The Athens metro history can be traced back to 1869. A metropolitan railway was constructed, connecting Athens to the country’s largest port, the port of Piraeus. It was run by a steam train until 1904 when electric trains were introduced. It later became designated as line 1, the green line.
In 1991, the construction of the new metro lines began, metro lines 2 and 3. The construction was proposed to solve the intense traffic congestion and related pollution in the city.
The fact that Athens is more than 3000 years old made the digging work for the underground lines difficult. Not less than 30000 artifacts buried underground were discovered. Over 50 archeologists were employed to help with the digging work. Each time an artifact was found, work will be suspended and the archeologists will take over until all the artifacts are safely extracted.
Most of the unique discoveries during this work are openly displayed at the major metro stations and The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. Line 2 (red) and line 3 ( blue) were commissioned in 2000.
The metro line covers more than 135 kilometers with 61 stations and 4 interchanges.
This article will guide you on how to navigate through the metro system in the beautiful city of Athens.
Overview of the Athens airport Metro
The Athens airport metro is the blue line (line 3). It runs 16.4 km which starts from Egaleo to Athens international airport. It was inaugurated in 2000. It was extended to the airport and Aegina marina in 2004.
The metro shares track with the suburban railway between Doukissis Plakentias and the airport. It is a standard Guage and it uses a third rail power supply. This metro line consists of 20 stations with an interchange with other lines at Monastiraki and Syntagma. The train has an automatic control system, which controls the speed of the train. Tickets are available through an automatic
ticketing machine installed across all metro stations and it must be validated at the checking point. You will be penalized heavily if caught without a ticket or invalidated ticket.
How to navigate the Athens airport metro
The blue line metro is built underground and runs from Egaleo to Athens airport. It runs from 5:30 am to 12:30 am.
As a visitor, the first metro station you will come across is the airport metro station which is on the blue line. This metro is not as easy to use as in some of the other countries. The station is not inside the airport, you will follow the sign “train” to locate the station.
You should note that the airport metro is not the same as the suburban railway, as the two depart from the same joint. If you are going to the center of the city, the metro is what you should take and not the railway. You can join either of the two if you are going to Piraeus.
The metro departs from the station every 30 minutes. The first thing is to get your tickets. Tickets are available at the automatic ticketing machine that is installed across different metro stations. You can also get the tickets from the people behind the box. The ticket should be validated before you proceed.
Prices for the tickets vary. The prices are stated below
- A one-way ticket for an individual: €10
- Two-way ticket for an individual: €18
- 3 days tourist ticket: €22
- One-way discounted price ticket: €5
- Children under 6 years: free
You should note that discounted prices are for students younger than 25, youngsters between 6 – 18, and elders above 65. You can check more on the Athens airport metro timetable Here
From Athens airport, you can join line 1 ( green line) at the Monastiraki interchange. The green line has 24 stations which start from Piraeus to Kifisia. This line has two connections with the red line, Attiki station, and Omonoia station.
You can navigate through the red line ( line 2) at the interchange in Syntagma station. The red line has a total of 20 stations. From this line, you can join the green line at two different interchanges, Attiki and Omonoia stations.
Tips and advice
During your trip to the beautiful city of Athens, you might find yourself struggling when making use of the city metro. This is not something common among visitors alone, the Athenians also find themselves in the same situation.
One of the most important things you should avoid is getting separated from your luggage. Also, pickpockets are believed to always operate on the train especially during summer when there is much crowd. You should keep your valuable documents and wallet hidden. In case you are using a backpack, you should always keep it in your front and close to your body.
The interchange station i.e where two metro line meets are always the busiest line, it is advisable you get your ticket elsewhere to avoid long queues. Eating or drinking, and smoking is not allowed within the metro.
Athens metro is one of the easiest ways to move around in the city of Athens. The metro consists of three lines, and the lines are identified with color codes.
- Line 1: Green line
- Line 2: Red line
- Line 3: Blue line
Apart from these three lines, there is a suburban railway line that also operates in the city. These three metro lines have combined 66 stations and they connect each other at the center of the city. This point is called the interchange between each line, that is you can join another line from the initial line you are using.
Navigating this metro is not complicated. The train has an automatic control system, there is a voice announcing the arrival of the train and its destination.
Enjoy your trip to the beautiful city of Athens, and make use of the metro to move around and see the stunning package the city has to offer.
Written by : Lawal Usman