The new Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is 27 km east of the city, but by public transport it will be more than 40 km. There are a main terminal and satellite terminal, and in 2014 received the award for the best airport in Europe, although I suppose they were thinking about the new area, because the old part is as ugly and chaotic as it could be.
The Piraeus Port, from where ferries depart to islands and cruise ships stop, is 10 km southeast of Athens. It is an eminently industrial area and not advisable to walk around, both in terms of tourism and security.
From the airport to the center:
- Line 3, “Agia Marina – Douk- Plakentias – Airport”.
- Although a single ticket costs € 1.40, the ticket from / to the airport costs € 10 (€ 18 for two people or € 24 for three) or € 18 roundtrip (valid for 7 days). The 3-day tourist pass (€ 22) is valid and therefore recommended for those who are going to spend 3 days in the city.
- Every 30 minutes (a very low frequency for a metro).
- From 6:30 am to 11:30 pm.
- It takes about 40-45 minutes to Syntagma or Monasteraki station.
To go from the airport to Piraeus you must change at Monasteraki (in the city center) to line 1. The total estimated time is one hour. We used it in October 2017 to get from the airport to Piraeus and we confirmed that it took us an hour.
For more information on how to buy tickets, see GETTING AROUND IN ATHENS.
SUBURBAN TRAIN (PROASTIAKOS)
Less recommendable than the metro, since the price is the same, but it is slower and complex connections have to be made, although the return ticket is valid for 30 days.
- It connects the airport to Athens Central Station (Larissi Station), approximately 1500 meters north of the center, and Acharnai Station, very north of the city. Half way passes through the Plakentias station, where you can change to other trains, buses or metro line 3.
- Every 15 – 25 minutes.
- From 5:26 am to 9:45 pm.
- It takes an hour to the center, but consider Larissi is further away from it than the metro stations.
To go to Piraeus you have to change at Neratziotissa. At least 90 minutes.
They work 24 hours. They are slower (because although they are called express, they are not, they stop at all stops) than the metro and train, although cheaper, € 6 one way. The tickets are sold in machines or kiosks next to the stops; even if the new smart cards are used, transfer to no other public transport is allowed. From the airport:
- Center, Syntagma Square (stop on Othonos Street, on the south side of the square): Bus X95, takes from one hour to 90 minutes, every 30 minutes. We used it to return from the center to the airport on a Thursday at noon and it took just over an hour.
- Kifissos bus terminal (KTEL, long-distance buses): Bus X93, one hour, every 30 minutes (60 at night).
- Piraeus: Bus X96, 90 minutes, every 20 minutes. It has an intermediate stop in Karaïskaki Square, in the center of Athens.
- There is another line of little interest for tourists, the X97.
There are also express buses from the airport to other Greek cities.
From the center to Piraeus, the X80 bus operates in high season; only admits as a ticket a 24-hour or 3-day pass. Normal bus to Piraeus is the 040, operates 24 hours, every 20 minutes approximately (at dawn every 40 minutes).
Although the buses are modern, they are not adequately equipped to carry luggage, our bags were rolled around the central area of the bus, since there is no way to hold them or where to put them.
- Fixed price center – airport and vice versa: € 38 from 5 am to midnight, € 50 from midnight to 5 am. 40 minutes approximately.
- There is no fixed price from the airport to Piraeus, it should approximately cost € 50 during day and 60 at night. 50 minutes.
- A taxi from the center to Piraeus should cost between € 10 and € 15. There’s an extra tariff if you get the taxi in the port, so when you are back from your ship, it’s wise to leave the port and the taxi on the street.
Taxis are not advisable in Greece in general, but even less in Athens (see the post DANGERS, PROBLEMS AND ANNOYANCES IN ATHENS).
The major car rental companies are present both at the airport and at the port. When leaving the airport you have to pay € 3 toll.