Athens International Airport (AIA) named after Eleftherios Venizelos is a modern and well-structured flight hub. I think it is one of the easiest airports for passengers to navigate in the world due to its very clear setup. Read on to get the latest info about getting to the center of Athens or Piraeus port in case your need to catch your ferry to one of the islands!
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- Athens Venizelos Airport Arrival
- Athens Airport Map
- Hotels Near the Airport
- Transfer Options from the Airport
Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is considered the 22nd largest airport in Europe in terms of passenger traffic.
Here are some notable facts about its operation in 2018:
- Number of passengers served exceeded 22 million
- More than 130 destinations handled
- The total number of airlines served reached more than 60
- New direct flights added to New York, Singapore and Buijing
Athens Venizelos Airport Arrival
One of the things I enjoy every time I arrive to the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport is how fast and easy it is to get from the plane to the passport control. It literally takes less than 10 minutes. The actual line to the border control official also moves fast. After your passport gets stamped you proceed to the next hall to pick up your luggage.
The whole process should not take more than 25 minutes unless your flight simultaneously arrives along with several other flights.
After you pick up your luggage feel free to exit the hall and enter the passenger arrival area. That’s where the arriving passengers are met by their friends, relatives, taxi drivers and travel agencies. Just look for a sign with your name in case you have your trip organized by an agency.
Athens International Airport passenger arrival area has plenty of cafes, toilets, currency exchanges, souvenir shops and car rental booths similar to other flight hubs around the world.
Outside airport terminal you’ll find buses and taxis waiting to pick up their passengers. Airport highway infrastructure is modern and convenient as well. It will take you around 30 minutes to get to Athens downtown. However the road to city center can be filled with traffic that may increase driving time.
Athens Airport Map
Feel free to download the official arrival and departure terminal maps provided by the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport:
- Arrivals Terminal Map (Click below to see in full detail)
- Departure Terminal Map (Click below to see in full detail)
Hotels Near the Airport
If you want to spend a night before your connecting flight the next morning then your best option is to stay as close as possible to the airport. The 4 star Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel is located just minutes away from the terminal. In addition to the convenient location guests benefit from all amenities offered by the upscale hotel chain that include:
- Several restaurants, including one with panoramic views
- Swimming pool along with a gym and sauna
- Several meeting rooms and a conference room
Another reasonable option is Holiday Inn Athens Attica Avenue located about 4.5 miles away from the airport. You can easily get there by taxi that would take you less than 10 minutes or use a metro. Also make sure to check the availability of their free shuttle service.
Varaba Country House offers different staying experience to their guests compared to Sofitel and Holiday Inn. It’s a small family managed Greek country house hotellocated 2 miles away from the airport. You can’t get there by foot, so you’ll have to call them and request pickup or just use a taxi.
Transfers to Athens from Venizelos Airport
There are several ways to reach your final destination in Athens once you pass the immigration control and get your luggage. The airport is located about 18 miles (30 kilometers) away from Syntagma Square in the center of the city. It will take you around 30 minutes to get there by car.
So here are the 5 transfer options:
Option 1. Get Taxi
You can get your taxi right outside the terminal between Exit 2 and 3. Usually there is a queue where people wait for the next available taxi. There is a fixed transfer rate for the rides from the airport to the center of Athens.
The same prices apply to taxi rides from the center of Athens to the International Airport.
|Fare Type||Valid From||Valid Till||Amount|
|Day Time||5:00 AM||12:00 AM Midnight||38 Eur|
|Night Time||12:00 AM Midnight||5:00 AM||50 Eur|
The above fares include all possible expenses (taxes, toll fees and others). There is nothing you should pay on top.
What If there are any disagreements related to the cost of your ride that arise between you and your driver?
This is not typical. But if that happens, make sure to settle them in the presence of concierge upon arrival to your hotel.
All taxi fares other than the fixed transfer fees to the city center are invoiced based on the taxi meter. I have calculated the approximate time and fare amount for several popular routes in the table below.
The final prices are based on taxi meter!
(5:00 AM – 12:00 AM Midnight)
(12:00 AM Midnight – 5:00 AM)
|Athens Airport||Piraeus Port||45 Eur||60 Eur||45 Min|
|Athens Airport||Glyfada||32 Eur||40 Eur||25 Min|
Option 2. Private Transfer
Another option is to book your own private transfer in advance. You can order it either with your hotel or book it using one of the online services similar to this one. I used this private transfer service just once when I arrived to Athens with my 5 year old daughter and several large pieces of luggage.
It worked out really good so I even decided to become their partner – meaning, if you book your transfer through this link, I’ll make a small commission and it won’t cost you a penny extra.
The benefits? Well, you won’t have to look for taxi drivers and you’ll know your fare in advance. A driver will meet you with a nameplate right at the arrival terminal doors and help you with your luggage. If your flight gets delayed the driver will wait for you for one hour free of charge.
If you travel with kids they offer several kinds of child seats and boosters depending on your kids age and weight.
Option 3. Use Metro
Athens metro is clean, modern and reliable making a great way to travel around the city. The only thing you have to watch out for are pickpockets.
Just keep in mind that there is nothing new here.
People get robbed in most of the major cities around Europe. Just make sure to take some basic precautions (keep your valuables close to the body) and use common sense.
Another thing to mention is that is costs 8 Euros per person to get from the Venizelos airport to the center of Athens (Syntagma square).
So if you are a group of at least 4 people it makes more sense to pay additional 6 Euros and get a taxi.
Otherwise use our latest Athens metro map and time table below to plan your transfer via metro.
The metro departs every 30 minutes.
|International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos)||Syntagma (Athens center)||6:30 AM||11:30 PM||8 Eur|
|Syntagma (Athens center)||International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos)||5:40 AM||11:06 PM||8 Eur|
Option 4. Take a Bus
Use one of the 4 express bus routes connecting airport with 4 parts of Athens:
|X95 Syntagma Square||30 minutes||40 minutes||5 Eur|
|X96 Pireaus||30 minutes||90 minutes||5 Eur|
|X93 Kifisou avenue||40 minutes||65 minutes||5 Eur|
|X97 Elliniko Metro Station||50 minutes||60 minutes||5 Eur|
Here is some additional information about the above bus routes:
- All buses are available 24 hours 7 days a week
- Bus station is located outside the arrival terminal between Exit 4 and Exit 5
- Buses to Syntagma Square and Piraeus port run every 30 minutes
- You can buy your bus ticket at kiosk located near the bus station, directly from the bus driver or at any metro station
- All bus tickets cost 5 Euros. Children under 6 years old can travel free of charge.
- Half priced tickets (2.5 Eur) are available to students, seniors aged 65 and above as well kids (6-18 years old). Make sure to present your ID to take advantage of the discounted ticket price.
Option 5. Rent a Car
I have a post about renting a car in Athens that has a lot of info about the process. To give you a general idea, there are 5 car rental companies that currently operate at the premises of Eleftherios Venizelos airport:
You’ll find some booths inside the arrivals area after exiting the luggage hall area. Avis is located slightly outside the terminal. Just turn right after exiting the terminal and walk all the way to the end (about 5 – 10 minutes). Soon you’ll see their office and a parking lot.
The highway system around Athens is pretty good. There is a new Attiki Odos which is a modern highway around the Athens area. It is also connected to the Ethniki Odos (National Road) that connects the capital of Greece to the rest of the country.
Options to Store Your Luggage
If you have to catch a connecting flight at the International Airport of Athens and have several hours in between the flights, storing you luggage could be a good idea. Currently there are two options that I’m ware of:
- There is a storage located inside the International Arrivals Terminal of the airport. Make a left after exiting the luggage area and walk all the way to the end of the building. It is open 24 hours and has a number of rates based on the size of your luggage as well as storing period. It will cost you around 8 Euros to store a large suit case for 6 hours or 13 Euros for 24 hours.
- Another option would be to use the storage facilities located at Monastiraki Metro Station. On one side it is 16 metro stations away. On the other side it costs about 2 times cheaper to store your belongings there comparing to the airport. It would also make sense to use the Monastiraki option if you planned to go to the center of Athens anyways.
Attica Zoological Park
One of the cool things you can do in case you have a couple hours between your flights is going to the Athens Zoo! Attika Zoological Park is located just 15 minutes away by taxi. It is a private organization owned and operated by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The organization is well-know for its high standards that ensure humane handling of wild animals. Attika Zoo is famous for its bird collection that is the 3rd largest in the world! Checkout the info on the official website: http://www.atticapark.com/.