Athens Airport; A survival guide

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Key Takeaways:

  • Athens Airport is an award-winning airport and one of the best in Europe.
  • There are five car rental companies operating at the Athens International Airport: Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, Budget, and Sixt.
  • The cheapest way to access the airport from Athens city center is by bus (24-hour express bus 'X95').
  • There is a bus, 'X96,' connecting Athens airport and Piraeus port. You can also access Piraeus port through Monastiraki by metro.

Venizelos airport blackboard1965 shutterstockAthens Eleftherios Venizelos airport- credits: blackboard1965/Shutterstock.com

Landing in a city you haven’t been to before is always a wonderful feeling, especially for those who can’t live without the thrill of traveling and exploring new places.

The thing is, every time someone visits a new city for the first time, vital information is needed. 

For this reason, we have created a survival guide for Athens Airport to make your life easier and your stay in Athens even more enjoyable.

Visiting Athens Airport

Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH) is an award-winning airport in Europe. It’s large enough to satisfy its customers’ needs but not as big as hub airports; you don’t need to worry about feeling lost in it. 

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There are many duty-free shops and shops where visitors can have access, such as cafes, press shops, souvenir shops, and little stores with traditional local products. Not to mention the airport offers a free airport shuttle for its gates.

Eleutherios Venizelos airport is known for its helpful and kind staff, as well as for the fact that it is easily accessible by both car and public Athens transportation.

Where to store your luggage

man in airport Netfalls Remy Musser shutterstockA man with luggage waiting for the airport bus- credits: Netfalls Remy Musser/Shutterstock.com

Dragging your heavy luggage around the city is not ideal. Especially in the summer heat, luggage will not only give you back pain but also a severe case of petulance.

Thankfully, Athens International Airport offers various baggage services to ensure your comfortable stay during your trip to Greece, even if you're here because of a connecting flight. 

Individual porter services are available on a 24-hour basis to assist passengers with the conveyance of their baggage, while Core4Bag provides luggage storage services.

Keep in mind that pricing depends on the size of the bag and how long you're storing it there.

Renting a car at Athens Airport

car in Greece Krivosheev Vitaly shutterstockA car parked near a beach in Greece - credits: Krivosheev-Vitaly/Shutterstock.com

Currently, there are five rental car companies operating at the Athens International Airport: Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, Budget, and Sixt. Their offices are located at the 'arrivals' level of the main terminal building of the Athens Airport property.

However, our advice is that you book a car a few days riot to your arrival at the airport in order to get a good deal.

To get your money's worth, book well in advance, especially if you're traveling during high season and/or peak times.

Keep in mind that aggregators are really helpful in finding the best offers. “Kayak” and “Carrentals.com” are two popular aggregators, but you can surely find more if you search for them.

How to move from Athens to the airport

People waiting at Athens tube station markara shutterstock copy copyPeople waiting at Athens' tube station - credits: markara/Shutterstock.com

A. By bus
Going from the airport to Athens downtown by bus (24-hour express bus X95) is the cheapest way.

The terminal station is next to Syntagma Square -on Othonos Street- which is also the point of departure. The timetable of the bus route -Syntagma to Athens airport- is available online for your convenience.

To be informed about the reverse route (Athens airport to Syntagma), you just need to click on the option 'Backward direction' on the website.
(Ticket price 6€ / Reduced ticket price 3€)

B. By the Metro / Suburban rail
Taking the railway (Athens metro or suburban) is the most common and convenient way to access the city center.

The only difference between the two aforementioned means of transportation in Greece is that the metro heads to Agia Marina (blue line) while the Athens central railway station heads to the suburbs or Kiato.

Therefore, if one decides to take the suburban rail, they should get off the train at Doukissis Plakentias metro station and take the metro for the rest of the journey to Syntagma
(Ticket price 10€ / Reduced ticket price 5€)

Tip: Don’t forget to check all the available tickets and choose the one which perfectly meets your needs.

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C. By Taxi
Taking a taxi from Airport to Athens is probably the most expensive alternative since the tariff for this specific journey is 38€ during the daytime (05:00 – 24:00) and 54€ during the hours when no trains and almost no bus transport are available at night.

As far as taking a taxi in Athens for your daily transportation, you should always keep your eyes on the taxi meter; don’t hesitate to ask the driver to turn it on if it’s not.

Furthermore, remember that the taxi fare is double at night (midnight to 05.00 am).

Hotels near the airport

Athens airport hotel EQRoy shutterstockPopular hotel across Athens' International Airport - credits: EQRoy/Shutterstock.com

There are a couple of Athens airport hotels, which can prove really convenient for those who just have a connecting flight in Athens (with Aegean Airlines or any other airline company).

Sofitel, Mare Nostrum, and Holiday Inn are the most popular hotels for those who prefer staying near the airport.

In case you love swimming in the sea, Mare Nostrum is the ideal hotel for you. It’s also a great place to enjoy water sports as well as engage in fun activities during your short stay in Athens.

Getting from the Athens Airport to Piraeus Port

Piraeus port Milan Gonda ShutterstockPiraeus port - credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com

Fortunately for travelers who want to go straight to the port of Piraeus, there is a bus 'X96' connecting Athens airport and Piraeus port

It is probably the quickest way to reach Piraeus Port from Athens Airpot, and it gives you time to catch your early morning ferry even if you arrive in Athens with international flights.

Another way to access Piraeus port is through Monastiraki by metro (blue and then green line).

You need to take the metro from the airport, get off at Monastiraki station and get on the train following the green line that will eventually lead you to Piraeus.

The duration of the trip from Monastiraki to the port of Piraeus is approximately 20 minutes.

In case you want to access Rafina port, there is a direct regional bus service (KTEL), which departs from the station opposite the Sofitel Hotel.

Where to change money in Athens

Acropolis aerial view Aerial motion shutterstockThe Acropolis of Athens - credits: Aerial-Motion/Shutterstock.com

Changing any currency to the euro is fairly easy in Athens. There are many currency stores in the area of Omonoia and Syntagma.

More specifically, on Agiou Konstantinou Street, next to Omonoia Square, there are a few stores for currency exchange, where one can buy euros.

If your final destination is a small place on mainland Greece or the Greek islands, it will be difficult for you to change your money there. So, don’t forget to do it during your stay in Athens, especially if you haven't booked your ferry tickets online, before reaching the ferry port.

In addition to that, travelers should remember that paying by card in Greece is not as common as in other European countries.

Therefore, carrying some cash with you will prove quite useful. Don't worry if your time is up and you still have some euros in your wallet. There are a number of currency exchange shops in the airport, too!

Final Thoughts

academy of athens Anastasios71 shutterstockThe Academy of Athens - Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com

Athens is undoubtedly a big city with travelers from around the world worshipping the ground it stands on.

Hopefully, the information provided here will become a survival guide for Athens Airport, saving you time for more fun in our wonderful, fascinating country!

Our Tailor-Made Trip Planning
Hop on a quick call with a local expert from our team
Receive a tailor-made itinerary for your journey
Fine-tune the details and you're ready to go

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Athens Airport from the city center?

How long does it take to travel from Athens Airport to the city center?

Is there public transportation available from Athens Airport to the city center?

How frequent are the public transportation services from Athens Airport? 

Are there currency exchange facilities at Athens Airport?

Is there Wi-Fi available at Athens Airport?

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