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athens airport to Monastiraki

Hello all!
I was reading the great thread for transportation from airport-->acropolis area and I wanted some input on our own aiport transfer, but didn't want to just piggyback on that thread and confuse everyone.

We will be arriving in Athens 6/8/15 around 3:30 pm after 4 days in Santorini for my sister's wedding. "we" are me, my husband and our 18-month old son. My husband and I are good travelers; I've lived in Spain and Sweden and my husband and I did a great trip driving trip in Ireland 2 yrs ago. (my parents will also be with us...they are not quite so seasoned, but I'll try not to worry about them, just us, they will probably opt for a cab).

A few other bits of information: We will have a stroller, 1 large rollerbag, 1 carryon roller bag, a crossbody carryon. I can put my crossbody purse and camera inside any of the other bags.

We are staying at the A for Athens hotel in Monastiraki, address Miaouli 2 - 4, Athens 10554, Greece

I originally picked the location for its easy access to the metro. We are not bringing a carseat for our son so I wanted to stick with public transportation as much as possible. From looking at the Metro map, we can take the blue line from the airport directly to Monastiraki.

I'm comfortable on European public transportation (rode the Metro daily in Madrid and Stockholm during my 5 month and 6 week stays), but just worrying a little due to us looking out for our son and our luggage. I'm just looking at all angles and all transportation options, including bus information. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.

Thank you so much in advance! We are looking forward to our trip....just trying to hammer out the last details!

Posted by
2416 posts

Angela, you've made one choice (to travel without a carseat) which necessitates certain compromises... especially since you will be burdened with so much other luggage (Mark Twain famously said, there are 2 ways to travel: First Class, OR with children).
• The X95 bus -- which has good in-bus luggage supply, is safe from pickpockets (but does not use safety belts) is not a good choice because it ends at Syntagma Square, far from your hotel, and you would then have to taxi, defeating the purpose.
• I would strongly advise against attempting the Metro with all that gear! Yes you could struggle on at the start because the train is empty. But by the time you reach Monastiraki, it will be JAMMED, and even getting out before the doors close will be a challenge. But the greatest challenge will be the pickpocket ring (99% nonGreek BTW) targeting people just like you; no matter how you guard. And even if you evade them, struggling out of the station in the rush-hour crowd from 4:30-6 will be a headache.
• Your answer will be to book a taxi/transfer service online, where you can order an installed car seat in advance ... there are MANY choices when Googled, some with 4-star Trip Advisor ratings. I would lean toward a listing such as this one -- http://www.getyourguide.com/athens-l91/athens-private-taxi-transfers-athens-airport-to-athens-t20677/ -- simply because instead of just giving you reviews, it says up front what the charges are, and what you get: $61, and a mercedes w child seat on request. THat is 25$ more than the regular taxi flat-fee ... but still a savings in money & hassle over bring a child seat from the US>

Posted by
2794 posts

Ask yourself, do you REALLY need to bring so much with you? Respectfully, I understand that attending a wedding means bringing special clothing and I also understand that traveling with a small child also requires bringing extras, but I urge you to whittle down what you travel with to the bare essentials for the sake of your own peace of mind. That said, if you'll be spending any time in Athens before going to Santorini, just a block from "A For Athens", diagonally across from the entrance to the Monastiraki Metro Station, is Athens Lockers. Think about storing some of the things there you know you won't need on Santorini. Make it as easy on yourself as possible. Pacific Travel at the Athens Airport also provides luggage storage, although they're more expensive than Athens Lockers.

Posted by
41 posts

Thank you for your replies! I was hoping we could use public transportation, but it seems it may be more of a hassle than the money we could save. Janet, thank you for the information regarding booking a cab prior to our trip; I will definitely look into this! The villa we are staying at in Finikia is arranging that for us also for transportation from the airport. Lee, thank you for the information on the lockers; unfortunately we are flying into Santorini and out of Athens, so that won't be an option for us. Also, I am in the process of making our packing list and while I consider myself a minimalist packer, it's really hard with a suit, bridesmaids dress and the other accessories that go with the wedding outfits, not to mention a kid, who still has the potential to go through multiple outfits in one day! I was thinking 3 bags (2 for carryon) with the wedding wasn't terrible! I can't imaging toting a car seat along as well and really, besides airport transfers, we won't be in a car at all.

Thank you again!! :)

Posted by
41 posts

Just a side question. Are the Metros jam packed and are pickpockets as numerous on the 1st train in the morning? We have a 830am flight out of Athens on Thurs 6/11 and I wanted to catch the 1st metro at ~5:30am. Just curious if it would still be a terrible idea at that time or if it's just worse at rush hour.
Thank you again!

Posted by
1454 posts

Janet is much re familiar with Athens than I am, but we really didn't have trouble with pickpockets on the metro last year. By definition, pickpockets look to pick your pockets, so we use money belt or neck wallets when we're likely to be distracted. I agree with Janet that the crush get off the metro is the biggest obstacle. And the fact that things can be spelled so many different ways can give you pause.

Posted by
2416 posts

I have taken Metro -- BLue Line, REd Line, Green Line -- more times than I can count, during 15 years. Never been pickpocketed myself, but just have to look after myself, one rollerbag & crossbody daybag (not bulky luggage plus heavy toddler) -- and I'm a veteran of 30 years using the NYC subways. However, I HAVE seen an unexpected scuffle as train pulled into station at Piraeus from Monastiraki, and once, when the Blue line train from Airport pulled into Syntagma. Sometimes these baddies cause a scuffle to distract. AND a good friend, also a many-trip Vet, got pickpocketed coming up escalator from Monastiraki train platform.

As for taking the 5:30 AM train, airport-bound, there will be few passengers. And when you get off at airport, that's the end of the line, so you won't have to be hurried getting off --- the Rush is when baddies strike.... they count on people being distracted when they must push through a crowd to get out at an interim stop, collecting bags & kiddies.

I still do feel that on arrival at Airport from Santorini, a reserved taxi would be wise -- by the time you'd get to the subway platform it will be height of rush hour, you will never have taken the Athens metro before and the cars will be packed on arrival at Monastiraki, which is NOT the last stop. The difference in price? $61USD vs. €14 ($16USD). And the taxi takes you right to your door instead of several blocks' walk. If u were willing to take a regular taxi, it would be €35.

Posted by
41 posts

Janet,
Thank you again for your help & insight! After sharing the advice with my husband, we've decided to hire a taxi from the airport. I posted on TripAdvisor too and someone recommended "welcome pickups", which is a taxi service you book & pay for in advance and it's only €35. I've contacted them and they can provide a car seat for our son. They were really prompt with the reply and it looks like this will be a good option. I'm still thinking about taking the Metro back to the airport on Thursday morning, but I'll play that by ear.

Thank you again!!!!