Piraeus (Pireas*) is the third busiest port in the entire Europe, dealing both with passengers and cargo. If you plan to visit any of the islands – whether close by or further from the capital – the ferry is the best choice, especially for the budget traveler.
Piraeus is located about 10 km south of Athens city center and is very easily reached both from the city and from the airport.
Getting from the city center to Piraeus
Assuming you are in the city center, the easiest way to get from Athens to the Port of Piraeus is by metro. Line 1 (green) takes you to Piraeus. If you are in the city, you have several choices to take the metro from:
- Monastiraki : the easiest way, this is where Line 3 (blue ) intersects with Line 1; you are taking the train from Line 1 so you don’t need to change trains
- Omonia: also easy, this is where Line 2 (red) intersects with Line 1. Again, you are taking the train from line 1 so you don’t need to change trains
- Syntagma: you will need to change trains at Monastiraki, coming from Line 3
The 90 min flat fare is €1. Make sure not to leave the station after you validate your ticket.
Line 1 is actually an electric railway and the fares depend on the distance you cover. The fare is between €0,70 (1 or 2 zones) and €0,80 (3 zones).
The metro trains are new and pretty nice. You can expect them to be crowded especially during the high season and at certain hours.
There are two buses to get from the city center to Piraeus:
- Bus 049, from Omonia square
- Bus 040, from Syntagma square (night bus)
The taxi fare is relatively low in Athens. There are two fares used, so be careful: fare 1 from 5 a.m. to midnight and fare 2 (double) after midnight. Taxi fraud is not widespread but it always pays to have your eyes open. You will also be charged for the baggage (€0,30 for each item over 10 kg) and there’s also the €0,60 surcharge for the port.
The journey between the city center (Omonia) to Piraeus takes about 30 min (unless there’s heavy traffic) and the taxi fare ads up to about €15, depending on the traffic.
>>more information on the Athens Urban Transport Organization official website
Getting from the airport to Piraeus
If you need to get from Athens International Airport directly to the Port of Piraeus, the easiest way to do it is by metro. Line 3 started operating in 2004 and links the airport to Monastiraki where you switch to Line 1, taking you to Piraeus. The journey time between the airport and the port is about 75 min. The metro fare for the entire length of the trip ads up to €6.
The metro trains are pretty new and nice in Athens. The line going to the port can get crowded but only during the high season and at certain hours.
Another choice is to take one of the express buses. Line E96 runs between the airport and Piraeus, and you can catch a bus every 15-20 min. The fare is €3,20.
Baggage cost you extra, there’s a surcharge for the airport and the journey takes at least 1 hour (30 km between the airport and the port) so the taxi fare can add up to a quite high amount. The taxi fare ads up to about €50, depending on the traffic. You also have to be careful to avoid the scams (you really don’t want to pay 10 times more than the regular fare).
>>Ferries departing from Athens’ Port of Piraeus
>>Budget hotels near Piraeus
>>Getting from Athens to Corfu
>>Getting from Thessaloniki to Meteora
>>Getting from Hydra to Santorini (and return)
>>Ferries from Santorini to Paros
>>Getting from Thessaloniki to Kavala
* Pireas and Piraeus are exactly the same place, but you can find them spelled in both ways. All road signs though point to Pireas.