Information for Athens Visitors

 
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Here are some links and tips for people visiting Athens. You can contribute to this document through pull requests on its GitHub repository.

Contents

Maps and Guides

Other Sites

Transportation

Web sites

From the Airport to downtown Athens (Syntagma Square)

Metro

Exit the airport building, cross the street, and use the connecting pedestrian bridge on the top level to reach the metro and suburban rail station. Purchase a metro ticket to Athens and board the metro train (blue line) going to Athens (Egaleo), not the suburban railway. Exit at Syntagma station. The last train leaves the airport at 23:30.

Bus

You can take an express bus X95 to Syntagma square (the last station).

Taxi

Depending on the time of the day and the traffic a taxi should set you back by around 25 or 36€. You can also reserve a (more expensive) car transfer for about 52€ through this site.

Note that the official name of the Athens International Airport is "Eleftherios Venizelos", after a Greek politician of the early 20th century. You will often see it abbreviated as "El. Venizelos". Now you know this is not in Spanish.

Getting Around in Athens

Athens is a challenging city to get around, even for its hardened locals. If you thought New Yorkers are tough, think again.

Underground

The best way to get around is the underground (the metro). General information on the Athens metro can be found here. A map of the metro network in PDF format is also available here. The map is geographically accurate, which means that it gives you a sense of the real distances in Athens, but it lacks the elegance and the functionality of Harry Beck's maps.

Tram

Tram lines connect the Athens city centre with its southern suburbs. Trams are a convenient means for a pleasant visit to the seaside. Information on the tram can be found here. A map can be found here.

Bus, Trolleybus

Buses and trolleybuses go about anywhere in the Athens metropolitan area. They are cheap, but they suffer from traffic jams, and they seldom follow the published schedule (when such exists). More information on buses can be found here and information on the routes can be found here.

Taxis

Taxis are cheap by European and American standards, if you get a ride with an honest driver. Athenian taxi drivers are notorious for their rip-offs, charging foreigners and even unwary Athenians more than double the actual price, either by forgetting to use the meter, or by using a hacked device. The best is to ask a local how much a given ride would cost, so that you know you are being taken for a ride. If you want to complain, ask the driver to take you to the police. Sharing a taxicab (but not the fare) is common; just hail a (full) taxi and shout your destination to the taxi driver.

Renting a Car

All major rental agencies have offices in Athens, and there are many local companies as well. Driving is not recommended inside Athens, while parking around the area of the hotel is a nightmare. It is better to use rented vehicles for excursions only.

Things to Do

In Athens

There are plenty of things to do and see in Athens; sightseeing alone will fill several days, the night life is vibrant, there are hundreds of cinemas and theatres, and there seems to be a restaurant and coffee shop around every corner. Some starting points:

Outside Athens

If you do have some days to spare, you may want to visit a bit of Greece outside Athens (although Athenians will affirm that all Greece is Athens). Easy trips include:

Food and Fun

For eating, drinking, and getting merry, ask us. In general you should know that:

Things for Geeks

More Information

Reading List


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