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Getting around in Athens: info, costs and advice

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Martí Micolau
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With millennia of history, Athens is a city in constant evolution, which changes its appearance to adapt to the frenetic pace of modern life. It is one of the most popular European capitals, because it contains history and culture, but also fun and sea in the Piraeus area!

Learning to move within its frenzy is key, so here's one guide on how to get around Athens: info, costs and advice!

Index

  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Athens
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips


Athens is a city with a very high and fast traffic. The frenetic pace of the cars is in stark contrast to the calm life of the pedestrians, therefore car rental is not recommended. The city is equipped instead of excellent means of transport: 3 underground lines and several suburban train lines that allow you to reach any point.

If you have limited time, the right way for you is the red hop-on hop-off bus, which will allow you to quickly reach all the major attractions, get on and off when you want without limits and also enjoy a wonderful panoramic tour of the city, and even includes 2 guided walking tours!

Il single ticket to move within the Athenian metropolitan area costs € 1,40 and lasts 90 min, but cannot be used to reach the airport, which requires a dedicated ticket. The historic center can be easily visited on foot. Also recommended is the combined ticket for museums and hop-on hop-off buses, which will allow you to enter the attractions for free or at discounted prices and use the tourist bus for 48 hours.





  • Recommended solutions and means: underground, on foot to the center, hop-on hop-off tourist bus
  • Solutions and means not recommended: car, moped
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: Athens Turist Card (from € 55,00 -), day ticket (from € 4,50), 72h ticket with return ticket to the airport included (from € 22,00)

How to get from the airport to the center of Athens


The city is served byAthens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, and has excellent connections with Italy, there are numerous direct flights operated by both low cost and national airlines and in the summer the coverage is increased!

The airport is about 40 km from the center. It is connected to the city center by a toll road but is very easy to reach even with the By public transport, by taxi or by transfer to the hotel to be easily booked online before departure.

Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport

  • Distance from the center: 40 km / travel time: 45 min;
  • By train: suburban lines 1200 / ticket cost: € 8,00
  • By metro: line 3 / ticket cost: € 10,00
  • By taxi: average cost € 40,00 at a fixed rate / travel time: 45 min
  • By bus: average cost € 6,00 at a fixed rate / X93, X95, X96 and X97 lines
  • Private transfer: Transfer from Athens airport to the hotel in the city center from € 20,00

How to get around on foot

The historic center of Athens is totally safe for pedestrians at any time of the day or night. Sure, the city is uphill (or downhill, depending on the starting points) but walking around the acropolis and its surrounding areas is the best way to discover its history and live the present, letting yourself be involved in its warm and jovial atmosphere.

At this time, the city of Athens is creating cycle paths and pedestrian zones which will replace large avenues and which will allow you to move around by bicycle and on foot even outside the areas reserved for tourists. In this case, the ticket for the red hop-on hop-off bus is highly recommended, which also includes two guided walking tours, one at 11:00 and one at 13:15!

For others itineraries on foot or by public transport, download our Smart Guide for visiting Athens for free.



Con i mezzi pubblici

Athens has excellent connections by public transport, which cover the historic center and the suburbs in a widespread manner. When you arrive at the airport or port, get yourself one free tourist map of public transport, which helps you to orient yourself with the paths. In fact, if the subway always has double alphabet (Greek / Latin) signs for buses and trains in some areas it is not.

The best way to visit the city, especially if you have little time available or if you want to enjoy a nice panoramic tour, is the tourist bus, which will allow you to ascend and descend without limit at all stops and on all 4 routes! A comfortable and fun way to reach all the attractions.

Metropolitan

Athens has 3 underground lines: Green Line 1 which connects the center to the port of Piraeus, Red Line 2 which has the stop for the Acropolis and Blue Line 3 which connects the airport to the center.

  • Downloadable map:
  • from 5:30 to 00:00 (on Fridays and Saturdays the metro remains open until 2:20)
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 1,40
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 24 h € 4,50, 5 days € 9,00; 72 h (with round trip to the airport included) € 22,00

bus

Not recommended for use in the city center, buses are a great alternative for reach outskirts and neighboring villages not served by the subway.


  • Downloadable map:
  • 4: 30-00: 00 (daytime); 00: 00-5: 30 (night)
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 1,40
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 24 h € 4,50, 5 days € 9,00; 72 h (with round trip to the airport included) € 22,00

Tram

Athens has sunshine 3 tram lines that connect it to the sea: 2 depart from the center to reach Neo Faliro in one direction and Voula in the other; while 1 line directly connects Neo Faliro to Voula.


  • Downloadable map:
  • 05: 00-00: 00 with 24-hour service during the weekend
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 1,40
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: from 24 hours to € 4,50; from 5 days to € 9,00; from 72 hours (with round trip to the airport included) for only € 22,00.

By car

Traveling by car within Athens is highly discouraged. The city is divided into a maze of one-way streets and areas with high-flow avenues. In addition, all means of transport will help you easily move and reach every point of the city!

There are several situations to which pay attentionSpeed ​​limits are often a mere indication and it is a good rule to check that the road is clear even when you have the right of way. However, the car is an excellent solution if you decide to take a trip to visit neighboring cities and tourist places.

ZTL

Athens has limited traffic areas for cars in the Old Town, where tourists stroll in search of souvenirs or admiring the monuments, an example is part of Ermou Street, the Acropolis, Thissio, Plaka and other small neighboring areas. These areas are always indicated, be careful not to enter them.

Also, for lower pollution levels, often the Athenian government imposes entrances to alternate plates during the winter period. However, cars registered abroad and the means of car rentals are exempt.

Stops and parking

The historic center is dotted with paid parking lots, especially underground. Although Athens is a cheap city, stopping in these private places becomes expensive if extended. In Syntagma square and the Acropolis, for example, you will find Parkaround: a stop here costs € 5,00 / hour. Leaving your car on the road may not be a good idea - heavy traffic often causes accidents.

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