If your journey begins in the city of Athens rather than at the airport, the cheapest way to get to Piraeus (which also happens to be a very easy way) is to simply take 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. There's no need to worry about which stop to get off in Piraeus because the one you want is the end of the line. From there you'll have no trouble finding the ferries even if you've never been there before.
All Piraeus area is filled of Travel Agency and I am sure they are all the same about the costs and the kindness of the workers. But I feel to mention here Filippis Tour as they gave me a real priceless service keeping my luggages in their office while i was waiting for my ferryboat. I had some spare hours and it have been a real relief to wonder around without carrying so much stuff.
They speack Greek, English and Italian.
I apologise if all the other agencies offer the same service, it was my first time in Piraeus so i can't know, feel free to tell me about, I will remove this tip.
Most people come to Pireaus to catch a ferry, so from the metro/subway station just cross the road (there’s a pedestrian bridge above) and head for your departure gate:
E1 (Dodekanese islands)
E2 (Chios, Mytilini, Crete, Dodekanese)
E6-E7 (Argosaronic islands and East Cyclades islands)
E9 (West Cyclades)
Your ticket must have the departure gate on it, have in mind there are shuttle buses inside the port but not very frequent.
There are some other harbors near by:
Marina Zeas (for yachts) is 1,5km from Pireaus subway station and Mikrolimano (a much smaller harbor) 2,2km from the subway station (better get off at SEF station for this one)
If you arrive on a cruise boat you will probably be a bit further away from the main port (2,5-3 km from the metro station). If you heading to Athens/Acropolis the best option is to take a taxi (there will be plenty of them waiting) and go to Piraeus subway station (about 6 euros) and then catch the train to Athens (single ticket for 1,40 euros).
Check my map (pic 5) where I have highlighted the subway station (it’s opposite the main port), the smaller harbors and the cruise spots
Boats for Salamina island depart from Perama, bus 843 connects Piraeus with Perama.
But Piraeus is a normal city, there are numerous local buses, trolley buses and taxis that will take you to any district in Pireaus. Faliro is just a stop away by subway), there you can watch the most popular greek team Olympiakos playing at Karaiskaki Stadium (football team) or SEF (basketball team)
Of course you can easily walk around the main sites of Piraeus as there are many things to visit (museums, churches, main squares) in walking distance from Pireaus subway station.
Piraeus is located 12km SW from Athens on the east coast of Saronic Gulf.
Connection with Athens
From Athens we usually take the metro(green line) to terminal station (Pireaus). It takes about 20’ from Omonoia square in the city center of Athens. Most tourists take it from Monastiraki station which is closer to many hotels in Plaka. The subway ends up directly at the main port (where most ferries depart).
There are also many buses between Athens and Pireaus but they are not very convenient for the tourists, but in case you need them 040 (to Syntagma square) and 049 (to Omonoia square) are the most useful for Athens.
There is also a tram line from Syntagma if you want to visit Mikrolimano, SEF and Karaiskaki stadium.
Taking a taxi from Athens center is also an option but it will cost anywhere from 10euros to 25euros depending on the traffic and the taxi driver ;)
Bus from the airport
Bus X96 connects the Athens International Airport with Piraeus, ticket for 5e, buy it at the airport before boarding, there’s a kiosk next to the bus stop.
The bus ride may take from 55 to 90 minutes depending on the traffic. It runs 24h
From most greek islands on the aegean sea you will find a boat to/from Pireaus. During high season (august, easter or other public holidays that make long weekends) it is better to book your tickets in advance (online or from a travel agent in Athens, Pireaus or any island). Don’t forget that near the port you will find dozens of travel agents that will help you, boat tickets have fixed prices by the way.
Pic 3 is a map of Attica region where I highlighted Piraeus, Athens, the airport and the other ports of Attica (Rafina & Lavrio)
This is really a "From" tip, I don't know why VT doesn't have that option?
Piraeus is the largest port in Greece and is comprised of three separate harbours: the commercial docks; the main harbour (Megas Limani) and the Zea Limani, which is the marina (there is also the Mikrolimano, little port, but that's not really part of the port proper).
It is the Megas Limani where the ferries sail from with destinations covering most of the Southern Aegean Islands and the individual docks cover different Island groups. However these seem to be abominably signposted despite the fact that they are actually perfectly logically grouped. As the port map here shows, arriving at the port at the main entrance from the Metro or by bus the docks to the East service Crete and The Dodekanese, whilst those to the West service the Kyklades. Just don't get your East and West mixed up as it is a fair old walk from one end of the port to the other!
It seems that there are plans afoot to invest heavily in the port, improving facilities, signage, building an electric shuttle service between the docks and even to make the whole place a Wi-Fi zone and this is expected to be done between now (2006) AND 2010 - Details on site below:
If your cruise ship docks at Piraeus, you can either take a taxi or walk to the train station and take the train to Athens for .80 euro. It’s a 30 minutes ride. Go up to the top deck of the ship and locate the yellow building with white bends in the middle of the picture, and that is the train station, after you exit the pier, turn left and walk along the waterfront until you see a pedestrian overpass, you have arrived the train station (see second picture), it’s a 20-30 minutes walk. Make sure you validate your train ticket prior to boarding the train.
The cheaper and easyer way to travel from Athens International Airport to Pireaus Port is bus X96. You can find the buses waiting right out the arrival area your right side. You need to buy the ticket before getting up to the bus at the kiosk that is there on the walkway near the bus stop. In August 2008 it cost me about 3 euros each.
In August the trip took me about one hours and half but you can expect this time to increase in different months because the famous Athens' traffic jam.
I found the bus better than the Metro services because I had less stair to walk and there was room for the luggage. It is also cheaper.
We just returned from a Celebrity cruise...we were at the further port from the city. (IMPORTANT to note at which terminal you're docked to gauge distances, etc.!) I had read prior to our trip that the walk to the Metro station was only about 15 minutes--I think that was for the Port Terminals closer to town (Royal C. had a ship there). We actually did walk back from the Metro to our ship, which took about 45 minutes. We were not in a hurry, and it was a pleasant day, but when my mom and I decided to walk we were basing our choice on what we had read before our trip. She is 73 and in good health, but we did have to stop a couple times for her to rest from the blazing sun, after having walked all over the Acropolis and Plaka. Also please note--I had a Greek phrase book which was very necessary--almost all of the people we encountered at the taxi stand and Metro station did not speak English, and if they did it was extremely little. At the Acropolis and Plaka, most people spoke English.
There were taxis waiting outside the entry building when we got off the ship, and we took one to the Metro for about 7 Euros. Prior to getting the taxi, I read posted information in the building--it said it should cost 5E...I asked a security worker at the desk if that sign was accurate--he said it would cost a little higher, maybe 8-10E. None of the taxi drivers would give us an estimate of how much it would cost to take us to the Metro station. One who spoke English very well approached us to offer a tour for 120E, which we declined! He did clarify to our driver where to take us. The meter was not set on zero (rather 1.1) when we got into the taxi, and when I asked the driver to clear it to zero he insisted there was an extra 2E fee for coming into the port. I had read in several places that is not true, and tried to argue the point with him, but he did not clear the meter. (And if it were true that there was an extra 2E fee, why wouldn't the meter begin on 2????) Needless to say, we were happy that he took us directly to the station, and it was only 6.6E total.
Athens Metro map:
At the station a one way ticket to the Acropolis cost 1E. I could not find a map of the Metro lines, so I was glad to have the one I printed off the internet. Validate your tickets in the machines at the entrance to the subway cars (they machines looked like large parking meters).
It was very easy to use the Metro, on board there were signs that told the next stop, and everything is color-coded for the lines so it was easy to switch to other lines. We took the green line to Monastiraki, then switched to the blue line to Syngtama, then red to Akropolis. It was 100% easy and safe! It only took about 10-15 minutes. Just be sure to double-check which direction the train is heading (going to Acropolis: blue line towards Doukississ Plakentias; red towards Aghios Dimitrios). Also take a look at the artifacts on exhibit that were uncovered when constructing the subway! When we exited the Metro (I believe there were 2 exits, we took the one to the left), straight ahead was a street, turn left, and about 50 yards to the right was the entrance to the Acropolis.
**Buy water before you go in--there is a corner shop (turn right instead of left towards the entrance of the Acropolis) that sold a liter bottle for 1E! At the top of the Acropolis there are some water fountains where you can refill your bottle.
When we left the Acropolis, we walked down to the Plaka and ended up at Monastiraki Square--where there happened to be a Metro terminal. From there it was just the green line back to Piraeus. Since we weren't quite sure how/where to hail a taxi, and we had time, etc. we decided to walk back to the ship by following along the water. Beware of the drivers--scooters/motorcycles do not stop at red lights!
All in all, it was a great way to save $90 apiece for the "Acropolis On Your Own" excursion!!!
Also note--some people on the ship took the bus shuttle into Piraeus, planning to catch a taxi to the Metro. None of the taxis would take any of them, so they had to walk (but their walk was closer to 15-20 minutes).
Just as a little update to this page -
Instead of having to walk across the road between the Metro and the docks there is now this rather snazzy pedestrian bridge, complete with escalators. They'd broken down last time I was here but hey this is Athens! ;) The bridge is certainly an improvement on having to take your life in your hands by crossing the road on foot when you still had to dash even when the traffic signals were in your favour - Athenian drivers seem to have an abhorrence of red lights!
To get to Piraeus from the airport the X96 bus runs from the arrivals terminal all the way into the port itself with an approximate 90 minute journey time (depending on traffic). Buses run 24hrs, 7 days a week, with a frequency of every 15-20 minutes from 0500 until 2000 and then every 30 minutes during the night. Single fare is 5.00 euro.
The Metro is the simplest and quickest way to get to the port from Athens city centre as well as being the quickest option from the airport if you don't have too much luggage. Piraeus is the last station on Line 1 (Green) which can be picked up in the city centre from either Omonia or Monastiraki. Coming in from the airport all you need to do is change platforms at Monistiraki. Single fare from the city is 1.40 euro and 8.00 euro (14.00 for two) from the airport.
From the Metro station the main dock gates are literally just across the road leaving from the exit straight ahead as you leave the platform.
The best way to get to Piraeus from Athens is by taking the Line 1 (green) of Athens' Metro system. Station like Monastiraki, Tission and Omonia are direct to Pireaus. You can also take the Syntagma station with a transfer in Monastiraki. You will be drop right in front of the Piraeus Centeal Port.
The fare of 0.70 euro is valid for 90 minutes and any transfers within that period provided you do not leave the station.
For the complete map of the metro go to this page: Athina Metro.
Bus and trolley tickets are 0.45 Euro each and can be purchased at special booths and kiosks near the bus stops. Once you are on the bus or trolley, validate your ticket by asserting it into one of the meters for that purpose; the ticket will be punched and dated. Then keep the ticket until you leave the bus, since it's not uncommon to have a ticket-checker to check their validity (if you are found that you haven't punched your tickets, you're required to pay around 15 - 25 Euro.
This are the important lines from Piraeus :
- 040 PIRAEUS - SYNTAGMA
- 049 PIRAEUS - OMONOIA
- E1 PIRAEUS - VOULA (EXPRESS)
- E96 PIRAEUS - AIRPORT (EXPRESS)
This is the largest, busiest and most important port in Greece. It is the gate to Argo-Saronic islands, Peloponnese east coasts, Northeast Aegean islands, Dodecanese, Cyclades, and Crete. The Southeast side of the port docks the International ferries and Cruise ships next to the Passengers Terminal and the Customhouse. Each of the many competing shipping companies has agents at the quayside, where you can not only buy your tickets but get useful information about accommodation in Aegean islands as well.
Bus and trolley tickets can be purchased at special booths and kiosks near the bus stops. Once you are on the bus or trolley, validate your ticket by asserting it into one of the meters for that purpose; the ticket will be punched and dated. Then keep the ticket until you leave the bus, since it's not uncommon to have a ticket-checker to check their validity (if you are found that you haven't punched your tickets, you're required to pay around 15 - 25 Euro.
The bus number is : ?96 PIRAEUS - AIRPORT (EXPRESS)
ELEFTHERIOS VENIZELOS A.I.A. to PIRAEUS PORT
00.00, 00.40, 01.20, 02.00, 02.40, 03.20, 04.00, 04.40, 05.20, 06.00, 06.30, 07.00, 07.25, 07.50, 08.10, 08.30, 08.55, 09.15, 09.35, 09.55, 10.15, 10.35, 10.55, 11.20, 11.40, 12.00, 12.25, 12.45, 13.05, 13.25, 13.45, 14.05, 14.25, 14.50, 15.10, 15.30, 15.55, 16.15, 16.35, 16.55, 17.15, 17.35, 17.55, 18.20, 18.40, 19.00, 19.20, 19.40, 20.00, 20.20, 20.40, 21.00, 21.30, 22.05, 22.40, 23.20
PIRAEUS PORT to ELEFTHERIOS VENIZELOS A.I.A.
00.30, 01.10, 01.50, 02.30, 03.10, 03.50, 04.30, 05.00, 05.25, 05.45, 06.05, 06.25, 06.45, 07.10, 07.30, 07.50, 08.10, 08.30, 08.50, 09.10, 09.35, 09.55, 10.15, 10.40, 11.00, 11.20, 11.40, 12.00, 12.20, 12.40, 13.05, 13.25, 13.45, 14.10, 14.30, 14.50, 15.10, 15.30, 15.50, 16.10, 16.35, 16.55, 17.15, 17.40, 18.00, 18.20, 18.40, 19.00, 19.30, 20.00, 20.30, 21.10, 21.50, 22.30, 23.10, 23.50