late night Athens transport info needed

Feb 9th, 2010, 07:26 AM
  #1  
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late night Athens transport info needed

Greek travel experts:
I'll be arriving at Athens airport at 2:30 am in mid-June. Will the currency exchange kiosk be open at that hour? And does the metro or bus run all night? Wondering if I should plan on a taxi and bring euro, which are more expensive in US.
Secondly, what is the best way to procure ferry tickets in advance? Sometimes they are mailed to me, yet one time I wandered around Pireaus trying to find the office holding them.
Thanks.
parosblue is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Currency exchange businesses are always open but for the best exchange rate most people just take VISA or Mastercard ATM cards with them to get currency when they arrive at the airport. You'll find them everywhere. BE SURE to notify your bank that you will be using your ATM card while travelling.

The Metro won't be running at that time but the Airport Express Bus (X95) will be. It leaves the airport for Syntagma Square in Central Athens every 20-30 minutes 24/7/365. Catch it outside Arrivals Level door 5. There's a ticket kiosk out there as well or buy your ticket from the driver if it's closed. If you're going straight to the ferry port from the airport the X96 bus is operating as well 24/7/365.

You can buy ferry tickets online from the Amphitrion Holidays website and pick them up at their airport travel desk on the Arrivals Level between doors 2&3. They're open 24/7.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 9th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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There are several ATMs in the hall outside Arrivals, and none of the main Greek banks charge for transactions (your home bank may, though). I never being € with me, except what I have left over from the last trip. My first stop in Greece is always to the ATM.
Heimdall is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Whoops! "I never bring € with me..."
Heimdall is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Thanks Heimdall and brotherleelove,
I thought the exchange rate was better at the exchange kiosk at the airport? No? Anyway, I only need enough cash to get into Athens and then I also use the ATMs. Glad to know the bus runs into the city that late. Do you think it is safe walking to Attalos near Monistraiki from Syntagma that late? I know the way, but never usually out with luggage at 3AM. Thanks for the tip about getting the ferry tickets at the airport - that will be easier.
Another item if I haven't bored you - I'll be in Folegandros in July - do they have ATMs there now? Thanks for the many tips. I read all your responses on old threads!! I'm becoming a Fodor's groupy. Now I'm going to hunt around for euro left from last time.
parosblue is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 01:07 PM
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parosblue, I seem to remember that Folegandros does not have a bank. We went from Santorini and used ATM's there before going to Folegandros.
We were there in 2005 so things may well have changed (although it is the kind of place you hope will never change!)
Judy is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Not sure if the metro between Syntagma and Monastiraki is still running that late (I know the airport line isn't), but if it is, just take it that one stop and then walk up Athinas St. to Attalos. If the metro isn't running, recommend you take a taxi. I have walked around that area late at night, and never felt unsafe, but Syntagma to Monastiraki down Ermou St. on foot with a suitcase is a rather long trek - I know, I've done it.

Folegandros has one ATM by the travel agency near the square. There is no bank on Folegandros, so if the ATM isn't working, cash may be hard to come by. I made sure I had plenty of cash before arriving on Folegandros.
Heimdall is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 01:16 PM
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I admit I am sometimes a belt-and-suspenders kind of traveler, cost-be-damned, but even though euros are a tad more expensive in the US, won't you feel better having at least 100 in your pocket, since you are arriving at such an ungodly hour?

I don't sleep on planes much, so I'm a whiny wimp on most arrivals anywhere, but I'd want a taxi from the airport. I'd hope my hotel could make the arrangements.
primeranoche is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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A taxi into Athens so late at night will cost a minimum of €70, double the day rate.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 9th, 2010, 02:17 PM
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Nothing wrong with that! And the extra cost of €100 bought in the U.S. won't break the bank. I usually have about €50 or so left over from my last trip, so don't enter Greece empty handed. My belt-and-suspenders (braces in the UK) tactic is to always have more than one source of cash with me. Two ATM cards, or one debit card and a couple of credit cards would do it. Cash withdrawals with a credit card are expensive, but better than being broke.
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Feb 9th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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Brotherleelove is right! You would blow most of that €100 on the taxi!
Heimdall is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 03:37 PM
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Hmmm, it's good to know ahead about the high cost of a taxi. We are trying a day flight from US this time instead of the overnight flight. We thought we'd feel less jet lag. But as you suggest, we might want to factor in the taxi, considering the time.
You're right, now that I think about it, the walk down Ermou in the day is OK, but maybe not in the middle of the night after the flight.
Do you think it's possible to get a cab in Syntagma if we take the bus in?
parosblue is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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Taxis pass Syntagma all the time so that won't be a problem. Just remember the double rate and be sure they don't take the long route through Thessaloniki!
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Feb 9th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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It's nice to have hard numbers!

To me, adding 50e to the cost of me and my spouse's transatlantic flight is peanuts compared to feeling lousy, feeling worried about safety, feeling worried about getting ripped off by a taxi driver whose language I dont speak, worried about starting a trip wrong.

I'm not trying to make up your mind for you. Just giving you my perspective. Like I said, I'm pretty loose with my money when it comes to not losing my temper getting off a plane. I make it up not buying postcards.
primeranoche is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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Thanks all for the good advice. Since our stay in Greece has stretched to 5 weeks, I'm blowing the postcard budget anyway! A comfortable arrival should be a no-brainer I guess)
parosblue is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 05:15 AM
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How do you all do it? I never have any Euro left - there's always that last piece of pastry or gyro that I must have !!! Can't wait for my June trip - I am dreaming of baklava, spanakopita....and other delicious goodies.
HelenG is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 05:18 AM
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Oops, got excited thinking about the food that I forgot to answer the original question. In the past, we have gotten euros from our local bank (Chase -can't remember the fee, but it couldn't have been too high or else my husband would have complained). We bring 100 Euros just to have for the first day for taxis, tips, bus or metro tickets. Then, we use our ATM cards for withdrawing euros when we need to have cash.
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