The main airport serving Athens, the Eleftherios Venizelos, lies about 12 miles to the East of central Athens. Connections with the city centre and Pireaus harbour are good, and easy to navigate even for those who cannot speak (or read) Greek.
Look out for official yellow taxis at the rank between Arrivals Exit 2 and Exit 3, which are plentiful although drivers have a reputation for ripping off tourists. Despite this, we found most drivers to be kind and helpful, with one even telling us we’d be better off getting the underground than taking his cab on a day with particularly bad traffic.
Taxis should charge a fixed fare from the airport to anywhere in the centre of town. This is €35 during the day (between 0500h and 0000h) or €50 if you travel at night (between 0000h and 0500h).
Athens’ underground rail service is modern and efficient. There is a train station just outside the airport terminal building, with maps, signs and ticket machines all in English as well as Greek.
The main line into the city, Line 3, takes you to Syntagma square and Monastiraki where you can change for lines M3 and M2 respectively. Trains leave about three times per hour betweek 0600h and 2330h at the time of writing, but we advise checking timetables before your journey as they are subject to change.
Tickets to downtown Athens cost €10 per person one way, but there is a discount of a couple of Euros if more than one person is travelling – be sure to select the most economical ticket type when using the self service machine.
There is a good bus service from the airport into Athens city centre. Buses run every 30-60 minutes 24/7 and you can find the bus stop outside the arrivals area. Look for the X95 line, which takes you to Syntagma Square at the heart of the city in around 60 minutes. If you are going further afield, the X96 takes you to Piraeus, the X93 to Kifisios long distance bus station and X97 to the Eliniko metro station.
A one-way ticket costs €5, with half-fares available for children and some other concessions.