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Αθήνα (Athens)

Athens - the capital of Greece, is a big attraction to tourists especially because if its historical monuments, which have been standing there since its establishment, which is dated to about 14th century BC. One of the most famous monuments which you definitely shouldn’t miss are the Panthenon, the Athenian Agora, Olympeion, Hadrian's Arch and the Theatre of Dionysus.

Another interesting place is the ancient Athenian agora, a form of a marketplace, which has served as the centre of the city for hundreds of years. What is also worth mentioning are the Olympeion as it is the biggest most preserved temple in Greece, Hadrian’s Arch which was built 1900 years ago to separate the Old and the New part of the city and last but not least, the Theatre od Dionysus, the most famous oldest theatre standing face to face to the Acropolis.

Panthenon is a palace situated on the Acropolis - a mountain towering over Athens used throughout history as a fortress. There, you can also find one of the largest archeological museums of the world devoted to the ancient world.

If you are planning to spend more than one day in Athens, we do not recommend you spend your night outside or under a tent. It is not safe due to the size of the city. However, if you don’t want to invest in your accommodation, which by the way is very easy to find on, we have some advice for you. Try couch surfing. We only have positive experience with this type of overnight stay from the many apartments we have spent our nights at.

Athens is a very large city, and although most of the main sights are concentrated around the Acropolis, if you want to have a look at something like a port or some locations outside the historic centre, you will need to use public transport. You can use the metro, which is the second oldest metro built in the world. The metro currently runs on three lines and it is the safest way to get to the airport.

Ticket prices

Ticket typeNormal fareReduced fare
90-minute ticket1.40€0.70€
One-way (metro, bus, trolley)1.20€0.60€
24-hour ticket4€---
1-week ticket (7x24 hours)14€---
3-day tourist (sold only at airports)20€---
7-day tourist (sold only at aiports)50€---
Quick bus to airport5€2.50€
Metro to airport8€4€
Metro to airport and back14€---

The reduced fare is only for children from 7 years of age (until 7 they run free) until 18. Children older than 12 may be asked to prove their age. This also applies to seniors over 65 and students until 25 after proving themselves with a students card ( e.g. ISIC).

For a drive to the airport you need to have a special ticket (it is quite far away), therefore, the standard ticket does not apply here. The only exception is the tourist ticket which can be bought only at an airport and can be only used once on your way from the airport to the standard city zone (and for the next number of days it still applies there).

The journey from Crete to Athens is possible from Heraklion and from Chania. Ferries are usually available at night and they offer a rather comfortable way to get some sleep (if you’re not lucky to experience some waves at sea). In the case of strong winds, a storm or big waves, it is quite a common practice to cancel the trip so be sure to watch not only the timetables but also the weather forecast.

Two companies sail to Athens to Piraeus port, Minoan Lines and ANEK Lines. They both depart from Heraklion at 21:30 and from Athens at 21:00. The ANEK Lines ferry is 30 minutes quicker and it reaches Athens at 6:30. The only difference is in the price. With Minoan Lines you will pay 41€ while with ANEK Lines only 36€. Transportation of cars for both companies is 85 €. However, if you have a rental car, beware if you may leave the island with it. Usually it is forbidden. If you are coming to Athens and back, ANEK Lines offers a 20% discount when buying a return ferry ticket. If you want to go from Chania, ANEK Lines are available for 35 € at 21:00 and it reaches Athens at 5:30 and you can return at 21:00.