Athens Piraeus Cruise Port Disabled Access
By John Sage
Disabled cruise passengers who arrive in the wheelchair accessible Piraeus cruise port have multiple options to travel into Athens.
Some disabled and elderly visitors will be able to take public transportation into the city, while electric wheelchair users and other people who can not step onto a bus need to book private accessible Athens transportation.
The vast majority of cruise passengers have the Acropolis and Parthenon at the top of their list. Wheelchair access to the Acropolis is possible via an elevator, although you may need to give advanced notice to use it.
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With a full day in port, Piraeus disabled cruise passengers will be able to see many of Athens’ top attractions: the Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Acropolis Museum, the Plaka neighborhood, and the National Archaeological Museum. Private transportation and a tour guide is necessary to make the most of your shore excursion in Athens.
it’s one of the best museums for ancient artifacts you’ll find anywhere!
I gave Piraeus cruise port a 3 Star Sage Accessibility Rating. While the bus to reach the cruise terminal has a wheelchair ramp, the bus from the cruise terminal to the train station does not have a ramp. Consequently, I could not give it a higher rating like the ones I gave to Istanbul cruise port, the Mykonos cruise port, and the Naples cruise port.
Getting from the Cruise Ship to the Cruise Terminal in a Wheelchair
When you disembark your cruise ship, you will be met by a port shuttle to bring you to the cruise terminal. The shuttles are equipped with a wheelchair ramp.
Your cruise ship will use one of the many Piraeus docks. You won’t know which dock, and the route could be as long as 1.4 km…I was glad that shuttle has a ramp!
After getting off the shuttle bus, you will enter the cruise terminal where you need to show your cruise card (your cruise line may still have your passport and this substitutes for it). You can declare any goods that you are bringing into the country (which is unlikely) then you will exit the Cruise Terminal. The photos below show the door that you will exit. Tour guides for private accessible Athens cruise excursions will meet you here.
Disabled Travel from Piraeus to Athens by Bus #843 & Metro
When I visited Piraeus, I wanted to see if reaching Athens by accessible public transportation was possible (after all, it’s my job!). Unfortunately, there is no step-free accessible transportation option from Piraeus to Athens. The details of the route are described below.
After you exit the cruise terminal, stay on sidewalk to the left (photo on left shows the view you will have when you exit). Four door taxis available at the cruise terminal (none with wheelchair ramps) which may be enticing, but there are multiple reasons to book private transportation. The photo on the right shows the accessible entrance that you will use when returning to the cruise terminal.
After leaving the accessible Piraeus Cruise Terminal exit, you will go along a flat smooth driveway with a fence on your left. The photo on the right shows the view looking back towards the cruise terminal.
You will pass through a parking gate, and outside the gate one block ahead on your right is the location of the ΤΕΛΩΝΕΙΟ bus stop. You need to cross the street to get to the public bus stop. The total distance from the Cruise Terminal Exit to the bus stop is 350 meters.
The Bus #843 goes to the train station. The bus had a wheelchair ramp but the bus driver said it “was impossible” to extend the ramp. Not sure if it was broken or just laziness on his part but two passengers helped carry me onto the bus. It didn’t really matter because, as you’ll see below, the bus returning from Athens did not have a wheelchair ramp at all.
To determine which bus stop to get off at to reach the accessible Piraeus Metro, just look for the overhead pedestrian walkway shown in the photo on the left. As soon as you go underneath it, get off on the next stop. The pedestrian walkway has escalators and elevators at each end of it. You won’t need to use the pedestrian walkway when arriving at the Metro station (since the bus will drop you off on the same side of the street as the Metro station), but you will need to use the pedestrian walkway when you are returning to the cruise ship.
When you are heading to the Metro station from the pedestrian walkway, the accessible entrance with a ramp is located on the left. Photos of the accessible Piraeus Metro entrance are shown below.
Unfortunately, the ramp doesn’t lead into the ticket office. You’ll need to send someone down the 6 steps to purchase the ticket (shown on the left). The interior of the station is wheelchair friendly and is shown on the right.
The Metro Line Number 1 takes you into Central Athens. The best station to get off is the Monastiraki Station which is near the Ancient Agora.
There is a very small gap (less than 3 inches) between the platform and the train. Wheelchair users should not have any problem with it. The gap in Piraeus is shown on the left and the gap at Monastiraki is shown on the right.
Athens Metro stations have no barriers for wheelchairs. When you get off the train, look for a wheelchair sign pointing to the elevator. The elevator will take you up to the ticket level where you will take a different elevator to the surface.
The tour guide for your private accessible Athens walking tour can meet you in Monastiraki Square.
Disabled Travel from Piraeus to Athens by Bus #040
While the Metro takes only 20 minutes to get from Piraeus to Athens, the Bus #040 is another alternative but it takes a little longer. The Bus #040 stops at the same place as the #843 bus.
The bus was designed for a wheelchair user and has a space for a wheelchair and a sign indicating that it is reserved for disabled passengers (shown in the photo on the left). Unfortunately, the bus does not have a wheelchair ramp on it. A photo take from the wheelchair space back out the bus gives you a sense of the height to the ground. It is about 0.5 meters (1.5 feet) from the ground.
The #040 bus can also be used to return from the Syntagma Square in Athens. If you are standing in Syntagma Square with the Parliament building behind you, walk/roll to the street in front of you and turn left. Proceed a half block off of Syntagma square and the bus stop will be on the right side of the street. There is not enough space for the bus to pull up close to the curb.
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