One warning I have is about the cabs in Athens, some cabby are honest and some of them are not. The one who brought me to the hotel was one of the dishonest ones. He stated that the cab ride to the hotel was 50Euro. I gave him the $50 Euro. Then, he said that I gave him a 10 Euro not a 50 Euro. Because I was not sure, I gave him another 50 Euro. When I checked my money upstairs I knew he had lied since all the bills I had just gotten from the ATM were 50 Euro!! Additionally, I learned this trip should have been less than 30 Euros! The machine did not give out 10 Euro and I did not spend anything from there to here. Also, another warning is that a lot of cabbie only work a certain area and will not take you if you are going far away. Also, unless it’s a really famous spot, cabs hailed on the street do not know where to go. Your bet is to call a cab service from the hotel or other major area and tell them where you want to go so they can give the driver directions. This is unlike other major cities where you can get drunk, head for a cab and hand them the hotel address to get to your hotel safely. This may not work in Athens since many of the hailed cabs do not know where they are going.
Almost everyone I talked that took a taxi was ripped off by the driver. Travel to the airport is easier by bus, and much cheaper. There is a bus station near downtown with service to the airport every 30 minutes 24 hours per day. Don't remember the bus number, but it's near the spot where they have the changing of the guards.
I'd budget about 30 minutes to an hour for travel to the airport.
An airport taxi is probably the most necessary taxi you will take in Athens and the easiest way to get from the airport to your hotel with all of your bags. The queue can be long, but stay in it. If someone approaches you and offers a ride, don't follow them. This happened to my parents.
2 men approached them not knowing they were also Greek and said if they didn't want to stay in line and wait they had a taxi for them. They walked to the "taxi" and it turned out to be a box truck. My mom caught them by surprise when she started yelling in Greek and the men backed off and left. Who knows what could have happened?
Most of Athens' taxi drivers, also known as scam artists or other more harsh words, are the cream of the crop. They are to be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary. I stopped taking taxis in Athens, although I will admit not all of my experiences were negative.
Some taxis will rip you off by driving around through the maze of streets to run up the meter. One time on what was supposed to be a shorter drive than it turned out to be, I asked the driver "Eimaste konta?" (are we close?). He assured me we would arrive soon. When I finally got to my destination, my cousin told me the driver took the scenic route.
For other drivers, Ohi Day (No Day) is every day, not just on 28 October. If you tell the driver where you want to go, sometimes he will simply say, "ohi", or no, and leave you to find another taxi. I have had drivers refuse me because they "didn't feel like driving to that part of Athens" or their shift is "almost over and they have to go the opposite way to get home". Thanks for nothing.
We booked George Kokkotos via the internet after reading all the good reports about him. He was brilliant. Took us on a personalised tour of the city. Then the heavens opened and the day turned into one of the worst in living memory. The city was hit by major flash floods. We nearly got stuck in a serious flood near the river but George rescued us and got us back to our ship on time despite the city being almost gridlocked. He is a star.He will tell you in advance what he will charge and his airconditioned Merc is very comfortable.
Use George's services (read the reviews first)
We had learned at the excellent www.athensguide.com that the taxi ride from the airport to the city would cost around 18EURO, and the first driver we found said it'd cost about 40E. We said no, CALLED THE POLICE and the policewoman told us it comes to about 18, again, and that's what it was.
getting ripped off by cab drivers at the airport. being my first city and arriving at night, i opted to take a cab from the aitport into athens.
naturally, the cab driver ripped me off. he basically insisted that i put my bags in his trunk. once there, i was his for the picking. anyways, he ended up adding a surcharge of like $10 to my fare. because he claimed that it covered his cost for tolls and what not. the fare should only be about $5.
The taxi stand is at the airport for a reason. The drivers who frequent it are less likely to overcharge you. If you are a woman you have no doubt heard about the kamaki- greek men whose sole purpose is to woo tourists. I was more concerned about the Aussies!! I had two unfortuante experiences in Athens. The first was being assaulted while walking alone through a deserted section of the National Gardens. My assailant grabbed my arm so forcefully that he left a bruise in the shape of a handprint. When I finally located a policeman he was less than helpful. The second was having my airline vouchers stolen from luggage storage at the hostel(I was traveling as a guest of a flight attendant without a actual tickets-the vouchers allow you to fill in a destination and go)Both of these situations could have been easily avoided if I'd used my head a bit more.
Everyone's (?) warning about taxi drivers and how they try to 'rob' you since you're a tourist. We were 4 women who took a taxi to Varkiza some 30 km south of Athens, and another one back in the evening --and had no problems :)
Athens Taxis- don't get me started on this one. Taking a taxi in Athens is a nightmare. Just because you're paying doesn't mean they won't stop and pick up someone else ! and go out of their way for them. And charge you both full fare ! Also all taxi drivers seemed to smoke and have broken Air Con. Worst place for taxi's I have experienced anywhere in the world.
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