For travelers coming to the capital of Greece, this free-of-charge service is about meeting up with volunteer Athenians and exploring some of the most precious aspects of life in Athens.

Since 2011, “This Is My Athens” and Athens Locals have made a valuable addition to the promotion of Athens as an attractive and hospitable destination. We are responsible for the implementation of daily running walking tours, lasting from to 2 to 4 hours, including up to 6 visitors, and which are geared toward travelers looking for authentic experiences tailored to their specific interests and expectations.

I`M A LOCAL
I`M A VISITOR
WHAT IS THE “THIS IS MY ATHENS” PROGRAM?

“This Is My Athens” follows the legacy of the legend that began in 2010 and focused into creating meaningful experiences among visitors and locals. As they greet and connect with visitors, volunteer Athenians take pleasure in getting off the beaten path and share experiences and hidden city gems that remain unknown to the mainstream traveller.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME AN “ATHENS LOCAL”?

Enthusiasm, free time, and drive to let guests from all over the world experience YOUR Athens. If you are an extrovert who enjoys meeting new people from around the world and likes the idea of showing visitors the hidden gems of Athens for at least one time a month then yes, it is quite possible that you are skilled enough to get this fascinating volunteer opportunity! In these daily running walking tours of unparalleled fun and imagination including up to 6 visitors each time, there are no money transactions or tips involved and remember everyone pays his way!

Mutual understanding of your membership’s duties and rights is the key condition in your relation with the City of Athens. The City of Athens Development & Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) along with the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) will value highly your passion for supporting the identity of Athens as a charming and hospitable tourism destination.

WHAT ABOUT LANGUAGE SKILLS?

The more the better! You will have the chance to meet fellow travellers from all over the world, thus being confident with English or any other language is a great perk.

DOES BECOMING AN ATHENS LOCAL REQUIRE ANY HISTORICAL BACKGROUND?

A key thing to remember is that rather than delivering formal tours around renowned sites and attractions, you are expected to help visitors capture the special moments of life in Athens for 2 to 4 hours.

HOW DO I BECOME AN ATHENS LOCAL?

Apply to ‘This is My Athens’ website, create and customize your profile according to your interests. As a follow up you will be asked to attend an orientation session by an experienced volunteer. After you are done you will be ready to showcase Athens and create a memorable experience to potential travellers!

HOW DO I PLAN AND DESIGN THE TOUR?

Since it is up to you to select the visitor who matches your preferences, you are not going to have any difficulties arranging the relevant tour. As part of the registration process, we ask new members to share their Facebook profile; Thus, it is now much easier for prospective visitors to assess how the available local could make the perfect fit for their tour around Athens as well as to clarify a series of issues and let both parties discuss and arrange the perfect tour.

At the same time, the working team of the program is always monitoring the booking process along with providing final confirmation to the visitors and taking care of last minute changes.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ATHENS LOCALS TO USE OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA RATHER THAN FACEBOOK?

Of course Facebook is only the first among several social media channels, which Athens locals can use to promote representative content of their own experiences. As well as staying in touch with your new friends from abroad and encouraging them to provide us feedback directly, you could encourage your followers to consider the prospect of getting involved in voluntary activity for the local tourism sector.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ASSETS OF AN ATHENS LOCAL?

What we are looking from our volunteers is to be responsible and reliable, and above all please avoid non-show ups without a notice. Please also remember that your voluntary activity, does not involve any kind of monetary transactions with the city’s guests.

As long as you respect all people involved in the program and you are regularly prompt in your meetings with visitors, we will enjoy working with you and making the most of your skills and enthusiasm. Tour cancellations on your behalf are recommended to take place only under special circumstances and no less than 24 hours before the scheduled tour through an email to our community manager, so there will be a good chance to identify somebody to replace you.

The City of Athens is ready to recognize and reward the contribution of trustworthy volunteers. In the new era of “This Is My Athens,” a great deal is given to the provision of special offers to all Athens Locals through an extended network of public and private sector partners.

HOW CAN I RECEIVE FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAM?

We hope that you have now a good idea of what it means to be an Athens local in the new era of “This Is My Athens”, but you should not hesitate to contact us by email (info@thisisathens.org).

WHAT’S WITH THE NEW THIS IS MY ATHENS PROGRAM?

Due to the program’s success in the past we have recently launched a renewed version of “This Is My Athens”.

The new platform incorporates user-friendly tools for the communication between visitors and residents along with an enhanced portfolio of tours and activities that will give you a local’s insider perspective on Athens bundled together at a sleek GUI. We recommend you to browse around the website and get a grasp of all new features such as:

  • Experiences associated with the profile of Athens locals and the expectations of travelers.

  • Our volunteers’ special Athens moments which city’s guests will experience during their tailor-made tours.

  • “This Is My Athens” blog, including personal accounts of the city’s unique offering, provided by residents, travel bloggers, local celebrities, and visitors themselves.

HOW DO I START LOOKING FOR MY ATHENS LOCAL?

As long as you are looking for an alternative way of touring Athens, just create your own visitor profile and start looking for your favorite Athens Local.

The whole idea is pretty straightforward! You set your preferences and theme of the tour and you can have a thematic walkabout around Athens and experience the city vibe through as an Athenian.

Be careful though, Athens locals are not professional tour guides; If you are looking for someone who is specialized to disseminate in-depth information about historical facts you should contact the Association of Licensed Tourist Guides.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

According to your preference details, an Athens Locals will bid to confirm availability; in the meanwhile you will receive a link so you can check his/her own profile.

Upon booking confirmation by email feel free to get personally in touch with the local of your choice through Facebook in order to customize and finalize additional details of the tour (e.g. meeting points outside metro stations, number of children accompanied by one or more adults, special moments which should be included during the tour, cost of transportation arrangements that visitors should cover only for themselves if necessary, etc.).

In case you do not happen to receive an answer within 48 hours (which we seriously doubt) we will contact you to find together an alternative arrangement.

Let us know what you are expecting from us! It would be easier for the local to design a tailor-made tour which perfectly suits your needs.

Keep in mind that each of our locals is more familiar with different bits and parts of Athens providing a whole lot different experience.

WHEN DO I NEED TO MAKE THE BOOKING?

The sooner the better; giving time to the local to prepare your tour way in advance would yield the best possible experience. However if you want to make a last minute booking, your request should be submitted at least 3 working days or 5 days in total (including weekends) before the actual date of the tour.

This is important for our volunteers so they can be able to design, prepare and provide you the best possible experience.

WHAT IF YOUR PLANS CHANGE?

If a request for rescheduling the date or time of a tour is requested via email at least two days before the scheduled date, we will do our best to reschedule a tour with your preferred Athens local if there is availability or else we will do our utmost to provide you an alternative option while contacting you via email or telephone. The same case applies should there be any late changes on behalf of our volunteers.

WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TOUR?

We have a great respect for our volunteers therefore, you are kindly requested to contact us at least a day before the scheduled tour if you know you cannot make it, so we can ensure that the volunteer is aware of the tour cancellation.

HOW MUCH DOES A TOUR WITH AN ATHENS LOCAL COST?

Since the program service run by the City of Athens, This Is MY Athens is free and there are no tips or donations involved. During the tour, you are only expected to pay for any food or beverage consumed and to cover for yourself and your fellow travelers for any expenses related to tickets for public transport and entry fees to specific attractions.

Our volunteers will provide an approximation of costs related to tickets and admission charges while planning the tour.

WHERE WILL I MEET THE ATHENS LOCAL?

Athens locals meet with the city’s guests outside metro stations around the city centre (e.g. Syntagma Square, Acropolis, etc.).

HOW MANY VISITORS CAN PARTICIPATE IN A TOUR?

Unfortunately the maximum number of visitors an Athens local can guide is up to 6 guests.

CAN CHILDREN PARTICIPATE IN A TOUR OF THIS IS MY ATHENS?

Yes, just keep in mind that minors need to be supervised by an adult for everybody’s convenience.

WHICH LANGUAGES DO THE ATHENS LOCALS SPEAK?

Tours predominantly take place in English, but there are chances that you would find a local speaking your language.

IS THE WHOLE PROCESS SAFE?

As well as monitoring the booking process, we have taken proactive measures to ensure both your safety and the quality of your experience. All Athens Locals are verified by the City of Athens, have a genuine passion for their city, and it is part of their duties to attend training initiatives undertaken by the ADDMA and the ACVB on an annual basis.

IN WHAT WAYS CAN I GIVE YOU MY FEEDBACK AFTER THE TOUR?

There are various ways in which you can give us your post-tour feedback as a means to assess the structure of the program and consider future improvements.

  1. Write a review of your local, rating him/her and describing briefly the experience in the This is My Athens website

  2. Review the overall experience of the Tour via our online survey

  3. Use our hashtags, #ThisIsMyAthens #ThisIsAthens in your social media postings to share your experience.

I NEED TO PLAN THE REST OF MY STAY IN ATHENS. WHERE CAN I FIND FURTHER INFORMATION?

Before your arrival, please take the time to follow the special moments, which are the listed in the revamped “This Is My Athens” program service, along with the brand new website of the City of Athens and the pages in Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for insider tips.

Upon arrival, you can also pop up into the Visitor Information Centres located at the airport, the Syntagma Square, and the picturesque neighbourhood of Plaka, where our fellow colleagues will provide you more information about the city’s life and offerings.

We did our best to answer your possible questions regarding your “This Is My Athens” tour however, if we missed something we will be glad to provide you with more information! Feel free to contact us via email at info@thisisathens.org.

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