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Why rent a car in Athens?

The ancient city of Athens has plenty to offer the history tourist. The Acropolis and attached museum are the most iconic sites in the city and strolling between the thousands of artefacts on display really sets Athens in context in terms of its place in world history. Plaka is an attractive neighbourhood near the Acropolis with pavement cafes and independent shops and the Archaeological Promenade is a 2.5-mile long, pedestrianised path around the foot of the Acropolis that links all the city’s main historic sites.

With a hire car in Athens you can take advantage of the surrounding hills and villages. Drive out to Mount Lycabettus, which overlooks the city and the Attica basin, or try Dasos Kesarianis, a forest with a monastery, which is about half an hour by car.

How to get to and around Athens?

Athens International Airport is just over half an hour from the city centre by car. You can get Metro Line 3 Aghia Marina, or the suburban rail takes you into Athens Central train station. Athens is also served by the huge passenger port of Piraeus, so many people arrive by boat.

Hiring a car in Athens city centre

If you are already in the city there are plenty of places to pick up a hire car. Athens’ busy Athens Syngrou Avenue is full of big name rental car brands and is well placed for the main roads exiting the city.

What brands are available?

Alamo, Enterprise and Europcar are among the companies that can provide a rental car in Athens. Sixt and Hertz are also available.

Must-sees within an easy drive of Athens

With car hire in Athens you are well placed to explore the south of Greece. The beautiful coastal city of Kalamata (home of the delicious olives) is 150 miles from the capital and the quickest way to get there is to drive. The journey takes two and a half hours and is a simple route southwest on the E65. The drive takes you through the rugged mountains and gorges of the Peloponnese region and there are plenty of places to stop off along the way. Kalamata’s beautiful old town has a weekly market and there is a wide selection restaurants and cafes. To the north of the Peloponnese is the busy student city of Patras, which is two and a half hours, or 131 miles from Athens. With lively squares and busy shopping streets full of high street brands, this feels like a big city compared to the many villages surrounding it. There is also a medieval castle and a cobbled old town to explore.

The city of Lamia, which is two and a half hours (137 miles) from Athens, is off the beaten track in term of tourists, but it is a great stop for the Iti National Park, which is just to the south, and boasts lush forests, wildlife and hiking trails. And you can also head to the Greek islands by car and ferry. The party resort of Mykonos is five hours and 114 miles from Athens, including a ferry from Rafina. Beach bars, nightclubs and shopping are popular here but there is plenty of depth too. Head to Alefkantra for gorgeous historic buildings and a pretty hillside backdrop.

Tips and tricks for driving in Athens

Traffic in Athens is slow, which can be a welcome change as the roads outside it are known for being fairly fast flowing. There are a number of toll roads in Greece so be prepared to stop and pay. Driving is on the right and overtaking is on the left.

Ready to plan your Athens city break?

To get the most from your trip to Athens and other parts of Greece use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best deals on car hire, flights and hotels, as well as researching the best attractions and activities in the area.

FAQs for car hire in Athens

What’s the best price car rental in Athens?

In the past 7 days the lowest priced car rental is £5 in Athens.

What’s the average car rental price in Athens?

On average, car rentals in Athens are £8.

Why should I book a car rental with Expedia?

When booking a rental car via Expedia you can easily compare a wide range of the most popular car hire companies and select the best option for you. There are no extra costs and no cancellation fees involved in booking a rental car with Expedia.

How do I book a car rental with Expedia?

You can book a car rental on Expedia either online or over the phone. You may have the option to reserve now and pay now, or to reserve now and pay later. The payment option will be indicated at time of booking. To collect Expedia+ rewards points for your car rental, sign in to your account before you book or create an account on the Payment page.

Are there any additional costs when cancelling a rental car?

Most rental car bookings are eligible for a full refund regardless of when you cancel with Expedia. Not all prepaid bookings qualify for a refund. Review your itinerary for details. If your prepaid booking qualifies for a refund, your booking must be cancelled at least 6 hours prior to pick-up for the refund. If you return your prepaid car rental early, you will not be refunded for any unused time.

How can I cancel my car booking through Expedia?

To cancel your car booking, sign in or enter your email address and itinerary number. Then select Find itinerary. Under Manage Booking, select Cancel Reservation, then CANCEL THIS RESERVATION. Most prepaid car rental bookings are non-refundable. Pre-paid bookings must be cancelled at least 6 hours prior to pick-up to be eligible for a full refund. To change or cancel a car hire that you booked as part of a holiday, please contact us.

Should I book a rental car online before arriving or directly in Athens?

Booking your car from home with Expedia ensures thay you can choose the type of car. You can also compare the different offers and additional services in advance to get the best offer for you. Upon arrival you only need to collect the keys before beginning your trip. In addition, you do not have to start searching for a suitable provider after arriving or reading the terms and conditions at the counter. This will save you a lot of stress.

What insurance should I choose for my rental car?

A comprehensive insurance is a good choice to avoid unpleasant surprises. That way you can enjoy your stay carefree and explore the area with your rental car.

Do I have to pay my rental car in advance?

We have a couple different options when it comes to paying for your car rental. Read on and see which is best for you. Reserve now, pay now: This option allows you to reserve your car rental and prepay at the time of booking. You’ll need a credit card to prepay, and can apply Expedia Rewards points to cover all or some of the booking cost. While some car rental companies may let you pay with a debit card, the driver still needs to present a valid credit card to cover the deposit upon pick-up. Reserve now, pay later: This option lets you reserve your rental car without paying in advance. When you get to the pick-up spot, just have whoever's driving present a valid credit card to pay the cost in full. The car rental company will also place a hold on your credit card in the amount of the car rental deposit.

What do I have to pay attention to when hiring a car?

When picking up your rental car, check for scratches or dents on the vehicle. Inspect the car carefully, make sure to take notes of potential damage and let the vendor know before driving off.

Where can I find car rentals in Athens?

Rental car companies can usually be found at airports and various locations in the city centre.