IN MAY WE ARE ON A CRUISE THAT DOCKS IN ATHENS FOR SEVEN HOURS. WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOW WE MAY SPEND THIS TIME. WE HAVE NOT BEEN TO ATHENS BEFORE.
K. WILLIAMSON, WILLIAMSTOWN, VIC.
You'll be galloping with that slender window and the only practical option if you want to se something of Athens is to take one of the city tours offered by your cruise operator. Try to do it yourself and you'll eat up valuable time disembarking from the ship or finding a taxi, and Athenian taxi drivers could show piranhas a thing or two. The metro is the fastest way to get from the port of Piraeus to Thissio Station, the closest stop to the Acropolis in Athens, but the Piraeus Metro station is more than a kilometre from the cruise terminal and you really don't want to be figuring out tickets and platforms. Even on a guided tour you'll probably have enough time to take in the archaeological treasures of the Acropolis, the twisting streets of the Plaka and perhaps Syntagma Square, and that's about it.
The other option is to forget about Athens and spend all your time exploring Piraeus. The area is known for its seafood restaurants, and while there are many overpriced examples cheek-to-cheek along the touristy strip of Mikrolimano, a better bet if you want to eat well among locals rather than fellow tourists is the Hatzikyriakeio district, which rises on a hill just behind the port. Yperokeianeio and O Elias are standouts, although they lack the water views of the Mikrolimano restaurants.