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Most travel agencies offer excursions at about the same prices, but CHAT is reputed to have the best service and guides. You can take traditional day or night tours of Athens by bus and be picked up at your hotel. Full- and half-day tours go to many destinations in Attica, including Sounion, Corinth, Delphi; longer tours go to Meteora, Nafpilion, and the Peloponnese. It's best to reserve a few days in advance.

Sightseeing Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour Buses

The best way to get quickly acquainted with Athens is to opt for a ride on the "Athens City Sightseeing Bus," a typical tourist double-decker with open top floors, which stops at all the city's main sights. Those buses run by City Sightseeing run every 15 minutes and tickets cost €18. The full tour takes 90 minutes, but you can hop on and off as you please at one of the 18 stops (including Syntagma Square) all through the day. There is also a new combined tour of Piraeus and Athens, lasting 70 minutes, and departing from the harbor terminal in Akti Miaouli.

Contacts

City Sightseeing (www.city-sightseeing.com.)

Private Sightseeing Guides

It's easy to arrange for a private or small-group tour in Athens.

Contacts

Athens Walking Tours. The 13 certified guides of the Athens Walking Tours company offer walking tours of the Acropolis, as well as a culinary Food Tour around the city's central food market to celebrate both traditional and modern Greek cuisines. 210/884–7269 or 69458/59662. www.athenswalkingtours.gr.

Union of Certified Guides. The Union of Official Guides provides licensed guides for individual or group tours, starting at about €100, including taxes, for a four-hour tour of the Acropolis and its museum. 210/322–9705 or 210/322–0090. 210/323–9200. www.tourist-guides.gr.