You've booked your flight, but now you need to know how to get from Athens airport to city center. Here's all the information about Athens airport transportation, and how to get to the city center from Athens airport you'll ever need.
Athens Airport to City
I've lived in Athens for over 2 years now, and during that time, I must have used Athens International Airport over a hundred times. It dawned on me that whilst I take getting from Athens airport to city center for granted, it might be useful to write a little guide about it. Here's everything you need to know about how to transfer from Athens airport, and how much it costs.
How to get from Athens Airport to city center
Unless you are staying at one of the hotels near Athens airport, you will most likely need to either get into the city center or to Piraeus Port. You have 3 basic options to choose from when looking at how to get from Athens airport to city center:
(Note for my readers who might be flying into Athens airport with a bicycle – You can just about cycle from Athens airport to the city, but it is a real pain. It's best to take the metro).
Each of the 3 basic options of getting from Athens airport to city center has its benefits depending on your situation. Let's take a look at them here.
Athens Airport Taxi
Using the Athens airport taxi service is probably the best option for groups of three or more people, and especially families. The Athens Airport Taxi service has a flat rate of 38 euro during the day (before midnight) to the city center. There is going to be plenty of room for your bags, and the driver can take you directly to your hotel. This method provides the least hassle when getting from Athens airport to city center.
Catching a taxi from Athens International Airport is very easy. Follow the signs, or simply step outside the arrivals area. There will be a long queue of yellow taxis waiting in line. Walk to the right, and then join the queue for the next available taxi.
Welcome Pickups Pre-Booked Taxi
You can also pre-book your taxi with Welcome Pickups and the driver will meet you in the arrivals lounge. This meet and great welcome service doesn't cost you any more money, but it makes life so much easier. You can even pre-order some essential items like a Greek sim card which they will bring for you. During the ride to your hotel in Athens, your driver can also answer any questions you might have.
Pros: By far the easiest method of transport from Athens airport to city center. Great for families with many bags. Door to door service to your hotel in Athens. Use Welcome and get those handy essentials like a SIM on arrival to save you time later.
Cons: Most expensive method (but cheaper than a metro for four passengers during the day). Passengers should note that if you get in a taxi before midnight but arrive at your hotel AFTER midnight, you will pay the more expensive fare of 54 euros!
Dave's Opinion – For groups and families using an Athens airport taxi is the best transport option for getting from Athens airport to the center of the city. Find out more about the service by reading the Welcome Pickups Tripadvisor Reviews.
Athens Airport Metro
Before researching this article, I had never used the Athens airport metro service. I have to say, for people who are arriving in Athens for the first time, it is NOT user friendly. And this is a shame, because generally speaking, Athens has a clean, modern metro system which makes getting around the city easy.
If you are determined to use the metro, then follow the signs out of the arrivals area which say ‘train'. You will eventually cross a road, go up some stairs, and then use a bridge over a road system and to the metro station. It takes about 5 or 10 minutes. My advice when you get to the station, is to buy the ticket from the ticket office and then ask which platform you need to be on.
The direct line connects with both Syntagma Square in the center of Athens, and with Monastiraki which is the next station down. The metro can also be used to go to Piraeus from the airport, but it would involve changing lines. The Athens airport metro map is below.
The Athens airport metro runs every 30 minutes, but only between the hours of 06.30 and 23.30. The ticket prices are € 10 for one person, € 18 for two people, and € 24 for three people. A single return ticket valid for 48 hours is € 18.
Pros: Fast service. Avoids traffic. If you are staying near a metro station along the way, you can get off early.
Cons: Confusing to find your way to the metro station from Athens airport arrivals. Short service hours. It's a long walk to the metro station with bags.
Dave's Opinion – Challenging if you have more than 2 pieces of luggage. I wouldn't recommend this for first time visitors to Athens.
Athens Airport Bus
At 6 euros per person, the Athens airport bus is by far the cheapest transport option. There are 4 separate routes, with the x95 Athens Airport Bus to Syntagma Square being the most popular. If you are staying at a hotel near the center, this is the bus you would take.
The x96 Athens Airport to Piraeus Port bus is the next most popular if you are heading straight to the port to catch a ferry to one of the islands. The other 2 buses are the X93 Athens Airport to Kifisou Avenue bus, and the X97 Athens Airport to Elliniko bus.
When I travel to and from Athens airport I choose to use the bus as it is most convenient for me. (It literally drops me off outside my front door!).
Where to buy the Athens Airport Bus Tickets
When leaving Athens Airport Arrivals from the middle doors, turn right. Start walking along the pavement, and you will see a little blue ticket office. You can buy your tickets here.
Once you have them, continue walking along in the same direction looking for the X95 sign. When the bus pulls up, don't expect an orderly queue Northern European style! Be as quick as you can, and grab a seat! Once you have your seat, THEN you can validate your ticket in the ticket stamp machine at the center of the bus. If you don't, you may be standing for the entire journey.
Pros: Cheap. Runs every 10-60 minutes depending on which route, 24/7. Convenient if staying at a hotel on Syntagma Square.
Cons: You might not always get a seat. Somewhat confusing if you need to get off a few stops before the final destination. Feels crowded. On some days the bus can make the journey in 45 minutes, on others, it might take 90 depending on traffic.
Dave's Opinion – If you know Athens or where you are going, using the airport bus is probably the best option. I would say it isn't the easiest way for people new to Athens or Greece, or for people with lots of bags.
More Information About Athens
So, now you know how to get from Athens airport to city center, it's time to start planning your time in the city. Luckily, I've got some great blog posts to help you out!
This guide on what to see and do with 2 days in Athens ensures you see all the main highlights. If you are looking to go a bit deeper though, my ultimate guide to Athens is the perfect resource. Of course, if you have any questions or comments about visiting Athens I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below!