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Athens Airport to City

We're scheduled for a 6.30pm arrival on a Monday. Figure deplane, customs, immigration its maybe 7:30pm before we're ready head to the city. With not much sleep for nearly 24hours and badly jet lagged I'm wondering what the easiest, least complicated way to Syntagma Square with just roll-a-boards would be - express bus or metro?

I figure we'll be sufficiently awake to save cost and bother of dealing with taxis unless that would indeed be the easiest.

Posted by
605 posts

I can't speak specifically about Athens, but my experience is that after a long day of travel, money spent on a taxi to take you to the door of your hotel, is money well spent. I don't often use taxis when I travel, but I cut myself some slack when it's to get to the door of the hotel after a long day of travel from the west coast.

Posted by
419 posts

I agree.. After you've spent lots of money to get to your European destination, why quibble over a few extra Euros for the safety and comfort of a taxi which will get you directly to where you want to go?

Posted by
2794 posts

On a good day it takes about 40 minutes and €35 to reach the city by taxi, but at that time of the morning a taxi or bus will most certainly take a lot longer because of the rush-hour traffic. The Blue Line Metro will take you right to Syntagma Square every half-hour in 40 minutes with NO traffic delays. I believe the current fare is €14 for 2 people travelling together. After you collect your bags just walk outside the Arrivals Hall and look for the entrance to the overhead walkway to the Metro station. You can't miss it. The station is located just behind and to the side of the Sofitel Hotel. Buy your tickets and walk down the steps to the tracks. Don't forget to validate your tickets in the machine, and be sure you board the Metro, not the Suburban Train. Look for the Metro Logo on the cars. Be sure to guard your wallets and purses and be hyper-vigilant for pickpockets.

Posted by
295 posts

I was in Athens in July. When I arrived I took the metro into town. 8 euros and super easy. Luckily, I didn't need to go through immigration since I transferred in Frankfurt and did it there. I just needed to get my bag and exit. I was out of the airport pretty fast. I then purchased a metro ticket and went to the station. It took about 45 minutes to get into town. You could also take the bus for a little less 5 euros and it roughly takes the same amount of time. The metro starts out empty and then gets really busy as you reach the city center. It was easy to see the stops and know when to get off. On my way home I took a taxi from Athens. It took about one hour and it cost 60 euros. My vote would be if you aren't too tired take the metro. If you are tired then taxi. Also, get cash before you leave the airport if you don't already have euros. Lots of people will be out at 8:30 9 at night in Athens. They stay out late so you will not be alone walking to your hotel.

Posted by
2794 posts

Apologies, somehow I missed the 6.30pm arrival and was thinking you were arriving in the morning, but my recommendation for the Metro still stands as long as your hotel is close by and you aren't carrying a lot of luggage. If you are, and if your hotel isn't close, you can save some money by taking the Metro or the Airport Express bus to Syntagma and a taxi the rest of the way to your hotel, although it's less convenient than the taxi, and believe me, I know just how much of a grind it is to get there because I live in Oregon.

Posted by
2766 posts

In May of this year, after a long flight from Seattle to Athens via Amsterdam we arrived somewhat waisted. However, we had very good directions for taking the Metro and with a cost of 14E for 2, we took it and were glad we did. It let us off only a couple of blocks from out RS tour hotel. Someone here has also provided some good directions for taking Metro. We did enjoy Athens and Greece.
Hope you do too. Happy travels

Posted by
1454 posts

It really is pretty simple since you won't need to change metro lines. The only place where I had a pause was when I tried to figure out which set of stairs to take for the right platform. Greeks tend to use multiple spellings and the advice had been " go down to the platform" so I didn't realize there would be options. Facing the ticket booth, it was the set of stairs to the left. But, if you need to, just ask the ticket person.

Posted by
4 posts

My wife and I used both the Metro and the X95 bus in July this year - traveling to and from the airport twice. We had pickpockets in our bags twice on the Metro (didn't lose anything as we resisted). The Metro gets very crowded as it travels toward Syntagma. We liked the bus better. It was a little slower, but cheap (5 Euro each, I think) and no pickpockets.

Posted by
172 posts

Thanks, I had thought favorably of the bus but was beginning to wonder when no one mentioned it. I know gettting held up in traffic is the primary downside of the bus but I'd think that wouldn't be an issue at that time 19.30 or so at night.

Posted by
2794 posts

The bus is reliable and safe and only makes a couple of stops on the way in to the city. At that time of night you won't be slowed down very much, if at all.