Athens taxi drivers can be incredibly charismatic or incredibly rude, depending on traffic conditions and how hot and irritable they feel. By majority however, most are somewhere in between. In the past five years the standard has lifted but it’s good to know what your rights are as a passenger and the best way to get a taxi to or from Athens airport and seaports.
Athens Taxis – What you need to know
Taxis operate a 24-hour service and are quite cheap. They can be hailed down on the street or otherwise picked up at taxi stands around major tourist squares such as Monastiraki and Syntagma. You can also book one calling the radio taxi line.
Most taxi drivers speak English, however you will come across some who don’t. Why Athens has provided address information to locations featured on this website, written in both English and Greek to assist you with this.
Fares are charged with a meter after the initial base rate of €3.44 is applied. The tariff is €0.74 per Km and will double after midnight through to 5am. There are flat fares to and from the airport: 38 euros to central Athens (including luggage, VAT and road tolls). A flat fee of 55 euros from midnight to 5am. These prices are for standard taxi fares that are not pre-arranged such as private taxi transfers that are offering a superior service. If you are getting into a taxi from the airport, you will be directed into a queue outside the arrivals hall.
It would not be unusual for a taxi driver to ask you if he or she can pick up other passengers on the way. This isn’t illegal but you do have the right to say no and they must respect your wishes.
The driver is required by law to provide you with a receipt, but this rarely happens unless you ask for one. If you believe that you have been overcharged, you should make this known to the driver and demand a receipt. The receipt should have the taxi’s ID or license plate number, the cost along with the points of departure and arrival.
You can lodge a complaint by calling 1019 (weekdays from 8:00am-10:00pm and on Saturdays from 8:30am-8:00pm). If they have done the wrong thing, there are severe penalties.
Pre-book a taxi service to and from the airport here or to and from the Port of Piraeus from one of our tried and tested drivers and guarantee yourself a Mercedes Benz vehicle, english speaking driver and pre-pay using your credit card without any hidden fees or charges.
Why Athens Tips
- Always check the taxi meter is on, most drivers will do this automatically
- It is commonplace for the driver to round the fare up to the nearest euro
- If there is a demonstration planned (usually announced in advance) many arterial roads will be closed off. You will need to factor in additional time to your planned journey particularly if you’re travelling to the airport
- Occasionally, taxis do go on strike in Athens and it does spell havoc for the city. You’re options would be to engage a private car service that can be organised through your hotel (can be very expensive), hiring a car yourself or public transport
- Our experience with taxi drivers that are randomly picked up inside the Plaka area has not been great and best avoided. Taxis around Piraeus Port are also not highly regarded. If you can plan ahead, try and pre-book one in advance or walk out of the area to a main road where your chances of getting a better service will increase dramatically
- By downloading Taxibeat App. to your phone, you can book a yellow taxi and guarantee a driver that speaks English at no additional cost (note you can only book taxis on demand with this app – no pre-booking, and can’t book taxis from the airport – For pre-booking airport or seaport taxis see our related posts.)
Read about Athens public transport here.