While good planning can avoid some airport-related delays, sometimes your only option is that dreaded long layover. What can you do if you're stuck at the Athens International Airport? Depending on how much time you have, plenty! The airport is convenient to a solid hotel, wineries that can make for a nice way to spend a few hours, and even ample shops and boutiques within the airport itself.
Even if you're a slow reader, this small museum won't occupy you for more than fifteen minutes, but hey, that's fifteen minutes off of your total wait time.
Grab a Taxi or Take the Metro
If you're brave enough to leave the airport, the Attica area offers great wineries. Taking a taxi? Negotiate prices beforehand; otherwise, they may try to stick you with a higher special rate from the airport to a hotel. This is not recommend for short layovers, but if you have five or more hours to fill, it may be right for you.
Lose Your Luggage—Temporarily
Your stay at the airport will be lightened both spiritually and physically if you drop your luggage at the luggage drop located at the end of the terminal. It will cost you for this privilege, but you won't regret it.
Visit the Pharmacy
This may not sound exciting on the surface, but the Athens International Airport has an excellent pharmacy. While it offers medicines—many needing no prescription—its greatest strength lies in a wonderful array of health and body products all by Greek manufacturers. The white-coated saleswomen will be glad to help you find a whole new beauty regime at a fraction of what similar products cost in the United States even with the Euro exchange rate.
Shop Until You Drop
Airport malls can be dismal, but this one is a pleasure and has boutiques you may want to seek out even if you didn't have time to kill. The Gourmet shop offers dozens of good Greek wines and the local branch of the Mastiha Shop features nothing but products made from the famous Greek resin. There are also several newsstands offering books, toys, and other treasures.
Bored? Tired? Walk directly across the street to the Sofitel Hotel and buy yourself a drink in the lobby. Spend a moment on the way looking at their small pond and feeling grass under your feet instead of airport tiles. They even have screens showing flight times and other departure information.