When arriving in a new destination, it can be a little overwhelming and daunting at to know how to get to your desired location from the airport, especially when you may not speak the language, know the transport system, or have your geographical bearings.
The Greek capital of Athens is one of the most breath-taking cities in Europe, and one well-worth exploring; there are also several different ways to get from Athens Airport to the City Centre, and this guide will give you a breakdown of all that you need to know:
4 Ways to get from Athens airport to the City Center
1. Athens Airport to the City Centre by Metro
One way of getting into the City Centre of Athens from the Airport is by taking the metro; the metro system in Athens is very clean and modern, and easy to use around the city, however, it must be noted that getting it from the airport can be incredibly difficult, and not the best option for those visiting the city for the first time.
If you do wish to use the metro to get into the city centre, you will need to follow the signs that say ‘train’ once you leave the arrivals area. You will be led to a road that you will need to cross, before going up a flight of stairs, before then crossing a bridge over a road system, at which point you will end up at the metro station.
This journey takes anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes, and may not be the best option if you have lots of bags, struggle walking long distances and climbing stairs, or have a stroller, etc.
Once you arrive at the metro station, you will need to buy your ticket from the ticket office, at which point you will need to check with them which platform you need to be on, depending on where you are traveling to.
There is a direct line, which connects with Syntagma Square and Monastiraki, both of which are very popular stations in the heart of the city. Also, if you are traveling to Piraeus Port to catch a ferry to the Greek Islands, or are boarding a cruise ship, you can also get transfer here via the metro; you will need to take the blue line, before changing at Monastiraki, where you will then change to the green line.
This metro service runs every 30 minutes and operates between the hours of 6:30 am and 23:30 pm. The price for one ticket is 10 Euro, though if you are travelling as a pair, the price is 18 Euro. By extension, if you are travelling as a group of three, the price is 24 Euro. If you will be returning to the airport within 48 hours, you can purchase a single return ticket for 18 Euro.
Overall, this is a decent way of getting from the Airport to the City Centre of Athens, though if you have lots of luggage, it is not the best choice.
2. Athens Airport to the City Centre by Bus
The cheapest way of getting from Athens Airport to the City Centre is by bus; at just 6 Euros per person, this is an incredibly popular option for budget-travellers. You will find that there are four separate routes that you can take to get to the city centre, and it will largely depend on whereabouts in the city you are going; they are as follows:
- X95 – the x95 Athens Airport Bus goes to Syntagma Square in the heart of Athens; this is one of the most popular and commonly used buses for tourists, particularly if you are staying in the city centre.
- X96 – the x96 Athens Airport to Piraeus Port bus is another very popular bus for tourists; this bus travels from the airport to Piraeus Port, which is the main port for Athens; this is where you will go if you are catching a ferry to the Greek islands, or if you are embarking on a cruise.
- X93 – the x93 bus route leaves Athens Airport and travels to Kifisou Avenue, which is slightly out of the city centre, and one of the less popular and commonly used routes.
- X97 – the x97 bus departs from Athens Airport, and travels to Elliniko; like the x93 bus, this is not primarily used by tourists and is a less popular and commonly used service.
To buy your tickets for the bus services, you will have to purchase them from the small blue ticket office; once you leave the Athens Airport Arrivals from the doors in the middle, turn right, walk along the pavement, and you will find the office. After purchasing your tickets, make sure you keep walking in the same direction until you see the sign for the bus terminal.
Once you have got on the bus, you will need to find a seat (note this can be very busy so be quick!), and you will need to validate your ticket in the ticket stamp machine, which is situated in the middle of the bus.
Overall, this is a great way to get into the center of Athens; the buses are relatively frequent, depending on the route, and average between 10 and 60 minutes, so you will never have to wait too long; every route also runs 24/7, which is incredibly convenient. However, it must be noted that you are not guaranteed to get a seat on one of these buses, so if you struggle with standing for long periods of time, or hate crowded places, this may not be the best option for you.
3. Athens Airport to the City Centre by Welcome Pickups Pre-Booked Taxi
An alternative to getting a taxi from Athens Airport to the City is to get a Pre-Booked, Welcome Pickups Taxi; this is a hassle-free way, that costs the same price as the regular taxi but does not involve waiting in line with your luggage, and you will be met by a driver in the arrivals lounge. In addition, you can also pre-order some essentials for your trip, such as a Greek sim card, that will be brought to you.
The drivers are friendly, professional, speak English, and will happily answer any questions that you may have about your time in Athens.
This is one of the easiest ways to get into the center from the Airport, and is a fantastic option for groups, or families, particularly if you have a lot of luggage; it offers a brilliant door to door service right to your hotel and means that you do not have to spend time in a queue.
However, it must be noted that if you get in the taxi before midnight, though arrive at your hotel after midnight, you will, unfortunately, have to pay the more expensive fare, which is a total of 54 Euro.
4. Athens Airport to the City Centre by Taxi
For the quickest and most direct option, though definitely not the cheapest, taking a taxi from the airport to the city center is the most efficient mode of transport, particularly if you are traveling as a group or a family. This is the perfect, hassle-free option for arriving at your hotel or accommodation, and there will be plenty of room for all of your luggage.
The Athens Airport Taxi service does offer a flat rate for the journey into the city center, which is 38 Euros in the daytime, however, after midnight, this price will increase. To locate the taxi rank at Athens International Airport, you will need to follow the signs that will direct you outside the arrivals area; you may find that there is a long que of passengers waiting for the yellow taxis. To get in line, you will need to walk to the right, where you can wait for the next available taxi.