Tap water in Athens is chlorinated and fluoridated and is safe to drink. Bottled water is available.

In Greece, you will find electrical current at 220 volts, 50-cycle AC. Appliances of lower voltage would require a transformer, but again it is recommended that appliances are checked for safety and plug requirements before use. Most hotels provide adapters upon request.

International credit cards are accepted at many restaurants and shops throughout Athens.

Supermarkets and gourmet shops stock delicacies from around the world. Some small shops, often run as a family concern, stay open as late as 10 p.m.

Greece uses the metric system of weights and measures. For those not familiar with this system, the following conversions are offered as a guide: 25 millimeters (mm) is approximately one inch; 1 meter (m) is a little more than a yard; 1 kilometer (km) is approximately 5/8 of a mile; 1 liter (l) equals 3/4 pints; 60 kilometers per hour (kph) is just over 35 miles per hour; and 25 degrees Celsius (C) is a warm 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Businessmen can establish contacts and develop profitable business in Greece. Most major hotels will arrange for secretarial services for you. Also, translators and interpreters can also be arranged. For further information contact the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Academias Street, Tel. 210 362-2158.

During the summer many outdoor cinemas are open in the suburbs. About 90 percent of the films shown at cinemas are foreign with Greek subtitles.

There are a number of television stations in Greece, both state and private owned. Most carry many English-language programs and movies. Also available on the UHF channels are satellite stations.

On the Athens municipal radio station Athens 9,84 (98,4 FM) there is news broadcast in English, German and French. While in Greece you can pick up the BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, Radio Canada International and the Voice of America. BBC World Service international is also provided.

A wide variety of spectator sports and recreation await the visitor to Athens. Soccer heads the list as the nation's favorite sport. Most of the Greek National Tourist Organization (GNTO) beaches and swimming pools offer full sea sports facilities. Major hotels in town offer swimming pools open to the public. Horseback riding is available in the northern Athens suburbs and golf at a professional 18-hole course in Glyfada.

Greek time is GMT plus two hours.

Modern Greek is the national language.

2006 National Holidays: January 6 (Epiphany),
March 6 (Shrove Monday-40 days before Easter),
March 25 (Independence Day, National Holiday)
April 21 (Good Friday)
April 22 (Good Saturday)
April 23 (Easter)
April 24 (Easter Monday)
May 1 (Labor Day)
August 15 (Assumption)
October 28 (National Holiday)
December 25 (Christmas Day)
December 26 (Boxing Day)
January 1, ’07: New Year’s Day
January 6, ’07 (Epiphany)
Shops & public services are closed or open half day (Good Friday) on these days


©2006 Info Editions