Ride the Rails in Greece
Although Greece has dramatically upgraded its rail infrastructure, it’s wise to travel only on the major lines. Though safe, the local rails remain slow and tough to navigate (especially for the neophyte). Exceptions? Very touristy routes like Athens to the port city Piraeus (only 20 minutes by suburban train).
We recommend the InterCity or InterCityExpress trains. From Athens, you can journey to the very hip city of Thessaloniki (check out the fashion and the food) and onwards towards Katerini (home to several archeological digs). From there travel to ancient Corinth in just ninety minutes, and then to the port of Patras. Final destination? Argos, arguably Greece’s oldest city, and the ruins of the Heraeum temple where the goddess Hera was revered.
Most IC and ICE trains offer decent comfort in second class, but first class is still preferable (except on very short journeys). On longer trips, on-board food services are good and reasonably priced.
Seat assignments vary by train and route. If you purchase a ticket for travel within Greece from Rail Europe, you will receive an ticket without a reservation. If a seat reservation is required or If you’re traveling with a pass (e.g., Eurail Pass, Balkan Pass), you may book your reservation locally since they’re only available within Greece. Use the OSE (Greek railways) offices in the main cities. They’re less crowded and more helpful, and the reservation is free.
And if your travel plans include visiting both Italy and Greece, consider the Eurail Attica Pass. This pass includes round-trip ferry travel between Italy and Greece, plus travel to the Greek islands once you’re there.
For more information on Greece contact the Greece Tourist Board.