The Athens transportation card is called “Ath.ena Card.” It is a new rechargeable ticket that everyone has to use to ride Athens public transportation.
If you wish to buy a paper Ath.ena Card that can be topped up with products like 90 minute or 5 day tickets, you can issue it at any ticket machine inside the metro station.
However, if you want to get the monthly discount ticket or if you are eligible for free transportation in Athens with an unemployment card, you will need to get a personalized, plastic one with your photo on it.
You will be able to use:
- Buses, including the express bus to and from the airport
- Electric trolley-buses
- Metro, including to and from the airport
You can learn about how to get an Ath.ena Card here
When you request an Ath.ena Card, both online and at the ticket office, you will have to create an 8-digit PIN. Write this PIN down so you can remember it. It is important in order to get the free transportation option and also to get a new card in case of loss or theft.
How do I get a personalized Ath.ena Card?
You can get your Ath.ena Card online and have it sent to your address in the mail, or you can get it at a ticket office of certain metro, train and tram stations. Find the specific locations here.
How to get the Ath.ena Card online
This option is only for those that have AMKA (not PAAYPA) Visit the website athenacard.gr and choose whether you would like the card to be sent to your preferred address, or if you would like to receive it from a ticket office by printing out the QR code and showing it to the card issuer. The website will generate a QR code after you fill out the online form.
The QR code option is much faster. If you request for the card to be posted to you, this won't cost you anything, but it will take around a month and a half for the card to arrive.
Then fill in a form with the following information:
- AMKA number or, if you don’t have an AMKA, your passport number
- Date of Birth
- Photograph (smaller that 200 KB)
You will have to create an 8-digit PIN. Write this PIN down so you can remember it. It is important in order to get the free transportation option and also to get a new card in case of loss or theft.
How to get the Ath.ena Card at a ticket office
This process is simpler. You need to go to one of the selected ticket offices and present the following documents:
- A form of identification
- Your AMKA number or PAAYPA in a printed or mobile version
You don’t need to have a photograph with you. There is a webcam at the ticket office, and your photograph will be taken on the spot. You will receive your Ath.ena Card immediately.
Remember to note down your 8-digit code. You will need it in order to get the free transportation option on your card.
Free transportation with an unemployment card - How to get the Ath.ena Card if you are unemployed?
Do you hold an unemployment card from OAED? Then you can use public transportation for free throughout Athens. You just need to get a personalized Ath.ena Card and add the free transportation option to it.
For those that have PAAYPA, this number is yet to be recognized in the ATH.ENA card system. For this reason, many people follow the long and tiring steps as mentioned below, due to some issues with PAAYPA. So you cannot activate the free transportation card. However, in case you got checked, you can show the OAED card to the controller to explain the situation. However, in case you fot fined you can show the OAED card to the desk that you will need to pay the fine and explain the situation In that case, they might cancel the fine provided that the unemployment card was valid that day.
For those that have AMKA: You can do so either online or by visiting the office desk in metro stations. The process is a bit complicated as since January 2020, AMKA is no longer issued for asylum seekers. Those that managed to have AMKA before this decision, continue to benefit from free public transportation. To proceed you will need:
- AFM – To be attained from the tax office of the neighborhood where you live (not just any tax office). Find here more
- Your key number ("kleidarithmos" in Greek) that allows you to access the [online TAXISnet platform]. Find more here
- Activating the Taxisnet account online
- Getting an AMKA Number. Find here more
- Connecting the Social Security Number and AFM numbers – An indication for this step is for the AFM number to be included inside the AMKA paper, however, the actual “connection” has to happen inside their system/database. The connection procedure used to be done at KEP offices in the past, however, now, only EFKA can do it but it is a necessary step to be able to validate the ATH.ENA transportation card. Find EFKA contact info here
- OAED unemployment paper Find more here.
- ATH.ENA transportation card – to be attained from some metro stations (such as Syntagma, Omonia, Piraeus or Agia Marina)
- Activate ATH.ENA card on the ΗΔΙΚΑ e-ticket application website with TaxisNet credentials and choose the option of activation through unemployment.
Once you enter your TAXISnet passwords, you will be asked to:
- Click the "Create new card" option and add the 16-digit number written on your Ath.ena card
- Enter your 8-digit PIN code to verify your card
- Select the option of free transportation for the unemployed
- Activate the card
You will get a message that your card is ready, but you will actually need to wait for 2 to 5 working days. Only then will you be able to use the 30-day free rides option on your Ath.ena Card. 10. Once your Ath.ena Card is certified through the online ΗΔΙΚΑ e-ticket application, you can top it up with free tickets for the next 30 days at any ticket machine, at any station. You will need to insert your card in the machine and choose the “Subsidy” option (“Epidothsh” in Greek). The machine should automatically recognize that your card is eligible for the free rides option and will top up your card after a few minutes. You will have to repeat this step every 30 days. You can top up the card, for as long as your unemployment document is valid.
Since the check points for tickets has also increased in the recent months, there is a high chance of getting caught and fined, should they use transportation without buying a ticket.
However, IF A PERSON HAS A VALID UNEMPLOYMENT DOCUMENT, THERE IS AN OPTION TO CANCEL THEIR FINE, by getting a paper from OAED and presenting it to the relative authorities, at the address provided at the back of the fine ticket.
How do I use the Ath.ena Card?
Once your Ath.ena Card is activated and topped up, you can use it for all routes by metro, buses or trams. You swipe your card every time you go through a turnstile at the entrance and exit of the metro, ISAP and suburban stations, and when you enter buses, trolleys and trams.
What about kids?
Children under 6 years old can use public transportation for free. They do not need a ticket or a card.
Children between 6 and 18 years old are eligible for half-price tickets. You can get them by purchasing a "10 + 1 free" package of half-priced tickets or top up a personalized Ath.ena Card with the number of tickets you want.