For those of you who are arriving in Athens before the official start of the course, you will need to get to the Exarchion Hotel on your own. I suggest the metro, in which case you will need to get from the Airport to Omonia station and then walk to the hotel. You can also take a taxi. I have listed information for the metro, suburban rail, bus, and taxi.
I've uploaded a map of the metro. http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ianna006/rachel3/2010/05/map-of-the-athens-metro-and-suburban-rail.html METRO
This is the best method. Athens' Metro is very reliable and easy to use. From the airport, follow these simple instructions.
1. Take Line 3 (the blue line) towards Egaleo.
2. Get off at Syntagma Station
3. Transfer to Line 2 (the red line) towards Aghios Antonios.
4. Get off at Omonia Station. Walk to the hotel.
The cost is 6 Euros for a one-way ticket from airport to downtown. You must validate the ticket using a machine as you enter into the metro system.
Line 3 to the airport runs every 30 minutes starting at 6:35 AM. The last train leaves the airport for downtown Athens at 11:35 PM. For a schedule see: http://www.amel.gr/index.php?id=363&L=1
The Metro is also called AMEL for ΑΤΤΙΚΟ ΜΕΤΡΟ ΕΤΑΙΡΕΙΑ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑΣ or Attica Metro Operation Company. PROASTIAKOS-SUBURBAN RAIL
The suburban rail is an alternate public transit route that you can take from Venizelos Airport to downtown Athens. The railway lines predate the metro system and will also take you from the airport to Omonia Station. From the airport, follow these simple instructions.
1. Take Suburban Rail Line toward Neratziotizza.
2. Get off at Doukissis Plakentias.
3. Transfer to Line 3 (blue line) towards Egaleo.
4. Get off at Syntagma Station.
5. Transfer to Line 2 (the red line) towards Aghios Antonios.
6. Get off at Omonia Station. Walk to the hotel.BUS
The bus runs 24 hours a day, unlike the metro and suburban rail. If you are going to use public transportation, I recommend the Metro or Suburban Rail. Just in case, here are instructions:
1. Take the X95 from the Airport to Syntagma Square.
2. Walk from here to hotel or take a taxi.MAP OF THE AIRPORT - GETTING TO THE METRO STATION
Getting to the Metro/Suburban Rail station from the arrivals area of the airport is VERY simple. I would start at the arrivals level where there is a bridge across the main airport road to the Metro Station. From the arrivals level, follow signs from the Metro. After crossing the street, you'll come to a large, octagonal shaped courtyard or waiting area. You can buy your metro ticket from the counter or a machine. It will cost 6 euros. Then head down to the platforms.MEETING UP AT THE AIRPORT
I suggest that you meet at the Kafeneo, a coffee shop/café right next to international arrivals. When you exit through the customs doors, turn to your right. The Kafeneo is next to the Tourism Information desk. Pick up a map while you are there.WALKING TO THE HOTEL FROM OMONIA SQUARE
The walk from Omonia Square to the Exarchion Hotel should take about 15 minutes. Be aware in Omona Square; there are pick pockets and other unsavory activity. Stay alert and keep you passport and money in a zippered bag. You'll be fine. It's safe, but be savvy.
I've uploaded a map indicating Omonia Square, Syntagma Square and our hotel at Exarchion Square. For an image of the hotel, see their site: http://www.exarchion.com/
To be honest, taxis are a bit of a challenge in Athens. It's very easy to get ripped off. That being said, during regular business hours, a trip from the airport to downtown Athens should cost around 35 Euros. Note that there is an extra charge for airport pickup, baggage, tolls, and extra passengers. Also at certain hours, the taxi charge is doubled. Please see this helpful website for more information. http://www.athensguide.com/airport.html