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Athens Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Athens, Greece in 2024?

Planning a trip to Athens? Concerned about safety amid mixed reviews? Dive into essential insights on navigating this historic, cultural city safely.

Tobi Miles
March 31, 2024
Athens Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Athens, Greece in 2024?

Safety in Athens isn't a simple yes or no question. Like any major city, it has its safe areas and spots that are a bit riskier, especially at night. Understanding the nuances of safety in Athens will help you navigate the city confidently and ensure your trip is memorable for all the right reasons.

Key Takeaways

  • Athens is Comparable to Other European Capitals in Terms of Safety: While overall crime rates in Athens are lower than many European capitals, pickpocketing and scams are more prevalent, especially in tourist-heavy areas like Monastiraki and Syntagma Square.
  • Stay Informed and Cautious: Being aware of your surroundings and knowledgeable about common scams is crucial. Additionally, certain neighborhoods are advised to be avoided or approached with caution after dark, such as Omonia Square and Exarchia.
  • Safe Areas to Explore: Neighborhoods like Plaka and Kolonaki offer safe, lively atmospheres with low crime rates. They provide a blend of history, culture, and modern lifestyle, making them ideal for tourists.
  • Night Safety Guidelines: Exploring Athens at night is generally safe when sticking to well-lit areas, traveling in groups, and being cautious on public transportation, especially the Metro to avoid pickpockets.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Always carry a charged phone with emergency numbers, such as the national emergency number in Greece (112), readily available. This preparedness is essential for navigating any potential safety issues while enjoying the vibrant nightlife and cultural offerings of Athens.

Understanding Safety in Athens

When you're planning your trip to Athens, it's crucial to get a clear picture of what safety in the city really looks like. The reality is Athens is as safe as any major city in Europe, but like any urban area, it has its complexities. Key to navigating these complexities is understanding the specifics of where and when safety concerns might arise.

First, let's delve into some statistics that shed light on safety in Athens. Recent data suggests that the overall crime rate in Athens is lower than in many other European capitals. However, certain types of crime, like pickpocketing and scams, are more prevalent in crowded tourist areas such as Monastiraki and Syntagma Square.

Crime Type


European Average

Overall Crime Rate









Violent Crime



Awareness is your strongest ally in Athens. Most incidents occur because tourists are not paying attention to their surroundings or are unaware of common scams. For example, always be cautious of overly friendly strangers or any situations that feel orchestrated.

Safety at night in another consideration. While Athens is vibrant and lively, certain areas should be approached with caution after dark. Areas such as Omonia and Exarchia have a reputation for being less safe at night due to occasional protests and the presence of anarchists. In contrast, neighborhoods like Plaka and Koukaki are known for their safety and friendly atmosphere, day and night.

Practical safety tips include:

  • Always keep your belongings secure and within sight.
  • Avoid ostentatious displays of wealth.
  • Stay informed about any local protests or strikes.
  • Use licensed taxis or ride-sharing apps for late-night transportation.

Understanding safety in Athens goes beyond simple do's and don'ts. It's about immersing yourself in the rich culture and history of the city while being smart and aware. By staying informed and cautious, you’ll optimize your Athens experience, embracing all the beauty and intrigue it has to offer.

Safe Areas in Athens

When exploring Athens, safety is likely at the forefront of your mind. Understanding which areas are considered safe can significantly enhance your overall travel experience. Certain neighborhoods stand out for their low crime rates and welcoming atmosphere, making them ideal for tourists.

Plaka and Kolonaki are prime examples of safe areas. Plaka, known as the "Neighborhood of the Gods," is nestled at the foot of the Acropolis and is renowned for its labyrinth of streets filled with history, quaint cafes, and independent boutiques. Kolonaki, a more upscale district, offers a sophisticated atmosphere with its high-end shops, art galleries, and stylish bars. Both areas are not only safe but also embody the vibrancy and culture of Athens.

Here’s a snapshot of safety in popular Athenian neighborhoods based on tourist reviews and local insights:


Safety Rating

Notable Features



Historical sites, family-friendly



Upscale shopping, chic cafes


Moderate to High

Central location, close to parliament



Flea market, vibrant nightlife

Keep in mind, while these areas are deemed safe, maintaining awareness of your surroundings is crucial. Pickpocketing and petty theft can occur, especially in crowded spots.

Additionally, the Syntagma area, while busier, is a hub for political and social activity due to its proximity to the Hellenic Parliament. This makes it a fascinating area to visit, with the added benefit of heightened security.

Monastiraki, known for its flea market and abundance of dining options, offers a more bustling atmosphere. While slightly higher in petty crime, its lively vibe and central location make it a must-visit, especially during the day.

Exploring these safe neighborhoods reveals Athens's multifaceted charm, blending ancient history with modern lifestyle. Each district offers unique experiences and, with safety in mind, promises an enriching visit.

Areas to Avoid in Athens

When exploring Athens, knowing which areas to steer clear of can enhance your safety and overall experience. While Athens is a storied city with much to offer, certain neighborhoods have higher crime rates and may not offer the security that tourists expect. This doesn't mean you should be overly worried, but being informed is your first step towards a secure visit.

Omonoia Square stands out as an area to be cautious around, especially after dark. Historically, it has been a center for commercial activity, but has seen an increase in drug-related crimes and homelessness in recent years. During the day, the square teems with life and can be safe to explore, but it's advisable to avoid it at night when the atmosphere shifts significantly.

Next, Exarchia is known for its vibrant street art and as a hub for political activism. However, it's also associated with anarchist movements and can occasionally experience demonstrations that may catch an uninformed visitor off guard. If you're not looking for a dive into political unrest, it might be best to skip this area.

Lastly, parts of Psiri should be approached with caution. While it's famous for its nightlife and has many safe and delightful spots to explore during the day, its narrow streets can become challenging to navigate safely at night, with instances of petty crime.




Omonoia Square

Caution after dark

Increase in drug-related crimes and homelessness


Generally avoid

Political demonstrations and unrest


Navigate with caution at night

Instances of petty crime

Always remember, these advisories don't mean you should avoid these areas entirely. Athens is a city of contrasts and cultural depth where different neighborhoods offer unique slices of life. Being aware, sticking to well-lit streets, and keeping your belongings secure can make your experience in Athens enriching and memorable. Just like any major city, Athens has its blend of safe havens and spots better left unexplored after dark.

Night Safety Tips in Athens

Exploring Athens by night is an experience not to be missed, but staying safe should be your top priority. As enchanting as the city is after dark, certain precautions can ensure your night adventures are both memorable and safe.

First and foremost, stay in well-lit areas. The enchanting streets of Athens can lead you from bustling areas into quieter, dimly lit ones quickly. Key tourist spots like the Acropolis and Syntagma Square are well-illuminated and generally safe, but venturing into less-lit areas can increase risks.

Group travel is not just fun but also a strategic safety measure. There's strength in numbers, and moving with friends or fellow travelers can deter potential petty criminals. If you're solo, consider joining a guided night tour. Not only will you see the city from a unique perspective, but you'll also enjoy the safety that comes with being part of a group.

Use of public transportation in Athens is generally safe. However, be extra cautious on the Metro. While it's a convenient way to get around, pickpockets are known to operate, especially in crowded compartments. Always keep your belongings secure and in sight.

Safety Tip


Stay in Well-Lit Areas

Stick to illuminated streets and public areas.

Travel in Groups

There's safety in numbers. Join a night tour for added security.

Be Cautious on Public Transportation

Watch for pickpockets on the Metro. Keep your belongings secure.

Remaining alert and aware of your surroundings can make all the difference. While Athens is generally safe, tourists can sometimes be targeted by thieves, especially in crowded or less visible areas. Always carry a charged phone and have emergency numbers handy. The national emergency number in Greece is 112—a number you should memorize just in case.

Enjoying Athens at night is a fantastic experience if you follow these safety guidelines. Embrace the vibrant night-life, the food, and the culture, all while making your personal safety a priority.


Exploring Athens at night can be a thrilling experience, offering you a glimpse into the city's lively culture and cuisine. By sticking to well-lit areas, opting for group travel, and considering guided tours, you're setting yourself up for an enjoyable and secure night out. Remember, staying vigilant on public transport and keeping your essentials close will further safeguard your adventures. With these tips in hand, you're ready to dive into Athens' nightlife, ensuring your safety while soaking in the unforgettable experiences the city has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stay safe while exploring Athens at night?

To maximize your safety while exploring Athens after dark, stick to well-lit areas and consider traveling in groups. Joining guided night tours is another effective way to enhance your safety, offering you the opportunity to explore with the security of a knowledgeable guide.

Are night tours a good option for nighttime exploration in Athens?

Yes, joining guided night tours is highly recommended as they not only offer an added layer of security but also provide an enriching experience of Athens' vibrant nightlife and culture with the assistance of an experienced guide who knows the city well.

What precautions should I take on Athens' public transportation at night?

When using Athens' public transportation during nighttime, especially the Metro, stay vigilant against pickpocketing. Keep your belongings secure and remain aware of your surroundings to minimize risks.

What should I do to ensure my personal safety at night in Athens?

Ensuring your personal safety in Athens at night involves staying alert, sticking to populated and well-lit areas, and avoiding isolated spots. Always carry a charged mobile phone and have emergency numbers handy. Traveling in groups is also advisable for increased security.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 31, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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