THIS IS MY ATHENS - VOLUNTEER TOUR GUIDES

By MICHAEL TURTLE at 20.Oct

Some locals in Athens love their city so much they give free tours to visitors. Not only do you get to meet a resident - you get to see some special places.

Alex meets me in the lobby of my Electra Palace Hotel. He’s a young Greek guy about the same age as me. Instantly I decide I like him. Alex is going to be my friend for the day, I think to myself.

Alex is an archaeologist by training and, until recently, by profession. The economic situation in Greece meant he lost his job last year and has been unemployed ever since. It’s why he’s able to come and meet me on a weekday.

He’s one of the official volunteer tour guides of Athens – part of a program called ‘This is My Athens’. Alex and the others give up their time for free to take visitors around the city and show them some of the things you might not normally see on one of the bigger packaged tours. It’s personal, it’s flexible and – best of all – it’s friendly.

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