Piraeus is the main port of the Greek city of Athens, and it will be the starting point for the majority of travelers arriving by cruise ship or from the islands. Due to the enormous size of the port, it can be very confusing to know where to go once you have arrived, which gate is which, and how to actually get into the city center of Athens.
This guide will simplify the various gates and destinations of the port, as well as providing a lowdown on the various ways in which you can travel from Piraeus to the wonderful sites of Athens:
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Piraeus Port Map
Gates and destinations of Piraeus Port
E1 – Dodekanisa
E2 – Crete, Chios, Mytilene, Ikaria, Samos
E3 – Crete, Kithira Vehicles’ Entrance
E4 – Kithira, Vehicles’ Exit only
E5 – PPA Bus Terminal, Pedestrians’ Entrance
E6 – Cyclades, Rethimno, Pedestrians Bridge, Pedestrians’ Entrance
E7 – Cyclades, Rethimno
E8 – Argosaronicos
E9 – Cyclades, Samos, Ikaria
E10 – Cyclades, Samos, Ikaria, Vehicles’ Exit Only
E11 – Cruise Terminal A
E12 – Cruise Terminal B
- Starting at Gate E5, which is opposite the train station, there is a free bus service that stops off at E1, E2, E3, and E4, that will transfer you from the gate in which you arrive at, to the train station, where you can then choose which mode of transport to take into the city center of Athens. Alternatively, if you arrive at any of these gates, you can walk to the train station.
- However, passengers arriving from a cruise ship will need to take a taxi to the train station, as it is too far to go on foot.
6 ways to get from Piraeus Port to Athens City Centre
There are six ways to get to the City Centre of Athens:
Depending on your budget, the amount of time you have, or simply just your preference, there is a range of different ways to get from Piraeus Port to Athens City Centre:
|Bus||30 min||€ 4.50 / 24 hours|
|Subway||30 min||€ 1.40 / 90 minutes|
|Welcome Pick Ups||25 min||€ 28 / one way|
|Taxi||25 min||€ 25 / one way|
|Hop On Hop Off||60 min||€ 12 / 24 hours|
1. From Piraeus to Athens by shuttle bus / cruise passengers only
Several of the cruise ships that dock at Piraeus Port offer a complimentary shuttle bus service to Athens City Centre, which is a fantastic and efficient way of traveling there if the option is available to you. It is definitely worth checking with your cruise ship if this is an option before deciding, as sometimes, even if it is available, it may come at a charge.
This is a simple and hassle-free mode of transport, and the total travel time between Piraeus Port and the center of Athens can range between 20 minutes to 60 minutes, depending on the traffic.
2. From Piraeus to Athens by public bus
Another way in which you can travel from Piraeus Port to Athens City Centre, is by the public bus line, X80 PIRAEUS – AKROPOLIS – SYNTAGMA EXPRESS. This bus service starts at the OLP cruise terminal gate bus stop, which is easy to find once you vacate the ship; it is just a short walking distance from the port, and the buses are located just across the street on the main road.
Before reaching Athens City Centre, this bus service makes three stops along the way, which are as follows: Piraeus town center, Sygrou – Fix Metro Station, and Syntagma Metro Station, the latter of which is the stop for the city center and the Acropolis.
This bus service runs every single day of the week, between the hours of 7:00am, and 21:30pm; the buses run every 30 minutes, which means that you will never have to wait too long to catch one. Depending on the traffic, the journey time of the X80 bus can vary, though more often than not, it will take around 30 minutes to arrive in the city centre of Athens.
Regarding tickets, there are two types of tickets which you can use on the X80 bus. The first of which is the daily ticket for all transport modes, which costs €4.50, per person; you can purchase this on the bus from the driver, and you must validate it on your first ride.
The second option is to purchase the 3-day tourist ticket for all transport modes, which costs €22.00; this is a cost-effective option to choose if you are staying in Athens for a few days, as rather than buying individual tickets, this one covers you for your whole stay and can be cheaper in the long-run. This ticket will also be valid for one journey to and from the airport, and the 3 days begins upon your first validation.
In addition to the X80 express bus, there is also the x96 express bus, which costs the same, but has the added benefit that it travels all year round, rather than just the summer months, like the x80.
Alternatively, another bus option is the 040, which is a lot cheaper, at just €1.40 a ticket, though this service is only available from 5:00 am – 12:00 am.
3. From Piraeus to Athens by subway
An alternative way of getting from Piraeus Port to Athens City Centre is by using the subway. The closest metro station to Piraeus Port is the Piraeus ISAP metro station, which connects the port with Athens Monastiraki metro station in just 15 minutes; the quickest and most efficient way of travelling on the subway is taking the green metro line towards Kifisia, where you then get off the subway at Monastiraki metro station, which is situated next to the vibrant neighbourhood of Plaka.
Alternatively, if you wish to travel straight to the Acropolis or the Acropolis Museum, which are the main tourist attractions of Athens, you can take the green line towards Kifisia, and get off at Omonia metro station instead; at which point, you would then take the red line towards Elliniko, which can sometimes day it is going to Ag Dimitrios, and get off at the Acropolis metro station, where it is then a super quick walk to the sites.
The price for the metro ticket is very cheap, at just €1.40 per person; these tickets are valid for 90 minutes after you first validate them; during this time frame, you can switch lines and directions, so long as you do not leave the metro station. The tickets can be purchased at certain kiosks or the metro station.
To locate the Piraeus ISAP metro station, you must travel to Gate E6, where it is situated opposite; this is around a 20-minute walk from the cruise terminal, and there is a large pedestrian bridge nearby. If you are tired or have lots of luggage, you can take a taxi from your gate to the metro station, which will cost around €10.00, and a maximum of four people can share.
Alternatively, you can catch one of the few public buses that travel between the cruise terminal of Miaouli Avenue and the Piraeus ISAP metro station, which are as follows: the 859, the 843, or the 826. Like the metro tickets, these bus tickets cost €1.40 for 90 minutes, and must be validated; make sure that you purchase these tickets from a nearby kiosk, as they cannot be purchased on board.
4. From Piraeus to Athens by Welcome Taxi
Another option for traveling to Athens City Center from Piraeus Port is by Welcome Taxi; by pre-booking a car online before you even arrive, you will find your driver waiting for you at the port with a sign that has your name on it; the driver will also give you a bottle of water and a helpful city map, which takes all the stress and hassle away from you.
Taking anywhere from 25 minutes to 60 minutes to arrive in the heart of Athens, depending on the traffic, and costing a flat rate of €28 for a maximum of four people, traveling by a Welcome Taxi is an easy, simple, and comfortable way of traveling, albeit slightly more expensive than the other modes of transport.
5. From Piraeus to Athens by Taxi:
Instead of pre-booking a Welcome Taxi, you can travel to the center of Athens from Piraeus Port by regular taxi as well; this can take anywhere between 20 minutes and 60 minutes, depending on the state of the traffic and also costs approximately €25 for a maximum of four people; however, this is not a flat rate, so it can fluctuate and ultimately be more expensive. To locate these taxis, you will find them waiting on the cruise terminal once you vacate the ship.
6. From Piraeus to Athens by the Hop on Hop off bus
The final mode of transport that you can take from Piraeus Port to the city center of Athens, is the Hop on Hop off bus, which will take you from the port to the Acropolis, whilst also making many other stops along the way.
Though not the quickest and most direct way to head to the city center, this certainly is a fun and exciting way to experience the journey and is a particularly good option if you are perhaps not staying in Athens for a long time, because you can at least see many of the sites along the way.
There are over 40 stops in Athens, Piraeus, Riviera, and the Beaches, and you can experience all of these sites from the bus, and soak in the panoramic views that are visible from the upper deck. The Hop on Hop off buses offer audio guide commentary in 12 languages, so this mode of transport is both exciting and educational.