The Greek capital is a noisy, dirty and crowded city with a rich and colourful history. Athens’ cultural legacy has endowed it with a wealth of attractions including the specatacular Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum alongside many lesser known, but nevertheless, outstanding archaeoloical sites.
Despite being the birthplace of democracy and modern civilisation; modern Athens often comes as a shock with many travellers deciding to head to the islands after their initial disappointment. Those travellers that do decided to explore further are rewarded by pockets of calm among the chaos such as the National Gardens and the yacht harbour – not the ferry harbour – in Pireaus.
Athens significantly expanded its public transport infrastructure prior to the Olympic Games in 2004 and it is now very easy to travel around the city. The public transport network is comprised of buses, trolleybuses, trams, a metro and suburban trains.
Bus & trolleybus
Buses and trolleybuses connect most parts of the city and are particularly useful for getting to the airport and embassies outside the city centre. However fewer travellers rely on the bus now that the metro has been expanded.
Tickets must be purchased from newspaper kiosks before getting on the bus and validated on board. The standard fare is €1.20, which lets you travel for 90 minutes on buses, trolley buses, trams and the metro.
Athens’ modern trams connect the city centre to the seaside suburbs of Glyfada, Helliniko and Moschato. The standard fare is €1.20, which lets you travel for 90 minutes on buses, trolley buses, trams and the metro.
The metro is the best way to get around Athens. The standard fare is €1.20, which lets you travel for 90 minutes on buses, trolley buses, trams and the metro.
The antiquated line 1 runs from Kifissia north of the city centre to Pireaus and constituted the entire system until 2001. Lines 2 and 3 are more modern and are useful for getting to the train stations as well as some museums and embassies.
Suburban trains (Proastiakos)
Athens’ new suburban train system (Proastiakos) has two lines. One that runs between Corinth and Piraeus (stopping at Larissa Station) and one that connects the airport with the northern suburbs. Trains run every 15 to 30 minutes and tickets cost between €1.40 and €8.
Day passes that allow unlimited travel on the metro, buses, trolley buses, trams and the metro cost €4 (not valid for travel to the airport). A five-day ticket (not valid for travel to the airport) costs €10 and a three-day ticket (that includes one return trip to/from the airport) costs €20.