Planning a Football Trip to Athens? Free guide – where to stay, eat, drink and how to get tickets & to the stadium.
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. It is one of the world’s oldest cities with some historic sights to see. There are 20 football teams in Athens playing in the Greek National leagues. Troubled times for Greece’s economy makes Athens a reasonably cheap city to visit although you need to be careful if any demonstrations and protests are taking place. The big 3 teams from Greater Athens, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens have dominated the Greek Superleague, only 3 other teams have won the trophy in over 90 years. Currently the league also includes several other Athens teams; Apollon Smyrnis, Atromitos Football Club and Panionios G.S.S. This is part one of the guide to Athens. Part 2 will focus on Piraeus, the city based 12km from the Centre of Athens where Olympiacos are based.
Football Trip to Athens – How to get to Athens & How to get around
Football Trip to Athens – Fly to Athens
Multiple airlines fly to Athens every day and you are able to fly direct from Athens from most large airports in the UK
Start your holiday in style and enjoy the experience of VIP travel – book an airport lounge with Lounge Pass from as little as £13.50. With 200 airport VIP lounges worldwide, including 35 UK airports you can add an extra touch of luxury to your next trip and make the travel experience a whole lot better.
Directions from the Airport
The train station is connected to the airport although one will require to go a level up from arrivals using an elevator and cross over a pedestrian bridge. You are required to purchase a ticket from the station desk for about 8 Euros per person. One of the main advantages of using the metro is the fact that there are discounts for every additional person. For example, you will only pay 14 Euros for two people, or 20 Euros for three people. Trains run every 30 mins (on the hour and half hour) from 0530-0015 (0200 on Fri & Sat nights) and take 40 mins from/to city centre (Syntagma Square)
The express bus station is located just in front of the Athens Airport Arrivals. The express bus X95 is the one that goes directly to the Syntagma square. It takes approximately one hour to get to the center of Athens.
Taxis from the Airport
The taxi terminal is located just outside the airport arrivals terminal at Exit 3. It is important to have your hotel name written in Greek and once you board a taxi remember to ask the driver to reset the meter. There is a flat rate of 35 Euro day time and 50 Euro night time for going to the center of Athens.
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Football Trip to Athens – Travel Around Athens
The best way to get around Athens is on foot; most of the major attractions are located within walking distance of one another. In fact, renting a car is little more than a nuisance, as traffic is heavy and parking hard to find.
The Metro (www.amel.gr) runs from 5:30am to midnight Sunday through Thursday; on Friday and Saturday, trains run until 2am. All stations are wheelchair accessible. Stop at the Syntagma station or go to the GNTO for a system map. To travel on the Metro, buy your ticket at the station, validate it in the machines as you enter, and hang onto it until you get off. A single ticket costs 1.40€; a day pass costs 4€. Make sure you validate your ticket as you enter the waiting platform, or you’ll risk a fine. Metro and bus tickets are interchangeable, except for bus E22, that heads to the coast and costs 1.60€ more. Read more: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/athens/795269#ixzz2pRfnZvIs
You’ll save money by using the bus service in Athens, but you’ll pay for it with confusion and discomfort. Bus schedules are perplexing and can take a little while to figure out.
Athens’s tram (www.tramsa.gr) connects downtown to the city’s coast. Though it may not be the fastest means of transport, it takes a scenic route once it hits the coast and is handy for those wishing to visit the city’s beaches and the coastline’s attractions and nightlife. The tram runs on a 24-hour schedule Friday and Saturday and 5am to midnight Sunday through Thursday; tickets are 1.20€ (1.40€ if you wish to continue your journey with the Metro, bus, or trolley bus for up to 90 min.) and must be validated at the platform or inside the tram.
Be careful with the taxi drivers, we got ripped off once coming back from the Acropolis and most of the drivers tried it on every time we got a taxi. Frommers again has some excellent advice – When you get into a taxi during the day and up until midnight, check the meter. Make sure it is turned on and set to 1 (the daytime rate) rather than 2 (the night rate). The meter will register 1€. The meter should be set on 2 (double fare) only between midnight and 5am or if you take a taxi outside the city limits; if you plan to do this, negotiate a flat rate in advance. The “1” meter rate is .32€ per kilometer. There’s a surcharge of 1€ for service from a port or from a rail or bus station. Luggage costs .32€ per 10 kg (22 lb.). Taxis to and from the airport to downtown have a flat rate of 35 € (5am-midnight) and 50€ (midnight-5am). Don’t be surprised if the driver picks up other passengers en route; he will work out everyone’s share of the fare. The minimum fare is 2.80€. These prices will almost certainly be higher by the time you visit Greece.
Football Trip to Athens – How to Get to the Match
Football Trip to Athens – The Stadium
Peristeri Stadium originally had two stands, while the south curve was built in the late 1970s. The stadium was upgraded following the merger of top-flight Halkidona FC with Atromitos FC in the summer of 2005 which meant the return of 1st Division football to Peristeri. It does have a running track so you are a little bit away from the pitch. Away supporters are usually allocated to Gate 1, the new north stand.
Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium holds a very important place in the history of Greek football. The first stand was built in 1928, and for almost 50 years it hosted the majority of big matches in domestic and international competitions. It was the first to have floodlights installed (1938) and the first with a grass pitch (1958). The stadium’s official name is “Apostolos Nikolaidis”, after an old chairman of the club. Most people, however, call it Leoforos Stadium. Due to the stadium’s old construction, dearth of space and dense urbanization of the area, the club has sought to move. Negotiations are currently under way between the Greek government, the Municipality of Athens, and the football, basketball, volleyball and amateur divisions of the club in order to facilitate the building of a new, comprehensive sports complex to house all of the 21 departments of Panathinaikos elsewhere. In 2012, seeing as Panathinaikos’ bad financial situation hasn’t allowed them to construct the new stadium at Votanikos and the tickets per game have dramatically decreased, the President, Giannis Alafouzos decided to move the team back from the Athens Olympic Stadium to the historical Leoforos Alexandras for the 2013-14 season. As of October 2013, the plans for the construction of the Votanikos complex have been put on hold. Under the East curve of the stadium, under Gates 6 and 7, there is an Indoor Hall. When it was constructed in 1959, it was the first indoor hall in Greece. It has a capacity of 1.500 and it is famous for the hot atmosphere Panathinaikos fans create in it. It’s known by its nickname: “The Indian’s Tomb”. Gate 13 is known for creating one of the best atmospheres throughout Europe as the stadium has the fans seated directly next to the field and the endless singing even during negative results continuously pushes players to give their maximum. Gate 13 was founded on the 19th of November in 1966.
OAKA Stadium (AEK Athens) – OAKA Stadium, in full Olympic Athletic Center of Athens “Spiros Louis” holds nearly 70000 people and opened in 1982. The stadium was named after Spiros Louis, Greek winner of the first Olympic marathon in 1896. In 2007, OAKA Stadium hosted the Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool (2-1). AEK have plans to move to a new stadium. http://www.aekfc.gr/media/2013_photogallery/page_solo/Slide9_L.jpg
Rizoupoli Stadium was renamed to “Georgios Kamaras” in 2003, in honor of an old player of Apollon. It has a horseshoe-like shape, as there is no stand on the west side, where a small gymnasium lies. Rizoupoli Stadium served as one of the official training venues for the football tournament of the 2004 Olympic Games. Whilst the stadium was built in the 1940’s it has been improved more recently to enable Olympiacos to play Champions Leagues games there in the past when their ground was being developed.
Nea Smyrni Stadium – The stadium used to have a capacity of about 20,000 until the installation of seats in the late 1990s. It has a horseshoe-like shape, without a northern stand. The south curve is a double-tiered stand that is usually allocated to away fans, however its upper tier has not been used for many years because of structural problems that have been discovered.
Football Trip to Athens – Getting to the Stadium
Atromitos Football Club – Peristeri Stadium (also known as the Atromitos Stadium) – Address: John Kennedy and Giannitson, 12131 Peristeri,
Once in Athens, take the metro line 2 (red) to Peristeri terminus of Aghios Antonios and then take the 821 bus. Four stops after boarding get off at Ghipedo – right outside of the stadium. Otherwise, group travel buses for away supporters may be available through the club or take a taxi.
Panathinaikos FC – Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium
The stadium is located in central Athens, on Alexandras Avenue. It is on the north side of Lycabettus Hill that rises over the city centre. Just ask for any bus going to Alexandras (or Kifissias Avenue, which is only 500m away from the stadium). However, your best chance when in central Athens would be to use a trolley bus (yellow colour – #7, #8 and #14 stop right outside the stadium). The “Ambelokipi” station of line 3 is only 200m away.
Panionios GSS – Nea Smyrni Stadium
The stadium can be reached by tram or bus. Tram 10 passes the stadium on Leof. Andrea Siggrou avenue. One can catch the tram in the southern part of Athens’ city centre (on the same avenue). Get off at stop ΣΚΡΑ or ΧΡΥΣΑΚΗ. The stadium lies a few blocks away to the left. The alternative is bus 106, which can be taken from the same spot as tram 10. Get off at stop ΛΕΟΝΤΕΙΟΣ, which is one block from the stadium. Nea Smyrni is located in the Nea Smyrni area about 4 kilometres south of the city centre of Athens.
Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos or AEK Athens – OAKA Stadium
The stadium can be reached by metro. Stations Irini and Neratziotissa on line M1 lie at close distance from the Olympic complex. Line M1 runs straight through Athens city centre. It is 9km outside the city centre if you decide to get a taxi.
Apollon FC – Georgios Kamaras (Rizoupoli Stadium)
The best way to get there is by Metro, using line 1. Rizoupoli Stadium lies right next to the tracks. The nearest station is “Perissos”. From there, it’s a 400m walk by the tracks. You may also use bus #A8 from Stournari Street (near the Archaelogical Museum). It stops on Irakliou Avenue, right by the stadium.
Football Trip to Athens – Getting Tickets
Atromitos Football Club have an eTicket service – https://www2.omadanet.gr/atromitosfc/. You will need to register to buy tickets and then bring your identification and reservation number to collect your ticket at the ground on the day of the game. For certain games 1 free ticket if offered with every 3 tickets purchased. The best information that I could find on ticket prices was that they start at 15 Euros.
Panathinaikos have an eTicket service but I found it hard to decipher, tickets for most games apart from derbies are probably available on the day. You could also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for Panathinaikos matches can be bought at the official Green Team Panathinaikos store at Andrea Papandreou 27 in Maroussi, which is close to Neratziotissa metro station and The Mall shopping centre.
Tickets for AEK matches can be bought online, by phone +30 801 100 2121, at the Ticket Office at OAKA Stadium, or at one of the club’s two Fan Shops, which both lie in the suburbs far out of the centre. Tickets can also be purchased on the gate on the day of the match. Ticket prices typically start at €10.00 for a seat behind the goal. Tickets for the long sides cost either €15.00 or €40.00, and VIP seats go for €100.00.
Tickets for Panionios matches can be bought at the ticket office at the stadium from a few days before the match and also on the day of the game. Tickets cost between 10 and 30 Euros.
Tickets can also be bought by re-sellers such as Viagogo.
HotFootballTickets.com – was created to provide Football fans in Europe as well as fans from all over the world an easy and simple way to purchase online from the convenience of their home or Offices, football Tickets at excellent prices with delivery directly to their Home or Hotel.
Buy your football tickets on the official site of LiveFootballTickets.com. We offer tickets for the best matches in England and European leagues online.
Football Trip to Athens – Fixtures
Plan your Football Trip to Athens with our list of fixtures for each team below
The schedule for kick-off times in Greece can be found our Planning a Football Trip to Greece page (COMING SOON)
Football Trip to Athens – Where to stay. What to See. Where to Eat. Where to Drink
Football Trip to Athens – Where to stay
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In many cities the most cost effective accommodation choice for groups is to hire and apartment. Our sponsors Citybase appartments specialises in serviced apartments. The link below offers online apartment search and booking for destinations around the world.
Football Trip to Athens – What else to see & do
When planning a football trip to Athens it is always good to know what else there is to see and do in the city. Here are a selection of the best things which I found using our sponsor Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet also has maps of the city, details of all the best pubs, bars and restaurants and travel information from the city.
The New Acropolis Museum. This modern structure opened a few years back but it’s actually one of the few newer developments in a city that has dramatically cut back spending. Even if you’ve visited Athens before, the New Acropolis Museum provides an excellent reason to return. The beautifully curated exhibition details the historical and archaeological significance of the Acropolis and is a great primer for a visit to the ruins. The museum also hosts various temporary exhibits, and this year visitors can see the caryatids – sculptures of Greek women who form part of an Acropolis temple known as the Erechtheion – being restored. At 5 euro for entry (or 3 euro for reduced admission) the museum is a great value.
The National Archaeological Museum already boasts some of the most important artworks and artifacts from ancient Greece. Museum entry costs 7 euro (3 euro reduced admission).
If you plan to visit several archaeological sites, buy a 12 euro multiple entry ticket for the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Theatre of Dionysos, Keramikos, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Roman Agora. Valid for a week, it’s an absolute steal. You can buy this multiple entry ticket at any of the sites listed above the first time you visit.
Stop to watch the changing of the guard, which takes place outside the Parliament building on Syntagma Square every hour. The high-stepping soldiers in pleated miniskirts and woollen stockings (even in high summer) will delight spectators of all ages.
The Panathenaic Stadium is located on the site of an ancient stadium and for many centuries hosted games in which nude male athletes competed (gymnikoi agones) in track events, athletics championships as we would call them today. The games, which since antiquity had been held in an area far from the city, were included in the programme of the Panathenaia festival celebrations in 566/565 BC. http://www.panathenaicstadium.gr/ThePanathenaicStadium/History/tabid/96/language/en-US/Default.aspx
The Meteora is a complex of six Orthodox monasteries (each with a 2 euro entrance fee) situated atop natural rock pillars just outside Athens. Traveling to the top has become easier in recent years, with group bus tours and individual cab rides readily available for a small fee.
Free Walking Tours are available most days starting from outside the Acropolis Museum Entrance – http://www.athensfreewalkingtour.com/
National Geographic also has details of walking tour to see the main sites – http://travel.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/city-guides/athens-walking-tour-1/
Football Trip to Athens – Eating & Drinking
Mikes Irish Bar (Sinopis 6) is a classic Irish bar, right in the basement of Athens’ only skyscraper and very popular among expats. You can expect everything an Irish bar can offer (that’s both Guinness and Murphy’s among others) plus live music or karaoke most nights of the week and cheap drinks between eight and ten. http://www.mikesirishbar.gr
James Joyce opened its doors on 12th October 2007, Irish pub, Live Sports, Music and a mix of traditional Irish food and some more Greek inspired dishes.
Athens Sports Bar (Veikou 3A, Makry) – an Australian-run bar in Athens and it caters to ex-pats, tourists and all sports fans who love watching a game of their favourite sport the right way: with lots of beer and a fun atmosphere. Mondays are pub quiz nights and Thursdays Karaoke. Happy hour every evening 19:00-20:00 – http://www.athenssportsbar.gr
The Art Foundation (Normanou 5), TAF is a relatively new kid on the Monastiraki block, a refreshing and creative endeavour that puts all other art-cum-bar establishments to shame. An outdoor bar situated in the courtyard of an exquisitely rundown neoclassical building dating back to 1870, the soothing sound of jazz, cool lighting and lovingly-tended plants make for a vibrant and intellectual atmosphere that attracts the crème-de-la-crème of the Athenian crowd. http://www.theartfoundation.gr
Galaxy Bar (Stadiou 10) – Vintage at its best, a small bar that has existed in Athens for ever, as reflected in its smoke stained walls and furniture.
Galaxy Bar (46 Vassilissis Sofias Avenue) On the top floor of the Hilton Hotel, with views of the floodlit Acropolis rising above the city rooftops. Worth paying a bit extra for a beer or cocktail for the view.
Gazaki (Triptolemou 31, Gazi) – Those in favour of an evening of drinking and hooking up with complete strangers should head for Gazaki. It was the original bar in a neighbourhood that is now very popular and has a number of good bars. Close by is A Liar Man A special place in the heart of Athens, Gazi. For food or drink within the sounds of jazz, ethnic, blues, funk and rock. (Access via the Metro: Kerameikos Station)
The James Joyce (Astigos 12, Monastiraki) – A typical Irish pub. All major sports events are covered and every weekend and some week nights artists from around Europe perform live. http://www.jjoyceirishpubathens.com
Brettos (Kidathineon 41, Plaka) Best known for its lovely interior, with shelves of beautiful coloured bottles lit from behind, creating a warm glow, cosy Brettos (1) has been on the go since 1909. The owners make their own liqueurs in more than 30 flavours, including cherry, lemon and mastiha, as well a classic ouzo. Take a stool at the bar for a convivial nightcap. www.brettosplaka.com
A for Athens (Miaouli 2-4, Monastiraki) Outrageously popular with locals and visitors alike, it has a stylish open-air lounge terrace with amazing view of the floodlit Acropolis. Expect loud music and clubby atmosphere on Saturday nights. Next to Monastiraki metro station, on the sixth floor of a small hotel. www.aforathens.com
7 Jokers (Voulis 7) Right below Syntagma Square. Alternative, soul, funk and disco sounds from many interesting djs, while homemade tarts and cold dishes will perfectly accompany your drinks or cocktails. (Access via the Metro: Syntagma Station)
By the Glass (Stoa Koutri ) Opposite the city’s Russian Orthodox church, a clean (no smoking allowed) bar with an interesting twist. Customers can pick and choose what they want to try and in what quantity, with glasses offered in 25ml, 75ml and 150ml. There are about 90 labels available, of which 19 are offered by the glass, making the venue a great place to taste different varieties. By the Glass attracts a somewhat older and more mature clientele.
Six D.O.G.S. (Avramiotou 6-8 ) is probably the best spot in the neighborhood for hearing local D.J.’s and bands. And for an indie scene more concerned with listening to the music than moving to it, Six D.O.G.S. is one of the few downtown places where people take to the dance floor en masse.
Pop (Kleitou 10B) features a range of great local D.J.’s playing everything from no-wave to British invasion to indie pop and offers some of the best cocktails in the city. The signature drink, known as the Pop, is a fizzy, decadent blend of two types of vodka, triple sec, fresh strawberries, fresh lime, sugar and Champagne.
Athens Cheap Eats
Ariston (10 Voulis Street, Athens) – Start from Syntagma Square and walk West along Karagiorgi Servias Street and turn right on Voulis Street. Ariston should be on your left. It has very high scores on Trip Advisor and has been selling a wide assortment of savory pastry pies since 1910.
Thanasis (Mitropoleos 69, Monastiraki square) Go to Monastiraki Square and face the Acropolis. The little alley to the left side is Mitropoleos Street. O Thanasis at the entrance to the alley, on the right hand side. One of Athens best known places for Gyros and Souvlaki. Expect to pay around 10 euros for a decent meal
Bairaktaris (West side of Monastiraki Square) – The arch-rival of O Thanasis right across the narrow alley, sporting your typical electric rotisserie out front along with a line-up of tourists and local faithfuls alike. One of the oldest establishments in town, Bairaktaris is said to have been standing here since 1879, having passed down from father to son for generations. Expect to pay around 2 euros for a takeaway Gyros Pita.
Attalos (Andrianou 9) – Known for its authentically Greek food at reasonable prices, you just have to be brave enough to tackle the menu, which is entirely in Greek as well.
Melilotis (Kalamiotou 19, Syntagma) Relaxed, friendly and popular with locals, it serves modern tavern fare in a light and airy double-height dining room. The menu changes daily depending on what fresh ingredients are available, but look out for dishes such as leek and cheese baked in filo pastry, barbecued pork fillet, and a choice of colourful seasonal salads.
Mamacas (Persefonis 41) The lunch menu is dominated by baked home-style dishes; by dinner-time, the hot coals have been fired up. The best way to eat here is to order plenty of mezedes, especially the bean salads, and share.
Football trip to Athens – Useful links