2D/1N Backpacking Athens Without A Tour (Part 1) : Arrival In Athens Via Ryanair & Taking The X95 Public Bus From Athens International Airport – Syntagma Square

        My sister and I spent 2 days and 1 night exploring the historical city of Athens, Greece before flying off to the beautiful island of Santorini. Despite our short time in Athens, the city is by far, my favourite European city or travel destination apart from Santorini. Before going to Athens, I managed to search for the types of tourist scams to look out for when in Athens and have compiled a list. Read my Athens Travel Guide and Tourist Scams That You Should Know here.

The flight to Athens, Greece was as charming as its city. We flew over mountains, across a bed of white fluffy clouds and across the sea before finally laying our eyes on the beautiful country and city several thousand feet below. It was such an amazing view! As always, my sister and I got ourselves the window seats to enjoy the view.

Our Ryanair flight to Athens, Greece flew over mountains and a thick blanket of white fluffy clouds
Our Ryanair flight over the sea and Athens
Our Ryanair flight directly over Athens, Greece

        Athens International Airport (ATH)Athens International Airport (Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος) is Greece’s busiest airport. It is the main international airport that serves the city of Athens and the region of Attica. The airport has two terminals – the main terminal and the satellite terminal accessible by an underground link from the main terminal.

The main terminal building handles the all intra-Schengen flights, as well as several non-Schengen flights. The airlines’ check-in counters are located in the Main Terminal and it has three separate levels; one for arrivals, one for departures and a food court level complete with a view of the eastern runway.

  • Hall A is used for flights to Non-Schengen countries and Non-European countries
  • Hall B handles flights to Intra-Schengen countries as well as domestic services
Arrivals at Athens International Airport (Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος)
Athens International Airport (Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος)
Athens International Airport (Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος)
Athens International Airport (Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος)
Airport Information Counter at Athens International Airport (Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος)


Public Transportation To/From Athens International Airport (ATH) – Syntagma Square

The city of Athens, Greece has excellent public transportation ranging from the buses, metros and taxis. As a result of that, getting from one place to another in Athens is relatively easy and convenient.

However, during a strike, the metros, buses and even the taxi service will be crippled and visitors will be left stranded in the city unless they are able to find other alternatives. My sister and I were lucky enough to experience a strike on the day we arrived in Athens and I will share our experience in the next blog post.

 

Public Bus

From Athens International Airport, we made our way to Syntagma Square by bus because not only is the fare cheap, we get to enjoy scenic views of Athens city too. Besides the bus, one can also take the metro or taxi to the city, but naturally those will cost slightly more.

From the Arrivals in Athens International Airport, we followed the signboards and made our way towards the Transit/Busses area. The signboards are written in both Greek and English, therefore we did not encounter any difficulties finding our way through the airport.

At the Transit/Busses area, there are several designated bus stops. We bought our bus tickets at the bus tickets sales booth (ΠΩΛHΣH EIΣITHPIΩN ΛEΩΦOPEIΩN). After that, we waited at the bus stop numbered X95 AEPOΛIMENAΣ AΘHNΩN – ΣYNTAΓMA (Syntagma)

The trip to/from the airport – Syntagma is €5 per person, per journey. We validated the bus tickets at the ticket validation machine on the bus (strictly compulsory, failure to do so will result in a hefty fine or imprisonment)

The journey from Athens International Airport to/from Syntagma Square takes about 60 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions.

Signboards written in Greek and English at Athens International Airport (Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος)
Before boarding the public bus, buy the bus tickets at the bus tickets sales booth (ΠΩΛHΣH EIΣITHPIΩN ΛEΩΦOPEIΩN), Athens International Airport
The transit/public buses platform at Athens International Airport, Greece
The X95 Athens International Airport to Syntagma (AEPOΛIMENAΣ AΘHNΩN – ΣYNTAΓMA) public bus
The public bus tickets fare to/from Athens International Airport – Syntagma is €5 per person, per journey
Remember to validate the bus tickets at the ticket validation machine on the bus (strictly compulsory, failure to do so will result in a hefty fine or imprisonment)

Metro

Take Metro Line 3 (Aghia Marina – Douk. Plakentias – Athens International Airport) which connects Athens International Airport with the city centre. The trains run every 30 minutes, 7 days a week from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm. The trip to/from the airport to Syntagma station (Athens centre) takes about 40 minutes. The metro ticket fares are as follows:

  • One-way ticket for one person: €8
  • Return ticket for one person: €14 (valid within 48 hours)
  • One-way ticket for 2 persons: €14
  • One-way ticket for 3 persons: €20
  • One-way half price tickets (for students younger than 25, youngsters 6-18 or people older than 65): €4.00
  • Children under 6 years : Free

When using a return, a day or a week ticket, be sure to validate the ticket at the special ticket validation machine upon your exit and entry at the train stations. Keep your tickets safe for random inspections by the train officers on duty.

Athens Metro Map

 

Taxi

Taxis are available at the designated taxi waiting area at Athens International Airport and around Athens city. A taxi to/from the airport to Syntagma Square costs a flat rate of:

  • €35 from 5:00 am to midnight
  • €50 from midnight to 5:00 am

Do take note that the charge/fare is determined by the time of arrival at the destination and includes all applicable surcharges and extras.

 

Up next: Our experience during an unexpected strike in Athens and a generous Greek lunch at Boston Cafe

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