Published On: Mon, Apr 15th, 2024

‘I was scammed by a tourist trap restaurant in Greece’ | Travel News | Travel


It’s always frustrating to feel like you’ve been ripped off. Tourist traps tend to charge travellers inflated prices for substandard food or services.

Restaurants, attractions and shops can all be tourist traps and it can be hard to avoid them in a busy holiday destination.

I was caught out by a tourist trap in Athens and ended up paying a whopping fee for some terrible food in a restaurant.

Although we ordered a Greek feta cheese and tomato sandwich, we were charged for a platter and the food was terrible.

So what mistakes did I make when I fell for this scam

Location

We’d just arrived in Athens and we wandered into the city’s most touristy neighbourhood, Plaka.

As we were tired and hungry after the journey, we chose to eat at one of the first places we saw which was a mistake.

Tourist trap restaurants are much more likely to be located around the city centre or close to major attractions while the best bargains can usually be found down a side street.

Staff and setting

The waiting staff were pushy and eager to get us inside. The restaurant also didn’t have a menu outside so we weren’t able to check the prices before going in.

Once seated, the menu was in English. These are all warning signs of a tourist trap restaurant.

Pushy staff will generally try to encourage tourists inside without letting them see a menu. Restaurants favoured by locals will usually have menus in the local language although in top tourist destinations, there’s usually also an English menu.

As soon as we’d ordered, we could see the food at tables around us wasn’t very good but it was too late to leave.

The food

Once the unwanted platter arrived, we wished it could be taken away again. The waiter had ‘misunderstood’ our order and brought a much more expensive dish to the table.

The food was poor quality and some of it tasted like it had come straight out of the microwave. Although we complained about receiving the wrong order, they refused to offer us a refund or let us leave until we’d paid.

If you’re unsure about a restaurant, see if you can see any of the food on another customer’s table and if it looks bad – give it a miss.

Reviews

As soon as we left, we checked the reviews and saw that tons of customers had had a similar experience to us. If we had looked before sitting down, we’d never have chosen that restaurant.

It can be tricky to avoid tourist traps but taking recommendations from local residents is a great place to start. If you do want to eat in the city centre with the view of the Eiffel Tower or the Trevi Fountain, it’s probably best to resign yourself to the fact you will be paying inflated prices.



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