Greece — Transportation
Greece Taxis and Car Rental
Taxi travel in Athens is generally less convenient than the metro due to the high number of traffic jams the city sees on any given day. Taxis are inexpensive, and most drivers make an honest living, but visitors should watch out for overcharging at airports, harbors, and popular tourist destinations. All taxis are metered, and the meter should be turned on and set to ‘1’ before your journey begins. The ‘2’ setting only applies between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. or on longer trips outside city limits. Surcharges apply to trips from harbors and rail or bus stations. Calling taxis are often the fastest way to get a cab and useful firms include Athina (+30-2-10-921-7942) and Parthenon (+30-2-10-532-3311) in Athens.
Cars are more trouble than they’re worth in Athens, with its excessively heavy traffic and limited parking. If you’re determined to drive here, picking up a rental vehicle at the airport will come with a heavy surcharge in an attempt to discourage autos. If you must, book online in advance or even by phone to a Greece-based firm, which is far cheaper than upon arrival at the airport. If you’re staying for just a few nights in Athens before heading out to the beaches, driving anywhere out of the capital city it much more straightforward.
Greece Water Taxis
It’s quite possible to arrive in Greece via ferry, with Patras and Corfu served by Italian ferries from Venice, Bari, Brindisi, and several other port cities. Athens’ port of Piraeus sees ferries from Alexandria (Egypt), Larnaca and Limassol (Cyprus), and Marmaris (Turkey). Bodrum, Turkey, ferries run to Kos and the majority of the Greek Islands archipelago can be reached by ferry from Piraeus.
Greece Trains and Buses
At present, it’s not possible to arrive in Greece via its international rail service, as all international routes were suspended in February 2011. Train travel is the cheapest way to get around the mainland, but is also the slowest and least convenient by far. The country’s excellent KTEL long-distance bus services are comfortable and inexpensive, using modern, air-conditioned coaches on routes spanning all the mainland regions and major destinations. Bus travel has its uses on the Greek Islands, as well with local services linking the main towns and villages.