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6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

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6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

We arrive at Athens Airport at 12 noon on a Tuesday. Our cruise leaves Pireaus at 6PM. I have been to Athens before, but my friend has not. She needs to see the Acropolis. We will have 2 suitcases. Time is an issue, but so is money.

Should we head to the cruise, drop off the luggage, and then take the train to the Acropolis, or take a taxi do do the aiport-Acroplis-Pireaus?

I would love to go directly to the port with the luggage, and she to the Acroplis, but she does not want to do Athens on her own. I would like to see the Acropolis again, too.

Thank you in advance.

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1. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

Argh, my reply got eaten by the internet. I'll try this again!

This is the itinerary I would follow:

Airport > Metro (6€/person) to Monastiraki > leave luggage at the lockers in the station > walk to Acropolis

- alternative -

Airport > Metro to Monastiraki > leave luggage > get on green line (same station) > go one stop to Thisseio > walk to Acropolis

this saves a little walking.

- alternative -

Airport > Metro to Monastiraki > leave luggage > get back on blue line (same station) > go one stop to Syntagma > change to red line > go one stop to Akropoli > walk to Acropolis.

this saves some walking and also puts you in position to start with the theater of Dionysus (a recommended itinerary), but adds travel time because of waiting for trains etc.

At the end of your visit return to pick up your luggage, take green line from Monastiraki direct to Peiraias (the port). You will need a new ticket.

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2. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

A. I think what Xaroula suggests is the only time-wise do-able option using public transportation and keeping cost low. Athens in the middle between airport and Piraeus seaport, so making an intermediate stop makes sense from time point of view.

On a 6 hours gap though even this way it will be quite tight.

I explain myself:

Landing at 12, means you 'll be cleared from passport control and luggage belt at 12.30 at its earliest.

As it seems probable you 'll be taking the 1.05pm metro train that will get you at Monastiraki at 1.46pm.

On the reverse end now, you need to be at the cruise ship at artound 5.30pm ( as i guess, this is the latest possible ). That means getting on a taxi from Athens downtown at around 4.30pm or getting in Green metro line that takes you to Piraeus at around 4.00pm. Adding some buffer time that means 4.00pm a taxi and 3.30pm at metro.

That means you have a gap of 1.5 hrs to 2.5hrs ( depending wether you take taxi at the end ) to store luggages at downtown, take metro to Acropolis, ascend, see it, get down, get luggages.

All in all, time finally may be an issue.

Regarding this option, you may want to consider seeing this map too: http://tinyurl.com/Acropolis-Agora-walk which shows a possible walk path from Acropolis metro station, up to Acropolis and then a quick descend to the other side towards Monastiraki to get your luggage. Keep in mind that it works perfectly Acropoli station -> Acropoli-> Monastiraki but it does not work fine on reverse since ascend from Monastiraki to Acropolis is more steep and excruciating for most people.

---------------------------------------------------

So what the alternatives could be to prevent any late arrival on the ship?

B. Taking a taxi to do all.

This will be the most expensive option. It will be multipe times more expensive, needs some kind of booking but it will save time. You 'll be leaving airport at around 12.50, arriving at the nearest point a car can reach to Acropolis ( you can see it at the map , at lower left part of the route. It is a parking lot and a taxi drop point ). If you do it this way taxi waits for you, with suitcases in the trunk and also waits for you to get you to the seaport. It's the fastest way to do it.

C. Using public transportation and NOT ascending the Acropolis Hill.

Well, is this a solution? I am afraid it is. Having to pick from a somewhat dangerously tight public transportation option and an expensive taxi option you may want to cut it in the middle.

Using metro suggested you arrive at Monastiraki area. Lock things and visit Agora site or have a coffee at Adrianou str. with Acropolis views. Not exactly an Acropolsi visit but for sure a great visit too in a very nice site and a chance to have a coffee break without going more than 10' walk from your lockers. Then you just get back and take your suitcases and get to the ship. Area you 'll move will be North of Acropolis Hill, between Moanstiraki and Thission stations. Monastiraki is a station both for Green line ( Piraeus ) and Blue line ( from airport ).

Some warnings:

- Piraeus metro station to cruise ship is a substantial walking. It may take even 30' of it. Buses also available or a shirt taxi ride.

- In all areas but especially in Green metro line and Monastiraki do take some precautions against pickpocketing. Athens is still a paradise comparing to huge tourist-attracting cities like Paris or Barcelona ( where pickpocketing is a really big problem ). Still, some sensible precautions you would take in any big city apply to Athens too.

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3. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

<<On the reverse end now, you need to be at the cruise ship at artound 5.30pm ( as i guess, this is the latest possible ). That means getting on a taxi from Athens downtown at around 4.30pm or getting in Green metro line that takes you to Piraeus at around 4.00pm. Adding some buffer time that means 4.00pm a taxi and 3.30pm at metro.>>

I don't think you need 2 full hours to go from Monastiraki to Peiraias on the metro! According to their website, the travel time is 16 minutes and 30 seconds. I agree that there is walking on the other end but I think this is really a lot of time to give to this trip. Am I missing something?

www.isap.gr/route_p.asp…

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4. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

They need:

5' at the platform waiting for next train.

23' of ride to Piraeus ( i have done it many times like this. It takes no less than 23' despite what their site says. If you add on this disruptions on service by upgrading works many months now, a 15' delay can be added in no time )

30' of walking to the cruise ship. They will need more or less the same time if the queue for a taxi to get them there.

That's 60' of trip at its best.

So. getting at a Green metro train at 4pm they will be at the cruise ship at 5pm at its earliest if all run smoothly. I have met people that had substantial difficulties to follow even this since delays happen and a sensibly expected feeling of disorientation applies to all firts-day or first-time visitors.

So, i just guess that if they plan to be at Green metro train platform at 4pm, they will finally end up being at the cruise ship at around 5.30pm, after 90'. Their ship leaves at 6pm, so i guess getting in 30' before is a minimum time frame to do so.

So, what is missing is three things:

a. Minimum real-time ride which is no less than 23' 9 despite what ISAP site says ).

b. Disruptions on Green metro line for the previous months which can add 15' easily.

c. Arriving a bit earlier in cruise ship, since arriving at 6pm is just an hypothetical scenario :)

Xaroula, you have given them great advice.

All i am underlining is that it needs a bit more time. It is doable but needs careful planning and knowledge of the area. Other way it may be really better for them to stay in Monastiraki area or use a taxi for the day.

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5. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

hi goldearrings, if your cruise leaves at 6pm, I think you need to in the ship at least 4.30pm.Have you checked this? You need to embark, register, and get your cabin...before sailing...

All cruise sailings have a minimum requirement re-time, and this isn't a cruise stop in Athens, it's the actual disembarkation point.

Great advice from Nick and Xaroula, I'll just add, that I would be as cheeky enough as to enquire at the Austria Hotel or even the Airotel Parthenon, if they would accept a few hours of luggage storage at an extra cost...this way you could just get a taxi {to Austria which is located 2 streets back from the Parthenon entrance}, or the metro with one connection blue-red ine to Acropolis metro for the Airotel Partheonon.

You don't say when, if it's off season and they don't have a lot of business, they may help you out.

It's what I would do {try} anyway,

hope it works out,

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6. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

Just another POV .... Bearing in mind what a disaster it would be to miss the cruise, I think you'd be better advised to consider if you really have enough time plus even if you do, will your time at the Acropolis be spent worrying, not enjoying it?

You want to keep it cheap, how much will it cost to catch flights to the next port if you miss the ship? Will your friend pay for your flight at well?

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7. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

Stay the night in Athens and take the cruise the next day, if possible. Or show up a day early.

Just got back from a trip this summer and although what you suggest is doable, do you want to put yourself through that?

If your friend has never been to Athens she deserves a night in town so you aren't rushing like mad. Can you alter your trip or show up a day early?

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8. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I'll find out which one she likes, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Yes, we do have to be there 2 hours before departure.

9. Re: 6 hours in Athens - A disaster in the making?

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