How to Get Around Athens
The Greek capital city of Athens is the center of the ancient world, though there is no shortage of modern public transportation options available; the Athens public transport system is incredibly well-connected, it is reasonably priced, reliable, and connects travelers to the vast majority of the city suburbs. There are several different travel options that you can choose from, and this guide will help you to understand each:
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The quickest and arguably most reliable way to get around Athens is by the city’s Metro service; there are three lines that also connect to the tram, bus routes and suburban railway. Fascinatingly, the Athens Metro dates back to the year 1869, is the second oldest underground system in the entire world, with the London Underground being the oldest. At this point, only Line 1, or the Green Line, was operating, and since 2000 Lines 2 and 3 have been opened.
Today, the Athens Metro connects locals and tourists across the city, and to all of the important landmarks, such as the Acropolis, the Port of Piraeus, the Central Railway Station, as well as Athens Airport; it is also efficient in connecting the centre of Athens with the suburbs and outskirts. The lines are:
- Line 1 (Green Line): Kifisia – Piraeus
- Line 2 (Red Line): Anthoupoli – Eliniko
- Line 3 (Blue Line): Airport – Douk. Plakentias – Aghia Marina
The operating hours for the Athens Metro are as follows: between 5:30am and 00:30am daily, aside from Friday and Saturday nights, where lines 2 and 3 remain open until 2:30am. The Athens Metro is generally very clean with air-conditioned trains, and each and every station is fully accessible to disabled persons, as there are elevators on every level and platform.
Furthermore, the price for each journey is 1.40 euros per person, and that covers you for 90 minutes of travel, from the initial point of validation and it is valid for all the modes of transport.
For more information on the Athens Metro, visit their website.
Buses & Trolley buses
One of the most extensive and far-reaching public transport systems in Athens are the Athens bus and trolleybus network; this service connects Athens and the suburbs and also operates throughout the city center. The vehicles are relatively old, though air-conditioned, which is fantastic, particularly throughout the warm summer months.
The operating hours really depend on the time of year, the day, the season and the line, but on the whole, they run from around 5:00am, to midnight. However, there are a total of five lines that run for 24-hours, and there are also 4 airport lines, and 8 Express lines.
For more information on the specific information for each bus, head to their website.
Another option for getting around Athens is to take the Athens Tram, which efficiently connects the centre of the city with the southern seaside; there are 3 lines that offer this service, and are as follows:
- Line 1 – “Kasomouli – SEF”, which connects downtown Athens to the Peace and Friendship Stadium
- Line 2 – “Kasomouli – Voula”, which connects the city centre of Athens to the southern suburb of Voula
- Line 3 – “Voula – SEF”, this line runs along the coastal zone of the region
To travel from Syntagma to the final destination of Voula at the seaside, it takes around one hour in total; the tram also connects to the Athens Metro and over-ground train at a total of four different stops, which are as follows: Syntagma, Syngrou/Fix, Neos Kosmos and SEF (Peace and Friendship Stadium in Faliro).
The operating hours of the Athens Tram run between 5:30 am and 1:00 am, though, on Fridays and Saturdays, they operate between 5:30 am and 2:30 am.
Overall, the Athens Tram is a wonderful way to explore the nearby coastal towns and beaches of Athens, in order to see an entirely different side of the region.
The Suburban Railway
The Suburban Railway, or as it is locally known, ‘Proastiakos’, is one part of the national railway network of Greece, and it is privately operated by the company TrainOSE. The Suburban Railway has three primary routes, which are as follows:
- Piraeus – Athens Central Stations (Larissa Station) – Airport, Piraeus – Athens Central Station – Kiato and Athens Central Station – Halkida.
- In addition to these routes, there are extra train services that run between Ano Liosia and Airport Station, as well as between Ano Liosia and Koropi Stations.
Regarding fares for The Suburban Railway system, it is slightly different to the regular Metro, Tram and Bus tickets; the standard 90-minute ticket for 1.40 Euro, covers all Proastiakos journeys from Piraeus to SKA and Magoula to Koropi stations, though there are variations on fare prices for further away stations. Passengers can use their Athena Tickets and Ath.ena Cards within the urban sections of Proastiakos, and can also use them for journeys to and from Athens Airport; these tickets can be purchased at every Proastiakos station.
For further information and details, visit the TrainOSE Website.
Another option for travelling around Athens is to take a taxi; this mode of transport can be a lot easier, more comfortable, more direct, though it does come at a greater cost. There have been issues raised in the past, where taxi drivers in Athens are said to take longer routes, particularly with tourists who know no better, just to get a higher fare. However, the vast majority of taxi drivers in Athens are friendly, professional, and just want to help you get from A to B.
All taxis in Athens must use a taximeter, and provide a receipt at the end of the journey; there are lots of rules and regulations that taxi drivers must follow and adhere to, and in many instances, fares can be agreed before the journey commences.
In Athens, the official taxis are yellow in colour.
- In Athens, when using the majority of public transport modes, a standard ticket will cost 1.40 Euro; this covers you for 90-minutes of travel; the only exception for this is services that run to and from Athens airport.
- For students and senior citizens over the age of 65, the price is just 0.60 Euro, though you must bring ID or proof of age for this to be valid.
- Additionally, children under the age of 6 are able to travel for free, whilst those aged between 7 and 18 also only pay 0.60 Euro per trip. You will also need to bring proof of age for this to be valid.
- Rather than purchasing individual tickets each time you travel, you can instead purchase a Day Pass, which costs 4.50 Euro, and is valid for unlimited travel across the city, though again, this does not include services to and from the airport.
- For a 3-Day Tourist Ticket, you can expect to pay 22.00 Euro for unlimited travel, which does include 1 round trip to and from Athens International Airport. This is a really cost-effective option for savvy and budget-conscious travelers.
- Alternatively, if you are in Athens for a longer period of time, it is definitely cost-effective to purchase the 5-Day Ticket, which costs 9.00 Euro and is valid for unlimited travel throughout the city on all of the modes of transport discussed in this article apart from the airport