ATHENS TRAVEL ADVISORY 2009
(Please read this advisory fully and carefully for your own guidance. We advise you to print this out, preferably two copies and keep always with you)
Welcome to Athens, Greece, for the Second International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees!
I Venue of the Second International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees
Athens University of Economics and Business
76 Patission str (also known as 28 Oktubre street), GR 10434 Athens
The venue is just across Zorbas Hotel. Those staying at Athens Easy Access (AEA) Hostel, however, will have to walk about 15 minutes to the IAMR2 venue. Delegates will be given a guide on how to go to the venue.
If you have a map of Athens as reference, from the AEA Hostel, walk to Patission str (also known as 28 Oktubre street) and walk towards the direction of the Athens University of Economics and Business. Patission is a major street in Athens.
There will be side events (forum, concert, caucuses, mobilizations, etc.) during the Second IAMR2. The exact time and venues of these side events will be announced during the opening plenary of our assembly.
The members of the ICB of the IMA are scheduled to convene in a meeting on October 31 (from 10am-6pm), Saturday, in Athens. The venue will be the office of Class March in the center of Athens. All ICB members will go to the venue together from their hotel accompanied by the IAMR2 secretariat staff.
All ICB members are thus, requested to arrive in Athens on October 30. You are also requested to proceed to your hotel indicated below:
29 Eolou str. - 105 51 Athens, Greece
Tel: (+30) 210 32 13 175 - (+30) 210 32 42 940
Fax: (+30) 210 32 54 179
DIRECTION TO TEMPI HOTEL:
Using Syntagma Square as reference, you look for the Macdonald's fastfood. When you are already in front of Macdonald's, you walk to the street at the LEFT of Macdonald's. It is a big shopping street, so you wont miss it. Walk down further until you see Eolou Street. Turn right and you will see Tempi Hotel.
ONLY ICB MEMBERS ARE TO CHECK-IN AT TEMPI HOTEL FROM OCT. 30-31. Check-out is Oct. 31, before going to the ICB Meeting venue. The rooms (double rooms) for use of ICB members have already been paid for one night. The reservation is under the name MONDELO. Breakfast is not inclusive in this hotel.
II Lodging and Accommodations
Delegates will be billeted on sharing rooms (triple and quadruple) at any of the following hotels (we have confirmed group reservations under the name MONDELO):
1) ZORBAS HOTEL
10 Gkyilfordou Street
Athens, 10434 Greece
Web site: www.zorbashotel.com
FROM THE AIRPORT:
BY TAXI: Catch a taxi to Victoria Square (10 Gkylfordou st.). It should cost you approximately 35 euro. Flagdown in a taxi = 2,50 euro.
BY BUS: The cheaper alternative! After getting your luggage inside the airport, exit at Gate 5. There you will see buses (X95) going to Syntagma Square/Plaza (the end destination). The bus ticket costs about 3 euro. Buy the ticket at the bus counter, and upon entering the bus, stamp your ticket in the orange machines inside the bus.
Travel time by bus from the international airport to Syntagma is approximately 1 hour. The bus from the airport stops at Syntagma Square/Plaza – one of Athen's main plazas. From where you got off from the bus (Othonos street), walk towards Amalias Avenue/street – the street where you will see the big Greek Parliament building (you won't miss it because you will see two Greek soldiers in traditional Greek military attire standing guard infront). Go to the right side of the Parliament building where you will see the bus stop. Buy first a bus ticket. It costs only 1 euro (the bus ticket is valid for one hour from the time you stamp it in the orange machines inside buses – you only stamp a bus ticket once). Take Bus No. 11. Get off at the bus stop in front of the Athens University of Economics and Business (76 Patission street or also known as 28 Oktubre street). Patission is a big street. To know where you have to get off, as the bus rides through Patission, you will pass by the big campus of the Polytechnic University of Athens, and then beside it the National Archeological Museum, then the bus will pass along a big intersection called Alexandras Avenue. As soon as you see this intersection, press the STOP button, and get off where the bus stops (in front of the Athens University of Economics and Business).
Cross to the other side of the street from where you got off from the bus. Walk back to the direction of the large intersection (Alexandras Avenue). Walk past Heyden street, then you will see Gkylfordou street. Turn right and you will immediately see ZORBAS HOTEL.
BY METRO: You can also get a Metro (subway) from the Athens International Airport (E. Venizelos Airport). Ask for direction going to the Metro at Athens International Airport. The one-way ticket going to Syntagma Square/Plaza (this must be your destination from the airport) is about 6 euro per person. Buy a ticket first before boarding the Metro. Travel time from the airport to Syntagma Square/Plaza is approximately 45 minutes.
Get off at Syntagma Square/Plaza. You have to exit the Metro station. When you are already at the Plaza, look for the big Parliament building (as described above). Go to the right side of that building where you will see the bus stops. Take Bus No. 11, and get off at the bus stop in front of the Athens University of Economics and Business (read directions above to proceed to Zorbas Hotel).
2) ATHENS EASY ACCESS HOSTEL
26 Satovriandou street - Omonia
Athens 10432 Greece
FROM THE AIRPORT:
(Follow same direction as above to go to Syntagma Square)
FROM SYNTAGMA going to Athens Easy Access Hostel:
From the Athens International Airport, get a Metro (subway) to Syntagma Square (buy first a one-way ticket direction Omonia Square). Get off at Syntagma. Then change line going to Omonia Square (red Metro line direction Aghios Antonios). You only have to change platform. Get off at Omonia Square. Upon exiting the Omonia Square Metro, look for Triti Septembriou street (the landmark here is the Hondos Center, a big shopping mall, Athens Easy Access is behind this shopping mall). Walk further to Septembriou street (from Omonia Square) until you reach Satovriandou street on your left. Then look for Athens Easy Access Hostel (Satovriandou 26).
*All accommodations made or booked OUTSIDE of the IAMR2 assembly (Oct. 31-Nov. 5), will have to be shouldered by delegates, and are not inclusive in the 150 euro registration fee.
III Registration Fee/Meals
The registration fee for the Second IAMR is 150 euro. It will cover the conference materials, lunch and snacks from Nov. 1-4, and lodging. Breakfast and dinner are not inclusive in the registration fee. Food stubs will be distributed upon registration.
Participants are advised to take their own breakfast and dinner. There are many cheap snack bars, fast food and restaurants in Athens, and nearby the university venue. Food and drinks are relatively cheap in Athens compared to northern European cities. Average meal costs 7,50 euro.
Breakfast at the Athens Easy Access Hostel is inclusive, for those delegates staying in this hostel.
Officially, the check-in/check-out time for the hostels is between 1100 – 1200 hours. However, the hostels have been advised that IAMR2 delegates would be arriving anytime on Oct. 31.
1) Two pieces of ‘souvlaki’ (popular Greek barbecue) cost only 3,00 euro and comes with bread, plus a regular salad (2,50) is already a complete cheap Greek meal.
ALL DELEGATES MUST PROCEED TO ZORBAS HOTEL upon arrival at the Athens International Airport (E. Venizelos airport) for registration and billeting. The IAMR2 Secretariat will meet you at the reception.
Maps of the City of Athens will be provided free to all delegates.
Below are the contact information of the members of the secretariat, steering committee and other pertinent numbers:
Grace Punongbayan - +31-6-33056411 (Netherlands mobile number)
Rio Mondelo - +31-6-22777835 (Netherlands mobile number)
Finalis Errikos (Athens, Greece) – (Union of Working People office landline - +302106441745), Mobile: +306972738059
Tom Orlanes - +306909826409 (Greek mobile number)
If you need to call the IAMR secretariat staff urgently, and you cannot contact them in their mobile numbers, please call the ZORBAS Hotel (refer to their number above). The IAMR2 secretariat staff will be on stand-by at the reception whole day of Oct. 31.
IV Visa and Passport Requirements
Visa is Required by all, EXCEPT the following:
1. Nationals of EU countries, Australia, Canada, Japan and US for a period of up to 3 months;
Note: The above list is subject to change at short notice; please check with the Consulate or Consular section at Embassy before traveling.
Passport valid for 6 months required by all except:
1.EU nationals with a valid national ID card and with sufficient funds for their length of stay;
2.Nationals of Monaco and Switzerland with valid national ID cards.
1) Please make sure to have with you a copy of your round trip ticket, original copy of the invitation (for those who applied for visa please bring a copy of the invitation you submitted to the Greek embassy), and the IAMR program.
2) For safety reasons, make several photocopies of your passport and/or ID, and put them separately in your wallet, bag or luggage – this is to make sure that you have an identification paper with you always (in case the Police randomly checks), and in case you lose your passport, you can easily show the authorities the details on your passport
3) Everyone is asked to always carry an ID with them (a passport or a copy of it is the best ID), wherever you go in Athens, or any place in Europe.
V Telephones in Greece
Greece dial 00 + 30 (country code) + telephone number
Outside calls made from hotel rooms will be charged to delegates’ personal accounts and will be paid upon check out.
24-hour Internet cafes can be found in the vicinity of the hotel. Internet surfing rates are:
30 minutes = 1 euro, 1 hour = 2 euro
Average Weather in Athens for November
Sunlight 5 = hours a day, Coldest daily temperature = 7 Celsius, Warmest daily temperature =17 Celsius, Coldest Recorded November temperature = -2 Celsius, Warmest Recorded November temperature = 27 Celsius, Morning Humidity = 68 percent, Evening Humidity = 54 percent, Rain = 89 mm a day, Wet days for November = 12 days
Everyone is advised to bring sweaters and jackets (for the evenings) and raincoats or umbrella for protection from the rain. You may also consult the Internet for updates on the weather in Athens.
Greek currency is the Euro. If you are coming from a non-Euro country, bring your money in US dollars for easier conversion. Foreign exchange is available everywhere in the city.
Banks and ATMs are readily available everywhere. Banks are open from 9am to 3pm while ATMs are available 24 hours.
There are several shopping areas in the city of Athens. The major shopping street can be found in the Syntagma area, where the world-famous Acropolis is just literally a stone's throw away. The Plaka area is a tourist haven for souvenirs. Apart from the usual commercial shopping stores, you can also find the famous Athens flea market and semi-precious stones district, in this area. The big Athens wet market can be found along Athinas avenue (walking distance from Syntagma)
Small grocery stores are open from 10am to 8pm. There are no convenient stores in Athens (open 24 hours).
Getting around the City:
All areas of Athens are easily accessible via public transport (normal buses, trolley buses and Metro). A transport ticket is valid for one hour of travel upon being stamped. It can be bought at any cigarette or news stand for 1 euro. Upon entering a bus or Metro, you must first stamp your ticket in the stamping machines (orange color). You only stamp once until the validity of your ticket expires.
XI Safety and Security
For your own safety, inform a member of the IAMR2 secretariat of your whereabouts, if you are not within the premises of the IAMR2 venue or if you are going out at night during the duration of the assembly.
The City of Athens is basically a safe city. But like other big cities, it has its share of security problems. When touring the city it is best to be in a pair or group of three or more. Pickpockets could be anywhere.
When walking with a handbag, always wear it over your shoulder, to prevent snatchers from grabbing it (especially in some areas in Athens). As much as possible, try to avoid the OMONIA SQUARE area, especially in the evening. There are many reported snatchings in the area, and public disturbance commonly occur. This is also a hangout for drug addicts, drug dealers and prostitutes. Try to avoid small streets around this area.
1) Always carry an ID with you, or a copy of your passport.
Greek is the main language in Greece. However, many of the local residents can converse in English. There are big communities of Albanians, Pakistanis, Filipinos and Bangledeshis in Athens.
Yes = nai (neh)
No = ochie (o-chee)
Please = parakalo
Thank you = efcharisto (ef-cha-ree-sto)
Welcome = parakalo
OK/Alright = entaxie (en-dak-zee)
Excuse me = me synchoreite (me seen-cho-ree-teh)
Hello = geia sas (yeea sas)
Goodbye = antio (an-dee-o)
Good Morning = kalimera (ka-lee-me-ra)
Good Night = kalinychta (ka-lee-neech-ta)
General electric voltage is 220. European plugs are used. Adaptors can be bought in electric shops.
XIV Medical Services
There are several public and private hospitals and clinics in Athens and medicines are available in pharmacies. It is strongly advisable that you have a medical insurance when you travel.
Postbus 15687, 1001 ND Amsterdam