Transport

Athens in Motion

Rail

Greek Rail Map

The Greek national rail service Trainose (www.trainose.gr) connects Athens to other cities in Greece. However, the service and routes are quite limited in comparison to other European countries. There are only two main rail lines, one going south from Athens to the Peloponnese and the other to Thessaloniki in the north. From Thessaloniki, you can take international trains to Bulgaria, F.Y.R. Macedonia and Serbia.

It is possible to take a night train to Thessaloniki (which takes around 6 ½ hours) however even the first-class cabins on these trains still don’t have beds so it’s nicer to take trains during the day and stay in other Greek cities along the way.

It’s almost always worth buying train Tickets in advance in Greece as buying ticket even two days in advance can give a you a discount. Most tickets are available on the Trainose website.

Metro

Athens Metro Map

The Athens Metro has 3 lines, two of which go from south west to the north east and the red line going from north west to south east. These lines not only connect many important land marks in Athens but you can also catch bus and tram services between the Metro stations. It’s worth mentioning that tickets for suburban trains are sold in machines next to the Metro ticket machines, so make sure you are getting the blue tickets.

To catch the Metro to the city centre from the airport, go to exit #3 in the arrivals hall and follow the signs across the road bridge until escalators take you down to the platforms. Airport trains run to and from the city centre every half an hour (trains run though the rest of the network constantly, so you will normally only wait a maximum of 5 minutes).

The Metro Lines are open from 5:30 a.m. to 00:30 a.m. and lines 2 & 3 stay open until 2:30 a.m on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, please see the Athens Transport website (www.athenstransport.com).

Bus

Athens Bus

Many locals get around Athens using the network of buses and trolley buses. Instead of having bus only tickets the local transport authorities have an intergrated system with the metro and trams. You can now choose from a 90 minute ticket for all transport (€ 1.40 ), a 24 hour ticket (€ 4,5) or a 5 day ticket (€ 9). A separate €6 bus ticket can be used to get to or from the airport. Be aware that buses in Athens do not generally stop unless you hold out your arm.

Athens Trolley Bus

Buses run to the airport from Kifissos KTEL (long-distance buses) Station (Χ93), Syntagma Square (Χ95), the Port of Piraeus (Χ96) and the Eliniko Metro Station (Χ97).

For more information, please see the Athens Transport website (www.athenstransport.com).

Taxi

Athens Taxi

The yellow taxis are often a quicker (and more expensive) way to get somewhere in Athens however be aware that the drivers are often known to break a few rules of the road in order to cut through traffic (especially if you are on the way to the airport).

Athens Taxi by the Acropolis

Taxis in Athens use meters set at standard rates and Taxi drivers will often issue a receipt for the journey. Although fare scams have been known they are not commonplace and drivers will normally drive the fastest route to get you somewhere. However if you a catching a taxi from a very touristy area such as Monastiraki Square then there may be one or two drivers that might try to agree higher fares with you.

The standard rate for within Athens should be €0.34/km with a starting fare of €1 and a minimum fare of €3.10. Although tipping is not expected it’s typically polite to round up fares to the nearest euro or note, much like it is in the UK.

Airport

Athens Airport

The new Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport was built in preparation for the Athens Olympics in 2004 and is located 27km East of the city. Although this is quite a long way out, the Greek government built excellent transport connections between the airport and the city centre.

Getting to and from the Airport

Metro

To catch the Metro to the city centre from the airport, go to exit #3 in the arrivals hall and follow the signs across the road bridge until escalators take you down to the platforms. Airport trains run to and from the city centre every half an hour.

If you need to get back to the airport then you can take a blue line train northbound to the Doukissis Plakentias station where you will have to change and wait for the airport metro train. These trains run every half hour between 06:00 and 23:30.

Bus

Buses run between the Airport and the following locations 24 hours a day:

  • Kifissos KTEL (long-distance buses) Station (Χ93)
  • Syntagma Square (Χ95)
  • The Port of Piraeus (Χ96)
  • Eliniko Metro Station (Χ97)

Airport buses cost €6.

Taxi

Taxis in Athens have their meters regulated and the law states that taxis driving between the city centre and the airport cost €38 from 5am until midnight and €54 during the early hours of the morning until 5am.