Cheap Flights to Athens
Athens, capital to Greece is the country’s largest and one of the world’s oldest cities with 5th century B.C.E. landmarks, drawing visitors like magnets from across the globe to experience its historical architecture and ambience. There are numerous airlines with cheap flights from South Africa to Athens such as Qatar, Alitalia and many more. Cheap flights to Athens are simply a click away.
Athens is an enormous conurbation stretching over the Attica Basin with its ancient citadel, the Acropolis, atop a high rocky outcrop overlooking the city with remnants of the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum, home to over 3000 artefacts.
A must is meandering through the beautiful and oldest part of Athens, the Pláka with its neo-classical architecture, maze of vehicle-free streets with trees, colourful flowers, restaurants, pavement cafes, quaint shops, museums and galleries. Home to the famous Tower of the Winds, once a meteorological station built in the 1st century, the Doorway of the Medrese formerly a theological school founded in 1721 and the Mosque of Mehmet the Conqueror built by Sultan Mehmet around 1458.
Athens International Airport, Greece
Athens International Airport (ATH), Attiki Odos, Spata Artemida 190 04, Greece
Athens during spring from March to May experiences spring winds that require a light jacket to keep out the chill. Summer from June to September is hot with temperatures during August sometimes soaring to 38°C and September having occasional light rain. The autumn months of October and November are comfortably warm. Winter from December to February provides average highs of 11°C in January while December usually has the most rainfall.
When to fly to Athens
The best time to visit is during spring and autumn with fewer crowds, cheaper flights to Athens and accommodation, agreeable weather and sunshine. If its crowds and sweltering hot days you’re after then summers the time to go, along with high accommodation rates and airfares but many key festivals taking place during May to September.
Getting around Athens
Its ideal to walk around Athens with most attractions in the city centre and pedestrian zones in parts of the Commercial Triangle, the Plaka and Kolonaki.
All public transport tickets must be validated to avoid a fine.
Metro trains operate Sundays to Thursdays from 05h30 to midnight while on Fridays and Saturdays they run until 02h00 with all stations conveniently wheelchair friendly. Tickets can be purchased at the station with a single costing 1.40€ and a day pass 4€. Tickets for the Metro and buses are interchangeable, except for bus E22 that travels to the coast. The Metro is handy for travelling to Piraeus to get a boat to the islands.
Buses and Trolley Buses will get you virtually everywhere in central Athens including the suburbs, but can be confusing as to which bus to take with fairly long waiting periods and buses being crammed with passengers. Tickets cost 1.20€ or 1.40€ to use with the Metro, trolley or tram, for up to 1½ hours.
The city’s trams connect down-town with the city’s coastal areas. They’re comfortable with air-conditioning but not the quickest mode of travel as they take the scenic route but are ideal if wanting to visit the city’s beaches, coastal attractions or nightlife. Trams operate 24 hours on Saturdays and Sundays and from 05h00 to midnight Sundays to Thursdays with tickets costing 1.20€.
Taxis are difficult to find empty albeit with over 15,000 in the city, its advisable to book a radio taxi to reach your destination timeously. They’re inexpensive but if travelling outside the city, negotiate a flat rate in advance. If taking a taxi during the day up until midnight, ensure the meter is set on 1 (.32€ per kilometre) as 2 is applicable for travel from midnight to 05h00 and double the rate. Airport travel has a flat rate of 35€ from 05h00 to midnight and 50€ midnight to 05h00 There are additional charges for services from ports, rail or bus stations including luggage.
Car hire is available in the city but its much easier using public transport as traffic is hectic with parking spaces not easy to find. Car hire companies located at the airport and with offices south of Syntagma Square comprise, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz and others.
- Strolling through Anafiotika affords the feeling of being on a Greek island. This cluster of small houses is on the slopes of the Acropolis above the Plaka.
- Take a break from night revelling and relax under the stars at the Cine Paris, the best outdoor movie theatre in Athens.
- October is filled with festivals like the UGAs Homecoming Parade, the Classic City Fringe Festival lasting several days, the Hop Harvest Festival, the AthHalf for music and art and the last night of October, the Wild Rumpus Parade and Spectacle.