Tourist’s guide to metro system in Athens: routes, fare and how to use

Athens Metro is a fast, affordable and incredibly convenient form of transport, the operation of which does not depend on weather conditions, traffic jams or any other extraneous factors. Having a simple and intuitive scheme, it is in great demand both by local residents and tourists who come to admire the main attractions of the Greek capital.

Metro Athens

Metro in Athens – General Information

The first branch of the Athenian metro was opened back in 1869. Then its scheme consisted of only a few stations located on the single-track line and connecting the harbor of Piraeus with the Tissio area. Despite the small size and the presence of steam engines, the subway functioned successfully for 20 years and changed only in 1889, when the modern Tissio-Omonia tunnel was connected to the old line with a stop in Monastiraki. This day is usually called the historical date of the emergence of the metro in Athens.

Athens Metro Icon

Further development of the Greek metro was more than swift. In 1904 it was electrified, in 1957 it was extended to Kifissia, and in 2004, in preparation for the Olympic Games, the Green Line was being repaired and two more were being completed at an extremely fast pace (Blue and Red).

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Comfortable metro Athens

Today Athens metro is a comfortable and absolutely safe mode of transport. It has not only a modern, but also quite well-groomed appearance. The aprons are very clean, literally at every step there are schemes and information signs indicating the exit, location of the elevator, etc. And most importantly, you can get into the Greek capital through any branches of the Greek subway, including large transport hubs – airport, seaport and central railway station.

At the Athens metro stations you can admire archaeological finds

But perhaps the most important feature of the Athens metro is its design. Most of the central stations resemble museums, exhibits of which are pottery, bones, skeletons, ancient sculptures, jewelry and other archaeological finds found by workers during the construction of underground tunnels. Each of these priceless artifacts (and there are more than 50 thousand) found their place in glass display cases built directly into the walls. They are also on the diagram.

On a note! Athens metro has exactly the same tickets as other types of municipal transport.

Metro map

The Athens metro, stretching over 85 km and connecting the largest areas of the metropolis, includes 65 stations. 4 of them are above the ground, that is, they are train stops. At the same time, all routes intersect right in the heart of the city at the stations of Monastiraki, Syntagma, Attica and Omonia.

Athens metro map

As for the metro scheme in Athens, it consists of three branches.

Line 1 – Green
  • Starting point: maritime station and Piraeus harbor.
  • End point: Art. Kifissia.
  • Length: 25.6 km.
  • Duration of the route: about an hour.
Line 1 - Green

The subway line, marked in green on the diagram, can be without exaggeration called the oldest line of the Athenian metro. Few people know, but until the first half of the 21st century, it was the only one in the whole city. However, the main advantage of this line is not even its historical value, but a relatively small number of passengers, which facilitates movement around the city during rush hours.

Line 2 – Red
  • Starting point: Antupoli.
  • End point: Elliniko.
  • Length: 18 km.
  • Duration of the route: 30 minutes.
Line 2 - Red

If you carefully look at the diagram, you can see that this route runs in parallel with the Greek railway at the Larissa station (Athens Central Railway Station). This branch is suitable for those tourists whose hotels are located in the southern part of Athens.

Line 3 – Blue
  • Starting point: Agia Marina.
  • End point: Airport.
  • Length: 41 km.
  • Duration of the route: 50 minutes.
  • Sending Interval: Half an hour.
Line 3 - Blue

The third metro line is divided into 2 parts – underground and ground. In this regard, some trains go only to Dukissis Plakentias (according to the scheme, the tunnel ends there). In addition, every 30 minutes, several trains leave for the airport, which at the end of the subway get on land rail tracks and go to the final destination. The fare from and to the airport will be somewhat more expensive, however this will save you from transfers and traffic jams.

Constitution Square

The metro line marked in blue on the diagram is the best option for those who want to get to the central part of the city as quickly as possible. Having left half an hour later at Syntagma station, you will arrive at the famous Constitution Square, the main “sights” of which are numerous clusters of pigeons and the Greek guard “tsolyates”. In addition, it is here that the Greeks organize strikes and pickets, so if you wish, you can become part of this event.

On a note! To better navigate the subway map, buy a metro map in Athens. It is sold both at the airport itself, and at the railway station or at street kiosks. If desired, it can be printed on a printer or saved on a smartphone before arriving in the country. For the convenience of tourists, cards are issued in English, French, Russian and other European languages.

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Hours and Intervals

A board informing about the departure and arrival of metro trains

The opening hours of the metro in Athens depend on the day of the week:

  • Monday-Friday: from half past five in the morning until half past one in the morning;
  • Saturday, Sunday and holidays: from half past five in the morning until two in the morning.

Trains depart at intervals of 10 minutes (at rush hour – 3-5 minutes). The countdown to the arrival of the next composition, however, like the scheme itself, is displayed on the scoreboard.

Fare

There are 3 types of cards for traveling in the metro of Athens – standard, personal and monthly. Consider the features of each of them.

Standard
NamePriceFeatures
Flat fare ticket 90 minRegular – 1,40 €.

Preferential (pensioners, students, children from 6 to 18 years old) – 0.6 €.

Designed for a one-time trip on any type of local transport and in all directions. Valid for 1.5 hours from the time of composting. Does not apply to airport transfers.
Daily ticket 24-hour4,50 €Suitable for all types of municipal transport. Provides an unlimited number of transfers and trips within 24 hours from the moment of composting. Does not apply to airport transfers.
5-day ticket9 €Suitable for all types of municipal transport. Gives the right to multiple travel for 5 days. Does not apply to airport transfers.
3-day tourist ticket22 €A reusable tourist ticket for 3 days. Allows you to make 2 trips to the “air gate” (one way and the other) along the route of 3 lines.
It looks like a subway ticket

On a note! For children under 6 years of age, travel to the Athens metro is free.

Personal

A personal ATH.ENA smart card with a long validity period is issued for 60, 30, 360 and 180 days. This is the best option for those who:

  • Plans to use municipal transport on a regular basis;
  • Has the right to reduced fare;
  • They are not going to travel around the city often, but wants to keep the opportunity to replace the ticket in case of loss.
Smart card ATH.ENA

To obtain a personal card, a passenger must submit a passport and an official certificate indicating the AMKA number. In the process of issuing a card, the client must not only enter his personal data into the system (FI and date of birth) and confirm the registration with an 8-digit code, but also take a picture through the camera provided by EDC, so do not forget to put yourself in order.

On a note! Personal card issuing points are open until 22.00. The processing time takes from 1 to 3 hours.

To save time, all operations can be performed via the Internet. After that, you just have to print the document using the QR code, put it in an envelope on which your data will be indicated (name, zip code, address and 2 passport photos), go to one of the points of issue and exchange it for a travel card.

Monthly card
TitlePriceFeatures
MonthlyNormal – 30 €.

Preferential – 15 €.

Suitable for all types of municipal transport (except that goes to the airport).
3 monthNormal – 85 €.

Preferential – 43 €.

Similarly
Monthly +Normal – 49 €.

Reduced – 25 €.

Applies to all types of transport, valid in all directions + airport.
3 month +Regular – 142 €.

Reduced – 71 €.

Similarly

Buying a monthly pass has several advantages. Firstly, with its help you can save about 30 € per month. Secondly, a lost or stolen card can be replaced with a new one. In this case, all available money will be saved on it.

On a note! You can see the detailed diagram and clarify the current cost of the metro ride in Athens on the official website – www.ametro.gr.

Buying a ticket for the subway at the box office

You can buy a ticket for the Athens metro at several points.

TitleWhere are you located?Features
Box officeMetro, railway platforms, tram stops.From 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Special machinesMetro, suburban railway stations, tram stops.There are buttons and touch. In the first case, the selection of actions is performed using ordinary keys, in the second – by pressing a finger on the screen. Automatic machines not only accept any coins, but also give change. In addition, they have a Russian-language menu.
Newspaper stallsMetro, suburban railway stations, municipal transport stops, city streets.
Yellow and blue ticket kiosksCentral stops of municipal transport.

How to use the metro?

Buying a ticket for the subway in the machine

If you do not know how to use the metro in Athens and buy a ticket at the machine, check out this detailed instruction:

  1. Select a travel type.
  2. Remember the amount that appears on the screen.
  3. Put it in the machine (the device works like with bills, coins and bank cards).
  4. Get a ticket.

On a note! If you selected the wrong action or made a mistake, press the cancel button (red).

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Rules of conduct and fines

Despite the fact that the Athens metro operates on a trust system, and the turnstiles here are set just for the sake of sight, it’s not worth breaking the rules. The fact is that controllers are often found on trains, and for travel without a ticket, a considerable fine is imposed – 45-50 €. Such administrative offenses as non-validated ticket, as well as non-observance of the time and age limits established for a particular card are subject to punishment.

Subway lift

Also note that the Athens Metro has the following rules of conduct:

  • On the escalator it is customary to stand on the right side;
  • Elevators can only be used by pregnant women, retirees and people with disabilities;
  • The smoking ban applies not only to wagons, but also to platforms.

As you can see, the Athens metro is simple and convenient. Do not forget to evaluate its benefits when visiting the Greek capital.

How to buy a metro ticket in Athens



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