There are three means to reach Athens’ city center: Taxi, metro and bus. Here are the fundamentals for comparing them by price, frequency, comfort and speed.
Are Taxis Expensive?
Getting an Athens airport taxi to the city centre is definitely the fastest and most convenient transport option – especially if you are 4+ people with bags since the price will be cheaper per person compared to metro. Taxis wait outside of the arrivals terminal ready-to-go in queues, and the journey will be around 25 minutes. Dayfare will be 38€, but the night tariff is 54€.
You will notice that there are both yellow and black cabs waiting outside of Athens airport. The black ones are actually for private service, thus the fare will be twice more than the yellow ones. Do not prefer them unless you need special accomodations or emergency measures. Also, you will pay the night fee if you reach your destination after midnight, regardless of your departure. So, try to catch a taxi at least 25-30 mins before midnight. You can pre-book your taxi and pre-order a Greek SIM card through Welcome Pickups.
How Well-Oriented Is The Metro?
The metro line departs from Athens airport every 30 minutes (05′ and 35′), and costs 10€ one way or 18€ for a round-trip. Te reduced prices are 18€ for two people, and 24€ for three people. A single return ticket valid for 48 hours is 18€.The journey takes around 50 minutes, but there are no trains after 23.35 until 06.35 am.
Although the Metro is one of the cheaper options, it requires exact timing. Chase the clock before it hits every half an hour before midnight! Furthermore, you must walk 10-15 minutes to reach the station, very likely with bags and luggages. You will have to follow the signs to cross the street, ascend one level via either elevator or escalator, and cross over the pedestrian bridge.
The direct line connects with both Syntagma Square in the center of Athens, and with Monastiraki which is the next station down. The metro can also take you to Piraeus from the airport, but iyou must change the line. It won’t be straightforward.
Are Buses Convenient?
Standing at 6 euros per person, the bus from the Athens airport is the cheapest option by a large margin. Among the 4 separate routes, the x95 Athens Airport Bus to Syntagma Square is the most preferred one as it goes to the heart of the city. The x96 line to Piraeus Port is the next most popular. If you want to reach the port for catching a ferry to one of the islands, you can use it as well. The other 2 buses are the X93 one to Kifisou Avenue where the Intercity KTEL terminal is located, and the X97 Athens Airport to Elliniko bus.
Buses run 24/7 including holidays, and will take around 55 minutes to reach the city centre;however, they can take up to 60 minutes to leave the station. The bus stop is located between exits 4 and 5 of the arrivals terminal. They can be crowded and traffic might cause delays in journey time as long as 30-min.