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Athens has a strange attraction, derived from its own name and the feeling of entering the mythical world when you set foot in this city. Small details such as the streets, hills and historical relics from ancient Rome, especially the human form, the facial features of the indigenous people are very characteristic, they are old people with beard and silver-haired that sometimes when I talking with them, I thought I was talking to a prophet. Many people traveling to Greece mainly to go to the islands in this thousand islands country but ignore Athens, but Athens also has many interesting things for you to visit and explore! So, is Athens worth visiting? Let’s discover one of the most ancient destinations in Europe through our Athens travel blog (Athens blog) with the fullest Athens travel guide (Athens city guide) for a wonderful trip to Athens on a budget for the first time from how to get there, best time to visit, and top things to do … to find out the answer!

Temple of Olympian Zeus & Arch of Hadrian
Temple of Olympian Zeus
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The ancient theatre of Odeon of Herodes Atticus
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Athens, the city of ancient relics.
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Acropolis of Athens, one of the best places to visit in Athens.

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Great view for coffee in Athens
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Vibrant Athens city at dusk
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The historic streets of Plaka (Old Town of Athens)

Athens city guide: When is the best time to visit?

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Like the other Mediterranean countries such as Spain or Italy, Greece has a typical warm sunshine and is blessed with the advantage of beautiful weather all year round. You can go to Athens or other regions of Greece at any time of the year, but should choose between April and October because Greece winter begins from November to March next year, so it often rains.

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The stone pillars of Erechtheion Temple
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Parthenon temple with spring flowers on the hill of Acropolis.

However, you should consider whether to go in July-August or not because this is the peak tourist season, visitors flock to Greece very much and the service price is higher than normal.

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athens travel blog,athens travel guide,athens blog (1)
The magnificent remnants of relics of ancient Roman civilization.
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Athens and Acropolis hill.

Athens travel guide: How to get to Athens?

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Athens Airport

You can fly to Athens from other countries in the European Union: You can choose some several of low-cost airlines such as Ryan Air, Easyjet and should also hunting tickets early to avoid high season. In addition, the Greek Aegean airline, is also very good, this is not a low-cost airline, so its service is standard and sometimes the price is equally good compared to other low-cost airlines.

Aegean Airlines at santorini airport
Aegean Airlines
Ryan Air is also one of the low cost airlines that has flights to Ibiza.
Ryan Air is one of the low cost airlines that has direct flights to Athens.
inside athens aiport
Inside Athens Airport

If you take the train from EU countries to Greece, it will be more difficult because some of the domestic and international railways in Greece have been canceled due to the economic crisis. Fares are usually more expensive than flying and there is not much options, of course you can still find some trains to Athens via InterRail or Eurail.

Eurail train
Eurail train
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Inside the cabin

Getting from the airport to the city center

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Athens Airport Areas Map

Athens Airport Bus

Athens Airport Buses
Bus Station at Athens Airport

The easiest way to getting to from the airport to the city center is to go outside the Arrival hall of Athens airport (Athens airport is also quite small), there will be available Shuttle bus routes into the city, run continuously from 5pm to 12pm with the price of €5–6/trip, you can buy tickets at Kiosk at the airport or buy right from the driver. There are 4 main routes to: Kifissos KTEL Station (Athens Central Bus Station) (Long Distance Bus) (X93 – 65 minutes); Syntagma Square (X95 – 60 minutes); Piraeus Port (Χ96 – 90 minutes); Elliniko Metro Station (X97 – 45 minutes). The airport is about 20km from the city center.

Athens Airport Buses
Athens Airport Bus X95
Athens Airport Buses
Athens airport bus X96 waiting on the platform
Athens Airport Buses
Athens airport public bus and ticket counter

Metro

Athens airport metro train waiting on the platform
Athens airport metro train waiting on the platform

Ask the information counter staff how to get to the Metro station and take the Metro Line 3 to the city center, the ticket price is €6/one way and roundtrip is €10 (valid within 48 hours).

Athens airport metro train waiting on the platform25
Athens airport metro station

Taxi

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Athens airport waiting at platform

You find way to the taxi waiting area at the gate 3 of the Arrival hall of the airport, the taxi fare to the city center is around €35/way.

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Taxi cost EUR35/trip to the city center

Getting from Athens to other locations

Ferry

Blue Star Paros ferry cruise ship
Blue Star Paros ferry cruise ship

To travel from Athens to other Greek islands (such as Mykonos or Santorini island), the most popular means of transportation are ferries and mostly concentrated in the central port of Piraeus. Called as ferry, but the ferry in Athens is no different from large ships that can carrying hundreds of people. From the city center you can easily take the tram to the port, or if you travel from the airport, there is also the X96 bus route that runs straight to the port, suitable for those who have booked ferry tickets in advance and need to go to the port to print tickets.

Blue Star Ferries - Port Ticketing Booth (Gate E1)
Blue Star Ferries – Port Ticketing Booth (Gate E1)
Blue Star Ferry to Santorini island
Boarding to Blue Star Ferry to Santorini island
inside Blue Star Paros ferry cruise ship
Inside Blue Star ferry
Blue Star Ferry Shared Cabin
Blue Star Ferry Shared Cabin
Seajets Ferry
Seajets Ferry to Santorini
hellenic-seaways
Hellenic Seaways to Mykonos and Santorini island

Note: Piraeus Port is very huge, you should carefully check the ferry boarding gate to avoid getting lost.

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Port of Piraeus in Athens.

Bus & train

KTEL Bus from Athens to Agia Marina
KTEL Bus from Athens to Agia Marina | athens travel blog

To travel from Athens to other neighborhoods by road, you can take the bus (the most popular and easiest means of transport) of KTEL National Bus Company, which has two main terminals: Terminal A Kifissou – Address: A/D PAThE 40-100, 104 42, Greece (Athina Avenue 100) and Terminal B – Address: Liosion 260, Athina 104 45, Greece. If you travel by train you can go to the Peloponnese Railway Station about 1.6 km from Omonia square to take the train to other countries in the European region.

Peloponnese Railway Station
Peloponnese Railway Station
Athens train to Thessaloniki
Athens train to Thessaloniki

Athens travel blog: Getting around Athens

Athens city is quite large but not too big, so you can combine walking with the subway, there are also trams and taxis running in the city.

Metro

Athens Metro Map
Athens Metro Map

When I came here, the metro system in Athens was enough to cover the whole city, many new lines were built, so the train was still very new and clean. The train runs from early in the morning from 5AM to 12PM, continuously with a frequency of 5-10 minutes/trip. The normal ticket is €0.80/trip, if you stay a long time and travel a lot by Metro, you should consider buying a day ticket with the price of €3 or a weekly ticket with the price of € 10 that without limiting the number of moves, allows you to travel to all stations, lines and even the city bus (but not used for Express bus).

Athens Metro train
inside athens metro train
Inside the train
List of Athens Metro stations
List of Athens Metro stations
Piraeus Metro station
Metro station at Piraeus Port

Tram

Athens tram
Athens tram

In Athens, there are trams with railroad tracks right in the middle of the streets, the fare is €0.80/trip, convenient because it is located on the ground.

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Athens tram map

Bus and taxi

Athens Yellow Electric Trolley Bus
Athens Yellow Electric Trolley Bus

Buses in Athens are quite popular, like Metro are main means of transport. Taxi has a remarkable point is that many taxis are painted yellow, the fare is cheap and convenient.

Taxi cabs on strike in Greece
Hunderds of yellow taxis in Athens

Athens blog: Where to stay?

Arion Athens Hotel (Hotel) (Greece)
Arion Athens Hotel, a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $101/night (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

You should choose hostel/hotel in the central area, near Metro stations to traveling and eating. Room rates in Athens are also among the cheapest in Europe.

If you want to stay in a hostel to saving cost, you can book a room at Zorbas Hostel, the hostel I had stayed in Athens, the room rates here is very cheap at €11-15/bed in dormitory room, although the room is not too beautiful but in general full amenities, including a collective living room, private kitchen for backpackers and computers with free internet connection. This hostel is located on Victoria Avenue in the city center and right next to Metro station, from here you only have to catch one Metro line to Piraeus port. In addition, you can refer to Omonoia Square area is also good and cheap. You can check rates, reviews & booking for Zorbas Hostel on Agoda.com or Booking.com.

Zorbas Hostel 2
Zorbas Hostel

Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.

Centrotel Hotel (Address: Peoniou 11, Athina 104 40, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0825 8010), a top rated 2-star hotel with room rates from $51/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Centrotel Hotel
Centrotel Hotel

Herodion Hotel (Address: Rovertou Galli 4, Athina 117 42, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0923 6832), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $154/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Herodion Hotel
Herodion Hotel

Hotel Metropolis (Address: Mitropoleos 46, Athina 105 63, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0321 7469), a top rated 2-star hotel with room rates from $116/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Hotel Metropolis
Hotel Metropolis

Central Athens Hotel (Address: Apollonos 21, Athina 105 57, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0323 4357), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $125/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Central Athens Hotel
Central Athens Hotel

Attalos Hotel (Address: Athinas 29, Athina 105 54, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0321 2801), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $99/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Attalos Hotel
Attalos Hotel

Athens Tiare Hotel (Address: Pireos 2, Omonia, Athens 104 31, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0520 0300), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $85/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Athens Tiare Hotel
Athens Tiare Hotel

Plaka Hotel (Address: Kapnikareas 7, Athina 105 56, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0322 2706), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $132/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Plaka Hotel
Plaka Hotel

Areos Hotel (Address: Mpoumpoulinas 19, Athina 106 82, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0825 9540), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $74/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Areos Hotel
Areos Hotel

Hotel Tony (Address: Zacharitsa 26, Athina 117 41, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0923 0561), a top rated hotel with room rates from $73/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Hotel Tony
Hotel Tony

Hotel Katerina (Address: Καρόλου 20 και, Psaron, Athina 104 37, Greece / Phone: +30 21 0522 6115), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $69/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Hotel Katerina
Hotel Katerina

If you want to rent a private room, it usually costs around €30/night and includes breakfast. In addition, if you want to stay cheaper, you can refer to Airbnb, or just go to Booking.com, Agoda.com to choose hotel.

Athens travel guide: What to eat?

Gyros

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In Greece, if you want to eat delicious and cheapest, there is only Gyros, which is type of sandwich with kernel is made from meat (chicken or pork), tomatoes, sauce, potato fried chips wrapped in a thin layer bread of Pita, ingredients and shape look like Doner Kebab, but it much more delicious. The price for each is from €3-4, one is enough for each meal, but without being satiated. You can easily buy it at any food shop in the city.

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Vegan Gyros

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Suzma (Labneh)

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Greek specialty, must try in Athens.

Also known as Greek yogurt, this dish is very famous for its delicious, greasy taste. It is a mistake if you traveling to Athens without trying Greek yogurt, yogurt also is used to make Tzatziki (meze) that made from thick strained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive … is very delicious and served with Pita bread or to make barbecue sauce.

Suzma (Labneh),athens travel blog (1)

Tzatziki
Tzatziki

Lamb

lamb stewed rice
| athens travel blog

Continued reading…

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