Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens

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.



Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, Greece Time zone

Time Zone:


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.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, Greece currency

Currency:


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


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, vaccinations

Vaccinations:


You should ask your family doctor before travelling to Athens and ensure that you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations.


Just make sure you’re up to date on recommended vaccinations for your home country and have a look at The Travel Vaccines and Advice here.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, greece voltage and adapters

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.

Check the very good Plugs adaptor I use, here.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to get to athens

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 Jetradar or on Aviasale, two travel search engines that allow 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.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to get to athens from the airport

How to Go from the Airport to Athens city centre

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.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to reach athens from the airport

By Bus:

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.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to reach athens from the airport

By Metro:

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.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens

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.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to reach port ferry piraeus athens greece

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:

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to reach port ferry piraeus athens greece

By Bus:

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.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to reach port ferry piraeus athens greece

By Metro:

In case you are planning 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, just 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.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to reach port ferry piraeus athens greece

By Train:

In case you want to get straight to Piraeus Ferry Port Terminal, follow the sign "Train" 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.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to reach Rafina port athens

How to Reach Rafina Port from Athens Airport:


There is a second Ferry Port in Athens (not so famous as the Piraeus one) that connect some islands and other parts of the Greek mainland.


If you have to get there, just 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 favourite 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.



Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens, how to move around Athens

How to Move Around Athens:

By Walk:

My favourite way to move around is by walking.

if you book accommodation in the city centre, you won't need public transport much, only to go from the airport to the city centre and in case you want to visit some area outside the centre.


Luckily, most of the famous sights are pretty much around the Acropolis (the centre of Athens) so you will walk around all the time without missing anything.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens

By Bus:

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

In case you are planning 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 tickets options and prices on Omio when you can check if the best option is by bus or train.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Athens

By Metro:

Athens Metro is pretty new and clean. It has 3 lines that will take you almost everywhere. I did not have any issue using it, all the signs are both in