the Athens metro has to be the most beautiful system in the world and should stay this way until the graffiti "artists" get a hold of it. In the meantime even if there is nowhere you need to go with the new metro, it is worth visiting it and even taking a ride a few stops (you can visit the Hilton and the American Embassy). As you may have heard, work on the metro was slow because of all the antiquities they discovered. Every time they dug a new hole they would find a grave, or a wall or an urn or something and would have to put down their picks and shovels and call in the archaeologists who would do their digging with toothbrushes, which is a bit slower. Meanwhile deep below the surface, the giant metro mouse is churning fossilized dinosaurs into microscopic chips as it tunnels it's way through the city.
So the main problem was not having to dig through rock, but having to sift through history. But this was worth the time spent because Syntagma square is more than a metro station. It's a museum. In the entrance are photos of Athens from 100 years ago when it really was one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Attico metro operate since 2000 and it is the best transportation in Athens(fast and easy). 23 modern stations that serve more than 600000 passengers every day.There are archeological finds during the making of metro in Panepistimio Syntagma Acropolis and Dafni station and it is also connected with El. Venizelos airport (proastiakos)
Actually this is the way I moved most around Athens. You can get the underground from airport to the centre and the ticket is 8 € (bus is more convenient and less crowded). I used to buy the daily ticket (4€) and easily go around the city.
Electric operate since 1869 (at that time as a steam train)was original made to connect Athens with Piraeus port.In 1904 the line was electrified and in 1957 the electric extend with the connection from Piraeus to Kifissia(in 50 minutes) With 24 station separated in 3 zones and opened from 05:00 am
Subway is the fastest way to travel around Athens. There are 3 lines, blue, red and green and that way the City is well connected with other parts of Athens. Every station is designed in a different manner and all of them are so cute, just like underground exhibitions. Since Athens metro is relatively new, it is very modern, clean and shiny. So, you will not only have a chance to travel fast but also to enjoy the enterior as well. Tickets for a single ride cost 0.70 euro and those for a 24h period cost 2,90 euros.
Being a non-driver I rely almost entirely on public transport on my travels and thus have considerable experience of using metro systems to get around cities; from Boston to Budapest and of course our good old London Tube, but Athens is the best so far! Not only is the metro functional, fast, safe, cheap and easy to navigate, but the stations are worth visiting in their own right for the stunning artwork, architecture and even as mini museums. In fact the whole Athens public transportation system is a joy to use even during rush hours when it can be very busy.
Using the Attiko Metro is simplicity itself with its three lines: the blue line from Monistiraki to the airport; the green line from just outside the dock gates at Pireaus through Monistiraki and north to Kifissia and the red line from Dhafni through Syntagma and on to Sepolia. With these three lines just about anywhere a visitor would wish to visit within the city is easily accessible. The lines are also currently being extended and a fourth line is planned which will loop around the areas not covered by the present system.
The Metro stations are easily located with their distinctive signage and once inside the platforms well signposted with their destinations and routes. The website below is really informative and also quite entertaining with details of routes, ticket options and a photo and video gallery.
See the next tip for some more info Metro Practicalities
Construction of the modern Athens metro begun in November 1992 with the first train being run from Ethniki Amyna to Syntagma in April 1999 and work is scheduled to continue at least until 2013 and, at the time of writing, the system currently handles about 580,000 passengers per day. The Metro runs roughly every 3 minutes at peak periods and every 5-10 minutes off-peak from early morning until midnight.
The basic Metro fare is 80 euro cents (June 2006) for a one-way trip of up to 90 minutes from validation so long as you are travelling away from your departure station but is not valid for the airport line beyond Doukissis Plakentias. For the airport line the one-way fare is 6 euros or 10 euros return. Also available, which are really useful if you are travelling a lot, are the 3 euro, 24 hour and the 10 euro, 7 day, tickets which allow unlimited travel by Metro, Tram and Bus but once again are not valid for the airport line. Tickets are available from automatic machines and ticket windows at all stations and must be validated at the machines before entering the platforms - travelling without a validated ticket will result in a fine of 40 times the basic ticket price.
I was impressed with the efficiency of the Metro in Athens. It's too bad that the metro isn't extended longer in different directions. It was clean and easy to access, easy to understand where the exits and entrances were and which line you need to get on. Because we stayed at a hotel in Glyfada. We had to take a taxi to the nearest Metro station. From there I went to the main town of Athens to see museums, the Acropolis, the Plaka, etc.
Let me say that I might be a little bitter about this tip. When I was there, it seemd as though the entire network was under construction. At various points you had to pass up your stop and proceed to the next one. Where you would then have to get on the same line in reverse for one stop to arrive at your desired location. That is a hassle that I can understand, seeing that they are trying to improve the system before the Olympics hits. But, when you change which stations are closed!!! Oh man!! Let me tell you how pissed I was in Athens metro!
Well, I better not; VT has rules about assassination attempts on major city metro planners. Small city metro planners are alright, but not Athens'.
Anyway, Athens metro is supposed to have 3 lines.
Line 1 runs from Piraeus to Kifissia,
Line 2 from Dafni to Sepolia,
Line 3 from Ethniki Amyna to Monastiraki in Plaka.
Intersections of the lines occur in a small triangle in the center around Plaka and neighboring areas. Monastiraki, Omonia, Syntagma are these main intersections.
Single ticket - EUR 0.70
Single 1-2 zones on Line 1 - EUR 0.60
Day Pass EUR 2.90
Monthly Pass EUR 35.00
Line 1 / 5:00 - 0:30
Line 2 and 3 / 5:30 - 24:00
The metro may be your best bet, and most used transportation method in Athens. It was much improved for the 2004 Olympics and has stops at many places in Athens, and extends all the way to Patra. It is, for the most part, comfortable and cool, and fairly cheap. Become acquianted with the metro system if you plan on spending much time in Greece! It will save you time and money (as opposed to Taxis)
WARNING!!!!! ---- My first time on the metro I was confused as to how it worked. In California, if there is an area which you are not supposed to pass with a ticket there is a gaurd rail or some system of some kind to prevent you from entering the area. In most parts of the metro this is not the case. You could get lost looking for a ticket counter or someone to ask questions, end up near a platform and land a hefty fine from the police who roam the area. This happened to me. I witnessed several other tourists get stopped in the same state of confusion as I was when the officer told me I had an approximately 100$ fine to pay for not having a ticket. I explained to him that I got lost and didn't understand the system, this mattered little to him. I was unbelieveably heated by this situation. There is no warning. So be sure you have a ticket before you go down any escalator or so on, as often the boarding area is just down the stairs or escalator.
The Athens Metro system is fast, efficient, economical, and clean. Depending on the time of day, most of the lines run every 3 to 6 minutes. The basic fare is .70 euro. A one week transit pass is available for 10 euros. The pass is good for 7 days from the time of validation and can be used on all metro lines, buses and the street level tram that runs out to the beach. (the metro pass is not valid on the Blue Line between Doukissis Plakentias and the airport, a special airport ticket must be bought for passage to the airport.) All tickets must be validated before you enter the platforms to board the trains, the validation machines are located between the ticket machines and the train platforms. Many of the stations are either new or have been recently updated. Tickets are available from machines in all stations and from ticket counters in all of the major stations. The ticket counter staff are quite helpful and most speak English reasonably well (much better then my Greek.) The stations are well marked and access is good (elevators and escalators in most locations.)
Getting from Athens to Piraeus is very easy by simply taking the Metro. The best departure point is the Monastiraki metro stop because you won't have to change trains. If you get on at the new and beautiful metro stop at Syntagma Square you'll have to change trains at Monastiraki anyway, so you might as well just start at Monastiraki in the first place.
Athens, just like numberous European cities have built great metro's around there great cities. The metro in Athens is the cheapest European one yet ... each fare is 1 Euro, and a all day pass is 3 Euro ... machines are everywhere and they have several different languages you can choose from, very easy to buy.
Make sure you validate your ticket as you enter, just like many European cities, the metro is on the honor system, but if you get caught it's a 60 Euro fine.....
From the Airport it cost 6 euro's to get into town very easy to use, as you leave the airport just follow the signs, they are all marked in English !!!!
The best way to travel in Athens is by metro, fast, easy and cheap there is train every 3 at rush hours and 5-10 minutes at no rush hours. I bought the weekly pass and I paid 10 euros and you can use to travel by metro, bus, trolebus and tram. Valid the ticket once on the machine and after start to travel around the wonderful city of Athens. Athens´s metro has only 3 lines, the main one are line 1 and 2, the 3 one is the one to go to the airport.
Athens' metro only has three lines, and the stations aren't everywhere yet...but they will get you to (or near) most of the tourist spots you will need...and for 70 eurocents a ride, this *is* a bargain! Some of the stations are going through a major (read: MAJOR) overhaul, for both the local population's needs and that little matter of the world coming here later this year, the Olympic Summer Games. But make sure you pause to enjoy the piped-in classical music at the downtown stations...very cool!