Athens and Attica

Attica, or the Attic Peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital of Greece and its countryside. Attica is a triangular peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea. The western coast of Attica, also known as the Athens Riviera, forms the eastern coastline of the Saronic Gulf. Today, much of Attica is occupied by urban Athens, encompassing the entirety of the Athenian plain. The modern Greek region of Attica includes classical Attic Peninsula as well as the Saronic Islands, a small part of the Peloponnese around Troezen, and the Ionian Island of Kythira.

Attica enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate. It has a distinct, long, dry period in the summer and a short, wet period in the winter. The highest precipitation is experienced during the winter months. The southern part of the peninsula has a hot, semi-arid climate.

Athens is one of the world’s most historically significant cities and a modern metropolis, buzzing with life. But its magic extends far beyond the centre, all the way down the Attica peninsula as far as Cape Sounion. Its coastline is filled with beaches, marinas, five-star resorts and smaller hotels, and dozens of restaurants and bars overlooking the sea.

The historical and cultural wealth of Athens, combined with the modern and youthful vibe, make it an ideal city break destination. On the one hand, you have the iconic Acropolis and its world-famous museum, the Ancient Agora, Plaka and the historic centre. And on the other, the high-end restaurants, sidewalk cafes, shops, picturesque markets, galleries with contemporary exhibitions, and art and antique shops.

Athens is an open-air museum. Must-sees are the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, one of the finest in the world. Strolling along the pedestrian walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou, and through the districts of Anafiotika and Monastiraki in the shadow of the Acropolis, you’ll admire archaeological sites, ancient and Byzantine monuments, churches and neoclassical buildings steeped in history.

Museums such as the National Archaeological Museum on Patission Avenue, the Museums of Greek Folk Art and Musical Instruments, the War Museum, the new Benaki Museum on Pireos Street and the original Benaki Museum in Kolonaki, the Numismatic Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art will enrich your knowledge of Athens and its history. As will the National Gallery, the Planetarium, the Foundation of the Hellenic World and the dozens of art galleries in the city centre.

The Athens Riviera stretches along the southern coastline of Attica, from Paleo Faliro (north of Piraeus) to Sounion on the southeastern peninsula. Many are organised, with sunbeds and umbrellas and lively beach bars and restaurants on the water. And there are dozens of dining options, including seaside tavernas serving fresh seafood. Life here moves to the rhythms of summer all year long.

At Sounion, you will stand awe-struck before the imposing Temple of Poseidon, especially during an energising sunset. And the easy-to-reach island gems of the Saronic Gulf, with their sandy beaches, are perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway. From the port of Piraeus, take the hydrofoil or ferry to Aegina, Poros, Hydra or Spetses. Kythira, on the other hand, will claim a few more days of your itinerary, as it requires you to travel towards the south of the Peloponnese to reach it. But this unique island (which administratively belongs to Attica) is worth discovering. It has castles, sacred caves, picturesque coves, villages and beaches for all.


There are five main means of mass transit in the Athens urban area: metro/electric rail, city buses, electric trolley-buses, tram, and the suburban railway. All except for the suburban railway (run by TrainOSE) are run by the public Athens Mass Transit System (OASA S.A.), and their “universal” tickets can be used on any transportation type, including the urban part of the suburban railway; you can therefor combine train, bus and tram to get to your destination using only one ticket. You may plan your trip here.

Single tickets, ticket packs and reloadable plastic passes are available, sold in automatic vending machines at all metro stations and some tramway stations, by vendors at a number of bus stops, and in some stores and kiosks (you can find a map showing all sales points here).

Tickets must be validated when you travel. At the metro stations, you validate your ticket or reloadable pass at the automatic entrance gates both when entering and upon leaving your final station. On buses and trams, validation is done using onboard ticket readers upon boarding only. Passengers who do not validate a ticket can be charged with a fine of €72 (or €36 for persons eligible for discount ticket).


The fastest means of getting around Athens is the Metro. The Athens Metro system consists of 3 lines: 1 (green), 2 (red) and 3 (blue).

Line 1, the green line, known as the ISAP electric railway, runs southwest to northeast from the port of Piraeus to Kifissia, via the Athens city center. The first and last trains depart from the terminal stations 05:00 and 00:30 every day (the last train, in both directions, only goes as far as Omonia station, while the last trains running the entire route leave the terminal stations at 00:15). Key stations are: Piraeus, Thiseio, Monastiraki and Omonia.

Line 2, the red line, runs north to south from Anthoupoli to the old Athens airport at Elliniko. The first trains depart from the terminal stations at 05:00 every day. On weekdays and Sundays, the last trains depart from Elliniko at 00:04 and from Anthoupoli at 00:08. On Fridays and Saturdays, the last trains depart later, at 01:11 and 01:14, respectively. Key stations today are Omonia, Syntagma, Akropolis, and Syngrou/Fix.

Line 3, the blue line, has recently been extended. It runs west to east from the Piraeus Municipal Theater via the Port of Piraeus through Halandri, and then continues south to the Athens International Airport. Key stations are: Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, Doukissis Plakentias (from here to the airport, trains share the rails with the Suburban Railway), Syntagma, Monastiraki and Kerameikos.

Buses & Trolleybuses

The Athens bus and trolleybus network is very extensive. Most buses and trolleybuses run daily from 5 am to midnight, but do check the timetable of your route.

Airport Express buses operate on a 24-hour basis: the X93, running to and from the Intercity Bus Stations of Kifissos and Liosion in approximately 65 minutes, the X95, going to and from Syntagma Square in approximately 60 minutes, the X96, running to and from the port of Piraeus via the Athens Riviera in approximately 90 minutes, and the X97, going to and from the Elliniko Metro Station in approximately 45 minutes (find timetables for these lines through the links). Note that the durations of these trips vary depending on traffic, and may be significantly longer.


The tram network connects central Athens with the coastal suburbs of Faliro, Voula and Piraeus. It takes approximately one hour to get from Syntagma Square to the final seaside stops at Voula or Piraeus.

There are two tram lines; T6 connects Syntagma with Faliro (Pikrodafni station) and T7 connects Voula (Asklipeio Voulas station) with Piraeus (Agia Triada station). The two lines meet at Pikrodafni station.

The tram connects to the Metro and overground train at four stops: Syntagma, Syngrou/Fix, Neos Kosmos and SEF (Peace and Friendship Stadium in Faliro). The tram operates from 5:30 am to 12:00 am daily.

Suburban Railway

This overground train provides a direct link between Piraeus port and Athens International Airport. It also connects Athens to Halkida in Evia and Kiato and Corinth in the Peloponnese. The suburban railway operates from 4:30 am until 11 pm daily.

Useful information


Euro (€) is the currency of Greece.

Time Zone

Greece is in the Eastern European Time Zone (GMT+2). Like most countries in Europe, the summer (Daylight-Saving) time is (GMT+3).

Greece's Country Code

Greece’s Country Code is: +30 and should be followed by the phone number.

Health Care and Safety

One should feel perfectly safe to eat and drink everything and tap water all over Greece is absolutely safe. Residents of EU-countries are eligible for receiving free emergency medical care.

Emergency calls

Emergency ambulance service: 166

On-duty hospitals, clinics, doctors & pharmacies: 1434