Staying at the School

Here are some pertinent facts for staying at the School, listed by topic from A to Z.

Absence From Athens

Members who plan to be away from Athens for any length of time are requested to inform the Assistant Director of the School of their projected itineraries to assure that all mail, telephone messages, and emergency situations can be dealt with properly. Regular Members are required to obtain permission for travel from the Mellon Professor.

Banks and ATMs

The School requires that all academic year members have an appropriate debit or credit card that allows them to withdraw cash at international banks. If you do not already have a debit card, please obtain one immediately from your bank to prevent problems while abroad. Discuss with them that you will be living abroad for a year. We are required by our auditors to have a policy not to issue loans or cash advances to members. We also recommend that members review their credit card bank and other bank’s international policies (e.g., foreign exchange rates; international transaction fees; international telephone numbers, in case of emergency), and that members inform their banks that they are traveling abroad for the year to avoid any problems.

Cash withdrawals may be made from automatic teller machines at many Greek banks (with the CIRRUS or PLUS system cards), with transaction fees that can range from $2 to $5 on each ATM transaction. Please note that European cash machines do not have letters on the key pad, so if your code has letters you should note their numerical equivalent before coming to Greece.

Hours: Most banks are open from 8:00-14:00 Monday through Friday. Some banks in the Syntagma-Omonoia area are open longer hours and on weekends for changing money. There are also numerous change offices in the Omonoia-Syntagma area.

Check Cashing

Effective as of 4 August 2015, the School will no longer offer its check cashing service to its members, due to the capital controls and current policies for the Greek banks.

This policy may affect how you pay for trips during the year. All School trips are billed in Euros and members must pay for them in Euros. We recommend you do this by withdrawing the appropriate amount from ATMs. This policy will not affect those paying other School bills (School fees and lodging in Loring Hall), which are billed to members in US Dollars and may be paid by US Dollar checks.

Computers and E-Mail

Several desktop computers equipped with word processing, image-editing, database, spreadsheet, and certain other programs are available for the use of Members. Wireless internet access is available in most areas of the School including Loring Hall, the computer room, the Gennadius and Blegen libraries, the Wiener Lab, and Archives. Please contact the IT Department for a password.

Driving in Greece

U.S. drivers who drive in Greece must carry a valid U.S. license AND an international driver’s permit. The U.S. Department of State has authorized two organizations to issue international driving permits: AAA and the American Automobile Touring Alliance. See the US Embassy in Athens' website on 'Driving in Greece' for more information on obtaining an international driving permit while abroad.

Greek law now strictly requires that those renting a car present a valid international driver's permit. Without the permit, you will not be able to rent the vehicle.

Guiding Information

Guiding permits are no longer required for unpaid guided tours to archaeological sites and museums that are led by university professors of history, archaeology and relevant disciplines (Classics, Anthropology, Art History, etc.). The same benefit is extended to directors and professors of Greek and foreign archaeological schools in Greece. 

The new procedure is outlined in a 5 December 2014 letter from the Ministry of Culture (summarizing Law 4093/ 2012, art.1, par. ID.6. [FEK/A/222/12-11-2012]). Instead of applying for a guiding permit, interested parties planning guided tours to archaeological sites and museums must send an e-mail to the Directorate of Museums with the itinerary (dates, sites) and the name and status of the person leading the tour. All visits must be scheduled in accordance with the official site and museum hours. The group leader must be able to provide proof of his/her position at all times.

Click here for more information about guiding

Hours of Operation

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES: Monday through Saturday: 8:30-14:30
BUSINESS OFFICE: Monday through Friday: 8:30-14:30
BLEGEN LIBRARY: Visitor hours are Monday-Friday: 8:30-21:00 and Saturday: 9:00-14:30. ASCSA Membership includes the privilege of 24-hour access to the Blegen Library.
GENNADIUS LIBRARY: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 9:00 to 17:00; Thursday: 9:00 to 20:00; Saturday: 9:00 to 14:00
ARCHIVES: Monday through Friday: 9:30 – 15:30, by appointment only. Prior to their visit, researchers are asked to fill in and submit electronically an application form. Material (up to three boxes each time) is delivered twice a day, at 10:00 and 13:00. Orders have to be placed before 10:00 and 13:00 respectively.
WIENER LABORATORY: Call for appointment. (+30) 213-00-02-400
AGORA EXCAVATIONS: Monday through Friday, 9:00-14:30. Call for appointment. 30-210-3310963
CORINTH EXCAVATIONS: Call for appointment. +30-274-103-1334

Importing Articles Into Greece

The regulations for importing articles into Greece are relatively complicated and cumbersome. No Member should envisage importing items with a large resale value (automobiles, etc.) without being familiar with the procedures and problems involved. 

Click here for information about importing archaeological equipment to Greece

Laundry

Coin-operated washing machines and dryers are available for the use of residents of Loring Hall on a sign-up basis. The machines are located in the basement of Loring Hall between the main wing and the Annex. Instructions for their use are posted along with a sign-up list in the laundry room. The School provides laundry detergent.

Mail

Post office: The Kolonaki post office is located on the comer of Karneadou and Ploutarchou Streets, Opening hours: 7:30 to 14:00 Monday through Friday. Longer daily hours and weekend hours at the Syntagma and Omonoia branches.

Postal Rates: normal letters up to 20 grams (0.706 ounces) now cost 2.00€ for first-class delivery to North America, or 1.00€ for second-class mail. Postcards now cost €1.00 as well. A full table of current postage rates may be found on the ELTA website

Be advised that a Greek law of 1 September 2017 imposes customs duties on all parcels shipped to Greece from OUTSIDE of the EU. All parcels will be subject to a €25 duty, and they can be charged more based on their contents. This applies to parcels shipped through USPS, UPS, DHL, and FedEx. This policy does not apply to envelopes.

Get up-to-date information by the Hellenic Post website

Maintenance

Please report any maintenance issues through the School's intranet, Peneloport

Meals in Loring Hall

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served six days a week, Monday through Saturday (breakfast and lunch only on Saturday), in Loring Hall. Loring Hall is currently closed for renovation. When it reopens, the latest information about meal rates and timing will be posted here. 

Peneloport

Medical Services

The School retains a doctor, Dr. Michalopoulos, who is on call in Loring Hall each Thursday afternoon from 13:00 to 14:00. For each illness, a Member may make three office visits, receive a diagnosis and any necessary prescription of medicine or referral to a specialist without charge. If a Member requires further treatment, consultation by a specialist, tests, x-rays, or hospitalization, he or she is responsible for the cost of such treatment. Members are required to possess appropriate medical or travel insurance before arriving in Greece. 

Passports/Papers

Theoretically, in Greece, as in most European countries, you are required to have your “papers” on you at all times. However, it is unlikely that you will ever be asked to produce them. For North Americans, “papers” means your passport until such time as you get a resident permit. Pickpockets and petty thieves have been prevalent in Athens, especially in the well-touristed areas, and normal street caution should be practiced when you carry your passport around with you—especially in crowded situations, like public transport or market areas.

Click here for more information about obtaining a passport or passport renewal

Permits

All Members who wish to study, photograph, or draw objects in Greek archaeological sites, museums, and storerooms must obtain a permit issued by the Greek Ministry of Culture. Members who desire to undertake such research are requested to submit a letter to the assistant to the Director; the School will make the required applications on their behalf to the appropriate Greek authorities. Members should bear in mind that the application process takes a certain amount of time (usually well over a month). Complete information about research permits can be found at the link below. 

Click here for more information about research permits

Public Transportation

Single journey tickets for the metro, buses, trolleys, and the tram cost 1.40€ and are good for 90 minutes of travel and include transfers. The express bus to the airport is more expensive. When you start a journey, always validate the ticket (tap against card reader) and retain it until the end of your trip. The penalty for not having a validated ticket is 60 times the value of the relevant ticket. Tickets are available in the metro (from machines or the ticket window), at a few kiosks, and at tram stops. 

Transport for Athens operates a website at www.oasa.gr and has partnered with Google Maps, which is therefore an excellent source for directions (but NB: Google Maps timetables are unreliable on holidays).

Metro:

  • Line one (green) (a.k.a. the Ηλεκτρικό) goes from Piraeus to Kiphissia stopping in town at Thissio, Monastiraki, and Omonoia;
  • Line two (red): goes from Elliniko to Anthoupoli with stops near the old Fix brewery, the Akropolis, Syntagma (connection with line 3), Panepistimio, Omonoia (connection with line 1), & Larissa Station;
  • Line three (blue): (Evangelismos) runs from Agia Marina to the Airport, with useful stops at Monastiraki, Syntagma, Nomismatokopeio, and elsewhere; beyond Doukissis Plakentias you need an airport ticket (10.00 €).

Tram

Three lines: Syntagma to Phaliron, Syntagma to Glyfada, Phaliron to Glyfada. 

Airport bus (X95) -  6.00 € each way:

The line terminates at Syntagma, but there are stops along the route at the Hilton Hotel (for those departing to the airport) and Evangelismos (for those arriving). You can buy a ticket from the driver as you board (at the airport you must buy the ticket in advance from the booth next to the express bus stand).

“Blue” Buses and “Yellow” Trolleys:

  • The 22 bus (Nea Kypseli-Marasleio) stops outside the Gennadeion and outside the gas station farther down Souidias and goes to Kolonaki Square, past Syntagma to the National Library, past Omonoia, and to the National Museum, continuing on to Kypseli. 
  • The 60 minibus (Pedio Areos-Akadimia-Lykavittos) stops in more or less the same places and follows more or less the same route although it takes the back streets rather than going direct from Syntagma to Omonoia. It ends at the National Museum.
  • Another minibus, number 200 (Pedio Areos-Agora-Kolonaki), stops near the corner of Patriarchou Ioakeim on Marasli and goes to Syntagma, Monastiraki, the central markets, Omonoia, the Museum, and returns in a loop.
  • The number 3, number 7, and number 13 trolleys stop on Vasilissis Sophias below the Evangelismos Hospital. On the hospital side of the street, they continue to Syntagma, Omonoia, the National Museum, and points beyond.

Taxis:

Taxis are inexpensive during the day (there is a minimum fare of 3.20 €). After midnight and during holiday periods, the rate is steeper. Additional charges are specified on a bilingual card that should be posted near the meter. The flat rate to and from the airport is 38.00 € (55.00 € during the hours of 24:00 to 6:00).

Proastiako (suburban rail):

The Athens suburban railway network is somewhat complicated but the most common use is for travel for Corinth. You now catch this train at Larissa Station (via metro line 2, or a short walk from Attiki on line 1). Corinth is on the Piraeus-Kiato line; the station is unhelpfully located between modern and ancient Corinth, necessitating either a taxi (10 €) or an arranged pick-up. You can also take the proastiako through eastern Boiotia to Chalkida. Check TrainOSE for the current schedules and ticket prices.

 

Travel outside Athens:

Bus, train, ferry, plane: there are many ways to travel around Greece. Intercity bus services are organized on the regional level as KTEL corporations, almost all of which now maintain useful webpages where you can easily find the schedule and even purchase tickets online. If you want to go to Sparta, for instance, consult the website for KTEL Lakonias. Be attentive to the fact that KTEL buses leave from two different stations within Athens (plus a third for KTEL Attikis, which you are most likely to use for trips toward Sounion).

The Greek train network runs north through Boiotia and Thessaly to Thessaloniki, where it branches into western Macedonia and east through Thrace to the border with Turkey. There is also a line in southern Thessaly for travel to Trikala and Kalambaka (Meteora) and to Volos. From Thessaloniki, trains run internationally to Sofia and select other destinations in the southern Balkans. Consult the TrainOSE website for further information and ticket purchases.

For ferry schedules, consult gtp.gr or one of the online ferry ticket sales points (e.g. ferries.gr). Note that ferries leave from Rafina (and, for a few destinations, Lauvrio) as well as Piraeus.

Click here for directions to the School

Rooms at Loring Hall

Residence Manager: Niamh Michalopoulou; office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00-14:00. 210-72-36-313, ext. 217

Loring Hall, the School’s residence facility, is currently closed for renovation. This section will be updated with the latest information when it is ready to reopen. 

Click here for more about reserving a room online

Scholarly Conduct

The School expects its members to abide by the highest standards of scholarly conduct. Allegations of misconduct will be investigated by the School whether they pertain to its staff, members, scholars whose research was conducted with funds from the ASCSA, or scholars undertaking archaeological excavation or survey, research, or publication of archaeological and archival primary source materials in the care of the ASCSA. A full policy is available below. 

Click here for the Personnel Policy and Regulations for Members

Shopping

Traditional shop hours are Monday through Saturday mornings from 8:00 or 9:00 through 14:00 or 15:00, then reopening around 17:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (or other days). In Athens, though, most stores, especially supermarkets and department stores, now stay open throughout the day.

Siesta

You are not allowed to make noise (play the piano or loud music) between the hours of 14:30 and 17:00. The police sometimes enforce this law.

Site Souvenirs

Members are reminded that collecting antiquities, however small, is strictly forbidden by Greek law. Never pick up anything at any archaeological site, not even a single sherd.

Sports Equipment and Tennis Court

The School is the proprietor of a certain amount of sports equipment in varying states of repair currently stored in the Members' Saloni in the basement of the Blegen Library, in addition to some weights outside and behind Loring Hall (adjacent to the back gate). The tennis court is shared by the ASCSA and the British School next door. Use of the court is on a first come, first served basis. The key to the court can be obtained from the guard at the main gate.

Storage

An apotheke for temporary storage of members' belongings is located on the ground floor of Loring Hall. All current members may store their luggage in the apotheke free of charge and keep possession of a locker for one year after their membership lapses. After that period, a $100 annual rental fee will be charged; this rate will increase each year until the individual removes his/her belongings or renews his/her membership at the School. We will automatically discard items in unpaid lockers. Neither the American School nor any member of its staff is liable in the event of loss or damage of any kind. Because of the limited locker space, before storing articles in the apotheke, members should talk to the Residence Manager. 

Note that Loring Hall is currently closed for renovations, and the storage area is not available. This page will be updated with the latest information when Loring Hall is ready to reopen. 

Student Loans

The School is not authorized to sign for student loan deferments. All students should clear this with their home institution before coming to Greece.

Telephone and Fax

All students are required to have a cell phone that functions fully in Greece, including on trips. Having a cell phone is indispensable for travel and invaluable in case of emergency. Students normally acquire a Greek phone number, either purchasing a Greek SIM card for use in an unlocked personal phone, or by acquiring a Greek pay-as-you-go cell phone. With a pay-as-you-go mobile, you pay only for outgoing calls and texts. The three major networks are Cosmote, Vodafone, and Wind; all three have stores on Patriarchou Ioacheim Street, close to the School. You can buy minutes at phone stores or at most kiosks (περίπτερα). For international calls, we recommend using Skype or other similar services. Making calls to the U.S. with a Greek landline phone costs approximately 0.42€ per minute or less; inexpensive phone cards are available at most street kiosks.

The School has a fax machine located at the Receptionists' desk. There is a fee for use, depending on the number of pages sent and the country to which the message is sent. 

More Contact Information