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Talk:Athens

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Revision as of 20:30, 26 January 2009 by Sailsetter (Talk | contribs)

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Plaka district heading

On the Athens page district list the district is called Plaka, Monastiraki, and Thissio, but the linked district page is only called Plaka. Shouldn't it also be called Plaka, Monastirak, and Thissio on the header of the district page? Apparently I can't change it with the edit function. Sailsetter 12:45, 31 March 2008 (EDT)


help with adding an image

If there is someone who can add my [[Image:Acropolis-athens.JPG]] into the article in an acceptable size I'd be thankful (of course only if the image is considered acceptable and helpful to Wikitravel). --EBB 17:41, 1 Aug 2004 (EDT) Otherwise delete it, please. --EBB 17:44, 1 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Vandalism

It looks like someone replaced the whole Athens section with a page that was blank except for a line complaining about spam. This seems like an obscure motivation. Anyway, I reverted back to the previous full version, which I understand is the proper thing to do. First time I've done this so hope I did it right. Sailsetter 10:53, 22 March 2008 (EDT)

Welcome to the world of wikivandals. Yes, you did it correctly, but it's even easier if you just click on the [undo] link. Jpatokal 10:56, 22 March 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, but I was following the instructions on Wikitravel:How_to_revert_a_page, which doesn't mention Undo, and I didn't notice such a link anywhere. Is this documented somewhere? Sailsetter 12:26, 23 March 2008 (EDT)

Eat

I've revised the Eat section to:

  • take out the section on Psirri. I think listing restaurants by neighborhood is a good idea, but I don't think it's useful to just describe a neighborhood as having interesting restaurants without naming any.
See, the main page is supposed to provided pointers to the districts. "Want to find hip bars and restaurants? Go to Athens/Psirri." Jpatokal 03:31, 23 March 2008 (EDT)
  • remove the listing for Orizontes, which sounds too much like an ad and in fact uses the same wording as is found in several other places on the net. If anyone wants to put it back, please note that it's very expensive.
  • minor additions to section on souvlaki and beginning a list of restaurants by neighborhood, starting with Plaka. Sailsetter 15:04, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

I've started to move some restaurants I put on the Athens page to the district pages, which I gather is where they are supposed to be. I have to say though that I really dislike this way of organizing things, both as a contributor and a user. I think in fact it's the worst single thing about Wikitravel. Sailsetter 18:53, 22 March 2008 (EDT)

I agree, but do you have any better alternatives? Seriously. Remember that the Chicago guide comes to 469 pages when printed. Jpatokal 03:31, 23 March 2008 (EDT)
I've replied here (towards the bottom currently.)

Cost of taxi rides

"Expect to pay about 20 euro by taxi during the day, and 30-35 euro after midnight and before 5am.". How long is the ride? I live in Athens and taxis are never that expensive. Dimitris 14:52, 13 Jan 2005 (EST)

Actually, 20 euro for a taxi ride from Athens city proper all the way to Elefhterios Venizelos sounds about right, if not more. It's a pretty long distance, by Athens/Attica standards, plus don't forget the expensive tolls on Attiki Odos motorway, which are added to the cab fare. skyduster 00:21, 22 August 2006 (EDT)

How much would be ride from Athens centre to Sounio and back? Do I need to add some tolls? --Kyknos 06:48, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

removal of details on BestWestern chain

I just discovered removal of details on BestWestern from the Sleep section, with a comment "Too much Best Western, and not specific".

Later, someone removed sublist indents from Zinon and Elysium, making first bullet (Bestwestern itself) totally useless:

  • When everything is overbooked in advance, consider BestWestern chain.
  • Zinon (details on Zinon...)
  • Elysium (details on Elysium...)

(compare it to the version just before the removal)

I'd like to advocate that removed piece was useful--although I'm sure it can be abridged with someone's help.

When everything is overbooked in advance, consider BestWestern chain (www.bestwestern.com).
OK, this first phrase remained intact.
The chain operates in growing economies (like Armenia or Eastern Europe):
I agree this small piece is hardly relevant to Athens--I just moved it to the Hotels article.
seriously refurbishes interior of hotels built dozens year ago, introduces western management -- and then sells it to US/Canadian/Australian travellers. This results in low rates and a good service.
here's why I list BestWestern only for cases when everything else is booked: first, these hotels are based in old buildings; second (it's not mentioned--but we need to add this), majority of guests are elder, retired people from the above countries.
Booking: Normally, BestWestern hotels should be booked via chain's web site -- and they send detailed email confirming booking (but not take prepayment -- only take credit card details for guarantee purposes). Hotels themselves accept direct contact for booking, but can't give detailed written confirmation of booking you may need for visa arrangement.
This piece is essential when you travel from outside of EU: you need official detailed booking confirmation from hotel for every day of your stay in Greece for arranging a visa. And if your cashflow is sensitive to advance payments, details on prepayment also make sense.

--DenisYurkin 16:54, 10 February 2007 (EST)

There are about 50 BW hotels in Greece. This is very general and should not be in 50 different articles. It is probably not even specific to Greece. --elgaard 19:44, 12 February 2007 (EST)
I rewrote the Zinon listing to include the key details from what I considered generic for BW, and tried to make it as practical as possible. I also removed BW group as useless. Let me know if you see more room for improvement. --DenisYurkin 15:43, 13 February 2007 (EST)

I've removed the comments about BW hotels' handling of visa documentation for two reasons. First, the wording clearly implies that non-EU citizens need to apply in advance for visas to visit Greece, which isn't true. I'm not an EU citizen, and I've traveled to Greece frequently for many years, including recently, without ever having to apply for a visa in advance. The present wording is likely to confuse travelers who don't need visas for Greece into thinking that they do. Any comments about non-EU citizens needing visas should specify, either in the current text or by reference link elsewhere, exactly what non-EU citizens need them, and this specification should be on the basis of researching the current regulations.

As Greece#Passport and visa requirements currently states, A valid passport is required of all non-EU and non-EEA nationals, and most are also required to obtain a visa..
For Russian and CIS nationals, Greek embassy or consulate takes at least 3 days to process visa request, and requires a fax with a hotel booking confirmation. I am not sure, however, that we have enough space in Greece to detail every aspect of visa requirements (or it's feasible to keep it up-to-date)--maybe we should ask someone else. --DenisYurkin 16:37, 21 March 2008 (EDT)

Second, if we want to warn those who do need visas that they need to be sure to have properly documented hotel reservations, I think it would be much more useful to put this warning in the general Greece section, with, if necessary, a warning specifying that certain hotel chains are a problem in this regard, rather than putting it under the specific hotel in the Athens section. The problem may exist also with other hotels, so this is something that should be put in a section which all travelers needing visas are likely to read, not a section which will be read only by those who happen to want to stay at a particular hotel. Sailsetter 10:46, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

The requirement to present many papers including booking confirmation in order to get visa applies to most (all?) EU countries. It's not in European Union yet, but I also doubt that we are able to keep every aspect of visa issuing there up-to-date.
As to stating booking confirmation specifics for BestWestern chain rather than for individual hotels, I originally tried that but faced removal of all details including visa issues [1].
For me, it's still unclear how we can put this info as a chain-specific in this article, and in Greece. Do you have any ideas?
Either way, I'd like to undelete the removed piece as soon as possible: people use this guide, and it's an important thing that is completely missing now. Would you mind if I undelete it ASAP? --DenisYurkin 16:37, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
The passages removed were:
Zinon (BestWestern chain) ... For non-EU citizens, the hotel itself can't provide official booking confirmation for arrangement of visa--you can only print email confirmation of booking from BW chain's global web site.
Elysium (BestWestern chain) [17] elysium_hotel@yahoo.gr. Cheap-and-chic boutique hotel, 16 rooms. For non-EU citizens, same problem on official confirmations for visa arrangement as with Zinon.
Doesn't the above at least imply flatly that Non-EU citizens need to arrange in advance for a visa for Greece?
That just isn't true, despite what the Wikitravel Greece passport requirements page referred to above says which ought to be changed because it's wrong, or if not technically wrong at least very misleading: according to the Greek Ministry for Foreign Affairs [2], visas to Greece are not needed by citizens of the non-EU countries Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Andorra, Argentina, Australia , Brazil, Brunei, Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, The Holy See (Vatican), Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan , Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela, or Nicaragua. Given this, do we really want to include statements implying that "all [or most] non-EU citizens must obtain a visa"? It may be technically true that the majority of human beings alive in the world today would need a visa to go to Greece, but looking at that list of countries, it's not true that most people who actually would go to Greece are going to need a visa, and certainly not true that all of them do. I think what we should do is put a link to that Greek foreign ministry page on that Greece country page passport section, where it logically belongs, and attach any information about difficulties in getting Visas for those who need them to that section of the Greece page. What do other people think? Sailsetter 17:56, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
For first passage, I propose the following re-wording:
For those needing official booking confirmation for arrangement of visa, the hotel itself can't provide it--you can only print email confirmation of booking from BW chain's global web site.
If that's OK with you and others, I will think of the second passage as well.
And I've just added a link to Greek Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Greece. --DenisYurkin 18:19, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, thanks, that sounds good to me, though I haven't looked at it yet. I'll look at all this again in a week or so and post here if I have any more comments or suggestions. Sailsetter 19:25, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
OK, take your time. For now, I've restored the visa confirmation warning with the edits we agreed upon. --DenisYurkin 05:45, 22 March 2008 (EDT)

airport transfer by metro: removal of wating time

As the following piece was removed from GetIn:ByPlane section,

  • by metro to the city centre for €6 (be prepared to spend up to 20 minutes for change from metro to railway: metro is not going end-to-end)

does it mean that this delay is no more a case, and is resolved in some way? Would anyone comment on the present situation? Thanks. --DenisYurkin 17:26, 10 February 2007 (EST)

This was changed in March 2006 by 84.254.15.30: http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Athens&diff=prev&oldid=234683
Could anyone confirm that the removed piece is not actual any more? --DenisYurkin 15:56, 13 February 2007 (EST)
It means the metro now reaches the Airport. It used to be that only the Suburban railway reached the Airport. Dimitris 02:15, 24 February 2008 (EST)

Map of Athens Needed

This page could do with a outline map shown the main districts and some key locations.

Yes, it could. Are you volunteering? :) - Todd VerBeek 11:21, 23 June 2007 (EDT)

Districts

There are currently way too many districts with next to nothing inside, so for starters, I've merged together Plaka/Monastiraki/Thissio and Omonia/Exarcheia. Jpatokal 10:25, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

BTW, isn't it time to define district borders for Athens? Right now they are quite blurry for non-experts in the city. --DenisYurkin 04:13, 3 October 2007 (EDT)

Regional Buses

I've removed the link to KTEL since it leads to a Greek language page. So far as I know there isn't an English language KTEL page, but if there is, feel free to put it there. Sailsetter 15:04, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

Please don't remove links to official sites -- things like bus schedules are still usable if you don't know Greek, as long as you can puzzle out the destinations. Jpatokal 02:56, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
Although on second look, that KTEL site appears to have no usable information in any language... Jpatokal 03:02, 21 March 2008 (EDT)

New Acropolis Museum

It seems to be impossible to get reliable information about either the opening of the New Acropolis Museum or the status of the old one anywhere, including the new museum's web site and the Greek Ministry of Culture's web site. I've updated the listing with information found on gogreece.about.com, a site which I've found generally reliable. If anyone has definite information on the status of either museum, please add or revise. Sailsetter 11:29, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

The old one is definitely closed and will not be opening again. For the new one, your guess is as good as mine. Jpatokal 02:46, 21 March 2008 (EDT)

Districts

I suggest getting rid of the links to individual District pages in the Districts section, copying the information on the linked pages either to the Districts section of the Athens page or to the appropriate Athens page sections (restaurants, safety, etc.) and then deleting the individual district pages. This would correspond with almost the universal practice of guidebooks: have a chapter on the city, with a section listing all restaurants by district, then all hotels by district, etc., and not have different sections for each district, listing hotels, restaurants, etc. together in separate district sections. As it is, we have both these types of organization in conflict, and the individual district pages have information that many people aren't going to see -- I probably looked at the Athens page twenty times before it occurred to me to look at some individual district pages where I found listings that sometimes duplicated, and sometimes supplemented, information on the Athens page. Information on shopping, restaurants, hotels, etc. should really all be in one place, not spread apart with some on the district pages and some on the Athens page. Sailsetter 19:27, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Athens is an example of a really badly districted city, but it's definitely too large to cover in a single article, so the correct solution is just to finally nail down the districts and move all the sights/restaurants/etc into them. Please take a look at the Wikitravel:Huge city article template for how these things should work, and eg. Singapore or Chicago for working implementations. Jpatokal 02:46, 21 March 2008 (EDT)

Get Out

I've removed the advice "Check [3] for timetables." I know that in general official sites shouldn't be removed, but I think this is an exception, since the link is given as a means for checking ferry schedules, and in fact that site contains no such information. The site belongs on the Greece page, but not in this section, where it is irrelevant, and not under such a mis-identification. I see that the link is already at the top of the Greece page, which is where it does belong. Sailsetter 11:25, 24 March 2008 (EDT)

Museum Names

The list of museum names sometimes had The before the name, sometimes The and sometimes omitted The, so I just took The out everywhere. I couldn't find a standard for this and I don't think it matters what it is, but it should be consistent. Sailsetter 16:27, 26 March 2008 (EDT)

Sleep

I've deleted the listing for Marina hotel since it's Wikitravel policy not to post completely negative reviews; listings are supposed to be of recommended establishments, even if some drawbacks are mentioned. Sailsetter 19:21, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

History section

Hi all. The 'history' section of Athens is poorly written with incorrect information. Although I don't know much about Greek history (although know Athens very well), can we please use the wikipedia history section on Athens? Leaving it the way it is, is a great injustice, especially considering how important Athens's history was for Western civilization. Thanks. --MarinaK 20:41, 29 August 2008 (EDT)MarinaK.

Unfortunately, using Wikipedia content here would be a licensing violation, as our licenses are not compatible. Please see shared:copyleft#Can GFDL content be used on Wikitravel? and shared:Why Wikitravel isn't GFDL. Please do feel free to revamp the section with your own prose, though! --Peter Talk 23:23, 29 August 2008 (EDT)
I think it would be a bad idea anyway to incorporate Wikipedia articles, since they're addressed to a different type of audience than Wikitravel. The criticisms of the Wikitravel Athens Understand section (which is where the history is) are justified; the best solution would be to rewrite it with a view to giving travelers who plan to stay a few days in the city the overview they need to put what they'll be seeing around them into historical context. Sailsetter 10:05, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for clarifying. --MarinaK 13:36, 2 September 2008 (EDT)MarinaK.

District format

I've reverted the district format to what it was before MarinaK's revision, since I believe the previous version is the Wikitravel standard format for district sections -- see for instance the district sections for London or Paris. (I would have posted this comment the first time I changed it back but Wikitravel became inaccessible due to technical problems before I could do it.) Sailsetter 22:16, 29 August 2008 (EDT)

Hi. I'd just like to clarify that the only district revision I changed was correcting the format and grammar to make it more consistent. As an example, I changed this:
the Acropolis - the ancient "high city" of Athens, crowned by marble temples sacred to the city's goddess Athena
To this- The Acropolis— The ancient "high city" of Athens, crowned by marble temples sacred to the city's goddess Athena.
All I have changed is ensuring capitalization, periods at the end of the sentence, to make it a legible sentence. If this is incorrect, please let me know. Thansk --~~MarinaK.
Your changes to the text are fine, but the problem is that in the course of changing it you also changed the internal link formatting so that each district name appears twice, once in plain black text, immediately followed by the name again highlighted as a link, that is, it should look like this:
The Acropolis
but your revision made it look like this:
The Acropolis Acropolis
which is non-standard and looks awkward. Look at the different versions using the history page to see what happened. I've fixed the internal link formatting in the current version so the district links look like the first example above again, but I've left all your other changes in. I've left the em dashes in, though I don't think they're the best format. But there seems to be no standard policy on this -- on other pages in this type of sections, I've seen em dashes, hyphens, spaces, etc. Sailsetter 15:43, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
Wikitravel:One-liner listings. Per policy, these one-liner description phrases are not sentences, should not be capitalized, and should not have periods. We don't have consensus regarding which type of dash to use—for more on that topic see Wikitravel talk:One-liner listings and even more background. --Peter Talk 22:08, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
Hi Peter. I've written in the Wiki one liner listing page about this. I'm not sure why full stops after a one line listing aren't allowed? Thanks --MarinaK 13:31, 3 September 2008 (EDT)MarinaK.
Thanks for explaining. I've been writing the district name twice as when I print it in a pdf, it doesn't appear. However, I'll stick to the one name from now on! Thanks! --MarinaKMarinaK.

Hotels in District section

I've deleted the listings on the Athens page for the Grande Bretagne and Electra Palace hotels since they are listed respectively on the Syntagma and Plaka District pages. If those listings need editing or additions, please change them there. There was some discussion of this, I think in Travelers Pub, and it was said that the policy for a huge city is to have listings on the district pages. I know there are still some hotels on the Athens page, but I've been trying to move them all to the district pages -- help would be welcome! Meanwhile, my understanding of the policy is that we should keep the Athens Sleep section for general remarks and put specific listings on the District pages. Sailsetter 12:25, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

At this point I've moved all hotels from the Athens city page to the District page. Hopefully future contributors will now make their additions to those district pages. Sailsetter 11:06, 7 September 2008 (EDT)

Spata

I've added a page under Attica for Spata, where the main Athens (and Greek) airport is, but it isn't clear to me if the airport ought to be listed there or under Athens -- any ideas? The advantage of putting the airport on the Spata page is that then you could list hotels near the airport there. Otherwise they'd have to be listed on the Athens page, but they're not really in Athens. Sailsetter 18:43, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

Bike rental links

I've removed the bike rental links because they weren't listings. Wikipedia is meant to be useful when printed out; accordingly, it shouldn't have links in the form of you can find the information here. If anyone wants to put these links back in, please do it in the form of listings as specified in Wikitravel style documentation. Sailsetter 15:12, 27 September 2008 (EDT)

Article status: Guide

I suggest that this article meets the criteria for Guide Status. I propose to change the status after allowing for discussion. If anyone disagrees, please describe what specific further revisions you think would be needed to qualify for that status. Thank you. Sailsetter 15:26, 26 January 2009 (EST)

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