Transportation in Athens is a little more difficult than in most other European cities. The Greek capital has a public transportation network consisting of buses, trams, metro lines and even a funicular. Some of the buses are so-called trolleybuses. Moreover, there are hundreds of taxis in the city which are relatively cheap, but definitely not very modern.
Athens is not only the biggest city in Greece, it is also the city with the most extensive transportation network in the country. However, the train network is underdeveloped. There are only some regional trains which connect the city with its suburbs. Moreover, you can find a few InterCity trains which connect Athens with other big cities like Thessaloniki. Nevertheless, the frequencies and the comfort of the trains are relatively bad compared to other European cities. An exception is “Proastiakos”, a modern suburban railway system with three lines.
Proastiakos lines in Athens:
The metro in Athens is also very modern. The whole system went into operation in 2000, but has its roots in the 19th century as line 1 is the successor of the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways. Nevertheless, all trains are modern and air conditioned.
With three different lines and 61 stations (four more in construction), the metro in Athens is very extensive. Line 3 is the most extensive line which also connects the city center with the airport. It stops at Syntagma and Monastiraki, the two most important exchange stations for the metro in Athens.
Metro lines in Athens:
Nowadays, a subsidiary of the metro company, the tram system was established in 2001 to be finished for the Olympic Games in 2004. As everything worked properly, the system was opened in 2004. Nowadays, there are three lines which operate in an area of the city without metro stations.
As for the metros, Syntagma is the most important exchange station. Obviously, it is also used as a transfer station for metro and tram connections. All trams in Athens are modern, air-conditioned and accessible and though can be used by all inhabitants.
Tram lines in Athens:
In addition to the metro and tram lines in Athens, there are several bus lines in the city. Currently, there are 18 bus and trolleybus lines in the city center and additional five bus lines which connect different parts of the city with the airport.
These and some other express buses have an “X” ahead of the number. Most buses in Athens are also very modern, air conditioned and accessible. The ticket system for public transportation in Athens is integrated. You may use all means of transportation with the same ticket. The only exception from this rule is the airport metro which comes with a higher price than the airport bus.
While the public transportation network of Athens is one of the most modern ones, the taxi system is rather historic. Even though most taxis got taximeters, the cars are rather old and many are not even air conditioned.
At the same time, the prices are very fair compared to other European metropolises. Once again, the airport is an exception in this regard as it is located far away from the city center.
Athens also has some alternative highlights when it comes to transportation. Due to the location close to the sea, you may take advantage of boarding one of the ferries which connect Athens (or rather Piraeus) with several Greek islands and even foreign cities.
Inside the city center, you can also find Lycabettus Funicular which allows easy access to the Lycabettus Hill. While the ride up is very enjoyable, I’d recommend to skip the funicular on the way down!