Thank you again,

Karen G

Hello Mr. Barrett,
I'm sure you recieve a lot of emails praising your Greece & Athens websites,
but I'm sure another one wouldn't hurt.  You have done an excellent job both
in the information provided on your website as well as the format and
presentation.  I am a Greek-American that has spent significant amount of
time in Greece, summers on Kefalonia, even living in Glyfada and Nea Smirni
when I was younger.  I must say  that you have managed to capture the
wonderful diversity and menagerie that is Athens perfectly.  I have not
visited all the restaurants you state, but I have visited "tou Psarra" and
ever since the first time I went there (about 5 years ago) I make sure to go
back every time I am in Athens because it is possibly the best food/location
combiniation in the city as far as I'm concerned.  I'll take a moment here
to tell you that you should check out another restaurant called "Strofi"
(Rovertou Galli 25, Athens, Greece;  Phone: 210.921.4130) next time you are
in Athens.  It is on the south side of the Acropolis and they have outdoor
seating on their roof and while the service may be a little gruff, the food
is very good, and the view is amazing.  You will likely have to call for
reservations, and make sure to bring your camera and tripod.  Again, I just
wanted to let you know that your work is useful and appreciated;  Excellent
job.  I hope you enjoyed watching the Olympics.
Nicholas P

Dear Mr. Barret:

I find your information very useful. I wished I have read this information before my first trip to Athens on April 2004.

I am reading all the valuable information about Athens.Congratulations what a magnificent work you have done..Have you published this information on a book-guide travel to Athens?. I would like to know about it.

Again let me congratulate you and wish you a lot of success on your future. I will transfer this infomation to my friends who want to travel to Athens.
Have a wonderful day.
Sara M
New York

My name is Adrijana and I am from Croatia,

I just want to say how much I like your site

and that it is very interesting an helpfull !!


Greece is my love, two days ago I have returned from Athens,

that was my fourth time that I was visiting Greece (started in 2003).


I hope that one day I will also have chance to live in Greece.... I really hope....


I wish you to continue with this site!!!

Hi again Matt

Just wanted to let you know that our trip to Athens was great. We all really enjoyed it.

We had timed the visit to see the last few days of the Paralympics - but it was funny because just like you say on your site, the city itself had so much to see and do as well. Not just the obvious must see places like the Acropolis, which of course was excellent, but just simply walking around the city was great fun. I loved just walking and discovering places.

The Games themselves were well worth going to - we were at the Marathon finish last Sunday morning in the old stadium - I've always wanted to see that stadium and it really is stunning - and we saw some swimming at the indoor pool and athletics at the new stadium on Mon, and the Closing Ceremony on Tues. The terrible school bus crash happened during our visit - the minutes silence for that at the Closing Ceremony was very moving.

But the Ceremony was still very uplifting too - a mixture of emotions, celebration for the athletes, and sadness for the tragedy.

Omonia Sq turned out to be fine, just as you said it would. I'm regularly in London and theres parts there that are far more threatening than anything we encountered in Athens. It definitely felt like a very safe city. We were on the metro till late most nights and ate in Cafe Neon on Omonia a few times late at night too, and never had problems going to our hotel.

You were right about the Grecotel Athens Acropol too. I was very impressed with the hotel. The staff were about the best I've ever had in a hotel. They were always friendly and extremely helpful. Quality of the rooms were excellent too.

The only downside was having to come home! It was 28 in Athens but only 15 here in 'sunny' UK lol.

Next time we definitely intend to go for a bit longer. Maybe get to see some of the closer islands too on a day trip. And also take a couple of days out of Athens to visit Olympia.

Anyway, thank you very much once again for your advice before we went, and for your site. Your information proved invaluable and made us feel like we knew a lot before we even arrived. So we felt a lot more at ease and greatly enjoyed the city.

All the best,
Wayne S

Dear Matt,

You help me keep my sanity as I sit in Montana and yearn to return to Greece.  I visit your site at least once a week.  And we're just completing the renovation of our kitchen into a taverna -- blue, white, a poster print of my best shot of the Acropolis from the Hill of the Muses, and one print my son took of his pizza at the Byzantino.

We were there in March 2004 during the Olympic preparations.  Although we were aware of the skepticism over the completion, after meeting the Hellenes we had no doubt it would be done and be fabulous.  Thanks for your Olympics page.  I'd been wanting an insider's view.

Bonnie BZ

Every time I read your guide information about Athens I find more interesting places that i wished visit them when I was there for only a week on my trip to Athens..I am recommending this "website" to all my friends who are going to visit Athens.


Sara M

Thank you for your wonderful website of Athens.  I found it while taking a break from work … well, a really long break.  You gave an excellent tour of the city through the pictures and humorous and informational comments.  I’ve only spent an hour and a half on the site so far but I felt like I had to write and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed it so far.  I should go back to work now, but I will be coming back for more tours later. 


my boyfriend is in athens (destined for corfu) and i miss him terribly, but i came across your awesome site and now i have a much better picture of where he is, what he's seeing, and i can now picture him in the markets and plazas and cafes.  thanks so much and good luck with the site!




I literally stumbled across your website this afternoon and love it.  I lived in Greece for a year in the late 1970s (taught at Athens College in Psychiko immediately after graduating from college) and traveled extensively throughout the country, in the days when a young American could still do so on $10 a day, pretty comfortably.  It was a life-transforming experience, and I think I had something of the same kind of "hard landing" when I returned to the states after living in Greece -- it took me a number of years to re-acculturate.  After the experience of immersion in Greek life, I'm still not happy about a lot of the American values we take for granted.

I'm delighted to see pictures of Athens on your page that show a city much improved from a quarter-century ago.  At the time (this was 4-5 years after the fall of the Colonels) I found it really took a lot of work to enjoy it.  I will certainly go back to your site frequently to enjoy it, and hope to return to visit the country (the last time was 1980 I'm sorry to say, although I keep up my Greek a bit on a monthly basis with my barber).

In the meantime I would love to be on e-mail distribution for your newsletter and will keep an eye out for your guidebook.  I also read wistfully in the Athens News column of your prescriptions for the city if you were mayor -- your ideas are right on.

Sto kalo

John H
Belmont, MA

Hi Matt,

We returned last month from our biking trip in Greece, and I want to thank
you for all the help your site provided. Of course we reserved transfers
with George, the Famous Taxi driver, and although we did not get to meet
George in person, we met Panos and Paul, both wonderful.....friendly,
efficient, accommodating and all around terrific. Besides the airport trips,
Paul took us on a 1/2 day trip to Sounio, early in the morning before the
crowds arrived, and then stopped at a nearby bay so we could take a
refreshing swim. Just fabulous! Also, we stopped into Fantasy Travel and
booked a one-day cruise of the Saronic Gulf. They were very nice and
helpful. Another good referral.

Again, many thanks for all you do. Now we are planning a trip to Crete for
next year.

Anne and Ben S

Hello.  My wife and just returned from 8 days in Greece, 3 on Mykonos,
3 on Santirini and 2 in Athens.  Your web site was incredibly helpful. 
  Everything that interested me from your web site I was able to find or
see.  My only issue was with the restaurant called Thespidos in the
Plaka.  We searched it out for lunch and the setting was really nice
and quiet but the food was standard at best.  I also think we were
ripped off.  We had the bread,  shared a Greek salad, 1/2liter of house
wine, 2 Mythos, 2 entrees and 2 Greek coffees which came to 55 Euros. 
We had the same amount of food the next day for lunch at Byzantino and
it was only 35 Euros for much better food.  We also had dinner a place
on Adrianou on a square (can't remember the name) where we had actual
cloth napkins and that meal was only around 35 Euros.  Maybe Thespidos
is under new management or maybe we caught it at bad time.

Brettos was a real treat.  There is an expat gentleman in his late
50's, maybe early 60's who has lived in Greece for about 25 years in
Bretto's nightly expounding philisophical ideals and political
thoughts.  He says he is a poet and he was very poetic in his
conversation (before the Mythos and Amstel took its toll on us all). 
It was great fun.

Thanks again for all the wonderful, useful information.  The internet
can be a great thing sometimes.

-Rich R
  Senior Art Director
  Special Recognition, Inc.

I am flying to greece in 6 days... staying for 3 weeks and found your site to be VERY VERY informative and helpful. WOW! A great resource... added it to my "favorites" to read through more in the next 6 days!

thanks for all the info


Dear Matt,

Your website rocks and we think your daughter and your stories are adorable. We are a bunch of confused, lost, and poor college students visiting Greece and trying to get to Aegina. We didn't have much time to plan so detailed sites such as your's helped tremedously(and we don't feel so stupid). Thanks so much.

Students from University of California 

Dear Matt,
my name is Micol and I am a 27 years old Italian woman; this e mail is just
to give u al the compliments for the site about Athens.
I discovered it by chance last year, while I was in Greece for a European
exchange project lasting 6 months. My project took place in Lamia and
Komotini but I was in Athens very often for seminars and conventions.

Now that I have a boybriend from athens and that, unfortunatelly, I am in
italy, surfing in Athens survival presents me a smile.

Thank you so much,

Hello Vicky;

This is Maritza Avendano. My daughter Melissa and I wanted to thank you for the package that you prepared for us when we were there last month (the 4 of  Oct) I am sorry we took this long to thank you but we want you to know that we enjoyed our trip very much. We will come to see you again next time we are in Greece.

Thanks again ,

My whirlwind trip to Athens was great.  Thanks so much for your suggestion about the Attalos Hotel and George the Famous Taxi Driver.

Nancy E

Love The Athens Survival Guide. Have made two visits this year to Athens, and have used the guide and really enjoyed it. Keep up the good work.


Hi Matt:  Just got back from Greece, a 9 day tour of the inland and Athens. Beautiful, lovely, enchanting, learning...those words can not even come close to describing the experience.  Will never know why it took me 53 years to visit but, better late than never.

Somewhere in the Athens Survival Guide, ( proven to be the most helpful of all pages I read prior to traveling), you mentioned an old man from Plaka who would not be photographed. Well, I got him, sitting on a bench, smoking a cigarrette.  The photo has not been developed yet, but it will this week.  If you are interested, I will be glad to furnish it to you for publication, just give me the credit that I took it.  Let me know.  And, I am not sure if you mention a restaurant in Plaka named Taverna Byzantina...OUtstanding food for very cheap price.  Best wine, plenty of food, lots of choice and taste so wonderful you hated to finish your dinner.  Thanks Matt.

Frank A

Miami, Florida

Matt I am going to Chania, Crete in March after spending New Year in Athens - I will then be going back to Athens to teach and be with my boyfriend Thanasis who is from Chalkida, Evia. I looked at your pictures of Athens to give me a feel of what the place is like - they are incredible and I loved looking at them - I have since been back to your sight a few times and have gone through them whilst  on a quiet night shift - Well done, I think the web sight is excellent .

Aimee G
South Yorkshire Police

Hello Matt,

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Athens and wanted to tell you that your survival guide was great!  We printed out many of the pages and carried them with us as we explored the city.  We spent so much time on your website that Athens felt familiar to us.

I've got a great pair of sandals - thanks to your note about Melissinos moving from 89 Pondrossou we found it without difficulty and we were treated like family at Plaka Tavern when they spotted the print out I was carrying from your website.  (I think they owe you a fruit plate!)  You were absolutely right about the ouzo at Brettos, too.  We came home with three of the metal containers and now are sorry we didn't get more.

Thank you so much for helping to make this a great trip.  We can't wait to go back!


Where on earth are you from? Why did I just find you alien? Your site is superb. Iam an Australian Greek now living in Greece and your site has been so helpfull, you do not understand. You need to get this to become the offical tourist site of Greece, but getting things done here - forget it.

Great siet and info.


Kerry K

Hi Matt. My name is Oscar Montes from Mexico. I got a schlarship to study in France lst year and had the chance to wander around in Europe. I do consider myself a lucky man since not everyone in Mexico has this opportunity that often.

I visited many places in France and other countries such as England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and of course, Greece.

I must say Athens stole my heart. Maybe because it reminded me a little of home, maybe because I fell infatuated with it, don't know yet.

I really loved you r site since it shows the real Athens, the real people who live and dwell there. I loved the metro pictures and those of people.

I am working on my website now, would be glad if you could visit it someday.

Take care and congratulations.

I amplanning to go back to Athens or other city in Greece (just visited small cities around Athens) to stay there for a while and learn the language.

Good luck.

I recently took a trip to Greece with my mother and daughter and, luckily for us, found your "Athens Guide" site a couple of weeks before we took off. Kudos for the great information presented in a down-to-earth easy to read format. We managed to find the Byzantino Restaurant in the Plaka and had a fabulous meal per your recommendation. We also contacted George the Taxi Driver for a day trip to Delphi. We didn't get to meet George, but our driver, Christos, was kind, easy-going and very helpful - what a wonderful day (and a very comfortable taxi ride)!

We travel quite a bit (Africa, London and now Greece in one year), and I wish there were more sites out there like yours to pave the way. Again, thank you for the great information and if you'd like to view the web site I made of our trip, you can find it at  I've also put in a few links to your "Athens Guide" web site.

Feel free to add any of this information to your testimonials and Thanks Again!

Sandra J.

Dear Matt,

I would like to thank you for the invaluable information you gave  on your website. My wife and I followed it to a T. Your advice of restaurant 'Thanasis' and 'Ihogram 'for music was fantastic. I bought an album of Haris Alexiou for 16:95 euros which cost 27:95 in other places. and the sheer range was unbelievable. Who would believe that a shop tucked away in a side street could have such a wide range of Greek music. I made it a point to tell the staff that you had recommended the shop. Thanks once again. I would advise all travellers to Athens to first take a look at this website before doing anything else.


Dear Matt Barret
I have used your guide for my first time visit.  Right now I am very happy
after a nice meal after a nice fried cod with excellent white wine, in a
place in a cellar I would never have entered if not for your web site.  I
have just one day now left to enjoy this wonderful city, and keep on
following your advice.

Millions of thanks from me and my vife
Sigurbjorn Thorbergsson


Just a note of my appreciation for your guide!

I visited Athens for the first time last week (it was snowing at
times!), situated in a nice hotel (Arion) fortunately in Psirri.  Your
guide was very useful in making the most of my week in town.  I covered
many of the sites, and enjoyed the Monastiraki neighborhood the best.
Sounio was a fun side trip too.  Coincidentally, I ate at Domigos and
Mpairaktaris (my favorite) before seeing their mention in your listing;
they're both wonderful.
A bit of new info.  There is now a solid metal staircase at Areopagos
rock, perhaps installed at the time of the Olympics.  Safer yes, but an
eyesore.  Also I found great inexpensive gyros at Alexandria a couple of
blocks from the Central Market (corner of Menandrou and Sofokleus).
Cheers,  Erik S  -Los Angeles, California


   We just got back from our trip to Athens. Thank you so much for your Athens survival guide. I spent many hours looking at your site and found the information so useful. Now that we are home, it is such fun to look at the photos and remember all the wonderful things we saw and did while we were there. I am going to keep your site bookmarked on my computer so I can go back and look at it whenever I feel lonely for Athens.


                                Laura M

Hi Matt, my husband, Richard, and I have just returned from a long weekend
in Athens (we live in Reading, UK) and I just wanted to say thank you for
all your very helpful information.  Amongst other things, we went to Brettos
and had some of his lovely brandy.  We mentioned your name, so, hopefully,
next time you're in, you'll get a freebie.

We had the most wonderful time.  It was a bit like a pilgrimage for me as,
although we've been to a number of other places in Greece - including our
first meeting on Santorini - I've not been to Athens before.  When I was a
teenager, my bedroom walls were covered with pictures of the Beatles (giving
my age away here!), apart from one corner which had the Parthenon and the
Winged Nike of Samothraki on it.  I saw the latter last year in the Louvre,
but the big one was this last weekend. Don't have to tell you what that was

As an afterthought, we're thinking of going to Samos in July, but we're a
bit worried that it'll be too touristy.  Any thoughts?

With best wishes.

Hi Matt,
Just returned from Greece last night from our amazing trip. It couldn't
have gone more smoothly - a wonderful adventure for the 3 of us. Yanni,
in lieu of
George, met us at the airport. He also took us to Delphi
later on that week, as well as taking us around Athens. Yanni actually
came to our rescue one night when we couldn't get our beargins in trying
to locate a particular restaurant he had recommended in the Manistiraki
area. We called him on his cell phone at 8pm and he said "Stay right
there - I'll be there in 5 minutes!". Yanni was indeed there in 5
minutes and we were most grateful. Above and beyond service. We saw
all the highlights of Athens and had an additional delightful side trip
to Aegina on the most gloriously warm and sunny day.

Thank you for your most handy and informative website and for your
personal attention. My daughter had a terrific time and ate a
repertoire of new non-vegetarian foods - pork, calamari, chicken, shrimp
- the works! (and loved every bit of it). Looking for a recipe on-line
this a.m. for Tzaziki - want to make some tonight! And must get my fix
of feta...

Take care,

Dear Matt,
I'm from Romania and I have just visited Greece last week.
 Unfortunately for me i find Your site about Athens just today. And more unfortunately I visited Athens only one day, so i didn't see much of it. But now yor site is helping me very much to find out interesting things about this beautiful city. I guess that you have worked very much to gather all the information. I find it extremely exhaustive. And now I will enjoy my virtual visit to Athens - Thank you.


Hey Matt ....... My wife and I just got back from Greece (our first time there). 

   I got a real kick out of your "survival guide" website and printed off a pile of interesting stuff, ie: sites to see, places to eat, what to eat and how to say it. and lots of other stuff about 1/2" thick. Fortunately I had an opportunity to read through it on the 7hr first leg from Toronto to Frankfurt. I say fortunately as we misplaced it in the Frankfurt airport. I thought it would be a real kick if you heard from someone who may have found it and was able to use it as I was some upset that I had misplaced it.

   Anyway... not much time tonight but had a great time, stayed in Athens, went to Hydra and went for a quick dip down from the Sunset rsetaraunt then drove and ferried to Porosnd ate some Octopuss YUCK!, had numerous meals at the Plaka area (great fun) and caught that great Greek meat restaraunt that you refered to on the way to the airport, can't remember the name but had a great time and took in most of the popular sightseeing places. 

  Took a few days to warm up to the place, then did'nt want to leave. Would like to go back sometime soon but take the kids next time.

  I really like the Ouzo too!


I have been traveling to Greece nearly every year since 1976.  I was just researching info for a colleague...and found your site.  All I can say is "wow!"  What an incredible resource for visitors!  I found things I'd never know, places I want to see...on just about every page!

P.S.  My favorite Souvlaki stand is on Mitropolis...on the right side, immediately as you head up from the Metro station.  It has 2-level outdoor seating.  I never did know the name of it.  I like the souvlaki plates vs. the sandwiches!


Hi Matt,

I just got back from Greece. Stayed mainly in Athens – no time for the islands unfortunately. Had a nice time despite Delta losing our luggage and everything being closed due to the Easter holiday. The car service you recommended was very nice (met little George on my departing trip). Also stopped off at Byzantine. Bought a ring directly from Kostas who was very amicable and gave us a great deal (even though he grumbled a bit about taking such a huge profit cut – what can I say? My boyfriend is a great negotiator!).

- Karin

i loved this page, after living in athens for 12 years[now back home]. it brought alot of happy memories back. thanks

Dear Mr Barrett

I needed to write and thank you for your truly wonderful website - it is a joy to read!

I'm thrilled to have discovered it.  My first trip to Athens was in 1980, and I quite simply fell in love with the city.  Friends who had been were so disbelieving! - this made me feel that I had obviously stumbled onto a wonderful secret as I had found this city, including its faults, quite magical.

Reading your website, with all your invaluable information, and your inimitable style and grasp of what is important to a visitor, I felt I'd come home!

I shall recommend it to everyone!
My sincere thanks, and all good wishes to you and yours.

Matt, Thanks for the advice. I would like to take you and your wife to lunch
or dinner next June. Your restaurant of choice. If you ever go to the To
Hani, please say hi to the guys there for me. Tell them I was the American
who ordered my drinks in Greek like this "Ta ??e?a t??? t????, ed?, t??a,
taka taka pa?a?a??!" They may remember me. Warn them I'll be darkening their
doorway again in June. Best regards, Rick M

Just got back from a few days in Athens and a week on Kefalonia-all absolutely amazing! Because we had only 3 days in Athens, I searched the net fanatically, trying to plan as much as I could in those days.  We used your guide so much, and were thrilled that we did!  The best tips were Byzantino restaurant, Brettos, and especially Cine Paris.  In the first place,  I would never have thought to go to the movies on vacation, and from the front, it looks like the movies are either in French or Greek.  We went in anyway, solely based on your review, and couldn't believe what a great experience it was!  To sit above the Plaka in the open air, watch a great movie (in English-we saw "The Island") have a cocktail, and look to our left occasionally at the Acropolis, was a unique and wonderful experience we will never forget.  Your have our eternal gratitude!

Lisa & Martin


I just wanted to say "thank you" for your informative site.  We just got
back from a trip to Athens, and I used a lot of information I found on your
site during our stay.  I am not a seasoned world traveler and still have
trouble with "haggling" or even contesting a bill (but that goes for in
English speaking places as well, so it's a different issue going on there!).

ANYWAY, big thanks for the site.

One thing I noticed that NO one mentioned, or if they did, they did it in
really small print... you cannot take any bags up to the Acropolis.  We had
to check our backpack in, and I got to lug around our cameras freehand.  And
no one mentioned that the only water sold near the foothill of the entrance
is carbonated and bitter.  What a laugh for 3 Euro a bottle!!!

Nice thing was that we got to take the Metro for 10 Euro from the Airport,
as they sell them in groups so for two of us it was 10 Euro total.  And
also, on the one day we were there they had a "free" day on the Metro until
5PM.  (Don't know why, but it was pretty cool!)

And also, we had never had souvlaki - but I took a tip from your site, and
we tried it.  The Smile Cafe staff was very nice to us, and the food was
EXCELLENT.  We actually ate there twice during our stay (I wanted to try
more places since we had such good luck with them, so that's why only

So, many thanks.  We definitely want to go back to Greece again, our trip
was so lovely.  Maybe next time we'll try one of the Islands...  I have your
site bookmarked so that I can let others know... I am trying to convince
everyone I know to visit Greece at least once in a lifetime!

Thank you,
Jacqueline & Elmer

Go to Athens Survival Guide 


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