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Is Athens Safe in 2024? What to watch for

Explore the safety of Athens: A comprehensive guide on navigating this historic city with confidence, highlighting essential tips to keep you safe.
Is Athens Safe in 2023? What to watch for

Athens is undoubtedly one of the world’s cherished jewels. Every year, countless travelers are drawn to its enchanting streets, lured by the allure of the Acropolis and the savory taste of authentic Greek delicacies.

Having been smitten by its charm, I couldn’t resist packing my bags and settling there for a couple of years. Embracing the digital nomad life, I dived deep into the Athenian way of life, beyond the tourist trail.

But wait, Athens is in Europe, so it’s probably safe as houses, right? Well, it’s a bit more nuanced than that.

Considering Athens is home to a whopping 3.7 million souls, the question of safety does pop up. Is there a city on this planet without a smidge of mischief?

Traveling anywhere demands a dash of diligence. Safety first, always. If you’re contemplating, “Is Athens safe enough for my next adventure?“, keep reading.

Dive into our Athens safety guide! From cold, hard stats, potential pitfalls to sidestep, to our very own brushes with the city’s lighter and darker sides. Plus, I’ll throw in a handful of top-notch safety tips to ensure you leave with nothing but fond memories.

Athens stats about safety

Alright, let’s talk Athens safety by the numbers! If you’re someone who likes hard data over whispered stories, this is for you.

Ever gazed at those sweeping views of Athens? Well, while you’re lost in the beauty, it’s good to have a grasp of the city’s safety pulse.

What’s happening on the crime front in Greece? Top on the list: illicit trading, extortion, and trafficking. But here’s a relief – these are mostly local issues, seldom affecting the average traveler in Athens.

Yet, it’s hard to ignore that crime rates have been ticking up. However, to put it in perspective, given its size and population, Greece is still a far cry from global high-crime zones.

Now, get this: Greece welcomes a staggering 30 million visitors annually (pre-pandemic). That’s more than the entire Aussie population! With such a bustling tourist scene, a little mischief is hardly a surprise.

On a brighter note, the US Department of State tags Greece as a low-threat spot on the global map. Feeling reassured?

Honestly, I’ve found Athens to be a welcoming European gem. While you don’t need to be constantly peeking over your shoulder, always stay sharp and alert. As the old saying goes, “Expect the unexpected.”

Now, shall we dive deeper into the heart of the matter: “Is Athens safe?” Let’s unravel this further below!

How Safe is Athens in 2023?

Athens, in 2023, largely wears the badge of a safe tourist city, especially when you stack it up against other European hubs. However, it never hurts to keep that age-old traveler’s wisdom: always be alert and trust your instincts. After all, the allure of Athens isn’t just in its ancient ruins; its reputation for safety is a big draw too!

Athens Crime Checklist: What To Watch For

Every city has its quirks, and Athens is no different. Being in the know is half the battle. While Athens mirrors other urban giants with its fair share of crime – from drugs to scams – a bit of preparation goes a long way.

1. Petty Theft: The most usual suspect.

  • What is it? Think muggings, pickpocketing, or someone swiping your bag. It’s about losing something without your say-so, often of not-too-high value.
  • Where’s the hotbed? Tourist magnets, for sure. But certain pockets like Omonia and Exarchia might demand extra vigilance. That said, Athens still tends to save its mischief for the cover of night. Daylight offers some comfort, especially with crowds around.
  • Subway Slip-ups: Be extra wary around metro stations. We’ve come across tales of unsuspecting tourists being fleeced or pickpocketed during transit.

2. Taxi Turmoil:

  • There’s a memory that sticks. I once disembarked from a Santorini ferry, only to get into an over-priced taxi cab. Over-friendly drivers? That’s our cue to be cautious. We learned our lesson.
  • The Usual Suspects: Ferry ports and the journey from Athens airport to downtown.
  • Pro-tip: Sneak a peek into rideshare apps to gauge the fare, even if you don’t book through them. Knowledge is power, right?

3. Bill Bumps at Eateries:

  • Surprises are great, but not when it comes to the restaurant bill. It’s rare but possible – you order at one price and get billed another.
  • A Mykonos story I chanced upon on TikTok still rattles me. A couple was handed a whopping €1000 bill for just a modest meal and drinks. Disputes led to threats – a whole dramatic affair!
  • Good news: this sort of mischief is more of an island thing. Athens generally plays fair.

4. The 'Oops, I Dropped It' Scheme

Every city has its sneaky tricks, and Athens isn’t spared. Picture this: someone drops an item right before you. Your inner Samaritan urges you to pick it up. But as you do, your belongings might just be swiped!

I adore Plaka, but even in such charming neighborhoods, you’ve got to be on your toes. If someone spills or drops something, maybe resist the instinct to dive in. Trust your gut, stay alert, and you might save yourself some drama.

My only beef with Athens’ impressively low crime rate? It can lull you into a false sense of security. So, keep that guard up just a tad, and you’ll see Athens truly shines!

5. The Sneaky Bracelet Bamboozle

Oh, I’ve seen this one in Paris! In Athens too, you’re out exploring when someone crafts a bracelet and slides it onto your wrist. Just when you’re admiring it – BAM! They demand a hefty fee, sometimes even a laughable €10-€15 for a threadbare band.

Steer clear of bracelet peddlers around the Roman Agora. A simple, firm “No, thanks” works wonders. And trust me, you’ll feel so much better avoiding that tourist trap.

6. The 'Too-Good-To-Be-True' Helper

An unnamed scam that caught one of my Instagram buddies off-guard! Here’s the scoop: emerging from the metro, burdened with luggage, a seemingly kind-hearted local offers help. But, instead of lending a hand, they snatch your stuff! What’s worse, their partner might be lurking, ready to grab whatever you leave behind.

Is Athens still worth it despite these little tricks? Absolutely! Just remember: every city has its quirks. Athens is a gem, but it pays to be alert and informed. Safe travels!

Going Solo in Athens? Here's My Take

Thinking of an Athenian solo adventure? Dive right in! Greece’s charms are irresistible and honestly, Athens tops my list. It’s not just the historic allure; it’s the entire vibe of the place.

Solo Wandering in Athens:

Roaming around, ticking attractions off your list? Do it with confidence. The locals? Super warm, always up for a chat. A little tip from my travels: Keep an extra eye open while navigating the city’s public transport.

Are you having second thoughts about solo travel in Athens? Trust me, it’s a lot safer than you might think!

For All the Solo Ladies Out There:

Sisters, if Athens is on your solo travel bucket list, go for it. Like anywhere else, it’s essential to stay aware, especially with a slight rise in crime. But hey, isn’t staying alert part of the travel adventure?

Solo Female Insights:

Now, a little heads-up about the charismatic Greek men: They can be rather direct. So, if you catch a few extra glances or initiate conversations, don’t sweat it. Athens has geared up to ensure the safety of every solo traveler, especially women.

Got a pinch of discomfort? The Athenian police got your back. They’re pretty much everywhere, ready to assist.

Digital Nomads, Athens Calls You!

For tech enthusiasts like us, safety is paramount. Especially when our backpacks are brimming with expensive gadgets. The heartening news? Athens, in my experience, stands tall among European cities for safety. So, wear that backpack with pride and bounce from one cafe to another. Embrace the Athenian digital nomad life!

Navigating Athens Like a Pro: 4 tips to keep you safe

1. Blend in, Don't Flash

Now, who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle? But let’s save the luxury stack for another day. It’s one thing to wear your favorite necklace, but flaunting your entire luxury collection? That’s just ringing the dinner bell for pickpockets. My advice? Keep it chic, but low-key.

2. Stay Smart, Pick Right

Here’s where Athens got me the first time – with its sheer size! Certain areas are a traveler’s dream, while others, not so much.

Top Picks for a Cozy Stay:

  • Koukaki
  • Kolonaki
  • Pangrati
  • Psiri
  • Plaka

But hey, every city has its shades. Some corners of Athens can give you the creeps, especially after dark. Places I’m not so fond of:

  • Omonia
  • Exarchia
  • Monastiraki
  • Kolokotroni
  • Victoria Square

Your Athens base can set the tone for your entire trip. A tranquil evening walk or a nerve-wracking sprint? The choice is yours!

Curious about the best neighborhoods to stay in Athens? Dive into our guide to discover the top areas that blend culture, safety, and convenience in this ancient city.

3. Crowds: A Pickpocket's Playground

I’ve danced through crowds in Athens, but I’ve learned to keep my belongings close. Remember, some folks in a crowd have nimble fingers and swift moves. Athens has my heart, but one must be aware of the shadows lurking.

4. Bill Check - Not Just a Courtesy

So, you’ve had a fabulous meal. The bill arrives, and… wait, did I order a golden salad? Overcharging, sadly, is a trick not just limited to Athens. Touristy spots like Monastiraki and Syntagma Square have seen their share.

Always give your bill a once-over. Mistakes happen, sometimes genuine, sometimes not. If the numbers don’t add up, speak up!

Athens is a gem, but like any big city, it’s best explored with a mix of enthusiasm and caution. Stay savvy, and let the city work its magic on you!

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