Greece is very much a part of Europe when it comes to business etiquette although still today business dress tends to be formal, even in the hot summer months. English is widely spoken so language will generally not be a problem. One noticeable difference between Greece and western Europe is the prevalence of smoking.
If striking interiors, quirky bespoke furniture and handmade fixtures appeal, the New Hotel is a good choice (www.yeshotels.gr). The 79-room hotel is a member of the Design Hotels group and located next to Constitution Square (Syntagma Square), within walking distance of the city's main business district. It includes the ‘New Taste’ Mediterranean restaurant and a fitness area, with executive floors, lounge and penthouse suite opening soon.
The Funky Gourmet restaurant in the Keramikos (www.funkygourmet.com) area of Athens is one of several establishments currently in favour across the city. Universally praised on review websites, the restaurant is in an old industrial area which is being reclaimed and filled with art galleries (Funky Gourmet showcases art itself) and theatres, and offers quality upscale dining.
Athens is well served with scheduled flights from Aegean, British Airways, easyJet and Olympic. Flights are available from a number of airports around the UK including Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester.
There are lots of different options. Metro Line 3 serves the airport while Suburban Rail Services operate from Athens Central Railway Station (Larissis) and Piraeus. Four bus services also serve Athens International Airport – Eleftherios Venizelos; these are X93, X95 (from Syntagma Square), X96 from Piraeus and X97. Taxis and limo transfers are also available from outside the airport terminal.
Athens is two hours ahead of the UK. The currency (at the time of writing) is the euro. No visa is required. General travel information can be found at www.visitgreece.gr.
A 3km pedestrian zone has been created in the city’s historical centre based around the sacred rock of the Acropolis, site of much iconic architecture and art, not least the photogenic Parthenon temple. Some 4,000 historical items are on show in the new Acropolis Museum.
”After a first business meeting it’s possible that an embrace might conclude matters – and will be a sign of a successful meeting – although a handshake is more probable. It’s normal practice to use a person’s surname rather than first name, certainly at first and, as elsewhere, most business meetings start with general conversation over a coffee”