Airport Guide: Athens International Airport
Athens International Airport which started operations in 2001 is one of the most modern airpots in Southern Europe. The airport is used by more than 15 million passengers a year with a constant growth seeing even more passengers in the next years and decades. Athens International Airport is the main hub of Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air.
Built for the Olympic Games, Athens International Airport is up to the highest standards when it comes to European airports. With two runways and one large terminal, Athens International Airport is able to handle 16 million passengers a year and will have problems with its constant passenger growth in the next years.
The two carriers with a primary hub at Athens International Airport, Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air, are to benefit the most from the passenger growth, but also very present low-cost carrier Ryanair will have its fair share, too.
Most important carriers at Athens International Airport:
- Aegean Airlines: Dozens of destinations in Greece and Europe
- Olympic Air: Several destinations in Greece and few in Europe
- Ryanair: Selected destinations in Greece and Europe
Shopping and eating at Athens International Airport
With its single terminal infrastructure, Athens International Airport offers perfect opportunities to enjoy shopping and dining at the airport. Passengers can find several regional and international brands with shops at Athens International Airport. Present premium brands include Burberry, Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ralph Lauren and Porsche Design.
There’s also a wide range of dining outlets available at Athens International Airport. However, most of these dining outlets are cafés, fast food shops or bistros. This means that you won’t find real restaurants for an enjoyable lunch or dinner at Athens International Airport.
Sleeping at Athens International Airport
Like most Southern European airports, Athens International Airport has no dedicated sleeping facilities. Passengers wishing to spend the night at the airport may do so at one of the airport benches. Some shops are open 24 hours, so you’ll always get a drink or a snack.
Nevertheless, it may be more comfortable to spend the night in one of the airport hotels. Sofitel Athens Airport is located right next to the terminal and is reachable by foot. Holiday Inn Athens is located a little further away, but a shuttle bus is provided on all days except public holidays. Be aware that rates usually are quite high for both hotels, ranging between 100 and 200 Euro (110 to 225 US-Dollar) per night.
Lounges at Athens International Airport
Athens International Airport is full of several airline and third-party operated lounges. Priority Pass has four partner lounges. Aristoteles Onassis Lounge and Swissport Executive Lounge are located in the A area of the terminal, while Melina Merkouri Lounge and the Goldair Handling CIP Lounge are located in the B section. British Airways (A), Lufthansa and Aegean (both B) also operate lounges at Athens International Airport.
Depending on the carrier you are flying with, you may have either access to the lounges when holding a frequent flyer status or when flying in Business Class. The mentioned Priority Pass lounges are moreover accessible by paying a fee.
Lounges at Athens International Airport:
- A Section: Aristoteles Onassis Lounge (PP, $), Melina Merkouri Lounge (PP, $), British Airways Terraces Lounge (OW)
- B Section: Aegean Business Lounge (*A), Lufthansa Business Class Lounge (*A), Melina Merkouri Lounge (PP, $), Goldair Handling CIP Lounge (PP, $)
Transportation at Athens International Airport
Athens International Airport is well connected to the city center of Athens. Metro line 3 connects the airport with the city center in a relatively high frequency, taking approximately 45 minutes. There are also four different bus connections to Athens and other cities nearby available.
Especially bus X96 to the Port of Piraeus is important for all travelers wanting to visit this beautiful city. You may also take a taxi to the city center, but this mode of transportation is rarely faster and way more expensive at the same time. Due to that, it’s recommendable to take the metro.
- Metro Line 3 connects the airport with the city center in 45 minutes
- Bus lines X93, X95, X96 and X97 also go to the airport
- Taxis to the city center cost 35 Euro (~ 40 US-Dollar) at daytime and 50 Euro (~ 55 US-Dollar) at nighttime