Car Rental in Athens
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Athens?
Athens is a fascinating city to explore. Both ancient and modern, this sprawling city has countless landmarks, distinct neighborhoods, and beautiful nature areas. Many interesting places, from Hellenic monuments to small, charming villages, are also located nearby. Getting a rental car is the best way to see as much as you can.
One-Way Car Rentals in Athens
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Athens and drop off in another city include:
- From Athens to Thessaloniki - 340 offers from $7.53 per day
- From Athens to Preveza - 67 offers from $29.72 per day
- From Athens to Corfu - 135 offers from $26.67 per day
- From Athens to Kalamata - 152 offers from $23.36 per day
- From Athens to Zakynthos - 143 offers from $34.40 per day
Top ways to enter Athens
- Athens Airport: By far the largest in Greece and among the 30 busiest in Europe, flying to Athens Airport is the best way to reach the Greek capital. The airport is about 30 km (18 mi) from the city center.
- Volos Airport: Only open during the summer months, and served by a few low-cost carriers, Volos Central Greece Airport is about a three-hour ride north of Athens.
- Kalamata Airport: Like many others in Greece, this airport serving the large southern Peloponnese city is mainly active during the summer months. It is about three hours west of Athens.
- Thessaloniki Airport: The third busiest airport of Greece , serving its second city, is about a five-hour ride north of Athens. Arriving in one and leaving the other will give you a big opportunity to see a lot of mainland Greece.
- By sea: Athens is home to three different ferry ports — Lavrio, Rafina, and Piraeus. Piraeus is the city’s main port, and it connects the Greek capital with Corfu (Kerkyra) and the Ionian, and the islands of the Cyclades, the Saronic, and the Dodecanese.
- Athens enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate. Summers are dry and extremely hot, with temperatures often reaching 35 °C (95 °F). Remaining properly hydrated is very important. Winters are more humid, but mild, with the average temperature around 10 °C (50 °F) in January and February.
- The birthplace of democracy and the leading city of politics and culture during early classical antiquity, Athens was inhabited long before. With a history of human settlement going back for 7000 years, Athens is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
- Although the population of Athens Municipality is only 660,000, nearly 4 million people, or more than every third inhabitant of Greece, live in its wider metropolitan area. It is one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the European Union (EU).
Top destinations and activities
- Acropolis. Once a fortified town of what was then Athens and dating back as early as the Bronze Age, the Acropolis is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the main symbols of the city. Visit landmarks such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and Theater of Dionysus. Then check out the Acropolis Museum or take a walk to the nearby Hill of the Muses and Hill of the Nymphs, two other ancient landmarks.
- Mount Lycabettus. According to a legend, the most important summit of Athens was created by the goddess Athena when she dropped a limestone that she was carrying. Nowadays you can ascend the mountain via a funicular. The view from the top reveals not only the rest of Athens but also, on a clear day, Piraeus and the Peloponnese peninsula.
- Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This ancient outdoor theater, built by a Greek magnate and sophist that gave it his name, has been hosting plays for nearly 2,000 years and continues to do so to this day. Even if you’re not visiting on a day when there’s a performance, you can still appreciate the magnitude of the stone theater, have a nice walk around it, and appreciate the local flora and fauna that includes tortoises.
- National Archaeological Museum. Covering thousands of years from prehistory until late antiquity, this is one of the most comprehensive and interesting history museums in Europe. The museum has an impressive collection of Cycladic and Mycenaean art, as well as the art of cultures from the wider Mediterranean Basin which includes Egypt and the Middle East. The museum is located in central Athens and can be easily accessed from anywhere in the city. Visit the official website to learn more about the collection and admission.
- The Ancient Agora. In Ancient Greece, this was the city’s main civic center. Speeches and events would be hosted in the squares and plazas of the Agora, and Greek Philosophers like Socrates and Plato would share their thoughts and wisdom with Athenians. The Temple of Hephaestus is dedicated to Hephaestus, god of fire and metalworking, and Athena Ergane, goddess of pottery and crafts. This impressive Doric temple is made entirely out of marble and was built around the same time as the Parthenon.
- The Stoa of Attalos. This grand, colonnaded building was a gift to the people of Athens from King Attalos II of Pergamon. He had fallen completely in love with the Greek capital during his time there. In its heyday, it functioned as sort of an ancient shopping center and was filled with stores selling everything from groceries to clothing and jewelry. Sadly, the original stoa was largely destroyed by the Herulians in 267 AD. It was rebuilt in the 1950s, and explicit care was taken with the restoration to make sure that the same building materials, technique and style were used.
- The Plaka steps. Plaka is one of the oldest neighborhoods in central Athens. Its iconic steps can be found at Mnisikleous 22. Bars and restaurants line either side of the stairs. This is a great place to stop for meze plates (small dishes that are the Greek answer to tapas).
Traffic and parking
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 90 km/h (55.9 mph) on roads outside populated areas and 50 km/h (31 mph) in populated and built-up areas.
- While the larger roads are in good shape, some of the smaller, rural roads might have poor surfacing and potholes. Be careful when driving on them, especially after dark.
- Many gas stations might be closed during weekends and public holidays.
- It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novice drivers. Exceeding these limits can lead to high fines and a license ban. Exceeding the limit of 0.08% is a criminal offense and can lead to up to two years of imprisonment.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The general emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112. The police number is 100, the ambulance number is 166, and the fire brigade number is 199.
- Parking in central Athens can sometimes be a pain, and there are a few things you need to know. You will find color-coded "P" signs next to parking spaces. If it is blue, it is reserved for residents only, and you will be fined if you park there. If it is yellow, it is reserved for commercial or police vehicles. If it is white, you can park here with a fee, and you need to pay for parking at a nearby machine. The maximum parking time is three hours.
- There are a few underground and multilevel car parks in central Athens, including Metropark Athens near Syntagma Square and Parking Kapa next to Metaxourgeio metro station.
There are a number of toll roads, tunnels, and bridges on mainland Greece. Many travelers find them very hard to navigate and some choose to avoid using the toll roads altogether because of the very complex toll system that is in place. Different toll roads are administered by different private companies and so there is not a single, nationwide (or even region-wide) system in place.
For most toll roads, payment can be either made with cash at a toll gate, by a credit card, or with coins at an automatic toll machine. For some roads, an electronic transponder might be used to pay for using the toll road. Some rental cars may be equipped with such an electronic transponder. However, because of the aforementioned different toll systems that are in place, this payment method might work for some toll roads, but not for others. Determine out your route in advance and ask your car rental provider about the best way to pay for all the toll roads that you plan to use.
Ideas for day trips
- Parnitha National Park. About one hour’s drive from downtown Athens, this green area has many gorges, caves, springs, and dense forests that you can explore along its hiking paths. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the red deer that live in the park’s territory.
- Epidaurus. Once a ritual site for the worship of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, this place southwest of Athens is famous among locals both for its alleged healing properties and the incredible acoustics of its old theater. The theater is about a two-hour drive from the capital, with the road mostly hugging the Megara Gulf.
- Thebes. Mentioned both in Greek myths and written records of the many empires that ruled the area, Thebes is another world-famous historical location. Walk through the ruins of Cadmea Fortress or pay a visit to the stunning Archaeological Museum of Thebes. From Athens, it’s only a tad more than one hour’s drive north.
- Eleusis. Nowadays a small northwestern suburb of Athens, during the prehistoric period, Eleusis was the center of the Eleusinian Mystery religion. A cult of fertility goddesses Demeter and Persephone, it was largely secret, so not much information about it has survived until the present day, but fascinating bits and pieces can be found in the Eleusis Archaeological Museum. The city is also home to the ancient Christian church of Agios Zacharias and the factory of Kronos, a highly original industrial building that has been turned into an ecomuseum. Situated on the northern bank of the Gulf of Elefsina, the trip from Athens takes about 25 minutes by car.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental cars in Athens are the Renault Clio, the Fiat 500, and the Opel Corsa. The most popular rental car type is an economy, closely followed by mini and intermediate.
For more about traveling around Greece with a rental car, check out our complete guide.
- Thessaloniki. The second city of Greece is a fascinating place to explore thanks to its impressive architecture, long crescent-like beaches, and unique traditions. It also serves as a great base for the exploration of the rest of Northern Greece with its mountains and many wildlife areas.
- Nafplio. A small, but very interesting town, Nafplio is a mix of Hellenic, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences that you notice in its architecture and cuisine. After the hustle and bustle of the capital, from which it is about 140 km (85 mi) southwest, Nafplio is a great place to relax and explore.
- Peloponnese. Traditional, hospitable, and fiercely proud, the people of the Peloponnese peninsula make it a unique destination to explore. As characterized by the olive trees of Kalamata as it is by the sites of Sparta and Olympia, the region is also known for its untamed natural beauty. Ancient Corinth, itself one of the main attractions of the Peloponnese, is only an hour’s drive west of Athens; you can explore the rest from there.
- Crete. The largest of Greece’s countless islands, Crete has something for everyone. Many travelers tend to stick around Heraklion and Chania, its two largest cities, but do get in a car and go to see the rest of the island - its real beauty is in its rugged beaches outside tourist resorts, small mountain villages, and pristine wilderness. Keep in mind that while you can take a car on a ferry from Athens to Crete, ask your car rental provider first if they permit it. Alternatively, you can drop off your car in Athens and pick up another in Heraklion or Chania.
Car Rental Prices in Athens
- Convertibles - from $27 per day
- Station wagons - from $18 per day
- Large cars - from $11 per day
- Medium cars - from $9 per day
- Vans - from $19 per day
- Premium cars - from $81 per day
- Small cars - from $5 per day
- SUVs - from $12 per day
These are some of the things to keep in mind when booking a rental car in Athens:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Athens is the cheapest in January when renting a car is about 58% cheaper than the yearly average and a whopping 80% cheaper than renting a car in August. Come visit in winter time when the city is just as fascinating, but far less crowded!
Top 20 Cities near Athens
Piraeus Car Rentals from $19.42 per day26.1 km / 16.2 miles away
Kea Car Rentals from $70.41 per day44.5 km / 27.7 miles away
Syros Car Rentals from $15.42 per day102.4 km / 63.6 miles away
Skyros Car Rentals from $21.36 per day123.8 km / 76.9 miles away
Skopelos Car Rentals from $21.57 per day132.9 km / 82.6 miles away
Alonissos Car Rentals from $21.57 per day134.5 km / 83.6 miles away
Mykonos Car Rentals from $11.30 per day135.5 km / 84.2 miles away
Milos Car Rentals from $17.49 per day141.6 km / 88.0 miles away
Paros Car Rentals from $8.66 per day142.2 km / 88.4 miles away
Skiathos Car Rentals from $14.57 per day143.2 km / 89.0 miles away
Naxos Car Rentals from $16.47 per day156.5 km / 97.2 miles away
Ios Car Rentals from $26.34 per day179.0 km / 111.2 miles away
Volos Car Rentals from $23.01 per day180.6 km / 112.2 miles away
Kalamata Car Rentals from $8.61 per day194.9 km / 121.1 miles away
Chios Car Rentals from $19.44 per day197.3 km / 122.6 miles away
Kythira Car Rentals from $24.95 per day202.3 km / 125.7 miles away
Ikaria Car Rentals from $26.34 per day212.8 km / 132.2 miles away
Santorini Car Rentals from $12.18 per day218.4 km / 135.7 miles away
Patras Car Rentals from $13.22 per day221.9 km / 137.9 miles away
Patmos Car Rentals from $36.38 per day238.9 km / 148.4 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Athens
Athens Airport Car Rentals from $4.95 per day
Downtown Car Rentals from $12.11 per day19.1 km / 11.9 miles away
Athens Train Station Car Rentals from $29.33 per day20.6 km / 12.8 miles away
Piraeus Port Car Rentals from $21.15 per day26.6 km / 16.5 miles away
Athens Port Car Rentals from $22.39 per day27.1 km / 16.8 miles away
Syros Airport Car Rentals from $15.42 per day105.4 km / 65.5 miles away
Skyros Island National Airport Car Rentals from $21.36 per day123.8 km / 76.9 miles away
Mykonos Port Car Rentals from $20.33 per day133.2 km / 82.8 miles away
Mykonos Airport Car Rentals from $11.30 per day135.5 km / 84.2 miles away
Skiathos Port Car Rentals from $14.57 per day142.1 km / 88.3 miles away
Paros Port Car Rentals from $8.66 per day142.2 km / 88.4 miles away
Skiathos Airport Car Rentals from $14.57 per day143.2 km / 89.0 miles away
Milos Airport Car Rentals from $17.49 per day145.7 km / 90.5 miles away
Paros Airport Car Rentals from $8.66 per day146.7 km / 91.2 miles away
Naxos Airport Car Rentals from $16.47 per day157.6 km / 97.9 miles away
Volos Airport Car Rentals from $23.01 per day174.2 km / 108.2 miles away
Kalamata Airport Car Rentals from $8.61 per day194.9 km / 121.1 miles away
Chios Airport Car Rentals from $19.44 per day197.3 km / 122.6 miles away
Santorini Port Car Rentals from $28.62 per day217.4 km / 135.1 miles away
Santorini Airport Car Rentals from $12.18 per day218.4 km / 135.7 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Athens?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Athens?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Athens?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||20|
|Popular suppliers||Avance, Centauro, CarQ, Record-go, Yours Car Rental|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Vans|
|Lowest price||$5 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Avance||Fiat Panda||5||1||Small cars|
|Avance||Citroen C3||5||1||Small cars|
|CarQ||Fiat Panda||4||2||Small cars|
|CarQ||Citroen C3||4||2||Small cars|
|Centauro||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Record-go||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Centauro||Peugeot 208||4||1||Small cars|
|Avance||Toyota Auris||5||2||Medium cars|
|Centauro||Peugeot 308||4||2||Medium cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
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