There are many airlines to choose from when flying to Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport.
From Germany there are many direct connections with the Greek Aegean, with Lufthansa, Eurowings, Easy Jet and Ryanair. In Switzerland there are also flights with Swiss and from Vienna you can fly directly to Athens with Lauda.
I flew to Athens from Dusseldorf with Aegean and can only recommend the airline. The flight was fairly cheap, the service was excellent. In contrast to the budget airlines, Aegean also includes food and drinks during the flight.
Do a flight comparison with Skyscanner and see what options you have when flying to Athens. If Aegean is an option, I would definitely prefer that airline.
Try to catch an early flight. The flight from Dusseldorf to Athens takes almost exactly three hours, so an early flight gives you something of the arrival day in Athens.
From Athens airport to the city
According to A2zcamerablog, Athens Airport Eleftherios Venizelos is just outside of Athens. To get to the city center after arrival, you have the choice between metro, bus, taxi and private transfer.
With the subway
The metro takes you to downtown Athens in about 40 minutes. Once you have collected your luggage from the belt, exit the airport and turn left.
You will then already see the Hotel Sofitel . Right next to the Sofitel you will find the transition to the airport metro station. You can’t miss this transition at all.
Before you go down to the platforms in the station, you have to buy your ticket in the hall on the left. You can either do this at the machine or at the ticket counter. The machines speak German and take cash or cards. You need the ticket Athens Region and Airport 90 minutes.
The tickets cost 10 euros, no matter where exactly in Athens you want to get off.
Once you have your ticket, go down to the platform to the left of the ticket office. There are only two trains departing from the airport, so finding the right one isn’t too difficult.
On one side runs a regional train and on the other side runs your metro, which is indicated with the final stop Aghia Marina or “Ag Marina”.
In the center of Athens, this line 3 stops at Syntagma and Monastiraki stations.
With the express bus
The cheapest way from the airport to the city is the express bus. This will get you to Syntagma Square in about 1 hour.
The bus leaves right in front of the arrivals area. When you come off the baggage carousel, exit the airport and go all the way to the right. Look out for the Syntagma Express. You can get tickets directly from the driver and cost 6 euros per person.
With the taxi
A taxi is faster and more comfortable, but of course also more expensive. Taxis are also available directly in front of the arrivals area. For the journey to the city center to your hotel, you have to reckon with 40 to 45 euros and a travel time of about half an hour.
Book private transfer in advance
A private transfer is even more convenient. If you book at least 24 hours in advance, you will be met in the arrivals area by a driver who will greet you with a sign with your name and take you directly to your hotel.
There are often discounts online, so sometimes this option is even cheaper than a regular taxi.
From the cruise ship to the center of Athens
If you dock with a cruise ship in Piraeus, you can get from the port to the city center fairly quickly. The metro from Piraeus to Monastiraki in central Athens takes just 17 minutes. Alternatively, you can hop on a hop-on hop-off bus at the cruise terminal that goes directly to the Acropolis.
By metro from Piraeus to Athens
Unfortunately, the metro station in Piraeus is not well signposted. When you get off the ship and walk out of the security area of the port, turn left and just keep walking along the shore. Once you’ve passed Gate 7/8, you’ll see a footbridge across the street. In the building next to this crossing is the metro station.
When I was there in early March 2020, this pedestrian bridge was still under construction, but it was a good reference point.
From Cruise Terminal A it takes about 20 minutes to walk to the metro station.
You can get tickets directly in the entrance area. There are both vending machines and a ticket counter there. To Athens you need a 90-minute ticket for 1.40 euros. But you can also buy two trips directly for 2.70 euros and have your return ticket in your pocket right away.
If you want to go straight to the Acropolis or the Ancient Agora, get off at Thissio station in Athens. You are standing there directly in front of the Agora, and to the left you can simply follow the path to the north entrance of the Acropolis.
For all other destinations in Athens go one stop further to Monastiraki.
The hop-on hop-off bus from Piraeus
The hop-on hop-off bus in Piraeus always stops in front of Cruise Terminal A, during the cruise season also at Terminal B.
The blue hop-on/hop-off bus from Sights of Athens is suitable both for a detour to Athens and for coming to Athens after the cruise and seeing the sights directly.
At 16 euros for 2 days hop-on hop-off, Sights of Athens is extremely cheap. If you book online in advance, the ticket often only costs 13 euros for 2 days.
From the Cruise Terminal you can take the blue hop-on/hop-off bus directly to the north entrance of the Acropolis in about 45 minutes. This is where the lines meet, so you can easily transfer to the downtown line.
On the bus you get headphones for the German audio commentary. There is also space on the bus to store luggage.