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.
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!
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.
We'll at least they were pro's. I think we were picked up by a spotter leaving the Airport via the Metro. A gang of up to 10 or more individuals skillfully isolated us from our travelling companions in the subway car then separated me and my wife. The car seemed incredibly crowded with people which was a screen they created. When we went to leave the car at our stop they blocked the exit and the pushing an shoving commenced. My wife caught sight of the girl opening her purse and putting her hand inside it and warned her off luckily. I was pinned and pushed and while I tried to hang onto our luggage and crush my pockets against a seat. Unfortunately they got my wallet which contained minimal ID/Cards and money which still created an inconvenience. My sense of freedom in the tourist world also took a large hit too.
Judging from the reports here it appears to be the wild wild west again in Athens. There is no security in there Metro. Cameras exist but no security people. The skill which these guys applied in their attack speaks to a long period off uninterrupted operations and little risk. The real Greeks in retrospect read the situation in the subway car and got out of there quickly before the attack began which points to a public which has become complacent as you might see in any tourist trap.
You can't guard yourself against this stuff as Taxi's are another accepted scam at the Airport other than using some form of shuttle with a large number of people in transit you are in trouble from the get go.
After loving Greece for many years I have now put it on the black list until it sharpens up. Even Turkey was safer when we went there subsequently which should make the Greeks think twice as they will always say not to trust those Turks.
Shame on you Greece
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!!
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.
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.
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)
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.