All means of transportation in Athens are English-friendly which makes foreigners’ experience with them less complicated. We have compiled a complete guide to Athens Public Transport in order to assist you with your visit to Athens and the Athenian Riviera.
BUS & TROLLEY
The modern buses and trolleys of Athens are eco-friendly, biodegradable, very cheap and are air-conditioned. They are the most well connected means of transportation, but if you are a tourist in Athens you won’t really need to use them as the other means of transportation mentioned are quicker and more convenient. Most bus stops are computerized to show when the next bus is coming and the buses all have computerized signs on the top to identify which route they are doing. Tickets cost €1,40 for a 90 minutes ride, even if you need to change buses. As with the other public transportation you need to issue an Ath.ena ticket.
All Express buses (X93, X95, X96, X97), which are the ones connecting to the Athens International Airport work 24 hours and fares are higher (€6 one way).
The Athens Metro is small compared to other European cities’ metro, having only 3 lines. The rapid-transit system in Athens is very clean, well organized and not-complicated at all! It connects Athens urban area and parts of East Attica.
Single tickets cost €1,20, but if you are planning to make further use of the Metro you may consider investing in a 24-hour ticket which will cost €4,10 or a 5-day pass at €8,20.
Line 1 starts daily at 05:00 and the last train departs 00:01am.
Lines 2 and 3 open daily from 05:30am and the last train departs from 0:01am.
Interesting fact: The Athens railway system was first built in 1869 as a conventional steam railway and in 1904 switched to electrification. The Athens Metro line is the second oldest in the world after the London Underground.
The Athens Suburban Railway connects the region of Attica to the surrounding areas, which are all connected directly to the Athens’ center, Athens International Airport, to Piraeus Port and last but not least to major archeological sites and tourist destinations.
The suburban railway also connects Athens to Chalkida, the main city next to the Aegean island of Evia, famous for beautiful beaches and excellent fish taverns.
It is the most affordable means of transportation in Athens for long destinations, with single tickets starting at €1, 40.
The tram is a good means of transportation for those visiting Athens for the first time, as it can also be used for sightseeing. The tram connects the Athens center with the coastal suburbs of Athens, Piraeus on one end and Glyfada-Voula on the other.
Tram tickets cost € 1,20 for a 90 minutes ride.
The first tram departs at 04:40am daily and last at 23:55 on Sundays – Thursdays and 01:39am Fridays and Saturdays.
Yellow taxis are a popular means of transportation in Greece as they are not very expensive, compared to other countries. In Greece you can stop a taxi on the street, if the green light is on or you can grab one at a taxi stand. Alternatively you can order a Taxi using the app Taxibeat and choose the method of payment, cash or electronically.
Taxis operate 24hour.
Rates are charged 40% higher during 00:00 until 04:59am.
KTEL (LONG DISTANCE BUS)
As the railway (trains) is not as developed or popular in Greece as in other European countries, for long distance journeys people use the KTEL coaches. KTEL ticket fares are very cheap and they conveniently connect Athens to many regions in Greece. The two main stations where the buses depart from are Kifissos and Liossion bus station, but along the way there are several stops on other bus stations where passengers can jump in or get off.
VISIT SOUNIO WITH KTEL
If you are interested in visiting the temple of Poseidon in Sounio or have a beach day on one of the amazing beaches around, KTEL could be a great option for transportation. Buses depart from Athens daily from 08:30 and run every 2 hours until 17:00. Buses depart from Syntagma or the Metro station Sygrou-Fix. Last bus from Sounio to Athens departs at 20:30.
Tickets cost €8.
SIGHTSEEING BUS ATHENS (HOP ON HOP OFF)
The original Hop On Hop Off commentated route and tours of Athens. Recommended for tourists visiting Athens. Tickets range from € 18-22 and are valid for 48 hours.
Working hours, routes and prices vary with seasonal changes. Summer season starts on the 1st of April and ends on 31st of October. Winter Season starters 1st November until 31st of March.
All tickets include the following:
- 12 languages options for commentaries
- FREE Wifi on boards
- FREE “Glass of Greek Beer” for all passenger +18
- Walking Tour (available on Summer Season)
- Athens Line
- Piraeus Line (subject of changing)
- Athens Riviera Line (operating on Summer Season)
Buy your tickets online here.
Frequently asked question FAQ
What’s the best way to get from the airport to Athens Center?
The quickest way to get from the Athens International Airport to the center of Athens is a yellow cab. It is a good option if you are carrying luggages or if you are a group of 3-4 people. The ride should cost you around € 38 and € 50 after midnight. You could also try to negotiate with the driver the cost of your journey beforehand. The journey is 25-35 minutes depending on the traffic.
Taxi services can be found at the Arrivals exits.
Another quick means of transport and more affordable is to take the metro line M3 heading to Nikaia. This line stops at all the central stations such as Monastiraki, Syntagma, Eyaggelismos, Megaro Mousikis and Keramikos. Single tickets cost €10, children age of 6-18 and people 65+ pay half a ticket.
Where can I buy tickets for the public transport?
Ath.ena Ticket is the simplest type of electronic ticket for Athens transport. It is made of paper, slightly larger than a regular ticket, but also includes an RFID tag so that all transactions can be done wirelessly. These tickets can be bought in any open Athens transport ticket office, as well as from automatic ticket machines at various stations. They can also be bought in periptera which are kiosks selling newspapers, cigarettes, phone sim cards and more.
The Ath.ena ticket can be “recharged” over and over again with any of the available fare products through cash registers or vending machines found in all metro, tram stations and in some bus stations and used for travel until worn out.
What’s the cheapest way to get from the Athens International Airport to Athens City Center?
The cheapest means of transportation from the Athens International Airport to the center of Athens and vice versa is the bus. Line X95 is the one connecting the Airport to the city center through the Northern suburbs of Athens in a ride of 1hour and 20 minutes. Tickets cost € 6 and should be issued from the ticket office next to the station. Buses pick up passengers at the Arrivals Level and depart from the Arrival Level, between Exits 2 and 3.
Is Athens a walkable city?
Athens is one of the most ancient cities in the world and surprisingly after natural disasters and centuries of wars, it has been well preserved. The most touristic regions of Athens- Monastiraki, Ermou, Plaka, Thiseio and the area where the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum are located, are pedestrian only regions. Apart from these areas Athens city center is still walkable and central areas are mostly located at a walking distance to each other.
Does Uber work in Athens?
The Uber app works in Athens, however by ordering an uber a regular taxi will be sent. Ubers can ride only inside the region of Athens and to the airport.