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Athens Tram

The Athens Coastal Tram goes from Syntagma Square to the Beaches of Glyfada and Voula with stops in Nea Smyrni and all along the coast. Its the best way to get to the sea.

Athens Tram in SyntagmaForty years ago Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis (the first one) was photographed proudly tearing up the tracks for the original tram of Athens, which in the eyes of many people signified the switch from being a city where people relied on public transportation to one where everyone has their own car. This led to the Athens of the last three decades, choked with pollution and traffic, where getting from one side of the city to another required a lot of patience or some imaginative routes, which as more people discovered them also became choked with traffic. It might be said that when the Athenians embraced the automobile they screwed up Athens completely.

With the Olympics came the new highways that diverted cars from the crowded city streets and the new metro that made travel around the city much easier. The new parking regulations and pedestrian streets made it inconvenient to drive downtown and the restrictions on driving based on license plate numbers made it more so because you could only come downtown on odd or even days.

Athens TramAnother piece of the puzzle that has make Athens more fun and easy to live in began service on July 19th of 2004; the coastal tram. These high-tech streetcars run on tracks that begin in Syntagma and end up in Voula. The cars are air-conditioned and comfortable and though a little slow, (the trip to Glyfada takes about an hour), are enjoyable and offer some great views of the coast. A ticket for the 26 kilometer route costs about a euro and must be bought from a kiosk or at special stands in main squares and at the stations and stops. They can be used for 90 minutes so in other words if you want to connect with a bus or the metro you have 90 minutes from the time your ticket is first stamped when any public transportation is covered in the price of that ticket. People under 18 travel for half price and the disabled travel for free. (click on the photo to see full-size)

The tram is worth a trip because it goes through neighborhoods that travelers don't normally visit, like Neos Kosmos and Nea Smyrni where you can still see remnants of the refugee settlements of the twenties. You can go as far as Voula or stop along the way at the yacht marina of Alimos or the beaches on the coast. If you get off at the stop called EDEM you can have lunch at the seaside taverna of the same name, right on the sea. If possible go to the first car and look out the front window for a great view of the city. You can catch the tram at the top of Syntagma Square on Amalias Avenue just across from the National Gardens and the Parliament Building. It also makes it really easy to get into Athens to see the sights if you are staying in the coastal suburbs of Faliron, Glyfada, and Voula.

Yes this is the world's most useless map. But I have another one: Metro and Coastal Tram Map

See Also: Practical Athens Info, Athens Metro, Bus Schedules, Airport Info, George the Famous Taxi Driver

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