We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

"See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

Puyallup, WA
Level Contributor
7 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
"See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

Checking fares from Rome to Istanbul, I'm surprised to find we can save about $40 with a 5-hour layover in Athens. I've seen winter closing hours of 1700 & 1530 for the Acropolis. Whichever, our 10 November layover from 1400 to 1900 would be too late to visit a site with winter closing hours. What about another quickie "I've done Athens" experience? Catch the Metro to? Sunset about 1715, so dark before 1800 (We'll need to be BACK to the airport by then).

Can we leave our checked luggage to be sent on to Istanbul & go through Customs with just our carry ons? Any issue with getting back through security?

12 replies to this topic
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
3,082 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

you can't see Athens in 5 hours layover,even if your luggage goes through you need an hour to get from the airport to Syntagma,and same time to return to airport,you can't rely on metro cause airport train is one in every 30 minutes and you will have to be at the airport one hour prior to departure.

Suffolk, UK
Level Contributor
1,138 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

I think you could probably manage a quick trip - certainly better than sitting around in the airport for 5 hours! Take the metro to Monastiraiki. From there you can get a clear view of the Acropolis and have a walk around the ancient Agora at the base of the hill. You really haven't got time to go up to the top. Then find a nice taverna - there are plenty between Monastiaiki and Thissio - have a drink and something to eat before heading back to the airport. You should have a couple of hours to sample Athens at least - maybe it will tempt you to come back properly another time.

Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
3,082 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

first,metro departs every half an hour,if on arrival metro has departed then they will have to wait for 30 minutes,same applies on return,if they have 5 clean hours then they maybe able to reach Monastiraki but that's all,I wonder if it is worth doing,A taxi maybe a better option but time is very limited

London, United...
Level Contributor
18,990 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

What we don't know is whether you have five clear hours between the time you leave the airport and the time you have to be back at it. If that's the case, yes, it's worth getting into the city where you'd have about three hours to explore. I'd do it!

But if it's five hours between the landing time of your flight from Rome, and the departure of your flight to Istanbul, then no, it's not worth it. Your entire window would be three hours maximum, two of which would be spent travelling to and fro (yes, I know the metro takes 40-45 minutes, but you have to get to it and from it even if you don't have to wait for it). You'd have to start thinking about turning around and going back almost as soon as you got into the centre.

Athens airport is a better airport than most to hang around in for a few hours: plenty of shops and eating places, and a small museum of artefacts excavated when they built the airport.

Edited: 17 March 2014, 16:55
Washingon DC area
Level Contributor
1,905 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

If budget's not a big issue, and you've never been to Athens and have no plans to visit, then I'd say go for it. Take a taxi to Monastiraki - I think it's about 35 euros - wander around the Plaka for an hour or so and if the weather's nice have a glass of wine at a taverna with an Acropolis view - and then take a taxi back to the airport. Kind of extravagant, but not much more than a meal at a nice restaurant back in WA would set you back.

But Alabastron is right - Athens is a very nice airport in which to spend a few hours...but it's still just an airport.

Clinton, New Jersey
3 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

I have a five-hour layover in Athens and it seems that most of you are not recommending going into Athens since I will be cutting it tight. I am also traveling alone. Is there anything else to do a bit closer to the airport? Thank you.

London, United...
Level Contributor
18,990 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

The Attica Zoological Park is a 10-minute taxi ride away.

http://www.atticapark.com/?lang=en

The Sofitel, opposite the airport, is a good place to chill out with a drink and/or a meal.

The airport itself is not a bad one to spend a few hours in. There are good places to eat, a vast array of shops, and a small museum of artefacts excavated when the airport was being made.

Five hours really isn't enough to go into the city and see much - unless you took taxis there and back at €38 each way. It's hardly worth it for a maximum of two hours sightseeing. I'd say six was the bare minimum, and even that would be a rush.

Edited: 28 March 2016, 23:25
Clinton, New Jersey
3 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

Thank you so much! I appreciate your feedback very much!!!

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Skopelos
Level Contributor
37,502 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

Hey and welcome John L:) Appears you land at 2p and your flight out is at 7p.. and since you state you need to be at the airport by 6p, am trusting here those are indeed your arrival and departure times;-) FWIW, I'd be looking to get back even earlier since your onward flight to Istanbul will require you to go through passport control as well.. not that much time since the line moves pretty good.. but still added time to consider;-) I agree with Zakrosian in post #5 and at best grab a cab for a quick couple of hours to the center;-)

Another option you may want to consider Pia S.. grab a cab and head to Rafina.. about 20n min run.. get some air after the trans.. grab a seat at a waterfront cafe/taverna and take in some sea and sun for a bit;-) Enjoy all!

Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
2,327 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!

Next to the park at Spata are two discount malls with restaurants and coffee shops

Reply to: "See" Athens during 5 hour airport layover?!
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Kallithea
More Kallithea Topics