The Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is located in Attica, 33km northeast of Athens and is easily accessible via Attiki Odos, Athens’ peripheral motorway. Public transportation between Athens, the port of Piraeus and the airport is serviced by the metro, the suburban railway and the city buses. Athens International Airport is the main gateway to Greece, serving as an international hub for flights from around the world.
Our two national carriers are Aegean airlines and Olympic airways. Both offer direct flights from most European capitals and a fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft that operate at the highest safety standards. Whichever you choose, you will experience Greek hospitality – and a fantastic Greek culinary experience – before you even land.
In addition to the above, Sky Express operates from Athens airport, offering domestic flights to Kythera and various Greek islands.
To get from Attica’s airport to your downtown destination, you have many options: you can catch a taxi just outside the arrivals hall (the ride will cost you 35-40 euros), or you can walk approximately 200 metres to the metro station and hop on the underground. The trip to the centre of the city costs 8 Euros per person and takes approximately 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the bus (number X95) which, depending on traffic, will take you downtown in approximately 60-65 minutes.
Bus: take bus number X96. The trip takes 90 minutes and costs five euros per person (2.5 euros if you qualify for a reduced fare).
Metro: take metro line 3 to Doukissis Plakentias station and then the suburban railway to Pireaus, for a total cost of eight euros
Taxi: catch a cab for a quick 45-minute ride that may cost up to 60 euros.
If you decide to rent a car in Attica, you’ll find many car rental offices in the airport area. During peak season, it is best to make a booking in advance. Also, ensuring that your car is equipped with a GPS system will make travelling a lot easier.
There are two information kiosks operating at Attica’s airport, Breathtaking Athens and Eleftherios Venizelos Info Point. They are conveniently located on the arrivals level and are great sources of information for anything you may need, such as bookings and hotel information.
At the arrival level, you will find a number of currency exchange facilities offering very competitive rates. You’ll also find many ATMs where you can withdraw money directly from your personal banking account. Usually there is a charge of approximately one to three euros per withdrawal.
The arrival level also hosts a Post Office where you can stop in to mail your first postcard from Greece, a large pharmacy where you can buy any items you may have left at home, a large Greek pastry and many shops.
Reaching Attica by boat
If you plan to come to Attica by ferry, you’ll have to disembark at the port of Patras, which is the main port for all passengers arriving from Italy and approximately a two-hour drive from Athens.
When travelling from Italy to Greece, you can sail from various ports in Italy, including Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, Venice and – less commonly – Trieste. If you’re in central Italy, Ancona may be the best choice. Ferries reach the port of Igoumenitsa in 15 to 20 hours and the port of Patras in 20 to 23 hours.
From Bari you can take a ferry to Corfu, Igoumenitsa and Patras, a trip lasting approximately 15.5 hours.
Ferries also operate frequently between Brindisi and Corfu, Kefalonia, Igoumenitsa, and Patras, a trip that takes approximately 6.5 hours.
From Venice you can take a ferry directly to Corfu, Igoumenitsa or Patras. This trip lasts around 24 hours.
Finally, if you choose Trieste as your port of departure, you should expect a longer crossing of over 24 hours.
Driving from Patras to Athens
Driving from Patras to Athens is fairly easy and should take no more than 2.5 hours. You should budget for tolls and fuel, which average 15 euros and 25-50 euros respectively, depending on your car type. Once you exit the ferry, take a left and drive along the coastal road for approximately 1km (the sea should be on your left hand side). Follow the signs for motorways 8A and E65. For detailed routes you can click here.
Taking the bus or train from Patras to Athens
Once you reach the port of Patras, you can either take the bus to Athens (a 2.5-hour journey) or the train (a four-hour journey). Both bus and train stations are located just outside the port.
Reaching Attica by train
There are two ways to get to Attica by train, either through Italy or via the Balkan Peninsula.
The first involves travelling to one of the Italian ports, such as Brindisi, Ancona or Bari, and then taking the ferry to Greece.
The second is a truly time-honoured form of travel – the Orient Express. This will take you through Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia, before entering Greece at the Idomeni border station. Once in Greece, the train heads for the city of Thessaloniki and, finally, Athens.
In addition to being one of the most romantic ways of getting to Greece, the Orient Express route services all trains originating from major Western European countries, such as France, Italy, Germany and Austria.
The quickest way of getting to Attica Greece from the UK is by taking the Eurostar train from Waterloo International, Ashford or Ebbsfleet railway stations. However, if you are not pressed for time, you can also enjoy a slower-paced ferry from Dover to Calais; then take the train from Calais to Paris; train from Paris to Italy; then from Italy to Greece by ferry.
From Paris, you have the choice of travelling by day or by night. The day train will allow you to take in the scenery, while the night train is usually more efficient. Please note that the night train option requires a reservation (usually a couple of days prior to departure). The day train departs from Gare de Lyon, via Lausanne and arrives in Milan, Italy. In Milan, you will most likely have to change trains for Ancona. The Ancona line services the ports of Bari and Brindisi, which in turn service all ferry ports in Greece.
Trains to Attica departing from Scandinavia will pass though Copenhagen before reaching Germany. This route takes you through Hamburg, Munich, Kufstein, Innsbruck and the Brenner pass, into Italy. In Italy the Verona-Bologna railway line will take you to Ancona. This route is perfect for those who wish to continue their journey by ferry from Ancona to one of the major Greek ports.
If you prefer to travel exclusively by land, either take the train that goes through Austria, Serbia and Thessaloniki before arriving in Athens, or the Vienna-Sofia-Thessaloniki-Athens route.
- German rail info at Deutsche Bahn
Departing from the Iberian Peninsula, take the train though France along the southern French coast arriving at Ventimiglia, Italy
Reaching Attica by car
If you choose to come to Athens by car, you have two options. You can take the A1 motorway from northern Greece, accessible from neighbouring Bulgaria and Macedonia, straight to Athens or take the A5 motorway from neighbouring Albania to Rio. From Rio simply follow the signs to Athens on the A8 motorway.
In general, driving to the Attica region is a great option, provided you have a few extra days to spare. Enjoy the amazing countryside of Greece on a unique journey that takes you through dense pine forests, beautiful mountains, lush valleys, picturesque villages and large, bustling cities.
The distances from various European capitals are:
Rome – Athens: 1,280km
Paris – Athens: 2,886km
Berlin – Athens: 2,354km
Amsterdam – Athens: 2,822km
Vienna – Athens: 1,723km
Prague – Athens: 2,005km
Bern – Athens: 2,468km
Barcelona – Athens: 3,086km