Most of Athens‘ tourist attractions are within walking distance in the center. The most visited area is between the Acropolis and the main street, Ermou, which starts at Syntagma Square, and ends at Monastiraki. There is hardly a kilometer between these two areas. Other attractions such as the ancient Olympic Stadium or the Temple of Zeus are also just a few minutes away from both Syntagma and the Acropolis. The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the only place further away, it is a 25-minute walk north of Syntagma.
CAR AND BICYCLE FOR RENT
They are little advisable to move around the city, given the congested and chaotic traffic.
To go to the airport or the port of Piraeus by taxi or public transport, see the specific post TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE CENTER, AIRPORT AND PIRAEUS.
All public transport is managed by the same company, which allows transfers between subway, suburban commuter train, buses, trolley buses and trams. Since this summer (2017) it has been implemented a smart card system that is replacing the previous paper tickets. Validate the card before boarding the vehicle (the fine for not validating it is € 86, and since the economic crisis in 2008 inspectors act very frequently) and at each transfer.
Types and prices:
- 90 minutes (single ticket, commonly known as “integrated”): € 1.40 (reduced € 0.60).
- 24 hours: € 4.5.
- 5 days: € 9.
- 3 days (tourist): 22 €. The only one that includes transfer to and from the airport. They are sold at the airport and in Omonoia, Syntagma, Thiseio, Monastiraki, Akropoli and Piraeus stations.
Note that ticket vending machines at some stations do not accept credit cards as far as summer 2016, although after the implementation of the smart card this may have changed.
There are passes for 1 and 3 months for 30 and 85 € respectively, but they are not for 30 days, they are activated on the 1st day of the month and end on the last.
- Metro: open from 5:30 am to 0:30 am. Lines 2 and 3 are open until 2:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays. All have connections between them near the center and connect with major suburban train stations. Some stations are small museums that exhibit archaeological remains found during its construction. There’s one every 4 – 10 minutes depending on whether it is rush hour or not.
- Line 1 (green): Kifisia – Piraeus. The second oldest line in the world (dates from 1869) after London.
- Line 2 (red): Anthoupoli – Eliniko.
- Line 3 (blue): Airport – Douk. Plakentias – Aghia Marina.
- Suburban trains have their stops in areas away from the center, so we will usually need to transfer to bus or subway.
- Bus and trolleybus. Most are new. For schedules and routes, see the official website of bus lines. They have night timetables, so they can be useful when there is no metro.
- Trolley car. They connect the center with the southern part of the city, mainly in the coast area, so they can be interesting in summer. They were introduced on the occasion of the 2004 Olympic Games. They run from 5:30 am to 1:00 am (at 2:30 pm on Friday and Saturday).
- Line 1: Syntagma – Olympic Stadium of Peace and Friendship (SEF).
- Line 2: Syntagma – Voula.
- Line 3: Voula – SEF, along the coast.
Yellow. It is mandatory to use the meter, but many taxi drivers try not to use it. They have bad reputation, although we used it once and had no problem, the taxi driver put the meter and gave us a receipt with the price without even asking for it. The flag drop is € 1.29, and every km in the city (rate 1) is € 0.74. The minimum price is € 3.44.