Beautiful sunset at the Acropolis in Athens Greece, must-see when visiting Athens on a cruise!

Ending Cruise in Athens? How to Get to Airport or City

Disembarking your cruise in Athens? This DIY Transfers guide will take you through how to head directly to the airport, or to the city centre if you’re staying on a post-cruise trip. If you’ve got a late flight, I’ll also give you tips on where to store your bags, so you can see the iconic Acropolis before heading to the airport. Let’s dive into the best ways to get from Athens’ Piraeus cruise port to your next destination.

Starting your cruise in Athens? Then check-out my in-depth guide on how to navigate around the three cruise terminals at Athens Piraeus Port plus tips on DIY Transfers from Airport or Athens city centre.

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Athens Piraeus Cruise Port: Manage Your Expectations

Athens isn’t just a stop on the way to the Greek Islands anymore – it’s a destination in its own right! Over 7 million tourists flocked to Athens in 2023, a record breaking number. With over 1,000 cruise ships docking at the Piraeus cruise port in 2024, and 1.5 million passengers passing through, expect some crowds!

  • Airport Bound? Plan ahead! Getting from the port to Athens International Airport is about 30 miles (50 km). Give yourself plenty of extra time to beat the traffic.
  • Staying in Athens post-cruise?ย Love those ancient ruins? To avoid any stress, be flexible with pre-booked attraction tickets. Disembarking can take time, and while only about 7.5 miles (12 km) from the city centre, traffic can easily turn that into an hour-long journey.
  • Catching a late flight out of Athens? Read my FAQs below on how to ditch your bags so you can enjoy your day.

Arriving at Athens Piraeus (Greece) Cruise Port: What You Need to Know

  • Currency: Euros
  • Language: Greek
  • Free WiFi at Port: Free Wi-Fi is available at all three cruise terminals. So no excuse not to check your flight times before leaving for the airport ๐Ÿ‘‡
  • Official website for Athens International Airport: Check your flight times here.
  • Taxis: Taxis are available immediately outside the arrivals hall of all three cruise terminals. But you guessed it, expect a wait during peak times! Jump straight to my section on taxis here.
    • Uber is also available in Athens with the UberTaxi product โ€” you can call an Uber via your app and a yellow taxi will pick you up.
  • Recommended Transport App: I used Citymapper while in Athens and highly recommend it. Public transit directions were correct and up-to-date. You can also find real-time information on the official OASA S.A. website.
  • eSIM for roaming in Greece: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout

FAQ: Is there a free port shuttle bus from the cruise terminals?

Unfortunately, not the kind that’ll get you to the metro or out of the port area. You might’ve seen mentions of a free port shuttle bus online but those are only for getting around between ferry terminals, not the cruise terminals.

Good news though: if your ship ends up berthed far away from the terminal building, they do have free shuttles to help with that walk. But you can also get lucky like I did! You can see below that the Celebrity Apex was docked not far away from cruise terminal B!

Celebrity Apex is berthed in a quay not far away from Terminal B, at Athens Piraeus cruise port

Athens Piraeus Cruise Port: Which Cruise Terminal?

Cruise ships docked at the three cruise terminals at Athens Piraeus cruise port
Image courtesy of Piraeus Port Authority

This port is huge! Knowing your ship’s terminal ahead of time will seriously streamline your departure. You’ll find this info in your daily cruise guide. Not sure? Ask guest services before you disembark.

Athens Piraeus Cruise Port & Cruise Transfers Map

UPDATED July 2024: ๐Ÿ‘‡ My map below shows you where the terminals, bus stops, and metro stations are. If you’re visited this page before, sorry that the last map isn’t as easy to read as it could have been. It was one of the first maps I made and I was learning! The map has been significantly revamped – I still can’t believe that the map alone has been viewed 5,000+ times in less than 3 months. I’m clearly not the only one who found good transfer directions for Athens Piraeus Port were hard to come by!

  • On Desktop | Laptop? Use buttons on bottom left to zoom in/out. Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version.
  • On Tablet | Mobile? Pinch your screen to zoom in/out and use two fingers to move map around. If you have Google Maps installed on your tablet/mobile, my map will open in your Google Maps app if you click on the upper right hand corner.
  • If map is not loading correctly, click here to see it directly on Google Maps
  • Terminal A “Miaoulis” is closest to the metro, but it’s still a 15-minute walk. Catching the bus will be easier than the metro.
  • Terminal B “Themistocles” is the furthest from the metro – a good 30 minute walk at least. I am a keen walker and even I don’t recommend this walk. The bus will be easier than the metro, unless your hotel is not in the city centre.
  • Terminal C “Alkimos” is next to Terminal A but in my opinion, is too far to walk to the metro station (~25 mins). The bus stop is less than a minute away though.

Get from Athens Piraeus Cruise Port to Athens Airport: Your Options

1. Easier By Bus: X96 Express Bus from Piraeus Port to Athens Airport

Express Buses X96 from Athens Piraeus Port to Athens City Centre are these large bendy buses with luggage  racks
The X96 express bus are these long “bendy” buses, with luggage racks. Image courtesy of Wikimedia

The X96 Express Bus is a convenient and affordable way to reach Athens International Airport from Piraeus Port. The bad news is that it doesn’t stop at the cruise terminals! But here’s all you need to know:

  • Connecting Buses:ย Look for Buses #826, #843, and #859 – don’t worry. Almost everyone who catches these buses have luggage with them!
    • From Cruise Terminal A: Walk a few minutes to the “TELONEIO” stop (see my map above). Take the bus 4 stops to “Pl. KARAISKAKH“, marked in my map. Catch X96 from the same stop.
    • From Cruise Terminal B & C: Walk to the nearby “PEIRAIAS” bus stop. Take the bus 5 stops to “Pl. KARAISKAKH“. Catch X96 from the same stop.
  • Tickets: โ‚ฌ5.50 adults, โ‚ฌ2.70 kids 7-18/seniors 65+; ticket is good for your connecting bus too
    • Terminal A: Purchase at the ticket booth outside the arrivals hall before boarding
    • Terminals B & C: Purchase at the ticket machine near Gate 12 (see my map) – make sure you’re buying a ticket for the X96 Express bus, as the ticket costs more. A normal bus ticket is โ‚ฌ1.20 but is not valid all the way to the Airport.
  • Frequency: The X96 runs up to 3 times an hour during summer peak times. Find the current timetable here, selecting “AER/NAS Athinon – Peiraias” as the direction.
  • Journey Time: Expect around 90 minutes, but may vary due to traffic

2. By Metro: Piraeus Cruise Port to Athens Airport

Metro (M3 line) vs. X96 Bus: Which is best for the airport? While I found the metro carriages clean and spacious with luggage racks (check the timetable here), I prefer the X96 express bus to the airport. Especially in summer, the X96 runs slightly more frequently than the metro.

  • Connecting Buses:ย Look for Buses #826, #843, and #859. Use my map to find the stop closest to your cruise terminal. They stop directly across from Piraeus Metro Station. Use the escalators for the pedestrian bridge walkway to cross the street.
  • Ticket info: Airport metro tickets cost โ‚ฌ9 for adults or โ‚ฌ4.50 for kids 7-18 / seniors 65+. This ticket also covers your connecting bus.
  • Finding your bus stop:
    • From Cruise Terminal A: Buy tickets from the booth outside arrivals. Walk a few minutes to the “TELONEIO” stop (see my map above). Take the bus 5 stops to “Metro Piraeus“, marked in my map.
    • From Cruise Terminal B & C: Find the ticket machine near Gate E12 (see my map). Walk to the nearby “PEIRAIAS” bus stop. Take the bus 6 stops to “Metro Piraeus
  • Metro: Catch M3 (Blue) line. The airport station is the last stop! Trains to the airport run every 36 minutes. (Not every M3 train goes to the airport, so do check the departure boards before boarding the train.) It takes about an hour from Piraeus station to the airport.

3. By Taxi: Piraeus Cruise Port to Athens Airport

Traveling with lots of bags? Don’t think you can cope with a change of buses? While public transport is a great way to get around Athens, navigating with heavy luggage can be a challenge. If it’s pushing you to your limits, taxis are readily available at the port.

Taxi fares will range from โ‚ฌ55-โ‚ฌ60 during the day, with a trip taking about 45 minutes depending on traffic. Fares are higher during night time (from midnight to 5am). Note that there are no fixed taxi fares from Piraeus Port to the Airport, so make sure that the meter is running. (There’s only a fixed taxi fare between the Airport and the City Centre.)

Getting from Athens Cruise port to City centre: Your Options

Choosing between the bus or metro depends entirely on where you’re staying. Both options are convenient and can accommodate your luggage. Piraeus metro station is a short bus ride away but it has lifts and escalators for easy access. (All Athens metro stations are accessible, so you will find lifts and/or escalators at your destination regardless of where you’re going.)

1a. By Bus: X80 Express Bus from Cruise Port to Athens City Centre

  • Summertime Special: The X80 bus is a summer-only route (usually May to October).
  • Bus route: The bus starts at cruise terminal A, then picks up from terminal B & C. The final stop is at Syntagma Square, where you can easily change to the metro at “Syntagma” station. Syntagma is on the M2 (Red) line and M3 (Blue) line. The X80 also stops at the Acropolis.
  • Tickets: Only the 24-hour ticket (โ‚ฌ4.10, no concessions) works on the X80.
    • From Terminal A: Buy your ticket from the ticket booth outside Terminal A arrivals hall. Both cash and cards are accepted. The stop is right by the ticket booth.
    • From Terminal B or C: Leave the cruise terminal arrivals hall and walk to the main gate, signposted Gate E12, also marked on my map above. There’s a ticket machine between the entrances of Terminal B & C. Both cash and cards are accepted at the machine.
  • Validate your Ticket: Don’t forget to validate the ticket onboard the bus. The ticket is good for the rest of the day on other buses & on the metro, too!

1b. By Bus 40 or Bus 49 from Cruise Port to Athens City Centre

Bus #40 will take you to Syntagma Square and Bus #49, to Omonia. Note that the #40 is the commuter “all stops” version and therefore will stop frequently and will take longer. But if your hotel is along the route, then it’s more useful than the X80 express bus.

  • Need route details? Use Citymapper or Transport for Athens’ website to check the route for stops along the way.
  • Tickets: A single 90-minute ticket costs โ‚ฌ1.20 for adults or โ‚ฌ0.50 for kids 7-18 or seniors 65+.
  • Finding your Bus Stop:
    • From Cruise Terminal A: Buy tickets from the booth outside arrivals or on the bus. Walk a few minutes to the “TELONEIO” stop (see my map above).
    • From Cruise Terminal B & C: Find the ticket machine near Gate E12 (see my map). Walk to the nearby “PEIRAIAS” bus stop.

2. By Metro: Piraeus Cruise Port to Athens City Centre

If the hotel you’re heading to is near a metro stop, getting there from Piraeus cruise port is a breeze! Here’s how:

  • Finding your Bus Stop:
    • From Cruise Terminal A: Buy tickets from the booth outside the terminal or on the bus. Walk a few minutes to the “TELONEIO” stop (see my map above). Catch the bus for 5 stops to “Metro Piraeus“, marked in my map.
    • From Cruise Terminal B & C: Find the ticket machine near Gate E12 (see my map). Walk to the nearby “PEIRAIAS” bus stop. Catch the bus for 6 stops to “Metro Piraeus” (see my map)
  • Look for these bus routes:ย Buses #826, #843, and #859 all stop directly across from Piraeus Metro Station.
  • Metro Station opposite: Once you’ve alighted the bus, cross to the opposite side of the street using the pedestrian bridge. There’s escalators if you’ve got check-in luggage with you.
  • Ticket info:ย A single 90-minute ticket costs โ‚ฌ1.20 for adults or โ‚ฌ0.50 for kids 7-18 or seniors 65+.
  • Blue Line (M3): Once at Piraeus metro station, jump on the first metro (M3 blue line). Trains run every 5-6 minutes during peak times. Alight either at Monastiraki (9 stops) or Syntagma (10 stops). Change at Syntagma to M2 (Red line) for 1 stop for Acropoli station. Follow signs once outside Acropoli station for either the Acropolis main entrance or the Acropolis Museum.

FAQ: Late flight from Athens? Here’s how to make the most of your last day and see the iconic Acropolis!

View of the Acropolis at sunset, be sure to visit while on a cruise stop in Athens Piraeus cruise port!

Here’s how to travel from Athens cruise port to the Acropolis:

  1. Ditch the bags: Obviously you won’t be allowed to drag luggage around ancient ruins! Check out Athens’ Tourism Board suggestions for luggage storage locations. Aim for ones near Syntagma Square โ€“ it’s the perfect central spot.
  2. Hop on the bus: The easiest way from the cruise port to the Acropolis is bus #80. Bus #40 will also take you there but it stops more often, so will take longer.
  3. Time to explore: Since the Acropolis is super popular, book your timed tickets online ahead to guarantee entry. Give yourself extra time to drop your bags, take the metro to “Acropoli” (just one stop from Syntagma Square), and get to the entrance so you don’t miss your slot.
  4. Head to the Airport: Grab your bags and catch the metro (โ‚ฌ9) or the express bus X96 from Syntagma Square (โ‚ฌ5.50)

Pro Tip: Athens is awesome, so if you find yourself with even more time after the Acropolis, explore the Plaka district around the Acropolis โ€“ it’s full of charming streets and shops!

There’s a new service at Piraeus Ferry Gate #3 where you can drop your bags and have them shipped straight to the airport โ€“ it’s like an in-town check-in! I haven’t personally tried it (they were a bit mysterious about the price online!), but if you do, please let us know how it goes! Share your experience in the comments below.

Featured Image by Constantinos Kollias on Unsplash

Where to next? Discover more of Greece!

Your cruise may end in Athens, but your Greek adventure doesn’t have to! Explore these enchanting islands:

I hope you have the most amazing cruise around the Greek Isles and the Mediterranean! If this article helped you plan your trip, please share it โ€“ your friends may be navigating that Athens cruise port maze for the first time, too! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happy cruising!

2 thoughts on “Ending Cruise in Athens? How to Get to Airport or City”

  1. Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iPhone 15!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog annd look forward to all
    your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!

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