Board of European Students of Technology Local BEST Group Thessaloniki

Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
Board of European Students of Technology
Local BEST Group Thessaloniki
Spring Course 2007:
Home …Smart Home!
Survival Guide
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
Dear Participant
The Local BEST Group of Thessaloniki would like to welcome you in
Thessaloniki and the Aristotle University! We will do our BEST to
make you feel comfortable and live together 10 crazy days along
with other European Students, Greek boys and girls :)
Here is your Survival Guide. In the following pages you will find out
everything you need to know on how to reach Thessaloniki, what to
bring along, what is going to happen here during those days, how to
approach Greek guys or girls, etc. etc.
We are looking forward to your coming here!
The …disorganizing Team
Ps.: This Survival Guide under constant update. Especially the “how
to reach us” part, which is the most crucial one, so always check for
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
1| What to send us really soon
Please send us an email as soon as possible mentioning the
Arrival day in Thessaloniki, time and means;
Departure day, time and means;
A telephone number where it will be possible to contact you just
before the course – if needed;
Whether you are vegetarian or allergic to something.
We need this information as soon as possible so as to make our
planning. Send them by email to [email protected]
Optional information you may send:
Litres of alcohol can you drink within 1 hour;
Sex preference - boys, girls or both;
Whether you can stand partying until 6 am while having a class
at 9 am.
This information could also be ...useful, but in any case they are
just optional.
2| General Information
2.1 Topic of the course
“Home …Smart Home!”. Just in case you didn’t notice…
2.2 Date: 20th March – 30th March
The first day of the activity will be on Monday (20th) and the
last one on Thursday (30th). We are ready to welcome you from
Monday morning! In case you have any trouble arriving on that
exact date (no plane correspondence etc), it is very important that
you inform us in prior.
2.3 Accommodation
You will be hosted in a Hotel near the University Campus in
exact center of the city; Aristotelous Square. You can get a glimpse
of the hotel in the following page:
The hotel is placed near some of the most crowded places by
students every night!
We hope you don’t mind mixing boys and girls :)
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
2.4 Meals
You will be served Breakfast in the Hotel. Lunch and Dinner
will usually be served in the Student Mensa, except for the days we
have something else planned for you, but that is our job :)
2.5 Academic Part, Social Part and Schedule
2.6 Fee
An amount of €40 will be requested for your participation in
the whole Course. Depending on your country of origin this fee is
being reduced (check your Local BEST Group’s promotion materials
about the fee your country’s participants are bound to pay). Of
course, although all expenses will be covered, you are advised to
take along some pocket money, as well, for any extra (drinks in
pubs, phone calls, presents, stamps ...)
2.7 Before you begin your trip…
Just before all the fun begins, there’s a little paper work that
needs to be done:
2.7.1 Visa
If you need one, inform us and we will provide you with an
Official Invitation. It simplifies a lot the procedure of getting a Visa.
BEST countries that need Visa for Greece are: Bulgaria (until
January 2007), Macedonia FYR, Romania (until January 2007),
Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. If you are in doubt, make a
2.7.2 Passport
Check if it is still valid! :)
Greece is within the Shengen zone, so if you come from a Shengen
zone country you don’t need a passport. If you plan to visit any
neighboring country though, you need a passport. In any case, you
are strongly advised to have one with you, because in case of
trouble (plane loss, change of plans, etc.) without one the only
…escape road will be Italy. To pass through all other neighboring
countries you NEED a passport.
2.7.3. Travel plan
Let us know about it as soon as possible. This will be of great
help to us in case of delay or other problems. See Paragraph 1.
2.7.4. Travel & health insurance
This is very important for you. You are strongly advised to
have E111 health insurance, or any similar document. BEST
Thessaloniki is not providing any sort of insurance to you. Usually
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
travel and health insurances for students are fairly cheap and will
save you from a lot of trouble, in case something goes wrong.
Consult a local Travel Agency about these issues or your Local BEST
2.7.5. What to bring with you
Of course, you are old enough to pack your own suitcase :),
but just so that you don’t get surprised, summarizing the above
please also bring the following:
ID Card, Passport and Visa (if needed)
A personal health and/or travel insurance
A “EURO<26” or “ISIC” card. You can get discount in all
museums, many shops and trains. Your national Student
Card is valid for very few cases, but you can bring it along
In the beginning of spring weather in Greece can be quite
unpredictable. You don’t have to bring too warm clothes (it
is slightly impossible for the temperature to be less than
15C), a raincoat or an umbrella are a must though. Bring
also some long sleeves for the weekend excursion ;)
Some descent clothes for the Opening Session (It doesn't
mean that you have to wear a smoking or an evening
Sleeping Bag and swimming suit (they will be needed
during the …weekend excursion!)
Sheets won’t be necessary. Bring though towels and your
personal sanity stuff.
Leisure suit for outdoor activities (sports, games, halara
walking on the woods…oops...)
A recipe of traditional food from your country and a
bottle (at least ;-) of some typical drink from your
country for the International Party. And guys, cooking
isn’t only meant for women. If you don’t cook, ask your
mother for a simple recipe. Let this warn you all ;) (lazy
girls are also included in this warning)
A typical song! (just know how to sing it :P)
And to make it perfect, it would also be nice to bring:
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
 CDs with your favorite music (international or preferably
from your own country)
 A musical instrument, if you play one
 Any special ingredients you need to prepare a traditional
dish from your country. Our shops have a lot of stuff, but…
 A camera! So that you will always remember the amazing
days and nights we spent together ;)
 Anything you thing would be nice to bring
 Your enthusiasm, funny ideas and BEST Spirit!
3| Greece
Officially named Hellenic Republic (in Greek Ellás or Ellinikí
Dimokratia), Greece is the southernmost country of the Balkan
Peninsula. It is a land of mountains and sea. It is difficult to be out
of range of either, a fact that had an important influence on the
country's economic and historical development. Mountains have
historically restricted internal communications, but the sea has
opened up wider horizons. Greece has an area of 50.949 square
miles (131.957 square kilometers), out of which one-fifth
constitutes the Greek islands (2000 islands).
Greece has a history stretching back almost 4.000 years. People of
the mainland, called Hellenes, organized great naval and military
expeditions, and explored the Mediterranean and the Black Sea,
going as far as the Atlantic Ocean and the Caucasus Mountains. One
of those expeditions, the siege of Troy, is narrated in the first great
European literary work, Homer’s Iliad. Numerous Greek settlements
were founded throughout the Mediterranean, Asia Minor and the
coast of North Africa as a result of travels in search of new markets.
During the Classical period (5th century B.C.), Greece was
composed of city-states, the largest being Athens, followed by
Sparta and Thebes. A fierce spirit of independence and love for
freedom enabled the Greeks to defeat the Persians in battles that
are famous in the history of civilization - Marathon, Thermopile,
Salamis and Plataea. In the second half of the 4th century B.C., the
Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, conquered most of the then
known world and sought to Hellenise it. In 146 BC Greece fell to the
In 330 A.D. Emperor Constantine moved the Capital of the Roman
Empire to Constantinople, founding the Eastern Roman Empire,
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
which was renamed Byzantine Empire or Byzantium for short, by
western historians in the 19th century. Byzantium transformed the
linguistic heritage of Ancient Greece into a vehicle for the new
Christian civilization. The Byzantine Empire fell to the Turks in 1453
and the Greeks remained under the Ottoman yoke for nearly 400
years. During this time their language, their religion and their sense
of identity remained strong.
On March 25, 1821, the Greeks revolted against the Turks, and by
1828 they had won their independence. As the new state comprised
only a tiny fraction of the country, the struggle for the liberation of
all the lands inhabited by Greeks continued. In 1864, the Ionian
Islands were added to Greece; in 1881 parts of Epirus and Thessaly.
Crete, the islands of the Eastern Aegean and Macedonia were added
in 1913 and Western Thrace in 1919. After Word War II the
Dodecanese islands were also returned to Greece.
FACTS about Greece
Official name: Ellinikí Dhimokratía (Hellenic Republic)
Form of government: Unitary multiparty republic
legislative house (Greek Chamber of Deputies [300])
Chief of state: President
Head of government: Prime Minister
Capital: Athens
Official language: Greek
Most followed religion: Eastern Orthodox
Monetary unit: 1 euro (€)
Population (1998): 10.542.000
Density (1998): persons per sq mi 206.9, persons per sq km 79.9.
Urban-rural (1996): urban 65.7% - rural 34.3%.
Sex distribution (1996): male 49.23% - female 50.77%
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
4| Thessaloniki
Check the Spring Course site!
It has quite some stuff ;)
5| Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH)
Soon to be updated
6| Life in Thessaloniki
The currency used in Greece since 2002, is Euro (€). You are
advised to have your currency exchanged to Euro before you come
here, because the exchange rates for some Eastern European and
ex-Yugoslavian countries currency are rather high.
6.1 Public transportation
In Thessaloniki the only means of public transportation are Buses
and Taxis.
Buses - Tickets
The bus ticket for going anywhere within the city network
costs €0.50 if you buy it beforehand and €0.60 if you buy it on the
bus. There are also one day tickets that cost €2 and one week
tickets that cost €10. Tickets must be shown upon request. There is
an €18 fine to pay if you get caught without a ticket… be aware!! ;)
The minimum rate you can pay is €2.50, while counting starts
from €1.00. An average route inside the city will cost you between
€2.50 - €3.50. Big luggage cost €0.80 extra, while if you take a taxi
from the train or the bus station you will have to pay €1.00 extra.
Don’t take it from the airport :) In case you need it though, the
route price is fixed to €10.00 (Airport – City Center).
6.2. Banking hours
Monday to Friday 08:00h to 14:00h. There are plenty of ATMs
around the city covering most of the European and Worldwide cash,
debit and credit cards. So don’t worry about that.
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
6.3. Some current prices
The cost of living in Greece is considered one to be one of the
highest in Europe (unfortunately, only the cost…). So better know
the prices beforehand.
The estimated prices for certain articles are as follows:
1 lit milk - between €1.00 and €1.40;
1 bottle of water (0.5 l.) – €0.50;
1 bread roll – €0.40 and €0.70;
1 cup of coffee (espresso, cappuccino, nescafe) – between €2.00
and €3.50;
A chocolate bar – between €0.60 and €1.30;
A snack from a kiosk – between €0.50 and €1.20;
1 beer – between €0.45 and €0.80 (at shops); between €3.00
and €5.00 (in a café, bar or disco);
1 lit of wine – between €4.00 and €8.00
1 meal – €1.50-€2.50 (in a canteen); €3.00 or more (in a fast
food); €6.00 or more (in an economic restaurant);
Cinema - between €5.00 and €7.00, depending on the day and
A packet of cigarettes (20) – between €1.50 and €2.20 (greek
brands); between €2.70 and €2.90 (international brands); 25
grams of tobacco €3.00.
A CD – between €15 and €20;
An EU Stamp – €0.60;
A packet of condoms – between €2.50 and €3.50
6.4. Shopping
Local shops (clothing, footwear, book shops, baker’s etc) are
usually open in the morning (09:00h to 14.00h) and in the
afternoon (17:30h to 20:00h) from Monday to Friday. On Saturday,
these shops are usually open from 09:00 to 14:30 and are closed in
the afternoon. They are also closed on Sunday.
Shopping Centers are open everyday from 09:00 to 21:00.
Supermarkets are open from 09:00 to 20:00 from Monday to
Saturday. Most international credit cards, especially VISA, are
widely accepted. Thessaloniki is a commercial city, where one can
buy almost anything. Tsimiski, Gounari, Venizelou, Ermou are some
of the streets in the city center, which are especially well known for
their intense commercial activity, apart from many Shopping
Centers throughout the city.
6.5. Telephone
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
System - we have numbers of 10 digits. The numbers in the
area of Thessaloniki start with 2310 and we have 6 digits. The
numbers starting with 693, 694, 697, 699 are mobile operators.
Numbers starting with 800/801/807 are free numbers. Greece’s
International Country Code is: +30
International calls: 00 + country code + phone number
If you need assistance to dial international calls, you can dial 169
for recorded instructions in English, German and French.
Public phones – There are a lot of public phones, mostly
card phones, which are paid on money unit basis. You can buy
phone cards for €5.00 or more. With the €5.00 card you can have a
minimum average of 25 minutes of talking to a fixed phone.
(generally speaking, calling inside the E.U is much cheaper than
calling any other European country). You can find though a lot of
special cards for calling specific countries in a massively cheaper
Mobile phones – While entering Greece your mobile is most
probable to be automatically connected to a Greek Mobile Network.
Those are: Cosmote, Vodafone, TIM and Q Telecom. Unless your
home company is TIM or Vodafone, which are international
companies, the cheapest one for SMS is Q Telecom. In Greece you
can use mobiles compatible to GSM 900 and GSM 1800 Networks.
Emergency phone number: 112
Ambulance: 166
Police: 100
6.6. Weather and climate
Weather during the time of our Spring Course is usually good. The
temperature during the day may vary from 15 to 25C, and it is
usually sunny. During the night though the temperature falls. The
climate in Thessaloniki is usually humid and sometimes windy, just
like any other port city. The only thing you have to be aware of is
that the weather during spring may be quite unstable; meaning that
it may rain from one moment to another, so bring raincoats and
umbrellas. Also bring long sleeves for the weekend excursion ;)
You could always check these sites for the latest weather forecasts
before you travel to Thessaloniki.
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
6.7. Vocabulary
Greek is the official language in Greece (duuuh!). Here we will
try to strike the quote “It’s all Greek to me!”! Well, let’s see…
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
Hi! How are you?
Gia su! Ti kanis?
My name is ...
To onoma mu ine …
What’s your name?
Pos se lene?
I’m glad to meet you!
Xarika pu se gnorisa!
See you later.
Ta leme argotera.
Good afternoon!
Goodnight, see you tomorrow!
Kalinixta, ta leme avrio!
Antio / gia su
You are welcome
May I have the menu pls?
To menu parakalo
How much is it?
Poso kostizi?
Too much!
Fotia ise!
Do you speak English?
Milas aglika?
Sorry I don’t speak Greek!
Signomi den milao elinika
I dont understand
Den katalaveno
I would like a ticket
Tha ithela ena isitirio
Is this bus for …?
Afto to leoforio paei …?
To avoid stupid guys on the street…
Go to hell!
Ai sto diaolo!
To approach a girl/boy
You are very beautiful/handsome Ise poli omorfi/omorfos
You have beautiful eyes
Exis orea matia
I want to kiss you
Thelo na se filiso
I love you!
Advanced approaching techniques...
I m a strawberry, Eat me!
Ime mia fraulitsa, fae me!
I want to show you my
Thelo na su dikso tin silogi mou
butterflies collection...
me tis petaludes...
I want have sex with you, NOW
Thelo na to kanoume, TORA
Legend: “g” as “w”ool, “x” as “h”ome, “d” as “th”e
Well, you’ll be able to practice more when you come here :)
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
7| How to reach us
No matter what your travel plans are, please let us know in
advance. We need to know the exact date, time and place of your
arrival in order to pick you up or give you directions on how to find
us! There are 5 ways to reach Thessaloniki
Plane – The International Airport of Macedonia is located 12 Km
away from Thessaloniki and has connections with most of the
major European cities. In case you take a flight to Athens, you
have to catch an internal correspondence flight or take a train to
Thessaloniki (see below).
Connections from the airport to the center of Thessaloniki:
o Wait for one of the BEST members to pick you up, if you
are a lucky person ;)
o Take the bus number “78”. Buses depart every 30’ mins
and the journey lasts approximately 30’ mins. The ticket
costs € 0.60.
o We strongly advise you not to take a taxi. It usually costs
around 10 Euros, but you never know 
Tip: Not many budget airlines fly to Thessaloniki, while many of
them fly to Athens. Consider this, and try to find flights to Athens.
It might save you a lot of money.
Train – Thessaloniki has train connections with almost every
neighboring country (Macedonia FYR, Bulgaria, Turkey).
o International Trains: You can catch direct trains coming to
Thessaloniki from the Ljubljana-Zagreb-Belgrade-SkopjeThessaloniki line or
the Budapest-Bucharest-SofiaThessaloniki line. There is also a direct train from Istanbul.
For more info check: If you are a train
adventure seeking type you can also check:
There you will find train connections and correspondences
from virtually any part of Europe.
o Internal Trains: In case, as mentioned above, you get a
train from Athens, there are 11 trains departing from
Athens to Thessaloniki every day.
A normal train (five during the day) costs €15 and the
journey lasts 6h and 30mins. We strongly advise you not
to take an InterCity (6 during the day). The price
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home!
difference is huge (around €30 more) and the journey lasts
only one hour less. For details check:
Bus – Thessaloniki has bus connections with all neighboring
countries and countries such as Italy, Germany, Poland etc.
There are no major companies though coming to Thessaloniki,
thus you have to search on Local Travel Agencies of your
country. You can also check
For the timetable of buses inside Greece (i.e. Athens Thessaloniki) check Buses are
though more expensive than trains in Greece, thus it is
recommended that you take a train.
Car – If you have a great spirit of adventure, you can always
come by car. Road networks in neighboring countries are not
always good, though. You will also have the opportunity to
drive among the …well-known worst drivers of Europe – the
Greek drivers!
Hitchhiking – Anyway, in case you get in trouble, just drop us
a line…
Some European Traveling Hints
before you start...
Know that you'll not very often find a flight between the airport you
usually use and your destination. Very often you'll have to look for
airports in the “neighborhood” (don't forget to look right across the
borders) and start or continue your journey by bus or train.
...if you want to fly compare prices of different regular airlines compare prices of different budget airlines cool budget airlines comparison tool, worldwide data
Also don't forget to check out websites of the different budget
airlines (you never know), here you have some of them:,,,,
... train your way through Europe
The best website to check is For price information, it can
be that you'll have to call a travel agency.
Board of European Students of Technology
Spring Course 2007: Home …Smart Home! This is quite a powerful site. Type the desired journey
and get a root of trains, buses or a combination of both on it. It’s in
Slovakian but you don’t need to know Slovakian to understand it.
Just type the journey you want and check the results. You can find
correspondences virtually from any to any place around the
mainland of Europe.
Finally, if you plan to come from Athens, you are strongly advised
to read Athens’ Survival Guide. (
8|Useful addresses
Soon to be updated.
9| Ending Notes
We can never emphasize enough how much we would like you to
give us your travel plans. It would be very useful to know it as soon
as possible to arrange to pick you up. If you need any further
details or help and/or advice please do not hesitate to contact us at
[email protected]
We hope that the information on this document was useful to all the
Participants. We hope to see you all here in April and have lots of
fun together. Any other questions please post them to the mailing
See you! :)
BEST Thessaloniki
Board of European Students of Technology