Athens airport to city transport | How to get from Athens airport arrivals to city center

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.

How to get from Athens airport to city center by bus

Athens Airport to City

I've lived in Athens for over 8 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.

Athens Airport Transfers Update 2024

As we all know, the pandemic has changed the way we live and travel, possibly for the foreseeable future.

When it came to airport transfers in the past, people might have avoided taxis because of the expense. Now, the little extra they cost is worth it for the peace of mind.

Taking a taxi means you avoid being crammed in with lots of other people on the Athens airport metro or bus.

For this reason I recommend pre-booking an airport transfer as a Covid secure way to travel into Athens city centre. You'll avoid the crowds and save time. The cost is not much more than a regular taxi, and it is a lot less hassle all around.

If you want pre-arranged airport transfers by taxi, click here: Welcome Taxis

If you are a larger group of people looking to get to Athens city from the airport, I suggest these private transfers with a larger vehicle: Mercedes Passenger Pickups.

Here's some more details of how to travel from the airport to Athens using all the transportation options available.

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:

  • Taxi
  • Metro
  • Bus

(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 Taxis

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 40 euro during the day (before midnight) to the city center. The nighttime rate is 55 Euro.

The set prices for airport taxis from Athens International change from year to year. You can double check the prices by asking before you get into the taxi.

** Find out about airport taxis by clicking here **

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.

Getting from Athens airport to city center by taxi

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.

In the shoulder seasons, you don't have to wait long for a ride into the city from the airport. During July and August, the queue times can be quite long as it's the busiest time of year.

The downside of getting a taxi from the airport to the center of Athens from the regular queue, is that unfortunately, stories of tired tourists falling for scams do surface from time to time.

** Find out about airport taxis by clicking here **

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 costs a little more money, but it makes life so much easier. You also know the exact price of the Athens airport fare, so there will be no unpleasant surprises.

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 as it's slightly more than a regular taxi from a queue, 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.

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.

Athens airport metro

Thankfully, you've got my guide to help you out!

If you are determined to use the Athens metro from the airport, 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 the metro departs from for the city.

Athens airport metro

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.

How to get from Athens airport to city center - Athens airport metro map


Prices from Athens Airport Metro Station

The Athens airport metro runs every 30 minutes, but only between the hours of 06.30 and 23.30. The one way ticket prices are €9.00 for one person. A return ticket is 16.00 Euro. 

Pros: Fast service as a journey takes about 38 minutes . Avoids traffic. If you are staying near a metro station along the way, you can get off early. Great for getting into Athens city center from the airport.

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 – This method of Athens airport transfer is challenging if you have more than 2 pieces of luggage. I wouldn't recommend this for first time visitors to Athens. Convenient option if your hotel is by a metro station.

Athens Airport Bus

At 5.50 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 public 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. I've a full guide here: How to get from Athens Airport to Piraeus – Taxi, Bus and Train Information

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

Athens airport bus service to the center of the city

When leaving Athens Airport Arrivals from the middle doors, turn right. Start walking along the pavement, and you will see a little blue ticket kiosk. You can buy your tickets from this ticket booth.

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.

Athens Airport to Athens City Centre FAQ

Readers who plan to land at Athens International Airport and want to find the best way to get to downtown Athens often ask questions such as:

How much is a taxi from Athens airport to city center?

Taxis at the Athens airport are charged a fare of €40 for day trips and €55 after sundown. Taxis outside of central Athens are charge by meter depending on distance traveled.

How do I get from Athens airport to the Metro station?

The Athens Airport metro station is only a 10-15 minute walk from the terminal. To reach it, you'll simply need to go up one level via either escalator or elevator and walk over the pedestrian bridge.

Is there Uber in Athens?

Your Uber app will work in Athens, but as the system uses the officially licensed taxis, you shouldn't expect the ride to be any cheaper.

How do you get to the metro in Athens?

There are three metro lines in Athens connecting many of the central and outlaying suburbs, along with the Athens Airport and Piraeus Ferry Port.

How to get from Athens Airport to the city center

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!

Dave Briggs visiting an island in GreeceDave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer who lives in Athens Greece. In addition to this guide on how to get from the airport to Athens centre, he's also written hundreds of other travel guides and itineraries to Athens and the rest of Greece. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond:

121 thoughts on “Athens airport to city transport | How to get from Athens airport arrivals to city center”

  1. Hi Dave,
    We are 3 people travelling to Athens. We need transportation from Athens airport to syntagama square. We will have total of 3 carry bags and 3 checked in bags (big ones). Can one taxi accommodate it? When I try to explore your welcome pickups option it asks me to enter how many Luggage pieces, should it be 3 in my case?

    • Hi – Yes just enter 3. The trunks of the Athens airport taxis are huge! They’ve seen plenty of people with regular luggage and carry on. Just keep in mind that if you’ve pushed the boundaries on your carry on size luggage and it doesn’t fit in the trunk, it might be an uncomfortable ride if one piece has to go on someone’s lap!

  2. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the article – I land in Athens this Tuesday 1:30pm and fly out 7:40pm for Heraklion.

    I’m mulling over whether I should chance getting into the city via the metro to Monastiraki to look around for an hour or two? I’d be leaving my bag in an airport locker before heading out.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    • Tricky one!
      You’d probably be able to get 2.5 hours max in the centre. Enough time for a walk around the historic centre (without going in anywhere).
      You’ll get some views of the Acropolis and other ancient sites well enough from the outside.
      If you can live with the potential stress of worrying about getting back in time, it could be worth it (I’m totally not that kind of person!!)

  3. Hi Dave,
    I read that the metro now runs direct to Piraeus. Is that still true?

    Also, what bus and metro can I take from Syntagma Sq to Piraeus?


    • Hi Dani,

      The airport metro now runs all the way through to Piraeus.
      The X80 bus runs from Syntagma Square to Piraeus May to October
      The blue line (line 3) runs from Syntagma square to Piraeus Port.

  4. Hi,
    I think we will use the bus as we generally go for the cheapest option and won’t be in a rush! I also see you’ve said that the bus between the airport and the centre is 24 hours, is this still accurate for May 2023? We’ll be arriving at a sensible time but our flight departs Athens to leave at 7:05am and we would rather avoid paying for a taxi? Where can we buy our tickets to return to the airport via bus? Thank you!

    • Hi Amelia,
      In May it won’t be as busy as later in the year, so the bus will be fine (although you should expect it to be quite full!).
      Buses still run 24/7 – however be aware that there have been some local strikes recently as we near the Greek elections.
      In particular there may (almost always is) be disruption on May 1st. Check with your hotel for the latest strike information.
      For the return journey, you either buy the ticket at the small booth on Syntagma square before boarding, or if you got dropped off at another stop on the way, will just buy the ticket from the driver as you board.

      • Hi Dave,
        We are travelling to Skiathos in July for 2 weeks and was thinking of flying to Athens for the day during our holiday.

        We have been looking to see if it is worth the one day travel. Ive found the flights but wanted some advice to see if it is really the journey for the day given the transfer timea from the airport.
        The flights I have found from skiathos .. we woukd land in athens at 11:30 am and fly back at 22:30 the same day.
        Would much appreciste your thoughts on this ro see if is worth it just for the day or to book a separate trip Athens some other tume.

        Many thanks

        • Hi Paula,

          It would give you about 8-10 hours in Athens, which is enough time to see the main highlights (Itinerary: One day in Athens)
          In July you get longer daylight hours and opening times which is great. Keep i mind it’s also hotter though, so if you went straight to the Acropolis you’d be hitting peak heat of the day.
          If it’s the only way you can ever see Athens, then sure, it’s worth it!

  5. Dave,

    In the United States, there are companies like Super Shuttle and Go Shuttle that provide service between airports and hotels. They’re independent and are not connected with individual hotels. They usually use vans. Most likely, passengers will be stopping at more than one hotel before they get to their destination. But these shuttle services cost less than taxis.

    Are there any similar shuttle companies in Athens?

    • None that I am aware of Ross. The bus and taxi driver unions are pretty strong in Athens – even Uber doesn’t operate in Greece (it ends up being a taxi at a normal rate).

  6. This is a great article – thank you! We visit in another month and I would really like to take the Metro. We will have one carry-sized luggage with us, each. I have concerns cause I read some ppl saying pick-pockets can happen on the Metro… will we look like easy targets with our luggage bags? Would be riding in the late morning before lunch time….

    • Hi Mia,
      Awareness is key, and as you are already aware that their may be pickpockets, you’ve got a head start!
      Tips: Keep phones, passports and wallets where no one can get at them. Sit with your baggage(don’t put it in the racks). Move to the metro doors a stop before you are due to get off. Keep together and don’t let people get between you.
      These are precautions. I hope, like tens of thousands of other people every day, your ride on the Athens metro goes smoothly and you wonder what all the fuss was about!!
      Enjoy Greece

  7. Hi Dave, this is a fantastic guide – thank you!

    I am travelling with a bicycle, but would like to get from Athens airport to Nafplio by public transport (I’ve heard getting out of athens is a bit scary on a bike, and we don’t have loads of time and want to focus or cycling time in the nice bits!). Can we take bikes on any of the buses? I’ve seen lots of route suggestions using the X93 from the airport to bus station, and then on to Nafplio.

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    • Hi Sophie,
      Apologies for the late reply – Maybe you’ve even already traveled now?
      In ‘normal’ times, the X93 would be a good choice. Perhaps problematic getting the bikes (which I guess are in boxes?) on board. Given the situation nowadays, I have no idea, as they may even restrict the number of people on the buses.
      To take the metro (if the bus refuses) would involve a few changes, but it is possible.
      From the bus station to Nafplio would be fine – the KTEL buses would take the bikes (preferably wrapped).
      If you did decide to cycle to Nafplio I would say it is a two day ride from the airport – probably best to stop at Corinth for the night.
      A little more details here: Athens to Nafplio

  8. My husband and I are planning on arriving in Athens in 2 weeks and was wondering which would be the best mode of transportation to the Monistiraki area considering the Covid situation right now.

    • Hi Lisa,
      I’d personally not think about the bus.
      Instead, the taxis which can be pre-booked here – Welcome Taxis are the best option, as they clean after every use. You can check out their site, and I work closely with them so can recommend.
      The metro would be the next best choice. Remember masks!
      Enjoy Athens!

  9. Hi Dave
    Hope you are well,
    I will be in Athens for 2 days in March.
    Then im off to rome on a 7am flight.
    My question is,is it safe to travel to airport from syntagma like around 3am?I am planning to take taxi from my airbnb apartment at 3am to syntagma square and wait for a bus from there to the you know if its easy to flag down a taxi at 3am or i have to book?any idea how much it would cost?apartment is around 10mins drive or 2 metro station from syntagma according to the host.
    I know taxi fare would be costly at this timing and im trying to save as much as i can
    Is it safe to walk around & wait for a bus in syntagma at 3am?
    Please help
    Thank you so much

    • Hi Anna,
      To answer your questions in a kind of reverse order:
      Yes, Syntagma is safe. It’s opposite the Parliament House so probably the safest part of the city in fact! At 3 am, depending on the day, there may be plenty of people around.
      The metro will have stopped running at that time, so yes you’ll need a taxi.
      The taxi will be double fare because of the time of day. Use the link in this article to prebook one if needed, that way the price is set.
      You could expect a taxi directly to the airport to cost 55 euro or even more depending on your location, so you’ll need to do the math and factor in convenience to see if it’s worth it.
      Hope all this helps!

  10. Hi! Please help meee!!
    I’m coming from Rome to Athens for my flight home to Melbourne.
    If my flight from Rome arrives at Athens at 9:10am and the flight from Athens to Melbourne is at 11:30am, do you think I will have enough time to catch it? Will I need to go through customs?
    Or is it a better option to stay a few days in Athens and book a different flight?

    Thank you x

    • Hi Ailene,
      I guess the keyword here is ‘If’ the flight arrives from Rome on time, right!!
      If it does, there’s enough time to connect with your next flight assuming you are pre-checked in.
      If you have to go through customs, and check in again though, perhaps this timing is too close for comfort.
      If you are using the same airline, they will be able to answer if you can check in for both flight.
      If you are using a budget airline from Rome to Athens, and then another airline from Athens to home, you would almost definitely need to check in again, and maybe 2 hours is not enough to do it comfortably.

  11. I plan on getting the bus to the city but if I want to get the bus back (to the airport) can a ticket be purchased on the bus? Sorry if you mentioned this and I’ve missed it.

  12. Dave,

    I will be arriving Athens very early May 2020, and arriving at airport 16:35 which means probably not able to take transport till 17:15. I am going to stay about 400 m from Victoria station for a couple of days. Would I be better off taking the metro line 3 to Monastiriki (I am aware of pickpocket problem), and then change to line 1 to Omonoia (direction Agios Antonios), or the X95 bus to Syntagma, and then hope to get a taxi to my hotel?
    In addition from the area near Victoria station to Piraeus would I be better with a taxi or public transport?

    Appreciate any advice you can provide,

    Thanks in advance,

    Patrick O’Shea

  13. Thank you for confirming for me to just use Welcome Pickups. I used them in Paris a few months ago and had a great experience with them. All of your information here is very useful. 🙂

  14. Thanks Dave – just what I needed to understand the options better. If I buy a Metro 3 ticket can I interchange at Syntagma Square to get to Akropoli without having to buy another ticket? Many Thanks

    • Hi,
      Yes if you buy a metro ticket, it is valid for 90 minutes, and you can swap metro lines as much as you wish. You’ll just need to scan the ticket at the turnstyles.
      Akropoli is a popular destination for new arrivals, so you won’t be the only ones doing it!
      Additional note: Whilst I have had zero problems on the metro in regards to pickpockets, they do exist. If there’s one place you need to exercise heightened awareness, its the Syntagma – Akropoli section of your journey.
      Common sense prevails – keep eye on luggage, no wallets in backpockets, be aware of who is around you.

  15. Hi Dave, thanks for providing this site. does the metro line 3 leave from the athens airport or do you need to change from suburban to metro to get to Syntagma Station.

    • Hi,
      There’s no need to change lines going from the airport to Syntagma Square. It goes straight through (with stops on the way of course).
      You’ll see everyone else there with their suitcases as well 😉

  16. Hi Dave,
    Hope you are well. Your site is amazing thank you for sharing all this valuable information.
    I am wondering if there are many road tunnels in Athens, from the airport to Syntagma Square and from the square to the port of Piraeus / cruise docks. Many thanks in advance! Have a great evening.

    • Hi Estellou,
      There are no tunnels of any serious length (just going underneath other roads actually). Are you cycling by any chance? If so, you can definitely cycle as I’ve done these routes myself. (From the center of Athens, there’s now a new bike path that will take you down to the coast near Piraeus).

      • Hi Dave, Thank you very much for the information.
        This is really helpful, your page is fantastic.
        We are not cycling but I just have some issues with long tunnels unfortunately.
        We are staying few days in Athens and then will visit some Islands. From Athens center to the port of Rafina, there should not be tunnels right?
        Many thanks again for your great help. Have a great sundat evening.

        • Hi,
          I think you mentioned in an email you’re going to Tinos? Fantastic island! We were just there a few weeks ago. Travel guides to Tinos going live on the next few weeks!
          In answer to your question, there are no tunnels from the center to the port at Rafina.
          Rafina Port information here: Rafina Port

          • Hi Dave, Thanks so much. Your travel blog is amazing with so much in it for everyone and your answers are always so generous. I will definitely share your blog and promote you! Thank you.

  17. hello Dave
    My son and myself are arriving at Athens airport on Wednesday 18th @ 2pm.
    Taxi website is quoting nearly 70 euro to go to Nea Smyrni.

    Is it because its not quite the city centre?

    thanks Mike

    • Hi Mike,
      I’ve just used the site myself. I put in Grand Hyatt as a destination, and the price shows me 40 euros. (this is realistic).
      I put in Nea Smyrni Square (just 2 kms away), and it shows 59 euros (Not at all realistic)- very weird!
      All I can suggest is to have a play with it if you want to pre-book, or just take one from the airport. I did consider suggesting taking a metro into Syntagma Square, and then getting a taxi from there, but I don’t think it saves you anything.

  18. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the guide, really useful information there. My girlfriend and I will be visiting in September, and I’m wondering your personal opinion on which route you think best for us. We’ll have to travel to the airport a couple times (once to pick up a rental car and the other to leave). What service would you recommend for us, first time visitors? We’ll both most likely have a suitcase and a backpack, and theft is something both of us worry over. But, at the same time, we’d like to save money on taxis and just take the bus. So, thoughts? Are the buses safe enough, or should we just give in and spend the money on the taxis?

    Thanks a lot,


    • Hi Vaughn,
      The bus from Syntagma Square to the airport is perfectly safe to use(everyone is going to the same place after all!). Just it might be a bit crowded.
      The metro would be your next bet – no guaranteed seating still but it feels more roomy. That’s the place to be more aware, although most pickpockets after money would target people coming the other way – I’m sure if you are heading to the airport, they assume you’ve spent all your money already 😀
      I’ve got another article worth a quick read: Is Athens safe to visit

  19. We will spend 2 nights in Athens before boarding our cruise ship. Is it better to take the metro to Monastiraki and stay in a hotel; then take the green line to the port? My husband and I will have one big bag and 2 rolly bags. Is Monastiraki within the central city area or is it better to stay in a hotel in Syntagma area? Is it far to walk to the ship from the metro? Or should we take George’s Taxi Service? Thanks much.

    • Hi Val,
      Syntagma and Monastiraki are really close by to each other, so it doesn’t make much difference which one you choose. They will both be close to the historic sites you will want to see when in Athens! Getting the metro (assuming you land when the metro is operating) will be your best choice.

      From your hotel down to the cruise ship, I suggest taking a taxi rather than the metro, as the port is big and confusing, and you’ll likely do a lot of walking once out of the metro to find where you need to be. I’ve got a full guide here on how to get to Piraeus from Athens.
      My recommendation for pre-booked taxis is Welcome Taxis. I’ve been receiving lots of comments and emails from readers mentioning how pleased they are with the service. You can take a look at their pre-booked offerings here: Welcome Taxis

      Have a great trip to Greece!

  20. Hi,
    I’m traveling in a group of 5 and arriving at 0130. Would we be required to take 2 taxis or are there minivan taxi options in the taxi line? Does it cost more than the normal flat rate?

  21. HI Dave,

    So my friend and I are arriving in Athens next Sunday at 16:30 and then driving to Meteora on Monday. Originally I was going to rent a car, drive to Athens that night, and then drive to Meteora. But someone on Reddit said you have to use the highway next to the airport to get to Meteora, so it would make more sense to rent the car Monday morning and take a cab to Athens Sunday night. Is that what you would recommend? Or should I use the metro Sunday night and Monday morning? Cabs seem pretty expensive there from the airport.

    • Hi Mike,
      Driving in Athens central is a bit chaotic and parking a bit of a pain.
      I’d personally hire the car the following day.
      You’re correct in that the taxis are pricey, but the bus and metro are both cheaper options that get you into the centre.

      • Thanks for the quick reply. Which car rental company do you recommend? I see so many mixed reviews. I’m trying to save money on the rental but I realize if a price looks too low then there are probably a lot of hidden fees.

        • Hi Mike,
          I’ve no personal recommendations for local companies unfortunately.
          When I travel overseas myself, I’ve often found myself in the same situation. In Cyprus for example, we went local and it worked fine. Most of the other times I’ve gone with a ‘name’ like Hertz.

  22. Hi Dave, first time to Greece for us with only an afternoon in Athens before heading back to the airport for our main stay in Paxos. We land from Cape Town at 13.05pm, getting through passport control and baggage pick up I’m assuming we’ll be out there by 2pm, what will traffic be like going into the city centre (staying at Amalia Hotel syntagma square)? Holidaying on the South African Rand we are budget conscious, don’t want to spend all that money on a 90min taxi ride if the metro would be faster and more cost effective at that time?
    The following morning we need to be back at the airport 8.50am, again, what would traffic be like at this time and which method of transport would you recommend? Your feedback would be hugely appreciated!! Many thanks

    • Hi Jacqui,
      If there’s two of you , the metro will be the fastest and most cost-effective way.
      Go to the counter (not machine) to buy a ticket, and ask about a return ticket – I’m sure there’s a discounted ticket that’s valid for 48 hours (or maybe 56).
      If you’ve gone for this option, you should allow an hour for your return journey to the airport at least on the metro.

  23. Hi Dave! Thank you so much for your travel advise here, it’s SO helpful for first time travellers like my boyfriend and I.
    We are arriving at the Athens airport on a Sunday at 13:35 PM. Its our first time travelling so we’re not so familiar with the safest travel options in Athens. – Would you recommend taking the metro? or is it too risky with pickpockets? Is there room for luggage and sitting on the bus or is it likely we’ll have to stand up? And is it safe to trust the taxis from not ripping us off?

    We’re staying at Athens Center Square hotel, which I just found out is just at the border of the area Omnia which many don’t recommend. Some travellers who stayed there have in reviews reported seeing drug addicts, homeless people and drugdealers right outside the hotel. – Is it safe to stay there if we don’t go outside after dark?
    Unfortunately we can’t cancel our reservation, but if its downright unsafe we don’t wanna stay there.

    We’re leaving the following Saturday on a flight from Athens airport that leaves at 8:30 AM, which means departing from the hotel around 6 AM – which transport would you recommend us taking?

    I hope you can help. Once again thank you for your awesome advise in here 🙂

    • Hi Marianne,
      I hope you had a good day so far!
      It sounds like it will be your first time in Greece (or maybe overseas?!) – so exciting times ahead!!
      Let me directly address the transport first.
      I think given your circumstances, it would be less stressful and super easy just to prebook a taxi to meet you at arrival. All the information is in the above article. The reason being, that you would need to change metro lines, you’ll probably have had a long flight, and if it’s your first time in another country, taking the easy way just makes sense.
      For your return flight, you’ll be a little more experienced in Athens. You’ll probably be better getting to Syntagma, and then getting the airport bus.
      Ok, with that out of the way… the area you are staying!
      You’re actually not in a terrible area. Arguably closer to Psyri than Omonia.
      In Psyri you can find great street art, awesome cafes and bars, and wonderful food.
      The central market is also close by which I’m sure will be a real eye-opener for you!
      There is a chance you will see homeless in the immediate area, but in all honesty, they really aren’t going to bother you.
      Walk together at night, be streetwise. It’s perhaps seedy but not what I would call dangerous.
      It would be a shame not to go out at night at all – you would miss so much! Perhaps just get a taxi back if you are far from the centre to where you are staying if it feels more comfortable. We don’t have Uber or Grab here. There is an app called Beat but I’ve never used it.
      When using taxis, hand over smaller notes only so they don’t palm the change, and keep an eye on your route using Google maps.
      In regards to pickpockets – They do operate on some metro lines, as the same with every capital city in the world.
      A bit of perspective though – I’ve lived here five years and never lost a wallet, and my girlfriend has lived here all her life and never lost anything.
      It all comes back to keeping aware of what’s going on, and a bit of common sense – No wallets in back pockets, backpacks on backs, that sort of thing.
      Please join our Facebook group and of course sign up for the newsletter through the form you’ll find at the bottom of this article: 3 days in Athens
      Have a great time in Greece!

      • Hi Dave, thank you so much for your help! We are now at ease, have prebooked a taxi for the trip and are looking forward to a great stay in Greece 🙂

  24. Hi Dave, thank you for your very helpful posts! I will be arriving in Athens at 01:00 and will need to get from the airport to a hotel (which I have not yet booked). I am female and will be traveling alone. I would prefer to avoid the high price of a taxi after midnight, but do you think it will be feasible and safe for me to take the bus by myself at that hour? (I’ll have at least one big suitcase, but I am fit enough to carry it and don’t mind rolling it around as long as it’s safe to do so). I could make sure to book a hotel that is on the bus route. If you have any guidance for this, it would be much appreciated.

    Also, I’ll meet a friend the next day to take the 5pm ferry to Hydra. If you have any suggestions on how to spend the next morning and afternoon, I would be very grateful!

    • Hi Christina,
      The bus would still be running, so that would not be a problem.
      In order to stay somewhere on the bus route you would need to stay at Syntagma Square, or at least very near.
      Syntagma Square will still have people wandering around at the time (you’d probably get there at 03.30 ish), and there will still be cafes and bars open.
      I think it comes down to what sort of person you are, and how tired you will be after the flight.
      If you are confident, full of energy, and street smart, you would be ok taking the bus.
      However, you might choose to offset the cost of the taxi against cheaper accommodation just beyond syntagma square.
      My opinion is to do whatever you feel safer and most comfortable with.
      A good way to answer this, would be if you would be comfortable turning up in your own county’s capital city at the same of day after a long flight.

  25. Hi my dad is coming to Greece next week and i wanted to ask, what will he need to do to get the bus that goes to Karpenissi. He wont have anyone there waiting for him and wanted to pass on some detail to him. What will he need to take from the airport to get to the bus service.

    • Hi,

      Your dad needs to get to KTEL Liosion bus terminal, which is on Stratigou Dagli 26. The easiest way by public transport is to get bus X93 from right outside the Aiport terminal.

      Tickets cost 6 euro – he can buy them at a kiosk just outside the bus and then validate them once on the bus. He has to make sure he gets off at KTEL Liosion terminal because the bus continues to another bus terminal, called KTEL Kifissou. Buses to Karpenissi are at 7.45 and 17.15.

      Alternatively, he can take a taxi. Getting there on the metro requires a change and a bit of walking, so it’s really not ideal.

      Hope this helps!

  26. Hi, Dave!

    Thanks for your good advice re how to travel from Athens airport to the city center. I will, however, need to use a suburban railway leading from the airport towards Neratziotizza (no idea what on Earth this name means, though 🙂
    At Neratziotizza, I’ll disembark and walk some 500 m to my destination point on foot.

    It seems that you do not render your valuable advice to those who have to use a Suburban Railway, nay? Still, if you can, inform me please how can I get at the Suburban Railway at the airport.

    It’s my first trip to Athens and your advice will be appreciated muchly.

    • Hi Ros,
      I also have no idea what the name means – or how to pronounce it 😀
      Good news though – I do know how to get there!
      It’s the same procedure as getting the metro into the centre.
      Once at the train station outside of the airport, instead of asking to get to Syntagma Square ask about your stop.
      They’ll give you the suburban ticket you need – but you must ask for clear instructions as to what platform to stand at!

  27. Hi Dave
    I’m coming into Athens on my own at 2.30am and it looks like an expensive taxi is my only option, though i have found a website have you heard anything about it? Im wondering if the Taxis are safe and is there cheaper options at that time of night

    • Hi Rachel,
      At that time you only have two options – the bus (if you happen to be staying close to centre/Syntagma Square, and a taxi.
      I’ve never heard of gettransfer.
      If you do need to get a taxi, I highly recommend pre-booking using the service described in the article as you’ll know the price upfront.

  28. good morning,
    We are going to Athens ti
    his summer and staying at Best Western Candia Hotel. Which transport sytem is the best from: Venizelos Airport, please?


    • Hi Rachel,
      It depends on the time of day and your energy levels!
      The absolute easiest way is definitely taxi. Details in the article to pre-book if you prefer.
      The second best way is by metro. You would need to change lines at Syntagma to the red line for the station nearest your hotel (ΣΤ.ΜΕΤΑΞΟΥΡΓΕΙΟΥ), and then walk the distance to your hotel.

  29. Hi Dave! My partner & I will be arriving at ATH on April 29 and staying until May 04…at which time we will be heading off to Rhodes for four more days and then on to Kos for 3 days after that.
    While in Athens, we will be staying at The House…is it easy to get to by using the Metro?
    Do you suggest renting a car while we are in Athens or on any of the islands?

    • Hi David,
      I hope you are easing into the weekend!
      I can’t say as I know where The House is in Athens.
      If it is by the metro though, it is very easy to get around.
      I would suggest against hiring a car to get around Athens itself – the historic centre is for the most part walkable with the odd metro journey. Also, parking is a real pain in Athens, and the driving is not for the faint of heart!
      On the islands though, I’d suggest hiring a car to get around to different areas of the islands. It will give you a lot more flexibility than public transport, and is way more cost efficient than taxis!

  30. Hello
    Thanks a lot for nice info here.
    My wife and I will have 8,5h between flights and we wantto go for a round to see the Acropolis.
    Is metro the fastest way to get there? Otherwise what would you reccomed?

    • Hi Jacek,
      Close call between the taxi and metro – you’d need to change lines on the metro at Syntagma to get to Acropolis.
      Probably within 10 minutes of each other though.

  31. Hi Dave. Great blog! We are four guys who will be doing a bicycle tour through Europe during the next three months. We will be following the Eurovelo 8, 9 and 6 routes. We are flying from JHB to Athens this coming Monday and will be staying at the Nubian Hostel for a couple of nights. What would you say is the best way for us to get our bicycles from the airport to the hostel?

    • Hi Wihann,
      I hope you have a great tour through Europe!
      I’ll assume your bikes will be ready to ride from the airport:
      From the airport to the hostel, I’d say the best way is on the metro – you should use the last carriage.
      Technically, only two bikes are allowed at any one time, but … well, this is Greece!
      I’ve not checked where your hostel is, but you may need to change line. You could even cycle between the last stations.
      If your bikes are still in boxes:
      A bit of a pain, but the metro could be the way to go again.
      If not, look for a company online called baggagement (I think that’s their name) – they might be able to offer something.
      BTW – I cycled from Athens through Europe a couple of years ago. If you’re after a little last minute inspiration, take a look here – Cycling from Greece to England.

      Happy tailwinds for your trip!

  32. Hi Dave, great blog thanks! I’m arriving at Athens airport tomorrow at 18:10, only with one bag hand luggage and I need to get to Novotel – 4 Mitchail Voda Str 104 39.
    Am happy to take the airport bus but wondering which stop to get off at and then how do I get to the Novotel? Thanks in advance!

  33. Hello Dave, your site is very informative. We are flying into Athens on June 13th at 12:30 p.m. and want to make our way into the City. We are staying at Ersia Boutique Apartments, Megaloud Alexandrou Street can we get the Airport bus to this location. We are on a budget just two of us.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    • Hi Aileen,
      if you are landing at 12.30 (not 00.30), your best bet would be to take the metro. You’d then need to swap lines from the Blue line (airport metro), to the red line. If I have your hotel right, your nearest station is Metaxourghio Station.
      The bus doesn’t quite get you far enough to your hotel for it to be of much use I think.

  34. Hello, thank you for the excellent advice and blogs. My wife and I are visiting Athens next week (Sun-Tues) and then leave for Santorini early Wednesday morning. Our flight is at 06:55. We are staying near the Athens Central Market area. At that time of day, best to do taxi or bus? How early should we leave (we will just have carry-ons, no checked bags).

    Also, coming back from Santorini, we land at 09:05 and our flight back to the US leaves at 17:25. What is the best thing to do during that layover that would be nearby the Airport? Thank you for the help!

    • Hi Jon,
      Apologies for the late reply – you may even be on a plane now!
      At that time of day, a taxi is your easiest option – you can pre-book using the link almost at the top of the page in the article.
      Bus is by far the cheapest option, but you’ll have to walk over to Syntagma Square first (about a 10 minute walk).

      Athens isn’t a great layover city, although you have a great bonus with only hand luggage!
      There isn’t much of interest near the airport, so you might decide to go back into central Athens.
      You’ve really only got 5-6 usable hours though (allowing for check in time), 2 of which are likely to be used getting into and back out of Athens.

      Another idea, would be to visit the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. You’d probably need a private car for this though to make it worthwhile. Although I have never used their services myself, if you Google “George the famous taxi driver”, many people have said they enjoyed their services.

      Have a fantastic time in Greece!

  35. Hi Dave,
    Has the various means of transport from the airport to the city centre been affected by the bushfires?
    What do you suggest?
    We arrive in two weeks.

    • Hi Ron,
      The bushfires had no effect on transport as they happened many miles away from Athens. All transport to and from the airport and Athens is running as normal!

  36. Hi Dave we are arriving next week to Athens first time for a week we need to get to our airbnb in Syntagma square either by train or by taxi ,when I checked it said by train could take close to hour and half and by taxi 30-50 min ( we are arriving at 21:00 ) is this accurate? or should we take bus? google maps suggests the m3 ( about hour) or X95( about hr +20min)
    we are thinking of renting a car for a few days trips outside of Athens any suggestions for car rentals and where to go? we were thinking of Delphi one day. should we book our tickets for popular sites in advance?
    thx in advance for any help

    • Hi Marsha,
      Those times can be based on both the walk to the metro and if you have to wait 10 minutes for the next one.
      With jetlag and all, maybe a taxi would be better or the metro. Personally, I take the bus but you are never guaranteed a seat.
      For day trips with a car – You definitely have to see Delphi – I’m writing this from my tent there actually, as I’m just doing a cycle tour of central Greece!
      My suggestion is to allow 4 hours for the site to explore at a leisurely pace.
      If you are feeling adventurous, you could then after lunch drive on to Meteora (Kalambaka). You should get there in time for the sunset on the rocks. Stay overnight. The next day, you could then visit some of the monasteries.
      After that, drive back to Athens and aim for the Temple of Poseidon for an evening sunset.
      For car rental I know no companies personally – Perhaps Hertz are a good starting place as they have depots in town.
      For more info on planning your trip to Greece with things to see, sign up for the newsletter through the box. Each day, I’ll send you some more info about different things to see and do in Greece.

  37. Great information!! Currently planning for end of September trip. Wonder if you could comment on areas to avoid in terms of safety – particularly metro stations. Need some guidance to be able to judge hotel, air bnb locations

    • Hi Terry,
      Generally speaking, Athens is a safe city. Petty crime (pickpocket) is your only real concern on the metro, with one station in particular – Akropoli.
      Keep your eyes on your bags if using the metro from the airport and going through this station.
      The area to avoid staying in, in my opinion, is Omonia.
      I’d also maybe include Exarchia in the avoid to stay in area depending on how world-wise you are. You should definitely visit Exarchia during your stay though if you have time, as there is some great street art there.
      Have a great time in Athens!

  38. Hello!
    We will be a group of 4 ending our trip to Greece with 2 nights in Athens in mid October. Our flight leaves on a Friday morning at 8 am (so probably leave the hotel at 5am) We have a hotel booked for those 2 nights in the city. My question is – do you think we should change and stay the last night in a hotel at the airport? I’m wondering what traffic is like early in the morning and if the typical 40 min commute is longer at that time? We would prefer not to change hotels, but if it would make the morning easier getting to the airport it may be worth it?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Susan,
      I think you would be better in your central Athens hotel. There’s really nothing to do out by the airport if staying at the Sofitel. At least in the centre you can get one last good meal in and a stroll around the Acropolis at night!
      Maybe choose to pre-book your taxi as decribed above – keep in mind you will be paying a higher rate because of the time of day.
      The traffic isn’t a major issue – leaving at 5 am would be fine.
      Have a lovely time in Athens/Greece!

  39. I’ll be visiting Athens in October with my mom, and I feel like I can’t do enough research. This was so helpful, thank you!

    Do you have any suggestions on what to see and do that doesn’t involve too much walking/stairs? I’d love to see all the must sees in Athens, but my mom’s knees are bad, and I’ll be very pregnant.

    • Hi Samantha,
      Thinking about it, a lot is going to revolve around walking!
      Given your circumstances though, here’s 3 suggestions you might consider:
      1. Pick and choose at a gentle pace from my Things to do in Athens guide No rush. And there’s plenty of places to grab a coffee and sit down to admire the historic centre particularly around Plaka.
      2. Take the ‘toy train’. This runs through the centre, starting from Syntagma Square. You’ll get to see the main highlights without going in.
      3. The hop on hop off bus. This could be a good way to get to see most of the highlights of Athens. You could get off where and when you like. On a good day, sitting at the top might give you some nice angles as well.

      Have a great time in Athens!

  40. Hi Dave

    I have researched a fair bit about getting my way from Athens airport to the city. I am fairly confident about getting the bus X95 or the Metro however I arrive at 6.35am on a Tuesday morning next week. I’m guessing i will be hitting peak hour traffic by the time i get through and onto a bus? Traveling solo the usual suitcase on wheels and carry bag! Metro or bus?


    • Hi Michelle,
      In terms of the rush hour, I don’t think it would make much difference, so maybe the bus from the airport into Athens would be fine. The only thing is, seats are not guaranteed, and if you’ve had a long flight, maybe you don’t want to stand for an hour getting into Athens center!
      I’d suggest at that time to take the metro in, and enjoy your seat!

  41. As a solo female arriving late (my flight lands at 9:30pm) would you say its safe to take the metro X95? It appears to be less than a 10 min straight shot walk to my hotel.

    • Hi Katie,
      In my opinion, Athens is one of the safest European cities. Assuming your hotel is near Syntagma Square, the bus X95 is totally safe. You’ll see plenty of people out at 10.30-11 when you get to Syntagma Square walking around, taking photos etc.

  42. Great information, Dave. Thank you for doing this. We are a family of 4 adults arriving in July. I have 4 specific questions, but I thought I would post our entire itinerary in case you had some comments or suggestions for us.

    Tuesday July 19 12:15 afternoon – Arrive Athens, staying at the Amalia Hotel for 3 nights.
    Friday July 13 07:50 morning – Olympic Air flight to Chania, one night at Pandora Suites, no car.
    Saturday July 14 morning, hiring a car for 2 days, going to Herkalion, 2 nights at GDM Megalon Hotel.
    Monday July 16 09:00 Morning Hellenic Seaways ferry to Santorini. 2 nights at Aressana Hotel, no car.
    Wednesday July 18 08:40 Olympic Air flight to Athens. Car booked at airport, driving to Nafpilo, staying 2 nights at Amalia Hotel Nafplio. Driving around the Peloponnese.
    Friday July 20 11:40 (Morning) flight from Athens. Will drive from Nafplio that morning.
    All of these Flights, Hotels, Ferry and Car Rentals are already booked and paid for. (Non-Cancellable)
    We are going to buy Turbo pass for Athens, which includes all public transportation for 3 days.

    My specific questions are these:
    1. On the Turbopass website you are offered to have the passes post directly to your home in advance for a fee, or to have theem sent directly to your Athens hotel free. Since we intend to use the Turbopasses for public transportation from the airport, it occurs to me that we must pay to have the passes sent directly to our home so that we will have them to use before we get to the hotel. Am I missing anything here?
    2. With a flight out of Athens at 07:50 what time should I leave the Amalia Hotel to be there in time? Public Transportation starts at 05:30 but that does not mean that is when I will be picked up on the Metro. Will this be in time or do we need a taxi?
    3. With an 08:40 flight from Santorini to Athens, when should I get to that airport? I have heard bad thing about the lines there.
    4. When we leave Nafplio to drive to Athens for an 11:40 (Morning) flight, when should we leave Nafplio?
    Thank you for looking at these questions. If you have any other comments or suggestions about the rest of the travel plan, we would appreciate that as well.

    • Hi Brent,

      Hope you are well!
      I’ll answer you specific question below:
      1. You are quite right – looks like a bit of an error on the part of Turbo Pass, and I’m also surprised they haven’t got an app or electronic version. If you are a family of four adults, the taxi from Athens airport may be a better option in any case, and if you contact Welcome through the links at the top of the article, maybe they could somehow arrange the passes for you? No promises on that one – just thinking outside the box! Worst case scenario – you lose out 10 euros each by having to pay for the metro, or 9 euros each by taking the taxi.
      2. I would always say to be at Athens airport 2 hours before your flight leaves. Your two choices are taxi (not sure, but I think you pay the higher price), or taking the X95 bus from Syntagma Square (24 hour service). Bus journey from the centre at that time will not experience delays. For a 7.50 flight, I’d be looking to wait for the bus around 5.30.
      3. Santorini airport is a bit of a joke! You neither want to get there too early (it’s small), nor too late (the queues). Double check with your hotel, but I’d say being there 1.5 hours before the flight is more than enough!
      4. Not sure if you are driving direct to the airport? Again, based on getting to the airport for 9.40, and allowing time to drop the car off (half hour?), I’d say leaving at 6 or 6.30 is advisable. You’ll more likely than not hit Athens traffic as well. By this time though, you’ll be used to Greece, driving and all the rest of the things involved in travel – do a double check on Google maps for driving time , and it will also show if there are delays or roadworks.

      Your itinerary looks excellent – have a great trip to Greece!

  43. Hey, we are arriving in Athens at 9 am 24th of May and leaving 29th of May 9:25 am. We need to get to Agios Ioannis station. What would be the best route? How far is it from the city centre?
    Thanks for the answer 😉

    • On the same note, the ticket system is confusing. I suppose it is best to buy 5 days ticket and separate tickets to the airport, right?

      • Hi,
        The ticket system can be flexible – which is what makes it confusing!
        Two options – on arrival at the airport, go to the tourist information desk where you can ask their opinion about what ticket will suit you best.
        Other than that, just spend some time in fornt of the ticket machine going through the options to choose what’s best for you, and then buy tickets/day tickets as you need them.
        Thankfully, in comparison to other European countries, single fares and day passes are affordable, so it’s very hard to make a massive financial mistake!
        Enjoy Athens!

    • You’d need to change at Syntagma station (the main central station), and then head in the direction of Elliniko. You’ll need to use the metro to get back into the center of Athens to do your sightseeing later.

  44. Hi! this blog has helped my girlfriend and I plan our trip. SO the hotel which we are staying at NJV Athens Plaza (Leoforos Vasileos Georgiou 2, Athina 105 64, Greece) says they can arrange a driver to pick us up for 70 euro. That seems quite high from what I am reading online. I see there is a metro and a bus stop right by our hotel. We are also flying into Athens at 10pm. In your opinion what is the best option to take and do the taxis at the airport speak english well enough to get us to our hotel. Thank you

    • Hi Kennon,
      Happy to hear it’s been of some help, and I hope you enjoy your time in Athens/Greece.
      Yes, 70 Euro is crazy money! This would be for a ‘luxury’ private vehicle – in my opinion no need unless you really want to.
      Your two cheaper options are the X95 bus, which drops you off less than a minute walk away from your hotel on Syntagma Square (final stop – really easy!).
      The second cheapest is the metro – again, it’s going to stop at Syntagma Square so get off there.
      If you prefer the taxi option, I’d suggest you pre-book using the link towards the beginning of the article (Welcome Pickups).
      You could also take one from the taxi queue – but there might be a wait.
      Note – If by some chance you arrive AFTER 12PM at your hotel your taxi would charge the higher evening rate. By using Welcome, you could confirm if that would still be the case or not.

      Personally – If there’s two of you with a couple of bags each I’d get either the bus or the metro.

      Happy vacations!

  45. Hi Dave,

    I have a few questions! I arrive in Athens at 9:40am on a Delta flight from NYC on August 11th (Saturday) and then plan to take a quick flight to Mykonos – there is one at 10:45am and another at 11:20am (or something like this). Do you know if we will need to go through customs before boarding our second flight? If so, I assume you’d recommend the later flight, right?

    On the way back to Athens, we will fly from Milos and land at around 8pm on Tuesday, August 21st, and stay in Athens for the night as our return flight to NYC is at 2:15pm the next day. I have not been to Athens but I usually take public transportation when I visit other cities. We have limited time in Athens so we also want to maximize our time and plan to have dinner and walking around at night, and then see the Acropolis etc. in the morning before we leave for the airport. With this in mind, woukld you suggest taking the metro both ways (you mentioned 18 Euro for 48 hours per ticket, I believe?) or would you suggest paying for taxis in both or one direction? We are okay spending more money if it’s worth it. Any general suggestions would be appreciated!

    Based on what I’ve read, I think we are planning to stay at Hotel Amalia Athens, Electra Palace Hotel or the NEW Hotel in Syntagma Square. If you suggest avoiding the metro given our timing, we would likely stay at Hera Hotel or Herodion Hotel (which I read require a metro transfer) in the Plaka. I also looked at some hotels in Monistiraki but these stood out a bit more location wise.

    Thanks SO much!

    • Hi Samantha,
      I’ll bullet point brief answers to your questions!

      * Allow some ‘just in case’ time between your flights. Delta ‘may’ be able to get your bags checked through to Mykonos, but you never know! On the positive side, Athens airport is not very big by international standards, so even if you do have to go through again, it won’t take long. Take the later flight 😉
      * Assuming there are two of you, I’d choose the metro. 3 or 4 people, and I’d go for the taxi. Stay at one of the hotels near the Acropolis or Syntagma Square so you don’t have far to go to the historic parts you want to see the next day as you mentioned.

      Actually – you seem to have everything pretty much organised and researched!! You’ll have enough time to see the Acropolis in the morning before you go back to the airport. Not sure about the Acropolis museum as well, so if you are debating between splitting the time, my opinion would be to concentrate on the Acropolis itself, and don’t worry about the museum too much.

  46. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your article! I will be in Athens as part of my 50 birthday trip and I have two pretty simple questions. As I will be taking the bus from and to the airport (I am staying near Syntagma Square) where do I pick up the return bus to the airport? Is it the same stop I get off the bus? Where do I purchase my return ticket? I am staying 4 days.

    If I could make one suggestion for an update to the article…stress the importance of validating tickets and the cost of the fine. I have seen others be given huge fines because they did not do this in other cities and it would be a horrible way to start your trip to Athens.

    • Hi Donna,
      Athens is a great place to celebrate your birthday – I hope you have fun!

      In answer to your questions:

      * The X95 bus drops you off at Syntagma Square. When you want to go back to the airport, take it from the same spot. You purchase your return ticket on the bus itself.

      Good point about validating tickets – Thankfully, you’ll find Greece is a lot more relaxed! The fine is big (60 times the ticket value!!), however as long as you actually HAVE the ticket, you won’t have a problem. Most inspectors (the few there are) almost expect tourists not to have validated their tickets correctly, so help them to do so.
      When you board the bus, the process is easy as I described, but to repeat – grab your seat first, and then validate the ticket by holding the new electronic ticket next to the device. It will beep and flash green when validated.

      Have an awesome time in Athens!

  47. Hi Dave,
    We are traveling to Athens next month
    We are a family 5 person (4 adult and 1 child 6years old boy) can a taxi accommodate us ????

    Thank you

    • Hi Sameh,

      Difficult to say if the taxi would take you. Some might say its fine for the child to sit on the lap.
      The best is to just ask when you arrive at Athens airport and see what the taxi driver says. You could always take the bus or metro if you think that 2 taxis is not a good option for you.

  48. Hi Dave,
    4 of us with 4 medium size luggage + 2 cabin trolley bags arriving in Athens at 10 pm.
    Will the taxi be big enough to accommodate the numbers of luggage plus 4 passengers.?

    We are staying about 5 min walk from Acropoli Metro station.

    Thinking whether to take the metro or taxi. Please share your views.

    • Hi,
      The best thing to do would be to just ask at the taxi queue. If they can get you all in the one vehicle, then that’s great. If they say it is two vehicles though, it is cheaper to get the metro. To get to Acropoli Metro Station, you would need to change at Syntagma station.

  49. Hi Dave

    We shall be in Athens for a full day on Saturday 18 August 2018 before we board our Viking Orion Ship at Piraeus the next morning. Included in that first day aboard, is a Panoramic Athens and Archaeological Museum tour which takes us via the promenade at Mikrolimano. We shall view the Hellenic Parliament, Constitution Square, Panathenaic Stadium, Temple of Zeus and Acropolis. Also explore the Plaka District. As we are coming from New Zealand and will have been travelling for over 30 hours via LA and London to get to Athens, we shall be really tired. However, we would like to make the most of that day before we board the ship. Are there any things you can suggest that we should not miss, in addition to what is already offered. Also, some good eating place rexommendations would be great and also a reasonably priced and situated hotel idea. Would just welcome anything that you could suggest. Thanks so much. Jenny – NZ

    • Hi Jenny,

      I think you really have everything covered in the tour in terms of ‘must see places’.
      If you still have some energy left over, I would suggest visiting the Ancient Agora with it’s excellent temple. Hanging around until sunset to see the Acropolis is also an option, and there are a number of rooftop bars you might like to try such as 360 which have great views.
      You mentioned hotels – August is really peak month, so availability and bookings can play a part in ‘reasonably priced’. You could try the AthensWas hotel, which also has an excellent rooftop bar area where you could see the Acropolis at night. I’ve got a guide here to Hotels near the Acropolis which is a good starting point to begin making a choice, and I’ve included the AthensWas in there.

      I hope you have a great time in Greece!

  50. Dave,
    We will be arriving around 9pm our accommodation is at the Akropoli stop on metro line 2 so we will have to transfer at the Syntagma stop, it all seems simple enough.
    My only worry is stories of crime (pickpockets) and people attempting to take your luggage while your holding it. Has it been exaggerated or is night time travel on the metro unwise.
    The metro is my preferred option, mainly because the Akropoli stop is directly across the street from our accommodation which means we don’t have to get other transport or walk far at night with our luggage.
    Can’t wait to get to Athens

    • Hi Glenn,
      Yes your route and transfers are easy to follow, so you shouldn’t have any issues there.
      As for crime etc on the metro –
      I have personally never had anything taken on the metro. My girlfriend who has used the metro every day for the last 10 years has only ever had someone try to take something once.
      My personal take on the metro is to be aware but not paranoid. It’s certainly not like Barcelona which is a nightmare!
      Common sense (no open bags, keep bags in sight, no wallets in backpockets) should see you ok.
      I would say any chance of pickpockets is not in the stations themselves, but rather on the platforms or in the trains.
      From your journey, I would show extra vigilance at the Akropoli platform and train, as this is normally very busy when compared to other platforms.
      In my experience night time travel on the metro is fine – There’s not a culture of men getting drunk after 8pm here really, so that air of possible aggression you find in places like the UK is not there.
      Wishing you all the best in Athens – have a great holiday!

  51. Hi Dave, We are a party of two college students and a parent. We arrive around midnight in Athens from London. I read the wonderful info you provided about the ways to get to the city centre. It sounded like the cab might be the easiest, but you also indicated it would be expensive. If we did take a cab how long does it take to get to Athens? Is there anything we could do to also be assured we don’t get ripped off?
    I considered staying at one of the hotels near the airport then taking a bus in the morning. The Sofitel was recommended, but it doesn’t seem to have rooms on our travel dates. Any other hotels to suggest?

    • Hi Mary,
      It’s one of those awkward times to land, but no worries!
      Personally, I wouldn’t stay near the airport – you might as well go into the centre.
      So, two choices:
      1. Take the X95 airport bus – It runs all through the night, and will take you to Syntagma Square. So, it makes sense (in my opinion) to stay somewhere within a nice walking distance of there. Athens is safe to walk at night in that area, and you will probably see plenty of people about to ask directions if you so needed, although I’m sure Google maps will help as well!
      2. Take a taxi from the airport – The price is set, but you WILL be paying the higher rate. It would be like 17.50 each or something for 3 people (my maths is terrible sorry!). The bonus is that it will take you straight to the door of whatever hotel you choose. You could pre-book using the link provided.

      I would personally take option 1.

      Have a great time in Athens!!!


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