Welcome to my multi-part review of our summer vacation. We spent 12 days abroad, predominately in Athens and Paris. We did squeeze in about half a day in Amsterdam before heading home. While I’m writing the series, I’m happy to answer any questions you have ahead of time. We traveled in mid-July, so right in the middle of the Athens financial crisis. Here’s most of what I expect to cover, including links to posts I’ve already completed:
- Planning Our Summer Vacation!
- British Airways First and Business Class Lounges at Philadelphia Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Philadelphia to Athens
- A Speed Bump Upon Arrival At Arion
- Arion Guest Room Review
- Arion & Westin Amenities
- Arion Restaurant Reviews
- A Quick Trip To The Acropolis And Parthenon
- Flying From Athens To Paris
- Hyatt Regency Etoile Paris
- Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Disneyland Paris
- A Study of Macaroons
- Various Restaurant Reviews
- Taking The Train From Paris To Amsterdam
- Sheraton Schiphol Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Amsterdam to Philadelphia
Public transportation isn’t something that everyone wants to use. I happen to be a big proponent of travel by train, whether for short distances or long, though I’m not a big fan of bus. I’d done a little bit of reading about the Athens Metro system and was prepared to use the train as an option if the timing of the hotel shuttle didn’t work for us.
Even though I’d been keeping up on the Greek debt crisis (and things had mostly calmed down) there was still a vote in Greek parliament to ratify the deal with EU. After we got done with the Acropolis and Parthenon, we found a restaurant to grab a quick bite near the entrance. The food wasn’t memorable but it hit the spot after a sweltering few hours in the sun. There’s plenty of touristy shopping in the area but nothing special.
We walked a bit further away to a local store, passing by the Greek Parliament. There were plenty of police milling around with riot shields, though nobody was at strict attention. Still, that was enough to motivate us to get out of town. Since we didn’t want to wait around for the return shuttle to our hotel, we decided to give the Metro a try. The stations are well-marked on the street.
I had looked at the map prior to heading to Athens and the system seemed comprehensive. It also got generally good reviews. As you can on the Athens Metro website, the system connects to the airport and a number of other key areas. Click on it for more details.
You can ride the Metro to and from the airport for 8 Euro (4 Euro for children and seniors). Daily passes are also available for 4 Euro. A single ride will only cost you 1.20 Euro.
The stations are clean and there’s plenty of signage. While there were plenty of ticket machines, the easiest way to buy tickets is to download the TfA (Transport for Athens) app. I was able to quickly purchase the different ticket types I needed and activate them.
The trains themselves were also clean. The seats had cushions and there was plenty of standing room. Over the doors there was a map that lights up as the train arrives at each station.
At the South end of the Red line there were plenty of taxi cabs to take us on a short journey back to our hotel, but not before a quick ice cream stop.
The Athens Metro system is a great way to get from place to place. Thought we didn’t ride it from the airport because our hotel was in a different direction, I would definitely consider it for folks going to/from the airport to downtown or elsewhere on the Metro lines.