Landing in a city you haven’t been before always gives a wonderful feeling, especially for those who just can’t live without traveling and exploring new places. The thing is that every time one goes to a city for the first time,useful information is needed; and this information can be given only by friends or family members who have been there before. So, here comes a problem, in case that no peer has ever visited your desired destination.
For this reason, we created this survival guide for Athens Airport. By providing this useful info, we hope to make your life easier and your stay in Athens even more enjoyable.
Visiting Athens Airport
Eleutherios Venizelos (ATH) is an award-winning airport of Europe. It’s large enough to satisfy its customers’ needs and not as big as hub airports; you don’t need to worry about feeling lost in it.
There are many duty-free shops and shops where the visitors can have access too, such as cafes, press shops, souvenirs shops and little stores with traditional & local products. Something travelers appreciate a lot is that the personnel is always helpful and kind. Last but not least, it should be pointed out that it is easily accessible by both car and public transportation.
Renting a car in Athens Airport
Currently, there are five car rental companies operating at the Athens International Airport: Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, Budget, Sixt. Their offices are located at the arrivals level of the main terminal building. However, our advice is that you should better book a car a few days before your arrival at the airport, in order to have it in a good price. Book well in advance, especially if you're traveling during peak times. Besides that, keep in mind that aggregators are really helpful in finding the best offers. “Kayak” and “Carrentals.com” are two popular aggregators, but you surely can find more by googling “car rental in Athens Airport” or anything similar.
How to move from Athens to the airport
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 the Syntagma square (Othonos street) and this is also the point of departure. The timetable of the bus route (Syntagma to Athens airport) is available online. To be informed about the reverse route (Athens airport to Syntagma) you just need to click on the option “Backward direction”.
(Ticket price 6€ / Reduced ticket price 3€)
B. By the Metro / Suburban rail
Taking the railway (metro or suburban) is the commonest way to access the city center. The only difference between the two aforementioned means of transportation is that metro heads to Agia Marina (blue line) while the suburban rail heads to suburbs or Kiato. Therefore, if one decides to take the suburban rail, he should get off the train at Doukissis Plakentias and take the metro for the rest of the journey to Syntagma. The ticket price doesn’t change & this is the most convenient way to reach the city center.(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.
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 day time (05:00 – 24:00) and 54€ during the hours that no trains and almost no bus transport.
As far as taking a taxi in Athens in 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
There are a couple of hotels near the Athens airport which can prove really convenient for those who just have a stop in Athens and continue traveling to another place. Sofitel, Mare Nostrum and Holiday Inn are the most popular hotels for those who prefer staying near the airport. In case that you love swimming at the sea, Mare Nostrum is the ideal hotel for you. It’s also a great place to enjoy water sports, as well and have some fun during your short stay in Athens.
Getting from airport to Piraeus port
Fortunately, for the travelers who want to go straight to the port, there is a bus route "X96" which connects Athens airport and Pireaus port. None the less, if you have enough time for a city walk, don't fail to get this opportunity, you will regret it for sure.
The other way to go to Piraeus port is through Monastiraki by metro (blue and then, green line). Thus, you take the metro from Airport, get off at Monastiraki station and get on the train (green line, direction to Piraeus). The time needed to get to the port from Monastiraki is about 20 minutes. In case that you want to access Rafina port, there is a direct regional bus service (KTEL), the bus of which departs from the station oposit to the hotel Sofitel.
Where to change money in Athens
Changing any currency to euro is easy enough when you are in Athens. There are many currency stores in the area of Omonoia (and Syntagma). More particularly, in 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 in the mainland or any Greek island, it will be difficult for you to change your money there. So, don’t forget to do it during your stay in Athens. In addition to that, travelers should remember that paying by card in Greece is not as common as it is in other European countries. So, it is quite useful to carry some cash with you, just in case that you need it.
Don't worry if your time is up and you still have some euros in your wallet. There are some currency exchange shops in the airport, too.
Athens is undoubtedly a big city and travelers from around the world love it. The thing is that sometimes it’s difficult to adapt oneself in a city which never pauses; the hectic pace of modern life is present every day. So, hopefully, the information provided in this article will become a survival guide for Athens Airport and save time for more fun moments in this awesome place.