Athens is the beautiful capital of Greece and an unmissable place to visit when exploring Greece.
This is a very long article, but here you will find literally everything you need to know to plan your perfect Greek vacation.
How to get to Athens
Athens is in the Eastern European Time Zone, which is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2).
During summer, Athens observes daylight-saving, where the time is moved forward by 1 hour so it becomes 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +3). In winter, the time in Athens is pushed back by 1 hour to Eastern European Time.
These changes always happen on the last Saturday of March and the last Saturday of October.
The official currency of Greece is the Euro. Always bring some cash with you, especially if planning to shop in small souvenirs shops and eat in local Tavernas.
You won't be paying cash all of the time, as there are shops and merchants in Athens that are well equipped to accept card payments – Visa and Mastercard are more common than American Express. Check here the actual currency change
You should ask your family doctor before traveling to Athens and ensure you receive all appropriate vaccinations.
Just make sure you’re up to date on recommended vaccinations for your home country and have a look at
Voltage and Adaptors:
The standard voltage is 220-240 volts. Most of the sockets are European plugs of the two round-pin varieties.
I recommend you to buy a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter and plug adaptor to use other appliances.
How to Get to Athens.
At the moment, Athens has only one airport well connected to most of the major European cities.
Many airlines connect Athens with the rest of Europe. To check which one connects you to one of the most amazing places in Greece, check out here on Skyscanner, a travel search engine that allows users to compare airline prices and offers, specializing in low-cost airfare to find the best deal for your next trip.
Otherwise, if you prefer to get on the mainland by train or bus, check here on Omio what could be the best solution for you to get there.
How to Go from the Airport to Athens city center
I think it is always wise to check how to go from the Airport to your accommodation. There are always many ways you can choose.
There are buses to go to the city centre, train lines, or book a private taxi in advance that will take you to your accommodation.
It is undoubtedly the cheapest option, but it can also be the longest one. One way ticket costs only 6 euros, and the bus X95 will take you to Syntagma Square (the train and bus terminal where you can catch other buses or trains t reach your accommodation) in 60 minutes.
You can purchase your ticket at the airport tickets office or on the bus.
The bus stop is at the Arrivals Level between Exit 4 and 5.
Athens airport subway is probably one of the cheapest and fastest ways to reach the city centre. The metro station is located only a 10-minute walk from the terminal, at the departure level.
It is very straightforward to get there, follow the direction sign "Train", and you cannot get lost (all characters are also in English).
You can purchase a one-way ticket to Athens on line M3 for 10 euros at the station ticket office or a return ticket for 18 euros. Line M3 will get you to Syntagma Square (the main square of Athens) in only 40 minutes, where you can catch other buses or trains to reach your accommodation.
This metro train departs every 30 minutes from 6.30 am to 11.30 pm.
Just check out the Metro map here below, find the Metro Station near your accommodation and take note of where you have to change line (if you have to change line) to reach your accommodation.
By Private Transfer
The most comfortable way to get from A to B is an individual Kiwitaxi transfer.
Firstly, it is possible to choose a car of any class or capacity as well as to book a child seat or booster for your child.
Secondly, the price for a trip will be known in advance already when booking and will not change. Thirdly, the polite driver will meet you with a name sign upon arrival, walk you to the car, help with luggage, and drive you to your hotel.
Besides, whatever country you visit, the 24/7 English-speaking customer support is ready to answer all your questions about the trip.
How to Reach Port Ferry Terminal Piraeus:
If you have to go to the Piraeus Ferry terminal straight from the Airport, there are 3 options:
The Bus X96 goes directly from the Airport to the ferry terminal of Piraeus and the journey takes between 45 to 90 minutes (depending on the time of the day and traffic) and costs 6 euros.
Buses run every 30/40 minutes 24 hours a day.
To reach the bus to go to Athens, walk outside the arrival gate, turn right, buy your ticket at the tickets kiosk, the bus terminal is at the Arrival Terminal between exits 4 and 5.
If you plan to stop for a few hours in Athens to explore the city centre before heading to Piraeus Port Terminal to catch your ferry to the islands, you have to get to the metro station inside Athens Airport.
The metro station is located only a 10-minute walk from the terminal, in the departure level, it is very easy to get there, follow the direction sign "Train" and you cannot get lost (all signs are also in English).
You can purchase a one-way ticket to Athens centre for 10 euros at the station ticket office and get to the city centre in only 40 minutes.
This metro train departs every 30 minutes from 6.30 am to 11.30 pm.
If you want to get straight to Piraeus Ferry Port Terminal, follow the " Train " sign and get to the Train and Metro station.
There you can purchase a one-way ticket to Piraeus and get there by train.
Suburban Railway trains depart from the Airport every hour from 6.00 am to 10.00 pm.
Tickets costs between 2-3 euros one way.
How to Reach Rafina Port from Athens Airport:
A second Ferry Port in Athens (not so famous as the Piraeus one) connects some islands and other parts of the Greek mainland.
If you have to get there, catch the bus opposite the Sofitel Hotel, you don't need to purchase your ticket at the ticket office, just pay the driver a fee of 4 euros (make sure to have cash).
I always think is better to book a private transfer from the Airport to the hotel or in this case, reach the port ferry. So, in case of a train/bus strike, you won't get late to your destinations.
My favorite private airport transfer websites are:
HolidayTaxis: it provides airport transfers by airport taxi, group minibus, shuttle, coach or limousine to over 21,000 destinations and resorts in over 150 countries worldwide.
Kiwitaxi: is a site where one can book a transfer to get from or to the airport in 98 countries, between two tourist destinations or other locations popular with tourists.
Do you want to know more about Athens?
Check out “The Most Complete Guide of Athens“ here and read all the articles I wrote about it.
How to Move Around Athens:
My favorite way to move around is by walking.
If you book accommodation in the city center, you won't need public transport much, only to go from the airport to the city center and in case you want to visit some area outside the center.
Luckily, most of the famous sights are around the Acropolis (the center of Athens), so you will walk around the city center without missing anything.
You can move by bus, it is very cheap, and all the areas are well connected.
Time schedules vary by day, line, and season but usually, they run between 5.00 am and midnight.
Some lines run 24 hours a day
If you plan to visit other cities or areas outside Athens, I always advise booking bus tickets in advance to make sure to plan your holiday in the best possible way. Check bus and train ticket options and prices on Omio when you can check if the best option is by bus or train.
Athens Metro is pretty new and clean. It has 3 lines that will take you almost everywhere. I had no issue using it; all the signs are in Greek and English, so it is very easy.
The ticket cost 1.40 euros and is valid after validation for 90 minutes and with it, you can catch buses, trams and the metro.
A 24 hours ticket costs 4.50 euros.
5 days ticket costs 9 euros
3 days tourist ticket (that include return transport from the airport) costs 22 euros.
To travel from and to the airport, you need to purchase an airport ticket that costs 10 euros one way and 18 euros return ticket.
In case you are in a rush, prefer private transport, or want to stay out late at night, the most used Taxi app in Athens is Bolt.
Unfortunately, many taxi drivers will take advantage of tourists, so the best way to pay the right price is to book a taxi with BetterTaxi.
Rent a Car:
If you like driving like me and you want to explore what is outside Athens, you can always rent a car and in this case, I always have a look at my favourite rental car websites and I see where I find the best deals. Have a look at them here:
Discover is like Skyscanner but for rental cars. And since you're comparing many different companies, you can also choose from many other vehicles.
Rentalcars.com is an international car rental booking service that is present all over the world.
Are tap water and food safe in Athens?
It’s safe to drink water in the mainlands from taps and also from drinking fountains that you will find especially in the city centre and parks.
I always carry with me a reusable bottle so I can fill it up anytime I have the chance.
On the islands instead, would be better for you to avoid it.
If you are not sure, it’s always safe to ask locals or, in doubt, drink bottled water.
Honestly, Athens has so much to offer that the only problem you will have is that your stomach is not big enough to eat everything you wish.
Greek food is delicious, there are fish, meat, vegetables, and cheese. If you want to know more about it, look at my article "Food and Drinks You Have to Try in Greece" to understand better what to look for when you are there.
You can also find some pretty good vegan restaurants. I added some to my article "16 Best Places Where to Eat Local Food in Athens", where you will find all the best local restaurants for every budget, and where to taste the local food.
That's why I always carry with me some Natures Aid DigestEeze Milk Thistle, just in case I overeat because, as my mom always says, "I eat with my eyes and not with my mouth".
Unfortunately, bad luck happens everywhere. Sometimes, it is not the food but just our stomach that needs to get used to the new cuisine (and let's be honest, we all eat and drink more than usual when on holiday).
Take some of these natural remedies with you in case you will have stomach upset or food poisoning.
My favourite Natural remedies for stomach upset or food poisoning:
Milk Thistle: is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms associated with occasional over-indulgence of food and drink, such as indigestion and upset stomach. Milk Thistle is a great natural remedy to always have with you when you travel.
Charcoal capsules: recent studies prove that charcoal can be a good help in case you eat something that was not good and it can prevent you from having diarrhea. I never travel without my activated charcoal food supplement to make sure to enjoy my holiday and all the food I wish to eat.
Probiotics: These are a wonderful help while having food poisoning. Take as soon as you start to have symptoms and after, for at least a couple of days. My doctor advises me to start taking them some days before my travel, as a prevention, in case I am going to visit a country where water and food can be easily contaminated.
Obviously, ask your doctor first if you can take them in case they are not good for you.
Eating and Drinking Out in Athens
In Athens, you will find a massive variety of food from meat to fish and delicious vegetables.
Check out my articles about " best local food and drinks to try in Greece"
In there you will find everything you need to know about the delicious Greek cuisine.
Prices may vary from locations and bars and restaurants, but these are the approximate prices for the most common foods and drinks in Athens:
Bottle 1.5 L water: around 0.40-0.50 Euro
Local Beer 0.5 L: approximately 1.00-1.50 Euro
Bottle of Wine: 8.00-20.00 Euro
At a Bar:
Coffee-latte: 2.70 Euro
A bottle of wine: 12-20 Euro
A glass of 0.5 L Beer: around 1.50-3.00 Euro
A glass of Wine: Around 4.00-6.00 Euro
Coke in a Can: Around 2.00-2.50 Euro
Restaurant on a budget per person: Around 5/7 Euro
Restaurant medium-range per person: Around 20-35 Euro
Fine dining Restaurant per person: From 70 Euro
In Athens restaurants, a gratuity of 10-20% is often added to the bill, so check that you're not already paying the tip before you add more to your payment. If not, a 10-15% tip is encouraged, mostly in tourist places.
The tip should reflect the customer service that you received so it is really up to you to decide how much to give.
Cost of Travelling in Athens
How expensive is Athens?
Athens is a very famous capital, so if you are looking to save some money, I advise you to avoid it from June to August when it can be boiling, crowded and more expensive.
Flights to Athens can be very cheap from September to May (I went from London to Athens, and a one-way ticket cost me 55 £ at the end of August), so have a look at my favorite flight's website that I used to travel to check flights to Greece:
Skyscanner is a travel search engine that allows users to compare airline prices and offers, specializing in low-cost airfare.
What I like about Athens is that you can have lunch spending only 5 Euro if you want and end up feeling very satisfied.
Shopping and Souvenirs
The options are limitless in a cultural country like Athens, and you will find many shops that sell arts and crafts wherever you will go.
Locally hand-crafted ceramics, wood carvings, textiles and jewellery are perfect as souvenirs.
If You are looking to buy antiques please be careful and beware of fakes and stick to reputable sellers.
Also, liquors and food are amazing ideas to take home with you like Ouzo the famous anise-flavoured spirit, honey, herbs for cooking like thyme or oregano, olive oil is delicious in Greece and of course olives.
Check my article "58 wonderful things you have to buy in Greece" to better understand the specific things worth buying.
Is Athens safe for a solo woman traveler?
This country is pretty safe.
During the day with tourists and locals around the streets, the only thing you will have to worry about are pickpockets that unfortunately can be present in every tourist city.
Overnight I advise a solo woman traveller to keep your eyes open wherever you are because bad things can happen anywhere, anytime to anybody so please safety first.
During my solo travels, I always contacted locals through travelers' Facebook groups and I have been lucky to meet people that took me around and show me their city so I was feeling pretty safe being out late in the evening because I wasn't alone.
Duty-Free Allowance from Greece
If you are traveling from an EU country, there are no limits on the amount or value of goods you want to take home with you, if your interests are for personal consumption.
Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
800 cigarettes or 1kg of tobacco
10L of spirits over 22% volume, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
4L of wine (excluding sparkling wine) and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume
Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers
You are not allowed to import meat or dairy products into Greece from outside the EU.
Do you want to know more about Athens?
Check out “The Best Guide of Athens“ here and read all the articles I wrote about it.
How to book a Bus, Train, and rental car in Greece
When I plan a trip, I always make sure to have a well-planned trip.
I am not talking about planning where to be at every time of the day, because when traveling, it is nice to be spontaneous but not too much, if you know what I mean.
I like to book everything in advance, like accommodation, flight, bus, and train tickets, because I have learned during my travels that the sooner, the better in these cases.
I ended up saving a lot of money and time because I booked things in advance and also because if you research at what time the train or bus is due to departure, you are going to make sure to don't end up without a train to reach your next destination and have to wait till the day after.
So here are some links that will help you to plan at least the essentials.
One excellent website, to buy train tickets in Greece is Omio, where you can check all the trains available and book your tickets in advance. I always use it when traveling and they are great websites.
Traveling by bus is the cheaper way to travel around Greece. It is more affordable than traveling by train but not so fast, so it depends on how much time you have and your budget.
Sometimes, if there is not a train, there is a bus so in case you are looking to buy some tickets, I advise you to do it on Omio, where you can also purchase bus, train and flight tickets.
An excellent way to visit Greece is by renting a car, so you can stop whenever you want and go wherever you need anytime.
The cost of renting a car in Greece is pretty cheap so if you are on an island and want to explore every single beach and little village like I love to do, the best way is by renting a car.
I always look at my favorite rental car websites, and I see where I find the best deals.
Have a look at them here:
Discover cars website is like Skyscanner but for rental cars. And since you're comparing many different companies, you can also choose from many other vehicles. Click here to check car rental prices in Greece.
Localrent.com is a website that connects you with local rental cars and is available only in Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Montenegro. Check out car rental prices here.
There is also another way to travel that not everybody thing about it, and it is by Renting a Scooter or a Bicycle.
If the weather is nice, why not enjoy the beauty of Greece driving a nice Scooter or a Bicycle without the issue to find a car park?
If this is an option you may consider, I have a fantastic website to advise you to check:
where you will be able to choose between any scooter, motorbike, quad and bicycle.
Book Tours and Activity in Athens
If you want to check which attractions, museums, or tours to book to visit Athens, I use different websites to book them before leaving for my trips.
You can book one of the best Athens walking tours, the unmissable local food tours in Athens, an incredible experience of a local Greek dinner in Athens, the best deals to visit the Acropolis and other museums, and if you wish to explore what's outside the Greek capital, don't miss the best day tours from Athens.
Another fantastic way to explore Greece is by booking a multiday tour from Athens, where you will just have to relax while they will take you to the best places in Greece, without the need to plan your travel. Maybe a day trip to Sparta from Athens is the best way to spend an extra day in Greece.
Is it easy to find wifi in Athens?
You won't have any problems finding wifi here, it is available and pretty fast in all hotels and most restaurants or bars.
Important telephone numbers in Athens
Telephone area code +30 210
Municipality of Athens +30 210 3722001
Tourism Office +30 210 3310392
Ambulance 112 or 166
Fire Department 199
Athens Police +30 210 6977000
Port Authority +30 210 4147800
Did you enjoy my article?
I have plenty like this one about visiting Athens.
Feel free to leave a comment below and share this article with your friends, maybe someone you know is planning to visit Athens.
Also, don't forget to subscribe down below to my weekly newsletter at the bottom of this page, to be always updated with new
Travel Destinations, Discounts, Giveaways and Travel Tips.