Athens Transportation Tips by mindcrime Top 5 Page for this destination
Athens Transportation: 323 reviews and 304 photos
tram in Amalias avenue
The first tram operated in 1882, they were wagons drawn by 3 horses (!) while in 1908 the first electric trams came. There were 21 different lines but the state put then away in the name of evolution in 1960! Trolley buses have started to replace the tram lines since 1953, many of them are still around with the same numbers the trams had back then!
Because of the Olympic Games in 2004 they brought it back paying a fortune and still there is an issue of how useful the tram is in a city like Athens.
For the moment there are only a 3 lines of tram, 2 of them start from Syntagma square and they follow the same route down to the seaside through Nea Smyrni, then one line turns right to Faliro (SEF stadium) while the other turns left along the seaside and terminates in Voula. The third tram line connects Faliro with Voula.
The route from Syntagma square is nice if you have some free time to spend but it’s kind of slow because it goes through some avenues with cars (!) in some parts of it… In summer a lot of people use it for the beaches, some concert venues etc It’s also the only transport media that operates 24’ (Fridays/Saturdays only)
A ticket is required to ride the tram. Validate your ticket before you board on tram on the machines along the platform.
There are ticket machines in every tram stop, one way ticket costs 1.20euro but you can also use:
-ticket for metro/bus/trolley/tram 1.40e (valid for 90’, you can change to any of these media during these 90 minutes)
-24h ticket(for buses/tram/metro/subway): 4euro
-weekly ticket(for buses/tram/metro/subway): 14euros
Athens City Tour
There used to be a bus line, bus No.400 which was the Athens Sightseeing public bus. I never used it but it seems not many visitors used it either because I guess they didnt want want to spend 90' in bus seeing the center of the city without doing anything! The local joke was “what is blue, empty and does circles in the traffic of Athens?” The line stopped operate in early June, 2010.
You will probably prefer the CitySightseeing bus, a typical tourist bus with open top floor so you can take nice photos (and burnt out by the sun in summer!). You can hop on at Syntagma square (depart every 30’). The day ticket is 18 euro and runs from 9am to 21.00 (till 18.30 from November to March). The route has 15 stops and in normal traffic you will need 90’ to return to Syntagma square again. There is an audio guide in 11 languages which may be a bit confusing.
Another company is Athens City Tour, a typical hopon hop off bus again (this time in yellow color) with slightly cheaper price (15e), the audio guide is in 12 languages (!). It runs from 8.45 from Syntagma Square and runs till 19.45 (17.30 december to march)
Lately I noticed a third company! Sights Of Athens is another hopon-hop off bus (this time in blue!), I checked online and noticed they have tickets from 10e but their route in Athens is much shorter than the others but it may be useful for those who will take it directly from the cruise port in Pireaus.
Have in mind that all companies operate similar buses in Pireaus, usually they have a combo ticket for both routes.
hordes of taxis!
You will find them everywhere, the yellow race as we call them (all the taxis in Athens are yellow) fill the streets as there are 15.000 taxis in Athens! I seriously think that they are responsible for the huge traffic of Athens! :) I have to admit I rarely use them except some late hours when there is no metro to take me back home. The last year due to the economic crisis they seem to have serious problem with only a few customers, that’s why many of them use to wait in specific lines for hours instead of running around for customers.
Just raise your hand and usually they stop even if they have someone else inside. It’s normal here to take more than one passenger if the route is more or less the same.
The good thing is that taxis in Greece are cheaper than in other european cities. Of course the universal rule about taxi drivers affects greek drivers too so pay attention because some of them do the same tricks like doing pointless circles, trying to charge more etc but I think its the minority of them that do things like that... The most common route they used to scam tourists was from the airport to city center as the newcomers could easily be fooled but hopefully since February 2011 there is a fix price from/to city center. It will cost you 35 euros (including tolls/luggage etc). After midnight(till 5.00am) it costs 50euros.
the happy train!
There is a touristic small train that goes from Monastiraki to Syntagma and back and its called “Athens Happy Train”. In fact this isn’t a normal train but a an open miniature choo-choo train!! :)
Of course, you will be with other tourists smiling and taking pictures of the sights while it strolls slowly through the traffic, you will smell the gas of the cars and of course the locals will take a strange look at you as they go to their work!... :) It’s slow but amusing especially if you have kids with you or someone that cant walk too much.
There is one train per hour and the ticket costs 6 euros (for kids 4e). You can take it the train at Monastiraki square but also in other spots from 10:00am. It actually starts at Syntagma square and the main stops/sites of the circle route are:
Syntagma Square (at the top of Ermous street) > Parliament/Monument of Unknown Soldier > Presidential Palace (Herodes Attikou street) > Panathinaic Stadium > Zappion Hall > Temple of Zeus/Hadrian's Arch > Plaka > Ancient Roman Market > Stoa of Attalos > Temple of Hephaestus > Apostolou Pavlous Street > Dionysiou Aeropagitou Street > Herodios Atticus Theatre > Acropolis > New Acropolis Museum > back to starting point
the ride is about 45’-60’(after 22.00 Herodus Atticus street is closed so the route doesnt include some sites)
horse carriage tour
Find a hotel in the center and walk! It’s the only way to feel a city, even a huge one like Athens, most attraction are in the center anyway. Then use public transportation for some long distance trips or just to return back to your hotel when you cant stand anymore.
There are 2 metro lines and 1 subway that connect many areas but of course not enough for a city like Athens. We use buses very often but it’s gonna be complicated for tourists so I think metro will be easy for you for the basic areas anyway. The subway starts from Piraeus port (in case you’ll head for a boat to an island) and goes up to the north suburb of Kifissia (a nice expensive district anyway).
From subway you can change to metro lines at Monastiraki, Omonoia, Attiki.
Usually metro/subway opens at 05:00am and ends at 00:15 (02:00am on Friday/Saturday)
Green Line(subway): Port of Pireus – Kifisia
Red Line(metro): Elliniko – Anthoupoli
Blue Line(metro): Airport - Egaleo
There are 2 single tickets:
a)one way ticket for bus/trolley/tram 1.20e
b)ticket (valid for 90’) for metro/bus/trolley/tram 1.40e
you can change to any of the above during these 90 minutes.
there is also a 3day touristic ticket (for buses/tram/metro/subway including 1return trip to/from the airport) 20euro
Some other useful tickets/cards(not for buses/metro to airport):
24h ticket(for buses/tram/metro/subway): 4euro
weekly ticket(for buses/tram/metro/subway): 14euros
Monthly card(for bus/trolley bus only) 20euro
Montly card(for buses/tram/metro/subway) 45euro
Annual(for buses/tram/metro/subway) 450euro
a boat arrives at Pireaus port
There are three ports that you can you for ferries/boats to the islands, Piraeus, Rafina, Lavrio
For Piraeus which is the bigger port get subway (green line) to Piraeus and most of the boats will be there in front of you! In case some of them are further in other piers just ask a local agent. There is a free local bus that goes further to other piers (for exable to the boats that go to Lesvos island etc)
Most cruise ships and ferries use the main central port of Piraeus except easyCruiseOne that use the yacht marina Marina Zeas.
For Rafina you have to take a bus from the beginning of Alexandras avenue (1 hour ride), 5' away from Victoria metro station.The bus ride takes about 60’
For Lavrio you have to take a bus from the beginning of Alexandras avenue (1 hour ride), 5' away from Victoria metro station but the ride takes about 2 hours.
All the ports have many travel agents around selling tickets for all destinations but (especially during high season) its better to book in advance. There many online sites like www.greekferries.gr, from what I've noticed most of them have the same prices
main bus station
They always say that will build one new big bus station but for the moment there are two main bus stations serving different cities of Greece. So depending on your destination you can go to:
1)LIOSION Bus Station.
It serves cities in Viotia province(Thiva, Livadia, Arahova etc), Volos, Evritania(Karpenisi), Karditsa, Larisa, Katerini, Trikala, Fokida/Fthiotida provinces (Lamia, Amfisa, Delfoi, Itea), Chalkida province(Aidipsos, Pirgos, Istiaia, Kimi, Karistos, Aliveri etc)
2)KIFISOU(also known as PELOPONISOU) Bus Station.
This one is bigger and serves all the cities in Peloponisos(Patra, Kalamata, Korinthos, Pirgos, Mesinia etc), Ipirus province(Ioannina, Arta, Throspotia, Igumenitsa, Preveza), Macedonia and other southern provinces (Thesaloniki, Serres, Kavala, Alexandroupoli etc)
For the first one take metro to Attiki station and then any bus going north on Liossion street for just a few stops (ask the driver).
For the second one you can take bus 051 at the corner of Menadrou and Zinonos streets near Omonoia square. There are buses every 15’ 05:00-23:30
X95 airport bus
ok, there are 3 options:
Since February 2011 there is a fix price from/to city center. It will cost you 35 euros (including tolls/luggage etc). After midnight(till 5.00am) it costs 50euros.
The ride will be less than an hour but depending on the traffic it may be 2 hours! (during general strike it's like hell because everyone is using a car)
Slightly more expensive than bus(8euros for 1 person, 14e for 2, 20e for 3), the ride is 40’ and there is one every 30’ but of course not 24h like the bus. It takes you directly to Syntagma Square.
Take bus X95 (5 euro, 24h, one every 10-15’) from the airport that takes you direct to Syntagma square. It's my favorite option anyway, the ride takes 40'-65' depending on the traffic.
There are also buses to Ethniki Amyna Metro station(X94), Port of Pireus(X96), Kifissos/Liosion Bus Stations(X93), Dafni Metro Station(X97)
on your way back just take the bus from Syntagma square.
here's the timetable from syntagma square:
5.15 5.30 5.40 5.50
6.00 6.10 6.20 6.25 6.35 6.40 6.50
7.05 7.15 7.25 7.40 7.55
8.10 8.25 8.45 9.00 9.20 9.35 9.55
10.10 10.25 10.45
11.00 11.15 11.30 11.45
12.00 12.15 12.30 12.45
13.05 13.20 13.35 13.55
14.10 14.25 14.40 14.55
15.10 15.30 15.45
16.00 16.15 16.30 16.45
17.00 17.15 17.35 17.55
18.10 18.25 18.40 18.55
19.10 19.25 19.40 19.55
20.10 20.25 20.40 20.55
21.10 21.25 21.40 21.55
22.10 22.25 22.40 22.55
23.10 23.25 23.40 23.55
24.10 24.25 24.40 24.55
01.10 01.30 01.55
03.00 03.25 03.45
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