Cheap Flights To Athens, Greece
- Area Metro : 2,928.717 km² (1,130.784 sq. mi)
- Area Codes : 21
- Currency : Euro
- Population Metro : 3,753,783 (2011)
- Official Language : Greek
- Time Zones : EET (UTC+2) Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
- Airport : Athens International Airport (ATH)
Passengers landing at ATH can travel into the city with the Metro, bus, taxi or rental vehicle. Buses to Athens and Piraeus and depart from Arrivals between exits 4 and 5. Suburban rail connects the airport with Larissis’ Station in central Athens, the Port of Piraeus and Kiato. Car rental agencies based at ATH comprise Avis, Hertz, Budget, Enterprise and Sixt.
Cheap flights to Greece from South Africa are readily available depending on the time of year you wish to travel. Travellers can take flights from Johannesburg to Athens, South Africa to ATH with the following airlines:
- Turkish (via Istanbul) 13h 30m+
- EgyptAir (via Cairo) 14h 45m+
- Qatar Airways (via Doha) 14h 50+
- Emirates (via Dubai) 14h 55m+
- South African, Lufthansa (via Munich) 15h 0m+
Airlines departing Johannesburg with flights of over 16 hours include:
- British Airways
Including the above, other airlines landing at ATH include:
- Air China
- Air Serbia
- El Al Israel
Reasons to Visit Athens
- Capital to the country, Athens is the pulsating heart of ancient Greece with a history to drown in. Drawn like magnets, visitors are captivated with tales of gods and goddesses, 5th century landmarks, the old town with its mystical character, live colourful festivals, friendly locals and a public transport system that covers all places and attractions, day and night.
- Surrounded by hills and mountains, the city offers beautiful lush parks, stunning beaches, islands, many choice museums, charming homely taverns and high-class dining establishments, stylish bars, cafés, shops for every whim and a fabulous nightlife. Europe’s largest port, Piraeus welcomes cruise ships from around the world and is the base for innumerable catamarans, hydrofoils and ferries used for transporting people to the islands.
- The best time for sightseeing, avoiding crowds, high prices and souring temperatures in the 40s, is during spring and the start of summer (mid-April to mid-June) or September to mid-October during autumn.
- There’s plenty of accommodation to suit every pocket and need. Hotels both luxurious and affordable are located all around the city, many with views of the Acropolis and close to the Metro. Also available are self-catering apartments, romantic secluded villas and comfortable backpacker establishments.
Places to Visit in Athens
- Take the Metro to board a boat to the islands and encounter a spectacular view of the Acropolis as the train travels above ground at the Agora.
- The 2.5 mile tree-lined Archaeological Promenade bordering the Acropolis and linking prime archaeological sites provides a pleasurable sightseeing walk.
- Spend time in the Plaka, the oldest residential quarter in Athens and one the world’s oldest towns. Located on the slopes of the Acropolis, it offers splendid neoclassical architecture in narrow streets with churches, colourful flourishing florae, music, art and some of the best traditional Greek dishes.
- The National Gardens situated in the heart of the city were created by order of Queen Amalia, Greece’s first queen and created between 1838 and 1840. They comprise 15.5 hectares of tranquil, green respite from the bustling city with over 500 variations of plants, trees, animals and birds plus a small zoo, a Botanical Museum, a children’s library, playground, a duck pond and coffee shop.
- In central Athens and nestled on the southern slopes of Lycabettus Hill, Kolonaki (Little Column) is considered the most fashionable suburb of Athens filled with classy boutiques, high-class cafes, up-market bars, elegant eateries and nightclubs. A very popular tourist hangout, its easily accessible by bus, train and motor vehicle.
- The Apollo Coast, aka the Athenian Riviera has esplanades lined with palms, heavenly beaches, attractions and choice nightclubs.
- Well worth a visit is Kaisariani Monastery, just 10 minutes from central Athens on the forest slopes of Mt. Hymetto’s. Besides the building, view the most beautiful frescos that date back to late 17th century and if visiting in early summer or autumn, it’s the perfect place for a picnic.
- The Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art has a notable collection of artefacts of Cycladic art and committed to promoting and studying Aegean and Cyprian ancient cultures. Its set in two buildings linked by a glass-roof walkway.
- Visitors interested in military history won’t be disappointed with the Athens War Museum, with four floors dedicated to 3000 years of information and artefacts related to warfare.
- Located in picturesque Athena close to the Metro, the Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum showcases the art of jewellery and decorative arts.
- A must for musicians is the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments where around 1200 musical instruments covering the last 300 years are on display.
- With no shortage of museums others worth visiting comprise: the modern and impressive New Acropolis Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Theatrical Museum, the Epigraphical Museum, the Hellenic Motor Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Frissiras Museum, the Museum of the City of Athens, the Byzantine and Christian Museum and the National Archaeological Museum that covers ancient Greek art and archaeology.
- The Acropolis of Athens overlooks the city from a rocky outcrop. It comprises remnants of several ancient structures that are historically and architecturally significant, including the most well-known, the 5th century B.C. Athenian temple ruins of the Parthenon. View the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora of Athens (northwest of the Acropolis) that was once the heart of the ancient Athens. Constructed between 421 and 406 BCE, the Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple on the northern side of the Acropolis that was dedicated to Poseidon and Athena. The Temple of Olympian Zeus, dedicated to Zeus shows off a few remaining columns that leave no doubt to the enormous size the temple once was.
- The citys filled with a variety of excellent restaurants. The finest seafood is to be had at Varoulko Seaside, a quietly elegant restaurant on the waterside of Piraeus, affording a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere with yachts gently bobbing in the background.
- Owned by Athenians, Psarras in the Plaka has since 1898 been dishing up delectable authentic Greek dishes. Its charming and wonderfully relaxing sitting under the sky in the cool of evening with candle lit tables, trees and live music. Another Greek eatery is Café Avissinia for superb Greek cuisine with Anatolian influences.
- Experience an old, colourful and cosy atmosphere at Brettos, going since 1909 and indulge in their home-made liqueurs, all of 30 flavours.
Getting Around Athens
You can walk around this amazing city, take the Metro or bus – with interchangeable tickets (excluding bus E22) – trolley buses, trams, taxis and car rental vehicles. Combination tickets are available in singles or packs of 10 for use on the bus, trolley bus and tram for up to 90 minutes and can be purchased at kiosks located throughout the city.
All Metro stations are wheel-chair friendly with tickets are sold at stations including validation machines, validate your ticket or risk a fine. The train runs Sundays to Thursdays from 05h30 to midnight and on Fridays and Saturdays until 02h00.
These afford travel virtually everywhere in Athens but can be somewhat confusing with routes altering as new stations continuously open up. They’re often packed with commuters and you may wait a while before a bus appears.
Car rentals in the city include Sixt, Europcar and many others that can be arranged by phone or your hotel.