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Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

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Milan, Italy
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Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

Hi again,

I'm currently trying to decide whether to use the underground or the bus for tranfers to/from the airport (hotel is in Syntagma area, so I won't have to change in either case).

I'm slightly leaning towards the bus X95 as it's cheaper, over the ground, and apparently it has more frequent runs than the underground, thus making it up for being a bit slower.

Of course the big minus is that it is subject to traffic, so it may turn out A LOT slower.

On arrival day (which is a Thursday) I'd need to take it around 2:30 / 3:30 PM: should I expect a lot of traffic at that time?

Departure day is a Sunday and flight back home is at 4PM, so I was thinking to depart from Syntagma at 1:00 / 1:30 PM: a lot of traffic also on Sundays? (But probably on departure day I might take the underground in any case, in order to avoid any risks to miss the plane).

Thanks

Cheshire, United...
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1. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

Good question dotting, my travel times are similar and I would be interested in the replies

Jess

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2. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

There is also a buss direct from the airport to Syntagma and you can take the Metro with extra charge for the outside areas. On sundays Athens is normally very quiet

Edited: 24 January 2010, 11:48
Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

On road traffic is always subject to delays due to unforeseen heavy traffic - a consequencce of a possible number of factors from heavy rain to road accident to roadworks and deviation or a public demonstration around the centre.

For your departure day, being a Sunday, the most efficient way is the metro as you say, although traffic is usually quite light in comparison to the other 6 days of the week

Athens, Greece
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4. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

Use subway to enter / bus to exit ( if you want to use exit ).

Subway departures are really not less than the bus. In fact, if you are traveling in a sensible amount of luggage's, adding suburban departures to those of subway, you actually get more departures per hour than the bus.

I explain myself:

Train station in Athens airport serves both metro and suburban train. Metro leaves every 30' ( 2 per hour ). Suburban leaves 4 times per hour ( every 15' ). One side of the platform is metro, other side is suburban and need different ticket.

Both run in the same track / same path. So, entering the station, just check departures monitors and see what leaves first. You really don't have to wait for subway, if for example next subway train leaves the airport at 29' :)

All you have to do is to purchase a suburban ticket, take suburban and change to "Doukissis Plakentias" stop to Blue metro line ( same ticket ) that will take you to Syndagma. It needs appx. 2' - 3' walk to do this change.

I really try to avoid the X95 on weekdays. It is in general a nice of way of coming into town but if you get caught in traffic, it's a thing that lasts for ever :) I always prefer to use subway ( or the suburban + subway ) that is not traffic dependent and will take me to the center in 39' - 45'. Bus may even do 90' - 100' if caught in traffic.

Edited: 24 January 2010, 12:57
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5. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

oops, first line was meant to be:

Use subway to enter / bus to exit ( if you want to use *bus on* exit ).

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6. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

Hmmm...

I hadn't considered the suburban railway before, but it looks quite interesting (even though it involves a change).

As it needs a different ticket than the direct subway, I'm assuming I can still decide which ticket to buy after checking the departure monitor, correct?

If I go for the suburban+subway solution, should I stamp again the same ticket when I change? Do suburban trains have room for luggage (I will be travelling quite 'light', in any case: just a piece of standard cabin luggage)? How much is this ticket?

Thanks!

Milan, Italy
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7. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

Oh, and this is very stupid of me to ask, I know, but: I've just checked and seen that Doukissis Plakentias is on the same subway line as the airport's subway station; are more subway trains departing from here than directly from the airport's station? Otherwise, it seems to me that I'm just picking at a different station the same subway train that I didn't want to wait for at the airport when I took the suburban!

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8. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

Exactly as you say it in #6.

Since both trains leave from the same station and the same platform ( one on each side ) you enter the station and proceed to the monitors to see which one is leaving earlier. If can't discrete which one, just go to the cashiers. One is aside to the other and both are giving info on departures. You buy your suburban ticket from the suburban cashier, metro ticket from the metro cashier.

Both airport metro or suburban ticket cost 6 euros and are good for 90' for any other mean of transportation that 'll get you downtown. Your suburban ticket is good to "hop" on Blue line, or even another metro line. All you have to do if using multiple means and calculating you 'll most probably "consume" the 90' time limit is to stamp it again before you enter the last mean.

I exaplin myself: Let's say i take the suburban train and 89 minutes after i initially stamped it i get to any bus for a ride that will durate 30'. Your ticket is still good even if you 'll be travelling for more than 90'. All you have to do is to stamp other side yoru ticket again before the least mean.

I am sorry for getting exhaustive on details, still all thread are being read from more readers that it seem :)

So, airport metro ticket is good for 90' of trip or even more if you validate it last time before the 90' are gone :)

Suburban traisn don't have luggage racks ( metro traisn too ), still travelling light you 'll really have no problem. Suburban, in general, is not getting full at any time.

Ticket for either metro or suburban is 6 euros per person ( or 10 for two persons ). It is a bit more expensive than the bus but it is not traffic dependent.

Your question at #7 is not stupid at all. In fatc it really make sense. The answer is: yes, more trains depart from the change point. Or to say it differently, blue line starts every 30' but the more you reach downtown the more traisn are stacked at certain stations. So, on Doukissis Plakentias you 'll have ( Monday to Friday ) one train every 4' 30'' the time you are reaching the station.

So, to return to the initiial question: :) if you enter the station and have more than 20' for the next metro, take the suburban. Otherwise ( less than 15' ) it makes sense to spend sometime washing hands, using the rest rooms ( they are extremely clean ) or grab a quick espresso in the station's cafateria and take metro. All in all, on sum, it is a quite often service.

00' suburban

05' metro

14' suburban

31' suburban

35' metro

45' suburban

total of 6 runs per hour, whie bus leave every 10' - 20.

Why to pick bus?

Bus has its pros. Meaning:

1. It leaves from the pavement outside the terminal, where smoking is permitted :) So smokers do prefer taking luggages and enjoy some smoking before boarding the bus. It really makes sense for a smoker, since no other space is available indoors to smoke.

2. Most of the times it is not crowded on daytime ( although at numerous times i have to take the bus standing ). All in all it starts 50% full and stays so all the way to Syndagma. On the contrary airport metro starts nearly emoty and fills gradually till Syndagma. It reaches Syndagma station full. Starting from the airport though you are guaranteed a seat.

3. For people with a load of luggages it makes sense to use the bus, especially if you arrive in Syndagma, since bus driver waits for you to get your luggege off. On the contrary, for people travelling on one rolling-piece-of luggage metro is just fine. It can be a headache though if you arrive on Syndagma with a full train and 3 pieces per traveller :)

Hope these were helpful. I also want to make a phot report of the whole thing for future passengers. For now i am getting this thread at top questions :) Thank you DottIng for starting the thread :) I believe it's useful for many readers :)

Edited: 24 January 2010, 17:18
Milan, Italy
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9. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

Thank you so much, Nick: you are precious.

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10. Re: Transport from/to airport: rush hour?

You are welcome :) . . .blink, i am red from the compliment :) lol, ok, red, precious, i am a ruby, oh my God :)

One minor remark / correction re: racks and previous post:

"Suburban trains don't have luggage racks ( airport metro-trains *do* ), still travelling light you 'll really have no problem. Suburban, in general, is not getting full at any time."