Essential Information After You Arrive
Here are some pertinent facts for staying at the School, listed by topic from A to Z.
Absence From Athens
Banks and ATMs
Computers and E-Mail
Driving in Greece
Hours of Operation at the School
Importing Articles Into Greece
Meals in Loring Hall
Rooms at Loring Hall
Sports Equipment and Tennis Court
Telephone and Fax
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 outside of the Academic Program from the Mellon Professor.
The School requires that all 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. The American Express office in Athens issues travelers checks and cashes personal checks for cardholders.
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.
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.
For those participating in the Academic Program, this will only effect how you pay for trips during the year. All the trips are billed in Euros, so we will not accept US Dollar checks. Instead, members must pay for the trips in cash (in Euros). We recommend you do this by withdrawing the appropriate amount from ATMs. This policy will not affect those paying for School bills (namely, 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
PCs running under Windows, Macintoshes, and printers are available for the use of all Members of the School. A limited number of word processing, database, and spreadsheet programs are also available for the use of the Members. Access to e-mail and the internet is available to all Members of the School. The School has wireless internet access 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.
Car rental companies will sometimes rent cars to Americans without the permit, but please be warned that you could be arrested for failure to produce a valid permit upon demand. Some U.S. citizens have been arrested and fined for not having the permit.
All Members who wish to excavate in Greece, or to study, photograph, or draw objects in Greek museums and storerooms must obtain a permit issued by the Greek Ministry of Culture. All Members who desire to undertake such research are requested to submit a letter to the Director of the School giving specific bibliographical information and museum inventory numbers for all objects they wish to examine. 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, at least a month) and are, therefore, encouraged to make their written requests to the Director as soon as possible. Complete information about the excavation permit process can be found here.
The procedure for requesting permission to lead tours to archaeological sites and museums in Greece has changed. The linked information includes a letter from the Ministry of Culture and the relevant section of a law outlining the new process.
According to the provisions of Law 4093/ 2012 (art.1, par. ID.6. ) (FEK/A/222/12-11-2012) 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. 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 (email@example.com) 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.
Hours of Operation
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES: Monday through Saturday: 8:30-14:30
BUSINESS OFFICE: Monday through Friday, 8:30-14:30
BLEGEN LIBRARY: Monday through Friday, 8:30-21:00; Saturday, 9:00-14:30
GENNADIUS LIBRARY: Monday through Friday, 9:00-17:00; Thursday, 9:00-20;00;-Saturday: 9:00-14:00.
ARCHIVES: Monday through Friday, 8:30-14:30.
WIENER LABORATORY: Call for appointment. 210-72-36-313, ext. 224
AGORA EXCAVATIONS: Monday through Friday, 9:00-14:30. Call for appointment. 210-33-10-963
CORINTH EXCAVATIONS: Call for appointment. 27410-31-334
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. See the School’s web page for further information.
Washing machines and dryers are available for the use of the Members of the School on a sign-up basis and at a nominal charge. 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.
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):
- 0.72€ to Greece,
- 0.90€ to everywhere else - including North America.
Postcards require a 0.80€ stamp. Other postal rates are posted on the bulletin board outside the Assistant Director's office. Also, consult the Hellenic Post website for the most up-to-date information.
Meals in Loring Hall
Meals are served six days a week in the Dining Room of Loring Hall. Breakfast: 7:00-9:00 Monday through Saturday; Dinner: 20:00 Monday through Friday. Monday through Saturday, a light buffet lunch is available from 13:00-14:00. Meals are available to all Members and their guests on a “space-available” basis. Any Member who desires to eat at Loring Hall should sign up in advance (by 10:00 of the day in question) for lunches and dinners, either on the sign-up sheet in the dining room or by calling Niamh Michalopoulos (210-72-36-313, ext. 217). Alternatively, you can sign up online here. You must have a pre-paid meal card to eat in the dining room. These cards may be purchased from Niamh Michalopoulou at her office on the ground floor of Loring Hall during the hours indicated on her door. It is not necessary to sign up in advance for breakfast, but one is requested to indicate on the sign-up sheet in the dining room each meal taken.
2016-2017 Costs for meals are as follows:
Breakfast, Monday through Saturday: 4.50 € for Senior Members, 3.50 € for students;
Buffet lunch, Monday through Saturday: 7.50 € for Senior Members, 5 € for students;
Dinner, Monday through Friday: 11.50 € for Senior Members, 8 € for students.
In addition to these meals, tea is served in the Saloni of Loring Hall Monday through Friday from 17:00-18:00 and ouzo before dinner Monday through Friday at 19:00-20:00.
Residents of Loring Hall may make use of the upstairs kitchen in Loring Hall from 14:00 Saturday until midnight on Sunday. Some basic cooking utensils and a microwave oven are provided for the use of the residents, but cleaning and provisioning are the responsibility of the individual. Rules of use for the Loring Hall kitchen are posted in the kitchen.
Although the School does not provide comprehensive medical service, it does retain a School doctor 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. It is advisable to investigate the applicability of one’s hospital or medical insurance policy in Greece before arrival.
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.
Single journey (no transfer) tickets for buses, trolleys, and the tram cost 1.40 € and allow 90 minutes of ride (with transfers) on all forms of public transport (metro, bus, trolley, tram) – except the express buses to the airport and the buses to Saronis. Validate the ticket the first time you get on and keep it with you until the end. Tickets are available in the metro (from machines or the ticket window), at some kiosks (ones that say ΕΙΣΙΤΗΡΙΑ), and at tram stops.
To plan a journey using public transportation, there are a variety of online resources that can facilitate that for you. The website for Transport for Athens (Συγκοινωνίες Αθηνών) has a great website (in Greek and English) to figure out which lines to take. Transport for Athens has also partnered with Google, which means Google Maps can easily plan an accurate journey, too.
Blue Buses and “Yellow” Trolleys
Validate the ticket by sticking it into one of the orange/purple machines inside the bus/trolley.
- The No. 22 bus (Nea Kypseli-Marasleio) stops outside the Gennadeion and outside the Mobil 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 No. 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, No. 200 (Pedio Areos-Agora-Kolonaki), stops near the comer of Patriarchou loakeim on Marasli and goes to Syntagma, Monastiraki, the central markets, Omonoia, the Museum, and returns in a loop.
- The No. 3, No. 7, and No. 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.
Airport bus (X95) for one trip to OR from the airport – 6.00 €. 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).
Metro ” Subway - Electrikon
Validate the ticket by inserting it into one of the machines before going down to the platforms.
- Line one (green) goes from Piraeus to Kiphissia stopping in town at the Thision, Monastiraki, and Omonoia (N.B. Cheaper tickets for travel on this line only are no longer available.)
- Line two (red): goes from Agios Dimitrios (used to be Daphni) to Agios Antonios (used to be Sepolia) stopping at the Fix plant, Akropolis, Syntagma (connection with line 3), the University, Omonoia (connection with line 1), the train stations and other places; and
- Line three (blue): from Evangelismos - East to Doukissis Plakentias (with connection to the suburban rail that goes to Corinth), and West to Aghia Marina, stopping at Syntagma where it connects with line 2, and continuing on to Monastiraki where it connects to line 1. At certain time intervals, the blue connects to the Airport, but the ticket costs 10.00€.
Syntagma to Phaliron, Syntagma to Glyfada, Phaliron to Glyfada. Validate the ticket inside the tram.
Taxis are inexpensive, with the minimum fare of 3.20 €, and more expensive after midnight and during holiday periods. Add-on charges (luggage, transport to and from airport and ports, etc.) are specified bilingually on a card that should be posted near the meter. There is a surcharge for radio taxi pickups. There are flat rates to and from the airport of 38.00 € (during the hours of 6:00 to 24:00) and 55.00 € (24:00 to 6:00).
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 open for occupancy during the entire academic year, from early September through early June. During the months of June, July, and August a limited number of rooms are available. Priority for housing in Loring Hall is given to Fellows of the School and participants in the School’s Regular Program. Rooms not allotted to Fellows and Regular Members are available for occupancy by any other Member of the School. Most rooms are for single occupancy and share common bathroom facilities but there are a few doubles and apartments with en suite baths. Maid service is provided, and linens are provided and changed weekly. Pets are not allowed in Loring Hall, Rooms assigned to Fellows and Members of the School are for their personal use only. They are to be neither rented nor loaned to other persons. Application for rooms in Loring Hall should be made as far in advance as possible to the Residence Manager. Request room online. Smoking is prohibited inside Loring Hall.
The School expects its members to abide by the highest standards of scholarly conduct and accepts responsibility for investigating allegations of misconduct against its staff; 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. Link to full Misconduct Policy.
Shops normally are open Monday through Saturday mornings from 8:00/9:00 through 14:00/15:00. Some shops DO NOT reopen in the afternoons on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Supermarkets and department stores stay open throughout the day.
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.
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.
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 $l00 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.
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 purchase a Greek pay-as-you-go cell phone (or use an “unlocked” American cell phone or European mobile with a Greek SIM card). With a pay-as-you-go mobile, you pay only for outgoing calls and texts. Having a cell phone is indispensable for travel and especially useful on trips, and in an emergency will be invaluable. Phone stores are located on Patriarchou Ioacheim Street (e.g., Cosmote; Wind). You can buy minutes at phone stores or at most kiosks (περίπτερα). For international calls, we recommend using “Skype”, which allows free or inexpensive calls through the internet. 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.
Loring Hall Number 210-72-10-996; Main Building switchboard Number 210-72-36-313; FAX: 210-72-94-047.
To call Athens from North America – 011-30- then the ten digit number
Long distance calls from Athens - Calling North America
Dial 001, then the area code and telephone number. For the codes for other countries, consult www.countrycode.org International calls always have codes beginning with 00
The School has a FAX machine located at the Receptionists' desk. If you would like to use the School's machine, you will be charged a flat fee depending on the number of pages sent and the country to which the message is sent.