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 US$ 8.36 per day
- From Athens to Corfu - 135 offers from US$ 29.59 per day
- From Athens to Preveza - 67 offers from US$ 32.97 per day
- From Athens to Kalamata - 152 offers from US$ 25.91 per day
- From Athens to Ioannina - 94 offers from US$ 29.59 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.
Useful city facts
- 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, 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.
Traffic and parking tips
- 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 licence ban. Exceeding the limit of 0.08% is a criminal offence 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.
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 a day-trip
- 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 rental types and 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 $45 per day
- Station wagons - from $31 per day
- Large cars - from $31 per day
- Medium cars - from $25 per day
- People Carriers/Vans - from $52 per day
- Small cars - from $20 per day
- SUVs - from $61 per day
How can I save money on my rental car?
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
Heraklion Car Rentals from $8.81 per day318.9 km / 198.1 miles away
Chania Car Rentals from $8.01 per day273.9 km / 170.2 miles away
Rhodes Car Rentals from $8.81 per day433.1 km / 269.1 miles away
Corfu Car Rentals from $8.51 per day385.6 km / 239.6 miles away
304.5 km / 189.2 miles away
Kos Car Rentals from $6.84 per day324.4 km / 201.6 miles away
Santorini Car Rentals from $17.04 per day232.1 km / 144.2 miles away
Zakynthos Car Rentals from $12.51 per day249.4 km / 154.9 miles away
Mykonos Car Rentals from $20.39 per day151.9 km / 94.4 miles away
Faliraki Car Rentals from $8.81 per day433.2 km / 269.2 miles away
174.9 km / 108.7 miles away
Paros Car Rentals from $12.49 per day162.9 km / 101.2 miles away
Preveza Car Rentals from $6.31 per day279.3 km / 173.5 miles away
Kefalonia Car Rentals from $12.49 per day283.3 km / 176.0 miles away
296.6 km / 184.3 miles away
Kalamata Car Rentals from $9.63 per day180.5 km / 112.2 miles away
Agios Nikolaos Car Rentals from $8.81 per day355.8 km / 221.1 miles away
Piraeus Car Rentals from $13.01 per day8.1 km / 5.1 miles away
Skiathos Car Rentals from $11.59 per day134.7 km / 83.7 miles away
Kavala Car Rentals from $9.81 per day336.7 km / 209.2 miles away
Top 16 Locations near Athens
Agios Panteleimonas Car Rentals from $7.56 per day3.6 km / 2.2 miles away
Piraeus Port Car Rentals from $13.01 per day8.1 km / 5.1 miles away
Athens Port Car Rentals from $17.67 per day8.9 km / 5.6 miles away
Athens Airport Car Rentals from $4.13 per day19.1 km / 11.9 miles away
Kea Port Car Rentals from $47.88 per day61.4 km / 38.2 miles away
Syros Airport Car Rentals from $14.44 per day123.3 km / 76.6 miles away
Skyros Island National Airport Car Rentals from $20.24 per day129.0 km / 80.2 miles away
Skiathos Port Car Rentals from $54.02 per day134.7 km / 83.7 miles away
Skiathos Hotel delivery Car Rentals from $11.59 per day134.7 km / 83.7 miles away
Skiathos Airport Car Rentals from $18.08 per day136.0 km / 84.5 miles away
Mykonos Port Car Rentals from $20.39 per day151.9 km / 94.4 miles away
Mykonos Airport Car Rentals from $10.08 per day154.2 km / 95.8 miles away
Milos Airport Car Rentals from $16.17 per day156.0 km / 96.9 miles away
Paros Port Car Rentals from $22.43 per day158.9 km / 98.8 miles away
Volos Airport Car Rentals from $18.08 per day161.3 km / 100.2 miles away
Paros Airport Car Rentals from $12.49 per day162.9 km / 101.2 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Athens?
What’s the usual rental length in Athens?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Athens?
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Goldcar||Citroen C1||3||1||Small cars|
|Centauro||Peugeot 208||4||1||Small cars|
|Global Rent a Car||Hyundai i10||4||1||Small cars|
|Centauro||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|ABBYCAR||Ford Fiesta||4||2||Small cars|
|Carwiz||Suzuki Celerio||5||1||Small cars|
|Goldcar||Peugeot 208||4||1||Small cars|
|Autounion||Citroen C1||4||1||Small cars|
|Alamo||Suzuki Celerio||4||2||Small cars|
|Centauro||Peugeot 308||4||2||Medium cars|