Is Athens Safe? Explore Athens with Confidence, a 2024 Guide

Athens isn't merely a gateway to the Greek Islands; it's a vibrant city that attracts approximately 6.4 million tourists annually, offering a direct connection to Ancient Greece.

For those contemplating a trip and asking, "Is Athens safe?" we've got the answers. Our 2024 Athens travel guide is for anyone planning to visit Athens. It includes critical safety advice and highlights which neighborhoods might be best to steer clear of. Ensure you consult our guide for a worry-free travel planning experience before finalizing your itinerary.

A woman eating Greek soubvlaki on a tree-lined street with a backdrop of a bright, historic building.

Is Athens Safe for Travelers?

Overall, Athens is considered a safe destination for travelers. Like any large city or popular tourist spot, incidents like pickpocketing or bag snatching can occur. However, this doesn't mean you need to be constantly vigilant or overly cautious. Using common sense and being aware of your surroundings generally ensures a trouble-free experience while exploring the city. The question "is Athens safe?" can be answered with a reassuring yes, provided you stick to basic safety measures.

Is Athens Safe for Female Solo Travelers?

Is Athens safe for a female solo traveler? The answer is yes, with the usual precautions that apply to any major European city. The key is to stay street-smart: steer clear of less desirable areas after dark, and when you're out by yourself, try not to get too absorbed in your phone or music. Solo travel often involves connecting with new people, which can be one of the highlights of your trip. However, it's important to remain cautious about the information you share, such as your accommodation details or travel plans. With a sensible approach, Athens can be a welcoming and safe destination for women traveling on their own.

A lively Monastiraki square in Athens with people mingling, vendors under umbrellas, and historical architecture, with a hill in the distance.

Avoiding Petty Crime in Athens

Petty Theft:

Athens, being a popular tourist spot, does experience incidents of petty theft, including pickpocketing and bag snatching. Such activities are more common in crowded areas, near ATMs, and on public transportation like buses and the metro. When dining out, it's wise to keep your phone and wallet secure and off the table to prevent them from being taken. Fortunately, card payments are widely accepted in Athens, reducing the need to carry a lot of cash.


In many capital cities, including Athens, scams can occur, but being aware of what to watch for can keep you safe. Common scams in Athens involve individuals offering to assist with luggage only to steal it, people placing friendship bracelets on your wrist and then demanding payment, or the old trick of dropping something and pickpocketing you when you help pick it up. The most effective strategy to avoid falling victim to these scams is to rely on your judgment, decline offers firmly but politely, and continue on your way.


Tourists have occasionally faced assault, though it's not a frequent occurrence. Such incidents are more likely to happen after sunset, so it's wise to avoid solitary nighttime walks. Generally, being in a group increases safety, but there are still areas where extra vigilance is necessary. When meeting new people at bars, it's important to stay cautious, regardless of their apparent charm. Be aware of the risk of drink spiking, a tactic used by criminals to rob or assault their targets.

A spacious Syntagma square in Athens lined with trees and lampposts, with people walking and vendors under blue umbrellas.

Neighborhoods to Avoid in Athens

Neighborhoods to Avoid in Athens: Like any major city, Athens has its mix of safer and less desirable areas. When planning your stay, being informed about which neighborhoods to steer clear of can be beneficial. Areas in Athens that are generally considered less safe include Omonia, Exarchia, Monastiraki, Kolokotroni, and Victoria Square.

Safest Neighborhoods in Athens

Having highlighted areas to avoid, let's turn our attention to some of the safest neighborhoods in Athens. These areas are known for their safety and offer a variety of attractions, from vibrant nightlife and art galleries to upscale shopping experiences.

Syntagma Square

Looking for a central location to stay in? Consider Syntagma Square. Not only is it the site of the Greek Parliament, but it also serves as a starting point for exploring the National Garden, a perfect retreat from the city's energy. Syntagma Square offers convenience for sightseers, with the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus all within a short walk. Plus, its excellent public transport links make day trips easy. Given its significance and the presence of the parliament, security levels here are notably high, ensuring it's among the safest places for travelers in Athens.

Kolonaki Neighborhood

If you're looking for an upscale experience, Kolonaki is the neighborhood to check out. It's very close to Syntagma Square, putting you right in the middle of top-notch shopping, dining, and nightlife. A highlight in Kolonaki is Minnie the Moocher, a bar known for its creative cocktails and live jazz. The area is also a cultural hotspot, home to museums like the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, and the History of Greek Costumes Museum. Don't miss Lycabettus Hill, Athens' highest point at 277 meters, where you can either hike or take a cable car to enjoy stunning city views.

Koukaki Neighborhood

Koukaki, known for its university and residential setting, offers a more relaxed atmosphere, making it a hit among tourists looking for a less bustling experience of Athens. It's perfect for those who want to be close to the city's nightlife and dining options but prefer a quieter neighborhood vibe. Koukaki is also a hub for creativity, boasting museums, galleries, and quaint boutique stores. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the pedestrian-friendly Georgaki Olympiou Street, lined with trees and vibrant cafes and bars where locals gather. And for a taste of something local, don't miss out on a visit to Guarantee, a beloved family-run sandwich bar that's been serving customers since 1988.

Psyrri Neighborhood

Psyrri stands out as the go-to district for those who thrive on nightlife. Centering on Iroon Square, this area buzzes with energy, thanks to its assortment of bars and tavernas that offer everything from live music to vibrant party scenes. By daylight, Psyrri adopts a more laid-back ambiance, making it ideal for exploring unique independent stores offering a variety of items, from perfumes to leather goods. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the street art and can explore galleries for distinctive finds. For gastronomy lovers, a visit to the Museum of Greek Gastronomy is a must, followed by a trip to Evripidou Street Market to sample and purchase local foods.

Plaka Neighborhood

For first-timers in Athens, Plaka is an ideal place to stay. Located right at the foot of the Acropolis, it's the city's oldest district, often referred to as the 'Neighborhood of the Gods.' Plaka charms visitors with its quaint, narrow streets adorned with vibrant bougainvillea and elegant Neoclassical architecture. As you wander through the area, you'll encounter numerous historical sites, including Byzantine churches and the Monument of Lysicrates. While many flock to Plaka mainly for the Parthenon and Acropolis Museum, it's also rewarding to explore quieter spots like the Museum of Greek Folk Art and discover the artworks and antiques housed within the Frissiras and Kanellopoulos Museums.

A bustling street scene with pedestrians and a glimpse of an ancient column in the background.

Top Tips for Staying Safe in Athens

Secure Your Belongings

Securing your belongings is crucial, particularly in busy spots. Opting to store valuables in a safe is wise, but when carrying items is necessary, choose sling bags or money belts over traditional handbags or shoulder bags for added security.

Use Official Taxi Services

When traveling around, stick to official taxi services and steer clear of unlicensed ones. Ensure the taxi has a working meter and it's activated before you depart. For convenience, downloading the FreeNow app is a great way to book a taxi when needed.

Be Cautious with Traffic

A reminder that's particularly relevant for those new to Athens. The city's streets are bustling, so it's crucial to cross at zebra crossings and adhere to traffic signals without exception.

Visitors exploring the ancient ruins of the Parthenon on a sunny day with a clear sky.

Choose Reliable Tour Providers like Athens Insiders

When planning tours in Athens, whether it's to explore the Acropolis or enjoy the local cuisine, selecting a reputable tour company is essential. Always read online reviews before deciding to ensure you choose a reliable provider. Considering a trip to Athens? Our team at Athens Insiders provides personalized experiences in Athens and its vicinity, crafted to align with your unique preferences.

In conclusion, navigating Athens safely and enjoying its rich cultural tapestry is entirely feasible with the right precautions and planning. From choosing secure neighborhoods and reputable tour operators to being street-smart about personal belongings and traffic, a well-prepared visitor can explore all that Athens offers with confidence. For those wondering "is Athens safe?", the answer is a reassuring yes, with common sense as your guide.

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