Is it a good idea to pre-book a taxi from Athens airport to our hotel in downtown Athens? We don't want to waste anytime. We will be arriving early evening from Santorini. If so any recommendations on the taxi company? Also it is my understanding it is a fixed 35 during day time and 50 euro at night
No, I would not pre-book. Taxis will wait at the taxi stand. The higher fee is only between midnight and 5:00 a.m. The Metro and bus services are also very convenient and direct to some city center locations.
Pre-booking a taxi out at the airport is totally unnecessary. There are always many taxis waiting and more coming behind them. €38 (5am-Midnight) and €50 (Midnight-5am)
I had never pre-booked a taxi before. I did pre-book for my Athens arrival. I loved it. It is only a few dollars more than the regular taxi, at least the time of day I arrived...around 5:30 pm. The man was charming, was waiting for me when I exited the secure area and the ride to Athens Hotel was quick. This was a silly bucket list item for me...have person with sign waiting for me leaving flight. LOL. I used Welcome Pickups. They sent me a photo of the driver so I'd know who would be waiting for me. Now, I had just arrived in Greece and hadn't fully learned the Greek Alphabet yet so did want any hassles with the 'subway'. Also, there's a lot of literature about the least honest cabs being at the airport, so this was my solution for this particular trip.
Thank you appreciate the info!!
There is no need to pre-book a taxi. There will be a line of taxis outside the airport. Just go to the first one and tell them where you want to go. The regular price is 38 euros unless it's very early morning which the price will jump to 55 euros.
Taxis are very convenient, door-to-door service, and for the most part they will be honest and helpful. If you are in a group of people then the taxi is the best bang for your buck. However, taxis can only accommodate 4 people plus luggage.
If you are looking for a least expensive way to get to central Athens then the Metro is a good alternative. Cross the street, go up the stairs, walk along the encovered area and you'll end up at the ticket office. Buy a ticket for 10 euros or 5 euros for senior citizens. Go downstairs and wait for the Metro. Since it's the beginning of the run to Athens you'll have your choice of seats.
There will be announcements of where you are at each stop, they is also a grid/map of stops on the top of each car and at each stop there'll be a sign.
Depending on where you stay in Athens you can get off at Monistiraki or Syntagma Square. The Metro is clean, quick and relatively safe. Beware of pick pockets and scammers and use common sense and you'll be fine.
A cheaper way is the bus but more involved depending on where you need to get off for your accommodations.
Answer to Wray -- if you are referring to "literature" about less honest taxi drivers at the airport, your reading matter must be at least 8 years old or older. Since about 2009, there has been a flat rate from the airport.
@Janet, I read a lot for my trip this spring, but main literature was Lonely Planet, Rick Steves...Matt Barrett, and internet Athens tourist sites, so I doubt it was 2009 information. These sources also talked about the set fees and that is how I knew the private car cost only a little more. As I left my RS book in Athens, I don't specifically know what that book said; however, the comment about taxis was in different sources indicating the most dishonest would be found at the airport. The ones in town were said to be fine. I know you are an alleged expert on Greece, but as a neophyte with Greece, I paid attention to this. Regardless, I'm providing an option, which was easy, extremely pleasant and not expensive, IMO. I travel the easiest way, not necessarily the least expensive way, on my flight days, so I can enjoy every minute instead of looking at it as drudgery. It was a treat for me to have pre-arranged a car for such a low cost, so I could just hop into the car and go and not have to wait in line or to agree on the fee with the driver before I'm in the taxi, etc. as sources said this was an issue. It might just be that the poster would enjoy this as well and that's why I provided this information.
I did not imply you did not read widely ... I merely said that the issue of dishonest drivers was a PAST issue ever since there has been a flat rate. For 8 years there has been no need " to agree on the fee with the driver before I'm in the taxi, etc. as sources said this was an issue." I simply mean that those particular sources are out of date.