Buses in Athens
Chances are you won't need to use the Athens bus system except maybe to get to and from the airport, but even that is easier done by metro or taxi. But this page will help you to understand the Athens bus system just in case. The new buses are modern looking and supposedly eco-friendly and bio-degradable and best of all they are air-conditioned.
Athens City Buses
Yellow Trolleys and Blue Buses can take you anywhere in the city and in the suburbs.The Trolleys run on electricity and the stops are usually yellow. The Blue bus-stops are blue. Tickets cost 1 Euro and must be bought from a kiosk or at special stands in main squares and at some bus terminals. They are sold individually or in bundles of 10 and must be validated by a machine on the bus. They can be used for 90 minutes so in other words if you want to connect with another bus or even the metro or the tram you have 90 minutes where the transportation is covered in the price of that ticket. A ticket valid for one month that can be used on the entire public transport network cost 35 euros. The price of a monthly pass for buses and trolley buses costs 15 euros. For a monthly card that includes the metro the cost is 35 euros. Buses and trolleys run every 10 to 30 minutes and can be stopped by waving your hand.
There are some very small blue buses that go through central Athens on the small interior streets. One of my favorites is the 035 which goes from Athinas Street all the way to Kypseli. The 060 cruises between the National Museum and the Koloniki. There are several others. You can find maps on many of the bus stops and you can also get one from the Greek National Tourist Organization office on Amalias street by Syntagma Square. The 040 bus goes from Syntagma to Pireaus. The 049 bus goes from Omonia to Pireaus. If you want to go to the beach take the A2, A3 B3 or E2 from Acadamias (The University) which go as far as Vouliagmeni. You can also catch these buses on Vas Amalias Street just a couple blocks down from the tram terminal. The Trolley buses you may want to know about are the 2,3,4,9,11,13 and 15 which go from Amalias Ave in front of the National Gardens to the National Museum on Patission Street. They return by way of Syntagma. The 13 and 14 Trolly go to Nea Psychico and the 18 and 19 go to Halandri. Not that you will ever need to go to these places, but Halandri has some great restaurants.
For going to the beach check out Athens Coastal Tram that goes from Syntagma Square all the way to Glyfada. It is slow but entertaining and it gets you all the way to Voula. From Glyfada Square you can take the 149 as far as Varkiza which is about where the swimming in Attika starts getting good. You can also take the metro to Dafni and catch the 171 to Varkiza.
If you get caught on one of these buses or the metro or tram without a ticket you will have to pay a pretty hefty fine so it is not worth it. Anyway if you can't afford an eighty cent bus ticket you should probably not be in Greece. A friend of mine told me he was caught on the bus without a ticket and he told the guys he did not have any money and they made him empty is pockets and they found 3 euros and took that. I don't know if I believe him though.
There are several bus lines to and from the airport. All buses depart from the designated area on the inner curbside of the arrivals level of the Main Terminal Building right outside the Exit (doors 4-5).
X95 Syntagma Square- Airport Express has its departure point at the center of Athens (Syntagma Square across the park from the Grande Bretagne) and via Vas. Sofias Avenue, Mesogion Avenue and Attiki Odos terminates at the airport. Every 10-30 minutes, 24 hours a day
X96 Pireaus- Airport
Express starts from the Northwest Corner of Pireaus main harbor and goes past Karaiskaki Square (which is almost right across from the metro and where the ticket offices are) and via Posidonos Avenue, Varis-Varkizas, and Varis-Koropiou Roads terminates at the airport. Both
the Syntagma and the Pireaus buses run for 24 hours, generally every twenty
minutes but every 40 minutes after midnight.
X93 connects the Airport
(door 5) with the bus terminals at Kiffissou and Lliosson streets. The interval is generally 35
minutes (65 at night).
For Express Lines the ticket costs 3.20 Euros and is valid for 24 hours on all public transport (buses, trolley-buses and metro). You can buy tickets from the driver or at the metro stations or at Public Transport Ticket Offices. You can keep riding on public transport for free for 90 minutes from the time you first stamped the ticket. If you use it again within that period of time you need to stamp it again.
KTEL Attika Buses
The Orange Buses take you to the countryside of Attiki outside Athens and it's suburbs. They leave from Pedhion Areas on Alexandras Ave and go to Marathon, Oropos, Lavrion, Sounion and Rafina (for ferries to Cyclades). Tickets are sold on board and don't need to be validated. Prices vary according to destination. The bus-stops are orange and have the initials KTEL. The final destination is written on the front of each bus. They usually leave every hour or so. They are very modern looking now and completely air-conditioned. You can also use the Sounion bus to get to coastal towns like Varkiza, Lagonissi, Saronida, and Anavissos where you can swim and go to seaside fish tavernas. Make sure that the bus is going by way of Possidinas Avenue and not the back way through Markopoulo and Keratea.
There are other light green KTEL buses
that go long distance and leave from two bus stations
in Athens that are kind of a pain to get to and also to get between. You can find info
on them under Practical Athens
Info and Bus Schedules
including how to reach the terminals.
Many bus stops have these verticle linear maps of the routes of the buses that stop there and some have a giant map of the whole system though usually it has been so defaced by graffiti that it is impossible to read. If you need to get from one place to another and don't know how to do it you can e-mail me and maybe I can figure it out for you. By the way I almost forgot to mention that pickpockets work the buses, especially the ones the tourists use like between Syntagma and the National Museum. But if you read my article about How to Protect Yourself from Pickpockets you won't have to ride the buses, trolleys or the metro in terror.