Athens airport to city centre: transfers, taxis, shuttle buses, and trains

Gert Svaiko

Planning a Greek odyssey? If you’re flying into Athens airport from the UK, you’ll need to sort out your transfers. You might want to stay near the airport itself and travel in the morning, or get going right away.

To help your trip run smoothly, we’ve put together a handy guide to Athens airport transfers. This includes the best way to get to Athens city centre and other major resort centres by taxi, train, bus and private transfer.

And if you need spending money while in Greece, the Wise card could be a good option. This multi-currency card lets you spend and withdraw cash in EUR from the moment you land, and all while automatically converting your GBP using the mid-market exchange rate. You won’t need to interrupt your plans to sort out money in Athens, or carry cash around with you.


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Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

What to know before leaving the airport?

Athens International Airport (ATH) is around 33km from the centre of Athens. The journey takes around 35-40 minutes by car/taxi, 40 minutes by metro and an hour by bus.¹

You can also reach the city’s two ports - Piraeus and Rafina - in an hour or less.

At the airport, you’ll find an official taxi rank and a bus stop outside Arrivals. There’s also a train and metro station just a 5-minute walk away.¹

If you need to get some euros before leaving the airport, you’ll find ATMs and a currency exchange bureau in the baggage reclaim area of Arrivals.²

But if you already have a Wise multi-currency card, you can simply stroll out of the terminal - ready to spend in EUR at a fair exchange rate.

Athens airport transfers

If you’re the sort of person who likes to be organised, you can book your Athens airport transfers before you travel.

A private transfer can be one of the most convenient options to get to your onward destination. You can travel in comfort and go directly to your hotel without waiting around. However, private transfers will almost always be more expensive than taking public transport.

Typical transfer routes from Athens airport

Travellers arriving at Athens airport tend to head either to Athens city centre, or one of its ports.

The port of Piraeus is known as the gateway to the Greek islands. It takes around 60 minutes³ to get there by private transfer. From there, you can catch ferries and overnight sailings to Santorini, the Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionian and Aegean Islands.

If your chosen holiday destination is Mykonos, Naxos, Tinos or Andros, you’ll want to catch a ferry from Rafina port. It takes around 35 minutes³ to get there by private transfer.

Cheap transfers from Athens airport

Want to save a little money on your private transfer? A shared shuttle bus could be the answer.

You will need to share with other passengers, and it is likely to take longer due to the extra stops, but it could still be more convenient than public transport. Plus, you can book it in advance and know your ride will be waiting for you when you land.

How to organise a private transfer?

The best way to book a private transfer from Athens airport is online and in advance. Lots of companies offer transfers, so you’ll need to enter your travel details and compare prices.

Alternatives to private transfers

Forgot to book a transfer or prefer to keep your plans more flexible? Don’t worry, you won’t be stranded at the airport.

There are lots of other ways to reach Athens city centre, the ports and other nearby destinations from the airport. These include taxi, bus and train/metro.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Taxis from Athens airport to city centre

Official Athens taxis are available 24/7 at the airport. You can simply head to the taxi rank and hop into one. However, you can also book your taxi in advance from a company like Welcome Pickups if you prefer.

Some taxis may accept card payments, but it could be a good idea to have cash with you, just in case.⁴

How much is the taxi fare to Athens?

If you get a taxi from the official taxi rank at the airport, there’s a flat fare to reach the city centre.

This is €40/£35.84* in the daytime (5am to midnight) or €55/£49.28* at nighttime (midnight to 5am).⁵ It should cost the same for your return journey.

If you pre-book your taxi from the airport to Athens, it could possibly be cheaper, but you’ll need to compare quotes.

How taxis look and where are they parked?

Licensed Athens airport taxis are yellow in colour and have a ‘TAXI’ sign on the roof.⁴ You’ll find them parked at the official taxi rank outside Exit 3 of the Arrivals building.⁵

Shuttle buses from Athens airport

A much cheaper way to travel from the airport to the city centre is by bus. Here are the routes you can choose from:⁶

  • X95 to Syntagma Square - the journey takes around 60 minutes
  • X93 to Athens Kifissos Bus Terminal - taking around 65 minutes.

Both of these Athens airport buses are run by OSY, and a one way ticket costs €5.50/£4.93*. You can buy your ticket at the ticket desks in Arrivals, or pay in cash on board the bus. Head to the OSY bus stops between Exits 4 and 5 to catch your bus.⁶

Bus to Piraeus

You can also catch an Athens airport bus to the port of Piraeus. Hop on the X96 for a journey of around 90 minutes.⁶ This route is also run by OSY, so bear in mind the pricing and payment info from above.

Bus to Rafina

KTEL runs the airport bus to the port of Rafina, roughly once an hour. The journey takes around 40 minutes and costs just €3/£2.69* one-way.⁷

The bus stops for KTEL buses are a little further along, between Exits 2 and 3 outside Arrivals.⁶

Taking a train from Athens airport

Lastly, you can take an Athens airport train or metro to reach the city centre. The suburban train heading to Piraeus stops at Larissis Station in central Athens, with the journey taking around 35 minutes.

The fare is €9/£8.06* and trains run every 40-60 minutes from the airport railway station in Departures.⁸

You can also take the Athens Metro. Hop on the Blue Line (Metro Line 3) from the airport train station, and you’ll be at Syntagma Square in around 40 minutes. It costs the same as the train.⁹

And that’s pretty much it - all the different ways you can get from Athens airport to the city centre and both Piraeus and Rafina ports.

Take your pick from taxi, train, metro or bus, or arrange a private transfer for a little more comfort and luxury. It’s completely up to you.

And to manage your foreign currency safely and easily in Athens and abroad, consider going with Wise. You can get a Wise card for spending outside the UK that lets you convert GBP to over 50 currencies using a fair exchange rate, the mid-market rate.

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*1 EUR = 0.8960 GBP (28-09-2022)

Sources used:

  1. Athens-International-Airport - Transfers to City
  2. AIA - Currency Exchange
  3. HolidayTaxis - Athens International Airport Transfers
  4. Athens-International-Airport - Airport Taxis
  5. AIA - Taxis and Limousines
  6. Athens-International-Airport - Bus
  7. Welcome Pickups - Airport to Rafina
  8. Athens-International-Airport - Train
  9. Athens-International-Airport - Metro

Sources last checked on date: 16-Sep-2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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