Athens's sleek Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport has made air travel around the country much easier. Greece is so small that few in-country flights take longer than an hour or cost more than €200 round-trip. Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airways have regular flights between Athens, Thessaloniki, and most major cities and islands in Greece. For further information, see Air Travel in Travel Smart.
The best way to get to or from the airport and Athens is by metro or light-rail. Single tickets cost €10 and include transfers within 90 minutes of the ticket's initial validation to bus, trolley, or tram. Multi-passenger tickets for groups of two (€18) or three (€24) passengers are also available; if you're just making a stopover in Athens, opt for a round-trip ticket (€18), valid for trips to and from the airport made within a week.
In Athens four reliable express buses connect the airport with the metro (Nomismatokopeio, Ethniki Amyna, and Dafni stations), Syntagma Square, Kifissos Bus Station, and Piraeus. Express buses leave the arrivals level of the airport every 15 minutes and operate 24 hours a day. Bus X95 will take you to Syntagma Square (Amalias Avenue); Bus X96 takes the Vari–Koropi road inland and links with the coastal road, passing through Voula, Glyfada, and Alimos; it then goes on to Piraeus (opposite Karaiskaki Square), and this is the best option if you are getting directly on a cruise ship. Bus X97 goes to the Dafni metro stop, while X93 brings voyagers to the dusty Kifissos intercity bus station. The Attiki Odos ring road and the expansion of the city's network of bus lanes have made travel times more predictable.
Bus tickets to and from the airport cost €5 and are valid on all forms of transportation in Athens for 24 hours from the time of validation. Purchase tickets (and get bus schedules) from the airport terminal, kiosks, metro stations, or even on the express buses.
Taxis are readily available at the arrivals level of the Athens airport; it costs an average of €35 to get into downtown Athens. (If you fear you have been overcharged, insist on a receipt with the driver's details and contact the tourist police.) Prestige Limousine Service and Central VIP Services provide service; an evening surcharge of up to 50% often applies, and you should call in advance. Prices range between €60 and €90 one-way from the airport to a central hotel for four people.
Central VIP Services. Luxury cars rental and chauffered cars. 25 Ethnarchou Makariou str, Athens, Attica. 210/9249--500; www.centralvip.gr.
Prestige Limousine Service. Caters to VIPs and celebrities. Korai 3, 210/3254--151; www.prestigegreece.com.