If you have found yourself with a layover at Athens Airport, you may now wonder what to do with your time….besides sleep! While options are limited, you should be fine for a short visit.
Here are eight things to do on a layover at Athens Airport:
No matter when you arrive, you can grab a bite to eat, as several restaurants are open 24 hours a day. Stop at one of the Greek options, including the Kir-Yanni Wine Bar, or head to one of the cafes and sit-down restaurants. Of course, you’re never far from a McDonald’s or Starbucks. A grocery store is located pre-security, so venture there if you need to pick up snacks for the next leg of your journey.
2. Hang out in a lounge
Airport lounges are no longer for fancy flyers only! No matter what class you’re flying, you can head to an airport lounge and enjoy good food and drinks, hop on WiFi, and catch up on the news, all in a quieter environment than the main terminal. Several lounges welcome any travellers regardless of airline or class of service – buy a pass online or use your membership in a lounge program to gain entry. See our Athens Airport Guide for locations and amenities.
3. Get a dose of history
For many travellers, Greece is synonymous with history. Even if you’re only in the country for a layover, you can still take in some ancient and more recent past. The Main Terminal features permanent exhibitions from the Acropolis Museum in town. There are also the Archaeological Findings and the Eleftherios Venizelos Permanent Exhibition dedicated to Greek aviation history. Open daily from 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
4. Go exploring – beyond the airport
If you have a few hours, you can take advantage of the airport’s location to get out and about for fresh air and local culture.
Layover under 5 hours
The airport’s location means you’re within easy range of a couple of attractions, and sometimes you need to get out and breathe fresh air, even if it’s only for a couple of hours. Tour a vineyard and sample the wines at nearby wineries like Gikas Winery, Domaine Papagiannakos, and Eklektikon – they may even provide airport pick-up. If you’ve got the kids in tow, take a 10-minute taxi ride to the Attica Park Zoo. If you’d rather shop, the international superstore IKEA is a few minutes away by bus or taxi, or pop over to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlets, a quick 15-minute taxi ride.
Layovers longer than 5 hours
The Athens metro system can have you in the heart of Athens in about 45-60 minutes, so you’ll want a few hours to head into the city. Take a traditional walking tour by getting off at the Acropolis metro station; stroll along Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, a pedestrian road that leads to the Acropolis and accompanying museum. Or pop off the metro at the Monastiraki stop and wind your way through traditional neighbourhoods with white homes, cafes, and low-key Greek restaurants.
A layover is often the perfect opportunity to shop at your leisure, and this airport has plenty of options. The Hellenic Duty-Free has all your standard necessities, and other shops specialize in cigars, jewelry, perfume, and sunglasses. If you want to splurge or give your credit card a workout, check out high-end boutiques like Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Max Mara.
If you need some pampering, the spa inside the Sofitel Hotel is open to non-guests. Services include facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, and more. The Sofitel is opposite the airport terminal, so you must exit and re-enter Security.
7. Get online
Stay connected to friends and family, update your social media accounts or surf the internet using the airport’s free WiFi. You’ll want to use your time wisely, though, as there is currently a 45-minute time limit. Boo!
Uninterrupted, premium options are available for a cost.
When it’s time to catch up on some Z’s, there are plenty of stiff seats and benches. Travellers try to camp out overnight, but the airport isn’t always friendly to them – sometimes playing loud announcements or waking up anyone who’s dozing. For better quality sleep, you’ll have to shell out some cash – a Sofitel is just opposite the main terminal, with day rooms available from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Several other hotels are located within a few minutes’ drive, with some providing complimentary airport shuttle service. For details on locations, shuttles, and day rooms, see our Athens Airport Guide.
These are just a few things to do on a layover at Athens Airport. Visit our Athens Airport Guide for more information about services and facilities, such as food, WiFi, mobile charging, luggage storage, nearby airport hotels, and much more.