How to Get from Athens Airport to the City – A Handy Guide from a Local

How to get from Athens airport to city
How to get from Athens airport to city

The question of 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. After spending the last two and a half years living in the Greek capital, I have probably made this journey about a hundred times or so.  As such, I’ve compiled a handy guide that details the various ways to access the city. 

How to Get from Athens Airport to City:
Taking the Metro 

Plaka, Athens
Plaka, Athens

One way to get from Athens airport to the city is to take the metro. This is actually my preferred method of getting into the city centre and the method that I’d generally recommend. 

To get to the metro area, you need to follow the signs for “train” in the Arrivals Hall. This entails actually exiting the main airport building, crossing the road, and going up the escalator that awaits at the other end. The escalator takes you to a long moving walkway that opens out into the metro/train area. 

In the hall, you will see several ticket office desks that are manned by people and a scattering of ticket machines. I advise you to make a beeline directly for the machines. The machines can be operated in English (just click the UK flag on the screen), and the ticket offices tend to attract large queues of confused tourists that ask 34,538 questions. 

On the ticket machine, select the option for Athens & Airport. This 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. As such, I’d advise you to get 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 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. 

The metro line speaks in English so it’s easy to understand where you are. The final stop will be Syntagma – 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. 

Note: Travellers over 65 are eligible for discounted travel but subsidized 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:
X95 Bus 

The Ancient Agora, Athens
The Ancient Agora, Athens

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. 

Exit the arrivals area and follow the signs for the bus. You do not have to cross the road, the bus stops are directly outside the terminal building. Buy a ticket into the city from the ticket office. It costs 6 euros per person. 

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. 

The X95 is pretty convenient, but the main reason that I would recommend taking the metro instead is because the traffic getting into the city can sometimes be pretty bad – especially if you are travelling at 5-6pm rush hour, or on Friday and Saturday evenings. 

Note: 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.

How to Get from Athens Airport to City:

How to Get from Athens airport to city
How to Get from Athens airport to city

Sometimes you just want to get to where you are going and not have the hassle of dealing with public transport. I get that. Actually, 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 to download the BEAT taxi app to your phone – this is Athens’ answer to Uber and helps you to ensure that you are being charged the correct rate for a cab rather than the heightened 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. 

Booking a Private Transfer from Athens Airport to City 

Legraina beach, Athens Riviera
Legraina beach, Athens Riviera

If you want a private car to take you from Athens airport to the city, and the comfort of knowing that everything is already organised for you in advance of your trip then you can organise a private transfer to the city. Numerous companies offer a transfer service. One reputable organisation that I would recommend for this is Get Your Guide. 

By organising a private transfer, you ensure that you have someone waiting for you in the Arrivals lounge of the airport, with a card holding your name. Your transfer driver will also provide you with cool bottles of water to drink en-route. Private Transfers in Athens are typically only marginally more than the price of a cab. 

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. By frequent, I don’t mean that they happen weekly or even monthly, but 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. I’m not writing this to try and stress you out before your trip, but just so that you are aware that this does occasionally happen. 

Have any further questions about getting from Athens to the airport, or planning a trip to Greece in general? I’ve been living here for the past two years 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 

Disclaimer: This post on getting from Athens airport to the city may contain affiliate links. In other words, if you opt to make a purchase through some of the links on this page, I will obtain a small amount of commission that is charged at no additional cost to you. This aids me in keeping up with the cost of running this site and enables me to continue providing free travel advice. Thank you for understanding. 

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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