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Old Nov 17, 08, 11:59 pm   #1
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Athens for Christmas! Need Expert Help!

The wife and I are headed to Athens for Christmas. I haven't been and I heard alot of Greece closes down for the holidays. Any recommendations on what to do? Where to stay? Where to go? The current thinking is that we might go to Italy of somewhere else during the 1.5 weeks if it is slow. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Nov 18, 08, 11:24 am   #2
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No problem at all

Well, public services will be closed and maybe banks will have some days off, too. But public transport will be running pretty much to schedule and most all touristy things will be open, indeed restaurants, cafes and night-venues will be bursting with people!!
So by all means I would go. Personally, I would recommend SKG for a side trip (2-3 days) because it's quite an interesting city, in addition to being the country's undisputed culinary capital (plus, I am from there so a bit biased ).
There are plenty of things written on ATH if you want to do a forum search, and I'd happily answer questions on where to stay/what to see/do etc if you gave me an idea of your likes, budgets and so on...
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Old Nov 19, 08, 12:03 am   #3
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I love Greek food so if SKG is the culinary capital of Greece then it would be an extra treat. I assume most of the islands are closed during this time, correct? At least this is what I have read. We are scheduled to arrive into Athens on 12/24 and depart on 1/3. I would like to keep hotels under $100, when possible, and avoid any large chains as it is harder to meet other travelers and locals at these types of hotels. No plans have been made so it everything is up in the air. As far as hotels for the first few days in Athens, I am looking at the below that seem to be pretty popular on tripadvisor:

athens gate
herodion
philippos
museum hotel
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Old Nov 19, 08, 9:24 am   #4
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You are right to assume there isn't much on the islands during the winter. Maybe in the bigger island cities like CFU, but the weather is likely to be wetter and more miserable than the mainland..
I haven't got experience with any of the hotels you mentioned, but I really do like the location of Athens Gate (and it looks alright from the outside). I've heard good things about the Baby Grand Hotel, and I've recently stayed at the President (not bad but nothing special), though these may be a tad above your budget.
A great budget option is the two-star Exarchion. My dad stays there whenever he visits ATH, and I've visited him there once- it truly is a great deal at 50ish Euros incl. internet. Being very close to the Polytechnic School, the area is a bit "quirky", but I wouldn't say dangerous.
If you do decide to go to SKG, you should buy your tickets ASAP as planes (and trains) are very busy during the festive season. Though I guess that you could always rent a car and drive (5 hours) if you can't get a ticket.
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