My Personalized Ath.ena Card For Transportation in Athens

Last Updated on March 25, 2021

My stay in Greece has been INCREDIBLE so far. SO MUCH has happened since I’ve arrived. I almost don’t even know where to begin. Figuring out how to get around Athens was my first priority so I suppose it would make sense to start there.

Meet the “Metpo”

My first morning waking up in Greece, I set off for the city center, Syntagma Square, to purchase my 30-day monthly pass for Greece’s public transportation system. The night I landed in Greece, I attempted to purchase my 30-day pass right away but I was informed by a woman at the ticket issue booth that the monthly passes are only sold at the city center. I was forced to purchase a one-way ticket to my actual stop and then another ticket to Syntagma the following morning.

Fortunately, once I arrived at Syntagma, I was able to buy my personalized ATH.ENA Card. <3 Figuring out where to go and how to get one was mildly confusing and only involved making a few guesses on which lines to stand and wait in.

Athens offers a number of different short-term and long-term transportation passes for travelers.

Considering I intend to spend a decent amount of time in Greece, the monthly pass made the most financial sense for me. I purchased the 30 Euro personalized pass without airport transfers. (Students and other people with other personal circumstances may qualify for reduced/half-priced tickets!)

After standing in the line for over 15 minutes, I spotted a Metro system worker walking along the side of the line answering questions from people queuing. I asked if I was in the right place to buy a monthly Athena card. He told me that it was the right place and that all I would need is the money to buy it and my passport.

“My passport….?” I asked, “I’m didn’t know I’d need mine. Would a driver’s license be sufficient?”

He wasn’t sure so he walked to the ticket issue booth to find out for me. When he returned, he explained that they do need an official passport. I really didn’t want to leave the line, buy another temporary Metro ticket, and come back again only to wait in the long line a second time. I tried asking if they might accept a photo of my passport instead. When the Metro representative asked for me, the answer from the issuers, once again, was a hard no. I figured I wasted enough time waiting that I might as well wait until it was my turn and ask for myself.

When I was at the counter, I asked if they might be willing to issue a card to me with my Driver’s License and a clear photo of my passport. Sure enough, THEY DID! THEY ACTUALLY MADE AN EXCEPTION!


Now I can ride, the Greek Metro! I call it the Metpo because that is what I think it looks like it says in Greek.

And so the countdown on my 30-day pass began! I walked away carrying my personalized card granting me access to all metro, tram, and bus lines in Athens. Into the city, I walked.


  1. why did you not have your passport on you? (are you one of those people who thinks Europe is full of pickpockets?- my Dad was the same way when he went to Germany. :P)

    Is there anything written in English in Greece? or do most people speak English in case you need help with something?

    1. The Rocky Safari

      Exactly! I did not want to chance it. Theft is a really big problem in Greece. As for the language situation, it’s hit or miss. Most signs will have Greek and English. However, I’ve found most people around Athens have some proficiency in English as well.

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The Rocky Safari