Is it worth the effort taking the Metro into the city (Monastiraki) or would it be better and less confusing to take a taxi? I understand the airport is 1.7 km. from the nearest Metro station.
You have been misinformed. There is a Metro Station across the street from the main terminal at the airport, behind the Sofitel Hotel, easily reached in just a few minutes. Follow the signs to the overhead Skywalk. A taxi will cost €38. The Metro will cost €18 for 2 people. The Metro takes 45 minutes to reach the Monastiraki Station. So will a taxi unless street traffic is heavy.
The metro station at the airport is only about a five minute walk from the arrival hall. Most of it on moving walkways. There’s then a 40 minute metro journey to Monastiraki.
Some people have concerns about pickpockets, especially if tired after a long flight, but we use it several times a year and have had no problem. I’ve no reason to think it’s any more dangerous than London but you obviously need to take the usual precautions. I wouldn’t recommend having a wallet or phone hanging out your back pocket!
Metro times are here
A metro ticket is currently 10euros for one person or 18 for two.
A taxi is no quicker and might be quite a bit longer at certain times of day when traffic is bad. The daytime taxi rate to the centre is 38 euros.
Denny, you have 3 choices -- Taxi (€38), Metro (€18 for 2 -- but comes with necessity to be Hawkeye for pickpockets in crowd) or #3 -- the X95 bus to Syntagma Square (€6 each, €3 for 65+). Its advantages: luggage piled inside bus in central pen; no passengers can board after Airport, only v. limited exits (2?) thus no pickpocket hazard. Takes same route as taxis. When u reach terminus, no rush to get off, and u step directly onto sidewalk, not necessary to come up escalator/stairs from underground. Of course, u need to reach Monastiraki, but €6 taxi will do it. In my case, when I go solo, being groggy after all-night flight, I like this choice.
I always use the Metro from the airport to Monistiraki Sq. However, it all depends on where you are staying in Athens. I stay just a short walk from the Metro Station at Monistiraki so is perfect for me. You can also stop at Sygtagma Sq. Metro Stop if you are staying near there.
The cost is I believe 10 euros or 5 for senior citizens. Yes, there is some concern about pick pocketers and scammers but if you use common sense just like you would use anywhere you'll be fine.
Once you leave the airport, cross the street, go up some stairs, take the walk way to the ticket office, buy your ticket, go downstairs and wait for the Metro. It's the start of the run to Athens so you'll have first choice for seats. There are maps on the side of the trains showing you all the stops, there'll be announcement at all stops and signs at every stop. It's really very easy, inexpensive and you'll get up close and personal with locals which by the time you get to Monistiraki will be crowded and buzzing with locals.
A taxi will cost around 38 euros for door-to-door service and is very convenient if you are in a group to spread out the cost.
The bus is the cheapest but a bit more work on your part since the main stop for central Athens is Sygtagma Sq. If you are staying in or near there it's fine but if you are staying further away then it's a good walk on your part.
When you get off the metro, look around - most (all?) metro stations have elevators to street level - though you may have to switch elevators at an intermediate level.
Thanks for all the very fine advice! My concern came from doing a Google "itinerary" (airport to Monastiraki) search, which stated a 1.7 kilometer walk from the airport to the Metro. I will disregard it now.
This may sound kind of "dumb," but once out of the Metro and one goes above ground, are the signs also in Latinicized alphabet?...for instance, I will be staying at Athinas Street Inn, address
ATHINAS 60 . My smartphone with SIM card will have a GPS that is slow...and besides, I never learned how to really use it, and found the directions with arrows confusing. I'm not sure how far it is from the nearest Metro station. I do have a terrible sense of direction, I'll have to admit.
There'll be signs in English also. We get out at the Monistiraki Sq. Metro near the beginning of Athinas St. across from Monistiraki Sq., for our hotel on Athinas St. just a couple blocks away.
Your address appears to be at the other end of Athinas St. The closest Metro Station near your address (Athinas 60) is the station at Omonio Square. It may be just a short walk away. Just be aware that Omonio area can be a bit dodgy, especially at night.
Just double check to make sure what Metro Station you need to get off at.
Denny, how soon is your trip? And when you booked that hotel, did you go for the cheapest option (nonrefundable, noncancellable) or did you go for the slightly higher/more prudent option... which allows you to cancel without penalty up until 2 weeks before? I hope it was the latter, and that you are talking about a trip in perhaps Spring. Why? because you have fallen for a bargain rate and have booked a place that is a loooong walk to the sights, and is also in alas a somewhat grungy neighborhood. OK by day, but you won't enjoy strolling around there after dark. Google was correct, your hotel is 1.7 km. a full mile's walk from Monastiraki station. If you have the cancellation option, I urge you to switch to Attalos. It's not my favorite place, but certainly in a better area and has good rates as well. Next time, check these forums before you "click."
Just want to follow up on Janet's post. If you can, cancel your accommodations and see if there is anything available at the Attalos. I doubt it since it's so close to your arrival date but worth checking. There are numerous other accommodations in a wide range of budgets that may be better than what you booked.
Another option is the Hotel Cecil just a short walk from the Attalos . . . just a "bit" below the Attalos standard but still an OK place at a very affordable price with a wonderful antique elevator and free breakfast thrown in as opposed to the Attalos that charges extra.
I'm sure there'll be other recommendations but you really want to be much closer to Monistiraki Sq. than what you booked. I don't know anything about that hotel so can't comment on it but I do know Omonia Sq. area is not the best place in Athens to stay.
I come up with 850 km. from Monastiraki Metro or 11 min., but the important thing is security and a sense of safety. It is just that this hotel looked much more interesting than the Cecil, and I never came up with the Attalos. I'll see right away if I change accommodations...
Many many thanks...you people are great.
Actually, I still have time to cancel the Atthinias and reserve the Attalos or the Cecil. I do not like modern or contemporary architecture, but I get it that the Attalos is more comfortable. But either is preferable to the Attinias because of the sketchy neighborhood. I'm lucky I have time, because I do get nervous about that sort of neighborhood especially in a city I've never been to.
If we are only in Athens for a night or two we always stay in the Attalos. But of your want somewhere with a bit more character you could look at the Tempi.
Still close to Monastiraki, family run, and in a nice pedestrian area opposite a church. There is now an unconnected bar/restaurant on the ground floor which looks nice but I haven’t tried.
Thanks for the Tempi recommendation. It's, of course, difficult to make a decision. The Atthinias Street Inn has the advantage of being on the Omonia metro no. 1 line with a direct connection to Piraeus (port), where I will be beginning a 7-day cruise two days later. Maybe it's O.K. being off of Omonia for a couple of days as long as I am aware and even vigilant. I don't usually go out in the evenings anyway. Market Street in San Francisco has, a large swathe of it at least, mostly junkies, homeless, etc. (but then S.F. is a pretty relaxed place, to begin with).
Denny, look at the metro map ... http://www.in2greece.com/mappages/athens-metro-map.jpg Monastiraki Station is ALSo on the direct line to Piraeus, and one stop closer. So that is not a rationale to stay in a grungy neighborhood.
BTW, if you are going to Piraeus to board a Cruise ship, not a ferry... then the Cruise dock is about 1 mile away from the terminal of the Green Line Metro. This map shows the metro station http://www.mappery.com/maps/Pireas-Hotels-Map.jpg ... the cruise docks are at the place marked "K". It is about a €5-7 taxi ride from the metro station.
That is super helpful: I wasn't even thinking that the Piraeus port would have docks for ferries a distance from those for ferries. It sounds like Omonia is a really unpleasant neighborhood, not just run-down.
It's apparent I've have really thought my stay in Athens, both before the cruise and afterwards, very carefully through.
Is it going to be easy to take a taxi to the cruise dock at Piraeus from the Piraeus Metro stop, i.e., I mean will I not have to negotiate a price with the taxi driver, will he use a meter, will he understand where I need to go, etc.? I had a taxi driver in Rome take 20-25 minutes to get from the Pantheon to my hotel 1.5 kilometers away--he kept taking these roundabouts back and forth...I could have shouted but then I would have been left on the street somewhere who knows...but that may have been better than the anxiety I felt having that driver go in circles for what seemed like an eternity.
The street from Metro to cruise dock runs just along the harbor, just look at the map I gave you ... no chance to stray. And just ask the cabdriver to use the meter. And in y our previous reply about thinking through your Athens stay, I think you meant to use the word "not" ... right?? LOL
The metro is super easy and very cheap. Plus no traffic to worry about and no need to study maps. Just watch out for the pickpockets and secure your stuff. Travel is about adventure and the willingness to be uncomfortable.