8 Wheelchair Travel Tips for Athens Greece
By John Sage
1. Stay in a hotel near one of the accessible Metro stations – Unlike many other major European cities, all of the Athens metro are wheelchair accessible by using the elevators at each station providing an excellent means of Athens wheelchair travel. When choosing a hotel, disabled visitors should select one that is near the tourist attractions or near one of the accessible stations.
2. Use the Evangelismos metro station to get to the museums and roll downhill towards Syntagma Square – The Cycladic Art Museum, Benaki Museum of Greek History and Culture, and the Byzantine and Christian Museum are all located on a street called Leoforos Vasilissis Sofia that runs just north of the Parliament building located on Syntagma Square. The easiest way for Athens wheelchair travelers to visit these museums is to take the metro to Evangelismos station then walk/roll downhill towards the Parliament building visiting the museums on the way.
3. See the excavations in the Metro station – The creation of the Athens metro system took a very long time because they had to stop construction whenever they came across historical artifacts…which happened often. They’ve left many of the partially excavated artifacts in the metro stations. It’s like you’re visiting an archaeological dig in the middle of the city!
4. Accessible sidewalk restaurants in the Plaka neighborhood and on Syntagma Square – If you’re in a wheelchair or can’t go up steps for any reason, look for restaurants with outdoor seating that is accommodating for Athens wheelchair travelers. There are a couple of restaurants on Syntagma Square and several restaurants in the Plaka neighborhood that you can visit.
5. Take a taxi to the green gate – When you visit the Acropolis, you’ll be able to take an elevator to the top of the cliff. Unfortunately, before you get to the elevator, you will have to go up a large hill using a road covered with an uneven surface. Athens wheelchair travelers will definitely benefit by having a taxi bring them to the entrance (where the green gate is located). Have one of the staff members near the elevator call a taxi for you when you’re ready to leave.
6. Call in advance to confirm that you can use the elevator – There have been conflicting reports about whether or not advanced notice is necessary to use the elevator at the Acropolis. When I visited in my wheelchair, I had no problems and the guard waved me right through. I suspect that they want to limit the use of the elevator so that no one uses it who is able to but just tired of walking. If you aren’t in a wheelchair but have difficulties walking up steps, I recommend contacting them in advance.
7. Use a taxi to get to the National Archaeological Museum – You can take the metro to the Viktoria station, but if you do you’ll have to walk/roll 600 meters to the museum entrance. An easier option is to take a taxi to the museum and have them drop you off at the accessible side entrance on the north side of the building (left side if you’re facing the front of the building).
8. Choose your museums carefully – You probably only have a limited amount of time in Athens and you want to make the most of it. The Cycladic Art Museum and the Museum of Byzantine and Christian Art are better than the nearby Benaki Museum of Greek History and Culture. The New Acropolis Museum is one of the most well-known museums but the artifacts are not as intriguing as those found in some of the other museums. Although the National Archaeological Museum is located a little further away than the other museums, it’s the best in town and easily worth a half day.
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Athens Accessible Travel – main page
Pros and Cons of Athens Disabled Access
8 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Athens Greece
8 Keys to Success for Athens Disabled Travel
Acropolis Handicapped Access Review
Handicapped Access at the Athens National Archaeological Museum
Ancient Agora Wheelchair Access
New Acropolis Museum Wheelchair Access
Wheelchair Access at the Temple of Olympian Zeus
Disabled Access at Benaki Museum of Greek History and Culture
Museum of Cycladic Art Wheelchair Accessibility
Wheelchair Access Byzantine and Christian Museum
Piraeus (Athens) Port Disabled Access Review
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