Travel Information

Arriving at the Athens International Airport
 

Athens can be easily reached by plane with daily direct flights from all major European cities, while intercontinental flights require in general only one stop. Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (www.aia.gr) has been acknowledged as a Corporate Superbrand and honoured with the first prize in the Category “Travel & Tourism”for the second consecutive year.

Metro line 3 runs from Athens Airport to Syntagma in the city centre (www.amel.gr), while the Proastiakos train connects the airport to the Metro Line 3 at Doukissis Plakentias Station (www.proastiakos.gr). In addition three 24 hour express bus services cover the 27 km (18 mile) stretch between the airport and the city (www.ethel.gr). Taxis are also readily available and the journey takes approximately 35 minutes and costs around 40-50€ - depending on the time and traffic.

Getting around Athens

The transport system in Athens has been modernized during the last 7 years. New roads, bridges, a brand new rail network and new modern means of transport like the Athens Metro, the suburban railway and the Athens tram have reduced a lot the transportation problems of Athens, as well as they have played a main role to the reduce of the atmosphere pollution of the Attica basin. 
The means of transport in Athens are divided in 3 categories.
 

  • Metro Lines

The fastest and easiest way to get around Athens are the three metro lines that connect the center of the city to the port of Piraeus and all municipalities from north to south and from east to west. Plan your itinerary with the metro line planner at www.amel.gr. The flat fare ticket for trips via Buses, Trolley Buses, Tramway and all lines of METRO, costs 1.40euro, and can be used  to transfer to from the metro to all other means of public transport within 90min after the validation time. Make sure you check out special daily or weekly tickets and the special rates for combined  trips using Attica Region Intercity Bus and the Suburban Railway networks from Koropi Station. You can buy tickets using the Automatic Ticket Issuing Machines (ATIMs) in all METRO Stations and from Ticket Offices which are open most of the day. ATIMs located at every station have the option to accept banknotes (5, 10 and 20€) and give change.

  • Buses and Trolleys

The urban buses are under the authority of the OASA (Organisation of Urban Transport of Athens) and connect all Municipalities of Athens and Piraeus.  Check out www.oasa.gr to plan your trips and get information about the lines. The suburban buses that connecting Athens with suburban areas and with the rest of the mainland of Greece are under the authority of KTEL. The main terminal stations of KTEL are located in 2 major areas, the first is at Kifisou 101 for western Greece and Peloponnesus and the other is at Liossion street 260 for northern Greece. For East Attica suburbs and coastal resorts like Rafina the terminals are in Pedion Areos next to the junction with Alexandra's avenue.

  • Athens Tramway

The tram of Athens (www.tramsa.gr) as well as the metro was one of the most innovating projects that the Greek government did in an effort to develop the traffic network of Athens. The tram connects Athens from Parliament square all the way down to Syggrou Avenue and continues along the coastal Poseidonos Avenue to the south coastal suburbs, Glyfada and Voula.

 
General Tourist Information about Athens

Whilst staying in Athens you may be planning to visit other parts of Greece, either on the mainland or visiting the many islands. A good recommendation is to drop in to the offices of the Greek National tourist Organization GNTO infodesk (located right in the center of Athens close to Syntagma Square at 2 Amerikis Street, telephone210-322-3111). Here you can pick up, free of charge, regional, informative pamphlets and maps that contains nearly all the information you may need about useful phone numbers, services, ferry boat schedules and accommodation. You can get as well programs of all the annual festivals held in Athens and all over Greece. These are published in all the main European languages.


Exploring the rest of Greece

  • All Greek islands can be reached from the ports of Piraeus (www.olp.gr), Rafina (www.rafinaport.gr) and Lavrio (www.oll.gr) closely located around Athens. The port of Piraeus especially is easily accessible by train from the center of the city. Buses from the center can take travelers to the Rafina and Lavrio ports. 
     
  • In particular, the islands of Argosaronikos Gulf (Aegina, Hydra, Poros, Spetses) are ideal for one-day cruises each one of them with their own unique flair offering a different experience that can suit all tastes. The islands of Kea and Kythnos are the most closely located islands of the Cycaldes complex, and can offer a more relaxing escape to the visitors that look forward to experiencing unspoiled beaches with crystal blue waters and genuine Greek hospitality.
     
  • All other major cities and important archaeological sites of mainland Greece (such as Olympia, Mycaenes an Delhpi) are accessible by car with a few-hour drive, buses or trains, rendering Athens the focal point of short holidays and vacations. It is a great time of the year to drive around the country not only to bathe in wonderful beaches and visit ancient temples and cities, but also to get acquainted with the -largely uknown- medieval history of the country: Nafplio, Mystras, Monembasia or the peninsula of Mani are all definite must-sees.


Banks and ATM'S in Athens

Almost in every corner you will find a bank or an ATM machine 24 hours a day so cash will never be a problem as long your bank account is fine. Almost all shops hotels and restaurants accepting credit cards.


Currency and Foreign Exchange

As part of the European Union, the official currency in Greece is the Euro. So for most Europeans now there are no problems with foreign exchange. Non EU citizens can exchange their currency at every bank or Post office, at travel bureaus and at foreign exchange offices. Hotels, shops, restaurants and travel agencies all accept credit cards.


Calling cards

Pre-Paid calling cards are the optimum solution for people that wish to call with outstanding low rates through their fixed phone to mobile, long-distance and international calls. They can be found almost anywhere, but your best bet will be the kiosks, which stay open until very late at night.


Useful Phone Numbers

Remember that all telephone numbers in Athens and Piraeus begin with the area code 210 (except for the emergency lines like the police, medical assistance and fire department). Some useful phone numbers are the following:

Police: 100
Emergency Medical Assistance: 176
First Aid Center: 166
Poison Treatment Center: 210- 7793777
ELPA Tourist Information Service: 174
ELPA Road Assistance: 104
Fire Department: 199
Tourist Police (GNTO): 171
GNTO Offices: 210-3223111/9
Pireaus Port Authority: 210- 4511311-21
Passport Office : 210-4171584 – 4523754

 
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