Travel to Athens

Flying to Athens

Airlines offering direct flights to Athens from the UK include British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines. Delta operates non-stop flights from the USA. Flights tend to be more expensive in July and August. 

Flight times

From London - 3 hours 40 minutes; New York - 10 hours; Los Angeles - 16 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 9 hours 40 minutes; Sydney - 22 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road


In Athens, traffic drives on the right and the minimum age for driving is 18 years. Speed limits are 110kph to 130kph (68mph to 81mph) on motorways, 90kph (56mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas. It is illegal to carry spare petrol (benzina) in the vehicle. A national driving licence is acceptable for EU nationals but nationals of other countries may need an International Driving Permit. EU nationals in possession of a Green Card, which provides international third-party insurance, are permitted to import a foreign-registered car, caravan, motorcycle, boat or trailer for a maximum of six months (or up to 15 months for a fee). A Green Card is no longer a legal requirement in Greece for visits of less than three months; however, without it, insurance is limited to the minimum legal cover. You must carry car registration documents at all times. The Greek Automobile and Touring Club - ELPA (tel: +30 210 606 8800; provides members of associated national automobile clubs with 24-hour assistance on main roads.

Emergency breakdown service:

ELPA (tel: 10400, in Greece only).


The PATHE (Pátra, Athens and Thessaloníki) motorway runs from Pátra in the west via Athens to Thessaloníki and Tsoliades on the FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) border. To reach both Istanbul and Sofia, drivers must head north on the E75 to Thessaloníki. From there, Istanbul is east on the E90, crossing the border at Kipi, while Sofia lies northeast on the E79, crossing the border at Promahonas.

Driving times:

From Thessaloníki - 6 hours; Sofia - 9 hours; Istanbul - 11 hours.


There are two domestic long-distance bus terminals in Athens - terminal A, Kifissou 100, and terminal B, Liossion 260. Buses link Athens and all the main towns in Attica, northern Greece and the Peloponnese. Bus schedule information for the Attiki region is available from KTEL (tel: +30 210 880 8000;


Travel by rail


All trains depart from Larissis station, off Dheliyáni, which is served by the metro red line, connecting it to Syntagma in the city centre. Although international services were cut completely in 2011, the Belgrade-Thessaloniki and Sofia-Thessaloniki services were reinstated in 2014.


The domestic railway network is limited to the mainland and is generally slower than travel by road. The Greek railway service is run by Hellenic Railways Organisation - OSE (tel: 14511, in Greece only; Greek trains have first- and second-class accommodation. However, following cuts in 2011, during which several lines were suspended due to financial problems, the rail service is limited to the northern and eastern mainland (the principle route being Athens-Thessaloniki) and to the northern parts of the Peloponnese (at present only the Athens-Corinth line is functioning, but there are plans to upgrade and reopen the Corinth-Patra line).

Trains are cheaper than buses but generally much slower. Reservations are available for no extra charge and there is a 20% rebate on return fares.

Journey times:

From Thessaloníki - 5 hours 30 minutes; Corinth - 1 hour 20 minutes.