When is rush hour in Athens?

Mar 21st, 2007, 05:11 PM
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When is rush hour in Athens?

We will be arriving at the airport in Athens at 5:40 pm. Should we take a cab to our hotel or would it be faster to take the Metro? Since mealtimes are quite late in Greece, perhaps there won't be heavy traffic at that time?
mistyal is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:15 PM
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I've been to Athens a couple of times, but that was pre-metro. Cabs in Athens were not a pleasant experience, if the metro had been an option when I was there, that's the way I would have gone. I hope someone who has used the metro can add more insight.
P_M is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:23 PM
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oh , the cabs are not that bad. If you're arriving tired/jetlagged, or don't want to wrestle with luggage, a cab to central Athens will cost around 30-35 euro.

But a minority of cabs are a bit sleazy, so pay close attention to the meter.

One driver tried to charge me at "tariff 2", which is the more expensive midnight-to-6am tariff, and then claimed he "was required to do so on the expressway". Baloney!!

Another guy cleverly rigged up a "trick button" on his radio, and whenever his knuckle touched the button while he was shifting, the meter would jump ahead a few Euros!

Regardless, they all will add-on the cost of toll roads to your fare, so it will be a few euro higher than the meter indicates.
tom_h is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:26 PM
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I also meant to say, 35 euro is probably the top end of the range. A more typical fare might be 25 euro, airport to Syndagma Square.
tom_h is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 02:09 AM
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The metro will certainly be faster (45 min) and cheaper (about €10pp). In addition, the airport metro stop is just outside the terminal arrivals area. But how far is your hotel from the nearest metro stop, and how much luggage will you be carrying? You may find a taxi is worth the extra cost if you have far to walk. Ask the driver how much the fare will be before getting in the taxi.
Heimdall is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:09 PM
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"I've been to Athens a couple of times, but that was pre-metro."

Wow, you must be old P-M ... the first line of the Metro was built in 1869 .... Just being a smart (_!_), of course, but PM is right on. The Metro is very nice and works very well -- even the original line.

Cabs are hit and miss, but there's a good chance of getting a smoker and a small chance (as in most places)of getting a cheat. I was there for a month and took a lot of cabs in 2004 and only had two bad cab rates.

To be safe, as others note, get an estimate before you get in the cab.

Depending on where your hotel is, there's also the suburban rail -- very new cars and more space for luggage that leaves the airport. Problem there is that you're still a short cab ride from the most tourist hotels -- unless you're in the area near the Novotel.
repete is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:26 AM
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repete, yes I am quite old. On my last trip to Athens, Socrates was just being arrested. I didn't follow the news much in those days, so how did that play out?

P_M is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 02:43 AM
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Rush hour in Athens is between 6.30am to 1.30am that means ALL DAY (AND NIGHT) ;-)
Where is your hotel? Is it very close to the metro? Otherwise, just take a taxi because it's not very pleasant to walk with luggage in Athens.
cristine27 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 02:04 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the replies. I contacted the hotel itself and they advised that we take the metro for speed. It's just a two-block walk from Syntagma Sq. And a special thank you to Cristine 27 who actually told me when rush hour is--even though I didn't like knowing it lasts all day!
mistyal is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 04:50 PM
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The metro is wonderful, fast and fairly inexpensive. I will say that finding a hotel in Athens can be a challenge after having arrived via metro.

My wife and I had a hotel a short distance from Omonia Square and had some difficulty getting oriented - even though I had been in this same area a couple times and had studied maps before arriving.

Incidentally, we had a 5:30 AM flight to catch the next morning and left the hotel around 3 am and traffic moved smoothly!
sshephard is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 09:24 PM
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Just got back from Athens this past week and I second taking the Metro. Its right across the street via a people mover to its own terminal in Athens. The fare is 10 euros for 2 persons or more for a single fare ticket. Be sure to validate your ticket PRIOR to getting on the metro (before going down the escalator) and you will be fine. I had not been to Athens since 1976 and I found the metro fabulous to use. Its clean-stainless steel and marble everywhere and signs in both Greek and English. The metro cars themselves will show the stop in both languages besides saying it in an announcement.If you think that you are going to travel alot in one day then buy the day ticket for 3 euros. The regular fare is about .80 euros per person.We used it everywhere from Pireaus to the various meseums around town.There are escalators and elevators(unlike Paris) so taking a suitcase is no problem. Have fun!
dutyfree is offline  
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