How to get from Athens Airport and Athens city center to Piraeus Port, and vice versa. All your transfer options, their cost, and how to easily find your ferry.
Last updated: 5 Feb 2024
Although Athens has many ports, Piraeus is the most significant.
If you are in the city and about to visit the Aegean islands, your ship will probably depart from here.
At the same time, you will find yourself around if you arrive in the town by cruise ship.
As you would expect, the large volume of passengers implies a very, very large port.
To help you better understand Piraeus Port’s size, you will need to walk for about an hour to go from one end to the other.
So, before you visit Piraeus Port, you should consider some critical points to avoid frustration.
Before we begin, note that the following gates are available:
- E1 – Dodekanisa (Rhodes, Kos, etc).
- E2 – Crete, Chios, Mytilene, Ikaria, Samos.
- E3 – Crete, Kithira Vehicles’ Entrance.
- E4 – Kithira Vehicles’ Exit Only.
- E5 – Port of Piraeus Bus Terminal (free of charge), Pedestrians’ Entrance.
- E6 – Cyclades (Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, etc.), Rethimno, Pedestrians’ Entrance.
- E7 – Cyclades (Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, etc.), Rethimno.
- E8 – Argosaronicos (Aegina, Angistri, Poros, Spetses, Hydra, etc.).
- E9 – Cyclades (Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, etc), Samos, Ikaria.
- E10 – Cyclades (Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, etc.) Vehicles’ Exit Only.
- E11 – Cruise Terminal A.
- E12 – Cruise Terminal B.
What is the best way to get to Piraeus Port?
- The most convenient transportation option is to pre-book a taxi. I always recommend Welcome Pickups, as a top-rated driver (4,9/5 on TripAdvisor and Trustpilot) will be waiting for you, and you will pay a flat fee in advance. The cost from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Port is 58 euros, and from Athens City Centre to Piraeus Port, it is 28 euros.
- You can also find a taxi on-site, and the cost may be slightly lower depending on traffic. However, I always avoid it as the waiting queues are very long, and some drivers may be rude.
- Alternatively, the easiest public transportation option to get there is by metro. It stops opposite gates E5 and E6, and then you will need to walk or take the free bus – more on that later. Once again, keep in mind that the distances are pretty long. Thus, you may need more than half an hour on foot for some gates.
How early to arrive at Piraeus port?
1) All ships depart on time and will not wait for you if you are late. Hence, if you are traveling without a vehicle, ensure you arrive at your ferry one hour before departure. On the other hand, if you take a car with you, arrive 1.5-2 hours before departure. Moreover, if you do not have a numbered seat but want to find a free one, you will need to arrive 2-3 hours before.
2) Before you even start going from Athens Airport or Athens city center to the port of Piraeus, make sure you know your departure gate and your ship’s name. You will find both on your ticket. If they are not listed, contact the company where you made the reservation and ask for assistance.
3) The signage for the gates is noticeable. However, this does not apply to the ships’ names, as you will not find any signs. Therefore, to locate your ferry, look at each vessel’s side for its name.
4) The passenger waiting areas of the port of Piraeus are not clean, and it is better to avoid them. If you need to stay for many hours in the harbor, it is better to sit on the outdoor seats. Otherwise, the cafes outside the port are also a better option.
5) Onboard, you will find, in most cases, decent food and coffee. The prices, however, are higher than in the city shops. So you may consider bringing your food with you. Personally, I always eat at the ship’s restaurant, but I also have a snack with me – e.g., a sandwich and a fruit.
How to Get from Athens Airport to Piraeus Port (and vice versa)
To get from Athens Airport to Piraeus Port, you will need between 35 and 90 minutes.
The exact time depends on the mean you will use.
These are the available options:
Living in Athens my entire life, I must admit that taxis have drastically improved their services in the last decade.
The cars are cleaner, and the drivers behave more professionally than ever.
However, even today, I never hail a taxi from the street, as there are cases when the drivers are rude or ignore you, especially during rush hours.
There is also a small minority of drivers who may try to overcharge you when they realize that you are a tourist.
That’s why I recommend pre-booking a taxi with a service like the local startup Welcome Pickups.
Even though their flat rate is a bit more expensive, they are totally worth it.
As for the time you will need, expect about 35 to 50 minutes, depending on the traffic.
Renting a car at the airport will be the most convenient option if you’re flying in and you plan to take it with you to an island.
I like to use Rentalcars.com to compare prices across different companies as they return the best rates.
However, don’t go to the port with your car, intending to park it around.
There is almost no space to park in the surrounding streets. At the same time, parking in the port is prohibited and punished by removing license plates.
If you are going to take your vehicle with you, remember to arrive 1.5-2 hours earlier than the ship’s departure.
If I were you, though, I would choose to rent a car directly on the island I was about to visit.
You will need about one hour to get to Piraeus port by metro, and there are services every 30 minutes.
After exiting your terminal, just use the blue line up to Piraeus.
The stop in Piraeus leaves you directly opposite the port’s main entrance, between gates E5 and E6.
Then, depending on your gate, you either have to walk or use the free-of-charge port bus.
In particular, the free bus serves gates E5, E4, E3, E2, and E1.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a free bus for gates E6 to E12.
The metro ticket costs 9 euros for a single trip, 16 euros for a 2-way trip, or 20 euros if you choose the 3-day tourist ticket – more about ticket options in Athens by public transportation guide.
The suburban railway also directly connects the Athens International Airport with the port of Piraeus.
It’s not very convenient though, as the itineraries run every hour, and if you miss a train, you must wait for one more hour.
The journey takes 60 minutes, and you can find the timetable on the Athens Suburban Railway official site.
The ticket costs 9 euros for one way or 16 euros for a 2-way trip.
The X96 bus is the most affordable transportation option if you are on a budget trip.
Its ticket costs 5.5 euros, and you will have a journey time of about 1.5-2 hours, depending on the traffic.
On the pros side, it operates 24 hours a day, unlike the metro.
Its starting point is between Exits 4 and 5 of the airport.
The itineraries are repeated every 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the time and the season.
You will find the detailed hours of the itineraries at OASA Telematics’ official site.
From Piraeus to the airport, the starting point of the bus changes, depending on the time.
In the previous link, you will find the starting points and the stop sequence in detail.
How to Get from Piraeus Port to Athens City Center (and vice versa)
I will be straightforward with this: if you plan to take a taxi from Piraeus Port to Athens City Center, make sure to pre-book it.
I don’t know why, but the situation with the taxis in the port is a real mess.
I have even seen police officers trying to organize the passengers in cabs!
Even so, the queues are often very long, and many drivers try to board passengers with different destinations on the same route.
So, if you don’t mind giving a few euros more, I recommend you pre-book your taxi with a service like Welcome Pickups.
You can also pre-book a taxi from Athens City Center to Piraeus Port.
However, you can save a few euros if you choose to get a taxi on the street.
Just make sure to depart on time, as it might be challenging to find one during rush hours, and inform the driver in advance about the dock you depart.
This way, you will not end up wandering around the port, looking for the right ship.
A few car rental companies are operating near the Piraeus port.
Nevertheless, using a car isn’t a good idea if you want to explore the city center.
On the other side, it’s the best way to commute if you stay on the enchanting Athenian Riviera.
In such a case, make sure you use a reputable company; you can search online for the best prices on Rentalcars.com.
The harbor is located quite close to the Athens city center, specifically at a distance of about 11 km.
The green metro line is the easiest way to get there by public transport.
The ticket costs 1.20 euros, and you can use the Piraeus stop that you will find directly opposite the port’s main entrance.
If you missed it, it is located between gates E5 and E6.
Moreover, depending on the gate you come from, you either have to walk or use the free-of-charge port bus.
In particular, the free bus serves gates E5, E4, E3, E2, and E1.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a free bus for gates E6 to E12.
Alternatively, you can use one of the many buses serving the area, depending on where you stay.
The most popular is the bus 040, which runs from Syntagma to Piraeus and is open 24 hours a day, unlike the metro.
This particular bus takes you from and to gate E12, where the Cruise Ships dock.
You will find all stops and the detailed hours of the itineraries at OASA Telematics’ official site.
Be careful, though!
If, for example, you go to Crete, you should estimate that you need an additional 45 minutes to walk to gates E2 or E3.
In any case, if you choose a bus, make sure you depart earlier than usual; there is heavy traffic on the surrounding streets. As for the ticket cost, it’s 1.20 euros.
After a long construction period, the tram eventually started its operations near Piraeus Port.
Its itineraries may be useful if you plan to stay on the Athenian Riviera and you don’t want to rent a car.
The ticket costs 1.20 euros, and here you will find the map with all the stops – check out the pink line.
Where to Stay near Piraeus Harbor
If you need to stay close to the port of Piraeus, within walking distance of the ferries, there are several worthwhile options at affordable prices.
In particular, I would recommend the following hotels:
The easiest way to get from Athens Airport to Piraeus Port (and vice versa), by public transport, is the metro.
Its ticket costs 9,00 euros, and there is a stop in Piraeus that leaves you directly opposite the port’s main entrance.
Alternatively, you can pre-book a top-rated taxi using Welcome Pickups.
Make sure you know the number of your gate and the name of your ship in advance and arrive at the port on time.
Specifically, one hour before the ship’s departure if you do not have a vehicle and two hours before if you take your car with you.
Last but not least, if you are 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.
But, 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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