Taxi fares, Thessaloniki
I live in Thessaloniki and I have to warn you that taxi drivers are RUDE and they will try to cheat you, they will tell you to pay more than the real fair. Do not trust them cause they r trying to steal even us, who r Greeks and will live here. Public buses are better, more cheaper and there are signs everywhere to help you. Or you can ask someone, everyone will help you with guidances.
Unique Suggestions: See the FAIR meter and do not pay anything else...
Fun Alternatives: Just take public buses or the METRO, which is not available at the time. It will be ready in 2013..
If you happen to arrive to Thessaloniki by the public bus transportation (KTEL) you will find yourself at the station, trying to find a way to reach the city, as the station is at its edge.. You have two options; either bus or taxi. If you decide to take a taxi, because you don't want to waste any time and walk a lot with your luggage, think twice! Taxi drivers in my city have developed a unique system: First they chose an area that's convenient for them, let's say for example Kalamaria.. then they will go around asking the passengers that have just arrived if they are going there.. then they will put them in the taxi.. they will only drive off when the taxi has no less than four people in it. So far it would be ok, right? (I mean for the greek reality it would, anyway!). Then, as soon as they approach that specific area, they will start asking their passengers exactly where they are going.. then they will try to work out the shortest possible route combining all the destinations, that is if they are especially familiar with the neighbourhoods.. in the Kalamaria example, you are most likely to go around in zig-zags, from votsi to krini, then to foinikas and then to ai-giannis. Maybe this sound a little bit like an unorganised train-taxi (this is what it's called, right?) system, similar to the one that exists in organized Holland... only in the end you will have to pay for the whole round trip and walk a couple of blocks if you are not going to a central street (because it's not convenient for the next passenger). And of course it will take you as much time as the bus would. So I would take a bus!!
Unique Suggestions: Maybe the best thing to do would be to take a bus towards the centre of the city, and take a taxi from one of the many taxi stops in the city.. the system described above only seems to apply when in a big transportation station.
Avoid using taxis in and around town! Only few of them will ask the normal fee, so ask about the prices before you get into a taxi and make sure the driver's estimate is near the price you were told is reasonable!
Some taxi drivers !!! Being honest I have to say that only few of them have strange behaviours (ie: hi fares, access deny to the taxi !!! ...) but you know you take years to get a good reputation and less than a second to loose it ;-)
But don't forget they're cheap within the city border (when they're honest :-).
And pls remeber you cannot pay taxis by credit card !!!
Do not use a cab. If you do, ask a friend how far your destination is and look out the window so you will know if you are turned in circles! Don't make him understand that you are a foreigner.Most taxi drivers are thieves!