Is Athens International Airport the next stop of your air travel? This detailed breakdown of how to visit and leave the airport will save your day!
Last updated: 15 Dec 2023
Athenians and visitors alike are blessed with convenient air access to and from numerous cities worldwide, thanks to Athens International Airport.
Although it is the only airport in the city, it is large enough that in 2019, it served more than 25 million passengers.
So, if your next stop is Athens, keep reading for a detailed guide on how to go and how to leave the airport.
Also known as Eleftherios Venizelos Airport, it’s about 30 km away from the city center.
This means that, depending on the means of transportation you choose, you will need about 30 to 50 minutes to reach the Athens center.
Your options are five: metro, bus, car, taxi, and limousine.
If you want to go directly from the airport to Piraeus to get your ferry, read the Athens Airport to Piraeus Port guide.
Athens International Airport by Metro
The easiest way to get from Athens International Airport to the city center is by metro – it’s also the easiest way to get around Athens.
Access to it is straightforward; once you get off the airplane, signs are everywhere to guide you.
Before boarding the metro, make sure you buy your e-ticket from the vending machines.
There are the following options:
- Regular Athens Metro Airport ticket. It costs 9 euros, and it’s valid for all Athens Urban Transport Organization means, for 90 minutes since the first validation.
- 2-way Athens Metro Airport ticket. It costs 16 euros, so you can save 2 euros compared to the Regular ticket. It’s valid for a two-way journey from and to the airport. Be careful, though, because its validity lasts 48 hours. If you stay in Athens for more than two days, you won’t be able to use it for your return.
- 3-day tourist ticket for all public transport means. It costs 20 euros, and it’s the best choice if you plan to use public transportation during your stay in Athens. It includes a 2-way Airport Travel fare valid for all Airport Transport lines, i.e., Athens Metro and Airport EXPRESS and EXPRESS X80 bus lines. Moreover, it is valid for 72 hours since its first validation and for all means: buses, trolley-buses, Athens Tram, Athens Metro Lines 1, 2, and 3, and Suburban Railway route part Maghoula – Piraeus – Koropi.
The itineraries run every half hour.
However, keep in mind that the metro does not operate 24 hours a day!
The first train leaves the airport at 06:32 in the morning and the last at 23:32.
Conversely, the first train to the airport departs at 05:30 and the last at 23:01.
On the official page of Urban Rail Transport, you will find the departure times per station in detail.
The Pros and Cons of Buses
As soon as you pick up your luggage and proceed to the airport’s exit, you will notice the multiple exit gates. The bus stops are located at Gate 5.
As already mentioned, it is better to stick to the metro for your transportation while you are in Athens.
Airport buses, however, have two main advantages:
A) They have cheaper tickets than the metro, which might be helpful if you travel on a budget. Specifically, their ticket costs 5.5 euros, almost half the money from the metro.
B) In contrast to the metro, buses operate 24 hours a day.
From my experience, the only reasons to use them are either the subway does not operate, or they stop right outside your hotel.
Otherwise, the convenience of the metro is worth the 3,5 euros difference.
Beyond that, you can use the following four routes to the airport:
- X93 Kifisos Intercity Bus Station – Athens Airport Express. This route directly connects to the intercity bus (KTEL) terminals Kifisos and Liosion. It also stops at the suburban rail station Kifisias.
- X95 Syntagma – Athens Airport Express. The most popular bus as it connects the Athens International Airport with Syntagma Square in Athens city center. It also offers multiple links with: A) Metro line 2 station at Syntagma. B) Metro line 3 stations at Nomismatokopeio, Ethniki Amyna and Syntagma. C) Tramway routes at Syntagma.
- X96 Peiraias – Athens Airport Express. The X96 bus is the most suitable if you want to go directly to the port of Piraeus. It connects the Athens International Airport with the Piraeus central passenger port terminals. It also offers links to: A) Metro line 1 stations at N. Faliro and Piraeus. B) Suburban rail station at Peiraias. C) Tramway routes at Plateia Glyfadas, Edem and Flisvos.
- X97 Elliniko Metro Station – Athens Airport Express. This route connects the airport with the Elliniko metro station. Moreover, it links to metro line 2 stations at AG. Dimitrios and Dafni.
You can find each bus’s detailed schedule and stops at OASA Telematics‘ official site.
Keep in mind that travel time depends on the traffic. An estimate could be the following: X93 (65′ min), X95 (60′ min), X96 (90′ min), X97 (45′ min).
Athens International Airport by Taxi
The taxi station is located outside gate 3.
In case you go to the center of Athens the charge is flat.
Specifically, from 05:00 to 23:59, the route costs 40 euros, and from 00:00 to 05:00, it costs 55 euros.
The prices include all base charges and surcharges plus tolls. Otherwise, the charges are the following:
|Cost per km
|0,90 euros between 05:00 and 23:59 and 1,25 euros between 00:00 and 04:59.
|Cost per minute
|0,30 euros. This charge only applies when the Taxi vehicle fully stops (e.g., traffic lights, STOP signs, etc.).
Furthermore, there are specific surcharges:
|Luggage surcharge (heavier than 10kg)
|0,39 euros each
|Harbor or bus stops surcharge
If you are unsure if you are going to the city center, ask the taxi driver before boarding.
Alternatively, I strongly recommend you pre-book your taxi with a service like Welcome Pickups to avoid the hassle.
Even though their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, they are totally worth it.
As for Uber, note that Uber Taxi is the only service that Uber offers in Athens.
How to Rent A Car
If you need a car and arrive in the city by plane, the easiest way to rent one is to pick it up at the airport.
Currently, six car rental companies have booths inside Athens International Airport: Avance, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and Sixt.
In addition to the above six, you can rent a car from other companies such as Europcar, Green Motion, and Centauro.
However, these firms do not have booths inside the airport to reduce their operating costs.
You can compare their prices using the Rentalcars.com search engine.
Moreover, the Athens Airport Car Rental guide provides all the necessary information on where to pick up your vehicle and what to look out for when driving in the city.
The comfort of a Limousine
If you want a limousine to transfer you from the airport, you will find their stop outside Gate 4.
The cost to take you to the city center is about 100 euros.
However, you can book a vehicle online in advance without an extra fee.
In this case, have a look at 24hourlimousineservice.com.
Hotels Near Athens International Airport
There is only one hotel within walking distance of the airport.
However, if you don’t mind traveling a bit further, there are more accommodations available.
Specifically, some of the best hotels are:
1) Sofitel Athens Airport – 300 meters (0.2 miles) away from the airport. The best option if want to stay within walking distance of the airport.
2) Aethon Airport Project -8.1 kilometers (5 miles) away from the airport. Includes free airport shuttle.
3) Holiday Inn Athens Attica Av, Airport W. -13.6 kilometers (8.5 miles) away from the airport. Includes free airport shuttle.
Are you looking for a detailed plan for your trip? Don’t miss out on my step-by-step itineraries!
They include the best places in town and their pins on Google Maps, so you don’t miss a thing.
Most importantly, they are carefully and simply designed, depending on the number of days at your disposal: Athens in 1 day, Athens in 2 days, Athens in 3 days, Athens in 4 days, or hidden gems in Athens if you plan to stay even more days.
Make Your Trip Easier
I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. Besides their price guarantee, you can rest assured that you will have 24/7 support in the event of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but they are totally worth it. They use local English-speaking drivers, wait for you at the arranged meeting point, even if your arrival is delayed, and introduce you to the city along the way.
Don’t forget to use Skyscanner before booking your flights as it compares different airlines to provide the cheapest and fastest solutions. Moreover, you can save a lot of money if you are flexible with your dates.
Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on a trip. However, these things can happen, so do not miss taking out travel insurance: SafetyWing is the one I use, as its plans are affordable and can save you a lot of trouble.
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