- Taxis in Greece are considered relatively safe, and incidents involving safety issues are rare.
- Licensed taxis display a distinctive sign on the roof, typically bearing the word 'TAXI' and the registration number.
- Greek taxis operate on a metered system, and it's important to ensure that the meter is used throughout the journey.
- Using navigation apps or having a general idea of the route can help you avoid scammers who overcharge tourists.
Any traveler knows that one of the most important elements of a trip is public transportation.
Greece is one of the most visitor-friendly countries in the world, and moving from one spot to another when visiting Athens or the Greek islands is, in most cases, easy.
The Athens metro is one of the most contemporary and fast in Europe while taking the underground is the best way to reach all the important museums & monuments and visit the Acropolis.
The metro helps all those people who want to reach the city center from Athens airport and vice versa.
However, whether one is visiting historic Athens or exploring the picturesque Greek islands, the ease of hailing a taxi is part of the travel experience.
It's important to understand the taxi system which includes metered taxi rides when in cities and fixed fares for certain routes, especially those to and from airports or ports.
Here is all you need to know about taxis in Greece!
Types of Taxis in Greece
Greece offers a variety of taxi services to suit different needs, from regular street taxis that are ubiquitous in cities to the more exclusive luxury taxis and modern ride-hailing options.
Regular Street Taxis
Regular street taxis in Greece are a common sight, especially in urban areas and at transport hubs like airports and ports.
These cars are typically yellow cars with a lighted 'TAXI' sign on top and are equipped with a meter to calculate the fare based on the distance traveled.
They provide a convenient way for travelers to navigate the city and to reach nearby destinations.
- Metered Fare: Charges are calculated as per the distance covered and time taken.
- Accessibility: Easily hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands.
Luxury taxis in Greece offer a more comfortable and upscale traveling experience.
These services usually feature high-end vehicles such as limousines or premium sedans and cater to clients looking for an added level of comfort and style.
- Vehicles: Premium sedans, limousines.
- Service: Often includes pre-booked rides, suited for business travel or special occasions.
Ride-Hailing Apps in Greece
Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Free Now are another popular form of taxi service in Greece.
They provide a convenient and modern alternative to traditional taxis, with the ease of booking and paying for a ride directly from a smartphone, and therefore can also serve as welcome pickups.
In summary, travelers in Greece can choose from either regular taxis and street taxis for everyday travel, luxury taxis for premium service, or ride-hailing apps for a seamless and modern transportation experience.
Each service caters to different preferences, ensuring that there is a taxi option for every type of visitor.
Navigating Taxi Transportation in Greece
In Greece, taxis are a common and convenient mode of transportation throughout cities and rural areas alike. Key considerations include hailing, card payment methods, fare calculation, and safety protocols.
How to Hail a Taxi in Greece
To hail a taxi in Greece, one can either wait at designated taxi stands known as piatsa, flag one down on the street and pay it, or book via a phone app.
Major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki have an abundant supply of taxis near public transport hubs, such as metro stations.
When hailing a taxi on the street, ensure that the taxi is marked with a 'for hire' sign and the light on the top is on, indicating availability.
Understanding Taxi Fares in Greece
Taxi cars in Greece are yellow with a 'TAXI' sign on the car top. Taxis can be found everywhere, as there are plenty of them across Greece, especially in Athens city centre or other big cities and islands, and you can stop them by raising your hand.
When the 'TAXI' sign on top is lit, the taxi is available for hire. Sometimes though, the sign on top may not be lit, but the taxi driver will stop to ask you about your destination.
This happens because sharing a taxi in Greece with other passengers is common practice. In case you would prefer a private taxi, just signal Athens taxis with an illuminated sign.
Of course, taking a taxi in central Athens should be easy and safe. What one should be careful to avoid is paying more than the actual cost of the journey.
Please note that the taxi cab fare is double at night and increases a few km outside city limits.
Also, if you notice that your journey has started and the taxi meter is off, you should ask the cab driver to turn it on. These are some prices* you should have in mind before taking a taxi in Greece:
- The taxi meter starts at 1.80€/2$.
- The minimum fare is 4.00 €/4.30$.
- The rate/km within city limits is 0.90€/1$.
- The rate/km at night hours (00:00 am – 05:00 am) is 1.25€/1.40$
* Correct at the time of writing
Additionally, you should make sure that card payments are available before hopping on a taxi, as many taxis have yet to offer POS services.
If you want to practice tipping in Greece after a taxi ride, we suggest you do it in cash.
Taxi Safety in Greece
Safety in Greek taxis involves confirming the identity of drivers, agreeing on the taxi fare before the journey, and checking if the taxi meter is functioning.
It is advisable to know your destination and have a general sense of the route. Most drivers adhere to safety measures, such as speed limits, and are usually familiar with various locales.
If a traveler feels unsafe, they can note the taxi license plate and report it to the local authorities.
Taxi Use and Etiquette
Taxis in Greece offer a convenient mode of transportation. Passengers should be aware of language barriers and adherence to local customs to ensure a smooth experience.
Navigating Language Barriers
Effective communication with taxi drivers is vital for a stress-free journey.
It is useful for passengers to learn some basic Greek phrases, especially if traveling outside tourist-heavy areas.
Here are some helpful Greek phrases:
- 'Hello' - Yah sas
- 'To the airport, please' - Sto aerodromio, parakalo
- 'How much does it cost?' - Poso kostizi?
- 'Turn on the meter, please' - Parakalo, energopoiíste to metriti
When language is a barrier, it's advisable for passengers to show the address of their destination to the driver.
Furthermore, insisting that the taxi meter is turned on can prevent misunderstandings about the fare.
Taxi Etiquette in Greece
Adhering to local customs when using taxis in Greece can reflect respect and may result in better service. Here are some dos and don'ts:
- Have small bills ready, as drivers may not always have change.
- Ask for a receipt if necessary, which is called 'apodeixi' in Greek.
- Hesitate to remind the driver to turn on the meter.
- Get into a taxi that has other unknown passengers.
Tipping Customs: Tipping is optional in Greece but appreciated for good service. A common practice is to round up to the nearest euro.
Passengers should note in advance that while some drivers may not charge for luggage, a fee of €0.40 per bag is quite standard.
Showing appreciation with a small tip for handling heavy luggage is considered courteous.
Accessibility and Special Services
In Greece, taxis offer an essential mode of transportation, equipped with services catering to those with limited mobility.
Taxis in Major Greek Cities
In Greece's major cities, taxis are a widely used form of transportation for both locals and tourists.
They provide a quick and convenient way to navigate the bustling streets and are available from various locations including hotels, airports (such as Athens Airport), and key points within the city.
For visitors arriving at airports, taxis can be found at a designated taxi rank, offering services to hotels or any desired destination within the city.
Accessibility of Taxis in Greece
For travelers with disabilities or those requiring special assistance, accessible taxis are an available option in Greece.
These services aim to provide a comfortable transportation experience for all passengers, including those who use wheelchairs or have additional luggage needs.
Wheelchair-accessible taxis have ramps and adapted interiors to accommodate wheelchairs.
'Special Taxis' is a noted service in Athens that also offers city tours and excursions, ensuring transportation is family-friendly and inclusive.
For any issues related to accessibility, such as obstructed ramps, a helpline is typically available for immediate assistance.
If you want to skip the hassle of hailing a taxi and pay by card, we highly suggest you download the 'Free Now' app, which is similar to Uber but hires professional taxi drivers.
Alternatively, if you want to travel in luxury, and ensure a safe and comfortable drive around Athens city center and Greece, opt for our transfer services that will have you reaching your desired destinations easily, stress-free, and always on time!
Understanding the local taxi etiquette can enhance your experience. Now you know all there is about taxis in Greece to ensure your trip to this mesmerizing Mediterranean country is as smooth and carefree as possible!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Taxis Readily Available in Greece?
How Do I Hail a Taxi in Greece?
Are Taxis Metered in Greece?
Can I Pay with Credit Card in Taxis?
Is Tipping Expected for Taxi Rides?