Car Rental in Athens
Athens is Greece’s capital and often thought of as the cradle of Western civilization. In the modern era this bustling city is home to close to half of Greece’s population and boasts plenty of modern attractions, marketplaces and vibrant festivals to complement its unrivalled collection of classical ruins, landmarks and heritage sites. Many of the city’s best attractions like its ancient ruins and beaches are best accessed with your own rental vehicle, while Athens is also ideally situated close to other fantastic travel destinations in Greece.
Where to rent a car in Athens
You will find many leading car rental agencies at Athens airport for travelers including Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Europcar and Budget which are found in the arrivals hall of the main passenger terminal. However, many car rental companies (both international and local) also have a presence in the city of Athens if you don’t want to collect your vehicle from the airport. There are several ways that you can travel into Athens if you aren’t driving including by train, bus or taxi.
Driving in Athens
As you would expect of a busy European capital, the traffic in Athens can be bad at times so it’s best to avoid central areas from 07.00-09.00 and 17.00-19.00 or you can end up stuck for hours. You may find the local drivers in Athens are slightly on the aggressive side but generally you will be fine, although the country has a poor road accident record for European standards so be careful. If you are collecting your vehicle from Athens International Airport it will take you just over 30 minutes to reach central Athens along the Attiki Odos highway. The state of the roads in Athens and the surrounding region are perfectly fine but there are trails and dirt tracks if you travel to some of the beaches and nature spots.
Parking in Athens
There are municipal parking spots located across Athens which are available Mon-Fri from 09.00-21.00 and on Saturdays from 09.00-16.00. Be aware that there is a maximum parking limit of 3 hours and it will cost around 25 AED for the full 3 hours. You will need to get a pre-paid voucher or cash card in order to pay for your parking which you can acquire from convenience stores and other vendors. Not all hotels in the city will have parking facilities so it is advisable to check with your hotel beforehand. You can find great hotel deals in Athens with Skyscanner.
Where to go around Athens
Athens is a large city so it can help to have a rental vehicle which will help you navigate the city, especially during the summer when air conditioning will come in handy. There are plenty of unmissable districts across Athens such as the historic streets of Monastiraki and Plaka, the famous ancient landmarks of the Acropolis and the trendy student haunt of Exarcheia. Outside of Athens there are many excellent trip possibilities like the Sounio and Delphi archeological sites around 2 hours away by car or the ancient Kessariani Monastery just 10 km from central Athens. You could also take your car on a ferry across to some of the beautiful Greek Islands like Aegina, Agistri and even the Aegean Islands like Santorini.
* This information is correct as of December 2018