It is easy to get from Athens airport to the city center. You also have a couple of options for doing so.
Excellent metro and bus links connect Athens Eleftherios Venizelos to Athens center. They also connect you to the further regions of Piraeus and the Athens Riviera.
If you prefer the comfort of a private airport transfer, you can order a car or a taxi that does not break the bank. Generally speaking, public transport in Greece is excellent and transport from Athens airport to the centre is no different.
- 1 Getting from Athens Airport to the Centre
Getting from Athens Airport to the Centre
Figuring out how to get from Athens airport to the city is perhaps one of the first things that you want to double-check before starting your Athenian adventure. I have lived in Athens since 2017 and have made this journey dozens of times.
This guide discusses the various travel options, their costs, and the process of using them. Feel free to use the Table of Contents to help you navigate to the most relevant sections.
There are four main options for getting from Athens airport to the city center. Namely, they are prebooking an airport transfer, taking a cab on arrival, taking the bus, or taking the metro.
The best option for you depends a lot on your personal preferences. Obviously the metro or bus works out a lot cheaper for one person. However, if you are travelling as a family, you may want to pay a little more for the comfort of a taxi or private transfer.
Prebook an Athens Airport Transfer
A private airport transfer is arguably one of the most convenient ways of getting from Athens airport to city center. In light of the ongoing pandemic, this is also one of the safest options.
Prices start from 34. Vehicles are cleaned thoroughly prior to entering and the drivers wear masks.
You can obtain a quote for a private transfer by Get Your Guide here. They offer free cancellation up to three hours before arrival.
Your driver will wait for you in the arrivals lounge and then take you straight to where you are staying in Athens. This gives you some peace of mind in knowing that everything is organised for you in advance.
You will find your driver waiting with a card holding your name. He/she will also provide you with cool bottles of water to drink en route.
Take the Metro from Athens Airport to the City
One way to get from Athens airport to the city is to take the metro. This is arguably the most convenient way to get into Athens centre.
The metro runs every thirty minutes. However do keep in mind that it is only operational between the hours of 6.30 am and 23.30 pm.
The process for getting the metro to the city centre is outlined below.
- Enter the airport Arrivals Hall and follow the signs for “train”
- Exit the main airport building, cross the road, and go up the escalator that awaits on the other side
- Follow the moving walkway that takes you to the train and metro station
- Use the ticket machine and purchase a ticket for “Athens & Airport”
- Pass through the ticket barrier and wait at the platform
- Take the metro line which departs from the right-hand side of the platform.
Using the Metro Ticket Machines
There are both ticket offices and machines at the train station just outside Athens airport. Opt to use the machines to save time.
The machines can be operated in English. Just click the UK flag on the screen.
This is the faster option. The ticket offices tend to attract large queues of confused tourists that ask 34,538 questions.
Purchasing Your Metro Ticket
An “Athens & Airport” ticket costs 10 euros per person. Weirdly if you opt for a return ticket it charges you 22 euros, whereas two singles are 10 euros each. Purchase the return ticket later so that you don’t have to worry about misplacing it or something.
Cross past the ticket barriers and down the steps to the platform level. One very important thing to keep in mind is that once you have gone through the barriers, the tickets are valid for 90 minutes so you should not try and get back out again.
At the platform level, there are two lines. One line is the suburban rail, the other is the metro.
The metro train will be on the right-hand side. If you are confused, you can ask a friendly local to confirm that you are on the correct train.
Riding the Athens Metro
The metro line speaks in English so it’s easy to understand where you are. The final stop will be Syntagma. This is the main square of Athens and the place where most people are headed anyway.
If you are staying at an Athens hotel in Monastiraki, the Acropolis area, or elsewhere in Athens, you can transfer lines at Syntagma station. If you are staying in Kolonaki or Pagrati, get off the metro at Evangelismos.
Travellers over 65 are eligible for discounted travel. However, subsidised tickets can only be purchased in-person at the ticket counter. Children under 6 travel for free.
How to Get from Athens Airport to City:
The X95 bus is another convenient way to get from Athens airport to the city. The bus departs every 15 minutes or so from the bus stop outside of gates 4 and 5.
To take the X95 bus to Athens city centre:
- Exit the arrivals area and follow the signs for the bus (The stop is directly outside the terminal building)
- Buy a ticket from the ticket office. Bus tickets cost 6 euros per person.
Riding the X95 Bus
There are various buses that depart from here but the X95 stop is the one directly adjacent to the ticket office. You can also identify it by the LED display on the front of the bus.
The bus announces the stops in English and ends its journey at Syntagma square. If you are travelling from the airport to Piraeus, you should take the X96 bus.
The other two buses that depart from here are the X93 to Kifisou Avenue and the X97 to Elliniko. The X95 is pretty convenient. However, the traffic on your way into the city can sometimes be pretty bad.
This is especially the case if you are travelling at 5-6 pm rush hour, or on Friday and Saturday evenings. For this reason, the metro is usually the better option to get from Athens airport to the city.
Travellers over 65 are eligible for discounted travel. Show your ID at the ticket kiosk to purchase a discounted ticket. Children under 6 travel for free.
Getting from Athens Airport to the City by Cab
Sometimes you just want to get to where you are going and not have the hassle of dealing with public transport. Cabs from Athens airport to the city are fairly reasonably priced so if there are a few of you, this may well be a more convenient option.
Athens airport cab drivers tend to be pretty straight. A cab from Athens airport to the city should typically cost around 35 euros.
While you are in Athens, I would also recommend you download the BEAT taxi app on your phone. This is Athens’ answer to Uber and it helps you to ensure that you are being charged the correct rate for a cab rather than an inflated tourist price.
Airport cabs can be found outside exit 3 at the airport arrivals area. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Renting a Car at the Airport
If you have decided to rent a car for your Greece trip, you can collect it at the airport. Various reputable European rental companies operate from Athens airport.
This includes Sixt, Avis, and Budget cars. It is strongly advisable to book your rental car in advance, especially if you are travelling during the busy summer months.
Important Note: Greek Transport Strikes
Greek transport strikes are a somewhat frequent occurrence and something of a headache. Every couple of months or so, there will be a strike for some reason or another.
During transport strikes, both the metro and the buses do not operate. In this case, you will have to take a cab.
Do you have any further questions about getting from Athens to the airport, or planning a trip to Greece in general? I’ve been living here since 2017 and I will be happy to assist with any queries that you may have.
Feel free to drop me a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP. Safe travels! Geia sou! Melissa xo
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