Even though Athens’ transportation system is quite simple, for newcomers it can sometimes feel confusing. Unlike other metropolitans in Europe, Athens doesn’t have the right infrastructures for moving around the city by bike. Therefore locals usually use public transportation or move around on foot. This guide aims to present to you the means of public transportation you’ll find in Athens as well as ticket prices for getting around Athens easily.
Metro in Athens city
Featuring only three lines, the metro in Athens isn’t difficult to use.
In fact, it’s the quickest and most convenient way to get around the city.
There metro stations to all the touristy areas around the city center including Monastiraki, Thissio and Syntagma
Metro Line 1 (Electric Railway)
Operating since 1869, Line One (Green Line) is the second oldest underground system worldwide following London’s underground.
It connects the city of Piraeus to Kifisia in the northern suburbs covering a distance of 25,7 kilometers.
Line One stops in 24 stations in total and passes through the center of Athens with stations at Petralona, Thissio, Monastiraki and Omonoia.
Metro Line 2 (Red Line)
Metro Line 2 (Red Line) was added to Athens’ metro system in 2000 but was extended in 2013.
Nowadays, it has 20 stations in total connecting Anthoupoli in the northwest to Elliniko in the south.
Red Line also runs through the center of Athens with stations at Metaxourgio, Omonoia, Panepistimio, Syntagma and Acropoli.
Metro Line 3 (Blue Line)
Metro Line 3 (Blue Line) just like Line 2 was inaugurated in 2000. It is the line connecting the Athens International Airport with the rest of Athens reaching to Agia Marina in the western suburbs. It has 21 stations some of which are in the center of Athens such as Kerameikos, Monastiraki and Syntagma.
Buses and trolleys
Athens’ bus system can be quite confusing for travelers.
There aren’t always frequent routes and not all buses provide a screen with the bus stations translated in English.
Moreover, as traffic is very heavy in the city center especially in the morning hours it may take a long time to reach your destination.
Moreover, there are 4 bus lines connecting the Athens International Airport with the center of Athens (x93, x95, x96, x97) and all of them operate 24-hours a day.
Tram in Athens city
The modern tram system consists of 3 lines and 48 stops in total.
However, since October 2018 tram’s operation between Syntagma Station and Kasomouli station is suspended.
It is said that the section will open again later this year.
For now, tram’s line 3 runs from Akti Posidonos to Asklippio Voulas, tram’s line 4 from Akti Posidonos to Kasomouli and tram’s line 5 from Kasomouli to Asklippio Voulas.
The Suburban Railway
The suburban railway connects Athens International Airport to Piraeus as well as Athens to Chalkida in Evia and to Kiato in Peloponnese.
The suburban railway from and to Athens International Airport departs every hour.
The new Athens Suburban Lines include:
- Athens International Airport – Koropi – Ano Liosia, and Athens International Airport – Koropi – Athens – Piraeus
- Piraeus – Athens – Kiato
- Athens – Chalkida – Athens
Making stops to every town between Athens and Kiato including Aspropirgos, Megara and Korinthos, the suburban railway is a great choice for taking a one-day trip from Athens.
Taxis in Athens city
Even though taxis are much more expensive than transport fares, they are still relatively cheap compared to other European cities.
It is quite common among locals to use taxis for commuting, especially at night when only a few buses are still operating.
Taxi fares vary depending on the distance and the day time of the day.
At night from 00.00 – 05.00 taxi fares in Athens are double.
However, from Athens International Airport to the city center there is flat fare which is €38 in the daytime and €54.
From the airport to the port of Piraeus the taxi rate is €47 from 05:00 am to 00:00 and €65 from 00:00 to 05:00 am.
There are three types of Athens Transport tickets: The Ath.ena Ticket, the anonymous Ath.ena Card and the personalized Ath.ena Card.
For tourists visiting Athens for only a short amount of time, it is more convenient to use the paper rechargeable Ath.ena ticket.
This ticket can be purchased at the ticket machines and you don’t need a document to get one.
However, those purchasing the Ath.ena ticket can’t buy half-priced tickets.
It can be used for all of the means of public transportation, it is valid for 90 minutes and it costs €1.40.
For transfers from and to the airport by metro the ticket costs €10.
There are also 24-hours tickets, 5-day tickets and 3-day (tourist) tickets.
The latter also includes a round trip from and to Athens International Airport by Metro or Express Bus and it costs €22.
Children under the age of 6 can travel free while children aged 7-12 and teenagers aged 13-18 are eligible for obtaining reduced-price tickets.
Seniors over the age of 65 can also get half-priced tickets.
For more information regarding reduced price tickets please visit this link.
Even though Athens has an affordable public transport system covering the largest part of the city it is sometimes puzzling to travelers. Hopefully, this guide will come in handy and will make your trip to Athens easier.