Taxis in Athens: Overview
When speaking of convenient transfers, Athens taxis always come to mind. The more than 13.000 Athens taxi vehicles are always available on the city’s streets, providing efficient services at relatively affordable prices. Their color is bright yellow. Hence they are easy to distinguish. Moreover, they have a “TAXI” sign on their roof, marking their availability. When it’s lit, you know that the taxi is empty. If you overlook the heavy Athens traffic during peak hours -which can spiral the duration and the price of the taxi ride-, overall Athens taxi transfers are considered an effective way to travel around Athens.
Athens Taxi Fares
Athens taxis are metered. Thus, the taximeter calculates the fare, depending on the journey’s distance and time, while passengers have to pay the taximeter’s indicated price at the end of the ride. The flag-down fee is 1.80€ (2$), and the price for each kilometer is 0.90€ (1$). However, for night transfers (00:00 am – 05:00 am), the charge is different. Although the initial fare remains the same, the price per kilometer is 1.25€ (1.40$). Please note that extra fees may apply for luggage and transfers from stations or ports.
Nevertheless, journeys from Athens Airport to the city center are set at 40€ (42$) during the day and 55€ (58$) during the nighttime.
Payments can be made mainly in cash. The bulk of taxi drivers have POS machines and accept bank cards. However, this is not a rule. Thus, you should have euros with you (preferably small bills), as cab drivers usually don’t give change from big banknotes.
How to Hire a Taxi in Athens
The safest way to find an official Athens taxi is to hire one from the many taxi ranks, commonly called “piatsa”, scattered all over Athens. Taxi stands are to be found everywhere, especially at the major city hubs, the transportation centers, and the main sightseeing areas. However, if you opt for a taxi from one of the “piatsa”, you must wait for your turn in case of a waiting line and take the first one from the queue.
Alternatively, hailing a cab from the street couldn’t be easier. Athens taxis circulate the city, and all you have to do to hire one is to stand at the end of the road, wait for the next free taxi to pass by, and raise your arm. Please remember that stopping a taxi on the street isn’t allowed near taxi stands. Finally, radio taxis are also on tap, as well as taxi apps. Hence, you can call for your taxi or make an online reservation.
Athens Taxis to Athens International Airport
Athens taxis may be metered, yet taxi rides from Athens Airport to Athens downtown have a fixed fare. Therefore, the yellow Athens airport taxis lining up outside El. Venizelos terminals offer quick and comfortable transfers to the city center, with their journey lasting around 35-40 minutes and costing 40€ (42$) from 05:00 am to midnight and 55€ (58$) during the night shift.
The Most Useful Tips about Athens Taxis
When visiting a city for the first time, it’s highly likely to get scammed or overcharged by local drivers. So, as comfortable as Athens taxis may be, there are some tips to help you travel safely and affordably:
- The majority of taxi drivers speak English fluently. However, not all of them.
- Have your exact destination written down on paper to avoid any communication problems with your local driver.
- Get informed about the approximate prices for every destination and let the driver know that you are aware of the common fares.
- The taxi fares are regulated by the government, and they are fixed for all taxi companies operating in Athens.
- Use your mobile to look up the best routes and check if your driver is following them or is just circling the city.
- Always check that the taximeter is reset and set on when entering the cab, and ask for a receipt at the end of your ride.
- Never hire an individual taxi driver, who might not even be licensed, but always pick up your taxi from the official taxi ranks.
- It’s perfectly legal for taxi drivers to pick up more passengers. In that case, the fare isn’t split, but everyone pays for the route to his destination.
- However, if you don’t want to share the cab, the driver should respect it.
- Tipping isn’t obligatory, but it is, of course, welcomed!
- Carry small change in euros with you in case credit/debit cards aren’t accepted.
- You can book your Athens taxi ride online. In that way, you will have a record of your reservation, and you will be certain that your taxi is official and licensed.
Are taxis in Athens safe?
Athens taxis are considered a rather safe option for your transfer throughout the city. In any case, the cabs queuing up at the official taxi stands are undoubtedly licensed and legal. Hence, you should always catch your cab from the taxi ranks. Another safe alternative is to book your taxi ride online.
Where to find a taxi in Athens?
Athens taxis are easily spotted, circulating the city streets, no matter the day, time, or area. Taxi ranks are located at the busiest hubs of the city while hailing an Athens taxi from the road requires simply standing at the end of the pavement and moving your hand. What’s more, you can order a cab on the phone or use a taxi app.
How expensive are taxis in Athens?
Athens taxis are definitely not the most affordable transportation method. They may even be the costlier ones. Nevertheless, they are considered relatively cheap, at least in comparison to many other European countries.