Stuck on an Athens layover in Greece? The Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (ATH) is a popular European layover. The airport is located roughly 12 miles outside Athens, which makes the city and the Athenian sights (Acropolis, anyone?) accessible for those on a long layover. If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your Athens layover, click here for useful tips.
If you’re stuck in the Athens airport there are many airport services, including shopping, restaurants, internet and e-services, car rental, post office, banks, three baby rooms, massage chairs and a hair salon, a left luggage facility, an entertainment area, and a pharmacy. For a map of all the airport services, click here.
The Wireless Internet Zone service is available for free in the airport’s terminal areas for up to 45 minutes, and then can be accessed at Free Internet Access Points or through the Business Center which is located at the Arrivals Area. For more information on the Internet Service or Business Center, click here.
The airport also offers free site tours Monday through Friday which includes a tour of the airport’s main buildings, including the Archaeologica Museum, and the Fire Brigade Station. There’s also numerous art displays including the permanent exhibit to Eleftherios Venizelos and the Airport Museum, as well as painting and photography exhibits.
If you arrive at night or are looking for a place to rest during your Athens layover, the Sofitel Athens is located opposite the arrivals and departures building. Even if you’re not staying in a room at the hotel, you can spend some time in the panoramic bar, indoor pool and sauna or one of their restaurants. If you’re looking for a hotel nearby in Athens, click here for a comprehensive list of varying price points.
As for transportation into Athens, you can choose between buses, The Athens Central Railway Station , the Metro, and taxis. For a Metro map, click here. If you have limited time, you may want to take a taxi (outside the arrivals area) to cut down in the possibility of delays.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On An Athens Layover:
If you only have limited time in Athens, a tour might be a great way to see a bunch of sights. There are many to choose from including day tours, bus and bike tours, night cruises, dinner theater, outdoor activities, and more.
By far the most noteworthy and impressive ruin in Athens, if you have any time at all to see the sights, the Acropolis and Parthenon have to be on the top of your list. Towering over the city with an impressive view, walking around the Acropolis instill a sense of awe and respect over the Greek culture. Located in the middle of the city, every taxi driver knows the way, or you can also take the Metro of Athens and get off to the Acropolis station.
On another mount overlooking Athens is Mount Lycabettus. Here not only will you find a magnificent view at the highest point of Athens, but there’s an amazing view, but there’s also an amphitheater where, depending on the season, you can catch well-known performances. To inquire about shows, call 210 722-7209. There’s a train that takes you to the top. The metro stop is Evangelismos, but be aware that it’s a bit of a hike up to the train from the stop.
The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion
Located about an hour outside of Athens, this is a great option for those on a lengthy layover. The Temple of Poseidon sits on a hill at the edge of the Attiki Peninsula. If possible, try to visit at sunset, where you can catch a great view. You can take a look at the carvings, walk along the beach below, and visit some of the fish tavernas. You can take the Metro stop of Victorias and walk east to Mavrommateon Street, or by bus from Aeros Park.
The Agora-Athens Central Market
In this lively market on Athinas Street in downtown Athens, you’ll find numerous items including fish, meat, vegetable and spices, you will get a good sense of the Greek culture and culinary tastes. Across from the fish and meat market is the fruit and vegetable market, and then head over to Evripidou Street where you’ll find spices and seeds. On Sundays, make sure to check out the flea market. If you have time and are still looking for more shopping, visit Athens Chinatown and Eolou Street, the pedestrian shopping district.
The National Archaeological Museum
It is doubtful where else you can find such an impressive collection of ancient Greek sculptures, pottery, jewelry and coins. The National Archaeological Museum is considered one of the best archaeology museums in the world, and it is certain you will learn about the lives of the ancient Greeks.
Have a suggestion for an Athens Layover? Leave a comment below!