If you already have your plane ticket to get to Athens, here's all you need to know to save money and gain in comfort for your arrival at the hotel from the airport.
The best transfers between Athens airport and the city center
Once you land in Athens, you can reach the city center in two different ways: by public transportation (metro and bus) or by private transportation (cab or pre-booked transfers).
Shared transfer from Athens airport to your hotel
With this door to door shared transfer service from Athens airport to your hotel a professional driver will pick you up on arrival at the airport and take you to the door of your hotel in a luxury air-conditioned van or transfer. You will share the ride with two or three other travelers, but you will not have to give up any comfort.
For any questions, incidents, special luggage needs, etc. you can easily contact the company by email once you make the reservation.
- It is cheaper than a cab
- The driver is professional and reliable (which cannot be assured in the case of unofficial transfers that are frequent at the Athens airport).
- The driver speaks English (something you will appreciate when you arrive in Greece)
- He will drop you off directly at your hotel while with public transport you will have to find your way from one of the stops in the center of the city.
- It will take you only 45 minutes
- You will travel more comfortably than by bus, train, cab or subway.
- The driver will be waiting for you upon arrival and you will not have to spend effort to locate a specific point inside the airport.
Shared return transfer from your hotel to the airport
This same service is available for the same price to get from your hotel in Athens to the airport at the end of your trip. Taking into account the departure time of your flight, your driver will pick you up at your hotel well in advance so that you arrive on time at the airport without having to embark in a hurry or wait forever.
Private transfer from Athens airport to your hotel
This option is very similar to the shared transfer, the difference is that this time you will go alone in the vehicle or with those traveling with you. In 40 minutes you will be directly at your hotel. It is the most comfortable way to start your trip since you will not share the vehicle with anyone and the departure will be immediate once you arrive in Athens and meet your driver.
How it works
- This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so it doesn't matter what time you arrive in Athens.
- Make your reservation online indicating your flight and hotel details so that they can arrange your pick up.
- Let the company know via email if you have any special situation or request.
- Once you arrive at the airport, your professional, English-speaking driver will be waiting for you at the arrivals terminal with an identification sign.
- You will show him the voucher or booking receipt sent to you by email and he will take you to your hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle.
Return transfer from your hotel to the airport
Once your trip is over, you also have this private transfer service to get from your hotel to the Athens airport. You can book it before your trip or once you are in Athens, the services and quality will be the same on the way there and back.
Other options between the airport and the center
If you prefer public transportation, Athens airport is served by metro and bus. You will find both options signposted upon your arrival at the airport. Here's what you should know:
A one-way ticket to the center costs 10 euros. If you choose round trip you will pay 18 euros, but you have to use the return ticket within seven days, so it is only recommended if you are only in Athens for a few days. You can buy the ticket in the offices that you will find in the station or in the vending machines located in the station.
The metro has connections with stations in the center of Athens such as Syntagma or Monastiraki from where you can transfer or walk to your hotel. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the center and the schedule is from 6:35 a.m. to 11:35 p.m. with a frequency of 30 minutes.
It takes longer than the metro (from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the area you are going to), but it is cheaper and has 24 hour service including holidays. The ticket price is 6 euros and there are four lines available: X93, which connects to Kifisos and Liosion bus station, X95, which goes to Syntagma square, X96, to the port of Piraeus and X97, with final stop at Dafni metro station. Frequency can range from 15 to 60 minutes.
Children and seniors over 65 have a discount on the public service in Athens, but if there are several of you traveling, you may want to book a private transfer because of the prices and the added hassle of having to travel to the hotel on your own once you arrive in the center.
If you arrive in Athens without reserved transportation and want to avoid public transportation, you can also request a cab. In this case you will not need a reservation but you will need to locate the taxi rank (make sure it is the official rank which is indicated with signs) and wait for your turn. Cabs in Athens have a fixed airport fare of 35 euros during the day and 53 euros in the early morning. As you can see this is the most expensive option to get to your hotel.
Renting a car
Finally, there is the alternative of a rental car, but I do not recommend it if you do not know the roads or if what you intend to do on your trip is to stay in Athens. Orientation on Greek roads can be more complicated than in other European countries due to the language.
First tips for your arrival in Athens
What the Athens airport is like
Athens airport has all the amenities of any major international airport. You will have free WIFI, restaurants, luggage storage and a shopping area. Both at the airport and in the city center you will be able to get by in English without any problem.
When to go to Athens
The best time to travel to Athens is in spring. This season is not considered high season (so the crowds will be less crowded), as summer is, and temperatures are still very pleasant during the day (with an average of 25 degrees Celsius).
How to save during your trip
Athens is not a cheap city. Due to tourism, prices can be high, but there are always tricks to save money. The main one is to book as far in advance as possible flights, accommodation and excursions in order to find the best deals. Secondly, the food you can find in the street stalls is quite acceptable so I advise you not to obsess about eating in the best restaurants.
If you go on guided tours it can be a good opportunity to ask your guide for recommendations on cheap places in the city that are off the beaten track. Children, students and seniors can get discounted access to some of the tourist attractions, so always ask about the conditions before buying the ticket. Here is a list of Best Tours and Day Trips from Athens.
How to get around Athens
In Athens the distances are not big, so if you stay in the center you will be able to visit many of the points of interest on foot. Renting a bicycle is also an economical and practical way to move around the city. The metro, on the other hand, is quite efficient and you can save a few euros if you buy combined tickets for several days (you can ask for information at any of the stations).
I also recommend you to consider the option of using the tourist bus to move between the main points of the city. I leave you here my practical guide about Athens Hop on Hop off Bus Tours so you can organize your trip.
What to bring in your suitcase
The currency of Greece is the Euro, so forget about having to carry other currencies during your trip. You don't need to travel with cash either, since in Athens you can withdraw money free of charge from most ATMs. If you travel in summer do not forget light clothing and a raincoat if you travel in winter.
Regardless of the time of year you travel, wear comfortable shoes; to visit the Acropolis you will have to walk. You will also be well advised to take your European Health Insurance Card in case you need medical assistance during your trip, as it will be free of charge.