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.
I think Greek people are generally helpful and good hosts, however, there are a few cab drivers waiting around monuments and museums that charge a flat (high) rate. Albeit, you don't have to wait or flag them down, but it comes at a price. The meter should be running, and not at the pace of a rabbit's heart!
Careful with cab drivers. They will charge you double the price marked on the meter. Look at it before paying!!
Also be careful in restaurants and live shows, look out for the small print on the menu. They will add 3.000 or 4.000 dracmas to the price of whatever you had, saying that it´s the surcharge for the show. Don´t be afraid to haggle!!
Though taxis are quite cheap in Greece...Be aware of some taxi drivers ! Especially the Japanese have to be very careful ! From the new airport to the centre of Athens...the commission should be around 20-25 Euro (rush hour). Ask the taxi driver beforehand so you know if he tells the truth or not !
Report to the police (dial 100 free of charge or tourist police 171) and refuse to pay if more than 15 Euro for 10km
While in Athens ...use the underground to move around the centre...there are two new lines that can take you to the most interesting places .
Buses are in abundance but bus-drivers can only say 'Thank you' :-)
Walking in the city centre is recommended and the greek filotimo(helping uncontitionally) can show you the way around.
Be careful of the taxi drivers....Be careful of what they charge you.If you think it is too much,go to the police....From the airport to Omonia(centre) they must not charge you more than 3000 drachmas except there is a traffic jam.