What is the best way for 5 jet-lagged women to get from the Athens airport to the Hotel Attalos? Even though I know the "facts," I pose this question because my jet-lagged husband was nearly robbed (not just pickpocketed) on a metro in Madrid, and I, jet-lagged, was ripped off by a Roman taxi driver. Would it be a good value to find a taxi big enough for 5 passengers? Are there any precautions to take against getting ripped off? We don't speak Greek? Or is the metro easy, safe, and convenient?
Yes, the Athens metro is modern, easy, safe & convenient. Hop on at the airport and go to the Monastiraki metro stop, which is the one nearest your hotel.
The Metro runs between 5:30 AM and Midnight. The fare is €6 per person and 2 for €10. Be sure to validate your tickets at the top of the stairs before you go down to the boarding platform. It's easy and convenient, but Pickpockets are riding the trains these days so you have to keep a sharp eye out on your bags. Don't let yourselves be distracted. If you're standing and carrying a purse or daypack keep it in front of you, not behind you or over your shoulder. It'll be fairly easy to get seating at the airport. The cars don't fill up until after they make a few stops. Try to sit as close to each other as possible on the same side of the car.
The Monastiraki Metro Station is only a block from the Attalos Hotel, just up Athinas Street from Monastiraki Square.
After midnight your choices are the Airport Express Bus and a taxi. The bus takes you to Syntagma Square (€3.2 each), about 15 minutes' walk from the Attalos. A regular taxi will cost at least €35-40. Ask the driver to set the meter and make sure he uses the correct rate (a “2” before the meter means you pay double the price but is only applied at night after 11pm). One large enough for all of you will require special arrangements and will cost a lot more. How much, I don't know, but I did find these:
As usual, Lee is spot on. Just did this trip to the Attalos from the airport, once at 4 a.m. and the second time at 3 p.m. At 4 a.m., we took the bus from the airport to Syntagma Square and caught a taxi there to Attalos and back to Syntagma for 15 Euro total. Really nice guy. Liked us, obviously, from what Lee is quoting. There were 2 of us. So.. maybe you take 2 taxis for 30 Euros??
At 3 p.m., the metro from the airport was easy, once you get to the platform. Depending on your flight, the metro platform may be close to your inbound flight's gate or not, depending where you're coming in from. Ours was not so close, but not a big deal.
The €35-40 I quoted was the one-way fare to or from the airport, not from the Attalos to Syntagma. €15 from the Attalos to Syntagma and back sounds right.
Pocket picking is becoming more prevalent on the Metro when it's busy. They work in groups, jostling their victims and distracting them while someone else cuts into a purse or backpack or reaches into your pocket. Be careful.
We made this trip on the metro just last week. Very easy and convenient and we felt very safe.. just use common sense precautions if it gets crowded. Enjoy the Attalos rooftop bar and have a wonderful trip! Because of the transportation strike, we had to return to the airport by taxi.. I much prefer the metro.
My daughter and I were totally jet-lagged after a very long flight from Seattle. We had no problems finding the Metro at the Airport. We really enjoyed visiting with a Greek lady on our way into Athens, and she taught us how to pronounce some of the stops along the way. Needless to say, we had some pretty good laughs!
Like some of the other comments,...don't look lost, or take your eyes off of your bags for a second. Wear a money belt, bring your purse or backpack around to the front of you in crowds. Be hyper-vigilant, but most of all, have fun!! So yes, for us the Metro was easy, safe, and convenient.
I returned from Greece yesterday. We ended up taking taxis to and from the airport because of our luggage and packages. You have to do what's comfortable for your group. We needed 2 taxis and the taxi fares were between 38 and 50 E each. If it were my husband and myself, we would have taken the metro, which cost 6E each one way. I left my iPod on the plane and went to the airport by Metro to retrieve it....Easy and convenient.