Taxi fares in Athens
Here’s the good news: Athens offers generally low taxi fares compared to most other European capitals. And by the way, this includes the rides both from its main entry points as well as within the city. A ride with a taxi, therefore, is often the best option to get around the city.
Having said that, there’s a number of things the first-time Athens visitor should be aware of. That’s why we’ve put together the practical guide below. Hopefully, it will safeguard against you being taken for a ride, in both the literal and the metaphorical sense.
The taxi fare from the airport
First up, the easy part. If you’re planning to use a taxi to downtown Athens from the airport, the fare is fixed. At the time of writing (January 2020), this is set at €38 during the daytime (5am to midnight).
One thing you need to be aware of is the higher rate during the night (from midnight to 5am). This can increase your taxi fare quite significantly, particularly if you’re travelling a long distance. In the example of the airport-to-downtown ride, the fixed fare goes up to €54.
The taxi fare from Piraeus
Things can be a little less clear-cut when you’re reaching Athens by boat from Piraeus, the city’s main port.
Your first move here is to check whether the driver will be having the meter on, as required by law. If that’s not the case, make sure you know and have agreed to the cost for the ride beforehand.
The journey with a metered taxi from Piraeus to the center of Athens should cost around €15 during the daytime. During the night, where the higher rate is in use, it’s probably reasonable to expect something closer to €25. That of course is always depending on traffic conditions as well.
So what if the final reading of the meter shows an amount wildly higher than the figures above? Well, the first thing to be aware or is that you don’t necessarily have to pay it. If you’re skeptical, you can always ask the driver to take you to the nearest police station for mediation. Or, if you’ve got a number for your hosts, call them directly and ask for help. The latter is what we always advise our own guests.
To put your mind at ease, the chances of running into a situation like this are low. But of course, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
What about the case where your driver refuses to use the meter? This isn’t unheard of, especially in the summer, when the overwhelming supply of tourists outweighs the demand for upholding the highest professional standards.
If you get quoted a fixed price, be prepared for that to be as high as €25 or thereabouts. Provided your ride is before midnight, after which prices go up significantly, anything way off this mark isn’t really justified for a ride from Piraeus to downtown Athens.
And once more, if you’re settling for a fixed rate, make sure you know the price in advance.
Taxi fares within the city
A taxi is also a good option to get to the main tourist attractions. These are well served by public transport, but a taxi still makes sense if there’s two or more of you. The cost for the ride will of course depend on where you’re based.
As an example, a taxi ride from any of our flats in Kypseli to Syntagma should take less than 15 minutes and cost under €5. Going from our Top Stays Nine flat in Exarchia to the beach down south will set you back about €10.
Finally, for the more tech-savvy, there’s always the smartphone apps. These will offer you the convenience and the peace of mind of knowing the cost for the ride beforehand.
They both operate in a similar way and use legally licensed, metered taxis you can book through their respective apps. You can see the driver’s rating before the booking is confirmed, and then pay with your card or via PayPal. Once you’ve confirmed the booking, you’ll be advised of the taxi’s plates number and car model.