Last updated: September 22nd, 2016
PLEASE READ: During 2017 the Athens transport ticket system will transition from paper tickets to modern electronic tickets with the use of plastic smartcards (similar to London’s Oyster cards). If you plan to travel to Athens during 2017, check the Athens Transport Tickets and Cards page in time, for the latest updates on how to use the new electronic tickets.
Welcome to Athens! With an urban population of more than 4 million people, Athens is the capital of Greece and the 4th most populous capital in the E.U. with a large, modern mass transit system to serve the needs of residents and visitors. It consists of:
- City buses
- Electric trolley-buses
- Athens Metro
- Athens Tram, and
- Athens Suburban railway.
Athens is connected to even the remotest destinations through the Athens International Airport, ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio, national railway network operated by TRAINOSE and, long-distance bus network KTEL.
From the airport to downtown Athens
Getting to/from the Athens International Airport and the city center, located about 20 km (12 miles) east can be achieved via:
- 24-hour express buses: All buses leave passengers at the Departures Level and depart from the Arrivals Level, between Exits 4 and 5. There are four routes:
One-way travel time estimates: X93 (65 min), X95 (70 min), X96 (90 min), X97 (100 min). Allow sufficient time to travel as traffic conditions may cause delays.
For ticket info see Athens Transport tickets and cards.
- Metro: Take Metro Line 3 (Aghia Marina – Douk. Plakentias – Airport), which connects the Athens airport with the city center. Trains run every 30 minutes, 7 days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The trip from/to the Airport to Syntagma station (Athens center) lasts 40 minutes. See the Metro timetable to the airport here.
For ticket info see Athens Transport tickets and cards.
- Proastiakos: The Suburban railway connects the Athens airport with the Athens Central Railway Station and Acharnai Railway Center, and through them to the National Railway network. Trains run 7 days a week from 5:26 am to 21:44 pm. Current timetables: Airport – Kiato and Kiato – Airport, Kiato – Patra bus connections, Piraeus – Athens – Halkida line.
Tip: The Suburban railway departs every 15-25 minutes from the Athens Airport railway station to Plakentias station, where you can change trains (platforms are on different levels) and continue to the city center (Metro Line 3 to Egaleo), using the same ticket.
- Taxi: A taxi from the airport to the city center costs a flat rate of €38 from 5:00 a.m. to midnight, and €54 from midnight to 5:00 a.m.
From Athens to the port of Piraeus
- Metro: Take Metro line 1 towards Piraeus. The terminal station is just across the street from the port. If you’re coming from or going to the airport, change lines at Monastiraki station.
- Buses and trolleys: A large number of buses and trolleys connect the port of Piraeus to different areas of Athens. Bus line X80 is an express tourist bus line running during summer months between Piraeus cruise terminal and Athens center (only tickets valid on X80 line are the 3-day tourist ticket and the 24-hour ticket). Bus line 040 runs 24-hours a day, between Syntagma square and the port. Bus route X96 is an express 24-hour line, running between Athens airport and the port of Piraeus.
Moving around the city
Buses and trolleys
City buses and electrical trolley-buses serve Athens and its suburbs. Most vehicles are modern and air-conditioned. Special schedules apply during summer months of July-September
Operating hours vary according to line/day/season, but generally they run between 5:00 a.m. – midnight. There are also five 24-hour lines, 4 airport lines (see above section), and 8 Express lines.
You can find routes, maps and real time bus movement information for every line on this website: Athens Buses routes and timetables. You can also get additional information by calling 11185 from a Greek phone. For ticket info see Athens Transport tickets and cards.
The Athens Metro has 3 lines. Line 1 (the Green line) started operation in 1869, making it the second oldest underground system in the world after the London Underground. Lines 2 and 3 opened in 2000 and increased the Metro’s popularity due to its speed, cleanliness and security. Today’s Athens underground connects important landmarks of the Greek capital, such as the Acropolis, Athens Airport, Port of Piraeus, Central Railway Station and Olympic Stadium, in addition to connecting downtown Athens with the suburbs. Archaeological exhibits found during Metro’s construction and modern works of art are exhibited in many stations. All stations are fully accessible to disabled persons with elevators in every level and platform and most of the trains are air-conditioned.
- Line 1 (green line): Kifisia – Piraeus
- Line 2 (red line): Anthoupoli – Eliniko
- Line 3 (blue line): Airport – Douk. Plakentias – Aghia Marina
All trains stop at all stations all the time, except of the section Airport – Douk. Plakentias of line 3 where trains run every 30 minutes.
Operating hours are 5:30 a.m. to 00:30 a.m., and every Friday and Saturday night, lines 2 & 3 stay open until 2:30 a.m. You can find information about Athens metro, including timetables, maps, parking and safety information on this website. For ticket info see Athens Transport tickets and cards.
Starting operation on the eve of Athens’ Olympics, the Athens Tram connects the city center with the southern seaside. There are 3 lines:
- Line 1 «Syntagma – SEF» linking downtown Athens to the Peace and Friendship Stadium,
- Line 2 «Syntagma – Voula» which runs between the city center and southern suburb of Voula and
- Line 3 «Voula – SEF» running along the coastal zone.
In summer, many Athenians choose tram to visit nearby beaches, seaside cafes and clubs.
Operating hours are 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays it operates approximately from 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Information on the Athens Tram, including timetables, can be found on on this website. For ticket info see Athens Transport tickets and cards
The Suburban Railway, or «Proastiakos«, is part of the national railway network of Greece. Its main route is Athens Airport – Kiato, while other routes travel up to Ano Liosia. There is also a route that connects Ano Liosia with the Athens Central Station as well as a route that connects the town of Halkida (Chalkis) with the Acharnai Station (S.K.A.), the Athens Central Station and Piraeus Station.
Be aware that different fares apply: Piraeus to Acharnai Station (S.K.A.) and Magoula to Koropi stations use the 90-minute ticket for all modes, while different fares are charged for more distant stations. Current Suburban Railway timetables: Airport – Kiato and Kiato – Airport, Kiato – Patra bus connections, Piraeus – Athens – Halkida line. See also: Suburban Railway Discount Policy. Tickets for the suburban railway (other than the 90-minute ticket for all modes) can be bought at all suburban railway stations. More information on TRAINOSE website.
Taxis (yellow in Athens, while other colors are preferred elsewhere in Greece) can be a more convenient -although pricier- mean of transportation. While many taxi drivers are excellent professionals, it is believed that some of them try to gain more by opting for the longest route when their passenger (Greek or non Greek) is not familiar with their destination.
Taxi drivers in Athens are required by law to always use a taximeter and issue a receipt at the end of the journey. You can remind your driver to do so in case they don’t turn on their taximeter. There is also an official list of fares and surcharges they must follow. On the islands and elsewhere around Greece, fares are usually subject to agreement at the beginning of the journey.
Long-distance buses (KTEL)
KTEL buses are privately owned bus networks based in every prefecture/island of Greece and often are the most affordable and convenient means of transport, though the quality of service can vary. Detailed information on routes, timetables, ticket fares and practical information can be found at livingingreece.gr.
In an effort to return Greek Railways to profitability, TRAINOSE cut a number of routes and destinations. As of 2016, most traffic is concentrated on the Athens – Thessaloniki line and the suburban network between Athens to Kiato and Athens to Halkida. There are also limited international routes to Sofia, Skopje and Belgrade. Information and ticket sales on TRAINOSE website.
- You can find information about Athens transport tickets and cards at: Athens transport tickets
Keep in mind that strikes in Greece occur regularly and many times affect transportation even though most times there is an alternative option. Strike schedules are usually announced just 1-3 days in advance, so it’s essential to stay informed. We will try to update the top of this page when we have new strike information. For information about Athens transport routes, schedules and more, you can also call 11185 on a Greek phone.
If you read Greek, you may follow my twitter account @athenstransport for more timely information.
- Athens Urban Transport Organisation – Bus and trolley routes, tickets, general information
- Urban Rail Transport Authority – The official website for Athens Metro and Tram
- Athens International Airport
- City of Athens – official website
- Breathtaking Athens – City of Athens’ official visitors’ website
- Visit Greece – Greek National Tourism Organisation
- Living In Greece – A practical guide to moving, working and travelling in Greece
About this website: AthensTransport.com is a non-for-profit information website, not affiliated with any Athens transportation organization or other local or national government entity. Since 2009 we try to offer accurate information to Athenians and visitors alike. If the above information was useful to you, you may donate a small amount via Paypal
Have a question? Do you think more information should be added to this page? Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me via Twitter!
Information on this page comes from websites linked above and personal experiences as an Athenian, blogging about transportation in my city. Photos and maps via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Greece License