guide to Athens transport
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Athens Taxis

The ones from the airport are fine, there is usually a queue but it goes down quickly. Going to the airport, get your hotel to book it - they should use reputable firms or it may kick back at them if their customers are conned. However, my experience of late night taxis in and around Plaka is not so good. There is supposed to be a maximum charge for journeys inside the city limits [set by the council], but these guys don't speak English when you mention it. And they charge whatever they feel like. If you must use a taxi, agree the fee before you set off. I have taken quite a few long walks back to a hotel rather than pay these rip-off merchants.

Athens airport

It's a big place with aeroplanes [thank you 'Airplane']. Not much more to say really. It opened in time for the Olympics, so it's big and new. As airports go, it's very good - bright, clean and in my experience, efficient. Although the metro goes to the airport I usually get a taxi. Allow for an hour in a taxi to get from the city centre to the airport, perhaps a bit longer at rush hour. I have done it in 25 minutes, but that was at four in the morning.

Athens: statue I have used the metro to and from the airport [to/from Syntagma]. Into the city seems better, but going to the airport there is a station where some trains terminate, so you have to get off and wait for one that is going straight through. I think - but am not certain - that you need to look for a train with 'airport' stickers in the window [blue and white with a picture of a plane] if you don't want to change. It takes around half an hour and costs [in 2011] eight euros - significantly cheaper than by taxi [around 50 euros] and quicker. However, dragging your case from hotel to Metro is a pain. Last time I got a taxi from the hotel to Syntagma, the midday sun makes you sweat a bit ahead of a three and a half hour flight!

The metro system

It looks impressive and, judging by the crowds, popular with the locals - but I've hardly used it [see above] so I cannot really comment.

The coastal tram

This was new for the Olympics [a number of events were held on the coast], and it is convenient [every 10-15 minutes] and cheap [60 cents each way]. It is, however, slow - depending on the time of day, anything from thirty minutes to an hour.

Follow the links below for more of my advice on visiting the city of Athens

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