There are several options for travel to Athens. As the capital of Greece, it is home to the countries main airport and with so much coastline there are multiple options to arrive by sea and land as well.
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How to get to Athens
Flying to Athens
There are many flights to Athens from all over the world. Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Qatar and Air China are the best choices for people flying from Asia, the Middle East or Oceania and budget airline Scoot also now fly into Athens. Aegean Airlines codeshares with Etihad.
From the US & Canada, choices include American, Delta, United, and Air Canada and most European carriers have several flights a day in summer including Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, and Ryan Air.
Getting from Athens Airport to the City Center
Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH) airport is located on the outskirts of the city, and getting to Athens city center is relatively straightforward.
Metro – The airport is accessible via Metro’s Line 3 (Blue Line): Ag. Marina – Airport which now goes all the way to Piraeus port.
Check Athens Transport’s website for more info.
There is also an airport express bus for €6, which run 24/7 and are especially convenient for late flights. The buses depart from the arrivals level at the airport, and take around an hour to reach the centre of Athens.The E96 bus will take you to Pireaus port if you need to connect with a ferry.
Flat fare taxis are available for €38 at Exit #3 on the arrivals level. That price increases to €54 between midnight and 5:00 am. Some taxi drivers will try and charge the higher fare at times but this is in fact illegal.
Private airport transfers can be arranged in advance and usually cost only a little more than a taxi. We have partnered with trusted and fully insured drivers who will meet you in the arrival hall. Use this button to book online AND receive 10% off!
Arrivals/Departures & General Information: +302103530000
If you have a very early or late flight it may pay to get a hotel room close to the airport. Towards the back of this article are the different options you have for this.
Further reading : Athens airport transfers
Travel to Athens by sea
There are a number of cruises than terminate in Athens that originate from destinations such as Venice, Istanbul and other parts of Europe.
Cruise lines such as Royal Carribean, MSC and Holland America are very popular and there are some small operators too. You can also arrive by Ferry from some towns in Turkey, Albania, Italy and Croatia.
We love to use Ferryhopper to book ferries. They have a very intuitive search engine which gives you all the different route configurations, plus they deliver to your hotel. They are also now in Italy and Spain as well.
The main railway network of Greece currently provides links between Athens and Northern and Southern Greece to the rest of Europe through the Western Balkan countries and Bulgaria.
You can either catch the Eurostar to Bari in Europe and then a ferry across to Greece or travel down through Greece via Paris, Munich, Belgrade & Thessaloniki. More information is available here.
Greece shares its borders with Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria and Turkey and it can be a lot of fun and incredibly interesting to arrive by car or bus and to continue to explore Greece by road. Road tripping around the Peloponnese peninsula and Thessaly ( Meteora) are some of the best holidays we’ve ever had!
If renting a car in Greece E.U. Member-State citizens may use their own national driving license, while citizens of other countries must have an international driving license together with their own valid national driving license. For further reading check out our comprehensive article on Driving in Greece.
USE PROMO CODE ‘GTS’ TO GET A FURTHER 10% OFF WHEN YOU BOOK BELOW!
Where to stay in Athens
Like many big capitals accommodation in Athens is abundant but also overwhelming. It’s hard to know which neighbourhood of Athens to stay in and which hotel is best located, priced and equipped for your needs.
There is also a lot of Airbnb’s and private homes for rent. This sometimes means you get more space for your money but you will miss out on the incredible service and hospitality that small hotels in Greece are famous for. There’s nothing like knowing someone is on hand to sort out any issues you might have, provide valuable recommendations and organise things for you too, especially in Greek!
Athens is also relatively flat, has good public transport and almost all sites and attractions are within walking distance from each other. It can be very hot in summer but there are many fantastic rooftops bars and, of course, the best places also have Acropolis views.
Once the nightlife district nowadays it’s the main tourist area home to as many tourists as locals.
There are a lot of souvenir and gift shops, cafes, taverna and other things of interest to tourists but it’s also quite a lovely leafy area with brightly coloured, and much photographed, houses and lots of bougainvilleas.
It’s also central to almost everything so it’s easy to see why it is so popular.
Recommended Luxury Hotel: AthensWas Hotel
Athens’ central square, Syntagma is the centre of modern-day Athens, used as a meeting place for friends, and a place for Athenians to voice their displeasure at the government through protests and political gatherings.
It is home to the Presidential Palace and a number of other Government buildings.
With a Metro station under the Square, Syntagma has lots of hotels to choose from and is reachable on foot from most tourist attractions around Athens.
Recommended Budget Hotel: Syntagma Square Apartments
Recommended Luxury hotel: Hotel Grande Bretagne ( the most famous hotel in all of Greece) or King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Monastiraki consists of central Monastiraki Square and the streets around it and is a very popular and well known central part of Athens. Bordered by Ermou street and wedged in between Plaka, Syntagma and Psiri it is a popular tourist destination.
There is a street full of tavernas and cafes called Mitropeleos and we have rented both self-contained apartments and stayed at boutique hotels along there. It is smack bang in the centre of everything.
Recommended Budget hotel: Concierge Athens
Psiri is the cool, grungy area of inner Athens that has always been popular with activists and alternatives. It has some very good cheap and cheerful tavernas and cafes and can get quite lively at night. It is also home to some of the best street art in the world.
Whether you want a hipster cocktail bar or an all-night rave, you’re bound to find it in here.
Recommended Budget hotel: City Circus or Attalos Hotel