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Air

Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport

Athens' airport, at Spata, 27km east of Athens, is a manageable single terminal with all the modern conveniences, including 24-hour luggage storage in the arrivals hall (from €3.50/6hr), a children's playroom and even a small archaeological museum above the check-in hall for passing the time.

It's served by many major and budget airlines as well as high-season charters.

Average domestic one-way fares range from €56 to €140, but vary dramatically depending on season. Between Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air (which have merged but still run separate routes), there are flights to all islands with airports.

Aegean Airlines (www.aegeanair.com)

Astra Airlines Thessaloniki-based, but with a few flights from Athens to Kozani/Kastoria, Chios and Samos.

British Airways

EasyJet

Olympic Air

Sky Express Crete-based. Beware harsh baggage restrictions.

Transport Options

To central Athens, the metro and suburban rail provide quick connections; the bus is slower but cheaper. For Piraeus, use the bus (direct, slow) or suburban rail (requires transfer; potentially faster).

Bus

Express buses operate 24 hours between the airport and key points in the city. At the airport, buy tickets (€6; not valid for other forms of public transport) at the booth near the stop.

Plateia Syntagmatos Bus X95, one to 1½ hours, every 20 to 30 minutes. The Syntagma stop is on Othonos St.

Kifissos Terminal A and Liossion Terminal B bus stations Bus X93, one hour (terminal B) to 1½ hours (terminal A), every 20 to 30 minutes (60 minutes at night).

Piraeus Bus X96, 1½ hours, every 20 minutes. To Plateia Karaïskaki.

Metro

Metro line 3 goes from the airport to the city centre. Trains run every 30 minutes, leaving the airport between 6.30am and 11.30pm, on the hour and half-hour. Coming from the centre, trains leave Monastiraki between 5.40am and 11pm; some terminate early at Doukissis Plakentias, so disembark and wait for the airport train (displayed on the train and platform screen).

Tickets from the airport are priced separately from the rest of the metro. The cost is €10 per adult or €18 return (return valid seven days). A €22 pass, good for three days, includes round-trip airport service and all other transit in the centre.

Suburban Rail

Suburban rail (one hour) is an option to the centre, if you're headed near Larisis train station (after a change at Ano Liosia) or a stop on metro line 1 (change at Neratziotissa). It's the same price as the metro. Trains to Athens run every 15 minutes from 5.10am to 11.30pm; to the airport, from 6am to midnight.

Suburban rail also goes from the airport to Piraeus (change trains at Nerantziotissa) and Kiato in the Peloponnese (via Corinth).

Taxi

From the airport to the centre, fares are flat day/night €38/54 rates; tolls are included. The ride takes 30 to 45 minutes. For Piraeus (one hour), expect day/night €50/60.

To the airport, drivers will usually propose a flat fare of €40 from the centre. You can insist on the meter, but with all the legitimate add-ons – tolls, airport fee, luggage fees – it usually works out the same.

To prebook a taxi, contact Welcome Pickups (www.welcomepickups.com), at the same flat rate as regular taxis.

Boat

Port of Piraeus

Most ferry, hydrofoil and high-speed catamaran services to the islands leave from the massive port at Piraeus, southwest of Athens. Purchase tickets online at Greek Ferries, over the phone or at booths on the quay next to each ferry. Travel agencies selling tickets also surround each port; there is no surcharge.

Transport Options

The main challenge at Piraeus is getting out of the enormous port area. Look for free shuttle buses that run the circuit within the port fence and stop across the road from the metro terminus and the stop for the airport bus. The easiest way to reach central Athens from Piraeus is metro.

Bus

From May to October, express bus X80 (€4) starts at the cruise-ship terminal and runs through central Piraeus and north to Athens, stopping near the Acropolis, at Syntagma and the National Archaeological Museum.

To get to the airport, take express bus X96 (€6) from in front of the metro terminus; service runs 24 hours.

Metro

Metro line 1 (green line) goes to central Athens at the Thissio stop. It's a 30-minute ride, and the ticket costs €1.40.

Port of Rafina

Some services for Evia and the Cyclades arrive at/depart from the small port of Rafina, due east of Athens and the airport. To reach Athens from Rafina, take a KTEL bus (€2.60, 1hr, approx half-hourly 6am to 10.45pm), which arrives at the Mavromateon Terminal, north of Athens centre.

Bus

Athens has two main intercity bus stations, 5km and 7km north and west of Omonia, plus a small bay for buses bound for south and east Attica. Pick up timetables at the tourist office, or see the relevant KTEL operator's website. Find a master list of KTEL companies at www.ktelbus.com; KTEL Attikis covers the Attica peninsula; KTEL Argolida serves Epidavros, with dedicated buses during the summer festival season. Advance tickets for most buses can be purchased at the ticket office near Omonia.

For international buses (from Bulgaria, Turkey etc), there is no single station; some come to Kifissos, while others stop between Plateia Karaïskaki and Plateia Omonias. Tourist Service (www.tourist-service.com) is one operator from Piraeus and Athens to Bulgaria.

Kifissos Terminal A

Kifissos Terminal A, about 3.5km west of Omonia, handles buses to/from the Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands and destinations in western Greece such as Ioannina, Kastoria and Edessa. Buses to Thessaloniki depart from here, but also from the more central Mavromateon Terminal.

If you take a ferry-bus combination from Italy, via Patra or Igoumenitsa, you will arrive here.

Key Buses from Kifissos Terminal A

Alexandroupoli

Duration

11hr

Fare (€)

77

Frequency

5 daily

Corfu*

Duration

9hr

Fare (€)

59

Frequency

3 daily

Epidavros

Duration

2½hr

Fare (€)

12

Frequency

2 daily

Igoumenitsa

Duration

7½hr

Fare (€)

48

Frequency

3 daily

Ioannina

Duration

6¼hr

Fare (€)

43

Frequency

7 daily

Ithaki*

Duration

8½hr

Fare (€)

49

Frequency

1 daily

Kalavryta

Duration

3hr

Fare (€)

18

Frequency

1 daily, 2 on Fri

Kastoria

Duration

8hr

Fare (€)

53

Frequency

3 daily

Kefallonia*

Duration

7hr

Fare (€)

29-43

Frequency

3 daily

Lefkada

Duration

5¼hr

Fare (€)

37

Frequency

4 daily (5 Jul-Aug)

Monemvasia

Duration

6hr

Fare (€)

32

Frequency

4 daily

Nafplio

Duration

2½hr

Fare (€)

14

Frequency

12-14 daily

Olympia

Duration

5½hr

Fare (€)

33

Frequency

2 daily

Patra

Duration

3hr

Fare (€)

21

Frequency

half-hourly 5.30am-11pm

Thessaloniki

Duration

6½hr

Fare (€)

43

Frequency

11 daily

Zakynthos*

Duration

6hr

Fare (€)

38

Frequency

3 daily

*quoted price includes ferry ticket

Transport Options

Local bus 051 To central Athens (Zinonos at Menandrou, near Omonia) every 20 minutes 5am to midnight. Cost is €1.40.

Local express bus X93 To/from the airport, every 20 to 30 minutes, 24 hours, for €6. Allow 45 minutes.

Local bus 420 To/from Piraeus (junction of Akti Kondili and Thermopilon), every 20 minutes 5am to 8pm, €1.40. The trip takes about 45 minutes.

Taxi To Syntagma day/night about €16/€28.

Liossion Terminal B

Liossion Terminal B, 3km north of Omonia, handles buses to central and northern Greece, such as Trikala (for Meteora), Delphi, Larissa, Thiva and Volos.

Key Buses from Liossion Terminal B

Agios Konstantinos

Duration

2½hr

Fare (€)

17

Frequency

hourly 6.15am-9.30pm

Delphi

Duration

2½hr

Fare (€)

16

Frequency

4 daily, 5 on Fri

Halkida

Duration

1¼hr

Fare (€)

8

Frequency

half-hourly 6am-10.30pm

Karpenisi

Duration

4½hr

Fare (€)

27

Frequency

2 daily

Paralia Kymis

Duration

4½hr

Fare (€)

23

Frequency

2 daily (Jul-Aug)

Trikala (for transfer to Meteora)

Duration

4½hr

Fare (€)

31

Frequency

6 daily

Volos

Duration

4½hr

Fare (€)

30

Frequency

10 daily

Transport Options

Local bus/metro To central Athens, 5am to 11.40pm. Walk out the west end of the station to Leoforos Liossion, cross the road to bus stop 'Praktoria' and catch any southbound bus to Attiki metro stop (line 2, red line, runs to Syntagma). Coming from the centre, the bus stop on Liossion is 'Stathmos Iperastikon Leof'. Ticket is €1.40; buy from driver.

Local express bus X93 Runs to Kifissos Terminal A and the Athens Airport, 24 hours. Cost is €6.

Taxi The only option to the centre at night. Approximately day/night €9/15.

Mavromateon Terminal

About 250m north of the National Archaeological Museum, Mavromateon Terminal is a few bus bays and stops with services around Attica. There is also some service to Thessaloniki.

For Cape Sounion, look for the stop just north of Leoforos Alexandras. Ticket booths and buses for Rafina, Lavrio and Marathon are just north, on Mavromateon.

Key Buses from Mavromateon Terminal

Cape Sounion (coastal road)

Duration

2hr

Fare (€)

6.90

Frequency

hourly

Lavrio port

Duration

1½hr

Fare (€)

5.30

Frequency

half-hourly

Marathon

Duration

1½hr

Fare (€)

4.10

Frequency

half-hourly

Rafina port

Duration

1hr

Fare (€)

2.60

Frequency

half-hourly

Thessaloniki

Duration

6½hr

Fare (€)

43

Frequency

11 daily

Car & Motorcycle

Attiki Odos (Attiki Rd), Ethniki Odos (National Rd) and various ring roads facilitate getting in and out of Athens.

The airport has all major car-hire companies, and the north end of Leoforos Syngrou, near the Temple of Olympian Zeus, is dotted with firms. Expect to pay €45 per day, less for three or more days.

Avis

Budget

Europcar

Hertz

Kosmos

Motorent From €20 per day; must have motorcycle licence (and nerves of steel).

Nationwide roadside assistance is available through ELPA.

Train

Intercity (IC) trains to central and northern Greece depart from the central Larisis train station, about 1km northwest of Plateia Omonias.

For the Peloponnese, take the suburban rail to Kiato and change for a bus there. The Patra train line is chronically closed for repairs, so OSE buses, via Kiato, replace its services. Because of this, it's easier to just take a bus from Athens' Kifissos Bus Terminal A to your ultimate destination.

  • At the time of research, Greece’s train system was in a state of flux due to its privatisation. Domestic schedules/fares should be confirmed online or at OSE, where tickets can also be purchased.
  • For tips on international trains, consult www.seat61.com; all trains in and out of Greece go via Thessaloniki. International tickets must be purchased in person at the train station.

Alexandroupoli

Duration

14hr

Fare (€)

38

Frequency

1 daily (overnight, via Thessaloniki)

Alexandroupoli (IC)

Duration

15hr

Fare (€)

63

Frequency

1 daily (via Thessaloniki)

Corinth (suburban rail)

Duration

1hr

Fare (€)

9

Frequency

hourly 5.30am-11.30pm

Kalambaka (for Meteora)

Duration

5hr

Fare (€)

18

Frequency

1 daily direct, 5 via Paleofarsalos (€32)

Kiato (suburban rail)

Duration

1hr 20min

Fare (€)

12

Frequency

hourly 5.30am-11.30pm

Thessaloniki

Duration

6hr

Fare (€)

25

Frequency

1 daily (overnight)

Thessaloniki (IC)

Duration

5½hr

Fare (€)

45

Frequency

5 daily

Volos (IC)

Duration

5hr

Fare (€)

35

Frequency

4 daily (via Larissa)