The last thing you want to do after a long flight is try to figure out how you'll get to your hotel or ferry connection. Here are all the ways you can get to and from Athens International Airport, including some you can arrange ahead before you arrive.
Pre-booked Airport Transfers
Don't want to mess with a taxi at the last minute or while in an exhausted or jet-lagged state? You can arrange to have a driver waiting for you. These car services will generally wait for you or resend a driver if your flight is delayed, making your trip as stress-free as possible.
Most likely, your driver will be waiting with a nameplate sign just outside the baggage area, which will further ease your stress. Prices vary but are comparable to taking the metro, but a lot more convenient.
Service is usually available 24 hours a day, at least in theory, so be sure to check at the time of your reservation. The transfer can also be booked to go to or from Piraeus with easy connections to most of the island ferries. Remember to pack light as the taxis can only hold so much luggage.
Cheap and relatively easy, the Airport Buses are just outside Arrivals Gate 4 and the most cost-effective option. You can purchase tickets at the ticket kiosk, but it may be very crowded.
When you do board, make sure to hang on to the straps if you're standing, as you can be thrown off balance when the bus makes quick stops or tight turns.
The taxis line up waiting for customers outside the arrivals terminal doors each day. They are all public taxis but once you're in central Athens itself, there is a combination of both public and private taxis. Public taxis can be shared, as they are won to pick up an extra person.
It's best to avoid private taxis as they may refuse to pick up passengers, they are more expensive than public taxis, and also charge a fee for the call.
Your best bet for taxi service shouldn't be a surprise as companies like Uber and Lyft continue their global expansion. With these taxis, you can see your fare in advance, choose if you want to share a ride, and since you don't have to tip, you can worry about exchanging your money at another time.
Athens Airport Limousine Services
Sometimes only a limo will do, but be aware that some limousine companies, while they may have a nicely-dressed driver, the car itself will be a luxury sedan which may fall short of your idea of a "limousine", but given Athenian streets, you may be quite happy with the sedan after a few turns down narrow passages. While it is probably an expensive indulgence for a single traveler, for several people it can be a relative bargain.
Some Athens-area hotels offer shuttle services to and from the Athens Airport, and this can make a big impact on your travel day and the bottom-line cost of a particular hotel. Hotel shuttles will generally arrive at a designated parking lot at the far end of the terminal. There are a few on-site travel agents at Athens Airport and can help you find a hotel offering an airport shuttle.
Some small bed and breakfast-type accommodations near the airport won't offer an "official" shuttle, but they might be willing to come pick you up. It never hurts to ask, but there is also the possibility this could fall through at the last minute if there is no one available to come and get you, so be aware of this before booking.
Depending on your ultimate destination in Athens, the Metro may be the right choice for you. However, you should be aware that many stations have long stairways and obscure elevators which can be hard to navigate with luggage. Be sure to ask for a family ticket if you are traveling together with someone else, and you'll save a euro or two.
Athens International Airport has a row of international car rental desks, and if you are willing to drive, this is another way to get from the airport to your hotel or other destination.
The main roads leading out of the airport are big modern highways, but you may encounter issues when you get off the main, well-marked roads and attempt to find your city center hotel. This can be challenging in the dark or in your jet-lagged state and may be more difficult if you don't read enough Greek to make out street signs. If you plan on driving, you should learn at least the basic Greek Letters.