Riding a taxi in Greece can be an experience, whether it be due to spine-tingling mountain roads, a chatterbox driver, traffic, or a “broken meter.” It can also simply be the most comfortable way to get from A to B. Taxi drivers in Greece are haunted by a bad reputation caused by bad seeds looking to overcharge tourists on their rides, though most of the time, the stigma is unjustified.
To be certain you’re not getting scammed, however, make sure the meter is running. If you need a car to pick you up at a local business, like a hotel or a restaurant, it can also be a good idea to ask personnel to call a taxi for you, as they often have a good relationship with drivers. Alternatively, use a taxi app or call a local taxi company (go here for a list of taxi companies in Athens).
Taxi rates in Greece are relatively affordable compared to those in many other European countries. Of course, the price of rides is dependent on current fuel prices and changes in legislation.
While subject to change, since the end of June 2022 and at time of publication of this article, the minimum price you’ll have to pay by law, regardless of the distance you want to ride, is €4. If you call for a taxi to pick you up at your location, as opposed to hailing one on the street, the minimum fare is often €5.
The price per kilometer is either €0,9 (within city limits between 05:00 and midnight) or €1,25 (outside city limits and/or between midnight and 05:00).
Every heavy piece of luggage (over 10kg) is an extra €0,39.
Prices between the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki and Kavala and the city centers are set and as follows:
Athens International Airport – Central Athens is €40 during the day, and €55 from midnight until 05:00.
Thessaloniki Airport – Central Thessaloniki is €25 during the day, and €35 from midnight until 05:00.
Kavala Airport – Central Kavala is €40 during the day, and €55 from midnight until 05:00.
For any other longer route that you would like to know the price of ahead of time, you can always ask at your accommodation for an estimate.
Unfortunately, not all taxis in Greece will accept card payment. To find one that does, you can ask for one when you order a ride through a taxi company, or choose the option through a taxi app.
Source: Nomotelia (Link in Greek)
Use an app
Starting this month, you can use the popular international app Free Now to hail a taxi in Athens and Thessaloniki areas. This immediately gives you a price estimate for your ride, and a choice of car category: taxi, comfort taxi and eco taxi. A comfort taxi is a car that’s no older than 5 years and has a credit card reader. Eco taxis are electric and hybrid cars, which are available in central Athens and Thessaloniki. You can also pay for your ride through PayPal.
The Greek company Beat (originally Taxibeat) was bought by the German Free Now (then Daimler, My Taxi) in 2017, but kept operating using its own app, until now.
If you are in the Athens area, you can also use the Greek Taxiplon app, or the more famous Uber app, which also ensure you’ll be able to pay with a credit card as well as PayPal, however, beware that ridesharing is not allowed in the country, so from Uber you’ll only find the “Uber TAXI” service (i.e., regular taxis).
Good to know
Greek taxis are different colors in different cities, so noticing what color they are when you first arrive is a good idea for when you need to find one later. Most taxis in Athens are yellow, in Thessaloniki they’re dark blue with a white top, while in other places they may be crimson, red, and in many cases grey.
Tipping your driver is optional.
Not all drivers will charge the luggage fee, and while by law they can charge you the €0,39 per piece over 10 kilos, it can be good practice to tip your driver a little extra if they’re helping you lift anything – even if it’s just groceries.
If you are trying to hail a taxi in a central spot with no luck, it might be because you are close to a “piatsa” – a designated taxi rank, and all drivers are picking up customers there. In central Athens, some of the most famous “piatses” are located at the lower end of Syntagma Square, at Monastiraki Square, and at Klafthmonos Square.
It’s worth mentioning that in the big cities, public transport is sometimes just as good an option as taking a taxi. Find our comprehensive guide to public transport in Athens here.